Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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5 TED Talks to Inspire the PR PRo

December 18, 2013

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

August 8, 2013 1 Comment

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

May 16, 2011

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

April 15, 2011

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

March 7, 2011

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

February 22, 2011 6 Comments

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.”

Scripps account utilizes social media to improve student communication

February 14, 2011 1 Comment

By Rebecca Reif                                                                                                                                                                 Associate, ImPRessions Account

The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism account presented to Scripps faculty at the 2010 Bush Seminar.

In an attempt to increase the number of applicants to the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism and to create more effective communication among current Scripps students, prospective students, and alumni, ImPRessions’ Scripps School of Journalism account has turned to social media for assistance.

The Scripps account wants to promote the idea that the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism is comprised of a lot more than just great professors and structured classes. Student-run organizations also make up a large part of the Scripps learning experience.

“I would say that after 5 p.m. Scripps is almost entirely run by students,” said Samantha Bartlett, Account Executive for ImPRessions’ E.W. Scripps School of Journalism account. This observation has helped the account come up with “Scripps After Dark,” a campaign that will highlight student-run organizations within the Scripps JSchool.

“I am astounded by the amount of energy and activity within the Scripps building after dark. The amount of students that are involved in different student-run organizations is really what makes our journalism school special,” said Dr. Robert Stewart, Director of the Scripps School of Journalism.

The Scripps After Dark campaign aims to utilize social media in order to publicize the efforts and accomplishments of different student-run organizations within Scripps.

“The social media phenomenon is really about sharing your experiences with others through the use of two-way communication. By utilizing Facebook to communicate with current and prospective students we are able to have a conversation- which is something that we can’t do with our website alone,” Stewart said.

Employing other forms of social media like Twitter, Wikipedia, and You Tube has also allowed the Scripps account to personalize relationships between students and the school itself.

Bartlett believes that the new campaign sheds positive light on the school. Bartlett said, “Having all of our social media run by students with the school’s approval shows that Scripps is stronger and more innovative than other schools in our field. We feel that our efforts show that Scripps is practicing what they preach to students– and that sends a powerful message.”

Update: Cardinal Health account spreads awareness about prescription drug abuse

February 7, 2011 1 Comment

By Jenny Chufar                                                                                                                                                                               Associate, ImPRessions account

The Cardinal Health ImPRessions account recently gained media attention for its GenerationRx campaign.  Startling facts about drug abuse and information about the GenerationRx campaign were featured in The Post on Jan. 25.

The campaign is an outreach program run by Cardinal Health, and its mission is to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug use.  The program has come to Ohio University to help spread the knowledge to college students, who make up a large demographic of this rising problem.

Grace Naugle, Account executive of the account, said the Generation Rx campaign is set to go public during the week of Feb. 20 to March 4. As of now, the account is busy working  on making pamphlets, creating posters and participating in a variety of other activities to make the GenerationRx campaign a success at Ohio University.

ImPRessions would like to congratulate the Cardinal Health account team for being featured in The Post, and for all of the time and hard work they have been putting into the GenerationRx campaign.

Effective time management as a college student

December 20, 2010 2 Comments

By Carly Damman                                                                                                                                                                      Associate, ImPRessions Account

If there was one thing every college student wanted more of, it would be time. Juggling school work, extracurricular activities, a social life and perhaps a job can be overwhelming and stressful. With the help of a little technique called time management every college student can rest peacefully at night.

As a freshman wrapping up my first quarter of college, my time management skills helped me succeed. My first quarter as a Bobcat was stressful, exciting and rewarding. The time management skills I acquired in high school allowed for a smooth transition to college life. Here are some ways to help manage your time wisely:

1.       Prioritize: School work always comes first for me. Once I finish my homework for the day I can focus on extracurricular activities or make a trip to Ping. If there are too many tasks for one day, save the least important one for the next day. Having your priorities straight allow you to spend more time on the important things.

2.       Stay organized: After every class session I write down my homework for the night. After I complete that assignment, I cross it off and move on. I use my assignment book to organize my school work, but a planner also works well to plan out your entire day. The most effective strategy for me is to jot down my assignments and plan out the rest of the day in my head. Organization is a key to effective time management.

3.       Take breaks: Sitting in the library for hours on end can lead to poor quality work and less motivation. I usually stay in the library for a maximum of two hours to avoid information overload. Sometimes I will focus on one subject for an hour or so, head to Ping for a workout and then focus on another subject for an hour. Don’t cram. Schedule small study sessions throughout the week.

4.       Sleep, sleep, sleep: Most college students don’t get enough sleep. Sleep is one of the most important keys to managing your time wisely. Without adequate sleep you perform worse on exams, pay less attention in class and spend more time during the day napping rather than studying. I always make sure to get my 8 hours. My roommate knows that quite time begins at 12:00 a.m. sharp in our dorm room. Without a full night’s rest I am grumpy and have no energy or motivation. Good sleeping habits will lead to more time during the day to accomplish your goals.

Sometimes college students get caught up in social activities and the fun of being on your own, but it’s important to keep in mind the number one reason we all attend college: to receive an education. Keeping your priorities straight and avoiding procrastination will help any student succeed in college. Check out these web sites for more time management tips: 8 Time Management Skills for College Students, Managing your time and College Survival Skills.

Building an empire

August 19, 2010

By R. Devin Hughes

Recently, the SVP of professional and government relations at Cardinal Health spoke to the intern class, giving background about her job and providing helpful advice. One thing she said that really stuck out to me was, “you have a responsibility to help the people below you get promoted.” Looking at how ImPRessions has developed in my time with the firm, I couldn’t agree more.

As an account executive or supervisor, you might be tempted to think “success” means that your account produced strong results for your client this year. While that is great, I think you are missing the higher-level goal: contribute to the long-term growth and stellar reputation of the firm. ImPRessions might be on your résumé for a long time, and therefore, you will always want the firm to be in high regard with those who are familiar with its activities.

Of course, at that point, you are no longer with the firm, meaning you can’t directly impact the quality of its work. The only way you are able to play a part in ImPRessions’ future is by fostering leadership in its present. As an account executive or PRSSA mentor, I went to great lengths to help develop the raw talent I saw. Today, many of my former associates/mentees make up the ImPRessions or PRSSA executive boards, and I know that they will do a good job because I’ve had the privilege of watching them develop into PR superstars (to borrow a phrase from former OU professor and always leader-developer Michelle Honald).

So how do I recommend you do this? Everyone has their own styles, but I’ve compiled a list of tips that I’ve found to be helpful over the years:

Identify passion, not pedigree

Seriously. The freshman who knows nothing about PR but wants to be involved with ImPRessions is much more valuable than the junior with three internships who just devotes what little spare time he/she has to your account. The junior may be tactically stronger, but the freshman is the one who will want to make the firm better, especially if you are there to help him/her stay enthused and develop. You can teach PR; you can’t teach passion.

Get them involved

Once you’ve identified that hunger, you need to feed it. Give them more responsibilities. Ask them what they want to learn or if they have ideas for the account, then let them run with it. Most of our clients are open to new ideas if we’re able to execute them, so take advantage of that and go nuts. These people want to be involved, and if you’re able to get them excited about what they’re doing and feeling as if they’re getting a lot done, you’ve basically reeled them in. Look for the forward leaning in meetings, the fire in their eyes or the more subtle “ImPRessions 4 Life” tattooed on their arms.

Be available and approachable

Seems like a no-brainer, but I really mean go out of your way to be there. Would my ideal midnights involve phone calls from hysterical associates who are giving up on PR, the world and men? Probably not, but I take them anyway because I feel a responsibility to do so. You aren’t just their boss, you’re their mentor. Embrace it. I humorously added the “men” part, but it does touch on the fact that I think you should be there for them for any life-related ordeal, not just PR-related. Happy associates are helpful associates.


I admit I have to make a concerted effort on this one, as I am notoriously demanding and have high expectations, so sometimes I take it for granted when those expectations are met because I feel they should have been met. But you need them to feel like their great work has been noticed, and more importantly, you need to instill confidence. If Nick thinks he sucks at PR, I really doubt he’ll apply for a leadership position with the firm. To apply, he needs to believe he can do it, and to believe, he needs you to tell him he can do it. Often, I’ll straight up ask the person, “Are you thinking of applying for account executive? I think you should.” It meant a lot to me when I heard it, and I bet it will mean a lot to anyone else.

Tell the world

Involved as I’d like to think I am, I have to admit I probably won’t personally get to know every member of the firm, so how am I supposed to know where the top talent is? You have to tell me. You have to tell everyone. That person will have a harder time getting promoted if nobody has heard of him/her. If you aren’t making sure the right people know how great a person’s work/enthusiasm is, you are really doing that person a disservice.

That’s how I do it. If you have other suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Any way you do it, the goal is universal: build an empire. The firm needs to be outstanding this year, five years from now and even fifteen years from now when I’m in my thirties and probably dead. ImPRessions 4 Life.


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