Page 1

Volume 4

January/February 2013

PR the Chicago Way

January/February 2013


A monthly publication of Illinios State University’s PRSSA

By Bruce Kennedy

PRSSA members posing at regional conference at DePaul University.

On Friday, Feb. 15 ISU PRSSA headed to DePaul University in Chicago

for its 2013 regional conference. The conference theme was “PR - The Chicago Way” and featured speakers from the biggest PR firms in Chicago. There was also a career fair with several agencies from the area. Fred Cook described the unlikely, and somewhat unusual journey that led to his current job as Chief Executive Officer of GolinHarris. Cook’s story was one worth hearing based on its entertainment value alone, but every part had a lesson attached to it. Cook urged students to expose themselves to the world and gain new experiences through travel, study abroad programs and learning a foreign language. These experiences offer a chance to step outside of one’s own comfort zone and learn from life experiences. “Our business is changing drastically every day, and we are in need of people with new ideas and experiences,” Cook said. Cook also highlighted several other odd life experiences that helped prepare him for his career in public relations. He warned not to undervalue a part time job waiting tables. “Working for tips is great experience. It teaches the value of the little things,” Cook said. He explained that he once had to pitch Starbucks and made sure to serve their CEO Starbucks brand coffee when he came in to hear the pitch. While he may have heard several great pitches from other agencies, Cook believes this small gesture played a large roll in winning the account.

A look inside....

Getting to know Dr. Hayes ORE yOu afraid of the dark? Hoping Through the Holidays Social

President Bowman Speaks to Intro to PR Class Welcome Lewis Pryor Letter from Executive Board


Page 2

Regional Conference (cont’d) Cook also offered advice on how to how to stand “If you are in PRSSA, be involved. Do not just out as an intern or secure a promotion after being say you are a member. People want to know what hired on. One tip was to work “obvious overtime” you did,” he said. This is a great piece of advice such as being the first person at work in the morning many members overlook. Being a member of an and the last one to leave. “Volunteer for everything,” organization looks good on a resume, but one Cook said. needs to be able to explain the work they did to sell When someone offers to take on a task, even themselves in an interview. if that task or position is above what the company Tateoka was refreshingly honest when it came will entrust to him or her, it shows initiative, Cook to explaining life in agency public relations. “Lots of explained. But be careful to ask for opportunities overtime, multiple accounts, stress, competition and rather than lots of grunt work promotions. He closed when you first start his presentation by out,” were the cons challenging the people Tateoka listed. But there to take a risk, he believes for expose themselves to the right type of the world and to let go person, the pros far of their fear of failure. outweigh the cons. He said some of the He joked that failures in his own life people who work lead him to where he is in agency must be today. sick because they The next speaker love not having a was Joseph Tateoka, normal day and an account supervisor the fast paced, at Edelman. Tateoka’s high competition presentation focused culture. He warned Fred Cook presenting at regional conference in Chicago. on breaking into the not everyone PR scene in Chicago. understands it. “My He explained his own experiences mom didn’t think that led to his current position, shared tips for getting PR was a real thing,” Tateoka joked. But throughout an internship and painted an honest picture of what his entire presentation he exemplified someone who agency PR life is like. genuinely loves what he does and is excited to go to One of the things that helped Tateoka land work every day. the job he has now was his involvement in PRSA as a board advisor. This helped him network with professionals in the Chicago area. His advice to students was to be actively involved in PRSSA and join PRSA after graduation.

Page 3


Getting to know Dr.Hayes By Abby Brennan

If you are a public relations major in the School of Communication and have not taken a class from Dr. Rebecca Hayes yet, there is a good chance you will before graduating. Hayes joined Illinois State University this academic year as an assistant professor after teaching at a few campuses, including her alma mater, the University of Michigan. Hayes discovered her love for public relations in a roundabout way. Originally an environmental policy and theatre major at the University of Michigan, she landed a job after graduation at the United States Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center doing scientific communication. “I was doing PR with no PR training, so I ordered a PR textbook from Amazon to figure out what I was doing,” Hayes said. “I ended up falling in love with it.” She later earned her masters in public relations from Michigan State University (MSU) while working full-time for Michigan Governor, Jennifer Granholm. After a brief stint working for development at the University of Michigan, she returned to MSU, where she taught advertising and PR classes and ran its study abroad program while earning her Ph.D. She also taught at the University of Michigan-Flint for a few years before coming to Illinois State. “I absolutely loved it, but I wanted to come here [ISU] because of the dedicated PR major,” Hayes explained. “You can go deeper beyond just the basics. I actually knew about your PRSSA before I even applied – you have a great PRSSA. So when the job popped up I was like, bam, I want to go there!” “I actually knew about your

PRSSA Great PRSSA.” before I even applied – you have a

One of Hayes’s favorite things about teaching is engaging with her students, sharing things she finds interesting, seeing what it is that her students really love and helping them prepare to go do it.

“There’s nothing better for me than seeing some of my students’ work,” she said. “In a few years, I’m going to be seeing your work, your press releases, your events, the cool promotions you’re doing and hopefully I’m going to know that it’s yours. And that moment is so awesome.” Although she is a newcomer to BloomingtonNormal, she already has a few favorite places. If she is not in her office, there’s a good chance you’ll find her at the Coffeehound or the Normal Theatre in Uptown Normal. She also loves Sugar Mama, a new cupcake bakery in Bloomington. Currently, in addition to teaching Crisis Communication and Public Relations Management – Campaigns, Hayes is researching political uses of social media and the effects of a candidate’s social media presence on voter engagement. She is also studying branded content on social media. I am taking Crisis Communication right now and it is clear that Hayes is passionate about her subject and her students. I highly recommend taking one of her courses or just stopping by her office to meet her and say hello.


Page 4

ORE yOu afraid of the dark? By Jennifer Novoseletsky

With a majority of the nation watching Super Bowl XLVII on

Sunday, Feb. 3, they also witnessed a power outage in the first few minutes of the second half, which caused a 34-minute delay. Many fans turned to Facebook and Twitter to state comments and ask questions. One brilliant company took this opportunity to promote itself. @Oreo tweeted to 62,000 fans, “Power out? No problem. http://t.co/ dnQ7pOgC.” The link embedded into the tweet was a picture of the advertisement; an Oreo cookie in the spotlight, while the rest of the picture is dark. The ad read, “YOU CAN STILL DUNK IN THE DARK.” Within 15 minutes, there was already over 3,500 retweets and nearly 1,000 “favorites.” The key to this powerful success was 360i, an award-winning digital agency specializing in search engine marketing, social media, mobile marketing and web design and development. “We had a mission control set up at our office with the brand and 360i, and when the blackout happened, the team looked at it as an opportunity,” agency president Sarah Hofstetter told BuzzFeed. “Because the brand team was there, it was easy to get approvals and get it up in minutes.” Although Oreo already aired an advertisement in the first half of the Super Bowl, coming out with this free social media ad earned major points with thousands of people. According to socialmediatoday. com, “By the time the lights came back on in New Orleans, Oreo had racked up over 10,000 RTs, thousands of “favorites” and overwhelmingly positive replies – all with a single tweeted image.”

Member of the M o n t h This member of the month is from a small town She’s always cheerful, nothing gets her down When she decorates for socials, she always goes all out And in the time that I’ve known her, I’ve never heard her shout She’s been a dedicated member since the fall of last year Her enthusiasm for PRSSA has always been clear Event planning as the director of development is really quite smart Since she wants to work in nonprofit and has a good heart For this member, we have high hopes Please help me congratulate Lindsey Probst!

Congratulations to Lindsey Probst!

Page 5


ORE yOu afraid of the dark? (cont’d) Aside from the power outage tweet, this was one of my favorite tweets because it related to what I was watching on TV and tied back to the company itself. Viewing the advertisements this company sent out via social media is inspirational and proves the importance about live tweeting. In courtesy of socialmediatoday.com, the following image provides a self-explanation of the results companies can receive if they promote the way Oreo did during the power outage.

This company made a huge leap in the social media world because not only was it the first to come up with something so ingenious within a matter of minutes, but it was also one of the most talked about companies after the situation. Throughout the Super Bowl, the company was consistently tweeting different art made out of the Oreo cookies such as animal shapes or what was most recently shown at the time such as the half-time show. After Beyoncé’s performance with special guests, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, the company came up with an effective tweet with an attached ad. “That performance was so crazy… http://t.co/ EGbCINRP.” This tweet had over 100 retweets along with almost 100 favorites.

This major event is a lesson to many companies and PR firms across the world to consistently think on their feet and truly go all out in promoting themselves. This event should encourage any company to learn from Oreo’s success. The true winner of the Super Bowl was Oreo’s social media team.

Page 6


Hopping through the Holidays Social By Shelby Ray

Our Chapter has a work hard, play hard mentality. Whether we are planning a new event, representing

a client, putting together a newsletter, not to mention all of the executive board’s duties, we experience a lot of stress. That is why the social aspect of our Chapter is also very important. Recently, we had our first apartment social of the semester and went “Hopping through the Holidays.” With Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo themes decorating three different apartments, members had plenty of options to pick out an outfit for the night. There were some very creative costumes! I saw members incorporating all themes into one costume, which was very unique and crazy. There were also head to toe couple’s costumes, such as President Kaitie Ries as a lime and her boyfriend, Ryan Ward, as a tequila bottle to represent the Cinco De Mayo theme. With so many different Leprechaun hats, pink tutus and sombreros, it was too difficult to judge which costume was the best. Socials are a great way for new members to meet current members. These outside socials are an easy way to get people out of their committees and connect amongst one another. Since most members are in the School of Communication, they often have a lot of similar classes together. This adds to the list of reasons why going to socials are a great way to not only meet other Chapter members, but also fellow classmates. The “Hopping through the Holidays” social turnout was great. I saw many familiar faces and almost just as many unfamiliar faces. Members were encouraged to bring friends outside of our Chapter, especially if it makes them more comfortable attending the event. Additionally, ISU PRSSA members love to network and meet new people! These apartment socials only come around once a semester, which is all the more reason to attend. They are fun, informal compared to some of the other events, as well as a great way to meet people. I look forward to seeing everyone at semiformal in March!

Check out more pictures on page 7


Page 7

Hopping through the Holidays Social Photos

Page 8


President Al Bowman Speaks to Intro PR Class By Abby Brennan

Leadership is something that many students

seek while in college because possessing those skills can make you more marketable upon graduation. One of the greatest people to talk on the subject of leadership is none other than the Illinois State University President, Dr. Al Bowman, who spoke to Tom Lamonica’s Introduction to Public Relations class on Thursday, Feb. 7. President Bowman began by discussing the growth of ISU over the past 10-15 years. He shared his experiences and provided a definition of what makes an effective leader. Finally, Bowman discussed the importance of legitimacy, especially from a public relations standpoint, and ways it can be threatened. “The last 15 years have seen remarkable change here. This place has separated itself from the rest of the pack in many ways, and we’ve done it while the state of Illinois has taken money away from public higher education because of budget problems,” Bowman said. “And it doesn’t happen unless you have effective leadership.” There are two important traits for an effective leader. First, and most importantly, a leader must understand the business. “While smart matters, smart isn’t what makes an effective leader. If you’re smart and you don’t understand the business, you’ll fail,” Bowman said. Second, an effective leader must be a good cultural fit for the organization. One must understand their organization on more than a superficial level. Before becoming president, Bowman was a department chair at ISU. He has been on the ground level and understands this university and its culture. Leaders earn trust by doing their jobs well over a long period of time, resulting in legitimacy. When this legitimacy is threatened, it can cause PR problems for an organization. There are six ways this can happen: 1. Lack of cultural fit – when a leader does not understand organizational culture or attempts to change it.

2. Management incompetence – leaders must know

and respect their organizations in order to manage them effectively. 3. Misconduct – this can often result when leaders serve themselves over their constituents. It can happen in almost any field, from university presidents who accept bribes or misallocate funds to Wall Street CEOs who illegally skew profits. 4. Erosion of social capital – sometimes, leaders have to make tough decisions that might anger some of their publics. These are necessary decisions, but over time they can create friction and a threat to legitimacy. 5. Inattentiveness – leaders must be aware of what is happening within their organizations so they can encourage good behavior or curb what Bowman referred to as “mischief.” 6. Grandiosity – this is often related to misconduct. Bowman cited examples of university presidents building themselves multi-million dollar homes or renovating their kitchens for hundreds of thousands of dollars. For these leaders, it is more about the show than the work and the results. Students had time to ask Bowman questions during and after his presentation. Many were curious about ISU’s search for a new president and the possibility of Bowman’s continued involvement. He said he intends to teach part-time but plans to step back so he does not cast a shadow on the future ISU president. President Bowman demonstrates the art of leadership extremely well, and I am proud that ISU has been so blessed with him. I encourage any and every student to try and hear him speak if they are able to because he is one that will go down in the records of ISU for the things he accomplished during his time here.


Page 9

Welcome Lewis Pryor By Kelsey Nevius

Our Chapter is pleased to welcome our new

Professional Adviser, Lewis Pryor to our PRSSA team. Pryor is currently the assistant vice president of public affairs at State Farm in Bloomington, Ill. Before joining State Farm, Pryor was employed with Ketchum Public Relations and handled media relations for a variety of Fortune 500 companies. This success was not just handed to Pryor. He is a great example of someone who took the appropriate steps in college to ensure he was prepared to enter the field. Pryor said that his memories flood back to him, as he is most excited to return to a PRSSA Chapter. “As a college student, I learned a lot about PR and becoming a leader while a member of the PRSSA at my alma mater,” Pryor said. “Serving in this capacity with ISU PRSSA allows me to return to my roots.” Pryor received his bachelor’s degree in public relations from Clark Atlanta University. He also earned the Accreditation of Public Relations (APR) designation from the Public Relations Society of America and is actively involved in the organization’s leadership on a local and national level. Currently, he serves as the president of the Central Illinois PRSA Chapter, a Silver and Bronze Anvil judge and as a board member for the Midwest District for PRSA. “I would like to see ISU’s Chapter continue to learn. Students should learn through their college studies, via internships and participating in PRSAsponsored events,” he said. “These experiences will better prepare students for a rewarding career in PR.”

Pryor was introduced to our Chapter on Tuesday, Feb. 12, to present on the Job Search 101 Panel. During the panel, Pryor explained the proper formatting and importance of having a portfolio. “My advice to college students or recent grads would be to get real-world experience even if you have to do it for free,” Pryor said. “Beginning a career may not be immediately financially gratifying, but that should not stop you from honing your craft.” PRSSA members should look forward to seeing more of Pryor at upcoming meetings. He plans on attending many of the future meetings, sharing his perspective and encouraging students to continue their pursuit to become PR practitioners.


Page 10

Letter from Executive Board By Lisa Crocco, vice president

In every issue of PRemier, this column features a short article by one of the Chapter’s executive board

members. The purposes of this column are to introduce you to the person holding a particular e-board position and summarize the work that person does through the role he or she fills. I am lucky to have the help from my fellow executive board members every step of the way. They give me recommendations on professionals that would be great speakers, assist me setting up the room and help me keep track of members and details during tours. When I am asked the benefits of joining PRSSA, I list a dozen reasons about the professional benefits. However, another great reason to join is because being a part of a 100+ member organization with people who understand what you’re going through academically and professionally is a network within itself. I strongly recommend every member to attend every meeting , and specifically ones where we host guest speakers or workshops since these are great opportunities to learn more about the communication field and network with professionals. Besides my assigned duties as vice president, my favorite aspect of PRSSA is the mentor/mentee I love being a mentor to my two talented, The role of vice president is equally rewarding as program. kind-hearted mentees, Maggie Ziemann and Kailey it is demanding. As vice president I oversee all guest Snider. Getting to know Chapter members better speakers, panel discussions, workshops, recruitment and help them professionally, as well as personally, efforts and tours. This year, I have been responsible is something I never tire of. The benefits of having for the coordination of the 30-second commercial positive mentors in your life during college is essential workshop, speed networking workshop, sports PR and to be a support system for others is incredibly panel, Job Search 101 panel and tours of State Farm, gratifying. Even if you’re unable to fully participate in COUNRTY Financial, Red Frog Events, GolinHarris, the mentor/mentee program, try to reach out to other XA and 97.1 The Drive. Our Chapter has also hosted Chapter members for guidance and support. three guest speakers including Melissa Libert and The most rewarding part of my role as vice Chris Anderson from COUNTRY Financial, and president is being able to see our Chapter members Mary Kay Garner from Enterprise. In addition, we receive internships, useful information and valuable have recruited new members through Festival ISU, networking connections at the events I’ve organized. Winterfest and classroom presentations. Watching as members engage in the tours, ask Most likely you have seen me in Schroeder questions and learn from the workshops is very 130 before our Chapter meetings setting up tables, fulfilling. practicing speaker introductions, placing name cards, getting water bottles, writing thank-you notes, greeting our speakers and making sure they know how the night will run.

Profile for Illinois State University PRSSA

PRemier Newsletter: January/February 2013  

This issue of PRemier includes PR the Chicago Way, Getting to Know Dr. Hayes, ORE yOu afraid of the dark?, Hopping through the Holidays Soci...

PRemier Newsletter: January/February 2013  

This issue of PRemier includes PR the Chicago Way, Getting to Know Dr. Hayes, ORE yOu afraid of the dark?, Hopping through the Holidays Soci...