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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original badge design by chaos-kaizer.
Red isn't our color
by Steph Martoccia
Social media and online news outlets are buzzing about the Urban Outfitters sweatshirt that features the Kent State University logo and what appears to be splattered blood, alluding to the May 4, 1970, shooting on campus where four individuals were killed.
Thousands of people are tweeting their outrage, making both “Kent State” and “Urban Outfitters” trending topics on Twitter. The worst part about this whole situation is Urban Outfitters has either lied to the public about the motive behind its sweatshirt, or its designers are very ill-informed about historic events.
Urban Outfitters apologized for the outrage the sweatshirt caused. The company released this statement on the morning of Sept. 15:
"Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such. The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray…"
From a public relations standpoint, this statement is not good. There are hundreds of universities in the nation Urban Outfitters could have placed on this sweatshirt, yet the company wants its publics to believe it was an accident Kent State was featured on a faux-bloodstained sweatshirt. Kent State colors are blue and gold; why would Urban Outfitters choose red for this sweatshirt?
Urban Outfitters should not try to cover up its mistake; it makes for a shallow apology. It should be telling the truth behind the motive of this shirt instead of saying the “sun-faded” discoloration has led to the appearance of blood splatter. The validity of the statement is hard to believe, making this a public relations catastrophe.
Kent State released a statement as well, stating:
"We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit. This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today. We invite the leaders of this company as well as anyone who invested in this item to tour our May 4 Visitors Center, which opened two year ago, to gain perspective on what happened 44 years ago and apply its meaning to the future."
The Urban Outfitters spokespeople could learn a thing or two from Kent State media relations pros. This statement not only demonstrates a clear, concise reaction to the event, it also promotes the May 4 Visitors Center, something that may not have gained any national media attention otherwise.
The release of this sweatshirt is truly offensive to the Kent State community, and the way Urban Outfitters has chosen to handle this dilemma is testing the loyalty of its remaining customers. Many people have declared via social media they will never shop at this store, again. Whether their statements are true or not, it is clear this company has to work on its communications before it is able to regain public trust.
by Jamie Brian and Gabrielle Gentile
Kent State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication hosted an open forum on Sept. 10 to recognize the 13th anniversary of 9/11 and discuss the effects of terrorism on American society.
The panel discussion “Terrorism and the Media” featured JMC faculty members Jan Leach, Stephanie Danes Smith and Wendy Wardell relating their views on terrorism from experiences in their respective fields.
The panel examined the moral and ethical impact of terrorism on public relations, advertising, journalism and digital media.
JMC Director Thor Wasbotten encouraged students to participate in the discussion.
“Your first media memory was a terrorist attack that led to a lot of other things happening throughout this country and the world. It’s been a part of your life for as long as you can remember,” Wasbotten said. “Terrorists will exploit whatever tactic that gains the most media attention. This isn’t just a news issue. It affects you, too.”
Wardell offered her view from an advertising perspective. She said advertising is all about the connection between people and brands and, more importantly, brands to consumers.
Some may have been confused why advertising was present at a terrorism event. Wardell explained much of terrorism employs very sophisticated, strategic advertising. ISIS demonstrates this very complex marketing and advertising.
ISIS' increasing strength caused growing concern among students and faculty. Former CIA senior executive Smith said ISIS’ messaging is extremely sophisticated and effective.
“Terrorism today is more complicated, more widespread and, potentially, more dangerous than 9/11,” Smith said. “ISIS is not a terrorist organization; it is a terrorist army.”
ISIS uses semantics and words that resonate strongly with its target demographics. ISIS recently declared the creation of the Islamic caliphate. Smith explained the word caliphate holds a very deep and spiritual meaning with Muslims.
Smith said she has confidence the U.S. will be successful in destroying ISIS but posed a concerned whether or not the U.S. will ever be successful in destroying the ideology behind it.
Leach added her own perspective on terrorism via her media ethics background. She explained pictures and videos can be very effective but can also be offensive. She said it is vital to examine the newsworthiness and ethics behind a picture and how to minimize harm as a reporter, journalist or consumer of media.
Leach responded to a student who noted media in the states is very American-centric. She explained American media is in the business to make money. Americans want to buy and hear the media they want to hear. Wardell elaborated by explaining what Americans say they want to consume and what they actually want to consume are two very different things.
Leach closed the conversation with a call for students to take the future of media into their own hands.
“You are the future, and you can make a difference. I see in you, the opportunity to use other forms of media to sell the information,” Leach said.
Students were very engaged and eager to share their thoughts during this discussion. The room was full of passionate young people ready and willing to take Leach’s call to action.
The event had a great turnout and was a complete success for everyone involved. It is always a humbling and enchanting experience when faculty and students meet to collaborate on a prominent world issue.
Wasbotten plans to host forums once a month to engage student and faculty perspectives. Next month’s conversation is entitled “Diversity Redefined.”
It's All About the Give and Take
Hey there! My name is Michael Lopick, PRSSA Kent’s Co-VP of Membership,sophomore public relations major and commuter student. I’m here to tell you, just as the heading implies, that it really is all about the give and take.
So, what do I mean by “give and take”?
Basically, give and take is my attempt at a metaphor to describe why getting involved on campus is so important for a variety of reasons. As a commuter student, I definitely understand that joining a club or organization can be tough, but I’m here to say that with a bit of compromising and a lot of heart, you can find just how beneficial it can be.
Here’s what you have to GIVE
Committing to anything is a challenge, especially when it seems like you have so many other priorities that already occupy most of your time. Between classes, homework, family and friends, how can you squeeze one more thing in? Well, here’s where you have to give a little and use those time management skills you learned in those freshman First Year Experience classes you took (bet you thought you’d never hear about those again). Most times, committing seems a lot more daunting than it really is, and you just have to take the plunge. You’ll often find that it’s easier to schedule than it seems, and those organizations are very good at working around your personal agenda.
Once you commit, the real giving begins. Don’t join an organization if you’re not planning on being active in it. This means you actually have to go to meetings, sign up for committees and be the one that other members can depend on. Just saying you’re part of an organization doesn’t cut it. You have to be able to show what you’ve done. Now, I’m not saying you need to be a multitasking maniac, but make sure you do at least one activity with your group per semester, especially if you pay dues. Get your money’s worth!
After all that work, here’s what you’re going to TAKE
Where to look
There are a ton of places and organizations on-campus offering amazing opportunities that relate to your area of study including:
- PRSSA (of course!)
- Franklin Advertising Association
- Flash Communications
- The Student Recreation and Wellness Center
Just to name a few! Now go out, be fearless and get involved!
Follow Michael on Twitter @michaellopick