by Elline Concepcion
It’s what we, as public relations practitioners, are responsible for. We deal with brands and reputations, and we know the importance of maintaining a positive one. We always have room to learn from brand management stories; this is where The Captain comes in.
Derek Jeter, The Captain of the New York Yankees, has retired from baseball after 20 years in the major leagues. Jeter has had amazing achievements throughout his career that can be summed up by the 2,734 games Jeter has played, the five World Series championship rings and the Yankee pinstripes he has been wearing since he began as a rookie. Since the beginning of this career he has kept his reputation positive and has mastered brand management. We can all learn from Jeter’s legacy.
Professionalism is at the top of the list of what Jeter has done correctly over the course of his career. He remained professional on and off the field. He kept his private life private and allowed his achievements to show his character.
Jeter’s loyalty to his team and to his fans also made his brand stronger. He was able to stay with the same team throughout his career and remained loyal to his teammates. Jeter was never one to talk about his teammates and kept their locker room conversations private.
Another important takeaway from Jeter’s brand management was the manner in which he handled his endorsements. Jeter made his endorsements subtle and made his interactions with these endorsers natural. He didn’t tweet about the brands he endorsed or carry a Gatorade bottle with him everywhere he went. Jeter allowed his career and his performance on the field to be the focus of his legacy.
Jeter was smart about how he handled interviews. He was a good listener and made sure what he said was thought out before he spoke. Jeter was respectful to other players, his team and to himself.
Most important in relation to brand management is being true to your character. This is what Jeter did. He was always natural with his fans and stayed away from the typical cocky jock persona. The Captain knew what was important to him and made sure everything he did was true to his core values.
Jeter’s ability to maintain a positive brand image for 20 years is one reason why he is remarkable. This ability has allowed him to have a positive foundation for future projects and endeavors.
by Cindy Deng
We have been waiting for this moment for years, and the day finally came. PRSSA Kent received the Outstanding Chapter Award at the 2014 PRSSA National Conference in Washington, D.C.! This is the highest Chapter honor, presented by the National Committee as part of the Dr. F.H. Teahan Chapter Awards Program.
My emotions were running high that day. Being recognized at a national level was absolutely incredible for our Chapter. Why? PRSSA consists of more than 300 Chapters across the nation. Some of these Chapters do apply for awards and only a handful of them get selected.
Since The Teahan Awards application must be submitted by the first week of June, submissions are based on that completed academic year’s accomplishments. The Teahan Awards honor Chapters for accomplishments in the following categories.
Our Chapter certainly accomplished a lot during the 2013-14 academic year, and I’m proud to have led such an amazing year with a strong team of leaders and members. Based on our meeting evaluations, 88 percent of the participants felt PRSSA Kent was a welcoming organization, which was a 21 percent increase from fall 2012.
A few other notable accomplishments include securing 64 renewed/new members (compared with 59 renewed/current members during the 2012-13 academic year), earning honorable mention in the Bateman Case Study Competition (and 2nd place the previous year), collaborating with Akron Area and Greater Cleveland PRSA on more than 15 meetings and five special events, raising $7,750 to send members to National Conference and more.
A wave of excitement came over me when the National Committee announced Kent State University as the winner. You can confirm this with anyone who attended the awards dinner ceremony, but I literally ran and skipped my way over to the stage to receive the award on PRSSA Kent’s behalf. I probably could have knocked the wind out of PRSSA National President Heather Harder after giving her an enormous bear hug. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw our Chapter run toward me to reciprocate the hug. I completely lost my composure and bawled my eyes out with tears of joy!
I’ve been a member of PRSSA Kent for about three and a half years. Two and a half of those years I’ve held several leadership positions and worked closely with fellow members pouring my heart and soul into the activities we do every year. Without the encouragement and support from fellow members, faculty members and PRSA members, we would not have been able to make it this far and earn this much recognition today. We can, now, respectfully brag about being the top Chapter in the nation!
Special thanks go out to the 2013-14 executive board (Cindy Deng, Chapter President; Bobby Batyko, VP of Professional Relations; Caitlin Potts, Secretary; Meghan Caprez, Web & Content Creator; Kirsten Bowers, Intercampus Liaison; Emily Komorowski, PRSA/PRSSA Liaison; Bethany Johnson, Community Relations Manager; Matt Gilkerson, Social Media Manager; Chelsea Graff, Treasurer; Lyndsey Sager and Samantha Tuly, Co-VPs of Public Relations; Shannen Laur and Amanda Knauer, Co-VPs of Fundraising; Michael Lopick and Erica Batyko, Co-VPs of Membership) and professional advisers (Carrie Kandes, Lindsay Ridinger, Allison Ewing, Tim Roberts, Jenn Yokely-McElhatten, Erin Orsini) who contributed their time and effort in helping PRSSA Kent earn this honorable recognition.
And last, but not least, another special thanks goes out to our Faculty Adviser Michele Ewing. She’s truly the backbone (our support system) to our Chapter’s professional development and success.
I could not be any more proud of PRSSA Kent. We absolutely earned it!
by Meghan Caprez
When the Smithsonian National Museum of American History was creating an exhibition about immigration to the U.S., it conducted research, collected items and listened to Pitbull. The international music sensation invited museum staff to his concert while they were planning its newest displays.
“It just goes to show that you never know what will happen when you work in a museum,” said Melinda Machado, the museum’s director of communication and marketing.
Machado led the session, “A Monumental View: What It Takes to Work In Museums and Historical Places” at the 2014 PRSSA National Conference. In her session, she shared several case studies with challenges related to the Museum of American History’s special events and potential crises.
Because I’m in Washington, D.C. for National Conference, I can’t wait to visit the Museum of American History to see Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the classic film “The Wizard of Oz.” Apparently, my excitement to see Dorothy’s slippers isn’t unique; many of the museum’s five million yearly visitors most look forward to seeing the costume piece. A few years ago, the slippers were loaned to a museum in London.
“We had to create comprehensive plan to manage the type of coverage,” Machado said. “We had to do our best to make sure it was positive.”
After announcing the loan through a press release and writing numerous blog posts to help museum visitors “cope when the ruby slippers step out,” the museum decided to bring in a new piece from the Tony Award-winning musical “Wicked.” The show “Wicked,” the story of the Wicked Witch of the West, donated an original Broadway costume.
To promote the inclusion of the “Wicked” costume, the museum hosted a press event where the musical’s two lead actresses sang several songs from the show, in addition other paid, earned, shared and owned media initiatives.
Let’s just say Dorothy’s ruby slippers aren’t the only items on my list of must-sees here in D.C. now.
Attendance at the Museum of American History drops in the winter months. Museum communication staff members were challenged to increase visitation during winter…with a zero dollar budget.
Using a combination of earned, shared and owned media, the museum released a poll; people could vote for which two vehicles they’d want to be released from the vault to be put on display in the museum. Not only did the museum receive more than 53,000 views on its related blog posts, it saw a 6.5 percent increase in visitors.
While evaluating, the museum communication team learned that its best practices were customizing content to the platforms on which they were released and tapping into existing communities (such as car clubs) via social media. They also learned that social media does not help bring people to museum programs; advertising and marketing efforts are much more effective.
After hearing several other case studies, students were interested to learn how they could get involved in museum communication. Machado said students don’t necessarily have to have museum experience, but they do have to be expert writers.
“Not only writing, but you have to be able to sell it,” Machado said. “You can’t be shy. You have to think creatively.”
If you'd like to learn more about her work, email Machado at MachadoM@si.edu.
by Morgan Jupina
For many Kent State students, college graduation is quickly approaching, and it’s time to meet the “real world.” Job searching, resume building and interview prepping are all a part of our final sprint as college students. But what if you’re still trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up? I had the opportunity to meet with someone who might be able to provide you with a unique perspective.
“A lot of what we deal with is foreign individuals who threaten the United States,” he explained.
Twenty-year public service veteran and passionate guest speaker at this year’s KSU Media Ethics Workshop, Joe Vealencis, sat down with me to discuss the ins and outs of a career in public service.
Vealencis, director of the Office of Strategic Communications at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) – created in 2004 in an effort to stop terrorist action in the United States and abroad – ensures communications are coordinated in various tasks. Vealencis’ responsibilities range from facilitating visits to NCTC from senior officials of foreign organizations, to overseeing public affairs specialists who work on a wide variety of communication, design and publication assignments. Aside from being a man in a suit with a profoundly intimidating career, I learned that he landed his job by following his dream to help people.
Vealencis, who wanted to be a lawyer at a very young age, graduated with a degree in marine and environmental science from the United States Coast Guard Academy. After beginning his career as a Commanding Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, Vealencis eventually worked his way from Senior Legislative Liaison for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, to his current position.
Law to environmental science to NCTC is quite a winding path, but Vealencis is a prime example of being able to accomplish anything you set your mind to. Vealencis expressed that “the mission at the center” of his job is the most gratifying part of his chosen career because he gets to help protect Americans. Obviously, he didn’t graduate college knowing how to counter terrorism, but he went after a job he was interested in.
“Public service has always been something that interested me and opportunities presented themselves,” said Vealencis. “I feel good about myself when I go home at night.”
Sometimes, when attacks such as the Boston Marathon Bombing occur, Vealencis’ job can become emotionally difficult.
“It would be hard to describe what a punch in the gut that was for the men and women of NCTC,” Vealencis remembered. “Some say we should have checked the brothers’ Facebook posts, Twitter and social media even after they were cleared through a robust investigation.”
He said he was taking a much-needed vacation in the Dominican Republic, but came back immediately when he had heard about the attack.
“I didn’t have to. I just came back. A lot of people did and that’s the kind of place we work,” he said. “We’re going to try to protect you. It’s our family too; it’s our friends too, and it’s our neighbors.”
It was evident that Vealencis was remarkably passionate about his career, which I believe to be a great model to follow.
Careers in public service can range from federal, state and local government agencies, as well as public and private organizations, and can bring great benefits. Vealencis told me that aside from excellent health benefits, public service allows people to be able to do great things, and it provides a sense of stability. He suggested that students interested in a similar career path develop skill sets in which they are humble, a good communicator in written and spoken word, and that they are able to drive consensus within a free and open conversation.
However, he said students also need to have patience in a public service job.
“The wheels of government do not turn quickly,” explained Vealencis. “We would rather do it right than do it quick, and those are naturally at odds with each other.”
Whether you desire to work in public service or not, Vealencis shows how taking risks for what you’re interested in can get you further in the long run. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t know what you want to be when you graduate. According to Vealencis’ story, you can be anything you set your mind to.
Vealencis encourages students to apply to any positions they are interested in even if it is not a first choice. Eventually, you will migrate to a career in public service you enjoy or to the job you’ve dreamed of.
“Don’t give up. Keep trying and don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” he said.
Watch the video below for more from the Vealencis interview.
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