Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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4 Reasons PR Pros Need theSkimm in Their Life

January 27, 2015

By: Annie Beard, @annie_beard

theSkimm-pic-460x261

theSkimm, a daily email newsletter, has taken over email accounts around the country, and even the world, one newsletter at a time. Created by two former NBC staffers, it has become the go-to news source for over 500,000 people. There are plenty of qualities that make theSkimm wonderful for everyone, but if you are a PR professional, theSkimm is even more wonderful. Here are four reasons why PR pros need theSkimm in their life:

1. The most imperative news, all in one place.

theSkimm curates all of the top and timely news and presents it to us daily. As a PR professional, knowing the news is part of the job, a big part at that. With all of the important news in one place, we can start our day informed and ready to go.

2. Quick news

Not only does theSkimm collect and curate all of the news for us, but it also presents it in a timesaving method. Because PR professionals are always on the go, quick news on our phone is what we love. With brief synopses, and links to the stories if we want more, it makes it simple to know what is going on around the world.

3. Witty, relatable writing

As journalists, we can appreciate simple, yet entertaining writing. theSkimm writers are great at giving us the news while writing with witty, sharp language. As a millennial, it is easy to relate to this style of writing and feel like you are chatting with a friend about the news.

4. It’s free

While I love supporting newspapers, a subscription is not in my near future, and I think that many other broke college students could agree with me. theSkimm offers all of the news, but its quick, entertaining and free.  It’s hard to beat a free news subscription that comes right to your phone.

Starting 2015 right: Cleaning up your online PResence

January 21, 2015

By: Alexandra Corsi, @acorsi17

Twitter was full of blunders in 2014. Between DiGiorno Pizza’s insensitive tweet, in light of the Ray Rice domestic violence accusations, and U.S. Airways’s leak of a pornographic image. Poor online public relations decisions made headlines left and right this past year. Taking these PR fails into account, here are some ways you can start 2015 right by cleaning up your online footprint.

1. Think before you tweet.

Check out this infographic from Mashable. If you’re ever wondering whether you should post something, this is a good flowchart to help guide your decision. Almost 80 percent of employers will consider someone’s online presence before hiring them. Even if you’re not currently considering internships or job offers, thinking before you tweet, or even having two different social media accounts—one private for personal use and another public for professional use—is important for preventing future debacles.

2. Always do your research.

Pizza-twitter_1410280300200_7888051_ver1.0_640_480

The reason DiGiorno’s tweet came across so insensitively was their lack of researching the meaning behind #WhyIStayed. Instead of coming off as snarky and funny, the tweet was received by Twitter users as ignorant and insensitive. Hashtags often relate to current events, so even if you do keep up with the news, doing your research before using a hashtag can prevent your tweets from coming off as ignorant and being used incorrectly.

digiorno-whyistayed-tweet-hed-2014

3. Create a brand for yourself, and make sure your online profiles are consistent with that brand.

How do you want to come across to potential future employers? This is something I always keep in mind when I’m drafting a tweet. Nothing online is private anymore; between screenshotting and quote-tweeting, there are multiple ways to save someone’s tweet, even if they have deleted it. You, typically, don’t want to come across to a potential employer as a crazy party person, with the mouth of a sailor. If you want to brand yourself as a professional, hard-working public relation mastermind, make sure your social media is consistent with that brand too.

Let your 2015 resolution be to shape up your social media presence. I think that one of the main problems is that with phones and technology, people feel like they are invincible, when hiding behind a phone. Keep in mind that what you post online reflects upon you in person. Practice good personal PR and keep your social media clean!

Why I Will Always Apply for my Dream Internship

January 20, 2015

By: Erica Stonehill, @estonehill13

interns wanted

When it’s time to start applying for internships, it’s important to try and experience every possible route in the PR world: corporate, agency, non-profit, etc. It’s very common that your first internship will be at a firm, close to home. You’re aiming to get your feet wet and learn the ins and outs of the business. That being said, you should always shoot for the stars, and apply for your dream position, whatever that may be at the time. We hear too many stories from working adults about the horrors of nine to five jobs and getting stuck in a rut. What I find most exciting about PR is that there is vast amount of options to do in this business. I could be a publicist for Ed Sheeran, work the red carpet at the Grammy’s, or (the Holy Grail) manage social media for One Direction.

Speaking from my own experience, I have been fascinated with music for as long as I can remember. I realized very early on, however, that I do not have a trace of musical talent in my bones, which is fortunate for the people around me. Rather than allowing this lack of to hinder my desire to work within the industry, I switched my sights to the business side. Anything to bring me as close as possible to the magic of it all.

As internship season quickly approaches, I began searching for any opportunity within a reasonable distance of Lima, Ohio. I find myself punching the ‘APPLY’ button for a concert venue or record label that I really would like to work for. While I know it’s a long-shot to score my first internship with Columbia Records, it can’t hurt to try. The worst they can do is tell me no, and to apply again in the future.

We should never let the fear of being inexperienced, or too young, keep us away from going after the positions we want. Keep applying for those dream internships, get your name into the system (they may remember you when you apply next year) and build up your resume. A rejection never killed anyone. With  so many possibilities in this business, there is nothing wrong with taking risks and actively working toward those dream positions.

A Graduating Senior’s Advice to New ImPRessions Members

January 12, 2015

By: Kerry Tuttle, @kerrtut

2011-2012 E.W. Scripps School of Journalism ImPRessions Account

2011-2012 E.W. Scripps School of Journalism ImPRessions Account.

The fact that I’m even writing this post is insane to me. I joined ImPRessions at the beginning of winter quarter (RIP quarter system) my freshman year. That was three years ago. Now I’m sharing what I’ve learned since then, and why joining ImPRessions is one of the smartest choices you can make for your future career.

Our 13 clients span various industries, and we are one of the largest firms nationally. Although we are student-run, our leadership is some of the best of any organization on campus. From the administration to our associates, and everyone in between, we are made up of smart, hard-working, outgoing students who will be a driving force in the industry someday. ImPRessions gives members the tools to excel fast in this field at a young age. Here’s how to get the most out of your experience, both professionally and personally:

Look at this as a learning opportunity. Who cares if you’ve never written a blog post before or have no event planning experience? This is the chance to learn in an environment where it’s OK for you to have no idea what a press release is. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Try out different industries. I have worked with higher education, political and non-profit clients during my time in ImPRessions. The experiences with each account were vastly different and I had to navigate unfamiliar territory with every new client. This only benefitted me and gave me a lot to talk about during internship interviews. You may discover a new passion. Maybe food PR is your thing, even though you’ve been dead set on fashion. You never know until you try.

Network. Do you see those ten students sitting in your account meeting with you? Someday they’ll be working in the PR field so get to know them now! Form relationships with your account executives and your fellow account associates. Don’t be intimidated by members who are older and seem more experienced than you. Ask them to coffee now. It could pay off later in a big way.

Spend time outside of your account meeting. A slightly different point than above, ImPRessions is a great place to form personal relationships as well. Some of my closest friendships at Ohio University have resulted from my involvement in ImPRessions.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Our firm attracts some of the best and brightest Ohio University has to offer. Our members’ resumes and life experiences are completely different from one another. It’s easy to look at your AE’s LinkedIn and think, “Wow, I’ve had no PR experience compared to her/him. Cue panic attack.” Trust me, I’ve been there. As long as you work hard and are open to learning, great things will happen for you. The good thing about ImPRessions is that you don’t need to have had three internships to have your voice heard and your opinion respected.

I’m depressed that I only have 15 weeks left with my favorite organization, but the future of ImPRessions is so bright and I look forward to seeing the firm continue to evolve.

Happy Holidays!

December 17, 2014

By: Rosie Haren, @rosieharen

Do you ever worry about being fully inclusive to all cultures during the holiday season? It’s a constant worry for most professionals. Businesses and restaurants have the difficult task of spreading holiday cheer, while being inclusive to all cultures and traditions. But, how do they do that?

One option businesses use is to avoid directly advertising with Christmas representations in their ads, but using themes that remind people of winter. An example of this would be using music lyrics.

Company_1

The amount of Christmas ads seen, versus ads you see of other cultures, like the Jewish culture, are greatly higher. There are few ads that promote traditions besides Christmas, but if stores work harder at promoting other cultures, they could benefit themselves by attracting more people, a diverse group of people and educate others on different traditions.

Television shows have done a good job at creating a variety of episodes directed towards other groups. One of these shows is “Rugrats,” having an entire episode devoted to Kwanzaa.

Rugrats Kwanzaa

This is beneficial because there are many different types of people that do not know much about traditions beyond Christmas. This is an opportunity that gives people a chance to learn about other cultures, and at the same time, attract people of other cultures to start watching the show.

Is it possible that people of cultures that don’t celebrate Christmas get offended by how much celebration of Christmas there is, and not about other traditions? Avital Field, a sophomore at Ohio University and of Jewish descent, says that sometimes she and her family feel frustrated because the use Christmas is everywhere. Field also says that Christmas music gets stuck in her head more then Chanukah music.

When it comes to the holiday season it’s usually a descent idea to tell people, “Happy Holidays,” because you never know who celebrates what and that phrase covers them all! This action is one that marketers and advertisers should adopt, to help be culturally inclusive.

Summer Reflection Series: Erica Stonehill

October 8, 2014

3 Lessons, 2 Jobs, 1 Summer: Where PR, Panera, and Aeropostale overlap

By: Erica Stonehill @estonehill13

panera

This summer I took on the exhausting task of working two jobs. I’ve been a tried and true Panera Bread employee for going on three years, and recently landed a position at the local Aeropostale. After learning more about public relations in the past year, I’ve noticed on more than one occasion how my current jobs intermix with my future career.

  • The customer is always right – As frustrating as it may be sometimes, you are employed to make others happy. That is your job. If a customer requests no broccoli in her broccoli cheddar soup, you will stand there and fish every green tree out of her bowl because you are paid to please.

    Very rarely does a customer/client leave unsatisfied and only think poorly of the one person they dealt with – the blame falls back on the entire company. Sally Smith didn’t give me loads of broccoli in my soup, Panera Bread did. You are the face of an entire company, and your mistakes become everyone’s mistakes. Please the client at all costs, because one bad review can outshine ten outstanding ones.

  • You will never know it all – My first few shifts at Aeropostale were nerve racking. I was so used to being a veteran at Panera that it was terrifying to be the new kid again. Retail and fast food are two totally different ball games, and I realized that immediately. I had to adapt to the different environment quickly and understand both types of customers that I was working for.

    When working in the food industry you’re expected to greet the customer and be friendly, but quick. Get them their food and move on. Retail requires a conversation, the building of trust and ability to relate to the customer. The same goes for PR. Some clients will want to build a relationship with you and others will want the job done quickly and clean. You have to be able to adapt and read your client. Everyone is different, and it’s your job to please them all.

  • Loyalty goes a long way – I’ve had the pleasure of gaining “regulars” at Panera, this summer. I opened almost five days a week, and as a result, I see a lot of the same customers on a weekly (or daily) basis. One particular lady came in every morning, and instead of bringing her Panera card, has me look it up by her phone number. After a few visits I had her number memorized, and now when she comes in, she knows I already have her squared away. Last week I forgot her coffee when she came through the drive thru, but because I had built a sense of loyalty with her she was understanding and didn’t get upset when she had to come back for it.

    Treat each client as an individual rather than a task, and they will notice. In the event that you do make a mistake, they’re more likely to understand and excuse it. There are plenty of other companies they could go to. Remind them every day why yours is the better choice and it will not only keep your relationship strong, but it will bring in new clients as well.

Even though I didn’t have an internship this summer like many of my fellow classmates, I still tried to gain knowledge and experiences from my two jobs. I was surprised by how much they connected back to public relations. Doing whatever to please the client, giving yourself room to grow in everything you do, and building loyalty with your clients are three important parts of PR, as well as retail or fast food. My summer wasn’t all glitz and glamour in a big city, but I learned a few things that I will be able to use in the future.

 

 

 

Summer Reflection Series: Gentry Bennett

October 7, 2014

By: Gentry Bennett @Gen__andTonic

NR

They say your career should involve what you do in your free time. Luckily for me, I love being online and procrastinate everything by getting on my laptop and browsing the web. My summer internship with NR Media Group allowed me to do just that, and in my pajamas!

Online internships are something I would recommend for everyone. They allow you the freedom to live in whichever city you choose and usually at your own schedule. Luckily I got the opportunity to reside in Dallas, Texas and have a job all while getting great experience in the lovely public relations field.

I was able to work with clients and develop internal strategies from the comfort of my couch. I was even flown out for my first business trip – a company retreat that was well received by all members of NR Media Group. We finally got to meet each other in person instead of simply communicating over Basecamp. The company culture is fantastic, and I wouldn’t trade in my experiences for the world. Luckily, I even got the opportunity to extend my internship while I’m in school.

I also got to launch all of our internal social media accounts within the past month and get to contribute writing to an audience of thousands each week on Tuesdays about topics that I love.

Overall, my summer internship was a great experience – I got to do research, client work and write about topics I’m passionate about. What more could I ask for?

Summer Reflection Series: Annie Beard

September 30, 2014 1 Comment

By: Annie Beard @annie_beard

I spent the past summer completely out of my comfort zone, and it turned out to be an awesome and rewarding experience. It was definitely a summer full of going to new places and trying new things.

To start, I spent the first two weeks in Europe with my boyfriend and our Contiki tour group. This was an amazing experience because our group consisted of people from all over the world. Not only did I learn so much about Europe and the places we visited, but also I learned about people in my group and their countries. I even picked up some Australian slang terms, such as sunnies (sunglasses) and Eskie (cooler). Along with some slang terms, I learned how much I love to travel and see new places, and I can’t wait to go on another trip in the future.

Contiki

Once I returned to the States, it was time to start my internship – so I picked up and moved to Chicago! I interned with Tell Your Story Brand Communications, Inc., a small integrated marketing and PR agency. The founder of Tell Your Story, George Rafeedie, is an Ohio University alum, whom I met during his trip to Athens as the Jerry Sloan Visiting Professional. While interning, I worked with a team of five PR and marketing pros, who taught me so much about the industry. It was my first agency internship, and it confirmed that I want to work for an agency after graduation. Living in downtown Chicago didn’t hurt the experience either!

from the opera

This summer taught me a few lessons that I will take with me into my future:

  • Get out of your comfort zone. Try new things and travel to new places. Meet new people and learn new stuff. As scary as it seems, it will always pay off and teach you something you weren’t expecting to learn. Getting outside of your comfort zone will completely change you – in a good way!
  • If you work hard, people will want to help you out. (Especially Bobcats). My Tell Your Story coworkers always wanted to see me succeed, and they still do. They have become some of my biggest cheerleaders, whether they are recommending me on LinkedIn or sharing a soccer highlight video of me on Twitter. It is an awesome feeling to know that your hard work is appreciated and that people support you.
  • Go with the flow. PR is an industry that requires adaptability. Keep an open mind, and be willing to change plans if necessary. As PR Pros, we must be ready for anything that comes our way. 

Now that I am a senior, the real world will be here before I know it. I am excited to take the lessons that I have learned into my future.

chicity

Summer Reflection Series: Megan Newton

September 17, 2014

By: Megan Newton @_megannewton

Just Keep Swimming: Lessons learned as an aquarium PR intern

doryIt was a surprising summer full of unexpected opportunities. It all began in late April when I accepted an internship with the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. I know what you’re thinking: why on earth would you want to work for fish? I thought the same thing at first. I struggled to find an internship in Cleveland, and pretty much just took the aquarium internship because I was tired of searching. At the time, I had no idea of the unexpected under the sea adventure I was about to embark on.

I learned a lot throughout my time on the aquarium. The most prominent of many lessons being that PR isn’t always all the glamour and glitz it’s worked up to be. It probably hit me as I walked around downtown Cleveland during mid-July in a (wait for it) shark costume. It wasn’t your typical intern duty, but I think that’s what made my internship experience even that more special – because honestly, who else can say they’ve done that?

I hope to carry the same outlook about unexpected opportunities that I gained this summer back to my everyday life here at Ohio University. My goals from here on out are:

  1. To be a good mentor
  2. To apply the skills I gained at my internships
  3. To make an impact on the organizations that have made me who I am

If I walked away with one thing from my summer at the aquarium, it’s that you shouldn’t judge or take advantage of an opportunity before you actually experience it. Everyone who knows me, knows that my dream job is to work as a music publicist – so clearly I wasn’t so sure how writing about fish all summer would get me there. However, it turns out the old marketing coordinator at the aquarium now does just that in my dream city: Nashville, Tennessee. I’m now convinced you can find connections to your dream job anywhere, if you take every right opportunity that’s handed to you.

 

And always, just keep swimming.

5 TED Talks to Inspire the PR PRo

December 18, 2013

TED Talks are multi-length videos featuring forward-thinkers in the professional world sharing their experiences and  knowledge.  As PR junkies, we are constantly looking for new ways to innovate and reach into the depths of our creativity.

These clips are a great way to hear about others’ discoveries and how they have climbed the ladder of success.  Here are a few TED Talks videos that could inspire you along your PR journey to achievement:

1. Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Whether it was McDonalds or that dream internship, we all can recall the butterflies from our first interview.  Confidence is an obvious must to obtain a 5-star performance, but a simple change in your body language before that small step into the interrogation room could give you the confidence you thought only “that girl” had.

Amy Cuddy, a successful scientist, has studied human body language and how it affects our bodies and brains.  Her studies have shown that not only do others subconsciously judge you, but you also subconsciously judge yourself.  Powerful body language results in a powerful you!

2. Nigel Marsh: How to Make Work-life Balance Work

PR majors are some of the most innovative and dedicated people in the work force.  We are extremely passionate about our careers and it’s easy for us to become soaked up in the amazing work that we do.  Public Relations is a highly demanding career as all of us who are preparing to enter its thrilling dynamics know.  In order to live a happy life it’s important to remember to find your balance.

Nigel Marsh, CEO and author, relates his experience as a hard working professional to his overall happiness and success through 4 observations.  His words of wisdom encourage us to remember that the smallest investments in the right places can largely impact our quality of life.

3. Alexis Ohanian: How to Make a Splash in Social Media

This short video tells a tale about an environmental organization’s efforts to stop a Japanese whaling campaign.  Alexis Ohanian gives us insight through some unexpected repercussions of a “Mister Splashy Pants” whale meme and its surprising success.

What’s the secret to a great social media crusade? It’s simple: LOSE CONTROL!  Spreading awareness across social media puts all control in the hands of day to day social media users.  Sometimes losing that control, can cause a serious message to thrive in an astonishingly silly way.

4. The Happy Secret to Better Work

PR experts know that being average won’t get you far.  Shawn Achor, the CEO of Good Think Inc., believes society pushes us into a norm, and he wants to explore the outliers.  He inspires the audience to think differently about how they view their road to achievement.

With his comedic charm he preaches the steps to rewire our brains into believing happiness can lead us to success.   Next time when your brain is on PR overload, keep in mind that a positive attitude can produce progressive results.

5. How to Make Stress Your Friend

Stress. WOW. I know I don’t even have to say it, but we all can relate to high stress lives, even more so as prospective PR pros.  Kelly McGonigal, a Stanford clinical psychologist, has studied stress and has landed on some amazing discoveries about our thoughts toward our stress levels and how these thoughts can impact our health.

The key is how you look at it! Negative stress can be a killer (literally), but viewing your stress positively can actually cause your body to mimic its reaction to joy and happiness.

-Jillian Kata is a sophomore studying strategic communication. Follow her at @jil_k.

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