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I llinois State Universit y Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America

PR emier

April 2015

Donate Life ISU Event Brings Silver-Lining to Campus by Melaina Chromy


he tragic deaths of two Illinois State University students over the past year made the ISU community aware of how precious life is and that even the darkest of times have silver-linings. Both Ben Allison and Michael Collins were registered organ donors and helped improve the lives of up to 200 people after their deaths—including providing the gift of sight to two individuals. The legacy of kindness and sacrifice left by Allison and Collins inspired the ISU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America to enter the National Organ Donor Awareness Competition. To celebrate the lives of Allison and Collins, ISU PRSSA entered the NODAC competition with a spirit of determination and zeal. On Wednesday, April 15, members of ISU PRSSA gathered at Milner Plaza to promote organ donation and awareness. The event, Donate Life ISU, was held from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 60 people registered to become organ donors, and many more signed a pledge to talk to their family and friends about organ donation. Present at the event was a poster detailing how Allison and Collins impacted multiple lives through being registered organ donors. To show support for the event, Normal Mayor Chris Koos and ISU President Larry Dietz came to Milner Plaza and signed the pledge to talk with their family and friends about organ donation. Reggie Redbird was also in attendance and worked alongside several ISU PRSSA members to draw students into the conversation about organ donation.

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W hat ’ s I nside : •

Donate Life ISU cont’d Page 2

“It’s PR, not ER:” Edelman and United Center Tour Page 2

Letter from Executive Board: Frank Hopper Page 3

ISU PRSSA Member of the Year: Melissa Guerra Page 4

“Its PR, not ER:” Edelmen and United Center Tour cont’d Page 4

2015-2016 Executive Board Page 5-6

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April 2015


Donate Life ISU Event Brings Silver-Lining to Campus


If a student or community member was already a registered organ donor, they could enter a raffle for a free month membership to Gold’s Gym and one free personal training session. Those who registered at the Donate Life ISU event could enter a raffle for a six-month gym membership and six-month tanning pass at Anytime Fitness. Students who won a game of organ donation fact or fiction could win Chipotle or D.P. Dough gift cards. Several restaurants in the Bloomington-Normal, Ill., area held discounts and special deals for people who were registered organ donors. Applebee’s had 35 customers receive a discount for being registered organ donors, and Enhance Salon donated a percentage of their proceeds from April 14 and 15 to Gift of Hope. Research conducted by the ISU School of Communication Social Media Analytics Command Center showed that through social media, original mentions of the event had a potential of reaching 7,532 people between March 22 and April 21. In the same timeframe, those mentions spread to 13,084 additional people via retweets and shares. The work that went into planning the Donate Life ISU event began in January and resulted in an amazing day where students and community members came together for a common cause. The information about organ donation that spread widely on social media, and the lives that will be changed by those who registered to become organ donors on April 15, made the Donate Life ISU event a great success.

“I t ’s PR, not ER:” Edelman and United Center Tours by Tyler Krivich One of many great benefits to a membership with Illinois State University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America is the opporunity to visit the top public relations agency in Chicago, Ill. and discover what agency public relations is all about. In addition to touring Edelman, ISU PRSSA was able to tour the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks.

Edelman Arriving on floor 66 of the Aon Center led members to Edelman, the largest marketing communications firm in the world. The royal blue color is a favorite as seen in every room. After taking pictures of the view of Lake Michigan and uploading them to Snapchat, Madeline Nora, a recruitment coordinator for Edelman, greeted the members of the Illinois State University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Members engaged in a Q-and-A session, where current employees told stories about their experiences at Edelman. One of the panelists included Jillian Collins, an ISU alumna. Collins is an account supervisor on the new business and marketing team. In this role, Collins

pitches to potential clients and pairs them up with what best suits their needs. Panelists explained the internship program and what it takes to be successful in the industry. If offered the position, interns work for three months. At six weeks, interns receive a performance review where their supervisor decides to extend their internship or not. Successful characteristics of interns include having a positive attitude, a craving for learning, always asking questions, and never sitting in the background.

United Center

After entering the gates of the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks, ISU alumna and manager of corporate communications for the Bulls, Beth Esler, greeted the ISU PRSSA members. Members met several Bulls employees, including Senior Branding Manager Lisa Nucci and Community Relations Assistant Tina Bertino. The two professionals explained their journey into sports communication and the responsibilities of their roles.

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Letter from Executive Board by Frank Hopper T

he five years spent pursuing my undergraduate degree have been anything but predicable. I went through a couple of school and major changes. Although I did not take the most direct path to public relations, I would not change anything about my journey that brought me to the Illinois State University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. When I stepped onto the ISU campus, I had a to-do list that included three very important things. First, I had to find the best coffee shop (thank you, Coffee Hound). Second, I had to figure out how I was going to get involved and make the most out of my experience at ISU. Third, I absolutely had to find a new favorite burger joint. As I do with every to-do list, I checked all three of these things off fairly quickly. I joined ISU PRSSA to develop myself professionally and meet liked-minded students in my new home for the next two years. Now, after two years of weekly meetings, trips to the National and Regional Conference, agency tours, and countless networking opportunities, I have made amazing friends and built a sturdy foundation to launch my public relations career. At the end of my junior year, I was chosen to be the 2014-2015 national liaison. As national liaison, I had the pleasure to serve along side six brilliant public relations students that I now call my best friends. We have grown significantly as individuals and as an executive board. In the fall, my biggest responsibility was to get the ISU PRSSA executive board and 11 Chapter members to Washington for National Conference and back, while leaving the city in one piece. I managed to not only do that but also introduce them to Randy DeCleene, a partner at public relations agency kglobal, who made a trip to ISU in March to speak to the entire chapter. ISU PRSSA started changing my life from the first Chapter meeting I attended. I continue to make new friends, build my network, and learn something new about the public relations industry every day. While I am sad to leave ISU PRSSA, I am very excited to stay involved with the Chapter as an ISU alumnus.

National Liaison Frank Hopper

Frank is a senior public relations and political science double major. Before he ISU, Frank attended Lincoln Land Community College where he served as student trustee. During his experience with the Board of Trustees, Frank realized his passion for communication and politics. He joined ISU PRSSA during his first semester at ISU in fall 2013. Frank was a member of the Bateman team as well as the relations committee of ISU PRSSA. After graduation, Frank plans on pursing a career in political public relations. transferred to

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ISU PRSSA Member of the Year: Melissa Guerra With the end of the school year around the corner

and graduation close by, the Illinois State University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America announced the 2014-2015 ISU PRSSA member of the year. This member went above and beyond to help the Chapter succeed over the course of two semesters. The member of the year is none other than senior communication studies major, Melissa Guerra. The member of the year is determined by who has earned the most Member Incentive Points (MIPs) for the year. Members can earn MIPs by attending meetings, writing for the Chapter’s publications, volunteering for events, or participating in conferences and agency tours. Guerra played a vital role in the Chapter. As a member of the development committee, Guerra assisted in brainstorming activities for socials and fundraisers as well as volunteering to work multiple shifts for fundraisers. Guerra is also a weekly attendee to Chapter

meetings and has had the opportunity to attend agency tours, 2014 PRSSA National Conference, and write articles for the Chapter newsletter. As a reward for her hard work, Guerra was granted a free membership to the Public Relations Society of America after she graduates. This membership will allow her to continue to connect to local professionals post-graduation. Guerra was a wonderful addition to our Chapter. She set a standard for new members and an example for how to get the most out of all that ISU PRSSA has to offer.

by Cindy Kirchner

“I t ’s PR, not ER:” Edelman and United Center Tours continued Bertino then explained the ticket sales internship. It is an eight-month internship that offers direct sales experience. The Bulls hire about 10 to 14 interns every season, and this opportunity is only offered to graduating seniors looking for full-time commitments. Once members learned about the community relations side, the ISU PRSSA members received a tour of the United Center. Aspects of the tour included visiting the pressroom, walking on the court, and seeing a shrine to the 1990’s team.

Exposure to the agency public relations industry convinced me that tours such as this one are a great benefit to ISU PRSSA membership. I highly recommend to anyone interested in agency public relations to at least experience one tour before graduation, as it is now my favorite part about ISU PRSSA.

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April 2015


2015-2016 ISU PRSSA Executive Board

The 2014-2015 Illinois State University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America Executive Board passed the torch to a new group of young professionals determined to make a difference and bring the best experience possible to the members of

ISU PRSSA. Get to know the 2015-2016 executive board!

Krista Billow- President Billow is a junior public relations major. Billow joined ISU PRSSA and the relations committee her sophomore year. She has served as a community assistant during the 2014- 2015 school year. During her experience with University Housing, Billow found that she had a true passion communication and working in a leadership position. Billow is looking forward to her leadership position this year with ISU PRSSA, and hopes to bring innovative ideas to the Chapter. Billow is currently pursing internships for the upcoming year. She is interested in a public relations agency internship and ultimately pursuing a career in agency public relations.

Brett Cozzi- Vice President Cozzi is a junior public relations major. Before transferring to ISU in the spring of 2015, Cozzi attended community college at College of Dupage and focused his studies on marketing, business, and communication. When he is home during break, he works at Total Hockey, a national hockey retail store where he sells hockey equipment and sharpens skates. Upon transferring to ISU, Brett immediately joined ISU PRSSA and the student-run firm, PRogressive Image (PRi). After graduation, Cozzi hopes to work in public relations, communications, and marketing for the United States Ski Team. His godfathers involvement and experience with the US Ski Team sparked his interest in that career path.

Tyler Fiesel- Digitial Media Director Fiesel is a senior Public Relations major. Before transferring to Illinois State University, he attended Heartland Community College (HCC). At HCC, he held a position with their newspaper, The Spectator, as a student journalist. In the spring semester of his junior year, Fiesel joined ISU PRSSA and took part in the development committee. After joining ISU PRSSA, he found a passion for not only the field of public relations, but also connecting publics via social media. With this newfound passion, Fiesel pursued the position of Digital Media Director for ISU PRSSA. After graduation, he plans to continue down the path of digital public relations in a major metropolitan area.

Tyler Krivich- Secretary/Treasurer

Krivich is a junior public relations major and French minor. He spent his summer as the event planner intern for the Aparecio Foundation in Chicago while working part time at McDonald’s. Krivich is thankful for this internship because he was able to wear many hats that will help him in the future. His responsibilities included planning and executing all main events. Krivich is very excited to gain leadership within ISU PRSSA. When he is not at Fell Hall, Krivich can be seen drinking an iced white chocolate latte (no whip, please) and keeping up with the Kardashians.

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2015-2016 ISU PRSSA E x e c u t i v e B o a r d continued Andrea Casali- National Liaison Casali will be a junior public relations major and writing minor. She has been an active member of PRSSA since first starting her college career in fall 2013. This year she served as an account executive for PRi. With her team, Casali worked with a local animal shelter to create print materials and write for their newsletter. She was also a member of PRSSA’s Gift of Hope team and planned an event on campus to raise organ awareness and donation. Her other experiences include interning on the School of Communication’s student ambassador recruitment team and working at University Marketing and Communications as their office assistant and future intern. Casali enjoys working in a fast-paced environment and hopes to pursue work in an agency setting after graduation in May 2017. Her ultimate goal is to have a career where she is surrounded by both public relations and fashion.

Audie Lauf- PRogressive Image Director Lauf is a junior with a double major in Public Relations and Apparel Merchandising and Design with a minor in Spanish at ISU. As a first generation college student, Lauf takes full advantage of all the great opportunities that ISU has to offer. He joined PRSSA his first year at ISU, as a transfer student from Illinois Valley Community College. He instantly became involved with PRi as an account executive. With this experience, Lauf pursued the position as Progressive Image Director with hopes of mentoring and guiding future account executives to their own success with their accounts. Lauf is currently a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista, where he posts weekly blogs about the latest and greatest trends in fashion on campus. Lauf will also be a public relations intern for the Redbird Ice Hockey team in the fall. Audie hopes that with his determination and love for office supplies and organization that he can take PRi to the next level. Lauf hopes to pursue a public relations career in the fashion industry.

2015-2016 ISU PRSSA Executive Board leading a Chapter meeting

Upcoming Events: •

Have a great summer!

Profile for Illinois State University PRSSA

PRemier Newsletter: April 2015  

This issue of PRemier includes the Donate Life ISU event, "It's PR, not ER:" Edelman and United Center tour, letter from Executive Board mem...

PRemier Newsletter: April 2015  

This issue of PRemier includes the Donate Life ISU event, "It's PR, not ER:" Edelman and United Center tour, letter from Executive Board mem...