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esPResso Your Shot of Industry Insight






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Retail brands learn valuable lesson in crisis communication in Hurricane Sandy aftermath By Cassie Yettru

inside this issue: Page 2 Tim Massie sheds light on reputation management for social media Page 4 An interview with PR Professor, Arien Rozelle Page 5 A list of Do’s and Don’ts for student tweeters.

When Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast earlier this fall, many people were left with nothing and uncertain as how to move forward. While the storm was tearing down homes and destroying beaches, many retail brands took action. These actions prompted different responses from people across the country. For instance, a few clothing stores used the storm as an opportunity to offer sales. Gap sent out a tweet asking their followers to join them in their online shopping at Meanwhile, Urban Outfitters offered free shipping on all orders. At checkout, the code customers had to enter at Urban Outfitters was “ALL SOGGY,” which was seen by many as inappropriate. American Apparel

went so far as to put an advertisement on their website reading, “In case you’re bored during the storm,” after which they offered 20% off to customers who reside in the nine most affected states on the East Coast. Many Americans were highly offended by these sales incentives, accusing the companies of being insensitive and selfish for trying to make a profit off of the misfortunes of others. In response to American Apparel’s ads, one man tweeted, “During the inevitable mea culpa from @americanapparel, they should donate all proceeds this year to disaster relief. Then go out of biz.” While clothing brands were offering sales, other retail brands were responding to the natural disaster in another way. Duracell, a Procter & Gamble-owned

battery and smart power solutions company, sent trucks into some of the areas hit hardest in New York City, such as a Battery Park. The trucks were equipped with cell phone chargers and laptops with Internet access so that people could connect with loved ones. AT&T and Verizon, two of the nation’s major cell phone providers, waived various fees regarding cell phone bills. AT&T had not only waived its late payment fees, but also extended the late-payment window. These decisions show that companies are aware of their customer’s circumstances and are sensitive to their needs. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it is clear that some retailers attempted to capitalize on the tragedy of others, while other companies put profit aside to focus on how best to help those in

Page 6 Donald Trump’s Twitter turmoil Page 7 A look into the Marist College Dance Ensemble Capping Project

PRSSA members rally together for hurricane victims On Wednesday, Nov. 15, the Marist College PRSSA Chapter conducted a workshop that educated members about crisis communication while raising approximately $100 for the American Red Cross to aid victims devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Overall, the workshop was a great success. The Marist Chapter executive board provided members with a way to connect a current event to a crucial sector in the public relations industry. This donation will go directly to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Marist College Chapter members are proud of their efforts to help victims in need and hope the money donated improves the lives affected by the hurricane.


Tim Massie sheds light on social media etiquette By Caroline Ferrari On Wednesday, October 24, Timmian Massie, former Chief Public Affairs Officer at Marist College and current Director of Corporate Giving at Watson Pharamceuticals, spoke to the Marist PRSSA Chapter about online reputation management. Massie emphasized that examining a person’s social media life is as crucial a part of the hiring process as checking employment history, running a criminal background check and seeing credit reports. He shared stories of Facebook profile pictures ruining job opportunities and tweets that put employees in potentially compromising positions. The two words he recommended that all people should consider when posting online are propriety and privacy. PR students especially should know if something is proper, use the appropriate form of public discourse

and refrain from discussing incredibly personal topics such as your current state of mind or “drunk tweets.” “Why are you putting this out there for the world to read?” Massie asked about students who do not follow these rules. Instead, young PR professionals should utilize social media to build his or her online brand. Dozens of Massie’s former students have gotten jobs through social media, and Massie taught members tips so they could hopefully do the same. These included using Twitter to network, by conversing with people who can become important contacts and reading and commenting on public relations blogs to attract employers’ attention. Massie’s three steps to promote your skills,

strengths, and interests are to define your objective, discover your current brand, and define your message. These can all be accomplished through social media. Whether it is establishing credentials on business websites like LinkedIn or communicating messages through sharing links or retweeting, your digital footprint can help you take many professional strides. But one stupid post in social media can ruin your reputation. “Your digital footprint lasts forever. FOREVER,” he warned. Tim Massie gave an insightful, informative presentation regarding all aspects of social media, good and bad, and how they can potentially make or break a reputation and career. He continues to be a great resource to the Chapter and his professional insight is invaluable.

Marist College named top ten best colleges on Pinterest Earlier this semester, Marist College was acknowledged by as one of the top ten best colleges on Pinterest. The account includes pinboards on academics, study abroad opportunities and student’s Instagram photos and helps showcase the college’s brand. sums up Marist’s Pinterest page perfectly, “The page is wellbalanced, offering something for everyone.”. As social media loving PR students, we are thrilled for this recognition.

Michael Bernardini Chapter President @mrBERNARDINI Erica Conover Vice President (President-Elect) @vivalaerica Jackie Mucilli VP of Chapter Development @YackieYacks Meredith Lowe Director of PR @merekaylowe Julie Moller Firm Director @juliemoller1 Deanna Morosoff National Delegate @Deanna_Morosoff Chelsea Conroy Treasurer @ccon27 Abbey Scalia Secretary @abbeyscalia Elizabeth Odachowski Historian @LizOda27 Jennie Donohue Faculty Adviser @jenniedonohue

Source: Marist College Pinterest


A Letter from the Chapter President By Elizabeth Odachowski O n Nov. 15, P R S S A held a crisis management workshop. This workshop offered a great opportunity to learn and better understand how PR experts handle a crisis. We used this workshop as a forum to address the current crisis the tri-state area is facing due to Hurricane Sandy. Our members were instrumental in raising awareness regarding how the hurricane has affected the region and we also raised money to help those left in crisis in its aftermath. We also used this occasion to explore the role social media plays in how crises are reported as well as its impact on the community. Overall, it was an important learning experience, as well as a successful opportunity to raise money for a most worthy cause.

It’s hard to believe that we’re already halfway through the current academic year (with graduation looming on the horizon). At the start of this semester, it seemed we had all of the time in the world to devote to building and expanding our Chapter. Now, it seems there isn’t enough time in the day to eat, sleep or breathe, let alone manage eight e-board members and 100 general members. Yet, if this semester has taught me anything, it’s the joy of delegation and collaboration. Through the enthusiasm of our members and the hard work of the eboard (and their willingness to respond to my

obnoxious emails), we’ve been having a great year. Although I’m usually not one for New Year’s resolutions, I might have to make an exception for 2013. Moving forward, I hope to continue our Chapter’s successes and discover even more ways to enhance our members’ education and engagement. While plans remain in their infancy, it appears that there’s a PRSSArelated activity nearly every week. We’ll begin implementing our fundraising and community service activities, as well as hosting a slew of guest speakers across several disciplines of the industry. Others may disagree, but working harder is certainly a resolution to look forward to. Over the course of winter break, we’ll be

At the close of the semester, our mentor program met once more for an internship panel. Members shared their internship experiences in different fields, including fashion, sports, and entertainment, among others. We also held our networking holiday party to conclude a great semester. Good luck to all our members and esPResso readers on their finals, and Happy Holidays to all! Photo Courtesy of Brian Apfel

collaborating on some exciting updates that we can’t wait to share upon our return to campus in January. In the meantime, I want to thank you for continuing to remain interested in everything our Chapter has been up to. I speak for the rest of the executive board in extending our warmest wishes for a safe journey back home (wherever that may be) and a great holiday season. We’ll see you in the new year! Cheers,

Michael Bernardini Chapter President Class of 2013




Author JJ Ramberg takes a page from Marist PR professor By Julie Moller As public relations students, we have heard many accounts about how to make it in the competitive world of agency and in-house PR, but it is rare that we get to learn about what it takes to go out on your own. New visiting professor Arien Rozelle discussed her experience as a PR practitioner-turnedentrepreneur. Professor Rozelle graduated from SUNY Fredonia having had valuable internship experiences at Seventeen Magazine and music PR firm Big Hassle Media. Upon graduation, she was hired as the marketing coordinator at an international jewelry manufacturer, but her true passion was in music. So she started her own music blog – interviewing bands like Gym Class Heroes and O.A.R. for feature stories - as well as smaller local acts. She used her PR and marketing experience to plan events in New York City to promote the blog and to immerse herself in the scene, while working exten-

sively with publicists and managers to arrange interviews with artists and coordinate performances. Just a few short years later, Rozelle had compiled an impressive list of contacts and decided to use her writing, marketing and PR skills to start FeelingAnxious PR and Marketing in 2007. “I decided to make the leap younger,” said Rozelle, “I felt I had a lot less to lose.” Since then, the company has had an impressive roster of independent artists from the New York City area and beyond. It was Rozelle’s gutsy decision that landed her in the new book, It’s Your Business: 183 Essential Tips that Will Transform Your Small Business, written by MSNBC host JJ Ramberg. The book features tips from small business owners and their advice for others who hope to do the same. Rozelle’s advice, tip #160, is to “turn your inexperience into an asset.” She explains, “I knew at the time I didn’t have the

Email: Twitter: @MaristPRSSA

Professor Arien Rozelle smiles with author, JJ Ramberg at the It’s Your Business book launch. Source: Arien Rozelle

necessary business experience for invoices or graphic and web design, but I knew people who were trained in those fields and looking for ways to gain experience or samples for their professional portfolios.” By recruiting other recent college grads that were looking for additional experience in

their respective fields, Rozelle realized how important it is to know how to ask for help. “In order to succeed, I couldn’t let things I didn’t know how to do stop me.” When asked if there was any other advice that is also important for aspiring professionals, Rozelle advises, “Be authentic.”

Blog: www.maristredfoxes Pinterest: MaristPRSSA






@nycprgirls: Exploring public relations, fashion & entertainment, two 20-something PR girls document their experiences in the city they call home. @PRJobsNYC: Free resource site for those seeking PR jobs in New York City. Hundreds of up-to-the-minute NYC PR job listings. Resume, cover letter and interview tips. @Edelman_Careers: Interested in a position at Edelman, the world’s leading independent PR firm? The recruitment team can help, sharing opps, guidance and answering questions. @PRNews: The public relations professional's resource for ideas, strategies and tools to maximize communications and social media efforts. @devriespr: DeVries PR is an award-winning team of consumer PR experts based in NYC. The agency tweets about industry news, people and trends. @PRSSANational: The official Twitter account of this national organization can connect you to past and present members from all over the country, as well as provide updates on current PRSSA activities and offerings. @socialPRgirl: This humorous account offers PR jokes and puns, and comments on many of the everyday struggles we face as budding PR pros.

A compilation of Twitter dos and don’ts for PR students By: Casey Galasso Who knew 140 characters could make or break you in the public relations industry? When used correctly, Twitter can help get you noticed in a world where everyone seems to be applying for the jobs and career opportunities you want. When used incorrectly, your tweets can get you more than just unfollowed – they can get you fired. Tweet your way to success by checking out these #wins and #fails. #Win: Show your personality Make 25 percent of your tweets about you. By showing your personality on Twitter, you create bonds with your followers, which could eventually lead to connections down the road. What crosses the line into too personal? Tweets about sex, arguments, politics and religion (unless you want politics

or religion to be a part of your personal brand.) #Fail: Oversharing Follow this rule when it comes to tweets: if you don’t want your manager (or mother) to know about it, don’t post it. #Win: Demonstrate skills Are you a budding movie critic? A future fashion blogger? Use Twitter to link to your personal page or blogs. This allows followers to get to know you and what you do a little bit better. #Fail: Ranting “Keep your tweets 80 percent positive,” says Jeff Lipschultz, cofounder of recruiting firm A-List Solutions, located in Texas. While everyone is entitled to their bad days, employers are not going to want to hire habitual complainers.

#Win: Focus your interests Don’t post tweets about everything related to your interests. Build up your credibility by focusing on your passions and what you feel you are most qualified to write about and weigh in on. #Fail: Random tweets These tweets (about what you ate this morning) can cost you valuable followers. Before posting, ask yourself, “do my followers care about this?” Add value to bland tweets through photos, facts or by using humor. #Win: Twitter is a dialogue Work on starting conversations with followers. When you need their help (for possible promotions and retweets) they will be much more inclined to lend a hand knowing you don’t just aim to post things about yourself. Source: Self Magazine


Donald Trump’s tweets cause a stir on Election Night

@realDonaldTrump was lampooned for his anti-Obama remarks in the Twittersphere on Election Night.

By Amanda Fiore Donald Trump’s hostility towards President Obama is nothing new. He has relentlessly questioned the president’s citizenship, therefore, his eligibility as president. What’s new is Trump’s outright distain for Obama expressed through his election night Twitter tirade. Trump

posted more than ten egotistical, aggressive tweets challenging President Obama’s re-election—labeling the election results as “a total sham and a travesty.” He did not stop at simple selfexpression, but encouraged the following of the public calling for a “revolution in this country” stating “the world is laughing at us.” Trump’s belligerent, rash tweets caught on like wild fire, a consequence of the immediacy of social media. His Twitter followers were bombarded with his antiObama rant, gaining the negative attention of NBC’s anchor Brain Williams, who exposed Trump’s tweets on Nightly News. Williams commented on the Twitter rampage on-air stating Trump had “driven well past the last exit of relevance and

PR team should have recognized the tweets as an error in judgment, and designated a crisis communication spokesperson to apologize for the offensive rant, as well as answer the questions of the public and media. An After coming to his immediate apology to Presisenses, or perhaps by the dent Obama, Brian Williams, urging of his public relations and the public would have team, Trump deleted some illustrated Trump as a sinof his election night tweets, cere man of character, aidnamely the one calling for a ing to repair his public imrevolution and inaccurately concluding that Obama had age. In addition, Trump should lost the popular vote. Deleting the offensive tweets was have updated his Twitter the first step in protecting account to further express Trump’s reputation in this his regrets to the public. crisis situation, but he and Through effective, instant his PR team did not go far use of crisis communication enough to publicly apologize. strategies, Trump could have Trump’s actions needed to saved his public reputation. be addressed through a se- Simply deleting a tweet does ries of crisis communication not cut it. Trump can now strategies. The day following add to his list of credentials, the election, Trump and his “conducted a hissy fit via Twitter.” veered into something closer to irresponsible”. In typical Trump-like fashion he went to Twitter to attack the Nightly News anchor writing, “Wouldn’t you love to have my ratings?”

Entertainment adjusts for the “smaller small screen” By Amanda Hickey Upon hearing the term “the big screen,” various images of grandeur, red carpets and flashing lights begin to formulate in one’s mind. The big time. But entertainment is also enjoyed on “the small screen”, most commonly known as television. Loveable sitcom characters, frivolous game shows, reality TV and mini series have captured the attention and adoration of audiences around the world. However, as the world of PR continues to develop, so does the desire for connectivity to all

things showbiz. As of late, a new type of screen is quickly becoming a huge phenomenon – though it is relatively small in size. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the star of this year’s show … The Smaller Small Screen!

contents and they are blowing the doors of the entertainment PR industry wide open. A 2011 Social Commerce Study concluded that because of these smaller “small screens”, the appetite for entertainment is stronger than ever. But of course, this smaller “small screen” is more than just for the showing and viewing of our favorite movies and television shows. The PR market is about circulating information and representing clientele.

What exactly is the smaller small screen? Well by that, industry professionals mean things like smart phones, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. All of these media outlets are now providing us with more connections than ever to the world of entertainment. Social media sources have comThis new docking for enpletely altered the way the tertainment is also to help “big screens” and “small drive celebrity brand enscreens” broadcast their

dorsements so that the stars we love can keep making movies and TV shows that we love. The new possibilities that are now under our belts are invigorating for PR professionals and the future of the smaller “small screen” is “poised for further growth.” Overall, it is a very exciting time in the entertainment industry. Tom Tardio, CEO of Rogers & Cowan commented: “While the storytellers used to be the producers and the people who wrote scripts, now the storytellers have become you and me.” It’s safe to say that we won’t be pulling the curtain on this screen anytime soon.




Senior Capping students utilize PR skills and social media talent to showcase the Marist College Dance Ensemble By Meredith Lowe Ask any senior about the dreaded Capstone project and you will most likely receive exasperated sighs, shaking of heads and maybe even a slight shudder. In all honesty, I was absolutely dreading my “Capping” class next semester until I got the chance to participate in several of my friends’ projects. I realized that if you have a passion for your project and enjoy doing it, it’s really not work at all. Communication majors Alyssa Pallotti and Gina Sirico can certainly attest to this fact. For their capstone project, they focused on their passion for dance and the Marist College Dance Ensemble (MCDE). They called their project the MCDE Behind the Curtain Campaign and utilized everything they learned about PR to pro-

duce a campaign that documented the ensemble’s road to the fall semester showcase. Pallotti and Sirico used a myriad of social media platforms to share their content. Twitter and Facebook were used to promote their work, a Pinterest was created to show the creative aspect of the campaign and WordPress was used to document their writing pieces. They found that Facebook in particular worked best for sharing their campaign with others. “Out of our 4,000 views on our site,” Pallotti explains, “2,157 views were linked from Facebook. As soon as we published our page, we had over 100 likes.” The partners had their own personal strengths when it came to their campaign. Pallotti excelled in the written aspects of the project while Sirico contrib-

Dancers practice their routines for the showcase during rehearsal week. Source:MCDE Behind The Curtain WordPress

uted best visually. It was certainly a team effort to produce content three to four times a week on their social media platforms. “To us, it wasn’t homework,” explained Pallotti “it was entertaining for us to see all the behind the scenes work and rewarding to publish our interpretation of it.”

1,000 tickets sold for both shows--a feat that has never been accomplished during the fall semester due to the off campus venue of the showcase. While the campaign isn’t the sole reason for the show’s success, it’s evident that the girls’ savvy communication skills definitely helped promote the The showcase was cer- amazing show. tainly a success with over


Start planning ideas for your project now; It’s the hardest part of getting started.

Take your skill set and apply it to something you’re passionate about.

Do something no one has done before or put a spin on a past idea to make it uniquely yours.

Think of what you’d like to see from the Marist community, and turn it into your project to benefit not only others but yourself as well.



Media takes on a new form in 2012 presidential election By Erica Jordan

As technology evolves, all facets of human life are affected. We see the effects of new media not only take control of our personal lives, but in the political realm as well. This held especially true for both the Democratic and Republican candidates during this presidential race. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney’s campaign staff needed to learn not only how to use the new media outlets effectively, but to use them better than their opponent. This is not always an easy task for them to do, especially because many senior staff members on these campaigns are from an older generation than those of the social media era. Nonetheless, new media has held a presence in recent campaigns, taking

a broad stand in the 2008 presidential race and continuing to be an important part of the political spectrum today. New media has given a voice to the regular citizen and has allowed anyone to become a journalist on whatever topic they desire. We have seen major improvements in media since the last election. It is assumed that new media is not only here to stay, but will become vital in future elections if not already crucial in the current one. This is not a trend that can be ignored, but must be embraced and accepted to be a successful candidate and person in the professional atmosphere today. In the current election, Barack Obama’s use of new media pulled him forward in the polls, similarly to in 2008, above oppo-

Obamas tweet “Four More Years” received the most retweets of all time. Source: @BarackObama

nent Mitt Romney. This is probably because Obama’s campaign team had ventured down this new media routine before and had been successful. Romney was new to this kind of campaigning and it was obvious, especially when taking a look on each of their YouTube channels, with 61% views over Romney’s 39%. According to the Unruly 2012 Election Tracker, Obama

had 57% of Facebook and Twitter shares while Romney only had 43% . This can reflect two things; more Obama supporters are online or of the younger generation or Romney is not posting as much content as his opponent. The same went for the amount of likes on their Facebook pages and amount of retweets on their Twitter accounts; Obama was in the lead. It seems that Obama had more success in his online media due to the fact that he interacted more frequently with his supporters on these sites. Obama re-tweets twice as much as Romney does, so perhaps this is why he finds more success and loyalty online. It seems to be that the more active a candidate is online, the more success they find.


Tweets averaged 9, 965 tweets per second throughout election results coverage

The total of election-related tweets reached 31 million on November 6th, 2012

Barack Obama’s post-victory tweet, “Four more years” garnered over 510,000 retweets

Source: and

esPResso December 2012  

Volume 4 Issue 2 of the Marist College PRSSA Chapter newsletter