Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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The Difference Between Advertising and PR – A Simplified Version

July 25, 2014 1 Comment

By: Kate Schroeder @kschroeds7

PRI’ll admit it. Even as a strategic communications student, I’ve had difficulty explaining to people who ask about my major what the difference is between public relations and advertising. Going into my senior year as a strategic communications student, I have a good deal of knowledge of each industry. However, when asked this simple question I end up rambling on all the differences between PR and advertising pros,– usually leaving my non-journalist counterpart thoroughly confused and in need of an aspirin.

Looking back I wish someone had given me a simple, cut-and-dry answer to this not so simple question my freshman year at OU. I knew plenty about the world of news, but no one could seem to give me a simple answer to, “what the heck is this PR and advertising stuff I keep hearing about?”. Even though both careers are in the Scripps School of Journalism, transferring from news and information to strategic communication was like learning a new language. So for all you strategic communication newbies, let’s take it one step at a time and finally get this question straightened out!

“Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.”

Advertising

The main goal of advertising is to create ads and campaigns and place those in appropriate outlets to allow their message to build exposure. Advertisers want to impact as many people as many times as possible or specifically impact their target market depending on the product. Unlike public relations, advertising has complete creative control of the message it is promoting, but can be extremely expensive.

What advertising is trying to say: “Buy this product”.

Public Relations

Where advertising is paid media, public relations is earned media. A public relations specialist will take the brand and works to build the brand credibility. This is mostly done through media relations, which is working with reporters and editors to write positively about your client or brand. This can also be done through social media! Work done through public relations tends to have more credibility than advertisements, because the content was not paid for. This builds trust between your brand and the public

What public relations is trying to say: “This is important”.

What makes them similar?

The reason it is sometimes hard to explain how advertising and public relations differ is because they both share a main goal. Both help a company or product gain exposure in a positive way. Also, both avenues target a specific audience, also called a target audience with their message.

 

 

Should You Switch Journalism Tracks?

August 19, 2013 1 Comment

JournalismEntering my freshman year at Ohio University, I wanted to be a journalist. To me, being a journalist meant working for a newspaper or magazine in New York City and writing every day for the rest of my career. This seemed exciting, but little did I know that this was only the very beginning of where journalism could take me.

I’ve always enjoyed exploring and trying new things, so I signed up for plenty of clubs outside of print journalism. One of those clubs was PRSSA. At the beginning of the year, I didn’t really understand what public relations consisted of or how to build a career out of it, so I kept a close eye on the strategic communications track in order to learn more.

Everyone talked about ImPRessions and how it went hand in hand with PRSSA, so second semester I decided to sign up for ImPRessions as well. After getting hands on experience and getting a better look at what public relations really is, I knew this was the right track for me. It took a lot of exploring and open-mindedness to discover that this was my path, but I am so glad that I took the time to look outside of the box.

As you probably know, it is very common to change your major at some point during your college career. Going away for the first time allows you to take a better look at yourself and what you want out of life. My views changed drastically in just one year of college, and will most likely continue to grow and develop as I do. With that being said, it is important to stay open to career changes or developments.

You shouldn’t worry about changing your major or track so much that you stay put where you are, because at the end of the day, it is important to be happy and enjoy your career. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I stuck with a major that was no longer the right fit for me because I was scared of what may happen.

If you’re unsure what you want to do or what path you want to take; explore. Take the time to look into different avenues and make sure you talk to people in each of them. I wouldn’t have signed up for ImPRessions or learned as much as I did about public relations if I didn’t talk to people in the strategic communications track. There is no better way to learn about something than by asking questions and finding out the facts. Never be afraid of what may happen if you change your mind and remember to just go for it! At the end of the day, you will be happy you did. I am so glad I took the chance to explore the strategic communications and take the leap to change.

-Jessica Carnprobst is a sophomore studying strategic communications. Follow Jessica at @Jess_Carnprobst.

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. 

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