By Hanna Moore
So, you’ve just declared a major in public relations. Do you know what you want to do with it yet? If not, that is totally normal! Many of us only found out what we wanted to do with public relations after working on campus and gaining experience. Here are some ways to gain real-world experience while you are still a student here at Kent State:
Join PRSSA Kent.
As a member of PRSSA, you get the chance to network with different professionals, but most importantly you are joining an organization made up of people who share the same interests as you. PRSSA allows you to meet new people who will be able to help you as you continue your journey through college. Having PRSSA on your resume can help give you a leg up on the competition when applying for internships and jobs. If you’re interested in event planning, you can join the Homecoming Committee, Communications Connection committee or the YouToo Social Media Committee. You can also join the Promotions or Web and Social Media committees to help us design, write and produce promotional flyers and content for our newsletter, website, blog and social media channels.
For more information about PRSSA Kent, visit http://www.prssakent.com.
Find an on-campus PR job.
PR students at Kent State are fortunate because we have a variety of paid, on-campus public relations and marketing jobs available to us. You can work with your peers in a professional environment to improve your communications skills and build your portfolio.
There are a variety of paid public relations and marketing positions available, including the following:
Colleges and Schools: All colleges and departments on campus need a good PR team, and many of them need help from talented public relations students. The Department of Recreational Services, College of Business Administration and College of Communication and Information have hired public relations students on their team to write, design promotional materials, run social media accounts and plan events. CCI’s schools also have marketing assistant positions open to students, including the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the School of Communication Studies.
Flash Communications: Flash Communications is a student-run PR agency located on campus in the University Communications and Marketing office. Students work alongside PR and marketing professionals, gaining real-world experience writing, editing, researching and implementing internal and external communications for the university. Students who work at Flash communications build their portfolio with pieces written for e-Inside, Kent State Magazine, eFlash, Wick Poetry Center, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Division of Human Resources, the Alumni Relations and the Kent State Website.
IdeaBase: IdeaBase is a student-staffed, full-service integrated marketing communication firm, located in downtown Kent. Here, top-performing students from Kent State University assemble to solve actual client problems. The team is composed of visual communication design, public relations, advertising, computer information systems, digital sciences, marketing and communications studies students.
For more information about on-campus public relations opportunities, visit http://www.prssakent.com/on-campus-opportunities.html.
Work for student media.
Kent State offers a variety of award-winning student media organizations that public relations students can get involved with. Below are descriptions of all of Kent State’s student media organizations:
The Kent Stater:
The Kent Stater is an award-winning student-run newspaper. Reaching more than 15,000 people per issue, the Stater keeps the community up-to-date with campus, local and national news, sports and features. The Stater publishes on Monday and Wednesday and publishes an entertainment section on Thursdays. PR majors can write, design and edit for the Stater, as well as implement social media and marketing as a part of the marketing team.
TV2 is Portage County’s only local television station. TV2 reaches more than 26,000 homes on Time Warner Cable channel 16 and more than 7,500 Kent State students on campus television channel 2-2. The station is also streamed live at www.TV2KSU.com. TV2 is Kent State's source for anything the Kent community wants to know. PR majors can be on air, work behind the scenes and produce for TV2, as well as implement social media and marketing as part of the marketing team.
KentWired.com is the hub of all Kent State student media. Featuring top news, entertainment, community and campus news, sports and video, KentWired is the place to turn to for everything Kent. The site also features classifieds, daily podcasts, newscasts and live streams to TV2 and Black Squirrel Radio. PR majors can write and edit for KentWired, as well as implement social media and marketing as part of the marketing team.
Black Squirrel Radio:
Black Squirrel Radio (BSR) is a student-run radio station located on the main campus of Kent State University. Known for its large selection of urban, rock and local music, BSR also showcases numerous local bands and entertainers for in-studio performances and interviews. BSR is available via www.blacksquirrelradio.com, as well as several stream options. BSR has a popular following with more than 3,200 Twitter followers and 3,000 Facebook fans. PR majors can host a show on BSR, as well as implement social media and marketing as part of the marketing team.
Kent State University Independent Films:
Kent State University Independent Films (KSUIF) is a production company and student organization that allows students with a passion for film to gain real-world experience. KSUIF works as a student-run production company, producing a wide variety of content including webseries, short films, award-winning music videos, documentaries, TV shows and feature films. PR majors can assist with production of films, as well as event planning and marketing as part of the marketing team.
A Magazine is Kent State's publication for all things fashion, beauty and culture on campus and beyond. A focuses on both women's and men's fashion and has a companion website that is updated regularly, providing students with the latest fashion industry and more. PR majors can write, edit and design for A Magazine, as well as assist with event planning and marketing as part of the marketing team.
The Burr, an independent, award-winning magazine and its companion website, burr.com, allows students the opportunities to do original reporting and write feature articles and personal essays. PR majors can write, edit and design for The Burr, as well as assist with event planning and marketing as part of the marketing team.
Fusion, Kent State's first lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning magazine, has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists for excellence. PR majors can write, edit and design for Fusion as well as assist with event planning and marketing as part of the marketing team.
Luna Negra, Kent State's literary publication, offers a blend of poetry, prose, photography and illustration. PR majors can write and edit for Luna Negra, as well as assist with event planning and marketing as part of the marketing team.
Uhuru is an award-winning magazine focused on matters concerning minorities, with an emphasis on the Pan-African experience. PR majors can write, edit and design for Uhuru, as well as assist with event planning and marketing as part of the marketing team.
For more information about student media opportunities, visit http://www.kent.edu/jmc/student-media-1.
Work for Her Campus.
Her Campus Kent State is a national online magazine for college women and professional development. We publish editorial and social media content on a weekly basis and hold campus wide events. At Kent State, there is an editorial team, social media team and event planning team. Her Campus focuses on empowering college women to feel confident about their academic career by creating a community on campus that helps develop social and professional skills needed to help you feel ready and confident in taking that next step toward your career.
At Her Campus Kent State, you learn valuable skills, build your portfolio and resume, network with your peers and industry professionals and have the support of a national organization. At the same time you also become part of a close knit group of women right here at Kent State. Beyond your individual team responsibilities, you will have the opportunity to participate in team bonding events and our on and off campus events.
For more information about Her Campus Kent State, visit http://www.hercampus.com/school/kent-state.
Work as the PR director for a student org.
Almost all student organizations recognize the importance of good public relations and community outreach and have at least one position on its executive board dedicated to it. Being on the executive board of a student organization is a great way to gain leadership experience, while also using the skills you learn in your PR classes in a real-world situation.
For more information about Kent State’s more than 350 student organizations, visit http://www.kent.edu/csi/student-organizations.
Work at the Writing Commons.
Kent State’s Library has a writing commons located on the 4th floor. It gives students the opportunity to get help on all kinds of writing assignments, no matter what the class or topic. Working as a writing tutor not only helps other students write better, but improves your writing as well. Becoming a writing tutor can be very rewarding. It also is a good leadership/teaching experience to put on your resume! You can also gain experience with social media and event planning by joining the marketing committee.
For more information about the Writing Commons, visit http://www.kent.edu/writingcommons.
Become a Campus Rep.
Many large corporations hire students as campus representatives to interact with students and raise awareness of their brand. Some of these include Amazon, Victoria’s Secret PINK and Starbucks. By becoming a campus brand rep, you can gain experience with social media, media relations and event planning.
For a glimpse into the life of a campus rep, check out current Victoria’s Secret PINK campus rep Taylor Pierce’s blog post about brand training: http://www.prssakent.com/blog/prkent-at-pink-campus-representative-brand-training.
Hanna Moore is a senior public relations major and PRSSA Kent’s web and social media manager. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.