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A monthly publication of Illinois State University’s chapter of PRSSA

March 2011


Volume Five

My Executive Board Journey By Chris Orris As secretary, my responsibilities consist mostly of creating PowerPoints, taking

the meeting minutes and managing our e-mail account. It is all about computers, and computer use has been a forte of mine since as long as I could remember. There was also some leadership involved, but I had been a manager at an ice cream store for years before leading an account within PRi, so that wasn’t anything new. I still remember the first Tuesday night meeting of the year, seeing everything going exactly as planned and getting the strong feeling that the year was going to go just fine. And for me, it’s been going better than fine. Being the secretary for our chapter has given me an opportunity to apply what I do best to doing something productive and satisfying. It certainly has had its challenges, but I’ve always had all the tools I needed to get through them along with the support from the rest of the E-board. The experi-

ence couldn’t be better. Sorry, Dr. McHale, no drama in this feature story. A position on the E-board means you really have to be on your game. It means you need to be willing to dedicate a lot of time and effort to your responsibilities. Eboard members often find themselves helping with responsibilities that have nothing to do with their specific positions, because it is expected that, as a leader, they lend a hand where and when it is needed. The trials teach you a lot, but you learn by finding ways to overcome your challenges, not by having them defeat you. If you’re considering applying for E-board in the future, give it some good thought. Chances are you are already on good terms with the people with whom you’d be working, so you would all be ready to support one another from day one. Journey, Page 3

COM Week an Inspiring Experience

By Kaitie Ries I am a COM Week newbie. I heard great things about the event when communication majors join forces and participate in panels, workshops and the career institute, but I had yet to see what the talk was all about. On Monday I went to class as usual and remembered that there would be a keynote speaker. I was amazed that my classroom was overflowing with students, COM Week interns and other professors from the School of Communication. Throughout the rest of the week I was continually impressed by the speakers and panels. It was also inspiring to hear from alumni about how the School of Communication prepared them for their careers. In addition to the awesome panels and excellent networking opportunities, the career institute was another surprise

for me. I was impressed with the number of organizations the COM Week interns had recruited to participate in the event. While I enjoyed the chance to practice my “30 second commercial” with potential employers, my favorite part of the career institute was the workshop. I had my resume critiqued, practiced interviewing and received tips about how to

“...when I talk to professionals, I need to remember that they are real people, just like me.” create a great portfolio. In addition to all of that, I had the opportunity to network with the individuals running the tables. COM Week, Page 3

A look inside: COM Week Keynote Recap: Elizabeth Estes


WJBC Radio Station Tour


Member of the Month


Letter from the E-Board


Upcoming Events 4



Volume Five

COM Week Keynote Recap: Elizabeth Estes By Samantha Arnold

Communication expert, Elizabeth Estes, offered an understanding of current communication and her five strategies for success to students at COM Week 2011. Estes, who was a keynote speaker for the weeklong event, is the EVP and chief strategy officer of the marketing agency, GA Communication Group. The ISU alumna returned to the campus to speak about communication under the event theme of “Believe—Achieve—Inspire.” Throughout her speech, Estes offered her own theme asking the question, “Has communication changed?” Estes provided examples of communication advancement. These advancements included radio stations to Pandora, television to Netflix, payphones to cell phones, and encyclopedias to Wikipedia. Estes informed students that online advertising recently surpassed newspaper advertising to further show the shift in communication strategies, Although there is a change in communication platforms, Estes said the core of communication has not changed. She described communication to be an understanding of what moves your audience. Estes described the best communication to

be equal amounts of empathy, story-telling ability, and honesty. With words of encouragement for students, Estes said it is our generation in which communication must appeal. Estes said the marketplace is trying to reach the millennial generation, which is the

live,” said Estes. The second strategy was to expand your fish tank. Estes suggests we are limited if we do not stretch our comfort zone. We should take chances, whether simply ordering something new off a menu or moving to an unknown place. New experiences can be sources for personal and professional growth. The third strategy was knowledge is power. Continued education is important for success. Estes said that with the Internet, although we must be mindful of sources, there is no reason for us not to know something. The forth strategy was life is perspective. Estes suggests that we either find perspective or it finds us. For success, she suggests we find it first. The fifth and final strategy for success was never freaking settle. Estes describes “fine” as a four-letter word that begins with “F.” She suggests never going against your gut or settling in life. Estes’ speech was not only informative, but also motivational. She gave a strong perspective of communication strategies and inspirational strategies for personal and professional success.

“Your job might be what you do to work, your passion might be what you do to live.” most diverse in U.S. history. “There will be jobs for people who communicate effectively no matter the platform,” said Estes. She said our generation knows how to effectively use space and platforms to connect with the audience. As a successful professional who originated from an Illinois town of 500, Estes offered students her five strategies for success. The first strategy she offered was to find your passion. To be successful, Estes suggested that students find a career that they would do even if they were not paid. “Your job might be what you do to work, your passion might be what you do to

Our Executive Board was looking sharp as always!

Jen and Jill posed with masks

Dan Guajardo wore a cape!

Semi-Formal Masquerade!

Some of our favorite guys: Ian, Dan and Bill

Samantha Arnold (center) and friends


Volume Five


WJBC Radio Station Tour By Deirdre O’Brien When I first heard ISU PRSSA was touring a radio station, I was not sure if I would go. I thought to myself, ”well how is this opportunity relevant to what I want as a career?” I quickly realized that although I do not want to work in the radio industry, the tour of the WJBC/WBNQ station would be a great chance for me to learn more about how public relations professionals interact with a very specialized channel of mass communication.

I had never been to a radio station before the tour, so it was interesting, to say the least. We were able to see what goes on during live broadcasts, as an ISU alumnus, Mark Long, was on air. He spoke with us about how he spends his time while at work, doing everything from on-air broadcasting to creating PSAs and voiceovers for commercials. He also talked about how the station is incorporating social media and blogging into its Internet presence. It was interesting to hear how the radio station practices some types of public relations for itself. The most beneficial part of the visit was being exposed to how the station operates behind the scenes. Public relations professionals often work with a variety of media outlets, and it is valuable to know as much about the industry as possible. I do not Mark Long showed us the radio equipment

PRSSA members in the lobby of WJBC have much experience working with media relations, especially in radio. After visiting the station, I know more about how the radio industry works in relationship to public relations professionals. At the very least I gained some base knowledge that will be helpful in my future endeavors in public relations.

Journey: You’ll be taking on new responsibilities but ones that rely on skills you’ve already acquired as an active member of the chapter. You may not know exactly what to expect, but the current E-board does, and if they choose you for a position it’ll be because they know you’re up to the task.

So here I am now, looking at less than two

“...I consider accepting the nomination one of the best decisions of my life.”

credibly glad to have done it. I have nothing but gratitude for Genevieve for nominating me, and I consider accepting the nomination one of the best decisions of my life. From something I decided to do on an impulsive notion of “Sure, what the hell” came an invaluable experience.

months left of being on the E-board. I am in-

COM Week: I was able to make some great professional contacts just by sitting down and asking for their advice. During the career institute I also had the chance to talk about my internship with ISU Habitat for Humanity and encourage others to apply for the position. It was interesting to be on the other side of the table for once. I enjoyed meeting with the individuals who wanted to know more about my intern-

ship, but I also learned something. The people on the other side of the table are real people too. I noticed that some individuals were nervous while asking questions about the position. It made me understand that when I talk to professionals, I need to remember that they are real people just like me. From now on, when I approach professionals, I will try my best to let them see my personality and skills, not my nerves. If you missed out on COM Week this

year, I encourage you to plan ahead for next year and go to as many sessions as possible. I was able to see all four keynote speakers, and they motivated me to do everything I can to work toward my dream job. The speakers were mostly graduates from Illinois State University and have gone on to do amazing things in their careers. If that does not inspire you, I do not know what will! So bring it on COM Week 2012. I will be ready.



Member of the Month, February: Hailey Lanier Hailey Lanier is the Member of the Month for March. The Member of the Month award goes to a member whose dedication and passion for the organization has really shown during that month. Hailey exemplified great commitment to the social committee when she planned the semi-formal masquerade. She was well organized and fulfilled the Chapter’s needs and wants. Hailey has also been a very active member through volunteerism and attending many opportunities.

Volume Five

Letter from the Executive Board by Genevieve Prendergast, historian

Networking dinners, agency tours and professional workshops are not the only activities our chapter offers its members. Each month I plan a volunteer event for members to participate in. We try to volunteer at different events to help show our appreciation and give something back to the community through our knowledge and skills. Here are a few volunteer events we participated in this year.

• At the OSF World Tour event we served food and drinks from around the world to the guests.

• At the Heart of Faith Gala event we sold roses and beads to the guests, helped with the live auction and helped people check out at the end of the night.

• At the Jingle Bell Run we raised money for the Arthritis Foundation and partici- pated in the run.

• At the Clean up the Quad event we picked up garbage around the Illinois State University campus.

• At the March of Dimes event we checked in guests, ran bidding information to the checkout table and helped the guests check out.

• At the fall and spring Career Center fairs we provided volunteers and checked in employers.

Our next volunteer event is Relay for Life on the Illinois State University campus. Relay for Life will take place on April 8, and members can still sign up to participate.

Upcoming Events Calendar

Relay for Life – April 8

White Sox Raffle – April 11-21

Young Alumni Panel – April 12

Bar Crawl – April 29

Profile for Illinois State University PRSSA

PRemier Newsletter: March 2011  

This issue of PRemier includes COM Week Keynote Recap: Elizabeth Estes, Kaitie Ries' experience with COM Week, Chris Orris' journey being on...

PRemier Newsletter: March 2011  

This issue of PRemier includes COM Week Keynote Recap: Elizabeth Estes, Kaitie Ries' experience with COM Week, Chris Orris' journey being on...