PRSSA Kent entered two teams into this year’s PRSSA National Bateman Case Study Competition, which tasked students to create public relations campaigns focused on mental health on behalf of Campaign to Change Direction. After months of hard work, both teams received honorable mentions.
Sixty-seven teams participated nationwide, fifteen were recognized with honorable mentions and three teams presented their campaigns as finalists.
Each year, ten PRSSA Kent members are invited to participate in the PRSSA National Case Study Competition. Tim Roberts, associate lecturer and undergraduate studies coordinator, advises both teams and is assisted by one professional adviser for each team.
The PRKent program has a great history with the Bateman competition, receiving second place in 2013 and an honorable mention in the past three out of four years. This is the first time in the history of PRKent that both Bateman teams have received honorable mentions.
PRSA Cleveland named Latisha Ellison, junior public relations major and active PRSSA Kent member, as the 2017 Student of the Year.
This award was given in recognition of Ellison's dedication to PR practices, involvement in JMC and CCI, and academic achievements. She will also receive a $2,500 scholarship. Read more about Ellison's accomplishments and the PRSA Cleveland Student of the Year award at: http://www.prsacleveland.org/prsa-cleveland-announces-2017-student-of-the-year-award-winner.
Last week, the Akron Area Chapter of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Cindy Deng, a senior public relations major at Kent State University, from funds raised at its award-winning YouToo Social Media Conference.
YouToo Scholarship applicants must be full-time students majoring in public relations or communication and currently attending Kent State University, a member in good standing of the Kent State chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), and serving in some capacity to help prepare for the YouToo Social Media Conference, which is held at Kent State each April. A committee of professional judges review applications and rank candidates based on the following criteria:
· 30 percent on participation in PRSSA or other extracurricular activities
· 30 percent on overall quality of writing and presentation samples
· 20 percent on grades in the major
· 10 percent on classes taken in the major
· 10 percent on faculty recommendations
Deng’s dedication and hard work in the field of public relations has brought her many great opportunities and honors. She served as PRSSA Intercampus Liaison for the 2012-2013 school year and is currently the PRSSA president for the 2013-2014 school year. Deng was also invited to participate in the 2013 PRSSA Bateman Case Study competition where she and four other PRSSA members developed an anti-bullying campaign at a local secondary school. This February Deng was awarded the David L. Stashower-Marcus Thomas, LLC, Rising Star Internship Award by the American Advertising Federation-Cleveland Education Foundation.
In addition to her PRSSA involvement, Deng served as a mentor for the Provost’s Leadership Academy where she guided and assisted freshmen members in developing a research project they can present to the provost and then develop and implement on campus.
She has also interned at Felber PR & Marketing, a PR and marketing firm in Twinsburg and worked as a communications assistant for University Libraries at Kent State University. Deng’s interest in PR stemmed from her admiration for journalism in high school where she was a reporter and editor of an award-winning school newspaper, The Orbiter.
The Akron Area Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) awarded Meghan Caprez, a junior public relations major, its David A. Meeker Scholarship.
The scholarship is given in the name of Meeker, a five-time recipient of PRSA’s most prestigious award, theSilver Anvil. Meeker is a long-time PRSA member and founding partner of Meeker-Young LLC. He is a Kent State alumnus and a longstanding member of the Professional Advisory Board of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State.
From the scholarship, Caprez received $1,000 toward her education and one free year of membership to PRSA upon her graduation. Cindy Deng, also a junior public relations major, was the first runner-up for the scholarship and will also be awarded a one-year membership to PRSA.
"The top candidates were outstanding, and it was a tough decision, but the judges were ultimately impressed with Meghan's real-world experience in her future profession as evidenced by her multiple internships, her excellent writing ability and her PRSSA Chapter involvement at both the local and national level,” said Wendy Turrell, co-chairperson of the scholarship committee.
Caprez is minoring in both business and marketing. She serves as Web and content producer for the Kent State PRSSA chapter, managing the group’s website and blog. She works as a marketing assistant for Kent State’s College of Communication and Information where she manages several social media accounts and writes for newsletters, blogs and magazines. She was recently published in the September issue of Ohio, Cleveland and Kent State magazines.
“Meghan is a young woman who will be one to watch,” said Jennifer Kramer, APR, co-chairperson of the scholarship committee and director of public relations and marketing communications for the College of Communication and Information at Kent State. “She will take the public relations industry by storm with her creativity and strategic thinking. Meghan brings a great deal of knowledge and expertise to the work she does and sets a very high standard for that work. She is professional, determined and focused, and these qualities are reflected in the exceptional work she puts forth.”
Throughout her college career, Caprez has interned at the Akron Civic Theatre, Communications Factory and Walt Disney World Resorts. Her experiences are leading her to pursue a career in performing arts or Disney public relations.
Deng currently serves as president of the Kent State PRSSA chapter in her third year of PRSSA membership. She interned in marketing at Felber PR & Marketing and worked as a communications assistant for Kent State’s University Libraries.
The Public Relations Society of America is the world’s largest organization of public relations professionals helping to advance the profession and the professional. The Akron Area Chapter has more than 100 members throughout a 13-county region. Members and students involved in PRSSA find value in the Chapter through a variety of monthly luncheons, networking opportunities, industry conferences, monthly newsletters and the APR Accreditation program.
Jenn Yokley's three-year journey from Kent State student to Cavaliers Communications Manager
Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication awarded PR Kent alumna Jenn Yokley ’10 the Fast Track Award during its 2013 Homecoming celebration.
“I truly cannot express how excited and honored I was to be nominated and selected as one of this year’s Fast Track Award recipients,” Yokley said. “My education and experience at Kent State University was invaluable and really launched me to become the professional I am today, so I look forward to continuing on the fast track for years to come.”
When Yokley was a public relations student at Kent State University, she searched for job opportunities in the music and sports industries. As she was finishing her degree in 2010, she found a position as an assistant for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena and immediately pursued the job. Today, Yokley serves as the corporate communications manager for the Cavaliers.
“I was an athlete in high school and an avid fan of music, so I always kept an eye out for opportunities in either industry,” Yokley said. “It’s funny because when you graduate, you’re looking at anything and everything as a new adventure an opportunity. This business is incredibly difficult to get into, so when I saw an assistant position for the Cavs and Quicken Loans Arena, I knew I had to jump on it.”
Phyllis Salem, senior director of corporate communications for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena, said Yokley opened doors to integrating social media into the Cavs’ communications process.
“I was immediately impressed with Jenn’s genuine enthusiasm and passion for her craft, her ability to connect the dots at such an early stage in her career, and her natural talent for engaging with people - be it a reporter or Cavs fan - through creative storytelling or simply in 140 words or less," Salem said.
As a student, Yokley was an active member and leader in PRSSA, participating in the Bateman Case Study Competition and serving as the intercampus liaison. She also interned at American Red Cross and worked as a PR assistant for Kent State Dining Services.
"I got to know Jenn when she served as a PRSSA Kent officer and a member of the 2009 Bateman team," said JMC Professor and PRSSA Kent Faculty Adviser Michele Ewing. "Both positions involved significant responsibility and time, and I could count on Jenn to solve problems, rally the team and work hard – always with a smile and contagious energy. Jenn's positive attitude and strategic thinking played a key role in her early career success."
Yokley said part of her success came from learning how to work and meet deadlines with a group of people. She was able to nurture that skill through her PR courses and participation in Bateman.
“Your personality and ability to work with others - in both good and bad times - professionally will take you a long way,” Yokley said. “Always be ready to help and work hard for the organization you are a part of, and you’ll succeed.
If students are interested in pursuing a career in sports PR, Yokley said they should expect to work unusual hours. She once had to work at 4:00 a.m. to coordinate with a circus visiting the Quicken Loans Arena.
“Take on every task in the book and absorb everything you see on the news, on blogs and team websites,” Yokley said. “The more you know about what’s happening around you – standard in all PR roles – the more you’ll grow as a professional.”