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01

April 2010

Monnthly Public Relations Journal

RunningErins ::. Caroline Cassidy shows off her multimedia techniques

Issue

by: Erin Edwards

S

this issue

tudents may complain that some of the Auburn Family Beyond the Classroom P.1 classes they A Fresh Perspect P.2 are required to take will not benefit them Molly Parish P.3 in the future. It is important, though, to AUPRCA P.4 remember that taking what you learn seriously can help you in the real world. Pupils of Mr. Robert French’s Style and Design class can certainly testify the lat- PR Students Succeed outside of Style and Design Facebook but just for the Alumni Clubs.” ter. Especially Caroline Cassidy and Kelsey sign,” Cassidy added. Working side by side at the Alumni AsDifferent club can share pictures, create Ware, two former students of French and sociation was an added on bonus next events; add videos and much, more making interns at the Auburn Alumni Association in to what they got to do as interns there. it a good resource for Auburn clubs. the communications department. Ware describes it as a way to “ease the “It just covers all the different basis of While in Style and Design, Cassidy and uneasiness of stress” other the social media and it puts them in Ware learned a lot including HTML and “To be able have somebody there that one central place and allows a place for keeping up with the news and social meyou know and that you have stuff in comdifferent clubs to communicate with each dia. These are things that they appreciate mon with and be able to bounce ideas off, other and get ideas,” Ware added. because theses things helped them thrive it has worked out really well,” Ware said. Jeffrey Hall, Webmaster multimedia in successful projects. Winning the award for Auburn Family specialist at the Alumni Association, has This pair was among many students last made Cassidy and Ware more credible been working beside Cassidy and Ware year who helped launch Auburn Family, a social network dedicated to the people of when working on and then launching the this spring semester. Hall used the two as Auburn University. This project was among Alumni Clubs, a social network, like Auburn tools when creating Auburn Clubs. “They helped with customizing the actuone of the proud endeavors that Cassidy Family for Auburn alumni clubs all over the country. al platform all the way to communicating to and Ware participated in “Both of us really liked the “We were able different the users with tutorials to actuwhile here at Auburn. to tell members ally helping them through certain process Service Industry Ad- responsibilities with workof clubs that we and setting up individual club pages,” Hall vertising Awards awarded ing with social media and have done this said. the 2010 Silver Medal for researching the websites and before, it has Cassidy and Ware, both seniors, came New Media to the Auburn some of the stuff that we were won an award, to Auburn as non-Public Relations majors Family site. This unexpectdoing in Style and Design.” it works, it also but were both attracted to the major. ed accomplishment boosthelped get alum“I got a taste of fundraising and running ed up the confidence of ni engages with this project,” said Ware. events and decided that I was more interour spotlighted pair. With the creation of this site came ested in that,” said Ware, who started off “I think it is amazing,” Cassidy said. “I the deputing of it to the leaders of each in communications disorders before transiam definitely putting it on my resume.” Auburn club. This unique experience gave tioning to Public Relations. Style and Design definitely attracted Cassidy and Ware to intern at the Auburn Ware and Cassidy a taste of the profes- Cassidy, on the other hand, was undeAlumni Association working with electronic sional aspects of working on real projects clared and chose Public Relations as her and presenting them to real clients. permanent field of study after doing remedia. During the presentation the club leadsearch and taking Public Relations classes. “I just loved all the social media I had ers were quickly signing up to become She took away a lot from this major. gotten involved with in Robert’s class,” members of the site. Now Auburn Clubs “Keeping in contact with people you meet Ware said. has almost 500 members. and professors you meet will be beneficial “Both of us really liked the responsiCassidy analogized Auburn Clubs as “a once you graduate whether you’re applybilities with working with social media and ing to grad school or applying for a job,” researching the websites and some of the Cassidy concluded. stuff that we were doing in Style and De-

Auburn Family Beyond the Classroom

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Newest Faculty Member Brings Fevor, Impact & Challenges to Public Relation Students...

“D

of the business world .”

“Public relations is a unique major in that it encompasses many important aspects

.:: A Fresh Perspective ::.

es repar s. p s r e at ent san W r her stud u S . r D n fo lesso

r. Waters is a wonderful professor and person,” says senior Meg Beasley. “She desires to see her students succeed and works with each of us personally to encourage our individual skills and aspirations. She is a very busy lady yet I have never seen her without a smile on her face.” Public relations students have been praising the newest faculty addition to the Communication and Journalism Department, Dr. Susan Waters. As her second semester comes to an end at Auburn University, she has presented challenges and brought joy and fervor to the department. Dr. Waters was born in Philadelphia and raised in Cleveland. Like many of her friends from the suburbs of Cleveland, Waters had childhood aspirations of becoming a high-end fashion designer. She later traded in those dreams and found herself teaching adjunct at Missouri Southern State University. With knowledge of advertising and public relations experiences from working in downtown Cleveland, she recognized her love for teaching and received a master’s degree from Pittsburg State University in Kansas. With steadfast determination, she ventured to the University of Kansas, embarking on obtaining a doctoral degree. Perceiving media as a “fascinating” subject, she began studying age-related issues in TV commercials and other forms of media for her dissertation. She left the home of the Jayhawks (ABD) to teach public relations, advertising and communication courses at Pittsburg State University for two years and then moved to Missouri State University for five years while finishing her Ph.D. Establishing, organizing and advising the new chapter of the Missouri

State Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), she welcomed in about 40 to 50 students into the society. They visited different agencies, had speakers and went on field trips. Each year Waters challenged the students to plan one large PRSSA Day event, which proved to be successful and a good learning experience. While at Missouri State, Waters found a love for research and decided to explore the possibility of working at a larger research institution. With her passion for research growing deeper, Waters sought out an institution where she could explore her research more thoroughly. She saw a job opportunity at Auburn University and pursued it. At the time, Dr. Debra Worthington was the chair of search committee. “We both had gone to the University of Kansas,” says Waters, “so that gave us some common ground and helped move the conversation forward to learn more about Auburn as I was going through the process of interviewing. Debra was very helpful, knowledgeable and warm, a good indication of how the faculty would be at Auburn.” Along with being amazed at the beauty of Auburn University in the spring, Waters was also thrilled that “the public relations students are tops in the communication field here.” Because of this, she feels she can teach concepts at a fast pace in order to move forward more quickly than she has at other universities. Waters is proficient in Adobe Creative Suite and incorporates the programs into her assignments. This year she taught Public Relations Writing, Public Relations Campaigns, Social Media and Gender Communication courses. “Dr. Waters has been an amazing professor,” says public relations student Samantha Mays. “She always wants her students to do their best and is willing to help you anyway she can. I have learned so much from her and am extremely thankful for all of her wisdom and support.” By implementing service-learning into the coursework where students go out into the field and work with clients, she has encouraged and changed the perceptions of Auburn University’s public relations students.

tion of how the faculty would be at Auburn.” Along with being amazed at the beauty of Auburn University in the spring, Waters was also thrilled that “the public relations students are tops in the communication field here.” Because of this, she feels she can teach concepts at a fast pace in order to move forward more quickly than she has at other universities. Waters is proficient in Adobe Creative Suite and incorporates the programs into her assignments. This year she taught Public Relations Writing, Public Relations Campaigns, Social Media and Gender Communication courses. “Dr. Waters has been an amazing professor,” says public relations student Samantha Mays. “She always wants her students to do their best and is willing to help you anyway she can. I have learned so much from her and am extremely thankful for all of her wisdom and support.” By implementing service-learning into the coursework where students go out into the field and work with clients, she has encouraged and changed the perceptions of Auburn University’s public relations students. “Dr. Waters makes learning fun and attending class a pleasure,” says senior Nicole LaMontagne. “She is always upbeat and smiling, but better yet she is truly invested in teaching her students the details about succeeding in the communications industry.” Waters’ 2010 noncompetitive grant that she received from Auburn this year for summer will help fund hours of research on aging and service-learning to write manuscripts for publication. Through assessing the collaboration of the work of the university, students, professors, community partners and their partnerships, she will teach others how to evaluate these relationships in her publications. “I love it at Auburn and feel very comfortable here,” says Waters. “I think I’ve found a home and I am planning to stay for the long haul.”

“She desires to see her students succeed and works with each of us personally to encourage our individual skills and aspirations.”

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by: Whitney Adams


Molly Parrish shows enthusiasm for her successes by: Stephen Kelly

A

n alumna of Auburn’s public relations department, Molly Parrish’s career has been nothing short of an adventure since she left the plains just six years ago.

Out of school Parrish struggled finding a job as a fresh graduate, and looked to Habitat for Humanity as a philanthropic use of her time when she found an entry-level opening in media relations at the organization.

Originally, Parrish came to Auburn with her sights set on becoming a pilot. She promptly switched her academic concentration from flight to media and began to study radio television and film where she found a mentor in professor Ric Smith.

Parrish was offered the job and moved to Americus, Ga. where she spent two years working for Habitat for Humanity. Her experience with the organization quickly turned to birth by fire when Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast in 2005.

“At one point I took a group of “I started on the broadcast side, but I noticed that the things I liked about 10 reporters down to the gulf coast and we built for to cover were a week,” said Parrish. not necessarily “Instead of just tellnewsworthy toping them the story ics,” said Parrish. and giving them de“As Ric Smith will tails they were there tell you, most of and they got to exmy stories were perience it which is about social acsomething really cool tivities more so that Habitat does for than news.” media other than just Smith enlightyour typical pitching.” ened her to the The next step for Parrish’s career media relations aspect of the industry. Her interest transitioned more to took her from non-profit to Atlanta, journalism and public relations class- Ga. where she began work at a fores, and in 2004 Parrish graduated profit boutique public relations firm. from Auburn University with a degree Over the two years she worked at the firm she was able to develop mutually in public relations. beneficial relationships with reporters “She really found her niche,” said in the Atlanta area and built strong reSmith. “She has that connection with lationships with her clients. media she always wanted, but she The firm was eventually forced to found this perfect connection where her passion is and where her talents downsize and Parrish, along with some lie.”

“She really found her niche,” said Ric Smith. “She has that connection with media she always wanted, but she found this perfect connection where her passion is and where her talents lie.”

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of her colleagues, was let go. Fortunately, her clients were so pleased with her performance they asked her to continue servicing their accounts after she left the firm. “That was a really refreshing point of my life because I was considering doing something else, I was somewhat burned out, but the feeling that my clients really appreciated the work that I was doing and asked if they could come with me was refreshing,” said Parrish. Parrish now owns her own public relations firm, Polished PR, that she manages out of a home office. Her client base has snowballed into a healthy collection of businesses that she believes in and cares for. She prides her business on her ability to keep her client base at a level in which she can provide the quality of service required for them to succeed. “The friendship I’ve developed with my clients has given me the opportunity to treat these people not just as clients but as business partners because they are helping me succeed in my business and I’m helping them succeed in theirs,” said Parrish.

are pursuing successful careers with organizations like General Electric, Civitan International , Hill and Knowlton , American Heart Association , American Cancer Society, Chambers of Commerce , Alabama Shakespeare Festival , CNN, Hershey Corporation , NBC, and many others.”

Auburn Public Relations Alumna’s Great Success

“Graduates

Molly Parish


AUPRCA: On the Rise for Student and School Success Auburn University Public Relations Council of America by: Caitlin Shatlock

To learn more about the club and how to get involved, please visit the AUPRCA Web site.

meeting to finding and securing speakers to come to Auburn, LaMontagne has developed many skills that will help in her future careers. “The club has “As a senior and a first year been beneficial to member of the AUPRCA,I me because I have would definitely recommend been fortunate to everyone to get involved with develop leadership skills from being one the club,” said Duffy of the officers,” said LaMontagne. She is also learning about new companies and the importance of networking in her public relations career field. Having the opportunity to speak with practitioners already entrenched in their industries and learn about their roles for various clients is another beneficial aspect of being a part of the club for LaMontagne. he Auburn University With many opportunities to Public Relations Council of arise for her, LaMontagne said Alabama, AUPRCA, is on she is proud to be a part of the rise this year with more this club and hopes it continthan 70 active members. ues to succeed throughout the With this growing Auburn years. Another member of the chapter comes success AUPRCA, Kaitlin Duffy, feels stories from students and the same. faculty that not only affect “As a senior and a first Auburn, but the students year member of the AUPRCA, I personally as well. would definitely recommend evVice President of Pro- eryone to get involved with the gramming, Nicole LaMonclub,” said Duffy, “especially tagne, has put much effort younger classmen so they can into making this organization really gain knowledge about flourish. From planning each their career field.”

RunningErins Issue 01 April 2010

Auburn University Auburn, Ala. (334) 494-3973

www.erinedwards.com

Duffy is a public relations major who has found the AUPRCA to be very beneficial. At a recent meeting where the Director of Public Relations for Concentrics Restaurants spoke at, Hannah Amick, Duffy was able to present her portfolio to her where she was then asked to set up a formal meeting to discuss a potential job opportunity. “It was good to meet with her and learn more about restaurant PR and to hear about what they do day-to-day,” said Duffy. “She even gave me references to other PR agencies in Atlanta if I was interested in looking for more opportunities.” Aside from the guest speakers, Duffy has learned about agencies and corporations from all ends of the spectrum. One week the club may hear about Edelman, while at the following meeting there may be a representative from a smaller industry, such as Concentrics. Duffy has been involved with the Liberal Arts Homecoming Tailgate that members were in charge of organizing, as well as taking part in workshops where public relations practitioners help members with their resumes. “I really enjoyed going to the open-house workshop that the AUPRCA put on for all students, not just public relations students,” said Duffy. “It was cool to have a

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professional look at my resume and give advice on how to make it better.” Duffy will graduate in May 2010 and she hopes to be working for a boutique in Atlanta. Aside from students benefiting from being a part of the AUPRCA, facultymembers are becoming just as successful. This year the adviser, Jessie King, won the “Outstanding Adviser of the Year Award” from the Student Government Association’s annual award ceremony. Much of this comes from King’s hard work in turning around the Auburn chapter. “Last year the club had only 20 members,” said LaMontagne, “and this year membership has increased drastically to 75 members as a result to King’s hard work.” Additionally, King worked closely with members and officers to become more organized and to develop their leadership skills as well as setting things up for the Public Relations Council of Alabama to host its annual conference in Auburn this year. The 2010 PRCA Student Medallion Awards will take place in April, and with encouragement from King, 39 members have submitted entries in hopes of receiving the award. Through the work from faculty advisers, to the efforts made by officers and members of the AUPRCA, the club is morphing into a successful chapter at Auburn. The organization hopes to continue on this path with a chance of having more members receive awards and recognitions with the years to come.


RunningErins