By Natalie Eusebio
1. You make all the plans
Whether it’s just a simple night out, or an elaborate road trip to the beach, you are at the center of it all. You set the time, you map out the route and you Pinterest the best restaurants. But that’s okay, someone has to keep the group together! At least you guys always have a good time!
2. You come up with the best Instagram posts
You know how to build your brand! Your Instagram profile has to match your personal brand. So yes, you know exactly how to pose your girls, and you know which filter you will use before the picture is even snapped! Not only that, but you have a list of clever captions already drafted on your phone. Social media queen looks good on job applications, right?
3. You correct everyone's grammar
When someone accidentally uses the wrong form of “you’re” in the GroupMe, you are not shy about correcting them. You even look for correct grammar use in tweets and emails. Everyone sends you their papers that need edited. You’ve got this, it’s your job.
4. You’re the first one to say “What were they thinking?” upon seeing a scandalous social media post.
We’ve all been there. You are scrolling through twitter and see that your BFF tweeted something incredibly vulgar. You are the first one to think about how this will impact her personal brand and future job opportunities. You text her right away and tell her how detrimental this tweet will be to her career and future. Then you wait for her to take your expert advise and delete the tweet. Phew! Crisis averted!
5. Everything is about your brand
From the people you hang out with to the concerts you attend, your personal brand is at the center of everything you do. It’s not a bad thing! You are organizing your life and planning for your future. You watch what you say to others and understand that words have power. After all, you wouldn’t want to do or say anything that could jeopardize your future presidential campaign!
While your friends might still be confused about what PR even is, you are the handy squad member that has everything covered. From the best plans to the funniest tweets, you are their go-to friend.
Natalie Eusebio is a sophomore PR major and is a member of PRSSA Kent's web and social media committee. Contact her at email@example.com.
By Latisha Ellison
DePaul PRSSA hosted a regional conference for music and entertainment PR called PRpalooza. I had the pleasure of sitting in on two sessions: one with Rob Walton from Allied Integrated Marketing (AIM) and the other with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). AIM represents major film studios and Walton heads GrassRoots Promotion and red carpet events, while DCASE is responsible for organizing and promoting seven free music festivals for the city of Chicago. It was my first time in Chicago, I had a blast, and even learned a few things along the way.
1. Entertainment PR is not glamorous.
It's hard work. These PR professionals work 18-hour days and wear several hats. They are part event planner, part travel agent, part tour guide and part food critic; that's what it means to be a publicist. As an entertainment publicist you will be up at 5 a.m. picking up talent to do press tours for the day or getting the media ready for an event happening later in the day. Then, you will be up late because your company will want a full report of the day's work. In Chicago, the PR professionals are right in the middle of two time zones, so Walton is expected to be answering emails until at least 7:30 p.m. to accommodate all clients. If you're thinking about entertainment PR, just remember red carpets are fun, but you're behind the scenes keeping everything from falling apart, not modeling for the shoe cam.
2. Genuine connections are crucial.
We are always told how important it is to network, but I think that sometimes we forget that part of networking is forming a real connection with someone. PR is all about relationships and now is the time to start building genuine relationships with those going into same industry as you. National and regional conferences are great places to meet your peers who will eventually become your colleagues. If the relationship is real, the connections will be better and mutually beneficial. I think this is especially true when networking with professionals in the industry. Real connections will last longer than the two-minute conversation you have after a breakout session.
3. Creativity is important.
AIM represented the movie "Sausage Party," and Walton had to discover a way to get some publicity for the film, so he reached out to the food section of the paper that wrote about different types of sausage and he got some buzz going about the film. Another time he did some research for a film and found that it had a connection to a local theater. Through his research he was able to connect the film to the city of Chicago which helped generate even more press. In entertainment, as in all branches of PR, you really have to think about who your audience is and what will make them interested in your movie or event. Thinking outside the box can make you more appealing to more people.
4. Current Events are important.
It's always important to know what's going on in the world, regardless of the industry you're in. In entertainment, knowing about the world can help you create more ideas for your communication plan. In the film industry, promotional screenings are held to get a preview of what the public will think about the film and how the publicists have to frame their messaging. The movie "Patriot's Day" came out at the same time the Chicago Police Department was facing scrutiny in the media. AIM invited 30 members of the Chicago PD to a screening of the movie as a way of calming things down a bit.
5. PRKent is preparing us for the real world.
Listening to DCASE's presentation made me feel like I was sitting in Eric Mansfield's media relations class and Professor Armour's PR Tactics class. Press releases aren't dead. In fact, they're incredibly important and need to grab the attention of the reporter reading it, and that reporter had better be the right person to receive the release! In entertainment PR it is so important to follow a communication plan, using a workback, months before your event. This plan includes a roadmap for the event and leaves room for potential roadblocks that are sure to happen. Research is the key to a successful event because through research we learn who our audience is and how they will receive our messages. Our key messages have to be targeted the right way--with a strong call to action--to each of our audiences if we want a successful event.
I learned a lot at PRpalooza and had a great time. Special thanks to DePaul PRSSA for planning a great regional conference! If any PRSSA Kent members are interested in attending future PRSSA conferences, talk to the PRSSA officers and learn about how you can attend.
Latisha Ellison is a junior public relations major and is PRSSA Kent's YouToo Committee Chairperson. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Hanna Moore
It’s the middle of January, which means you have probably already broken many of the new year’s resolutions you promised yourself you would keep.
Don’t beat yourself up about it! Now is the perfect time to create some “New Semester Resolutions” to help your spring semester go smoothly. Here are some resolutions every PR majors should make this semester… and actually try to keep.
1. Buy a planner and actually use it for more than a week.
What better way to feel more organized and better about your life than buying a new planner? Unfortunately, as cute as your new planner is, it won’t do you any good unless you actually use it. Writing down your class schedule, work schedule, assignments, events and creating to-do lists can help you prioritize what you need to work on so you don’t miss assignments, and it leaves you enough time to get everything done.
2. Get involved…
If you find yourself with some extra down time, now would be a great opportunity to join a new organization, gain volunteer experience, find an on-campus job or join student media. If you need ideas, here are 19 ways you can gain real-life experience on campus.
3. … But don’t get too involved
Even though it can seem tempting to join everything you can, and it can be hard to say no when people ask you to take on more work, it’s important not to stretch yourself too thin. Even though it is important to fill your resume with relevant experience, don’t forget to make time for yourself to do your schoolwork, hang out with friends and relax.
4. Write, write, write!
If you ask any PR pro the number one skill they look for in an internship or entry-level hire, there is a 99 percent chance they will tell you it’s writing. While you will gain great writing experience in your classes, writing outside of your classes can help you develop your own style. Consider joining a publication where you can write about your interests or start your own blog. (If you’re looking for someplace to start, PRSSA Kent is always looking for people to write blogs!).
5. Read more than just social media
As PR students, we can be found scrolling through social media in our spare time to keep up with current events and to see what our friends are up to. Aside from textbooks and required reading, when was the last time you finished a book you read for fun? Picking up a book you have been wanting to read for awhile, or buying a magazine or newspaper subscription, is a great way to unplug for a few hours and learn about something you’re interested in.
6. Find your passion
We are so lucky to be studying a major with such a broad career field and vast majority of opportunities. Everybody could use some good PR these days, and aside from working in-house or for an agency, you can pursue a career in public affairs, entertainment, sports, non-profit or even global communications. College is a great time to start figuring out what area of PR you are interested in and start gaining relevant experience tailored to it.
7. Land a summer internship or full-time job
The best way to determine what you are (and are not) interested in is by interning. Don’t be afraid to apply for your dream internship or first job, no matter how lofty it may seem. Being proactive and applying early to positions can help you find an internship or job you are passionate about.
8. Don't forget to sleep
As simple as it sounds, when planning out your day, don’t forget to make time to get a good night’s sleep. We all have to pull an all-nighter at some point, but making a point to actually rest is important to help your physical and mental health.
9. Try not to buy Starbucks every day.
Even though Starbucks is *right* next to Franklin Hall, and it can be tempting to stop and pick up a latte on the way to class every day, your bank account will thank you if you take a few days off. Try making coffee at home a few days per week to save time and money without giving up your caffeine craving.
10. Actually try to exercise
If I had to speculate, I would say exercising more is probably the most popular resolution that people break. It can seem like such a pain to try to go to the gym and work out, but exercising can help improve your health and your mood. Even if you don’t have time to go to the gym, walking to class and around campus can help you burn some calories, even when you’re busy.
What are your resolutions for this semester? Let us know in the comments!
Hanna Moore is a senior public relations major and is PRSSA Kent’s web and social media manager. Contact her at email@example.com.
By Meghan Caprez
PRSSA National Conference is an amazing opportunity to explore the different industries you can be part of as a public relations professional. A lot of people tend to be unsure where they want to end up after graduation, but I’ve known since I decided on public relations as my undergraduate major that I wanted to work in the entertainment industry. Thankfully, I was able to attend a session entitled, “Y’allywood: The Hollywood of the South” at National Conference, where two incredible professionals offered advice about preparing for a career in entertainment PR.
Nikki Barjon of The Barjon Group and Nicole Garner Scott of The Garner Circle LLC made it clear that working in the entertainment industry is tough, and they offered the following three tips to break into the career of your dreams.
While your formal education is important, Garner said an internship is the best way to train for your career. The more internship experience you have in the industry you’re looking to enter, the bigger the leg up you’ll have when you get to the “real world.”
Don’t be afraid to go for the big internships, either. If you want to work at Disney, intern at Disney or at a company that does something similar to it.
2. Take the Right Courses
It can sometimes be difficult to deviate from your program’s roadmap, but use your elective credits to your benefit. Want to work in the fashion industry? Take some classes in Kent State’s fashion program, ranked fourth in the nation. Want to work in performing arts PR? Take a theatre management class. Set yourself up for success by laying your foundation of knowledge in the industry you’re most interested in.
Networking is critical to our success in public relations. We hear this all the time, but what does it really mean? Networking means building give-and-take relationships, and Barjon reminds students that it is important to give.
Barjon said a good example of a student wanting to network will say, “I know Martin Luther King III is your client, and Martin Luther King Day is coming up. Can I volunteer at any events to learn more and see what you do?” That way, they are helping her at an event as well as making connections with her and her team.
In entertainment, it is easy for egos to get in the way of learning and growing. So when you’re approaching professionals in the industry – whether it’s at an internship, in the classroom or while you’re networking – take everything you think you know more than other people, and throw it out.
“Empty yourself like a cup full of water,” Barjon said. “If there’s so much of you in the cup, it will overflow.”
To see the full presentation of “Y’allywood: The Hollywood of the South,” visit http://prssa.prsa.org/events/Conference/Program/2015Presentations/GarnerPresentation.pdf.
My summer internship with Gavin DeGraw
By Brenna Parker
This past summer, I interned for the Lewis Center Business Association for their July 4 event, the LC Summer Bash and Fireworks. The LC Bash’s main event was a concert featuring headliner, multi-platinum recording artist Gavin DeGraw and featured local bands New Hollow and Liberty Deep Down.
My role was to help with the community promotions, marketing and day-of events. As interns we were given odd jobs and tasks. One random task was to get Gavin and his band bath towels. We dropped everything to run to a store and get $200 in assorted white bath towels and other items. We drove the musicians around the stadium on golf carts, went on food runs for New Hollow and sold merchandise for Liberty Deep Down.
Prior to the event, I promoted and handed out promotional materials at community festivals and events throughout the summer to spread the word about the concert. This included promoting the event online on local and statewide event databases and social networks.
The event itself had multiple components going on at the same time, including live appearances from The CW stars Alissa and Cameron and a live on-site radio broadcast from Mix 107.9 throughout the night. The stadium was filled with food trucks, concessions and other events for families.
The LC Summer Bash & Fireworks was an impressive community event. It was the concluding event of the Olentangy July 4 Celebration, which began with the Freedom 4 Miler run and annual Orange Township Parade. A portion of the event proceeds was donated to Honor Flight Columbus, a nonprofit organization that recognizes and celebrates World War II and Korean War veterans by flying them to Washington, D.C. to visit memorials dedicated to their service.
This year the LC Bash went through a complete overhaul, after it changed venues it introduced a concert, festival and fireworks display. This event was unique because it was held at my alma mater and the programs manager Adam Piccin, an Otterbein University PRSSA member, is a close friend of mine that I did journalism with in high school. My favorite part of this experience was having the opportunity to meet and interact with the musicians and learn event production.
After working this event, I learned a few takeaways:
1. Read and know what is in your artist’s contracts. If it is in writing that the headliner or entertainer is to receive something or have in their green room, make sure you know that material prior to the event. If a manager or representative for one of your clients is requesting something, accommodate their needs as best you can.
2. Know the emergency response plan. If something is to go wrong, just know that there are thousands of people in your venue, know what to do if something could go wrong.
3. Train and educate your volunteers about the event. Volunteers will be asked a ton of questions from people at the event. “Where is this? When is that?” Make sure you let them know the answers to these frequently asked questions that may come up.