Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Making Time to Blog: Quality > Quantity

June 30, 2014 1 Comment

By: Kerry Tuttle @kerrtut

As PR majors, we’re writers and storytellers and lovers of personal branding.  However, making time to blog can be tough, especially because we already spend so much time writing for our classes, internships and student organizations.

Having a blog is not a requirement for getting a job or being a PR major. If you can’t see yourself regularly contributing content, just create a personal website that serves as a landing page for your online presence. Blogging should be something that’s enjoyable for you. It shouldn’t be a burden or feel like it’s another assignment you have to turn in.

That being said, here’s my advice for making time to blog:

  1. Blogging because you’re inspired to write something, is better than blogging because you haven’t gotten a post in for a while. I don’t keep myself on a set schedule. The content I produce is a result of me finding inspiration or feeling the need to write about a recent experience. Your posts will turn out better if you’re writing because you want to, rather than because you have to.
  2. Aim for at least one quality post per month. You’re not a professional blogger that’s expected to update us on your life every day. In my opinion, quality is greater than quantity. I’d rather read one well-written, thought-out post per month, than four average weekly ones.
  3. Keep a list of blog ideas. This will make it easy to write something when you’re feeling like you need to update your site. Also, start posts and save them as drafts. It’s easy to come back to them if you want to publish something.
  4. Try out new things. I know that everyone says that your blog is supposed to have a theme and I agree to a point. I say write about whatever you want to write about in order to find your voice. A personal blog is a perfect place to experiment with new writing styles and subjects. Every single post doesn’t need to be industry related. If you want to write about your latest travel adventure or an awesome recipe you tried, do it. Your personal blog should reflect you as a person and your interests.

Happy blogging, Bobkittens!

You can read Kerry’s personal blog, Keep Calm and Kerry On, here.

It’s all Different when you switch to B2B

June 26, 2014

By: Kelsey Miller @Kelsey_65

Once getting into public relations, the initial thought of most starry-eyed freshmen and newbies to the industry is being able to connect a business to the general public. What people don’t think about is the market of business-to-business marketing, or B2B marketing. The B2B world may not seem as exciting to a hungry PR star in training, but the reality of the matter is that anyone and everyone that wants to work the agency life will most likely be taking on a B2B account at some point. Sure, you may not care how medical equipment ends up in your local ER, but it is a big industry that has a lot of money in it.

DMU = Decision Making Unit

The decision making unit (DMU) between consumers of the general public and clients of businesses are polar opposites. We will take Whirlpool for example. Selling stoves to consumers directly would make for a small decision making unit. In a family of four (two parents and two children), the DMU would be the two parents versus if Whirlpool was trying to sell to restaurant chains across the nation. The DMU of a business would be much more than two people, hence, making it much more complicated.

The approach of B2B marketing is much more personal in contrast to B2C. No need to spend millions on TV advertising, and no need to focus so much on social media. Although social media is a very important attribute in this type of marketing, it isn’t everything. Sales in this industry resort to a lot of personal interaction to make sales. Businesses in this market aren’t targeting millions of people, but more like dozens of businesses. The DMU may be smaller in B2C, but there are fewer clients to advertise to overall in B2B. The first thing to do is to market internally with a company with mono-e-mono customer relationship building. This gives the PR reps a good grasp on the client personally as well as better understanding client’s brand and what they are looking for.

The complexity of a product is yet another major differential factor. In many B2B transactions, the product being sold must go through many tests from a qualified expert to make sure products need any extra fine-tuning. With a lot of business, money and a reputation on the line, it is imperative that products are working perfectly before sent to clients. Most products in this market are parts to create machines – a machine that makes cars for example. If a machine isn’t working properly to manufacture cars, the business that builds the machines will be responsible for the cars that don’t function properly and will most likely lose business from other car manufacturers.

It’s not for everyone but…

As mentioned before, B2B may not seem like the glamorous account that people think about when talking public relations – but many PR gurus find themselves engulfed in the market.

How to Diversify your PR Experience

June 26, 2014

By: Gentry Bennett @Gen__AndTonic

Feel like your resume falls flat compared to your peers?

Don’t fret! There’s always time to diversify your PR experience. There is many ways to get experience in all aspects of PR while still pursuing your passions.

1. Try out every segment of PR

Public relations is needed in every sector of the world, from nonprofit to corporate. Trying your hand at every segment will diversify your PR experience, and allow you to investigate the direction of your career. Try looking in to internships with nonprofits, agencies, corporations, B2B firms and more.

2. Work for a digital company

NR mediaIn the ever-evolving world we live in, digital companies are extremely viable and many offer stellar internship programs. My current internship as a Content Marketing Specialist for NR Media Group has allowed me to move to Dallas, TX and pursue my daily interests without need to go to an office.

3. Travel

Traveling the world is a dream for many, and can easily become a reality. Pursuing a job or internship overseas will not only diversify your PR experience but also your life. Traveling is also an option with a digital internship with no office time needed.

4. Get experience in every skill

While you may find your niche in social media or blogging, be sure to gain experience in every skill needed in the PR world. Traditional communications are still needed and most jobs will require you to wear multiple hats, so having experience in every skill will diversify your PR experience and improve your resume.

5. Pursue your passions

Overall, it’s very important to pursue your passions. Employers will always appreciate a good resume and cover letter, but being able to show you are pursuing your passions is also quite vital. The nice thing about PR is you can fuel your passion for the public relations world in to your other passions. Love yoga? Do PR for your local studio. Passionate about nonprofits? See if your favorite charity has any openings in their communications department.

No matter which direction you end up going with your career, trying to diversify your PR experience will help you immensely.

Best Practices For Your LinkedIn Summary

June 2, 2014 7 Comments

By: Annie Beard @annie_beard

linkedinAs we all know, first impressions are important. A LinkedIn summary can make or break you by determining the first impression you give potential employers who are visiting your profile. In order to create the first impression that you want, consider these five steps:

  • Be authentic. While writing your LinkedIn summary, be sure that your personal story shows through. This is your opportunity to be creative and define yourself the way you want. What makes you stand out? What are you an expert at? What are you proud of? These are questions that should be answered in your summary in order to give potential employers an idea of who you are. And always write in first-person. Writing about yourself in third-person can give your summary the opposite impression that you are looking for by making it seem impersonal.
  • Keep it short. Just like anything else these days, it is important to get to the point in your LinkedIn summary. While you need to tell your story, do it in a concise and simple way. Employers see many resumes and LinkedIn profiles each day, and it is crucial that they be impressed quickly before they get bored or distracted by their busy schedules. Keeping it short will ensure that they read everything you have to say. Another good idea is to break it up. If you feel like you have a lot of information you want to include, break it up into smaller paragraphs to make it easier and quicker to read.
  • Include key words. The types of key words that should be included in your summary are ones that describe what your strengths are and what your expertise includes. I don’t mean key words such as “hard working” or “determined.” A good list of key words could include strategic communications, market research, creative, analytics, entrepreneur, etc. When an employer sees that you are knowledgeable in certain areas that they need, it will make you more marketable.
  • Add a call to action. At the end of your summary, include a call to action that lets people know what to do next. It could be as simple as, “If you want to get to know me more, email me at ________.” Or it could be, “Reach out to me if you want to talk social media, SEO, or shopping.” There are plenty of ways to get an employer to reach out to you. Make sure that your call to action stands out and gets their attention.
  • Write what you would want to read. Perhaps the most important tip of them all. Write a LinkedIn summary that you would enjoy reading if you stumbled upon it, yourself.

Successful Scrippsters

May 27, 2014 2 Comments

By: Sydney Gardner @sydneygardner

E.W. Scripps is more than a person or a school – it’s a state of mind. Students have studied at Ohio University’s Journalism school for decades, but it isn’t what they did in their four (or five) years at Ohio University that sets them apart. It’s what they did when they graduate that truly shows why Scripps is a name that carries prestige. I wanted to take a moment to highlight some recent and not so recent grads of Scripps that have found success beyond the bricks of Athens.

Aaron BrownAs a proud member of the Scripps’ Public Relations Student Society of America, no list of mine would dare to start without Aaron Brown. Aaron graduated from Ohio University in 2001 and has been a PR Success ever since. While at Ohio University Aaron was a proud PRSSA member and had internships at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Babcock & Wilcox. In 2008, Aaron joined the team at Fahlgren Mortine Public Relations as an Associate Vice President. His hard work and Scripps-bred work ethic allowed him to rise to his current position of Senior Vice President. Aaron Brown has traditionally been the speaker at the first Scripps PRSSA meeting of the school year in the fall, so make sure to stop by and meet this success this fall!

Amanda Stefanik graduated from E.W. Scripps in 2012 and has been succeeding ever since. During her years at Ohio University, Amanda was a member of PRSSA, ImPRessions, AVW and Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. She also held various internships including one with the Miss Universe Organization. Upon graduation, Amanda accepted a job at PR Newswire where she currently works as Business Development Representative. Her role includes working with business across all industries to better their marketing and communication efforts.

Devin BartolottaDevin Bartolotta graduated from E.W. Scripps in 2013 with a focus in broadcast journalism. While at Ohio University, Devin interned with WABC-TV’s investigative unit in New York, NY, and with WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Devin was also a member of Omicron Gamma chapter of Delta Zeta Sorority, and part of the winning team at the first Scripps Innovation Challenge. After graduating Devin accepted a Weekend Anchor Position at Rochester, Minnesota’s NBC affiliate, KTTC-TV. Within her first year in a brand new state, Devin survived winter, adopted a puppy and won the Associated Press’ first place award in the 2013 Minnesota Broadcast contest for her “Hearts of Hope” story. Devin’s work at KTTC and her ability to move and make the most out of a career in a new place demonstrates exactly why she is successful Scrippster in my eyes.

I met Allison Jordan at the first PRSSA meeting of the 2012 school year. Even then, I, and many others, knew Allison would do great things. As the 2012-2013 president of Scripps PRSSA, Allison was able to show that she was already a professional and a leader even before graduating. While at Ohio University, Allison was able to leave her mark on Scripps though her commitment to PRSSA and her willingness to mentor any and every underclassmen that reached out to her. Upon graduating in Spring 2013, Allison moved to Chicago to work for Zocalo Group, but has recently accepted and Account Executive position at Global Prairie in Cleveland. Her hard work and attitude truly exemplifies what it means to be a Scripps success and a Bobcat Alumni.

Narrowing down the list of Successful Scrippsters was no easy task, but that’s what makes Scripps so special. The fact remains that there are so many graduates of Scripps that I and many others consider successful. Scripps breeds success, and it’s only for the sake of word count that this list ends at four of them.  Make the most of your years at OU – you never know where those experiences will take you, and good luck to all of our 2014 Scripps grads! (Even though you probably don’t need it.)


















3 Reasons Why Your Blog Should Have A Theme

May 27, 2014 10 Comments

By: Allison Rumsas @allisonrumsas

It seems that every time I check Twitter or go on Facebook I have another friend or follower that has recently created a blog. Blogs are no longer solely used as an outlet to share your opinions or the details of your everyday life, but are now great tools to enhance your portfolio, gain more writing experience and connect with a greater audience.

Starting a blog is relatively easy with help from websites such as WordPress, Tumblr, and Google+; the difficultly comes after the blog is created. It’s easy to get carried away with the hundreds of different possible backgrounds and layouts to choose from, not to mention perfecting your “About Me” header and uploading links to your resume and online portfolio. Once all these tasks are completed, the final step, and sometimes the hardest, is to decide what your blog’s theme will be.

I am a big fan of blogs having a theme. The theme doesn’t necessarily need to be narrowly focused, but it should be able to be used to describe the blog as a whole. If a reader stumbles upon the blog, they should understand this theme when reading the different posts. Deciding on a theme may take a while, but in my opinion, having a carefully chosen theme for your blog will prove beneficial in the end for both you as a writer and for the readers.


With millions of blogs accessible to anyone that has Internet access, originality is key and can be achieved by having a clear and creative theme. This is especially important if you plan on using the blog to help advance your professional career. As PR stars, it is given that we are all good writers and know how to reach and attract an audience, so it is important to have a creative and original theme to separate your blog from the millions of others. 


Having a theme, no matter how narrow or broad it may be is extremely beneficial when finding topics to write about and keeping your blog consistent. A theme makes it easier for you as the writer to decide what your posts should be about and which angle they should be written from. Most importantly, it keeps your blog organized and allows readers to read the posts in any order and still understand how they all tie together. 

Attract A Loyal Audience

We all have blogs we love and check daily or weekly. Why do we love them and continue to read their posts? Because we know what to expect in terms of content and writing style. When beginning a blog it takes a lot of work to spread the word and attract an audience. The easiest way to find readers that consider your blog a must read is to have a theme that generates posts and topics that readers expect you to write about.

If you weren’t always on board for blogs having a theme, hopefully these three reasons changed your mind or gave you something to think about! Good luck choosing a theme and happy blogging!



Managing 2 Internships at Once

May 21, 2014 3 Comments

By: Lindsey Zimmerman @lindseyzim716

lindseyofficeIt’s 7 a.m. on a weekday, and I’m getting dressed and ready to head off to my internship at Battelle Memorial Institute. While my straightener is heating up, I grab my phone and get on Twitter. No, not to check my own feed and notifications – I’m taking a few minutes to tweet on behalf of College Tourist as part of my second internship.

That’ll be my morning routine for the better part of the summer, during which I’ll be working not one but two paid internships. I show up onsite every day at Battelle for my corporate communications internship and work remotely as a social media virtual intern for College Tourist.

The fact that one of my internships is virtual makes things a lot easier as far as time management goes. I work at Battelle from about 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and devote some time in the evenings to getting all of the next day’s social media posts for College Tourist written and scheduled (thanks, Hootsuite!). Now that I’m a few weeks into it, I definitely feel like it’s something I can manage. The secret to surviving two internships at once is simply using your time well.

theresaHaving a virtual internship as one of the two positions is one thing, but what about having two onsite internships at the same time? As crazy as it sounds, it can be done. Former Scripps PRSSA Executive VP and 2014 graduate Theresa Ianni did it last summer, gaining both agency and non-profit experience at AKHIA and the Greater Ohio Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America respectively. She said that although doing two internships wasn’t her original plan, she accepted positions at both companies after finding out that each of them would need her on opposite days of the week.

Even though doing two onsite internships at the same time might seem like even more of a challenge than having one onsite and one virtual internship, the secret to pulling it off is still the same: time management. With a little bit of preparation and organization, it can be done.

“The hardest part was remembering what time I had to report to each office and how long the commute was – I couldn’t get my days mixed up! But, I packed my lunch the night before and woke up with plenty of time to get to each office,” Theresa said. “While at the office, I made a day’s to-do list to keep me on track. At both internships, I had some assignments that were higher priority, so I always made sure to complete those first, and always communicated with my supervisors regarding deadlines.”

Although it’s undoubtedly challenging to complete two internships at once, Theresa said she’s glad she did it and recommends that other PR students consider it if the opportunities align.

“There’s so many directions you can go with a public relations major, and so many great companies that need PR,” she said. “Never sell yourself short, and always keep an open mind.”


How to be Nice to Reporters

May 16, 2014 2 Comments

By: Kate Schroeder @kschroeds7

reportprIt’s not a secret that journalists and public relations professionals tend to have a rocky relationship. Historically, both sides have held some preconceived stereotypes. One side believes those pesky PR people are trying to manipulate the news story and hide the facts. On the other side, those righteous journalists are always seeking a dramatic headline. One is the cat and the other is the dog. Each party is always trying to have the upper hand.

However, both need each other to be successful. Media relations is so important to a successful public relations firm – as public relations professionals we rely on our journalist counterparts to get our clients story out to the public.

So here lies the question on every budding media relations professional – how do you be nice to journalists? What are the ways to foster a rewarding relationship between you and your news counterparts? Coming from a news writing background myself, I have located some key tips that will bring some much needed love back into the PR and journalist dynamic.

1. Do your job and do it well

There is a reason that journalists get frustrated and short-fused with PR’s. According to an article by Forbes, the ratio of PR people to “pitchable” journalists is now estimated at 4 to 1. That means four times the amount of press releases filling up their mailboxes everyday.

One of the most important things in writing a press release is going straight to the point. Journalists are not looking for a novel to read. It is important to keep the most relevant information (including your contact information) right at the top of the press release. If the journalists cannot get an understanding of what you are pitching in the first couple sentences, they aren’t going to read further.

2. Research your contact

As public relations professionals, we have a vast amount of resources available to get media contacts. Even though you could send out a press release to every reporter in town does not mean you should. Make sure you research the reporter you are sending your press release to. Make sure what you are pitching correlates to what they typically write about.

3. Respect their time

Reporters are busy, busy, busy these days! It’s old news that journalism is not the same as it used to be. Today, journalists are required to produce more stories across many different specializations and mediums. This limits their time and puts them under immense pressure. Making it super important to respect their deadlines. News is always changing so journalist’s deadlines are not flexible. Make sure you stay to the point when speaking with them on the phone. If they are busy make sure you are open to reschedule a time to speak.

4. Be polite

This is the no brainer of my four steps of being nice to reporters. It may sound easy, but sometimes you might have to work with someone who might not respect you as a public relations professional. The only way to get through that is to be accommodating and polite. Before you make a call to a reporter make sure you have their first and last name memorized. Come up with a friendly opening remark and begin with a light and short conversation. One way to build your relationship with a reporter is to ask them what kind of future stories they would be interested in writing. This lets them know you are looking out for them and are a good resource for the future.

Now you are ready to cold call that reporter to market your pitch! Even though you won’t develop the perfect PR to journalist relationship every time, remember, you both rely on each other to get your jobs done.




Putting the Personal in Personal Branding

May 14, 2014 1 Comment

By: Megan Newton @_megannewton 



Brand (n): kind, grade, or make, as indicated by a stamp, trademark.

In public relations, everything is branded. We are constantly brainstorming new tactics and strategies to further strengthen our client’s brand and image. However, in today’s communication industry, branding goes so much farther than just tweets and slogans. Branding has become personal.

Personal branding is a huge up and coming trend for PR professionals. It allows us to create a memorable presence that represents both our professional and personal qualities.

The question presented here though, is how do we create a brand that represents us as a person and not an object? The answer to this is that we need to take personal branding so much farther than what we currently know. People are so much more than just colors, descriptive words and personal logos. Here’s a few ways to do so:

Find your voice.

Sometimes social media causes users to come across as robotic and monotone. Creating a voice allows others to get to know your personality and sense of humor, which will lead to many more genuine connections and interactions.

Don’t feel limited.

People are walking smorgasbords of so many different things that come together to make them who they are. You don’t have to limit yourself to one specific concept that you incorporate into your personal brand. Odds are, you aren’t one type of person – and that’s a good thing! Are you bright, bold, charismatic, dedicated, passionate and personable? Combine it all together in a conglomeration to represent you in the best way possible.

Be your complete and honest self.

Nothing ruins the authenticity of a personal brand more than fakeness. Be unique! Let your true personality and colors shine through to create the most accurate and honest representation of who you are. If you let your vulnerability and emotions come through in your work, you can’t go wrong.

Have fun with it.

Personal branding should be fun and exciting – not a task. Allow your creativity to shine through because that represents you as well! Take risks and put yourself out there.

Remember, this is your first impression.

The way you showcase yourself over social media outlets is the first impression most people will have of you, so really take the time to think about how you would want people to think of and see you for the first time.

There is a huge difference between the branding for a product and the branding for a professional. With similar concepts, there is one goal in mind – to showcase the best representation of their client. In this case, your client is yourself. Each person has a story and is so much more complex than a product.

How do you really want to be represented?

What is B2B PR?

April 25, 2014

B2B. What exactly is it? B2B, or “Business-to-Business” is the commerce transactions between businesses such as between manufacturer and a wholesaler, or between a wholesaler and a retailer or distributer.

This past summer I was working at SBC Advertising in Columbus, Ohio. SBC is a retail driven agency with an integrated strategy amongst their different departments. Although they are still considered an agency, they are specifically a Business-to-Business advertising agency.

When I was an Adtern (advertising intern) there, one of the clients that I worked with was Whirlpool Corporation. Their website InsideAdvantage.com focused soley on contractors and businesses that would be using their products in their projects for their clients. So rather than going business to consumer, it is transferring business to other businesses. Make sense?

You may be asking now, how do I know if I would be a good fit for a B2B company? Here are some points to take into consideration for B2B companies.

  • You will have to decide if you like thinking in mind for businesses instead of consumers. If so, B2B PR may be a good fit for you. Instead of trying to think of best practices to reach the public and getting them to engage with your client and buy your product, it’s about the businesses and what they think.
  • The transactions of B2B marketing and PR is much higher than working in the business to consumer world. For some clients you may be working with a higher volume of purchases. You may be dealing with manufacturers that are looking to sign contracts with companies to use their designated products. You are going to be dealing with large business deals. These deals can bring in a lot of money, so there are high stakes when dealing with communication between businesses.
  • Some may like B2B because it is doing work on a higher corporate level. Not really into social media? Would you rather do large planning strategies and communications? Then B2B may be the route for you. Some may see it as a more formal way of working because you are working strictly with businesses instead of trying to get into the minds of consumers across the nation.

Either way, the B2B world still involves quick thinking, good writing, and formal communication. Do some research and find what B2B communication firm is right for you!

Ben Clos is studying Strategic Communications. You can follow him on Twitter at @BenClos1.


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