Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Quick Breakdown of the PRSA Code of Ethics

October 15, 2013 1 Comment

The nature of the public relations industry has the potential to put PR professionals in an ethical bind on occasion. Balancing a client or an organization’s interest with our commitment to truth and serving the public has us walking a line that brings up unique challenges every day. At Ohio University, journalism and PR students coexist under one school. We know from education and experience that a journalist’s career is dedicated to truth and serving the public. Would you be surprised if I told you that so is a PR professional’s?

EthicsMany people (including some journalists and my mother) believe that our industry is full of spinsters and “yes men.” There can be bad apples in every industry, but our code of ethics written by PRSA sets out guidelines based on core values such as advocacy, honestly, loyalty, professional development and objectivity. These guide our professional work, help us with ethical decision making and aid in building honest relationships with clients and the public. Read the code of ethics here in full, but until then here is a quick breakdown of the standards we must hold ourselves to.

PRSA Member Statement of Professional Values

Advocacy. We aid informed public debate by providing a voice in the marketplace of ideas, facts, and viewpoints.
Honesty. We adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth when dealing with our clients and the public.
Expertise. We advance the profession through continued professional development, research, and education which builds credibility.
Independence. We provide objective counsel to those we represent and are held accountable for our own actions as professionals.
Loyalty. Although we are faithful to those we represent, we honor our obligation to serving public interest.
Fairness. We support the right of free expression and respect all opinions when dealing fairly with clients, employers, competitors, peers, vendors, the media and the general public.

Synopsis of the PRSA Code Provisions of Conduct

  • Be honest and accurate in all communications and act promptly to correct any communication errors that are made.
  • Promote respect and fair competition among public relations professionals. Deliberately undermining a competitor (ex. spreading malicious and unfounded rumors) is unethical and sabotages the business environment in which we work.
  • Investigate the truthfulness and accuracy of information released on behalf of those represented.
  • Avoid deceptive practices by revealing the sponsors for causes and interests represented, as well as by revealing important information that will give an honest impression of a client. Lying by omission is still lying.
  • Protect privileged, confidential or insider information gained from a client or organization and immediately alert someone if that information is being divulged by an employee or client company.
  • Avoid real conflicts of interest, as well as any actions that may create a potential conflict between personal and professional interests.
  • Protect and enhance the public relations profession. Don’t be a bad apple!
  • Pursue professional development to stay informed about practices in the profession.
  • Decline representation of any client or organization that urges or requires actions not in accordance with the PRSA Code of Ethics.

Staying true to our own moral compass as well as learning, working and living by the PRSA Code of Ethics is a combination for a successful and honest career. Sign the ethics pledge here and be sure to download the PRSA Ethics app for your phone or tablet!

-Kerry Tuttle is a junior public relations major with a business administration minor and a specialization in international business. Follow Kerry at @kerrtut.

Annual ImPRessions Awards Banquet Recap

April 25, 2013

By: Kiley Landusky

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Last night the OU ImPRessions internal account hosted an all-firm end of the year banquet in Ping lounge. It was a night to celebrate and recognize numerous accomplishments of the 18 accounts all linked under the ImPRessions name. Each account announced awards to two of their associates as an “outstanding associate” or “rising star”. The buffet table was not lacking; it included six gargantuan Subway party subs, two cakes and Insomnia cookies just to name some of its contents. The event began with the guests taking to the table and proceeded with a brief introduction from senior CEO Heather Bartman. VP of Operations Sienna Tomko followed and updated the members on the status of the Teahan application, case studies and account work.

The Athens County Humane Society account had an incredible year. Its account executive, Kate McFadden shared its successes with the guests. ACHS hosted four very successful events throughout the year including “Woof and Wine” on Mom’s Weekend. This event welcomed 95 guests and raised an astounding $1,300. It also had two live musical performances. This generated 11,691 impressions and a guaranteed sponsor from Kroger for next year’s event. The banquet guests got a glimpse of the event from a video produced by ACHS account associate, Tiffani Bauer. Kate announced her outstanding associate and rising star then passed it on to the Amanda J. Cunningham Leadership Center account.

Katie and Ashley from AVW Productions followed and told us of their first feature length film premiere in Baker Theater, wrap up party at Red Brick and new cartoon show premiere. Backdrop magazine went up next. Ben and Allison told the crowd of the Breakfast with Backdrop event, advertising for Backdrop’s release parties, Backdrop beach volleyball tournament and campus-wide food drive as their philanthropy. Most importantly, they shared their appreciation for each other and ended their time in the spotlight with a hug. The crowd “awwwed” at the PR love in front of them.

Bird Arena then took the stage and told us about the survey they created to figure out how aware OU students are of events at Bird arena and also that they had written six different press releases for events in the arena. Cardinal Health came up next. They reminded us of their huge success last year as they won “best student-run campaign” and told us they wanted to continue their success this year. Of course they were again very successful. They developed a campaign for pharmacy students that can be used not just at OU but other colleges as well and focused heavily on social media. College Bookstore then told the guests about their blogs and Twitter contests such as their “Follower Frenzy” event which featured a gift card reward for a special follower and increased their followers by 209 people. They also benefited non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and My Sister’s Place through donations with purchase of t-shirts on Halloween weekend, Sibs Weekend and Mom’s Weekend.

College Green Magazine announced their excitement for their premiere of “Trashed”, a documentary film TONIGHT 7:00 pm at the Athena. Copperheads then came up and told us about the tailgates they hosted and World Series watch party. The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism account bragged that Dr. Stewart claimed them as his “social media S.W.A.T. team” and told us about their Scripps chat series once a month. The Scripps chat brings in alumni to discuss their accomplishments as students and professionals. This account also developed Twitter interaction between Scripps professors and high school students to help familiarize them with the Scripps school. Finally, they urged everyone to come to the “Farewell to Scripps” event 5:00pm-6:30pm this Friday with free Brenen’s and live music.

The Express account told the guests about their visit to the headquarters in Columbus and the survey they developed which generated 300 responses. Heather told us about the new ImPRessions account, FlashCrop, an app for students that creates note cards for studying. Nicole Spears then talked about the GoBus account. GoBus had two campaigns this year, one of them being SafeTravels which was asked to be repeated next year. Nicole also shared GoBus’s new slogan: “If you’re in the know, you’re on the go”. The House execs then talked about the tailgates they had in the fall and their “Toss the House” game which raised over 300 impressions for the new account. Theresa and MaryKate then talked about the ImPRessions internal account. They told us that their account had helped assist the other accounts, written blog posts, managed social media and planned the beginning and end of the year banquets. The ITS J. Warren McClure School of Information and Telecommunication told us about their accomplishments. ROTC followed and talked about their work with media relations and workshops to sharpen their PR skills. The Student Senate account told us that they strive to promote their name, create surveys and brainstorm for next year.

Heather Bartman took the stage and thanked all of the ImPRessions members. She announced Kate McFadden as the outstanding account exec of the year. She then passed it on to VP of Administration Dan Mulvey. Dan announced the outstanding account supervisor of the year, Kristin Yerecic, and the new ImPRessions board for next year. On it was Melaina Lewis as junior assistant director, Jasmine Garcia as finance director and Ashleigh Mavros as communications director. Dan asked the 2013-2014 account execs to stand and be recognized. Next year there will be ten ImPRessions accounts with about ten associates for each. The big reveal of the new ImPRessions logo appeared on screen and a round of applause followed. However, ImPRessions wasn’t the only one with a fresh look. Dan received a “Director Dan” t-shirt as a gift from Sienna and Heather which he proudly modeled immediately. Sienna and Heather were in tears as their time in ImPRessions winded to an end but were overjoyed in recognizing the future of the incredible organization. Kristin stood to tell the crowd what they were already thinking; they were an outstanding part of this team and will be missed. Heather closed by saying “stick around, eat cake, hug people”. The members did just that and took pictures together, laughed, jammed to a little rap and said their goodbyes.

From being at the banquet, anyone could see that ImPRessions is more than just a learning experience. It is hard work, encouragement, outstanding accomplishments and outstanding people who go above and beyond to help each other out and to build the brand they are responsible for. As a prOUd organization, it is tough to say goodbye to such a successful and fun-filled year. It makes the anticipation for next year’s ImPRessions even greater.

My Journey as a Young PR Professional

April 22, 2013 1 Comment

Briagenn Adams

 I came to Ohio University with my heart set on news writing and print journalism. As a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed freshman, I bounced out of bed every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 7:15 a.m. sharp, convinced that Journalism 101 was the gateway to the rest of my life as a hard-hitting, caffeine-addicted reporter for the New York Times.

 Every day I practically skipped to the Little Professor Bookstore to pick up my newspaper. Strutting around campus, The New York Times tucked neatly under my arm, I was the epitome of sophistication. Watch out, world! Here comes Briagenn Adams.

 Reality set in Winter Quarter. Maybe it was the continuous cold weather, maybe it was Christmas cheer wearing off. For whatever reason, news writing journalism was no longer for me. After constantly listening to my friends and family members refer to print journalism as a dying industry, I began to get nervous about my future success. I gloomily realized that I couldn’t live the rest of my career with this impassioned attitude, and something needed to be done

At the end of Spring Quarter, I met with my advisor. Together, we decided to make the big switch from News & Information to Strategic Communications. At the time, I felt as though a part of my soul had withered away and died – I would never become a world-famous reporter! I would never see my freakishly Irish name by-lined in bold font! My life was over.

 

Incidentally, however, it had only just begun.

At the beginning of my sophomore year, I made the decision to throw myself into PRSSA and ImPRessions at Ohio University. I dutifully attended Monday meetings in Scripps 111, and became an Account Associate for the ImPRessions Internal Account. Little by little, I found my niche within these student organizations, and began to feel more comfortable with my profession. However, something still felt a little bit off.

I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m not a Social Media Queen. I’m not always up-to-date on the latest Internet trends, and I definitely don’t have fifteen plus internships under my belt. Basically, I felt overwhelmed and inadequate. For the second time, I questioned my choice of major. 

Instead of retreating with my tail between my legs, I decided to confront the problem head on. Didn’t have an internship? I made one for myself. Three weeks before OU went on Winter break, I called the Admissions Director of my Catholic high school and asked if I could help with PR and recruitment throughout December. Next thing I knew, I was editing an alumni magazine, managing the school’s Twitter account, and conducting honor’s program interviews. ET VOILA! Empty resume no longer! 

With refreshed vigor, I attacked Spring Semester. I got an internship as a reporter for OU’s Communication and Marketing Department. Writing for COMPASS has basically been the Reece’s Cup of jobs, but instead of chocolate and peanut butter, it is PR and reporting merged as one delicious combination. COMPASS has taught me that I really can have the best of both worlds, as long as I am willing to bid goodbye to my sanity on approach to deadline.   

I guess what I am trying to say – via an extremely circuitous route – is that Public Relations is what you make it. Not every PR professional is glued to their Twitter feed 24/7. Likewise, not every PR professional experiences pleasure in finally finding the perfect word to complete a sentence. We are versatile people, catering to an even more varied profession. I can think of but one thing that unifies us all: when we want something, we go get it. PR can be a cutthroat industry as times, competitive and self-promotional. However, the Scripps School of Journalism has taught us well, and I am confident that each and every one of my fellow PRSSA and ImPRessions members will go on to do big things.

So, whatever your passion, be it writing, Tweeting, blogging, or painting, use it. Don’t forget about the dream that kept you up at night as an 18-year-old college freshman. That dream is what makes you special, and that dream is what will make you stand out to an employer. You don’t have to be kind of good at everything – be excellent at what you love to do, and trust that the rest will follow. 

Beyond the Basics Regional Conference: A once-in-a-college-career opportunity

March 6, 2013

By: Marisa Dockum 

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Beyond the Basics, brought to you by Scripps PRSSA, is a Regional Conference that will unite motivating speakers with ambitious students to learn, network and discuss the latest industry trends.

Regional Conferences are designed for PRSSA Chapters and industry related students to learn about public relations, the communications industry, career development and social media.  This event is a great tool for those who may not be able to attend national events, such as National Conference or National Assembly. 

Taking place on March 16, 2013, Beyond the Basics has planned a jam-packed day of awe-inspiring speakers and break out sessions. 

Keynote speaker: Ben Lincoln, from GolinHarris.

Break out #1: The first break out session will explore social media, with Scripps PRSSA advisor Dan Farkas, industry professional Nate Riggs, and branding guru Ed Burghard. 

Break out #2: During the second break out session, students will learn to deal with crisis management, featuring presentations from the Ohio University Leadership Center and President of Regional Marketing Alliance of Northeast Ohio, Richard Batyko. 

Break out #3: The last break out session #PostGradPRoblems, students will hear from the Ohio University Career Services and industry professional, Demi Clark. 

A more detailed schedule can be found here: http://prssarcbeyond.com/speakers/speakers/

After absorbing an abundance of new knowledge, attendees will have the opportunity to network at the Opportunities Fair. Professionals from different companies and agencies will be there for students to connect with, many regarding prospective career or internship openings.

For updates and more information, visit the Beyond the Basics website: http://prssarcbeyond.com/

This is a once-in-a-college-career opportunity that is taking place right in our backyard.  If you haven’t registered, I strongly encourage you to do so today! The cost is $20 for PRSSA members, and $25 for non-PRSSA members.  Late registration fees will apply beginning after March 12.

Register here: http://prssarcbeyond.eventbrite.com/

Madonna Pushes Instagram Over the ‘Borderline’

March 1, 2013

By: Kiley Landusky

PR Daily recently posted an article on Instagram’s action toward Madonna’s racy pictures posted on its site. In an effort to tame her wild side it created more attention to the star’s account including her flagrant photographs. Madonna posted a screen shot of the email she received from Instagram on its own site. The email told Madonna that her account had violated Instagram’s community guidelines. This generated over 9,000 likes and unleashed over 2,000 comments criticizing how the site handled the situation. A few of the comments read: “Instagram people….really?” “Stupid @instagram,” and “and Rihanna’s photos are not violating?? Give me a break Instagram Team!”. It would appear that these comments were a negative for Instagram, but were actually only adding more attention to the already booming social media.

Was Instagram simply enforcing its community guidelines or just trying to spark attention? It seems to be the latter. The popular page of Instagram seldom lacks photos of girls posing with cleavage out and/or in minuscule bikinis. The fact that they chose to enforce their rules on a multi-decade sex symbol seems quite odd. The Instagram team may have successfully developed a way to build talk of the site and talk of its photos. 

We all know that public relations can get sleazy by use of questionable tactics, such as MTV’s decision to “hack” its own Twitter account. If Instagram is merely attempting to boost its popularity as MTV did, it is doing so in a much cleaner manner. No lies, no posing, no ridiculous scandal; simply enforcing its own rules. Sure, this causes a stir but not the kind of stir that ruins a reputation, just enough to get a few thousand more viewers and to prod its users to generate a lot of comments. With this success story, perhaps Instagram will crack down on celebrity icons breaking their rules more often.

Madonna Pushes Instagram Over the ‘Borderline’

March 1, 2013

By: Kiley Landusky

PR Daily recently posted an article on Instagram’s action toward Madonna’s racy pictures posted on its site. In an effort to tame her wild side it created more attention to the star’s account including her flagrant photographs. Madonna posted a screen shot of the email she received from Instagram on its own site. The email told Madonna that her account had violated Instagram’s community guidelines. This generated over 9,000 likes and unleashed over 2,000 comments criticizing how the site handled the situation. A few of the comments read: “Instagram people….really?” “Stupid @instagram,” and “and Rihanna’s photos are not violating?? Give me a break Instagram Team!”. It would appear that these comments were a negative for Instagram, but were actually only adding more attention to the already booming social media.

Was Instagram simply enforcing its community guidelines or just trying to spark attention? It seems to be the latter. The popular page of Instagram seldom lacks photos of girls posing with cleavage out and/or in minuscule bikinis. The fact that they chose to enforce their rules on a multi-decade sex symbol seems quite odd. The Instagram team may have successfully developed a way to build talk of the site and talk of its photos. 

We all know that public relations can get sleazy by use of questionable tactics, such as MTV’s decision to “hack” its own Twitter account. If Instagram is merely attempting to boost its popularity as MTV did, it is doing so in a much cleaner manner. No lies, no posing, no ridiculous scandal; simply enforcing its own rules. Sure, this causes a stir but not the kind of stir that ruins a reputation, just enough to get a few thousand more viewers and to prod its users to generate a lot of comments. With this success story, perhaps Instagram will crack down on celebrity icons breaking their rules more often.

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!

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