Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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My Favorite Things ImPRessions Has Taught Me

April 23, 2015

By: Elise Mills, @itsELISElove

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Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things.

Teamwork really is dream work

PR is not a one-man show. No one person can successfully create and implement a campaign, though some will try. Each associate brings a different set of strengths that will further the account, and everyone trying their best creates unbelievable results.

Content is King

And research is Queen. Just because you have a great headliner, or idea does not guarantee its success. You must have content to back up that great idea. I loved learning that I had to do more than just come up with great ideas, I needed to put the work in and create the entire picture, not just one piece.

A campaign without a goal is not a campaign

Campaigns can run anywhere from hours to months, so having tangible goals is the best way to keep your account motivated. How can you achieve a goal you don’t know you have? You have to determine the amount of imPRessions, interactions, or anything else you are hoping to measure your level of success. Then, help the associates learn how to measure this success; it is a great award to achieve your goals.

Anyone can be a PR Star

The great thing about ImPRessions is that you are not alone. You have other associates, Assistant Executives, Executives, Supervisors, and others who are all rooting for you and are willing to help. Any plant provided with food, water and sunlight will continue to grow, and I have learned this past year that ImPRessions gives you all the tools to succeed. All you have to do is want it.

Networking Trips 101: The Do’s and Don’ts

April 1, 2015

By: Morgan Borer, @MorganBorer

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This weekend, I traveled to the city that’s just as famous for its deep-dish pizza and hot dog stands, as it is for the Sears Tower: Chicago. I arrived at the Felix Hotel late Thursday evening with four other members of PRSSA, tired and weary-eyed from the exhaustive drive. I quickly unpacked my bags, located my planner and itinerary and hopped into bed. I was eager for a full day of networking with Scripps PRSSA.

I have traveled to Chicago a few times prior to this weekend, but I found myself unprepared for this networking trip. For example, while walking downtown during our lunch break on Friday, I frantically called my dad pleading him to deposit money into my account, I had seven dollars.

I was also shivering and attempting to warm my hands, to no avail. I also failed to bring a decent winter jacket and gloves. It’s almost April, so it must be warm in the city, right? Wrong. Fortunately, I was surrounded by people who really had it together and helped make this weekend the experience of a lifetime, despite my poor planning!

After reminiscing on the trip, I’ve conjured up a few “Do’s” and Dont’s” of Networking in the City.

Do dress for the weather

Check the local weather at least one week in advance, and begin planning appropriate outfits and outerwear. If you’re traveling to a city, like Chicago, with cooler temperatures, pack extra gloves, hats, scarves, socks, tights and a warm coat. Also, bring appropriate shoes! Flats are much more comfortable for getting in and out of cabs than heels. Stash your heels in your bag to change into at your destination.

Do your research

Know the companies and professionals that you are visiting before you walk in the door. Visit the company website, read recent press releases, and be well-informed about what they are doing in the news. Come prepared to each meeting with intelligent, thoughtful questions. Professionals will be impressed when you show that you’ve done your homework.

Do soak it in

You’re a student, so act like a sponge and soak everything in. Listen closely to what each professional has to say. Oftentimes, they offer valuable interview tips and career advice. In Chicago, several of the professionals spoke about their own personal journey after college, and how they ended up working in public relations. Pay attention to the company culture and the environment and watch how employees interact with one another.

Do follow up

Bring your resume and business card to each place you visit, and be sure to collect business cards before you leave. After the visit, send each professional a personalized follow-up email. Thank them for meeting with you and discussing the company. You can always add a compliment, or mention something specific you liked about the company. For example, when I followed up with Groupon, I mentioned how I loved the Tiki bar in the middle of the office. Additionally, reach out to each professional on Twitter or LinkedIn and send them a message. These connections will be important during job hunting season.

Don’t be on your phone

Warning: If you’re like me and have an emotional and physical attachment to your iPhone, this will be difficult. However, it’s extremely important to stash your phone away and pay attention. Professionals will notice if you seem distracted or uninterested in the presentation and their company. At one of the agencies I visited, an employee blatantly pulled out his phone multiple times throughout the presentation, giving me a negative impression of the agency. Be polite and engaged.

Don’t feel like you have to have your life planned out

A networking trip is an opportunity to sample a little bit of everything from the buffet. You don’t need to know exactly what you want, or where you want to work. If you are set on working for a non-profit, that’s excellent, but keep your options open. One professional I spoke with told me that in college he never wanted to work in advertising or marketing, and that’s exactly what he does today. Don’t be intimidated by the young, cool, seemingly know-it-all professionals. They started out right where you are.

Don’t forget to smile

Finally, don’t forget to smile! Make good eye contact and smile at everyone you meet. You will likely grow tired, hungry, or in desperate need of a 3 p.m. Starbucks run. However, making an effort to stay upbeat and positive will make each visit more enjoyable. Display genuine kindness and people will definitely notice.

Starting 2015 right: Cleaning up your online PResence

January 21, 2015 1 Comment

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.

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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.

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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!

How to Make a Media List Without Cision

July 14, 2014

By: Marisa Fiore @MarisaFiore1

So you have already made a media list that identifies the campaign’s objective and the audience you want to reach. What’s next? Here are three ways to enhance your media list without using Cision.

  1. Research beginning with the end. What do you want your end goal to be? Decide what the steps you need to take to meet your goal. Once you have figured out where/how you want the message shared, go after the outlets that will get you to that exact goal.
  1. Use social media. Most journalists have Twitter accounts these days, and they usually have Twitter lists of their colleagues. Just do some digging to find new reporters. Once you have found new reporters, Google them and read their stories. Don’t forget to research reporters that have covered your beat in the past too!
  1. Collect the right information and refine. Make sure you are getting the correct contact information. Don’t forget to include how the journalist prefers to be contacted whether it is by phone or by email. What materials do they usually need (photos/videos)? When is the best time to connect with them? What is the best story angle for your pitch? Make sure you only have one reporter for each type of publication, to ensure you don’t have any duplicates.
  1. Quality over quantity. It is more effective to have a small list of folks you have a relationship with vs. a large list of people you randomly send information to. Build up a relationship before you actually need them.
  1. Consider new media groups. Sometimes when we think of our audience, we think of just one kind of person. However, sometimes our audience includes a whole new group of people. For example, I did a project on coffee addicts and my research showed that there was a growing number of Hispanics that were drinking more than two cups of coffee today. It is important to be aware of these trends so that you can tap into different ethnic and local media groups.

No matter which way you decide to go, make sure you have done your homework. Research is the most important part of any successful campaign. As Albert Einstein said, “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” If we already had the perfect media list we wouldn’t be building and enhancing one! Remember nothing is ever perfect and there is always room for improvement!

 

Should I ask about salary during job interviews?

May 29, 2014 3 Comments

By: Kelsey Miller @Kelsey_65

SalaryThe dreaded question of when to bring up the topic of compensation for work during the job interview is always a challenge. To cut to the chase, DON’T DO IT. There is a proper time and place in which to talk money, and during the job interview is not the place. The reason for this is simple: why should someone bring up salaries when he or she hasn’t gotten the job yet?

Think of an interview as a first date – it’s all about timing. You don’t want to freak your date out by trying to go straight for the kiss before you actually go out on the date. Talking money too soon with a possible employer can be quite the turn off and make them think twice about giving you the job.

Although it’s frowned upon to ask about money during the interview, it’s still a necessary conversation to have. Not only is it necessary, it is also very important, especially for women.  Salaries should be dealt with once you know you have received the job. The employer may bring it up first, but there is nothing wrong with bringing it up first.

It is very important to do your research before you interview for the position. Research the average wage for the kind of work you will be doing and the region of your place of employment. Due to the gender wage gap, women may experience employers that may try to offer wages that are less than their male counterparts. Go to http://www.payscale.com/cost-of-living-calculator to figure out the median salary for the work that you will be doing in the city you are working in to feel confident in your research and to stand your ground when discussing compensation. Most employers expect new employees to be grateful for receiving the job that they won’t question how much they are paid, but when you stand up for yourself, it shows that you take initiative and are strong willed. This may be interpreted to the employer that you will do the same for his or her company. Many employers will respect you for pushing the limit. If the employer isn’t flexible for no apparent reason, maybe you should rethink him or her as being someone you really want to work with.

Aside from research, you need to think about how flexible you are willing to be. If this position has been your dream job since you were in 1st grade, you may find yourself being a lot more flexible than for a position that you just stumbled upon online about a week ago. Whatever your flexibility, be sure to stick to your guns.

Put a price on your qualifications and potential and don’t lower it for any one job. The worst-case scenario is always going to be that they just say “no”. It isn’t the end of the world, and you won’t have to ask yourself “what if…?”. It is obvious you were the best fit for the position; they need you about as much as you need them.

 

Lessons From a Father

June 4, 2013

Those who know me are well aware of my passion for my family business and the immeasurable respect I have for my father. With a deep rooted love for baseball in my family, it’s no surprise the quote that best illustrates my father is from the classic movie The Sandlot. “People say he’s less than a God, but more than a man. Like Hercules or something..”  I will start with some brief background information to help you understand why I value my father’s lessons so highly.

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In 1969, my grandfather Art Sr. founded A.M. Yerecic Co. that was to become the tradition now known as Yerecic Label. At the time, my father was a young teen working as Yerecic Label’s first press operator in the garage of their family home. Together, the two generations were determined to work hard and expand the business.

Today, Yerecic Label is established as the leading label manufacturer in North America for the perishables industry image002with a state of the art printing facility in New Kensington, PA. The Yerecic Label legacy has called to the third generation as my three brothers and I take positions within the company.

As I continue my career at Yerecic Label, I’ve found that the skills used to run your own business translate directly to many aspects of the public relations profession. While our major might be located in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, strategic communication is a vital part of all business relations.  Below I have compiled five of the most important lessons from my father that I apply to my work every day:

KNOW YOUR MARKET
Yerecic Label is different from the competition by investing in research to construct products that understand consumer preferences. This focus on research is vital for any piece of work you create. According to Farkas’ JOUR3700 class, more than 30 percent of your work time should be spent on research. To create a thriving product, you need be able to accurately convey the benefits and get all the facts.

DIRFT
Check, double check and check again. At Yerecic Label, the motto of DIRFT or DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME is used to promote increased attention to all projects. This increased focus helps preserve costs, build relationships and create reliability. Whether it’s a promotional poster or a press release, be diligent in your procedures and proofing to avoid embarrassing flops.

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
Partnerships with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Pork Board, the Produce Marketing Association and other countless organizations help to provide strong relationships for Yerecic Label to grow and learn. Take advantage of people and organizations that help expand your horizons. A great example of this within the ImPRessions organization is the 2012-2013 Athens County Humane Society account ran by Kate McFadden. The account reached out to countless local Athens businesses and individuals to make the spring Woof and Wine fundraiser a huge success.

 

HARD WORK CREATES LUCK
My family will be the first to tell you that starting and even more importantly, maintaining a business, does not come from pure luck. My father’s favorite quote is: “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it,” by Thomas Jefferson. This quote provides the best lesson my father consistently pushes, there is no replacement for true hard work and dedication. Remember, your success is measured by how hard you are willing to work for it.

FIND YOUR PASSION
As silly as it may sound, labels are my family’s passion. We affectionately call the Yerecic Label office “Label Land” and many conversations revolve around industry topics. Passion is what provides drive and motivation, and without it all your hard work seems empty.  Find your passion because loving what you do is half of the battle to excelling in your work.


-Kristin Yerecic is a senior studying public relations with minors in Business and Economics. Follow her at @yerecick

Specialized Teams Ensuring Success

November 17, 2011

By: Annie Beard
Associate, ImPRessions Internal Account

The ImPRessions College Book Store account is getting creative on getting work done. They have come up with a new, easy way to be highly productive in a small amount of time. Want in on their secret?

They divide their account up into four separate groups that work on projects specific to their expertise. The four groups inside the CBS account are the design team, the writing team, the social media team, and the research team. They are all vital to the success of the account, and all work together in finishing projects.

Each team within the account has specific roles and jobs they must achieve.  For example, the design team creates flyers, ads, and posters promoting events or sales that the College Book Store has going on. They did a lot to promote their Homecoming Weekend event, “Homecoming for the Homeless.”

The writing team creates press releases including things such as sales increases, CBS’s involvement in the community, and other topics along those lines.

The social media team really focuses on the CBS account’s Twitter and Facebook pages. They have recently been working on increasing friends and followers on both of these social media sites.

The research team is working on market research. For example, what do students want from College Book Store? Or what would make it easier to rent/ buy from CBS?  Where else do students rent their books?

As you can see, breaking up into groups inside an account makes it easier to get more done. Alaina Martini, the CBS secretary said that, “We can accomplish many things at one time by delegating tasks to each group.”

They are all working towards the same goal of promoting their account, the College Book Store, while saving time. They use the weekly meetings to sit down and put all of their work together. Martini also said, “At the meetings all the groups fill each other in on what they have been doing. This is helpful because if someone on the writing team has a design idea, we can share it then.”

This is a technique that other accounts within ImPRessions could use, also. It is a genius way to keep your account ahead of the game, while learning everything you need to know about the PR world!

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