Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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#ImPRessThePros Twitter Chat Recap

March 27, 2014 1 Comment

Last night we had our first #ImPRessTheProsTwitter chat hosted by former CEO, Devin Hughes and his adorable puppy Winston. The chat consisted of five questions, all relating to jobs/internships (with a small debate on Coke vs. Pepsi). There was a total of 39 contributors, including Scripps PRSSA Professional Advisor Zach Wright, Former CEO Heather Bartman and students from other firms. Overall, the twitter chat was a success! So check out favorite tweets and the stats from last night’s #ImPRessThePros chat.

ImPRessions Twitter Chat

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cokevpepsi allison

 

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#HideAndGoBus proves to be a success

March 5, 2014

GObusThroughout the last few months, our GoBus account has been hosting a promotional contest, in the hopes of increasing campus outreach as well as strengthening the relationship between client and customer.

The contest, titled #HideAndGoBus, gives students the opportunity to win a free round trip ticket on any GoBus route, simply by participating in social media.

But, how does one win? It’s quite simple, actually. Each week the associates of the account discuss where they would like to hide the prize, typically debating between popular campus locations. Once the location is decided, the account puts together the winning prize – a GoBus backpack with a congratulatory letter inside, which is then hidden somewhere on campus.

Now comes the fun part – participatory social media! The GoBus twitter account (@ridegobus) tweets out a picture with a clever caption as a hint to where to find the bag. For example, the caption for a previous event was: “Craving a salad from Shively? Lettuce give you a free ride home!” the prize was hidden in Shively Dining Hall.

Once a student finds the bag, the letter instructs them to tweet back a picture of the bag as well as the hashtag #HideAndGoBus. The voucher number is then sent to the winner via direct message. This method prevents students from just walking off with the prize, and encourages followers to participate on social media.

So far rides have been found in Ping Recreation Center, The Front Room coffee shop and Alden Library.

The contest has proved to be a huge success for the GoBus account. Not only has it given the associates real world experience in doing social media for a client, but it has also helped GoBus connect better with their riders. Sometimes, GoBus isn’t seen in the best light by students, but this contest helps the company to redeem themselves and gain more student approval.  It has also become quite an exciting thing on campus, based on the reactions from students.

Jack McCann, winner of the very first #HideAndGoBus contest, exclaimed, “Wait, is this real? I can just take this?” via twitter when coming across the prize. All of the backpacks have been found within the first 10 to 15 minutes of being tweeted.

As the Assistant Account Executive for GoBus, I am very proud of everything our account has been able to accomplish for our client through this project. I feel as though each member of the account, including the executives, have all gained something great from this campaign because we developed it from the very beginning.

One of the many things I love about Public Relations is the opportunity to see your creative ideas come to life. For us #HideAndGoBus started out as just a simple hashtag and has now developed into an actual participatory promotion, and not only that, but it has also been successful.

I cannot stress enough how much we as an account have to thank ImPRessions and GoBus for allowing us the experience to create and implement something like this. It has been an experience I know I will take with me throughout the remainder of my college career working with ImPRessions and beyond.

Megan Newton is a sophomore studying Strategic Communication and specializes in Anthropology and Visual Communication. You can follow her on Twitter at @_megannewton.

ImPRessing potential employers

March 4, 2014

standing outIt’s difficult to stand out to a potential employer, and it’s especially difficult to stand out amongst a community of overachievers like yourself. Sure, your GPA practically denotes you as a genius and you’ve been involved in extracurricular activities since the beginning of your college career. You’re so involved that you can’t even fit all of your experience on your resume. On paper, you look hirable AND desirable. But here’s the catch: Everyone else does too.

So, how are you going to stand out?

It’s easier said than done, but there are ways to set yourself apart from the crowd that just might land you your dream job or internship.

  1. Request informational interviews. Although less formal and more conversational than the standard job interview, informational interviews give you a chance to chat with a company’s employers, ask questions and soak in the company’s atmosphere. You’ll be asked questions, but it won’t be as nerve wrecking, because you’ll also be expected to ask questions. These interviews will put you a step above people who are simply applying for the job because it will demonstrate your interest in learning about the company and dedication to making connections with the employees.
  2. Use social media to your advantage. You’re on your phone 24/7 anyway, so you may as well use your social media addiction to your advantage. Before going to a company, firm or corporation, tweet at them and express your excitement to visit. Use appropriate hashtags and tweet at the company, along with any employees you are expected to meet. In addition to this, take the time to “like” the company’s Facebook page and “follow” its LinkedIn and Twitter sites. Showing interest in a company can be as simple as a touch of the screen.
  3. Be prepared. There’s almost no quality more attractive in an employee than being prepared. Research the company and write down questions to ask them. Express curiosity in what they do and show interest in what they say. Be prepared to listen. It’s seemingly impossible to actually listen to someone when your heart is beating a mile a minute, your palms are sweating and you’ve completely blanked on your next question. But remember to actually listen to their responses. Take what they tell you and refer to their advice or anecdotes later when you follow up.
  4. Follow up. Be traditional. Instead of sending a follow up email, hand write a thank you note and connect with the employer on LinkedIn. When you ask to connect with him or her, make sure you include a personal message instead of using LinkedIn’s automated message. It’ll make you stand out above others that didn’t take the time to personalize a message. As said above, take something the employer said and refer back to it, whether it’s something candid, informational or simply memorable. Just make sure it’s noteworthy.
  5. Be yourself. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through your work, including homework assignments, projects, your resume, LinkedIn profiles or social media accounts. Don’t let being professional obscure your uniqueness, individuality or even your sense of humor. Most importantly, remember: It’s possible to be both personal and professional.

Standing out among other overachievers isn’t an easy feat, but the difference between receiving or losing a job can be as simple as a handwritten letter. Take advantage of all of the opportunities you can, and don’t lose your dynamic personality despite pressures of the professional world.

Allison Barwacz is a senior studying Magazine Journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at @abarwacz.

College Book Store Gives Back to Athens Youth This Sibs Weekend

February 6, 2014 1 Comment

sibs_2014_tee_impr-1It’s been a crazy couple of weeks at Ohio University! With holidays and two school closings, we have yet to have a full week of classes, since week one of the semester. Last Tuesday, the College Book Store ImPRessions account was suppose to be working hard in Scripps 116 to prepare for their Sibs weekend event. Instead, the account was stuck as home after the first weather related closing since 2009. As Queen Elsa would say, the cold never bothered us anyway! Our account worked from home to relay College Book Store’s message of giving back to the community this Sibs Weekend.

For the fifth year in a row, College Book Store will be donating a portion of their Sibs weekend sales to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Athens County. The locally owned store, located on Court Street across from College Gate, donates 20 percent of each Sibs Weekend T-shirt sold to BBBS of Athens County as a way to give back.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a donation-supported organization that relies on community contributions in order to carefully match mentors with local youth. Since 1986, BBBS of Athens County has made a difference in the lives of children and mentors through their volunteer program.

This is the fifth year the College Book Store will be making a donation to the worthy organization. It is our account’s goal to drive up store traffic resulting in the largest donation to date. Give thanks for the sibs that are here in your life by giving back to the children of Athens. Purchase a Sibs Weekend t-shirt at College Book Store for just $9.99 and $2 will be donated directly to this worthy cause.

Hopefully the weather will clear up this weekend when the Sibs come to town, but if not, you can bet that the College Book Store account will still be hitting the bricks promoting the message of giving back. Make sure to visit us this weekend and treat your guest (or yourself) to a Sibs Weekend t-shirt. Feel good about your purchase and give back to the community that is home to us all.

 

Angela Martin is a senior studying Strategic Communications. You can follow her on Twitter at @_angelamartin.

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

ImPRessions Set to “Rock The Firm”

November 22, 2013

Platform Magazine, the student-run public relations publication at The University of Alabama, is conducting their first student firm spotlight series “Rock The Firm: What’s your Platform?”. The top student-run communication firms from across the country are submitting blog posts featuring their firm and clients.

Platform

The spotlight blog featuring ImPRessions, launched today and features the firm’s Athens County Humane Society Account along with the new restructure of ImPRessions. Check out the post and promote the amazing work ImPRessions creates!

Once all of the firms are featured, Platform Magazine will set up a competition to see what firm is voted the best student-run firm. Be on the lookout for the announcement that the voting is open so we can work our magic and hopefully achieve the imPRessive (hehe) feat of best student-run firm!

Benefits of Joining Both ImPRessions & PRSSA

November 5, 2013 8 Comments

ScrippsIn college one of the greatest ways to gain professional experience and expand your knowledge of your major outside the classroom is by getting involved. Luckily for us Scripps Kids, the journalism school has some top-notch extracurricular activities that students can be a part of. PRSSA and ImPRessions are two of these amazing organizations.

Both yield so many amazing benefits; I could go on forever about why I love each of these organizations. However, when you join both PRSSA and ImPRessions instead of just one or the other, it can be extremely beneficial in the short and long run.

1. You learn skills, and then in return experience how to apply them. PRSSA is a great organization to join if you’re interested in exposure to the many kinds of PR. You get to hear from a wide variety of speakers who are experienced in their jobs and enthusiastic about their day-to-day work. You learn what it’s really like in the world of PR and what’s important to take away from your time here at Scripps.

However, just learning about what you need to know isn’t enough. You need to have hands-on experiences with these skills to really become a master at them. This is why joining ImPRessions in addition to PRSSA is so helpful. You get to perform real tasks for real clients, which the PRSSA speakers elaborate on during presentations.

2. You make more personal connections with members. Because PRSSA meetings are only an hour long, with much of the time being taken up by announcements and speakers, there just isn’t time to connect with fellow members during the meetings. Of course you eventually begin to recognize familiar faces, but without exchanging of names and conversation, it’s hard to bond in that time frame every Monday night.

When you join ImPRessions in addition to PRSSA, you get the opportunity to meet for an hour with a more personal group of people. This allows for a better chance at having casual conversations and making friendships with fellow members. You get to become more familiar with some of the people you see every Monday night at the PRSSA meetings, which no doubt encourages positive relationships between the members of our PRSSA chapter.

3. You have a greater opportunity to hold a leadership position. Running for the executive board in PRSSA is a great way to get more involved and gain potential experience with having a leadership position. However, with only nine available positions, this makes elections quite competitive. With the new revamp of ImPRessions, new director positions have been added, giving members a chance to hold a higher position.

In ImPRessions you can also become an account supervisor or an account executive, which are also both great ways to gain leadership experience and learn how to manage groups of people. By joining both organizations, you have a better chance of being able to hold a leadership position, which in return looks amazing to potential employers.

4. They complement each other on a resume. Being able to put that you’re a member of PRSSA looks great on a resume – it’s even better when you say that you’re a dues paying member. Paying dues may seem like an expensive investment, but the rewards of doing it really are worth it. It comes with benefits that can help improve your skills and facilitate your entry into the wonderful professional world of PR. When you pay dues you also are exempt from paying ImPRessions dues, pretty much making ImPRessions membership an additional bonus to PRSSA. So why not join both?

Both of these organizations provide their members with experience that can be used in college and on after in a professional job setting. You get to learn things that will be used in the future, while making positive relationships and connections in the process.

-Mira Kuhar is a sophomore studying strategic communication with a business minor and English specialization. Follow her at @MiraKuhar.

Why I Love My Small College Town

October 30, 2013 2 Comments

oucampusEver since I was a child my dream was to live in a big city. I pictured myself having my dream job at an agency, going out to dinner with colleagues after work and on the weekends roaming the city and discovering unknown shops and restaurants. Generally, I think that many journalism students aspire to live in a big city because it’s where we think of news stories first breaking and the fast-paced lifestyle correlates directly with the continuously changing social media landscape.

However, despite my big city dreams, here I am in the small college town of Athens, Ohio. It may not have the glamour and endless things to do on the weekend, but going to school in a college town does have its own advantages.

Hands on Experience. ImPRessions is the best example of this because students have the opportunity to work with clients in the community. In such a small town, it’s easy for different companies to see the work the students are doing and this makes them want to be added to the client list. Students are given free hands-on experience doing real-world tasks that can be referenced when interviewing for internships or jobs in the future.

The Bobcat Family.  Going to school in a small town means a small campus and a close-knit family. If anyone were to doubt the love that current students and alumni have for OU and Athens, I would ask them to look at all the alumni that come back for Homecoming Weekend and how much students dread having to graduate. No matter where you are in the world, being a member of the Bobcat Family is something sacred and the connections you make with other bobcats are endless.

The Small Campus. Many bigger schools have the issue of getting students from different areas on campus within a timely manner, thus needing public transportation. At OU we are lucky because we can get wherever we need to be within ten minutes which makes scheduling classes back-to-back and grabbing something to eat before class a breeze. Even off-campus housing isn’t too far, which makes having a car on campus a luxury rather than a necessity.

Strouds, Hocking Hills and The Ridges. It’s easy to think that in a small college town you’ll run out of things to do, but that couldn’t be further from the case. In the foothills of the Appalachians we are surrounded by numerous state parks, historical buildings and one of the scariest places on Earth: The Ridges. When you want to escape uptown Athens, there’s no better way to do it than by spending the day on the water at Strouds or going for a hike in Hocking Hills. If you’re feeling especially brave, try exploring The Ridges and the nearby cemeteries at night.

A small college town may not have the endless shops and restaurants that a big city has, but the memories and relationships you make will last forever. The tight-knit community provides many opportunities that are just waiting to be grasped and endless networking opportunities. Only a bobcat knows how truly special a place like Athens, Ohio is.

-Allison Rumsas is a junior strategic communication major with a Spanish minor. Follow her  at @allisonrumsas.

A Day in the Life: PR Student

June 26, 2013

This is the final post of a three-part series detailing the daily life of a public relations professional, intern and student.

Kerry

Name: Kerry Tuttle

School: Ohio University

Location: Athens, OH

Hourly Snapshot

7 AM – Wake up, eat a protein bar for breakfast and head over to Ping to work out.

8:15 AM – Finished with my workout. Go home, take a shower and get dressed for class in business casual because of meetings and presentations. Have a last minute cram session before my first class because I have a quiz in it.

9:40 AM – First class of the day. Took the quiz and had a class discussion with a bunch of future journalists about how Twitter affects breaking news.

10:45 AM – On to the next class! I have a presentation that I’ve been practicing all night.

11:40 AM – Leave class and head to Baker to grab a bite to eat with friends. While at lunch, I’m scrolling through Twitter on my phone and checking out links to various PR blogs. Then, my Co-Account Executive for ImPRessions texts me and says that our client would like to have a quick meeting with us later in the day. I add that to my planner.

12:55 PM – My next class begins. It’s all lecture so I get busy taking notes.

1:50 PM – Class is over and I run to Café Bibliotech in Alden to grab a coffee since I’m starting to hit an afternoon lull.

2:00 PM – My PACE job begins. Today, I’m interviewing various faculty members in the Scripps College of Communication and putting together a spotlight piece for the website.

4:15 PM – Leave work and head over to Scripps Hall for a meeting with my ImPRessions client, Dr. Stewart, about an upcoming event my account is working on.

5:00 PM – Grab dinner up town with a friend. Charge my phone because it’s starting to die after excessive use all day.

6:00 PM – PRSSA meeting begins. Today, we have a speaker from a brand experience firm based in Columbus. During the meeting, I’m keeping up with my Twitter feed and adding the speaker on LinkedIn.

7:00 PM – I’m working on a huge research project with a group for one of my classes so I meet them in a group study room at Alden. We need to finalize our paper outline and begin putting our research into the form of a 20 page paper.

9:00 PM – After 2 hours of solid work, my group has had enough for the night. I find a spot on the second floor of Alden and finish some homework for some classes, which include reading two chapters in a book, creating a sample press release and submitting my marketing homework online.

10:00 PM – Meet with some other PR students to study for an exam we have in one our major classes the next day. We study half of the time and use the other half as social hour, of course.

11:30 PM – Leave Alden finally and head home. Sit on the couch with my roommates and veg out by watching some trashy reality television and eating my weight in chips and salsa.

1:00 AM – Get ready for bed, set my alarm for 7 AM and go over my notecards for my exam tomorrow before it’s lights out

-Kerry Tuttle is a junior majoring in public relations with specializations in marketing and international business. Keep up with Kerry at @kerrtut.

Making Army ImPRessions

June 20, 2013

Photo by Michael Noble Jr.

Photo by Michael Noble Jr.

Have you ever felt you were being thrown into the big leagues? Try being a media relations intern for an ROTC camp at one of the most renowned U.S. military bases in the world. Fort Knox, Kentucky is rumored to house our country’s gold and although I haven’t seen any gold, I have seen plenty of camouflage.

Applying for this internship I was confident of my portfolio, due to the pieces I gained from being an account associate for the ImPRessions Army and Air Force ROTC account. I had background with event coverage, the chain of command and LOTS of press releases. The opportunity to be a media relations intern for the ROTC’s Leader’s Training Course seemed like a perfect fit. I sent in my cover letter, resume and portfolio and then I waited.

After close to a month and a half of waiting, I got an email. I jumped out of my chair when I read that I had received the internship. Not figuratively jumped either, I literally knocked my desk chair over. I called my contact the next day within the allotted time, to verify my acceptance. When discussing the details, the public affairs officer whom I spoke to asked me how a freshman in college was able to put together such an extensive portfolio. My answer was simple; ImPRessions, the Ohio University student-run public relations firm. He sounded impressed, a very good sign considering I was dealing with the United States Army and I was just a freshman in Athens.

I’ve been in Fort Knox for close to two weeks now and thank ImPRessions every time I’m given a new assignment. My experience with the Army and Air Force ROTC account could not have prepared me better; my experience translated over perfectly. However, there are a few necessary things I’ve learned about taking on a big internship in my first weeks here.

Lesson 1: Make Friends. Friends are good to have no matter where you are, but when you’re working and living with 15 other interns for the majority of the summer, they’re essential. The last thing you need is drama from the hotel or wherever you’re staying carrying into the workplace. Getting along with everyone may be difficult, but it is totally worth the extra effort.

Lesson 2: Be Respectful, Not Intimidated. Coming onto a military base I knew that being respectful was going to be a huge part of the job. No matter whom you are dealing with, whether it’s another intern or a Major General, respect goes a long way. Just because you are respectful though, doesn’t mean you should be intimidated. No matter what the rank of the person you working with, it is your job to be there; act like it. Chances are they will respect you more and be more helpful if they realize you are serious about what you do.

Lesson 3: Do Not Let Anyone Underestimate You. Being a freshman, I am one of the youngest interns here. Most are going into their senior year of college or just graduated and many of them act like I am the baby intern. Although I may only be 18 years old (19 in three days), I have experience and I know what I’m doing. Letting them underestimate you will only make you believe what they’re saying. Take charge and prove your skills. Nothing feels better than having your boss ask you specifically for help on a job and nothing looks better than everyone else’s jaws dropping when you do well on an assignment.

Every internship experience is different: from the application process all the way through to the last day. I was lucky to have such extensive experience beforehand, but I still have a lot to learn. The best advice I can give to anyone starting an internship is “you get out of it what you put into it,” no matter how experienced your resume is before it will not benefit you unless you work hard and do your best. I’m looking forward to what the next two months hold for me.

-Rebecca Zook is a sophomore.

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