Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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6 Reasons Journalists Make the Best Boyfriends/Girlfriends

February 20, 2015

By: Rachel Hartwick, @rachel_hartwick

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We, as journalists, know that our doctor and engineering friends are going to make much more money in the long run. However, we’re passionate about what we do; our work would suffer if we weren’t. And, according to Psychology Today, the average IQ of a journalist is in the 137 to 160 range. That translates into the top 1 percent to .01 percent, which is on the same intelligence level as lawyers, engineers, and computer science professors.

Basically, journalists are a real catch, and there are many attributes that we take out of our career and can apply to a serious relationship. From being able to edit all your papers for you, to never running out of things to talk about, journalists are no doubt the best people to date.

1. We’re the best listeners. 

A good percentage of a journalist’s job is just listening to people. After all, the number one rule of interviewing is to not interrupt. Not only are we going to refrain from interrupting you mid-sentence, but we’re actively listening to what you have to say. If you date a journalist, you can talk about yourself all you want, and we’re not going to complain much—we’re so used to it.

2. We come up with the best first-date questions. 

Awkward silences? Forget about them. Upon entering interviews, we’re always prepared with a list of questions to ask. As many of us know, interviews always seem to take a turn in a direction that we weren’t planning on it to. However, like a good journalist, we’ve planned ahead and have been through that scenario plenty of times. We know how to be on our toes with new, interesting questions on the spot.

3. We are experts at time management. 

We don’t mess around with deadlines, and our sources tend to take their sweet time getting back to us. When we’re assigned a story, we have to be on it immediately and we have to schedule our classes and extracurricular around that interview. You won’t see us so much that you get sick of us (we’re always busy!) But we’ll never forget to schedule in time to spend with you.

4. We’re always up to date on the latest local events. 

Journalism is probably one of the least monotonous professions out there, so you aren’t going to get bored with us. Routine just isn’t our style. Not to mention, we get free press passes into a bunch of cool concerts, shows, etc., and you are more than welcome to be our plus-one!

5. We are honest. 

Making up sources, or printing blatantly false facts, would jeopardize our entire career. We’re horrible liars. It’s our job to report the truth. So no worries in the cheating department—we just wouldn’t be able to hide it from you.

6. We will always answer your calls within a 5-minute time span. 

No need for “read receipts” here. We are constantly connected to our phones, or laptops, so if you text us asking where we are, you don’t have to worry about us not replying. (Although we may be slightly disappointed the call was from you and not the source we’ve been trying to get in touch with the past week—sorry!)

So next time you find yourself striking up a conversation with a journalism cutie, don’t let their future salary be the first thing that comes to mind. Rather, remember all the advantages to dating an honest, grammar-loving journalist. You won’t be disappointed!

PR Skills Make Everything Easier, Even Sorority Recruitment

February 10, 2015

By: Corina Rolko, @CRolko

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Working long hours and balancing multiple projects at the same time are just two of the obstacles one will face as a professional in the public relations industry.  In fact, any student who is studying public relations, and staying involved in related organizations on campus, can already attest to that.  Although it can be overwhelming at times, the skills and lessons you learn as a PR student or professional will benefit you outside of a professional or academic setting.

Anyone who has participated in the sorority recruitment process, on either side, knows how overwhelming it can be.  The days are long and the heels on your feet are far from comfortable. However, as a junior studying public relations and advertising at Ohio University, the professional skills I gained have enhanced my life on a daily basis, but especially during sorority recruitment season.

Here are just a few examples of PR lessons or skills I’ve learned, which have gotten me through two years of formal recruitment with a smile on my face.

Time and task management skills.  At Ohio University, formal recruitment takes place within six short days. During these six days, recruitment starts early in the day and ends late. As a result of learning how to balance multiple clients and prioritize different tasks, I have learned to prepared to stay on top of school work, and still manage to get a good night’s rest during recruitment.

Communication skills.  Communication skills are necessary to be successful in most professions, but it’s central in the public relations industry.  PR professionals are constantly communicating with clients and their colleagues.  Therefore, holding a comfortable conversation with a stranger during recruitment is a simple task.

Working with others.  Cooperativeness is a personality trait found within many PR experts because in this profession you are typically expected to work both individually and on a team.  When striving to do the best work, or recruit the best new members, both require the ability to work with others toward a common goal.

Living a fast paced life style.  As a public relations student or professional, one has many responsibilities each day. In addition, you are expected to be able to stay on top of a workload that is constantly changing.  As a result, PR professionals live a go, go, go lifestyle, which makes the fast-paced, chaotic days of sorority recruitment a little easier to handle.

Press release template

October 22, 2010

The most important function of ImPRessions is to provide students at Ohio University with professional experience that will prepare them for future internships and employment opportunities. We hope to achieve this through  a variety of learning experiences and practices.

ImPRessions has recently created a press release template including some of the basic how-tos and don’t-forgets of writing a press release. The document includes tips on a strong introduction, qualities of a good quote and overall structure. We hope that the template may be a learning tool, no matter what type of work students are doing for our clients. We hope that everyone finds it useful.

ImPRessions seeks associates for Bob Evans account

August 30, 2010 1 Comment

With only a week left before classes start, we are preparing to hit the ground running with ImPRessions. After meeting with our Bob Evans contacts, it has become clear that the account needs to get started as soon as possible. That being said, we would like to find two or three associates to start work on the account ASAP and will be accepting applications immediately. Anyone is welcome to apply, though previous experience in ImPRessions or PR is preferred.

Those who apply should be prepared to meet the first week of classes and ready to work hard. The Bob Evans account has big things planned for this year and will be an amazing learning experience for everyone involved.

If you are interested, please fill out this form:

Bob Evans account associate sign-up form

and send it to ouimpressions@gmail.com. The deadline for applications is Sunday, Sept. 5 at 6 p.m.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Top reasons to join ImPRessions

August 24, 2010

By Ashley Showen
VP, Operations

As the school year quickly approaches, we are preparing for a great year with ImPRessions. With 13 clients, seven of which are brand new, there is no doubt that this year will be a successful one.

There is plenty of room for students to get involved with the addition of four more clients than last year. We would love to have more members and encourage anyone interested to join.

Here are the top reasons why you need to be a part of ImPRessions:

  1. Real world experience from day one. Whether you’re a freshman who barely knows what PR is or a senior looking to get an extra boost before graduating, joining ImPRessions will allow you to get hands-on experience that cannot be simulated in class.
  2. Great way to meet fellow students. Once you are assigned to an account, you will be working closely with a group of five to 10 other members. You will get to know each other well and learn a lot from each other. Members are not required to be PR majors, so you will get the chance to meet students outside of your major as well.
  3. Prepare you for internships. You will get the opportunity to write press releases and PR plans, create promotional materials, plan events, pitch stories to the media, and much more. Learning the basics of so many different things will give you the experience you need to be a superstar at your first internship.
  4. Get experience in a field you’re interested in. ImPRessions serves clients in entertainment, health care, non-profit, consumer services, public service campaigns, small businesses and more.

We can’t wait to get started and hope you will join us as we work hard to get results for our clients.

Account executives and supervisors for the upcoming year: Encourage everyone you know who may be interested in ImPRessions to contact us or come to an informational meeting.

If you are looking to join as an associate, either as a rookie or veteran, we invite you to attend one of two informational meetings in the beginning of the quarter to learn about each client in detail, meet the account executives and supervisors and sign up for an account!

Tuesday, Sept. 14, Scripps 111, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 15, Scripps 111, 7 p.m.

If you would like more information or have any questions, please contact us at ouimpressions@gmail.com.

Building an empire

August 19, 2010

By R. Devin Hughes
CEO

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.

Praise

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.

2010 PRSSA National Conference in D.C.

August 13, 2010

By Nicole Bersani
VP, Administration

You’ve probably been to a PRSSA chapter meeting, maybe even a Central Ohio PaRtners Conference, but have you been to a PRSSA National Conference? If so, you know the feeling – writing ideas/advice frantically in your notebook, getting inspired by successful PR pros and peers, forming friendships with fellow students in your chapter and chapters across the nation – it’s a feeling bigger than you, than the Hugh M. Culbertson chapter of PRSSA, than ImPRessions, than all journalism students in Scripps. I guess you have to go to a national conference to know the feeling. I went last year and it was one of the most inspirational experiences of my life, to say the least. To know more about last year’s conference, read my article in Ohio University’s chapter of PRSSA’s Winter 2010 PR Success issue titled “Members stay classy in San Diego” (page 3).

This year’s conference, “The Capital Connection: People, Press and Politics,” will be held October 15-19 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park hotel in Washington, D.C. I’m going to give it to you straight: rooms are $259 per night for four people and the conference registration is $295 per member. Then, you have to add the cost of food, transportation and any site seeing you might do. (Look below for approximate costs.) To be honest, the cost is rough – it’s in D.C. after all – but the experience you have, the people you meet and the amount you learn are priceless. However, good news to PRSSA members that are interested in health care or travel, tourism or hospitality public relations! If that’s you, you can apply for a grant to recieve a free conference registration – see below for more information or click here

Between professional development and networking sessions, expert and compelling speakers, and casual to fancy socials, you will not be wasting your money. The keynote speaker this year is Jim Margolis, a senior partner at a political consulting and advocacy advertising firm called Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns (GMMB). According to the PRSSA national conference committee, he was the senior advisor to Barack Obama’s campaign. Other exciting events are a speed networking session, a student-run firm workshop, PRSA speakers, and sessions about every PR topic imaginable from international to agency, heath care to entertainment, and sports to environment. (To look at other speakers and events, scroll down to link to the program calendar of events or click here.)

There is one catch though – the deadline to register is fast approaching. The day of our first PRSSA chapter meeting of the year and only one week after we start school is the same day as the national conference deadline on September 13. Slightly better news is that you can register now and if you decide not to go, you can get a full refund back – but you have until September 20 to make that decision.

According to the PRSSA national conference committee, “The Conference is the biggest annual meeting of public relations students in the United States, gathering more than 1,000 students for a weekend of networking, professional development, career preparation and leadership training” (http://www.prssa.org/conference/about.aspx).

It’s kind of a big deal. You might think that our chapter or firm of 100 or so members is competitive, but wait until you go to a national conference. You are not the only enthusiastic, smart, hard-working PR student, which may sound discouraging but I mean it as the opposite – take it as an opportunity to learn and network beyond Ohio University.

FYI: I am planning on car pooling and then splitting the cost of gas and parking. It’s around a six-hour drive from Athens to D.C. – e-mail me at nicolebersani@gmail.com if you want to talk more about transportation, this and/or last year’s conference or anything in between.

Estimated cost:

  • HOTEL ROOM (four nights split by four people): $259
  • TRANSPORTATION (car, bus, train, plane): $40-$300 **if car, add parking
  • FOOD/MISC ($15-25 per day, five days): $75-125
  • REGISTRATION (dues paying member): $295
  • APPROX: $669-$979

Hotel information:

Washington Marriott Wardman Park
2660 Woodley Road NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 328-2000  

PRSSA Room Rate:

  • $239 single/double
  • $249 triple
  • $259 quad
  • Group Code: PRSPRSA

For more information:

Attractions in D.C.

  • National Zoo
  • Smithsonian
  • Georgetown

Get involved

August 11, 2010

By Hollie Amato
Account executive, Backdrop Magazine

There is nothing more intimidating than freshman year of college—thousands of new people, new classes and, most importantly, new opportunities. If you thought that high school offered a lot of chances to get involved, college will surely blow your mind. These options change from “extracurricular activities” to “organizations” and their variety ranges from Greek Life to Frisbee disc golf teams.

I am going to begin by saying something that everyone has heard a million times but cannot be stressed enough,—GET INVOLVED! In high school, I was the type of person who had a million different things going at once. I constantly found myself doing things that I felt that I had to do, instead of ones I actually enjoyed doing. That is one of the first differences I realized about organizations in college, particularly in the Scripps school. In college you actually get to pick what you want to do, rather then feeling obligated to participate in certain activities.

In my Journalism 101 class fall quarter of my freshman year, Dr. Stewart made sure that all Scripps kids were fully aware of the opportunities that were available to us. That was when I first learned about ImPRessions. I was slightly apprehensive at the time because it was the beginning of the year so I hadn’t met my current group of friends yet, and of the few friends I had, none of them were PR majors like me. So this meant I would be going to the first meeting alone, which to me was terrifying.

After the first couple weeks as a member of ImPRessions on the College Book Store account, I immediately felt comfortable. Because it is a student-run PR firm, everything is handled by other PR students. This makes it easy to bounce ideas off one another and to feel comfortable giving suggestions and speaking your mind. In my freshman, year we handled everything from press releases to personally handing out flyers to other students around campus. I even helped to design one of the posters that hung at College Gate promoting one of our big weekend events!

Words cannot even describe the amazing experience I got as a member of this account.  After just one year, I already feel as if I have more hands-on experience that I wouldn’t be able to get in a classroom.

Starting in the fall, I will be one of the account executives for the Backdrop Magazine account. I had not even planned on applying for an account executive position, but a fellow team member encouraged me to do so. I would have never been able to take advantage of this opportunity if I had not gotten involved fall quarter of my freshman year. If there is one piece of advice I could give after year one as a member of ImPRessions, it would be get involved and do not be scared. You never know what could happen if you try!

Creativity, brainstorming and the big idea

July 30, 2010

By Ali Myers
Account supervisor

I am lucky enough to be spending my summer in New York City interning for Quinn & Co Public Relations, a firm specializing in the real estate, travel, food, and wine + spirits industries. This is the first time I’ve done major PR work in a place other than Athens, Ohio and I would say that the audience I’m working with in New York City is just a bit different. (OK, a lot different.) The thing is, New Yorkers have seen it all. They are not easily impressed, and to grab their attention is a difficult task. Journalists are seeking out new and exciting pitches. Clients are relying on you, the public relations professional, to land them spots in publications and get their name out to the public. In order to do so, you have to change your way of thinking. Sometimes those “in the box” ideas aren’t going to cut it when you’re pitching to major publications. This brings me to the first major lesson I’ve learned at my internship:

Creativity is important.

Now before you say, “But, I’m not creative,” you should know that everyone is capable of thinking creatively, and in a field like public relations, it’s extremely important to do so. You just have to go about doing it the right way. Which brings me to lesson number two:

Brainstorming sessions are a necessity.

While interning at Quinn & Co this summer, I have had the opportunity to attend several team brainstorming sessions. The ideas that come out of these are fascinating. Some of the most brilliant pitches come from sitting in a room with your team members and throwing out everything that comes to mind. Even if the first idea is something very small and simple, your team members may add to it and eventually build it up to a bigger idea, which is a nice little transition to my final lesson:

Don’t be afraid of the BIG IDEA.

So, what is the big idea? It can be many different things. It can be trying a risky new campaign strategy or taking a new approach to the way you typically do things. With so many companies competing for that limited number of consumer dollars, sometimes getting your client or company’s message out will take a BIG IDEA. The most successful public relations campaigns probably seemed risky in the beginning, but sometimes you have to (cautiously) move forward anyway.

I would like to challenge our accounts this year to hold regular brainstorming sessions. Think of new ways to promote your client on a college campus. We’ve all been handed papers at College Gate or seen chalking on the sidewalks. I encourage you to think creatively, brainstorm and maybe generate a big idea that will stir up some noise on campus.

It’s not always about the money

July 28, 2010

By Molly Essell
Account executive, State of Ohio Prescription Drug Abuse Campaign

As hard-working college students, it sometimes becomes difficult to think of a job or internship as something other than a form of income. However, if you can find a niche in the PR world that you feel passionately about outside of the job, I guarantee you will feel rewards greater than any paycheck by using your PR skills to promote their cause.

I say this confidently, because this year, I have had the amazing opportunity to work for a foundation that means a great deal to me in and out of the office. I am currently the Race for the Cure intern at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Cincinnati Affiliate. For those of you who are not familiar, Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures for breast cancer. Before even thinking of a career in nonprofit or Komen specifically, I have been known to wear pink ribbon attire, support their annual Race for the Cure 5k, and purchase products (such as ice cream scoops, socks and potato chip clips) just because they have the pink Komen ribbon decorated on them. Having the opportunity to internally support Komen now is more rewarding than any amount of money I have previously spent for the foundation.

For the first time in any of my jobs or internships, I find myself working hard not because I’m trying to learn a million things at once or be a super intern in the office, but because I believe the work I am doing this summer will make an impact in the lives of many deserving people.

An important lesson I have learned is that working in nonprofit PR does not just involve asking people for money and writing grants, but you get to meet lots of interesting and respected professionals! I’ve met local breast cancer survivors in the committee meetings I’ve lead, I’ve met with executives in many organizations across Cincinnati, such as the Cincinnati Reds and local news stations, and I’ve gotten tons of experience writing all kinds of PR materials. The best part is, it’s all been in support of Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure! Nonprofit PR is really a mix of all sectors of the PR world and can be a wonderful place for gaining experience!

For anyone looking to pursue a career in nonprofit PR, here are a few things I’ve learned firsthand this summer:

The Dos and Don’ts of working in a nonprofit office:

1. DO your research! Make sure you know the ins and outs of what the company does in its community, in the nation, worldwide–everywhere. It is one thing to know the company raises money for breast cancer. It’s another to know that over 100,000 survivors and activists make up the organization and over $1.3 billion have been raised to date.

2. DON’T get your feelings hurt if there are some people who will never be as passionate as you are about the organization. It’s only natural that not everyone will find the need to save lives and raise money for a cause they are unfamiliar with. Use this as a way to spread knowledge and education of what your organization accomplishes!

3. DO show your support outside the office! One thing I’ve learned from my bosses at Komen is they become known in the community for the job they do. Sometimes it’s as simple as wearing their pink ribbon t-shirts to the grocery store or posting pictures of events on their own Facebook walls. My bosses have become women that people all over Cincinnati respect and look up to because of their dedication.

4. DON’T give up if there isn’t an available job right away. The one negative I have found from the nonprofit world is that there are fewer jobs. Because of the nature of the nonprofit organizations, many places hold few positions in their offices, meaning it can be difficult to find an organization in need of a PR pro. However, there are still plenty of opportunities! Be a volunteer. Get up close and personal experience with the organization you’re interested in by volunteering at one of their events, or even contact someone from the organization and ask if they would need any help with PR work. They will very much appreciate your desire to help and it will give you great experience.

All in all, I truly believe nonprofit PR can be the most gratifying experience possible in your career path. If you’re unsure of what your PR calling is at this moment, I urge you to take a step back and think of a cause you are passionate about, and see if that can’t be an opportunity in itself.

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