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Volume 6 April/May 2013

By Abby Brennan

April/May 2013

PRemier

A monthly publication of Illinios State University’s PRSSA

Tour Train: Edelman and Zeno Group

Members toured the Zeno Group’s office, and heard an informative presentation about the agency and its successful client campaigns.

One of ISU PRSSA’s goals is to provide its members with opportunities to grow as professionals and agency tours are a great way to do just that. On Friday, April 6, members drove to Chicago’s Aon Center and visited Edelman and Zeno Group as part of an agency “tour train.” The first stop was Edelman, one of the world’s largest public relations agencies. Its modern office spans multiple floors and is both the founding office and co-headquarters. The tour was structured as an open, informal question and answer session with four Edelman employees: Joseph Tateoka, Kristena Lucky, Nick Lucido and ISU alumna Jill Collins. Members of Michigan State University’s PRSSA Chapter were also in attendance. Panel members were very frank and honest about the realities of agency life. They shared it is not just a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job, so you have to be passionate and excited about the work you are doing. Other traits necessary to succeed in agency life include initiative, curiosity and a thick skin. Many students sought advice for their job and internship search as well. All of the Edelman employees stressed the importance of networking, especially building your network before you need it. One piece of advice that stuck out the most to me was when Lucky said to “always autograph your work with excellence.” A look inside.... COM Week presents PR keynote speaker  Lollapalooza’s PR success Semi Formal ‘20s Style Motion PR and Ragan Communication Tour

Alumni Experiences Welcome New Executive Board A look back at PRSSA 2012-2013 Letter from Executive Board


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ISU PRSSA Visits Edelman and Zeno Group (cont’d)

Since this was a room full of PR students and professionals, the immediate response was, “Someone tweet that!” Overall, the panel at Edelman was a great insight into its agency and culture, as well as the PR industry. After a break for lunch, members visited Zeno Group, a mid-sized agency in Chicago. Zeno Group

of clients is not necessarily as important as the work they are doing with them. I thought this was really great advice for students as they begin to enter the professional world and figure out where they would like to work eventually. For example, working with Craftsman may not seem appealing at first, but Zeno was able to come up with an innovative and exciting campaign to promote their new tool. One thing was becoming clear: passion and creativity really are key to succeeding at an agency! Once the presentation and question-and-answer session was over, PRSSA members were treated to a tour of Zeno’s office, a bright and energetic space truly lending itself to collaboration. All in all, the tour train was a great insight into different Members asked questions during a panel discussion Edelman staff members hosted. aspects of agency life and a wonderful peek into the is a sister company to Edelman and professional world of PR. has been voted mid-size PR agency of ❖ the year multiple times by PRWeek. Touring Edelman and Zeno Group on the same day was a great way to see the differences between a large agency and a mid-size one. Zeno’s tour and presentation were led by a small group of employees, including ISU graduate and PRSSA alumna, Erin Brophy. The presentation highlighted some of Zeno’s work, as well as provided resume and interview advice for students seeking jobs and internships. During the presentation, one of the Members posed after touring the Edelman office. employees mentioned an agency’s list


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COM Week presents PR keynote speaker By Jennifer Novoseletsky

A favorite speaker of many PRSSA members,

Fred Cook, chief executive officer of GolinHarris, was featured during this year’s Communication Week. Cook spoke to School of Communication students, giving advice on how to stand out to get a dream job. He began by introducing himself as an, “unlikely CEO” because he never imagined himself to be exactly that. Cook began explaining how students need to expose themselves to new ideas and new perspectives. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone and trying something new like a new place to travel, new food, new books, new movies and so forth will broaden students’ horizons. “If you think of your life as a big magazine rack like the ones at the airport and you’re standing in front of it, instead of reaching for Cosmopolitan or People, pull out something different,” he said. Next, Cook encouraged for the crowd to, “hit the road.” While studying abroad is important for students, especially in the Communication program, working abroad is even better, he said. Joining the Peace Corps or teaching English is the first step to getting your feet wet in another place away from home. He also highly recommended learning another language. In addition to all this, he encouraged to learn how to bargain. Americans are not good at it and if something says $50, that is exactly what we pay, no questions asked. “We never think to ask for anything less and people in other countries know they can still afford it, it’s not they can’t afford it, but they know they don’t have to pay it,” Cook said. “So they’re good at bargaining and it makes them better at business than us because they practice it their whole lives. I think you should bargain for everything and not be afraid to negotiate.” Next, he encouraged audience members to become famous for something. Enlisting in an entourage can help, especially if one wishes to become a CEO. An entourage can consist of parents, friends and even professors, Cook said. Having an entourage is important to network for jobs. Cook said

he has friends whose sons and daughters will send in resumes for him to look over and sometimes they get the job. Cook explained the importance of working for tips as well. He applauds those who do so, he said. “Customer service is in the heart of business and if anybody doesn’t realize what their customers or their people want, they’re going to fail,” Cook explained. “And there is no better place to learn customer service than in the hospitality business.” Working at a restaurant or at a hotel teaches the importance of giving the customer exactly what they want. Working as a bellboy, Cook learned a trick to check luggage tags for customers’ names and when he would thank them personally using the customer’s last name, they would give him an extra tip. Another piece of advice Cook gave was to become an entrepreneur. As college students, our time is now and if there is anything we ever dreamed of creating, there should be nothing holding us back. Cook created a business himself, which eventually plummeted, but having the experience is what matters. He suggested to market ourselves and use our PR talents to develop this idea and find the funding for it. Finally, Cook encouraged sticking around one company and volunteering for opportunities as much as possible. “There is a lot of power in staying in one place with people you love working for,” he said. After starting work for GolinHarris, Cook volunteered to do, “the boring stuff.” He never once asked for a raise or promotion and when an opportunity to be promoted presented itself, he recommended himself to take the position. Though his boss would say no, he saw Cook had the drive and ambition to go to the top. Cook was always the first person in the office and the last person to leave. After becoming president of GolinHarris, Cook moved to Chicago. For the last 20 years he has been CEO of GolinHarris. When you fail, you are no longer afraid, which is a positive because it is not healthy to obsess over career goals, Cook said. “To me, life is really a trip and not a destination and I encourage all of you to find your own trip and make it as interesting as you can,” he said.❖


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Lollapalooza’s PR Success By Briana Saltess

Spring weather is finally here, and that can only mean one thing – festival season is upon us. While some of us are just hoping to get through finals, others have their eye on the greatest prize of the summer –Lollapalooza. Chicago’s 20-year-old festival has a lot to teach us besides good food and music. The public relations campaign for the festival has produced a buzz so significant that the three-day passes sold out before the lineup was even released this year. The Lollapalooza public relations team has achieved what nearly every PR team hopes to achieve. They were able to get their publics to advertise for them. The festival buzz has transformed over the years into word of mouth at different schools, offices, gyms and social media. People were tweeting about ticket sales and lineups nearly every hour the week tickets were available. The campaign has built so much hype; people glued themselves to their computer for six hours just to get a shot at a secret sale for cheaper tickets. Lollapalooza has managed to create an experience for festivalgoers four months before the festival even begins. Giselle Rodriguez, a junior ISU PRSSA member tried her best to get tickets for the festival this past week, but came up short when the tickets sold out in about 10 minutes. Giselle says finding tickets is important to her. “Lollapalooza is a great place for people who share the same love for music to come together in Chicago,” Rodriguez said. “The festival appeals to all different types of people, with all different tastes in music. It is the spurge event of the summer for us college kids. I am going to try my best to find a ticket.” Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, released a press release on the City of Chicago’s website, which explained Lollapalooza sold out with nearly 300,000 tickets and has worked its way to become one of the largest music festivals in the country. The festival has over 171,000 Twitter followers (@lollapalooza) for the event, which happens for only three days out of the year. The festival’s public relations team has created an outstanding reputation for the brand publics trust to be successful year after year. They release the ticket sales and lineups just as spring fever begins to infect the Chicagoland area. The key to the Lollapalooza success is the PR team constructing a campaign and reflecting the culture of their audience. They know what artists are hot, who is not and what young people in Chicago need out of a music festival. They are able to get broke college students to pay $110 to spend just one day out in Grant Park. That is a pretty successful public relations effort. ❖

Member of the M o n t h April She came to ISU from Oak Lawn And from PRSSA, she’s never withdrawn Heavily involved for all four years This member of the month’s end time is near A past socials chair, she planned fun events When she became lead SoCPD intern, it made perfect sense She got her face painted last weekend at Springfest The second year in a row, she’s kind of obsessed She just won the Caterpillar scholarship, so she must be smart In the Big Red Marching Machine, she’s a flag twirler at heart When choosing the member, we all weighed in And the MIPs show our winner is Emma Newman!

Congratulations to Emma Newman!


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Semi Formal ‘20s Style By Kaylin Smith

Every year PRSSA puts on a semi formal event for its members. The theme of this year’s semi formal was The Great Gatsby, inspired by both the book and the recently released film.. Members showed off their ‘20s style from head to toe. The girls were all dolled up with pearls and flapper inspired dresses, while the fellas sported suspenders, ties and a slick hair style. The night was full of dancing, singing and eating delicious pizza from Firehouse in uptown Normal.


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Motion PR and Ragan Communications Tour By Katie O’Rourke

On Friday, April 19, PRSSA members headed north on I-55 to Chicago to attend tours at Motion PR and Ragan Communications. This was quite a unique trip though, as floods blocked off roads and made travel difficult. Luckily, we made it to both tours and got home afterward safely! It was lightly snowing as we made our way to our first destination, Motion PR. Motion PR is a boutique public relations agency. Since its launch in 2006, Motion PR has represented many national brands such as Red Bull, Panera Bread, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Famous Dave’s and many more. Motion PR has built trust and respect with clients, which is why it has such a positive reputation. Motion PR offers a number of communication services to its clients to help them grow their brand. From social media, web relations, media training to crisis management, promotion and product launches, Motion PR covers it all. After touring Motion PR’s brand new office, we entered its conference room where President Kimberly Eberl and her team introduced themselves and told us a little bit about their background. It was very beneficial to hear their expertise and insights in the world of public relations. They started to ask us questions and it was not too long until we got into discussions about different PR topics. They stressed to us the importance of media relations and building relationships with gatekeepers. Our PRSSA Chapter found their advice to be very helpful and personable, especially when we touched upon topics such as, the dos and don’ts when writing a cover letter. It was helpful to hear tips from professionals themselves. As they wrapped up our tour, Motion PR passed out a very handy packet of information about their company, public relations terminology and all 125 public relations firms in Chicago. Speaking on behalf of the group, we were so thankful for this helpful source of information. Touring Motion PR was a great way to get an inside look at a smaller public relations agency. Next stop on our agenda was Ragan Communications. This tour was especially unique because our PRSSA Chapter was the first group to ever tour there. Ragan Communications was founded by Lawrence Ragan, but after his passing in 1995, his son,

Members posed after touring at Motion PR. Mark Ragan, became the new CEO and publisher of Ragan. Ragan is best known for publishing newsletters about corporate communications, public relations and leadership development. As stated by PR Daily, “The Ragan brand now includes over 16 targeted newsletters in the area of employee communication, organization writing and editing, sales and marketing, media relations and motivational management.” As we toured Ragan, we got a fun, friendly and upbeat vibe from the office environment. Getting to see behind the scenes of this office was an amazing opportunity. After our tour, we all gathered in a glass wall conference room referred to by the employees as “the fishbowl.” The view from the conference room window over looked Michigan Avenue, which was exciting. As we all took our seats there were small white gift boxes and notepads in front of each chair. Inside the boxes contained a USB portable laptop mouse. After the excitement of receiving our gifts settled, the Ragan team members gave introductions and told us how their paths led them to Ragan. Each team member gave great advice and we engaged in great discussion from social media topics to what writing to include in our portfolios. Our Chapter was grateful and honored to be given the opportunity to be the first tour at Ragan Communications. Although there was crazy weather and difficult driving conditions, nothing stopped the ISU PRSSA Chapter members from having a wonderful time touring Motion PR and Ragan Communications in the city of Chicago. ❖


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Alumni Experiences By Shelby Ray

ISU PRSSA believes in its members gaining

experience as well as helping others which is why the Chapter is so proud of two of its alumni who share those same values. Former PRSSA Secretary Chris Orris, taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in South Korea upon graduating in 2011, and Allyson Corona is getting ready to move to Florida to work for Teach for America (TFA). Each job is unique in responsibilities, yet each is something of invaluable experience. Though Orris was working on others things, the thought always popped in his head to teach English in South Korea, which is why it was one of the easiest decisions for him to make. One of the best feelings Orris had from teaching the children was seeing them begin to learn. “The other thing is kids. They can be really awesome. Not always, not even usually, but when you go out of your way to help one of them learn something, and you see the light bulb go off on their face when they finally get it, it’s a really amazing feeling.”

Chris Orris with two of his students in South Korea. Something else Orris enjoyed is getting to know people of a different culture. He says, “When you’re in a totally different culture, there’s a sort of flavor that gets added to everything you do. The noise of each city is different and it’s an adventure to do even the simple things, like ordering food. But that comes off the most in all the people you meet who have totally new personalities and stories to tell. It’s really awesome to get to know people of a different culture who know little about yours. Conversations about culture, and how we’re all

different but really the same, never get old.” When asked what advice he would give to someone considering this alternative he says, “It’s not right for everybody, and everyone who does it does it for different reasons. The best thing you can do is find someone who has done it and talk to them about it. Ask lots of questions, and figure out together if it’s right for you. You have to give up a lot to leave the country for a year, but it has the potential to be totally worth it.” Now that the contract is over for Orris, he is working part-time for a startup PR agency and making a computer game with a few friends. However, his passion for his time in Korea was obvious, and he enoucrages others who are considering it to reach out. “I’m really happy I went, and I would love to help anyone else make the decision to go, especially someone from PRSSA. Anyone who is considering going should feel free to get ahold of me and ask me questions about it, because it’s something I think more people should consider. My email is ckorris@gmail. com,” he said. Allyson Corona who graduated this spring in May 2013 is getting ready to depart to Florida to teach English to kids in low income school districts and to motivate them for higher education. Corona chose this path because she knows the importance of receiving excellent education. Her minor has played a role in this journey also as she minored in human resources and family development. She chose TFA because of the values it stands for. “A friend of mine told me about TFA and I was Allyson Corona in cap and immediately drawn to gown after graduation. it. I love everything they have taught me thus far and what they stand for. TFA helps support and stand up for the children that need it most.”


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Alumni Experiences (cont’d) Many of the children she will be teaching are three to four grade levels behind. She says “It kills me to know that those children are not even getting enough support to know how to read at the level they could.” She will be teaching on a two year time commitment, but since she has a certification she can teach longer which she plans on doing. She says that the application process was quite time consuming being a three tiered process with tests, essays, multiple interviews and lesson plans, however she knows it’s all worth it. She is one of 149 people to be chosen to work in this school district. She advises others to, “find that thing that drives you, what makes you tick? What do you get really fired up about?” She also adds, “the opportunities for anyone that graduates college are endless…When you graduate from college you are one of the 17% of the population with a college degree, you are one of the elite.” A quote she keeps with her is, “Think in life do you want to be successful or significant?” ISU PRSSA wishes Corona the best of luck and success in her new journey to Florida as she teaches. We’re so proud to have Orris and Corona as ISU PRSSA alumni because of all the great work they are doing throughout communities outside of their own. ❖

Welcome 2013- 2014 Executive Board Members

Member of the M o n t h May She’s a familiar face at Tuesday night meetings She says she is shy, but always gives nice greetings She’s not a PR major, but a journalism pro And between all of her commitments, she?s always on the go She works at the Vidette and puts her skills to good use And at one point, she was Facebook unfriended by Bruce She assigns blog posts and articles for the relations committee And hopes to take her talents to a big city We’ll all miss this senior, that?s a guarantee, So help me congratulate, Jen Novoseletsky!

Congratulations to Jen Novoselestsky!

From left to right: Abby Brennan, Historian; Marrison Worthington, Vice President; Hailey Lainer, President; Ryan Smart, Treasurer; Shelby Ray, National Liaison. (not photographed, Melissa Fortes, Secretary.)


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A Look Back at PRSSA 2012 - 2013


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Letter from Executive Board By Kaitie Ries, 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. Conference that make little to no sense to others.

• Touring public relations organizations.

When applying for jobs, I relied heavily on what I’d learned from tours. I knew what certain offices looked like, the experience I had while there and behind the scenes information that can’t be found on the company’s website. I also got a feel for the office culture, which is really important.

• Hearing about member’s receiving There has been one question I’ve been asked a

lot lately, and that is: “Are you ready to be done with PRSSA?” After two years on the executive board (2011-12 as vice president, and 2012-13 as president), and one year as a very involved member, I’m never surprised people ask me that. I’ll be honest when I say that yes, I am ready to hand over the reins to the incoming executive board, but that is not to say I won’t miss being part of such a wonderful registered student organization. I mean, what in the world am I going to do on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. now?! This list serves as SOME of the things I will miss from being involved in PRSSA since 2010:

• Attending National Conference. I attended in Orlando, Fla. and San Francisco, Calif. Though it is a pricey event, I strongly encourage everyone to attend. Not only do you get to learn from interesting panels and sessions and meet well-known professionals, it is a great way to get to know people from our Chapter, especially when everyone is sleep deprived from attending sessions, and trying to see as much of the city as possible. Typically, really strange jokes come out of

internship opportunities, scholarships, awards and leadership positions. You make us feel like proud mama and papa bears!

• Being able to work with two incredible

executive boards. I have learned so much about teamwork and interpersonal communication during my time on executive board. I’ve also gained some pretty amazing friends out of the deal. Who knew?

• Watching members ask questions and

speak to professionals after Chapter meetings. Our Chapter is fortunate enough to have so many professionals that are willing to speak during our meetings. Taking advantage of that and speaking with them afterwards and keeping in contact with them is invaluable. I know this may surprise you, but when they say, “Keep in touch,” they mean it!

• Giving advice to members whether

he/she signs up for the mentor/mentee program, sends in a cover letter or resume to be proofread or asks for advice about


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Letter from Executive Board (cont’d) an internship. You may think we don’t want to take time out from our day to help you, but you are wrong. At some point in time, we were in your shoes. We reached out and someone was able to point us in the right direction. We want you to land that internship, we want to help grow your network and we want to help ISU produce the best PR graduates in the nation. The fact that we have the opportunity to be that person in someone else’s story is incredibly fulfilling. organization that not only teaches you about your major and prepares you for a professional life, but also enables you to meet so many like-minded students has been amazing. My best friends are either current members or PRSSA alumni. Our friendships have mainly developed because of the ridiculous amount of time we have spent together through PRSSA events, and I wouldn’t change a thing!

However, I think the thing I’ll miss most is seeing new members get really involved and fall in love with this organization the way I did three years ago. Being a part of an So am I “ready to be done?” I’m ready to be involved as an alumna and watch as future executive boards make PRSSA the best it can be, because I have no doubt that the organization will only flourish as the members who care just as much about PRSSA as I do take the lead and make their mark. Thank you to everyone who has made my PRSSA experience so enjoyable. I know my experience at Illinois State wouldn’t have been the same without all of you. ❖

Executive 2012-2013 B o a r d

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Profile for Illinois State University PRSSA

PRemier Newsletter: April/May 2013  

This issue of PRemier includes COM Week Presents PR Keynote Fred Cook, Lollapalooza's PR success, Semi Formal '20s Style, Motion PR and Raga...

PRemier Newsletter: April/May 2013  

This issue of PRemier includes COM Week Presents PR Keynote Fred Cook, Lollapalooza's PR success, Semi Formal '20s Style, Motion PR and Raga...

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