Alumni Spotlight: Lauren Trentadue We appreciate our alumni and rely on you as role models and mentors! We also truly value your continued support of and intrest in the Chapter. We hope that you enjoy our newsletter, which should keep you up-to-date on all of our current activies and possibly bring back great memories of your own days in the ISU Chapter of PRSSA.
By Kaylin Smith
Recent graduate and prior executive board member, Lauren Trentadue serves as a great example of not limiting yourself when applying for your first job. Trentadue joined PRSSA after transferring to Illinois State University her junior year and served as Historian on the 2010 executive board. Although she graduated under the ISU PR program, Trentadue jumped into the world of radio with her position as the Drive’s sales and promotions administrator.
What internships have you completed? During my time at Illinois State University I had a few internships. My first internship was for the School of Communications Promotion and Development team. I was the coordinator for the COM Week Career Institute, which then led me to my second internship position with 97.1 the Drive. At 97.1 the Drive I was a sales promotion intern.
How has your past involvement with PRSSA helped you after graduation? My past involvement in PRSSA helped me recognize both my strengths and weaknesses as a professional. I attended all of the workshops that were held during the year and greatly benefitted from them. When I interviewed for the sales and promotion administrator position at the Drive the last question they asked me was “what is your elevator pitch?” That was one of the ...the LAST QUESTION they elements that was covered for asked me was in PRSSA’s speed networking “what is your elevator pitch?” workshop.
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PR the Chicago Way By Bruce Kennedy
Senior to wa t c h Shelby Montgomery By Kaylin Smith
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. Cook also offered advice on how to how to stand out as an intern or secure a promotion after being hired on. One tip was to work “obvious overtime” such as being the first person at work in the morning and the last one to leave. “Volunteer for everything,” Cook said. When someone offers to take on a task, even if that task or position is
MAJOR: Public Relations MINOR: German EXPERIENCE: School of Communication Promotions and Development Intern -Documentary Film Festival Coordinator -COM Week Agency PR panel -COM Week Jim Kirby Keynote -Family Day Associate Coordinator JNews -Reporter
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Lauren Trentadue (cont’d) You currently work at 97.1 The Drive, what drew you in to working for a radio station?
I have always been very interested in promotions and events, so when I had the chance to talk to Jim O’Brill, Promotions Manager at the Drive he told me about their summer internship opportunity and it really stood out because it involved both.
What does your current title, sales and promotions administrator, at 97.1 entail? As promotions administrator I support a twelve persons sales staff. I am also responsible for inputting on-air sales orders for advertisers, editing proposals, invoicing for clients among other tasks. It is an administration position but I also get the opportunity to learn the radio business and all it entails.
Although your position is not PR, do you use any of the skills you learned in the PR program in your position as sales and promotions administrator? Working as a sales and promotion administrator does let me use some of the skills that I have learned through ISU’s PR program. One of the skills I use most often is editing. I constantly am using my editing skills to edit proposals for sales staff. I also interact with clients on a daily basis.
If you could give a piece of advice to current members of PRSSA, what would it be? If you are interested in something and you get the opportunity to pursue do it! We are young and have plenty of time to figure out what our path is. I have been graduated for almost a year and I’m still trying to figure out where my life is taking me but I just want to have fun along the way. ❖
Would you like to be featured in our next Alumni Newsletter? Contact the PRSSA account firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauren and coworkers collecting money to donate to support vetrans.
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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 PRSA-sponsored 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. ❖
Senior to Watch (cont’d)
Rep The Midwest -Media Relations Coordinator Alpha Gamma Delta -Public Relations Chair -Vice President of Operations FUTURE PLANS? I would absolutely love to go into the agency industry. My goal for after graduation is landing an agency PR internship that could open doors for an entry-level job within an agency FAVORITE PART OF PR? It is fun to take something and sculpt the message toward a specific target audience. Public relations has always encouraged me to challenge the limits of my own creativity. I feel like I learn something new everyday when it comes to PR, and I love that!
Shelby Montgomery email@example.com Ph: (217) 714-6155
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PR the Chicago Way (cont’d) above what the company will entrust to him or her, it shows initiative, Cook explained. But be careful to ask for opportunities rather than promotions. He closed his presentation by challenging the people there to
Fred Cook presenting at regional conference in Chicago.
take a risk, expose themselves to the world and to let go of their fear of failure. He said some of the failures in his own life lead him to where he is today. The next speaker was Joseph Tateoka, an account supervisor at Edelman. Tateoka’s presentation focused on breaking into the PR scene in Chicago. He explained his own experiences that led to his current position, shared tips for getting an internship and painted an honest picture of what agency PR life is like.
One of the things that helped Tateoka land 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. “If you are in PRSSA, be involved. Do not just say you are a member. People want to know what you did,” he said. This is a great piece of advice many members overlook. Being a member of an organization looks good on a resume, but one needs to be able to explain the work they did to sell themselves in an interview. Tateoka was refreshingly honest when it came to explaining life in agency public relations. “Lots of overtime, multiple accounts, stress, competition and lots of grunt work when you first start out,” were the cons Tateoka listed. But he believes for the right type of person, the pros far outweigh the cons. He joked that people who work in agency must be sick because they love not having a normal day and the fast paced, high competition culture. He warned not everyone understands it. “My mom didn’t think PR was a real thing,” Tateoka joked. But throughout his entire presentation he exemplified someone who genuinely loves what he does and is excited to go to work every day. ❖