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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The Secrets to Creating a Cover Letter

March 17, 2014 1 Comment

????????????????????Writing a cover letter can sometimes be tricky! There is so much information to include that must accurately reflect your skills and experience, as well as parallel the job requirements of the position you are applying for. Listed below are the secrets to creating a cover letter, which provide useful tips and information about what you should include when crafting your own.

What to Include

Contact Information. This is the most obvious of elements to include in your cover letter. Your email address, street address and phone number should be easily identified on your cover letter (I believe the best place to display this information is at the top of your cover letter). After you include your contact information, you should also include the contact information of the person you are addressing in your cover letter. Include their full name, the company name and that person’s email address.

Opening Paragraph. In the opening paragraph, it is important to include who you are, what you are majoring in, where you go to school and the position in which you are applying for. I always like to include how I came across the position.

The Body Paragraphs. Following the opening paragraph, it is important to talk about the company and how you would be a good fit in that organization. This is where some research comes into play! You want to closely parallel the company’s needs with your own traits and skills. This tells the company how it could benefit from hiring you. I also like to include any information that I have recently come across about the company, such as an award it won or an event it hosted. This shows the employer that you have a genuine interest in the company and you are acknowledging its achievements.

The next paragraph ties all of the previously stated information together. This is where you highlight not only why you would be a good fit for this position, but also what other skills you have to offer.  This is also a space to show off some of your personal qualities that are suited for the workplace. For example,

[Company name] can rely on me to think rationally when crisis arrives, to always be in pursuit of a challenge and to produce the very best work possible.

Try to stay away from overused and generic words such a hardworking, responsible and a team player.

In closing. Always end a cover letter with a sentence that requires an action. For example, “If you have any further questions upon reviewing my application, I am available by phone or email.”

These secrets to creating a cover letter can hopefully serve as a basic template or an outline of information to include. However, it is important to remember to tailor each cover letter to the position and the company to which you are applying. Happy cover letter crafting!

Kathleen Marincic is a junior studying Strategic Communications with specializations in Marketing and Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter at @KathMarincic.

Using Twitter to Assist Your Internship Search

February 24, 2014 1 Comment

tweet networkWith internship hunting season upon us, it can be easy to get overwhelmed when attempting to reach out and contact employers. However, as students in the field of public relations, we have an advantage. While you’re scrolling through your Twitter feed before, during and after your daily activities, remember that our most-loved social media network can be utilized. While you’re using Twitter to make connections, employers are using it to look for potential internship candidates – chances are they know and understand just how important social media is in our industry and they will be highly responsive. Here are just a few tips on how to lessen the stress of finding an internship by using Twitter effectively.

Update your Twitter bio. This might not seem that important, but Twitter is offering you 140 characters to explain yourself. Make those 140 characters into a small resume and list the basics of your education, activities and organizations. This way when you do make contact with a potential internship employer, they have information readily available. You do not want to reach out to an employer and then present an unprofessional profile. It’s also important to tag organizations in which you may be involved in your bio – creating a quick and easy way for the employer see the Twitter accounts of the organization as well. (e.g., @OUImPRessions!)

Do research and analyze other accounts. It’s important to follow companies or agencies that you might be interested in working for. Read articles they may post, and make notice of how the brand is utilized on Twitter. Also look at the content of the posts and evaluate the type of industry represent and if you could be an asset. This could be useful when you’re writing your own tweets, or looking to reach out in the future.

Reach out to employees. Research the employees at the company as well. Another great thing about being a Bobcat is that our alumni network is large and strong. Bobcats are loyal to their school – so look for current employees that might be an Ohio U alum! Reach out to them for suggestions or recommendations. If there are no Ohio connections at your dream internship, look for other current employees who seem to be knowledgeable and responsive on their Twitter page. Ask for advice, reply to posts that interest you, etc.

Use Twitter chats and hashtags to get involved. When PRSSA National conducts Twitter chats, use the hashtag and get involved in the conversation. You never know who you might meet that could be a networking connection in the future. It also creates professional content for your Twitter page and could help employers pick you out.

Twitter is quick, manageable, and effective. In the world of communications, we know this better than anyone. Use it to your advantage!

Erin Golden is a junior studying Strategic Communication and minoring in Spanish, with a specialization in Marketing. Follow her on Twitter at @erinngolden.

The Internship Search: Simplified

December 20, 2013 1 Comment

As the seemingly never-ending torture of finals week comes to a close, students envision a relaxing break, cuddled up on the couch with their cats (or maybe that’s just me) and watching ABC Family’s Harry Potter weekend.

In reality, though, we know that’s not going to happen. Substitute “watching Harry Potter weekend” with “searching for internships” and that pretty much sums up the (sadly, truthful) epitome of winter break.

However, It is possible to make this process a bit easier, and knowing where to look is the first step in finding the ideal internship. While job opportunities and internship listings seem few and far between, there are hundreds of opportunities just a click away.

So, need help? Here are some of the best resources for finding your dream internship:

1. E.W. Scripps School of Journalism (http://scrippsjschool.org)Scripps

As most of you may (or may not) know, the Scripps’ homepage lists numerous internship and job opportunities. Because of our journalism school’s successful reputation, businesses want us. They want Scripps students to work for them, so what better to do than contact the school itself?

The site also stays current, deleting old internships and adding new ones as they become available. Follow Scripps on Twitter @scrippsjschool.

2. Ed 2010 (http://www.ed2010.com/jobs/whisperjobs)Ed

Offering a wide variety of communications internships, Ed 2010 is an organization designed to assist students in finding internships. Notorious for listing internship positions available in big companies, like Cosmopolitan and the Food Network, Ed 2010 is a great site for finding internships tailored directly to your skill set, as they list the job descriptions, responsibilities and requirements for interns.

In fact, I used Ed 2010 to find my internship at Avenue Magazine (http://www.avenuemagazine.com) last summer in Manhattan. Follow Ed2010 on Twitter @Ed2010News.

3. Intern Queen (http://www.internqueen.com/internships)Intern queen

Founded by a girl who’s had more internships than we could imagine (15, to be exact), Intern Queen is an excellent resource for finding work, from fashion to public relations to graphic design.

Signing up is free and makes applying for internships significantly easier and less stressful. Once you are signed up, you upload your resume and cover letter(s) and, from there, apply for jobs straight from the site. Follow Lauren Berger, the Intern Queen, on Twitter @InternQueen.

4. Media Bistro (http://www.mediabistro.com/PRMarketing-jobs.html)Media

Similar to Intern Queen, Media Bistro allows users to apply for jobs straight from the site. However, Media Bistro is organized by field of communication, allowing users to choose from jobs ranging from online/new media to entertainment to technical writing.

It has job and internship opportunities in almost every field of communication, making it an awesome resource for finding a job tailored to your talents. Follow Media Bistro on Twitter @Mediabistro.

So, take advantage of all of these resources. Opportunity is right around the corner. In fact, it’s standing right in front of you. You just have to take it.

-Allison Barwacz is a senior studying magazine journalism. Follow her on Twitter @abarwacz.

“I Took the Road Less Traveled By…”

June 6, 2013

“I took the road less traveled by…”

417853_10201265342899333_1879152046_nThe career of public relations asks us to take a step outside the box. Through an unforeseen opportunity, I took a step outside of the internship box and onto the “road less traveled by” that led to offices of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 1.

When thinking about public relations, most don’t associate it with highway construction and snowplowing. However, because I took the opportunity to be a Public Information Office Intern for ODOT, I have gained a new perspective on the limitlessness of PR, the importance of the work done by areas of the public sector and what it truly means to be versatile.

When I began, I didn’t know the first thing about construction. I didn’t know the terminology, the safety protocol or the purpose of the projects. On my first day, I attended orientation where I was briefed on basic procedure. They gave me an office, phone, computer, office supplies and a hard hat. My second day included going underneath I-75 and taking pictures of one of the largest culvert installations in ODOT history (basically, a huge drainage pipe). How many rising PR pros can say they have done that? I learned the terminology, I learned the protocol and I learned by experience.

 There is only one Public Information Officer on staff per district. My supervisor, Rhonda Pees, is the Public Information Officer at the District 1 office and is constantly updating the public by means of press releases, multimedia presentations, photo stories, written articles, social media and community outreach events.

 To my delight, Rhonda is someone that trusts me as a team member rather than her intern, and I have developed excellent portfolio pieces within a few weeks. I gained experience through these different areas of PR, and consider myself versatile in my skills because of this.

 I have only worked for ODOT for one month, and I already feel like I could work there forever. The people are lovely, the work is challenging and interesting and I constantly grow as a person and a professional. That is the benefit that comes from taking on something new. The transformation within oneself is worth the courage it takes to get there.

 “..and that has made all the difference.”

-Allison Evans is a junior studying strategic communications with a specialization in marketing. Keep up with her summer internship at ODOT at @Allison_Evans.

Tips for the Career Fair

February 14, 2013

By: Whitney Hatano 

If the warm weather and sunshine hasn’t been enough of a clue that spring is among us, then maybe the Spring Career & Internship Fair will be. The fair will be held on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 from 10:00am-3:00pm in Baker Ballroom. Most college students attend at least one career fair in their years at school. At first the concept of a career fair may seem extremely nerve racking and stressful but in the end it is a worthwhile experience. Try not to fret too much; here are a few tips for success at this year’s career fair!

A common piece of advice is to dress professionally! It doesn’t matter whether one is searching for a life long career or just attending the fair for the first time. Chances of a business taking you seriously while you’re still in your PJs are slim to none. First impressions are very crucial and you never know whom you’re going to meet. Being overdressed is more forgivable than being underdressed. The dressed up also does not mean putting on your going out outfit, make sure to clean up and look appropriate.

One of the most important tips is to do your research before the event. With long lines and packed rooms, it’s hard to scope out the entire fair without feeling even more overwhelmed than you probably already are. You also need to take into consideration that not every booth is suitable for you. Researching the companies present beforehand will make it easier for you to filter out which booths are worth stopping at. On the same note, be careful not to rule out any options because you may just be surprised about what a company has to offer. Research different companies by visiting their websites and reading their values and option positions to get a feel for their business. Social media is also becoming a great tool for companies, so try checking out their Twitter or like their Facebook page, too!

Maintaining a positive attitude throughout the day can be tiresome, but keep that smile and handshake firm. If you show you’re genuinely interested in the employer, then they’re going to be just as enthusiastic to give you more information about themselves. Bringing your resume is only half of the battle; you have to have an impressive personality too. Potential employers are not going to want to hire someone who isn’t going to add to their company rapport. Try not to sell yourself too much though, employers want to hear about the real you, not a pitch you’ve repeated to every other booth.

These are only a few tips that can be used to make your career fair experience successful. Just remember to look professional, do your research and bring you’re a-game. Career fairs shouldn’t be scary; they are here to assist students in meeting new people and creating a professional network for free! 

 

How To Network Using Social Media

January 31, 2013 7 Comments

Marisa Dockum

LinkedIn and Twitter serve as better networking tools than you might think.  The power of networking is endless, especially now with easy access to professionals via Twitter and LinkedIn. Here are a few tips to improve your online visibility and build a network:

  1. Never send a generic LinkedIn connection invite.  In order to stand out and make things personal, you must take the time to write a nice blurb on how you know them or explain why you would like to connect with them.
  2. Clean up your Twitter account to make sure it is appropriate before you begin attracting professionals.
  3. Don’t have full-blown conversations on Twitter.  Make an initial connection with a tweet, but then continue the conversation via email or direct messages.
  4. Use hashtags such as #intern, #internships, #HAPPO, #PR,etc. and directly tweet at companies or people who work there about news/events that are happening at those companies.  When you express interest in what that agency is actually doing, you will get noticed.
  5. Don’t get to the point right away, start by asking about the professional’s experience or for advice.  PR people love to talk about themselves and want to feel like they’re helping someone out from their expertise. So, allow them to do that and they will be more likely to then talk about a job or internship opportunity.
  6. Join Twitter chats, ask questions and share your answers.  Your questions could get noticed by a professional looking for an intern, and your active online presence will impress professionals.
  7. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and error free at all times, especially before you connect with professionals.
  8. Utilize the LinkedIn headline in a creative way.  For example, “PR major seeking internship in NYC,” and be active in different LinkedIn groups.

As a pre-professional, it is your job to seek out professionals, companies, PRSA young professionals and alumni on Twitter and LinkedIn.  Let your personality shine online, and do what we do best: communicate.  Actively tweet about PR news, tweet at professionals and companies, use hashtags, and connect on LinkedIn with personal messages.  These tips will allow you to network with the industry and establish a solid online presence, but most importantly it will highlight YOUR brand.

Go forth young professionals, use social media networking to your advantage!

PR For The Holidays: The Gift of Branding and Internships Event Recap

December 5, 2012

By: Kiley Landusky, Internal Account Associate

On a cold, rainy day on December 2nd the OU ImPRessions holiday party, “PR for the Holidays: The Gift of Internships and Branding” brought together account supervisors, executives and associates from the seventeen accounts for warm holiday cheer, warm wishes from fellow members and of course, warm food. The guests were greeted with a nametag and agenda listing the speakers that would later give valuable advice and praise of the spectacular PRSSA-affiliated group.

The party was kicked off with various potluck foods provided by members of ImPRessions. An introduction by Heather Bartman, Sienna Tomko and Dan Mulvey created excitement for the student guest speakers. Heather, Sienna and Dan stressed the importance of ImPRessions, their joy of its success and their gratitude for everyone being together before the terror of final exams.

We are quite lucky to claim the PR stars Hollie Amato, Nicole Spears and Sam Tischler as our own and even luckier that they agreed to present their successes and experiences in their internships after the friendly introduction from Heather, Dan and Sienna. Sam started by sharing her PACE employment experience and tied it to her experience in ImPRessions as well as her classes at Ohio University. She took pride in being a member of ImPRessions and said “this will teach you how to work in a group setting,” similar to how you would work in an internship. She encouraged the group to value every part of our experience as OU students and said, “Everything you do should be taken as a learning experience”.

Nicole Spears took the spotlight after Sam and let us in on her experience of interning in France. She gave us advice on what to do prior to any foreign internship. A commonly overlooked process before applying to foreign internships was translating your resume to the appropriate language of the country you choose to visit. Although the language barrier was the most difficult thing for her, Nicole was firm on stating that her experience was a great one and encouraged all to travel abroad. She said “you’ll meet a lot more people with global backgrounds,” which will help greatly in the new environment students will have to embrace in internships and careers.

After Nicole, Hollie Amato spoke about her work during an internship with Akhia, a public relations and marketing communications agency. She emphasized her use of ImPRessions on her resume, stating, “definitely brag about ImPRessions because it’s worth bragging about” and ImPRessions “gave me hands-on experience and examples”. She also told her fellow ImPRessions members to archive their work as they go for use in a future portfolio.

The guest speakers gave great advice for the current ImPRessions accounts and how to translate it to a professional setting in the future.

The accounts then gave us a short summary of their accomplishments thus far as well as their goals for spring semester. Just about every account discussed their social media activity and goals to enhance and increase their social media in the upcoming semester.

Some highlights from the account summaries were, the E.W. Scripps School account has 2,842 Twitter followers and the College Bookstore upped their followers from around 120 to 220! The Athens County Humane Society also gained 182 likes on Facebook. For the most part the accounts shared a common goal of reaching out to more people via social media.

Another common activity was the use of surveys to track the progress and outreach of accounts such as the GoBus account, which received 271 survey responses, nearly reaching their goal of 300. ImPRessions accounts seriously appreciate their audience and are always looking to give back to OU students as well as the Athens community.

Listening to all of the successes of ImPRessions members and their drive to be even greater as a firm and as separate accounts secured the pride of being an OU student. Bringing everyone together for this event made for a great welcome back from Thanksgiving break and a warm goodbye and seasons greetings before traveling home for the holiday break.

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Tips For A Successful Internship Search

November 15, 2012

By: Whitney Hatano

After weeks of getting back into the swing of school, it’s officially that time of the year. And no, I don’t mean that time where students get to go home for Thanksgiving break. I’m talking about searching for internships! I know it doesn’t sound like an appealing thing to do while on a break from class, but trust me, it’ll be worth it when you do.

Your first question is probably, “Where do I look for an internship?” There are plenty of websites and outlets for you to browse around and see what works best for you. However, some websites are more helpful than others. There have been many good and successful stories from students who have used websites like www.vault.com, www.internqueen.com, www.internships.com, and www.internmatch.com. Each of these websites have so much information and reviews to help guide you in the right direction. These websites ask for keywords and locations that assist students in the matching of internships.

PRSSA members can utilize their membership by searching the PRSA database which houses hundreds of internships in different areas. Finally, simply talking with fellow classmates about past internships can connect you with your dream job. With these tools, finding an internship is as easy as typing the word into Google.

Working everyday over summer vacation does sound like a bit of a drag, but there are so many benefits of doing an internship that outweigh the only con. It’ll assist you in gaining valuable work experience, building your resume and networking. Internships will also provide real life experience that you may not get in the classroom. Internships are such a great learning experience and are too good to pass up.

Happy hunting!

5 Tips for Staying Connected and Updated this Summer

July 5, 2012

By: Ashleigh Mavros

Just because you didn’t land your dream internship or you wanted to work to save money this summer doesn’t mean you can’t return in the fall with a better insight into the PR world. This is your golden opportunity to get ahead with some simple tasks that you haven’t had the time for or quite frankly haven’t crossed your mind. Stay on top of your game and make the following your list of to-do’s before your summer vacation is over.

Connect. Now is the time to pull out the stack of business cards and a list of contact information to get in touch with the connections you’ve made over the year. Something as simple as sending an email to let them know what you’ve been up to or asking a burning question you may have is sufficient. Even better, if you’re in town try to meet for coffee. “To me, it’s not so much about the initial outreach; rather, I’m more likely to remember a student who ‘checks in’ every once in a while,” said Experience Columbus Marketing Coordinator Sandi Combs. Dig back through all your contact information from PRSSA speakers, past internship advisors, and connections made at networking events and start building that connection base.

Blogs. Since you’re out of class you may feel disconnected to any news and information relating to the industry; it’s time to head to an online blog to get your daily dose of PR. A favorite among professionals and students alike is PRDaily.com which features useful articles on topics ranging from social media, crisis planning and marketing.  Other blogs to keep an eye on include Technorati.com and Mashable.com. By checking in weekly with a favorite PR-related blog, you won’t feel like you’ve been hiding under a rock come fall.

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Informational Interviews.  “The biggest thing is making a connection in the professional world. And if an opportunity comes up for an internship or entry-level job in my office, it’s nice to have a few students who I know might be good candidates for that role,” said Andy Dearth of Live Nation on opportunities that one day may come from informational interviews.  Set up an interview with a firm or business you might be interested in, especially one in which you already have a connection. Do some research before the interview, have a list of questions prepared and look at the interview as a learning experience and a networking opportunity that will give you incredible insight.

 

Books. Yes, it’s summer and you don’t want to even think about picking up anything remotely similar to a text book. However, if you have any interest in the ever-changing roles that social media and technology play in PR, you won’t be able to put these two books down. Likeable Social Media by David Kerpen explores every vital social platform in today’s society including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and more. The emphasis on the two way connection and discussion with an audience through social media makes you double think the way of the past of throwing information at an audience. David Meerman Scott returns with an updated version of his original book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR. Scott details how traditional media has changed, especially in the case of no longer needing the middle man of media to deliver your message.

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Update. You’ve got another year under your belt so it’s time to update that resume, portfolio, and online sites such as LinkedIn with all your accomplishments from this past year. Make sure your social networking sites, professional sites and resume all correlate with the same updated information. You can even add your upcoming positions or roles to get a head start. No doubt you have clips or design pieces to add to your portfolio; keep adding to material you already have or get everything together to finally start a portfolio.

No internship? No problem. Stay on top of your game this summer and you’ll be back in the fall with the experience as if you had never skipped a beat.

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