The Public Relations Student Society of America named a team of Kent State University students as the second-place finisher in the national PRSSA 2013 Bateman Case Study Competition. Pictured from left are professional advisor Erin Orsini; Kent State students Wezley Garlick, Kirsten Bowers, Caitlin Potts, Lyndsey Sager and Mary Kate Garvey; and faculty advisor Tim Roberts. Photo courtesy of Kent State University College of Communication and Information.
Want to get involved with PRSSA Kent? Here's why you should.
Five former PRSSA Kent presidents have sounded off about why you should get involved with the chapter. These five professionals are currently serving as advisers to the Spring 2013 PR Campaigns course. Click here to learn more.
2012 PRSA Greater Cleveland Student Day Recap
Madalyn Etzel and PRSSA member Megan Confer
PRSSA/PRSA Liaison Madalyn Etzel wrote a personal recap about the event and its benefits:
The PRSA Greater Cleveland Student Day 2012 was held Friday, Oct. 26. Thanks to the PRSSA members who made the trip: Alexandra Fagan, Brooke Tabaka, Cindy Deng, Crystal Zhang, Megan Confer, Michael Lopic and Sydney Baltrusaitis.
During the event, students heard from four different panels about opportunities in Cleveland, choosing a career path, connecting the dots in an integrated campaign, interviewing and networking. The panels consisted of professionals from Dix & Eaton, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Metroparks, Fahlgren Mortine, PR 20/20 and many more.
I gained useful information from each panel discussion. The final discussion was my favorite because they discussed interviewing and networking. As a senior, this was the most relevant information. The professionals were insightful and gave great advice. Laurie Mitchell, the president of Laurie Mitchell & Company, Inc. said our first responsibility during an interview is to answer precisely what is asked. She also said it’s important to ask questions, but only when it feels right. Lori Polca from Eaton Corporation, said to be open and honest on a resume, and to come across as transparent.
After the panel discussions, students had the opportunity to have their resume critiqued by professionals in the industry. Following the critiques, students were assigned a table with two professionals aligned with a specific field of our choosing, such as agency or corporation. We ended the day with an interactive lunch with these professionals.
PRSSA Kent in San Francisco - Part 2
Five PRSSA Kent officers attended the 2012 PRSSA National Conference in San Francisco, Calif. this year. From left: Christine Morgan (President), Ryan Collins (Online Media Manager), Stephanie Black (VP of Public Relations), Hallie Pendergast (Secretary) and Trenton Chavez (VP of Membership). Learn more about the attendees and all of our officers here.
We'll be periodically posting key takeaways from our experience in San Francisco, and our second post is from Trenton Chavez:
5 Tips for Breaking into the Professional World
Transitioning from a student to a full-time position in your industry can be daunting, but there are steps you can take to help make it easier, a Public Relations Student Society of America National Conference panel said.
Although these tips were from a public relations conference, they are applicable for all career paths.
1. Don’t “live in a box”
Students often go into the professional world with a fantasy of working in a specific sector, such as fashion. However, this limits the opportunities that they may find valuable, said Sarah Siewert, senior account executive, Public Communications Inc.
E. Ronald Culp, senior vice president and managing director, Ketchum Midwest, said young professionals should learn all the tasks in public relations, not just the “glamour jobs.”
Although your local not-for-profit organizations may not be as “glamorous,” don’t discount them. These organizations usually offer awesome experiences for entry-levels.
2. Realize the job search is not about you
While starting their careers, students often apply aimlessly at many companies and organizations. However, you have to realize that the position that needs filled is about the companies’ needs, not yours. Also, make sure it’s a good mutual fit, or you won’t be happy.
Because the position is about the company, it may not be a good immediate fit. Therefore, get connected and stay connected. You can never have “too many contacts!”
“A public relations professional is only as good as his or her contacts—media, vendors, and peers. Sitting in an office won’t get you where you need to be if you want to impact your business,” said Gary McCormick, APR, director of public relations, Scripps Emerging Networks. “Reach out, find a mentor and become a part of the community, the industry and the profession.”
3. Know your worth
Realizing your worth can help you dodge opportunities that won’t help you in the long run. During a presentation during the 2012 PRSSA National Conference, a student asked when it was the right time to disregard unpaid positions and pursue paid positions.
“Know your worth. Know your characteristics that make you stand out. Don’t settle, and don’t sell yourself short,” said Brandi Boatner, digital experience manager, IBM Global Technology Services.
On the contrary, don’t be greedy, either. Remember, it’s not all about the money.
“Money isn’t everything. You have to love what you do,” said Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora.
4. Make effective goals
Making professional goals can help you stay on track and motivated, Boatner said.
For example, make a promotional goal. Boatner made a goal of becoming a manager within five years, and she did. She said the goal helped her accomplish that.
5. Embrace change
Public relations, along with other industries, is a field that will rapidly change for years to come.
Keep up on the news of the industry to remain competitive. This will help you support the changes of your organization.
According to McCormick, the one leading the change will be the true public relations professional.
Also, don’t disregard positions in other cities. Although it may be scary to move, there will always be other young professionals in the area.
Do you have any tips for emerging professionals? How are you preparing for the working world?
PRSSA Kent Spotlight
Christine Morgan is a highly motivated senior public relations and business student at Kent State University. Currently, she is a Global Communications Intern at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Chapter President of PRSSA Kent and Web Editor for KentWired.
So far as PRSSA Kent’s president, Morgan has won the National Teahan award for Outstanding Chapter website, assisted in writing and editing content for the Star Chapter Award, developed and defined the Chapter’s strategic direction and much more.
Morgan strives to advance the reputation of the chapter, convey the benefits of membership to potential members and uphold the rules outlined in the Chapter bylaws.
She recently earned the National Gold Key Award – the highest individual honor bestowed upon PRSSA members. Although it is an individual award given to only select members each year, it assisted in elevating PRSSA Kent’s reputation nationally. The last time a PRSSA Kent member received the award was 2002.
Morgan is also a Web Editor for KentWired and occasionally volunteers at the Northeast Ohio Pet Shelter SPCA in Cleveland. Outside of school, Morgan enjoys reading, doing yoga and walking her two dogs, Blackjack and Ace.
After graduation, Morgan plans to stay in Northeast Ohio with her friends and family. She hopes to receive a job offer from her current employer, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, but she would also enjoy a PR job in London or Spain.
PRSSA Kent in San Francisco - Part 1
Five PRSSA Kent officers attended the 2012 PRSSA National Conference in San Francisco, Calif. this year. From left: Ryan Collins (Online Media Manager), Hallie Pendergast (Secretary), Stephanie Black (VP of Public Relations), Trenton Chavez (VP of Membership) and Christine Morgan (President).
We'll be periodically posting key takeaways from our experience in San Francisco, and our first post is from Christine Morgan:
Travel PR: A whirlwind industry filled with opportunities
To be honest, I’m not interested in travel PR, but this year’s conference definitely sparked my interest. Experts representing two of the country’s top 20 largest cities – Columbus, Ohio, and San Francisco, Calif. – delivered a compelling presentation on the trends and “how to’s” of navigating the PR travel and tourism industry.
Using narrative, photo and discussion, Angela Jackson, director of media relations for San Francisco Travel, and Scott Peacock, public relations manager for Experience Columbus, explained how and why practitioners in the travel and tourism industry are constantly moving.
“Practitioners are always buzzing with the latest trends and the newest ‘hot spots’ that will keep visitors coming back for more,” Peacock said. “Those interested in travel PR must be prepared to tackle challenges and have a lot of fun, too.”
How can I succeed in the travel and tourism industry?
Learn to build a business case for travel and tourism PR – it’s more than just a “fun vacation.” Tourism injects serious money into local economies, creates jobs and generates huge tax dollars the local economy.
Use bloggers, non-traditional media and the increased prevalence of freelance writers to tell your destination’s story.
Drive timely pitches – know the national and international trends that are affecting the industry. Understanding the trends will help you write timely, “out-of-the-box” pitches.
Offer “round-up” or “list” stories. Everyone loves a “Top Ten” story.
Transform “locals” into tourism ambassadors and never overlook them. Treat locals like family. Locals are your third-party credibility; you want to make sure they give visitors positive reviews of your destination.
What if I don’t live in the city I want to work?
According to both Jackson and Peacock, that’s OK. Your “outsider” perspective will breathe life into your work and open your eyes to all the beauties of your destination.
“Breaking into travel PR when you’re not a local is not a problem at all,” Jackson said. “You will have an outsider perspective, which is better. As an outsider you will appreciate everything your destination has to offer–no matter how big or small.”
“As an outsider, you’re always up for anything,” Peacock. “That attitude and perspective will take you far in travel and tourism PR.”
Register now for this year's PRSA Greater Cleveland Student Day event! This half-day program on Friday, October 26 includes networking, resume review and sessions about Cleveland opportunities, careers, interviewing and more. It's at downtown Cleveland's Hilton Garden Inn, with registration beginning at 7:15 a.m. and the last session ending at 2 p.m. Cost is $40 with breakfast and lunch provided.
I Switched Schools and Majors – At The Same Time
I started at Slippery Rock University thinking I was going to graduate in five short years with a physical therapy degree. However, after taking Intro to Chemistry my first semester, I quickly learned my brain doesn’t work that way. I switched out of the physical therapy program and finally found my way into public relations. I transferred to Kent State University, and here's what I've learned so far...
PRSSA Kent Spotlight
JMC Internship Database makes students search easier!
Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) has launched an internship database, designed to streamline communication between the students and the intern employers.
Michele Ewing, associate professor in JMC and the public relations internship coordinator, helped create the database after recognizing an opportunity to use the Web to help better connect students to potential intern employers.
“It’s designed to provide a place for JMC students to begin a search for internships,” said Ewing. “We’re trying to help students identify career opportunities and career tracks.”
JMC students can search for internships by major: advertising, electronic media/video, broadcast news, journalism (news/magazine/online), information design, photojournalism and public relations. Read More
PRSSA president earns national award for leadership, academic excellence
Christine Morgan, senior public relations major and president of PRSSA Kent, earned the National Gold Key Award – the highest individual honor bestowed upon PRSSA members.
Winners of the National Gold Key Award are those who excel in their academic study of public relations, have pursued ambitious professional development opportunities and are leaders in their PRSSA Chapter. Only a select number of students nationwide are chosen each year.
“It is an honor to receive this national award and to be recognized for my achievements as a young professional,” Morgan said. “All of the hard work I invested during my academic career at Kent State and my internship at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company have truly paid off!”
Christine along with the other winners will receive their awards at the PRSSA Awards Dinner on Monday, October 15, at the PRSSA 2012 National Conference in San Francisco, Calif.
Announcements: Congratulations to the newly elected 2012-2013 Executive Board!
From left: Breanna Reffel, Taylor Titus, Mady Etzel, Cindy Deng, Trent Chavez, Christine Morgan, Dianna Warwick, Ryan Collins, Stephanie Black