Successful Scrippsters

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.)


















5 TED Talks to Inspire the PR PRo

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.

Mentors Wanted: Now Accepting Applications

970149_10200215728132029_664891651_nWe’re always looking for mentors in life, whether it has to do with PR or a completely different area. Oftentimes, it’s intimidating to reach out to said mentor in fear of being annoying or lacking anything relevant to say. Even finding a mentor in the first place can be a somewhat daunting task. 

I spent the last month in Athens, Ohio working as a mentor under the title of Bobcat Student Orientation Leader. I worked from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day scheduling students, answering questions, calming parents’ fears and helping the entire orientation process run smoothly.

My favorite part of this experience was the role I served in helping the incoming Bobcats get acclimated to campus and life as a college student. My green polo served as a sign that I was there to help and they could ask me anything. I worked with the Scripps College of Communication so I met a lot of journalism and PR students who were interested in the advice I had to give.

Here are a few things I realized from serving as their mentor this summer:

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from just about anyone. People love to talk about themselves and pull from their prior experiences to help others out. When my students asked me about different organizations they could get involved in, I got really excited and wanted to tell them about all of the great opportunities one can find within the Scripps College. 

When a mentor tells you to reach out, they actually mean it. I gave my email address out to all of my orientation students and I truly hope that they use it to reach me throughout the year. I would love questions, but I would also love a status update about how their semester is going.

Successful people want others to succeed as well. If you’ve chosen someone as a mentor, chances are you think they’ve got it together and you want them to shower you with wisdom (and internship/job leads). Your mentor wants you to be successful and will do all they can to a reasonable extent to aid in your journey toward success, whatever that may be for you. 

A simple thank-you goes a long way. After teaching my group of students the ways of Ohio University and Scripps and scheduling and meal plans and residence halls and tips for the fall all day long and then waking up early the next morning to help them make a complete schedule, a thank-you was much appreciated. It meant a lot to me when a student finished scheduling and walked over to me to say thank-you and goodbye. I felt like my words and actions of the past 24 hours actually made an impact. 

After serving as a mentor this summer, I feel much more confident that my attempt to network with professionals will be better received than I initially would have thought. The mentor/mentee relationship is simple, really. Ask someone to coffee. Ask a PR pro if they can give you some advice. Ask if you can keep in touch. More often than not, the answer will be an overwhelming yes.

-Kerry Tuttle is a junior majoring in public relations with specializations in marketing and international business. Keep up with Kerry at @kerrtut.

Bob Evans account brings awareness throughout Ohio and beyond

By Ashante Rone                                                                                                                                                                                  Associate, ImPRessions account

The Bob Evans account hosted a family fun night in Pickerington, OH, just one of the many locations ImPRessions was responsible for promoting this year.

The Bob Evans account was entrusted with several responsibilities throughout the 2010 – 2011 school year. Fall quarter, the account was given their first task from the Bob Evans in Pickerington, OH.

“One of the major responsibilities we had was the very first thing we did fall quarter, when we created a competitive response plan to increase sales in Pickerington, OH because there were IHOP’s being built in the area,” said Rachel Csaszar,  account executive of the Bob Evans account.

IHOP is one of Bob Evans competitors. Csaszar and the account created a well thought-out response plan, which was well received by the client according to Csaszar. One of the major tactics implemented from the plan was the Family Fun Night held October 25. The account helped plan and host the event for the Pickerington community. The turnout was huge and they successful raised awareness and sales in the area. Another responsibility for the Pickerington location was reaching out to booster clubs and keeping the local community informed of the restored restaurant.

Winter quarter, the account attended the opening of the Bob Evans in Mount Vernon, OH. “Another major responsibility we had, was just to attend the opening of a new restaurant in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. We were in charge of helping with the prize giveaway table,” Csaszar said.

Finally, during winter quarter, ImPRessions was asked to brainstorm ideas to bring awareness and inform target audiences in Jacksonville, FL of a new Bob Evans restaurant that was soon to open.

Bob Evans had a busy year, and as it comes to an end they are working out one final event. The account is teaming up with fellow ImPRessions client Up ’til Dawn to host a 5k with a breakfast buffet. For more details on this upcoming event see the Facebook event or our previous post Bob Evans and Up ’til Dawn collaborate for a good cause.

ImPRessions welcomes 2011 – 2012 leadership

By Rebecca Reif                                                                                                                                                                                  Assocaite, ImPRessions account

ImPRessions will begin next school year under the new leadership of Nicole Bersani as CEO, Rachel Csaszar as VP of operations, and Heather Bartman as VP of administration. Bersani, Csaszar and Bartman have all been involved in ImPRessions since their freshman years, and they are excited for the firm’s future.

After receiving national affiliation from PRSSA last quarter, ImPRessions wants to continue establishing solid connections through their national recognition.

“Because PRSSA has asked ImPRessions to be a mentor to other student-run public relations firms across the country, we plan to keep our message strong and consistent. Right now, we are in the transition stage between ImPRessions’ old executive board and the new one, so as the new CEO I am trying to learn as much as I can to assure that our firm continues to run smoothly,” Bersani said.

As the new CEO of ImPRessions, Bersani will handle day to day activities within the firm, interact with the firm’s client base, work on recruiting new clients for the firm and assure that each account is interacting effectively with their client. Bersani also plans to help ImPRessions apply for PRSSA’s nationally-affiliated student organization awards and the Teahan awards.

Csaszar, like Bersani and Bartman, started out as an account associate in ImPRessions and has worked her way up to her new position as VP of Operations. In her new position, she will be working internally within the firm to assure that each account is staying consistent with the firm’s goals.

“I’m most excited about having a more in-depth role in ImPRessions, and getting to work more with our firm’s adviser, M.J. Clark,” Csaszar said.

As a sophomore and the youngest of the new leadership, Bartman said she is excited to learn from Csaszar and Bersani and is thrilled to be ImPRessions’ new VP of administration.

“ImPRessions is such a prestigious firm and I am proud to say I am a part of such a wonderful student organization. Since joining ImPRessions last year, I have watched the firm grow and succeed. It’s going to be hard to improve a firm that is doing so well, but I am looking forward to the challenge,” Bartman said.

ImPRessions is currently accepting applications for account executive and account supervisor positions. Everyone is encouraged to apply! Please fill out the application and return it to the PRSSA mailbox no later than 5 p.m. on May 6. Electronic submissions will not be accepted.

New issue, new look, new celebration

By Ashante Rone                                                                                                                                                                                  Associate, ImPRessions account

Backdrop's new logo and new location resulted in success for the magazine. PHOTO PROVIDED BY BACKROP MAGAZINE

The Backdrop account worked hard this quarter to promote and raise awareness for the magazine. Early in February, account members hosted an awareness week to reach out to more students leading up to the release of the magazine. ImPRessions helps host events such as the Backdrop Bazaar as well as the release party.

Backdrop held their release party on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at the Pigskin bar on Court Street. According to Hollie Amato, Backdrop Account executive, the turn out was better than expected.

“Pig skin was an awesome venue to have the party at and I think that the location alone made it more successful than past release parties,” Amato said.

The party was held a day after the release of the magazine. The Backdrop account hopes to continue to raise support for the next issue.

ImPRessions also worked on a re-branding campaign for Backdrop .The logo is now a big and bold lower case letter b. Backdrop faced the challenge of making the magazine more student friendly, and widening their demographics to more than the usual group already reading the magazine . Creating a new logo will help to reshape the image of Backdrop and reach out to more students.

“The re-branding defiantly helped to reach out to more students and widen the demographics in which the magazine reached,” Amato said.  The new logo is unmistakable, so whenever you see the big, black b, think Backdrop.

National PRSSA grants ImPRessions national affiliation status

By Myranda Owca                                                                                                                                                                            Associate, ImPRessions account

ImPRessions is proud to announce they are now nationally affiliated through PRSSA as a student-run firm and will be until 2014.

There are more than 100 student-run firms in the country, but only top-notch firms that meet certain specifications set by PRSSA are granted national affiliation status, a signification of a firm’s adherence to the highest standards of public relations work.

“Ohio University’s PR firm has been consistently strong for so many years, and it’s sincerely gratifying to see the hard work of so many amazing students recognized in this way,” expressed M.J. Clark, professional adviser to ImPRessions. “As an Ohio University alumna and former OU PRSSA member, I feel great pride in the entire ImPRessions team for achieving this exclusive honor,”

PRSSA also specifically asked that ImPRessions be used as an example to other firms who are in their early stages, an offer the firm was happy to accept as it pursues a strong relationship with PRSSA and other student firms.

“The firm as a whole as well as every member will benefit from this because it allows recognition at both the National PRSSA and PRSA levels and access into a higher level of professional and student-base opportunities,” said Nicole Bersani, vice president of administration.

Growth in ImPRessions this year strengthened the firm’s diversity and helped with receiving national affiliation, Bersani explained. Diversity in the firm now ranges from health care to entertainment to non-profit.

“With the diverse clientele comes diverse work. We had various projects, campaigns, events and plans from each account that prove the hard work our members have been completing,” Bersani said. “Also, M.J. Clark’s knowledge and involvement has been apparent to not only the PRSA and PRSSA network but also to our firm in supporting us through the entire National Affiliation application since the beginning.”

With more members, the firm was able to service a large amount of clients and demonstrate its ability to balance such a large firm. It is about what our members put into their work that really shined through to the national level.

“I enjoy looking at a large member spreadsheet, but I enjoy even more when a client sends me a note raving about the great work we did for them,” said CEO Devin Hughes. “You receive National Affiliation because you do great work, so every member of our firm should be patting themselves on the back today, because they were the ones who made this possible.”

To Bersani, the application exemplified ImPRessions as one of the best student-run PR firms around.

“We did just that,” Bersani said. “Having this awarded to our firm means that we take all of our firm’s accomplishments and apply for PRSSA student-run firm awards as well as reach a brand new level of recognition and professionalism.”

According to Hughes, obtaining national affiliation does not mean the work stops; rather, it will force the firm to keep looking to improve upon what it has done and constantly create new ideas to better the firm in all aspects.“If we slip or get lazy, we might not get our affiliation renewed. A constant pursuing of affiliation will always push us to get better, and that is very good for an organization,” Hughes said.

Being recognized as a nationally affiliated firm will help immensely in creating future growth, a theme Hughes has pushed throughout the year.

“Achieving National Affiliation will help ImPRessions grow in size and credibility,” Hughes said. “By applying this label to ImPRessions, we can show prospective clients that an outside governing body has recognized us as a top-notch student PR firm, which gives them confidence that we will do great work for them.”