Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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How to Up Your PR game Over Spring Break

February 26, 2015

By: Elise Mills, @itsELISElove

Are you going on an amazing trip for spring break? Yeah, me neither, but don’t worry! For those of us who don’t have trips planned, there is still plenty for us to do. With the spare time, here are some simple things to do to up your PR game.

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1. Update your LinkedIn.

Yes, most of us have one by this point, and we can all admit it could look better. Spend some time making sure your biography really reflects your personality or spend some time actually writing about your volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, instead of only having the standard name and date.

Goal: Try to reach ‘Expert’ or even ‘All-Star’ on your profile bar.

2. Remember that you have a blog.

Oh yeah, that thing you created when you bored. It’s time to hash out some new ideas. A blog is only as effective as you allow it to be, and if you only post once every couple months, it’s not truly showing your creativity or dedication to the craft.

Goal: Post once at the beginning of break and once at the end, it’ll help get those creative juices flowing and remind you why you started blogging in the first place.

3. Check out PR Daily (prdaily.com).

They are chalked-full of articles from crisis communications, to social media, to writing and editing. The latest post I read? “6 ‘House of Cards’ quotes that apply to PR.”

Goal: Read a couple of articles throughout the week. Not only are they fun, but informational.

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4. Look up internships.

If you are trying to get an internship then this is not new to you, but for those who have yet to start looking, this is the best time. Take an hour or two and look up some of the places you could see yourself applying to in the next few years and look at what it takes to be an intern there. Not only does it give you a sample of what you’ll be doing soon, but also it shows you areas to improve or what you could be doing now.

Goal: Look up a couple internships and ask yourself, am I on the right track? If not, what could I do to get there?

Do as I say, not as I do – senior advice on my freshman mistakes

February 18, 2015

By: Logan Trautman, @logantrautman

Sincerely-Seniors

It could be the fact that the final semester of my final year at OHIO is quickly coming to a close, but recently I’ve been reflecting back on the last four years. As I try to plan my post-grad life, when I’m not hyperventilating, I catch myself thinking what I would have done differently in the years leading up to these final months to better prepare myself for what lies ahead.

Internships are not for upperclassmen only

I have held three internships since being in college; all three took place within my junior and senior years. It is easy to think that you have endless time at OU, but please, go explore the world of internships early. You probably won’t get the internship of your dreams as a sophomore, but gain the experience now that will help you secure that dream internship as a senior. Plus, why wouldn’t you rather do a fun, worthwhile internship, rather than a summer job passing out free samples at Costco? I’m not sure either, ask my underclassman self.

Seniors are not scary

As a freshman, I was terrified of seniors. Who wouldn’t be? They looked like they were ten years older than me, they beamed professionalism, and they could drink… legally. As a senior, I love freshmen. In fact, the freshmen on my ImPRessions team are a few of my favorite people in Athens. As a freshman, you are encouraged to network, but approaching someone who is soon to graduate while you still have the “greatest four years” ahead of you is intimidating and easily avoided. As a senior, I welcome any underclassman that allows me to ramble about college. A bobcat is a bobcat, regardless of class rank.

Do not underestimate the power of a good schedule

Every semester, we all face the same slightly irritating routine of scheduling classes. As much as you want to take classes with newly made friends, in buildings that are only a five-minute walk, choose wisely. The hard truth is that some professors are better suited for you than others, and some courses will teach you more than you expected. Do your research, talk to upperclassmen, and take classes that will benefit your learning experience. I know taking a course in scuba diving is tempting, but think about your future!

There are clubs that exists outside the Scripps world

The world of Scripps is fascinating. It presents you with such a diverse group of people and opportunities. You know what other world is fascinating? The business world, or fine arts, or even the engineering world! It’s easy to get caught in the Scripps bubble, but explore! Join organizations comprised of people in all different majors. After all, in PR, it’s your job to know EVERYONE!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Following Up

July 10, 2014

By: Allison Evans @Allison__Evans

Follow-up-image-CAPS (1)No matter how smoothly an interview goes, it helps your cause to follow-up with your potential employer. It shows that you are determined, thoughtful, professional and interested. However, at what point does following up become annoying or a burden to employers? Here are tips for polite follow-ups:

DON’T call them. Email! Interviewers are on the phone much of their day with clients and other team members, and getting bogged down with calls is not what they like. Email is a medium that is checked frequently, but doesn’t necessarily require an immediate response. This also allows you to completely control what you’d like to tell them, where phone conversations are a two-way communication.

DO thank interviewers for their time. It is important to realize these meetings don’t occur daily, and they had to set aside an hour to talk to you. This will help show your appreciation for their time and your polite nature.

DON’T email them 15 minutes afterward. It is polite to wait until the next business day, or, if you had an interview in the morning, at the conclusion of their day. Interviewers will move on from your meeting to working, and such an abrupt follow-up is not advised.

follow-upDO cite an instance from your interview. This will refresh their memory on what was talked about, and it shows that you were listening. Continuing the conversation is the goal, and what better way than to pick up where you left off.

DON’T keep emailing if they don’t respond. Chances are, they are busy with a work situation. Blowing up their inbox isn’t the best way to show you will be an asset to their team, but someone who needs their attention. They will read it eventually and decide how to respond on their own time.

DO keep it short and sweet. A paragraph is all that is required! Having more than a few sentences will not allow interviewers to read it quickly, causing them to move on to the next thing and not get back to your email for awhile.

DO celebrate, because you landed and conquered the interview, and followed-up with ease. Excellent work, you awesome rising-pro, you :)

 

 

 

 

Making an ImPRession in Australia

December 4, 2013 1 Comment

CarlyI’ve spent most of the past four years in a small but passionate community known as Athens, Ohio. However, this past fall I spent two and half months away from my beloved home. Very, very far away. I interned at a small boutique public relations agency called Dani Lombard Public Relations in Sydney, Australia.

Each and every day I learned something new about public relations. Each and every day I learned something new about the beautiful, yet sometimes complicated world we live in. Each and every day I learned how valuable my experiences have been at Ohio University and within the ImPRessions organization, specifically.

One of the main reasons I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and intern abroad was that I knew I had enough preparation and public relations skills under my belt to survive in a foreign country.

Here are a few ways that my ImPRessions experience transferred to interning in Australia:

The value of teamwork. Being a part of ImPRessions for three years requires a tremendous amount of teamwork considering each account is split up into small teams. Last year I worked on the AVW Productions account and we were in charge of planning an event for a new video premiere called Camelittle. Each account associate worked on a different aspect of planning. I specifically worked with another account associate to create a press release for the event. We not only had to work as a team to make the whole event a success but we also had to work together to craft the perfect press release.

Similarly, Dani Lombard Public Relations has four female employees (five including me). During my stay, we all sat around the same large desk and were in constant communication with one another. Often times, we would all be working towards the same goal but each have a different task to accomplish. Teamwork seems like a simple and easily attainable skill but in reality it takes a great deal of patience and practice.

Written communication. Throughout my career as an ImPRessions member, I have volunteered to write a number of PR-related assignments. I knew that these writing tasks would only help me in the long run. Boy, was I WRITE! (get it?!) I had the opportunity to write a number of press releases, pitches and blog posts as an account associate. I believe I gained more PR writing experience through ImPRessions than through my actual coursework.

When I was asked to write a press release for a client at Dani Lombard I first had a minor jump-up-and-down in my seat moment and then proceeded to write the release with confidence. Although writing styles are different and the average length of a press release in Australia is at least two pages, I was still able to show my co-workers that my writing skills are transferable in a global industry.

Knowing your media. Working with an ImPRessions client that spanned the Athens area required me to be very familiar with Dammanthe local media such as The Post, The Athens Messenger, WOUB and other event websites. Depending on the story or event my team was trying to pitch, we would tailor our message to a certain group of people or a certain publication. For example, the Camelittle event previously mentioned was tailored towards young children since it was an animated film. My team and I then crafted our message for Athens elementary school and middle school kids along with their parents.

During my international internship, I had to become very familiar with the media my co-workers pitched to. Dani Lombard has a wide variety of clients. However, its focus is on natural beauty products. Therefore, I became very familiar with magazines such as Australian Vogue, Women’s Fitness, Women’s Health and various other weekly gossip magazines. Knowing your media will allow you to craft your very best pitch to the right audience, no matter where you are in the world.

-Carly Damman is a senior studying strategic communication. To learn more about her adventures abroad follow her @CarlyDamman. To learn more about the company she interned for visit: www.danilombard.com.au

Your Internship Fell Through…Now What?

November 26, 2013 3 Comments

My freshman year was coming to a close and I couldn’t have been happier with my first year at Ohio University. I had made great friends in my dorm, joined a sorority and PRSSA, and done well in all my classes. As sad as I was to leave Athens, I was so excited to be heading home to Cleveland for a summer internship I had gotten through a family friend.

Then the unthinkable happened: about a month before break began I was notified the company’s funding for interns was taken away and I was left with an internship-less summer.

I’m not the first student to experience this situation, and I can promise that I won’t be the last.  After some panicked calls to my mom and some too-little, too-late internship applications I decided that if I wasn’t going to have an internship over the summer, I still needed to do any, and everything possible to grow myself—and my resume.

If you find yourself at the last minute without an internship, don’t let it keep you from exploring other opportunities. Here’s what I didn’t to make my summer as productive as possible.

1. Work. I had worked at a local flower shop for several years prior to going to college and my boss was the second person (after my mom of course) that I called when my internship fell through. I was welcomed backed to my old stomping ground with open arms and I was able to save up money..

Whether it is returning to the part-time job in high school or mowing your neighbor’s lawn, find some sort of job. At the end of the day, you’re still a student with lots of student loans. If you are having trouble growing your resume, try to grow your bank account. Employers would ratherGardner see that you were doing something with your summer rather than nothing.

2. Network. Even though I was lacking in the internship department, I still wanted to network and learn about the PR industry. I got in contact with the director of communications at Progressive Insurance and was given the opportunity to not only job shadow an event, but meet with the entire communications department including their public relations and social media teams.

I was able to talk extensively about the different job roles and get a better understanding of corporate PR. I walked away from my job shadowing opportunity with advice, business cards and many promises of helping me find internships in the future.

Just because you don’t have an internship doesn’t mean that you can’t play in the PR sandbox. Talk to your family and friends. Everyone knows someone and it just takes one person to put you in contact with the right person. Find a company or agency whose work you admire and get in contact with them. They may not be able to offer you a full internship, but you can still grow a relationship with the people and the company.

3. Learn. I didn’t have an internship which meant I had plenty of time. I might not have been in school, but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t learn. Throughout my summer I explored some of the things I had heard about in my PRSSA meetings, but never had the time to explore – Hootsuite, cleaning up my resume and updating my LinkedIn page.  

If you’re going to sit at home over the summer catching up on the latest Netflix series, bring your laptop with you. Spend time that you don’t have during the school year looking up and creating. Google, google, google. If you heard something mentioned multiple times throughout the year and have no idea what it is, find out. Your computer can’t judge you for asking the same question five times so take the time to really dig deep into topics you aren’t familiar with.

If you find yourself with a less than ideal summer, don’t panic. There is always something you can do to improve the situation and it is up to you to make the best of every situation. Learning to adapt is one of the best skills you can have in life and nothing will test your ability to adapt more than losing an internship.

-Sydney Gardner is a sophomore studying strategic communication. Follow her at @SydneyGardner.

3 Ways to Deal With Long Work Hours

November 12, 2013 1 Comment

I’ve always been “weird” about time. Despite my implied lack of math skills as a lover of journalism and art, I still wake up during the night and am able to quickly calculate how much time I have left to sleep. I spend time worrying about the time I’ve spent on assignments or whether I’m prioritizing tasks correctly. When traveling, I rush to leave exactly on the hour, packing my belongings hastily and then rarely making any stops in order to get to my destination at exactly the time that Google Maps calculated.Google

Luckily, last summer’s internship with the Ohio State Fair helped me stress less about time and learn the importance of “being present.” Here are three tips my experience left me with:

1. Don’t stress about what you can’t control. Some days you’ll work longer than you expected. Last summer on several occasions, I had to work 16-hour shifts. One day I had to get up at 2:50 a.m. to coordinate a live traffic broadcast.

I never bothered to try and calculate my missed hours of sleep – it wasn’t worth it! I quickly realized that stressing about my hours wouldn’t improve them. Working overtime isn’t always fun, but it doesn’t kill you. Additionally, when you show up to work optimistic and ready to help, your attitude rubs off on others. Why make everyone miserable? Leave your negativity and stress at the door. Your coworkers will thank you.

2. Leave work at work. Leaving your work at work can be tricky and involves some consideration. Is it worth calling your media partner at 10 p.m. when you know they’re out of the office? Should you send out your press release at an ungodly morning hour?

Write yourself a sticky … or one hundred. (Photo: Flickr – elitatt)

Write yourself a sticky … or one hundred. (Photo: Flickr – elitatt)

If your task isn’t something that absolutely needs to be done by the end of the day, leave it! Write a reminder to finish what you were working on in the morning. Save a draft of the email you were working on and send it when you’re coherent enough to proofread it, and at a time when you know the person who’s on the receiving end will actually read it.

3. Take care of yourself. At school, I’m surrounded by amazing peers who do work that exceeds anything others our age should be capable of. With packed schedules, they find ways to function in an unyielding state of busy and stressed.

I cannot stress (pun intended?) how important it is to take care of yourself! As mentioned previously, losing sleep is an inevitable part of having a full-time job. But a busy lifestyle can’t be a continual excuse to treat your body like a garbage disposal. Similarly, constantly forgetting to eat regular meals, refusing help or foregoing needed rest in order to complete a work related project will never make you a hero.

Discuss your workload with your supervisors, know your expectations and utilize your coworkers. At my internship, my fellow coworkers and I would cover each others shifts to make sure we were taking care of ourselves properly. While our teammates were out working with media crews on grounds, we’d even deliver sunscreen, snacks and water bottles to them via golf cart.

All of these points are far easier said than done, but it’s still important to remember to step back from your work and breathe. Next time you’re in a time crunch, do yourself a favor by not letting your doubts and worries control your life.

-Marissa McDaid is a senior studying strategic communication with specializations in sociology and English. Follow her at @mlmcdaid.

AMplified Communication Founded From NYC Inspiration

November 7, 2013

While being alone in different environments for all of 2013, I’ve gained a great sense of confidence and growth within myself. I’ve always known I wanted to some day own my own PR firm or agency, collaborating with clients who needed my expertise. I’ve always been aware of my appreciation for the arts, expression and our rising media culture.

As time progressed, I noticed more and more of my friends and peers expressing themselves through their creative art outlet. Whether it’s music, fashion or creating a fresh, new product with a brand, the people I’m surrounded by are some of the most creative and innovative youth! With my passion for public relations, media, connecting and helping others, I decided it was time to create something to begin practicing for what I want to do in the near future.

1146671_10151775824449176_1029182539_nThroughout the summer, Malindi Robinson worked on a NYC young entrepreneur networking party, hosted by Collegiate Crown. I met the founder of Collegiate Crown through a previous internship and also volunteered my time to help planning the event. Malindi was assigned the task of sponsorship outreach and found herself securing over half of the event sponsors, all from Ohio. It was in that moment we realized all of the curators in our surroundings who don’t get enough recognition.

At a very special point near the end of my summer, I was connected with a young NYC entertainer by the name of Nigel Scott Morris. A lover of music being a part of my description in the referral, Nigel invited me to judge and attend auditions for his main music event, The Dean’s List Tour.

The Dean’s List Tour is a concert catered to underground artists, performers and entrepreneurs who are looking to gain exposure in the collegiate consumer market. During the concert, aside from performing their set, performers will have the opportunity to network and mingle with other artists, designers and other young entrepreneurs from Ohio and the East coast – specifically NYC! The concert is sponsored by popular mainstream brands Reebok and Def Jam Records and will be attended by talent scouting reps from C&C Entertainment and other music industry professionals from NYC checking out our underground talent!

I rode the train to midtown Manhattan, on the west side, and got to witness some awesome audition acts! So much talent; singers, rappers and dancers all came out to earn a spot on this tour. After learning about my background, Nigel offered me the position of the Ohio Representative and wanted me to host a stop of The Dean’s List Tour at Ohio University.  Tremendously honored and excited, I accepted the offer almost blindly.

By the end of the summer, Malindi and I both agreed we wanted to create a student organization catered to our specific passions and interests within the public relations field. We decided our organization would be for the students, by the students, and that The Dean’s List Tour would be our first big event.

From August until October, I ran around campus like a chicken with my head cut off trying to figure out the foundation I needed to lay to make this organization and concert happen. With the collaboration of a few of my awesome colleagues, I finally got AMplified Communication registered as a student organization. Also, with the support of Ohio University Association of Black Journalists, I booked Baker Theater to be the venue of Ohio University’s first student-run concert, The Dean’s List Tour.

I am so blessed to have the courage to embark on a personal journey that can only bring growth to so many people besides myself. With three weeks into this organization, there has been a vast amount of support and interest. I’m excited to be able to assist my colleagues in helping them AMplify their platform for their passions as well as connecting them amongst each other to rise to success. I hope to have started an organization that will last at Ohio University even after I’ve graduated. I believe we need more supporting platforms like AMplified Communication because my generation is at the forefront of our culture. Networking and building are the keys to success in society and AMplified is the door where both fit at Ohio University.

AMplified Communication meets Thursday’s at 7:30 p.m. in Ellis 024. For more information on AMplified Communication click here.

-Ashley Osborne is the co-founder and president of AMplified Communication and is a junior studying strategic communication with a Spanish minor. Follow her at @Simply_AO.

Transitioning Back to College After a Dream Internship

November 1, 2013 12 Comments

Trump_GortIt felt like I was Cinderella in my own personal fairytale.

I would work at glamorous photo shoots and casually meet celebrity icons. Attending red carpet events were regularly jotted down in my planner. Being chauffeured around New York City with Miss Universe was as normal as drinking a cup of coffee.

Who was I and how did I get to this magical place?

It all started from applying to the Miss Universe Organization, where I worked as a PR intern in NYC for five months. Hands down, the most rewarding opportunity of my life. Working with this prestigious company gave me the best real world PR experience I could’ve ever imagined. I never thought I’d be one to fall in love with a job, but being a part of the 2013 Miss USA competition’s entire production truly helped me discover my passion for becoming a PR professional, specifically in the entertainment industry.

Adjusting back to the college life after interning with MUO, however, was not the easiest transition. There was some inevitable sadness and culture shock after leaving the big city lifestyle. Not to mention, I was anxious to get a real world job instead of being a college student more than ever. Regardless of how ready I was, it didn’t change the fact that I still had to finish my last three semesters at OU.

So for all you bobcats that have taken a semester off or are considering it to complete an internship, here are three tips for moving forward from your dream internship while still being stuck as a college student.

1. Make your planner your best friend. The great thing about taking a semester off to intern is only needing to focus on giving 110% to your job. So probably the cruelest joke of all after getting a taste of the real world is going back to the college grind of taking classes, studying for exams and balancing a social life on top of club work while trying not to have a nervous breakdown. YIKES.

Instead of panicking, I learned that making a to-do list every day is actually a huge stress reliever, especially when you get to cross something off! It might seem simple, but keeping a weekly agenda will keep you organized, which automatically makes you a saner person. The key to balance for any college student is time management!

2. Throw yourself into what you love.  As much as I want to move out to LA and begin my PR career, I sadly know I can’t until I finish school. Being able to hone and sharpen my skills and knowledge with the industry now is extremely beneficial for me as a young professional.

Staying involved with ImPRessions and PRSSA allows me to do real professional work to constantly keep improving my journalism toolbox. For that I’m thankful because I can still get relevant PR experience while finishing up school before I’m ready to take the West Coast plunge.

3. Keep the connections and plan for the future. One of the most rewarding things about working at MUO was the people I met. Every one of my colleagues in the office had something to offer as a role model and mentor. I made strong connections with the people I worked with and my advice to everyone is be sure to keep the connections you make at your internships! It could be valuable for the future when seeking out potential employers or wanting to get hired full-time at your previous job. Because remember: it’s not what you know, but who you know!

How to Communicate for a Complex Client

October 17, 2013 1 Comment

This summer I had an amazing opportunity to work for a company ranked within the top ten of their industry in QuestionAmerica. Their industry? Trash. I was more than a little nervous accepting the position; my knowledge of trash stopped at the curb.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to properly communicate their needs when I didn’t understand their business. Luckily, with a little guidance from supervisors and some serious personal effort, I now consider myself an expert at talking trash.

Check out the competition. The quickest way to get an early idea about an industry is to research your company’s competition. The more sources you have, the more information you have. By reading up on competition you get a more extensive idea of trends in the industry and a better understanding of what sets your company apart.

Keep up with industry news. Even the most niche industries have outlets designated to publish trends.  In terms of trash, I was regularly reading at least three different websites designated solely to discussing garbage and recycling. Not every article published by these outlets will connect to your client’s specific needs. However, understanding the ins and outs of the business as a whole can help you communicate more effectively and understand how other departments work, a necessity if you are working with internal communications. Which leads me to…

Get to know other departments. Especially when surrounded by fellow communications professionals, it is easy to lose sight of how other people understand and discuss different ideas. Mingling with people in other departments provides a new perspective that your coworkers may not be able to provide. They can also be a great resource when dealing with an especially difficult problem. Have a customer with a rare or new problem? Perhaps sales can better understand how to create a solution.

Ask questions. As an entry-level employee or an intern questions are not only expected, they are encouraged. In order to avoid feeling insecure about lack of knowledge, try asking “why?” instead of “what?” For example: “Why do we use a different social media platform than Competitor X?” This shows not only shows a commitment to learning, it also allows for an even more in-depth explanation.

Taking on communication for a client you don’t quite understand can be extremely intimidating. On the flip side, it offers an opportunity for growth and to prove yourself as a true communications professional. If you can become an expert about a niche industry, what can’t you do?

-Darby Fledderjohn is a senior studying strategic communication with specializations in business and sociology. Follow her at @dfledderjohn.

Gearing Up to Revamp That Resume

August 27, 2013 4 Comments

ResumeThe beginning of the school year is the perfect time to update your resume. Many of us just wrapped up our last days at respective jobs and internships and will be starting new positions for the school year. Equipped with an additional few months of experience, the rub with this is deciding what to eliminate from your current resume.

Follow these tips to make sure your resume is in prime shape for the year:

1. Sell Yourself A brief description of you, your passions and objectives is always a great touch. Think of a few adjectives that best define you and use that sum up who you before you go into what you have done.

2. Put Your Best Foot Forward FIRST Your most proud or impressing achievements should go at the top of your resume. This will change over time but you always want potential employers to see your best work right away. Your resume gets you the interview, not the job. Start it off with your crown jewel.

3. Less is More When it comes to the length of your resume, less is more and one page will always suffice. Keeping the summaries brief will also make it so that your proudest and most recent accomplishments are highlighted. You don’t want your resume to be junky! You can always elaborate and give more detail once you are in the interviewing process.

4. Make it Job Specific Because you only have a page to summarize your education and experience, it is important to tailor your resume to the job that you apply for. You don’t have to list everything you have ever done. Think about the position you are applying for and list what it most relevant to that position when you find yourself having to choose what to post.

5. Design Matters Make good use of your white space. Your resume should have a clean flow and be easy to read. Paragraphs are a no-no. Use bullet points and only say what is necessary.

6. Make the Most of What you Have As a college student it is more or less expected that you have had no “real work experience.” Summer jobs, volunteer work and extracurricular activities are hard work and respectable commitments.  Be sure to include these as well as executive positions held and or any special recognition that you receive.

7. Show Your Personality Adding a splash of color can make your resume stand out, just don’t over do it!

-Malindi Robinson is currently undecided but will be applying to the Scripps strategic communications program this fall as a sophomore. Follow her at @fillemalindi.

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