Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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PaRtner’s Conference 2015

April 21, 2015

By: Jess Carnprobst, @jess_carnprobst


This past Saturday, Melaina Lewis, Allison Evans, Kelsey Miller and I traveled to Columbus for this year’s PaRtner’s Conference at Capital University. After attending last year’s conference at Ohio State, I was excited to see what was in store.

Capital welcomed us with some breakfast foods, juice and coffee, before starting the keynote speaker. Then at 9, we heard from Amanda DeCastro, who is currently working at Resource Ammirati and talked to us about the things we won’t learn in school. She told us to have an elevator speech, learn to speak in public, take big risks, build our online presence wisely, understand that we will fail, become an expert in one thing, listen, find a work/life balance that works for you, master the art of writing and storytelling, bring a pair of flats (this one was for the ladies), you will get hung up on when calling people, don’t burn bridges and lastly my favorite advice, make your passion your paycheck.

In our first breakout session, we chose to attend the “art of the resume” workshop, gaining a professional’s understanding of the resumes we turn in. Here we learned that it’s important to be careful when choosing to create a design heavy resume, because every professional looking at it will have a different opinion. To reiterate on something we’ve learned at OU, they stressed the importance of tailoring resumes to a specific job and finding a way to link the skills gained in a previous position with the job description of the position you’re applying for. Others attended the personal branding workshop, which helped those students gain further understanding to the importance of establishing and maintaining a brand both on and offline.


For session number two, we moved downstairs to learn more about advanced internships, while some stayed upstairs to learn about internships 101. Here, we were prepared for the difference between college life and a job. They stressed the importance of remembering to ask questions as a new full-time employee, and to own the projects you will be given. This is your job now and it’s expected that you do well.

Next, the moment we had been waiting for, a picnic with professionals! Capital University packed us boxed lunches and gave us an informal opportunity to talk with speakers and local professionals, while enjoying our food.

After lunch, we participated in a PR campaign competition seeking to help the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus give thanks to their many volunteers, while recruiting new volunteers. Each of the three groups had an hour to create a news release, social media component, overall goal and strategy and an additional component. All three teams created unique yet exciting campaigns and pitches. Kelsey’s team walked away with the best news release, Melaina’s team walked away with the best pitch and Allison and my team walked away with the best social media campaign and overall campaign.

Overall, this day reinforced the importance of getting to know members from local PRSSA chapters. Between sessions and during the lunch, it was nice talking to other students and hearing their perspective on things, as each school structures their PR classes and PRSSA differently. We all had a fun day of networking in Columbus, and came away with reinforced understandings as well as new perspectives!

Internship Checklist: What You Need to Do

April 14, 2015

By: Austin Ambrose; @tex_ambrose7


We are sadly winding down the school year, and there is a million and one events we all have to attend. Before we know it May will be here and internships will begin. Starting a new internship can be intimidating, and returning to one will bring new challenges. After having had experienced and out-of-state internship, for the first time, with few expectations, I learned this unknown checklist to go through. To help prevent others from making my mistake, here is a nice little list of a few things to remember for your internships this summer.

1. Check Out Your Living Situation

Make sure you take the time to do research on where you will be living if it is provided. Don’t just assume they will provide everything, or you will be doing late night Walmart run your first night there to get the much needed coffee pot, toilet paper and dishes. Also, if you know someone who has interned in the same city you are, ask them for advice on where to live. They will have had the trial and error process and know where the good places are. If you are living at home, make sure the people who buy the food have the must needed snack pack and PB&J.

2. Explore the City

If you are venturing somewhere new, make sure you take the time to learn the city. As old-fashioned as it sounds, look at a map of the city, it can even be Google Map. Learn the orientation of the city so you are not lost upon arriving. Then when you get there, learn the best way for transportation. This will save confusion when you think 3rd North will connect with 3rd South and never does.

3. Standout

This may sound like something we all should do, but not everyone will volunteer to take the meeting minutes, or that extra project. You don’t necessarily have to do something amazing, just do more to let people know who you are. You may want to return next year and they will remember who you are, or they may want to hire you in the future. Make the effort to standout from the crowd.

4. Savor the Moments

Internships fly by. It’s a couple short months of intense work with people you may have never met before this experience. Get to know your coworkers, your employer, and soak up everything you are learning. You will regret it later if you didn’t get every second out of the experience that you could have. You coworkers may be great people to know later on.

Internships are exciting, scary and chaotic all in one. Go in prepared and everything will be great. Own the experience because there is so much to absorb.

Perks of the Nonprofit World

March 24, 2015

By: McKennah Robinson, @kennmilli

Nonprofits Matter Logo 2 on white (larger)

When looking for internships, narrowing down your choices often doesn’t come until you have a solid list of places to apply to. The questions we all ask is ‘What will be the most beneficial?’ I’m willing to bet that most of us would say corporate or a PR agency. Not as many of us look at the world of nonprofits as being a great place for interns to go. But, there are many perks that can make saying ‘yes’ to a nonprofit worth your while.

Perk #1: We generally don’t know a whole lot about the non-profit world.

In class, we lean very heavily on corporate or firm marketing and PR. Most of us have probably even taken networking trips to firms or companies. It is phenomenal that we all have this breadth of knowledge about the strategic communication world, but stepping away from our comfort zone of agency and corporate PR, and into a murky area of non-profit, may bring great rewards. I personally love to learn, so taking an internship with a nonprofit is an exciting and logical next step for my education.

Perk #2: It feels good to know you’re part of something bigger.

In a giant company, it can be easy to get lost in the day-to-day tasks. Sometimes, we complete tasks in PR and never get to see the bigger picture. In a non-profit, everything the members do is essential to keeping the organization afloat. Every press release or blog post that a nonprofit puts out is crucial to keeping followers updated on how the organization is doing. In a non-profit, no one is expendable and they need all hands on deck.

Perk #3: We should all strive to be a little more altruistic.

Being selfless is one of the most undermined values. It shows dedication and compassion — both of which are key traits in a world that has become so impersonal. Giving back feels good, great even, and is a quality that most employers look for in potential employees. Knowing that you’re helping make a difference in the world is an unparalleled feeling.

This list just barely scrapes the tip of the iceberg on why it is a right decision to take your PR talents to the nonprofit world. Even if this isn’t for you, I challenge us all to broaden our horizons and look into internships that are outside of our comfort zone.

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.


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.


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


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.


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