Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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What if Bobcats started their own PR Firm?

January 28, 2014 1 Comment

bobcatsThere have been many times that my friends and I have had discussions on how it would be if there were a PR firm that was owned and operated by Ohio University alumni? The answer: amazing!

We are already on a good start since there is our student-run PR firm, ImPRessions. So we have that going for us.

The mornings would most likely start out with the playing of the fight song or the alma mater to get our day going on the right foot, followed by sweet treats catered by Fluff Bakery.

Just about every desk would have an Athens brick, a “Pubs of Athens” poster, an Ohio University coffee mug, thermos and water bottle, and pictures of dear friends that we celebrated many nights with on the hallowed streets of Athens.

burritoLunch would be filled with the scent of Goodfellas pizza, and Burrito Buggy would have its own parking space.

There would be cubicle shuffles.

East, West and South Greens would designate different departments in the office.

There would be our own Scripps statue to give associates luck before client pitches.

Casual Fridays would most likely be, “wear your OU hoodie day.”

There would be an office cat named Rufus.

And of course, there would be a bar for the office with Jackie O’s on tap, where happy hour would be a regular occasion with recordings from The Bob Stewart band on repeat.

Working with only Ohio University alumni would give clients the opportunity to work with the most fun and driven people in the industry. If there is one thing that students in Athens know is how to work just as hard as they play.

Because of ImPRessions, students already have a small grasp on what it is like to be in an agency. We have around 100 colleagues and now 12 clients. We know how to support different clients to better the agency as a whole. ImPRessions is a group of students with high ambitions that know how to push each other in a positive way. With the backing of a journalism education and a think tank of bright, young Bobcats, in a real PR firm we would be an unstoppable firm with clients just as fun and hard working as we are.

- Ben Clos is a junior studying Strategic Communications. Follow Ben on Twitter at @BenClos1

Should You Switch Journalism Tracks?

August 19, 2013 1 Comment

JournalismEntering my freshman year at Ohio University, I wanted to be a journalist. To me, being a journalist meant working for a newspaper or magazine in New York City and writing every day for the rest of my career. This seemed exciting, but little did I know that this was only the very beginning of where journalism could take me.

I’ve always enjoyed exploring and trying new things, so I signed up for plenty of clubs outside of print journalism. One of those clubs was PRSSA. At the beginning of the year, I didn’t really understand what public relations consisted of or how to build a career out of it, so I kept a close eye on the strategic communications track in order to learn more.

Everyone talked about ImPRessions and how it went hand in hand with PRSSA, so second semester I decided to sign up for ImPRessions as well. After getting hands on experience and getting a better look at what public relations really is, I knew this was the right track for me. It took a lot of exploring and open-mindedness to discover that this was my path, but I am so glad that I took the time to look outside of the box.

As you probably know, it is very common to change your major at some point during your college career. Going away for the first time allows you to take a better look at yourself and what you want out of life. My views changed drastically in just one year of college, and will most likely continue to grow and develop as I do. With that being said, it is important to stay open to career changes or developments.

You shouldn’t worry about changing your major or track so much that you stay put where you are, because at the end of the day, it is important to be happy and enjoy your career. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I stuck with a major that was no longer the right fit for me because I was scared of what may happen.

If you’re unsure what you want to do or what path you want to take; explore. Take the time to look into different avenues and make sure you talk to people in each of them. I wouldn’t have signed up for ImPRessions or learned as much as I did about public relations if I didn’t talk to people in the strategic communications track. There is no better way to learn about something than by asking questions and finding out the facts. Never be afraid of what may happen if you change your mind and remember to just go for it! At the end of the day, you will be happy you did. I am so glad I took the chance to explore the strategic communications and take the leap to change.

-Jessica Carnprobst is a sophomore studying strategic communications. Follow Jessica at @Jess_Carnprobst.

5 Tips for Creating an Event

March 28, 2013 2 Comments

By: Morgan Blank

Being in Public Relations it is inevitable that we will be planning and putting on events.  The biggest trouble most people have with creating an event is how to make it unforgettable and stand out.  Here are five tips to help plan your event and keep all of your bases covered. 

1. The tip most PR superstars would give it to plan early.  Making a timeline and starting early can help fix problems you may run into later in the event planning process.   

2. Another tip that will help create a lasting impression is to pick a theme and keep it throughout the whole event, starting with the invitations all the way down to table centerpieces. 

3. No matter what kind of event, you need publicity, publicity, publicity.  The more publicity the better, you want to get you event out there, and you want the public talking about it as much as possible. 

4. Have a B plan for everything.  Someone will be late, something may not arrive at all, there is no event where everything goes exactly the way it was planned.  You never want to have to throw something together last minute because something did not pan out the way you wanted.  Try to predict what is more significant to your event and make a back up plan. 

5. Send a recap or overview out right after the event is over.  When the event is over, your job is not.  Within a day or so after the event send out a post event email.  A news letter with the best pictures from the event and a recap of the activities, talking about what a success it was, this will keep the guests chatting over what an awesome time they had. 

When creating an event you need to prepare for the worst and advertise the best.  Keep your guests wondering how you threw such a flawless party, and keep them talking about it.   

Beyond the Basics Regional Conference: A once-in-a-college-career opportunity

March 6, 2013

By: Marisa Dockum 

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Beyond the Basics, brought to you by Scripps PRSSA, is a Regional Conference that will unite motivating speakers with ambitious students to learn, network and discuss the latest industry trends.

Regional Conferences are designed for PRSSA Chapters and industry related students to learn about public relations, the communications industry, career development and social media.  This event is a great tool for those who may not be able to attend national events, such as National Conference or National Assembly. 

Taking place on March 16, 2013, Beyond the Basics has planned a jam-packed day of awe-inspiring speakers and break out sessions. 

Keynote speaker: Ben Lincoln, from GolinHarris.

Break out #1: The first break out session will explore social media, with Scripps PRSSA advisor Dan Farkas, industry professional Nate Riggs, and branding guru Ed Burghard. 

Break out #2: During the second break out session, students will learn to deal with crisis management, featuring presentations from the Ohio University Leadership Center and President of Regional Marketing Alliance of Northeast Ohio, Richard Batyko. 

Break out #3: The last break out session #PostGradPRoblems, students will hear from the Ohio University Career Services and industry professional, Demi Clark. 

A more detailed schedule can be found here: http://prssarcbeyond.com/speakers/speakers/

After absorbing an abundance of new knowledge, attendees will have the opportunity to network at the Opportunities Fair. Professionals from different companies and agencies will be there for students to connect with, many regarding prospective career or internship openings.

For updates and more information, visit the Beyond the Basics website: http://prssarcbeyond.com/

This is a once-in-a-college-career opportunity that is taking place right in our backyard.  If you haven’t registered, I strongly encourage you to do so today! The cost is $20 for PRSSA members, and $25 for non-PRSSA members.  Late registration fees will apply beginning after March 12.

Register here: http://prssarcbeyond.eventbrite.com/

National PRSSA Recognition

November 7, 2011

Over the last month, PRSSA National has recognized ImPRessions for reaching 200 members and creating a social media plan. Those recognitions are important not only because they received national attention, but also because they signify the accomplishments of our goals and of ImPRessions’ growth over the years.

The success of ImPRessions is not the work of a few; it the teamwork of many. First, the foundation and support of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism has provided our firm with the guidance to reach for excellence. Without currently and previously driven ImPRessions and PRSSA executives and members, these accomplishments would have been impossible. We work closely with our Hugh M. Culbertson chapter of PRSSA, which has developed strong relationships and learning opportunities, especially with its executives and faculty adviser, Dan Farkas. With the help of the Amanda J. Cunningham Leadership Center at OHIO and student leadership manager, Scott Eardley, our members gained valuable managerial skills. And last but not least, our professional adviser, M.J. Clark, has given us invaluable direction. Her support raises our confidence to try new things and set new goals.

Improving upon successes is never easy, but is always necessary. With a strong executive board and these early accomplishments, ImPRessions has a strong foundation for the rest of the academic year and for years to come.

Scripps account utilizes social media to improve student communication

February 14, 2011 1 Comment

By Rebecca Reif                                                                                                                                                                 Associate, ImPRessions Account

The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism account presented to Scripps faculty at the 2010 Bush Seminar.

In an attempt to increase the number of applicants to the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism and to create more effective communication among current Scripps students, prospective students, and alumni, ImPRessions’ Scripps School of Journalism account has turned to social media for assistance.

The Scripps account wants to promote the idea that the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism is comprised of a lot more than just great professors and structured classes. Student-run organizations also make up a large part of the Scripps learning experience.

“I would say that after 5 p.m. Scripps is almost entirely run by students,” said Samantha Bartlett, Account Executive for ImPRessions’ E.W. Scripps School of Journalism account. This observation has helped the account come up with “Scripps After Dark,” a campaign that will highlight student-run organizations within the Scripps JSchool.

“I am astounded by the amount of energy and activity within the Scripps building after dark. The amount of students that are involved in different student-run organizations is really what makes our journalism school special,” said Dr. Robert Stewart, Director of the Scripps School of Journalism.

The Scripps After Dark campaign aims to utilize social media in order to publicize the efforts and accomplishments of different student-run organizations within Scripps.

“The social media phenomenon is really about sharing your experiences with others through the use of two-way communication. By utilizing Facebook to communicate with current and prospective students we are able to have a conversation- which is something that we can’t do with our website alone,” Stewart said.

Employing other forms of social media like Twitter, Wikipedia, and You Tube has also allowed the Scripps account to personalize relationships between students and the school itself.

Bartlett believes that the new campaign sheds positive light on the school. Bartlett said, “Having all of our social media run by students with the school’s approval shows that Scripps is stronger and more innovative than other schools in our field. We feel that our efforts show that Scripps is practicing what they preach to students– and that sends a powerful message.”

Clients: Wait, We Have to Manage that Relationship, too?

January 14, 2011 2 Comments

By Bryan Blaise

Editor’s note: Bryan Blaise is a graduate of the University of South Florida and is currently a senior account executive at GolinHarris Chicago.

So your professors have likely spent hours on theories for managing public perceptions, communication campaigns and possibly even your senior management  (if you’re pursuing a business minor or double major). However, one critical relationship is largely overlooked in the classroom — the client.

While agency life isn’t a requirement for a successful public relations career, many practitioners spend some part of their time within a global or boutique agency setting. And serving multiple clients successfully is a skill that can always be improved, like writing. Doing it well early on in your career is one way to quickly increase your responsibility, skill set — and paycheck.

Here are some insights I’ve learned over the past four years working with clients at AT&T, McDonald’s and other major corporations and non-profits. Practice them now at ImPRessions or outside internships, and set yourself on an even faster path to success for your clients and your career.

1. Presentation and Packaging

As junior staff, client interaction and management typically starts on projects and is largely supervised. Yet here is your chance to shine. Take a look at how documents and account communications (typically e-mails) are currently submitted. Are they as polished and professional as possible? Taking the extra time to submit your project’s work in brand-appropriate templates with pre-written correspondence your client can simply cut and paste goes a long way. We live in a visual world, one where even a simple color treatment and company logo gives your project’s everyday materials greater attention from clients and supervisors.

2. To-Do Lists and Order Taking

While prioritizing and efficient time management are paramount to surviving agency life, to-do lists can also become detrimental to junior account staff’s client management. Nothing requires that your client be strategic. Simply executing against a million client requests (or more senior staff members’ for that matter) makes you an order-taking worker bee, not the strategic counselor you’re working toward. Always take the time to examine a request within the context of the broader business/brand goals or contractual scope of work. If it’s not strategic or less of a priority than originally described, immediately bring it up with your supervisor and work on helping your client reprioritize or scrap the request.

3. Counseling from the Cube, Not Couch

Once you have regular e-mail and phone interactions with clients, it is critical that you’re continually providing sound strategic counsel. Sometimes this can be prepared with senior account leaders prior to a call or meeting. Other times, you’ve got to step up to the plate and deliver your solid perspective alone from your cube. While this is most difficult when you disagree with a client’s request or approach, simply engage in dialogue around the issue and provide alternative solutions. Again, they’re paying you for counsel AND execution, not just the latter. It’s best to always recap these discussions and final decisions in an e-mail to your client, copying relevant managers and team members.

4.  Connecting the Dots

Beyond bringing your client perspectives and insights from the industries in which they operate or influence, sometimes client management requires connecting the dots within their own organizations. Especially on large account teams, you may hear of other departments’ plans or programs that could benefit or hinder your client’s. Speak up and suggest a meeting for all agency and client parties to get on the same page. You’ll quickly gain the respect of your client, colleagues and other clients with whom you don’t even support. Always remember to loop in senior account managers, who can engage agency thought leaders and provide their support on major initiatives.

5. Knowing Your Client Personally

Clients, just like your first grade teacher, go to the grocery store and have lives outside of work, too. When appropriate, try to find out their interests and background. Share yours, as well. While you should always remain professional in communication and action, developing a friendly relationship with your client beyond a project’s execution is critical.

Lasting ImPRessions

January 10, 2011 4 Comments

By Kylie Whittaker                                                                                                                                                                               Associate, Athens County Humane Society

Rustling through my things in my cramped dorm room, the nerves began to set in. I had already attended the larger ImPRessions meeting during which we were introduced to the many accounts. Luckily I was placed into my first choice, the Athens County Humane Society. Now, I was on my way to the first meeting with my fellow Humane Society account members, not at all knowing what to expect.

I was the fourth or fifth person to enter the room. I was apprehensive, nervous, excited and unsure if I was ready to embark on this task I had brought upon myself. It was the beginning of my first quarter at Ohio University and my first experience with a student organization. Needless to say, it was new ground.

By the time the meeting began there were about twelve students sitting around a square table. We introduced ourselves, shared some personal history, and then tossed around some ideas of how we could most effectively execute our tasks throughout the quarter. As the meeting took shape, my nerves eased and excitement took over. We were all here, working together for one of the best student-run public relations firms in the country, and it was going to be a great experience.

Throughout fall quarter, my account helped plan the ACHS Centennial Celebration, a Halloween event for Friendly Paws Pet Supplies and Grooming and began work on the ACHS calendar. Our weekly meetings laid out our tasks to be completed for the next meeting.

Each member was given a job title, and mine was Multimedia Director. My job was to run the ACHS YouTube account, where we plan to post “Pet profiles” of animals in need of adoption. I took pictures at both of our events and wrote blogs for the ACHS website. Account members also took turns writing press releases which was a first-time experience for most. I was getting my first taste of real-life public relations and it was only my first quarter with ImPRessions. (Check out the ACHS YouTube channel, set to be launched winter quarter 2011.)

Going to college to get an education is a funny thing. The degree is what we are after, but in the end, it is experience that gets us ahead. Plenty of experience is readily available on the Ohio University campus, waiting for anyone who has the initiative to explore it.

ImPRessions is not a class room, lecture hall and does not involve note taking. It is action, networking and real public relations work. I not only got a sense of what my career in PR could be, but I also gained an irreplaceable foundation on which I am building my public relations skill set.

One extremely valuable aspect of ImPRessions, and any student organization for that matter, is the interaction between the students involved. Within ImPRessions, I met some of my closest friends and fellow aspiring Scripps applicants. Without these people, applying to one of the best journalism schools in the nation would have been terribly intimidating.

My interaction with Journalism school students and those planning to apply brought a confidence in myself and the choices I was making. I have no doubt that joining ImPRessions was the best choice I made fall quarter of 2010, and the personal and tangible benefits are more than I could have imagined.

October associate of the month

October 19, 2010

By Jenny Chufar                                                                                                                                                                          Associate, ImPRessions Account

Congratulations Jacqueline!

Jacqueline Jones is a senior majoring in public relations, and like many seniors, the decision with what to do after graduation is a difficult one.

“It’s my senior year, and like most other seniors I am feeling the pressure,” Jones says. “I might take a year or two off and apply to federal jobs in communications, I might just go to school, or I might do both; I don’t really know.”

Jones is a member of ImPRessions and says her favorite thing about being a member is her account, ­­E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. “I love the girls I am working with, and I love social media.”

Of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism account, Jones says that although it may be challenging, the experience is worth all of the hard work.  “We are working directly with Director Stewart, who has very specific goals in mind for what he wants to accomplish through social media, but has given us room for creativity in how we accomplish these goals. It’s crunch time for us; we need to turn in a proposal within the next week. I am very excited to see how our hard work and ideas come together.”

Aside from the experiences she’s obtained through ImPRessions, Jones has held three different internship positions. She has interned with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission and with the Ohio University Alumni Association.

In her free time, Jones enjoys bicycling, doing yoga and Pilates and watching Americas Next Top Model.

2010 PRSSA National Conference in D.C.

August 13, 2010

By Nicole Bersani
VP, Administration

You’ve probably been to a PRSSA chapter meeting, maybe even a Central Ohio PaRtners Conference, but have you been to a PRSSA National Conference? If so, you know the feeling – writing ideas/advice frantically in your notebook, getting inspired by successful PR pros and peers, forming friendships with fellow students in your chapter and chapters across the nation – it’s a feeling bigger than you, than the Hugh M. Culbertson chapter of PRSSA, than ImPRessions, than all journalism students in Scripps. I guess you have to go to a national conference to know the feeling. I went last year and it was one of the most inspirational experiences of my life, to say the least. To know more about last year’s conference, read my article in Ohio University’s chapter of PRSSA’s Winter 2010 PR Success issue titled “Members stay classy in San Diego” (page 3).

This year’s conference, “The Capital Connection: People, Press and Politics,” will be held October 15-19 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park hotel in Washington, D.C. I’m going to give it to you straight: rooms are $259 per night for four people and the conference registration is $295 per member. Then, you have to add the cost of food, transportation and any site seeing you might do. (Look below for approximate costs.) To be honest, the cost is rough – it’s in D.C. after all – but the experience you have, the people you meet and the amount you learn are priceless. However, good news to PRSSA members that are interested in health care or travel, tourism or hospitality public relations! If that’s you, you can apply for a grant to recieve a free conference registration – see below for more information or click here

Between professional development and networking sessions, expert and compelling speakers, and casual to fancy socials, you will not be wasting your money. The keynote speaker this year is Jim Margolis, a senior partner at a political consulting and advocacy advertising firm called Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns (GMMB). According to the PRSSA national conference committee, he was the senior advisor to Barack Obama’s campaign. Other exciting events are a speed networking session, a student-run firm workshop, PRSA speakers, and sessions about every PR topic imaginable from international to agency, heath care to entertainment, and sports to environment. (To look at other speakers and events, scroll down to link to the program calendar of events or click here.)

There is one catch though – the deadline to register is fast approaching. The day of our first PRSSA chapter meeting of the year and only one week after we start school is the same day as the national conference deadline on September 13. Slightly better news is that you can register now and if you decide not to go, you can get a full refund back – but you have until September 20 to make that decision.

According to the PRSSA national conference committee, “The Conference is the biggest annual meeting of public relations students in the United States, gathering more than 1,000 students for a weekend of networking, professional development, career preparation and leadership training” (http://www.prssa.org/conference/about.aspx).

It’s kind of a big deal. You might think that our chapter or firm of 100 or so members is competitive, but wait until you go to a national conference. You are not the only enthusiastic, smart, hard-working PR student, which may sound discouraging but I mean it as the opposite – take it as an opportunity to learn and network beyond Ohio University.

FYI: I am planning on car pooling and then splitting the cost of gas and parking. It’s around a six-hour drive from Athens to D.C. – e-mail me at nicolebersani@gmail.com if you want to talk more about transportation, this and/or last year’s conference or anything in between.

Estimated cost:

  • HOTEL ROOM (four nights split by four people): $259
  • TRANSPORTATION (car, bus, train, plane): $40-$300 **if car, add parking
  • FOOD/MISC ($15-25 per day, five days): $75-125
  • REGISTRATION (dues paying member): $295
  • APPROX: $669-$979

Hotel information:

Washington Marriott Wardman Park
2660 Woodley Road NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 328-2000  

PRSSA Room Rate:

  • $239 single/double
  • $249 triple
  • $259 quad
  • Group Code: PRSPRSA

For more information:

Attractions in D.C.

  • National Zoo
  • Smithsonian
  • Georgetown
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