PaRtner’s Conference 2015

By: Jess Carnprobst, @jess_carnprobst

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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.

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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

By: Austin Ambrose; @tex_ambrose7

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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

By: McKennah Robinson, @kennmilli

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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

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

By: Logan Trautman, @logantrautman

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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

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

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