FORUM Inside Disney sports Q&A with Faron Kelley, Disney Sports Attractions BY Sarah Houseknecht Syracuse University Faron Kelley is a Disney veteran who has spent the majority of his 22 years involved in new business and product development. Since joining the Disney Sports Attractions team in 2008 as director of marketing, he has overseen the rebranding of the sports complex to incorporate ESPN and the launch of the runDisney brand. Kelley discussed the “magic” his sports marketing team creates at Disney every day. How does Disney use an integrated marketing communications (IMC) strategy?
KELLEY There are so many departments working with the sports marketing team. The list includes marketing, advertising, publicity, public relations, customer relationship management, social media, digital content and others. The departments are integrated so the whole can benefit from the expertise of its parts. Why do you think positioning marketing and public relations as one business function has been successful for Disney? KELLEY I’m a believer in leading with public relations. If you can
SEE DISNEY SPORTS, PAGE 2
Oh, the places you’ll go...
2012 Regional Conferences For more information about the PRSSA 2012 Regional Conferences, visit prssa.org/events/regional_conferences/. Com Day: Going Into The Wild www.pucomday.tumblr.com Feb. 24-25 West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue University @pucomday
Y Are You in PR? A Study of Generation Y and the Profession www.yareyouinpr.com March 31-April 1 Statesboro, Ga. Georgia Southern University @YAreYouinPR
PR Advanced: Unleash Our Generation www.pradvanced.com
Bringing New Energy to PR www.prssanevada.com April 12-14 Reno, Nev. University of Nevada at Reno @newenergy2PR
Feb. 25 Boston, Mass. Boston University @pradvanced When Two Worlds Collide: Bridging Online and Offline Communication www.auprssa.org March 23-24 Washington, D.C. American University @au_prssa Back to Basics www.backtobasicshu.com March 30-April 1 Hempstead, N.Y. Hofstra University @Back2BasicsHU Southern Hospitality
March 30-31 Nashville, Tenn. Belmont University @PRSSAR5C
People Relations www.uiowa.edu/~prssa April 13-15 Iowa City, Iowa University of Iowa @iowaprssa
WINTER 2012 | VOLUME 44, ISSUE 2 | www.prssa.org/FORUM The Publication of the Public Relations Student Society of America
“The goal isn’t to be good at social media. The goal is to be good at business because of social media. Have a clearly articulated, mathematically defined idea of how social media is helping the company succeed.” –Jay Baer, author of “The NOW Revolution”
LESSONS IN SOCIAL MEDIA from strategists who know
BY Keri Cook Liberty University New media guru. Social networking genius. Social media expert. These are real taglines, taken from the LinkedIn profiles of a few millennial public relations professionals. Young practitioners are quick to label themselves as social media specialists or experts, when in reality this often boils down to the fact they know how to set up a Facebook page and acquire a few hundred Twitter followers. These individuals are focused on the tools they are using rather than the messages they can create and the results they can achieve through these social media tools. So how can a professional
ensure that his or her social media efforts are strategic and effective? Some of the industry’s well-known authorities shared their advice to students and professionals.
Tie your social media efforts to business-driven objectives.
Before you decide to revamp your client or organization’s social media presence, make sure these activities are driven by a deep-rooted, cohesive strategy. In most cases, this means setting measurable objectives that will demonstrate how your social media efforts are ultimately driving business growth. Jay Baer, author of “The NOW Revolution” and well-known authority on social media and content marketing, weighed in on the importance of tying social media
Read what it was like to communicate during the tornado crisis response in Joplin, Mo.
to specific business objectives. “The goal isn’t to be good at social media,” he said. “The goal is to be good at business because of social media. Have a clearly articulated, mathematically defined idea of how social media is helping the company succeed.” Jason Falls, a prominent social media speaker and consultant, said he agrees social media is intrinsically entwined with communications, marketing and business strategy. “You can’t be a social media expert if you’re not also an expert in those areas,” Falls said. “You can look up all the stats you want. If you’re trying to drive sales, the only one that really matters is the bottom line.”
SEE SOCIAL MEDIA, PAGE 2
Missed out on this year’s National Conference in Orlando? Catch up on the fun inside this issue.
LimitLess PR www.limitlessPRinGR.wordpress.com April 13-15, Grand Rapids, Mich. Grand Valley State University @PR_GR From Student to Professional www.studenttoprofessional.com Feb. 23-25 Provo, Utah Brigham Young University @StudenttoPro COURTESY PHOTO
Winter 2012 | Volume 44, Issue 2 | www.prssa.org/FORUM
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Worry less about the tools you’re using and more about the audience you’re engaging.
Craig Kronenberger, senior vice president and managing director at Edelman Digital in Atlanta, reminds us that content is king. “Always think about your story and what content will reach and engage your audience,” he said. “Don’t just use social media to push out your messaging points. It’s not going to resonate unless you are listening to your audiences.” Deirdre Breakenridge, CEO of the strategic firm Pure Performance Communications, recommends listening before trying to contribute to the conversation. “Before interacting in different social communities, we need to understand the sociology of those communities,” she said. “Watch the dynamics; it’s like a cocktail party. There are definite cultures and ways to participate, and we have to be respectful of that.”
Have a little patience.
It takes time to determine what you can accomplish through social media and what kind of content works best for your target public. Sarah Evans, new media consultant and owner of Sevans Strategy, explains social media is not a cakewalk. “It is not as simple as ‘if you build it, they will come.’ Most likely, you won’t create a social account and amass thousands of followers overnight,” Evans said. “Social media takes time, strategy and perseverance.”
FORUM® STAFF 2011-2012 Editor in Chief Amy Bishop Design Editor Sarah Thacker Copy Editor Kristina Hunter Photography Editor Autumn Scaglione Web Editor Alisa Wiersema
FORUM® is published three times a year for PRSSA members. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Society or staff. The Editor in Chief reserves the right to refuse all copy. Article submissions, comments and suggestions may be made via email to the FORUM® Editor in Chief at email@example.com. FORUM® is produced by students at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.
Our highly-caffeinated nation and industry BY sarah thacker Indiana University In September, Dunkin’ Donuts released its annual survey results of U.S. coffee consumption trends. Through a partnership with CareerBuilder, the survey looks at trends by factors such as industry, location and age. Public relations and marketing professionals were the second most likely group to say they required coffee to make it through the work day. Here’s a look into the highly-caffeinated industry.
THE NATION OVERALL
HOW INDUSTRIES STACK UP 1
Nearly half (46 percent) of workers in the U.S. say they are ‘less productive’ without coffee.
Scientist/lab technician Marketing/ public relations professional
3 Education administrator 4
Of those Americans that do drink coffee, 61 percent drink two or more cups daily.
5 6 7 8 9
Healthcare administrator Physician Food preparer Professor Social worker
Many young workers, ages 18 to 24, claimed coffee has helped them to advance their careers by providing networking opportunities.
Dunkin’ donuts | www.dunkindonuts.com/DDBlog/2011/09/new_dunkin_donuts.html
‘Cash in on Communication’ helps Kent State University reach goals BY Lindsay Ridinger Kent State University At the end of the day, does your Chapter wait for the pennies to drop out of its piggy bank, or do your members relish in the weight of heavy earnings? On Oct. 14, the Kent State University PRSSA Chapter presented a Chapter Development Session at National Conference titled, “Cash In on Communication: Reaching Your Fundraising Goals.” The presenters shared fundraising ideas and advice based on research and experiences with fundraising and collaborating with professionals.
Use a strategic approach
The strategic approach is useful when planning, implementing and evaluating an event. PRSSA Kent capitalizes on past events to better prepare for its two major
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 get a half-page story on an event, that is worth more than the same space in advertising. You can really tell a believable, credible story. An ad is easy to flip by, but a good story is hard to forget. Then, advertising can be used as a positive reinforcement and reminder to the public relations effort. If you lead with public relations, it drives the call to action that can be supported by more traditional marketing methods. How has the Disney sports business continued to change and grow in the last decade? KELLEY Sports are a part of the everyday lives of many people. Whether it is youth athletes getting involved in sports or adults trying to staying fit, it becomes a part of your everyday lifestyle. Families are talking sports at the
fundraisers: the YouToo Social Media Conference and the Homecoming Raffle. Not only does planning begin months in advance, but student co-chairs establish committees and volunteers early to ensure their participation. These events raised more than $5,000 last year to support National Conference attendance and other Chapter activities.
Partner with local companies for fundraisers. Particularly, relationships with sponsoring PRSA Chapters can help secure support for events and fundraisers. “It all starts with reaching out to your network,” Allison Brookes, Kent State University Chapter president, said. “Your network can connect you to potential donors. Reach out to your professors, alumni and public relations professionals.”
Focus on a few events and public relations experience
Chapters will save resources, money and time by focusing on a few large events rather than many small events throughout the year. Consider donating your services through graphic design, social media or event planning to an organization willing to compensate your Chapter. By planning ahead, recruiting member volunteers and networking with local professionals and businesses, PRSSA Chapters will improve their chances of raking in more dough throughout the year. Lindsay Ridinger is a member of the Kent State University Chapter and presented during the “Cash In on Communication: Reaching Your Fundraising Goals” session during the PRSSA 2011 National Conference.
dinner table every night. Making the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and runDinsey part of that conversation ultimately leads to Disney vacations discussions at the table. A little more than a year ago, Disney launched the runDisney brand — five marquee events built around endurance races and Disney experiences. Talk a little about how your team manages this new brand. KELLEY I am a big believer in brand management. The best definition I have ever heard for brand is “a promise kept.” When we launched runDisney, we made a promise. Since that time, we have worked to make sure those promises are kept. Every one of our runDisney races has certain attributes: Participants run through the parks, receive a one-of-a-kind Disney medal, great Disney guest service and Disney entertainment from start to finish. Then it’s wrapped
SHOULD YOUR FIRM APPLY FOR NATIONAL AFFILIATION? BY jessica noonan American University There are more than 100 student-run PRSSA firms in the nation, but only to best of the best are Nationallly Affiliated. If you can answer “yes” to the following nine questions, your Chapter’s firm is ready to apply. Good luck! Is your firm well-established? YES NO Is the firm PRSSA-centered? YES NO Is the firm connected to PRSA? YES NO Does the firm have professional and faculty support? YES NO Are members and leadership accountable? YES NO Is the firm outcome-driven? YES NO Is the firm ethically-based? YES NO Is the firm geared toward professional practice? YES NO Is the firm organized and structured? YES NO APPLY FOR NATIONAL AFFILIATION NOW
WORK TOWARDS NATIONAL AFFILIATION IN tHE FUTURE
courtesy photo | Sarah Houseknecht
Faron Kelley, director of marketing for Disney Sports Attractions, runs in a Disney-sponsored marathon.
all around a Disney vacation. To maintain our promise, our races are tied to Disney locations including our parks around the world.
For more information on preparing your student-run firm for national affiliation, contact Vice President of Professional Development Jessica Noonan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter 2012 | Volume 44, Issue 2 | www.prssa.org/FORUM
courtesy photo | Dan Michel, Feeding America & Ozarks Food Harvest
A Feeding America representative surveys the damage of the tornado that ran through Joplin, Mo., last May. Feeding America helped provide food to those who were displaced.
Communicating in times of disaster BY Bethany Perry Missouri State University This past May, the people of Joplin, Mo., experienced one of the worst tornadoes this country has seen in decades. After the rubble settled, public relations professionals were tasked with communicating how to serve and assist the survivors.
Telling Joplin’s Story
One of the responders to the Joplin tornado was Ozarks Food Harvest, a Feeding America food bank located in
Springfield, Mo. Lindsey Neddenriep, public relations manager at Ozarks Food Harvest, said that food banks are often considered experts in food distribution. “Feeding America and food banks are not strangers to disaster relief,” Neddenriep said. “They are in charge of the food distribution part of it.” Since May, Ozarks Food Harvest has sent more than 2.5 million pounds of food, delivered more than 100 semitruck loads and managed more than 1,000 volunteers. With the dramatically increased
workload, it took strategic communication to manage everything. Neddenriep said the biggest communication challenge was compelling people to volunteer in Springfield, not Joplin. “Everyone wanted to go to Joplin,” Neddenriep said, adding that the challenge was showing people the result. “What they are doing in the warehouse is helping Joplin.”
Public Relations Intern Gets Hands-On Experience
Sara McClendon, public
relations intern at Ozarks Food Harvest and student-run firm director at Missouri State University’s Chapter of PRSSA, said it was important to communicate all the relief needs so it encouraged people to help the food bank locally. McClendon said they wanted to establish Ozarks Food Harvest as a go-to organization. “We wanted people to know if they went to Ozarks Food Harvest’s website, Facebook, or Twitter, they could find out what they needed to do.” During the summer, Mc-
Clendon occasionally put in 12-hour days — doing anything and everything. “People would ask me, ‘what do you do; what part do you play?’ and I would say, ‘every part,’” McClendon said.
Tips for Communicating During a Disaster
Neddenriep advises public relations professionals during a disaster to give a consistent message – and have a consistent spokesperson – be empathetic at all times and be a professional storyteller.
PRSSA 2012 National Assembly
Charlotte, North Carolina March 15-18 www.prssa.org/Assembly
Delegates have the opportunity to:
REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS FEB. 17
» Vote on bylaw changes » Elect next year’s National Committee » Attend leadership training sessions and Assembly meetings » Participate in the Day-of-Competition, creating a “real-world” campaign in one hour
Winter 2012 | Volume 44, Issue 2 | www.prssa.org/FORUM
PRSSA 2011 NATIONAL CONFER Topics, advice from National Conference
Nearly 1,000 students traveled from all arou Orlando. The circles represent the number o
In case you missed it, a list of key takeaways from this year’s sessions and speakers BY Amanda Brodzik Georgia College and State University Nearly 1,000 students from PRSSA Chapters across the country gathered in Orlando for the PRSSA 2011 National Conference. The Conference, held from Oct. 14-18, offered attendees a balanced mix of work and play. Throughout the five-day Conference, attendees were invited to participate in Chapter development sessions, a Brazilian masquerade, a career exhibition, keynote addresses and General Sessions held at the PRSA 2011 International Conference. The Conference featured informational sessions led by public re-
lations experts in a variety of fields including entertainment, fashion, sports and healthcare. The presenters centered on the Conference’s theme, “Perception is Reality,” which supplied students with information on effective communication. Social media, creativity, networking, professional development and Chapter development were some of the many topics that were covered. Some key takeaways included:
Think before you post anything to social media sites. Whether
43 4 95
SEE ADVICE, PAGE 7
By Melinda Biegen Fashion Institute of Technology
Name Mayowa Tomori Class Senior Chapter Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Position Member of the Chapter’s professional development committee
“At National Conference, I was inspired to tackle the impossible. Peter Diamandis of the X PRIZE Foundation encouraged me to be bold and fearless. X PRIZE’s innovative campaigns and ideas pushed me to become more creative.” Name Gina Masciantonio Class Sophomore Chapter Millersville University Position Chapter Vice President
MORE ON STATES Forty-four of the 50 U.S. states were represented at this year’s Conference. Florida, California and Pennsylvania had the most attendees.
“I learned that internships are necessary for a career in public relations. Professionals suggested at least three internships and multiple writing samples for your portfolio. National Conference also taught me the importance of making and keeping connections.” Name Naibi Aguirre Class Senior Chapter Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE) Position Immediate Past Chapter President, Chapter Member “Creativity is very important in public relations. Some people think it’s only important in advertising, but we need to be creative in public relations, too. Passion is very important. You must have passion for the industry and your clients to successfully tell their story.”
The PRSSA Blog is a great pla and more PRSSA 2011 Nation
Learning from Chap 88% of states represented
1 2 3
Florida– 150 members California– 95 members Pennsylvania– 70 members
See what advice some of the about in Chapter Developme • University of Northern Io the Best Chapter in the Se • University of Nebraska O Your PRSSA Story” • Kent State University’s “C Reaching Your Fundraising • Grand Valley State Unive Agency Visit at a Time” • DePaul University’s “DeP • University of Wisconsin O Can Dominate National Co • Elon University’s “Dialogu • University of Delaware’s “ Rebrand Your Chapter”
Winter 2012 | Volume 44, Issue 2 | www.prssa.org/FORUM
RENCE PERCEPTION IS REALITY
DEES CAME FROM
und the country to this year’s Conference in of people who came from each state.
NJ DE DC MD
INTERNATIONAL Outside of the U.S., five other countries were represented. • • • • •
Argentina Canada England Mexico New Zealand
GRAPHIC BY SARAH THACKER | indiana university
E COVERAGE FROM BLOG.PRSSA.ORG
ace to stay updated on industry news, professional advice and stories from other Chapters. For session recaps nal Conference coverage, go to http://bit.ly/NationalConference. National Conference blog topics include:
pter best practices
Communicating with media contacts
top Chapters in the nation spoke ent Sessions, including: owa’s “Programming Your Way To Be ea” Omaha’s “Once Upon at Time: Tell
Fox News Senior Correspondent Rick Leventhal shared his advice for dealing with the media during a keynote speech at National Conference. Here are some of the key takeaways from his speech: • Take journalism classes. It’s important to understand where the other side is coming from. • If an email is not addressed personally, it’s often discarded. • Include information related to what the journalist has done in the past and why they will be interested in the story. • Be as brief as possible. • Get an internship in production at a station as a way to network for future opportunities. • Get to know journalists. Invite them to an outing where you won’t pitch anything. • Two emails a week is good contact. Two emails a day is too much.
Cash In On Communication: g Goal” ersity’s “Seeing the World, One
Paul PRSSA’s Favorite Things” Oshkosh’s “How Your Small Chapter ompetitions” ue Across the Divide” “Changing Perceptions: How to
Gerry James | Campbellsville University
Fresno State PRSSA Chapter member Elizabeth Borg and Chapter President Sarah Boyle take time for a photo during the Carnaval Masquerade social.
Event planning tips from the 2011 Conference Committee by Kara McIver Purdue University Planning an event can be one of the most stressful and timeconsuming endeavors a public relations professional takes on. However, it can also be one of the most rewarding. Jacquline Bond, PRSSA 2011 National Conference Committee member and Carnaval co-chair from the University of Florida, shared her advice for planning your next event, whether it’s a large, formal dinner or a small social event. If you attended the Carnaval Brazilian Masquerade at the PRSSA 2011 National Conference, you know the Committee carried the theme throughout the night beautifully. From the Brazilian
“Give yourself enough lead time to find the perfect vendors and items to go with your vision of the event.” – Jacquline Bond, National Conference Committee member
menu to the Portuguese sayings that trimmed the walls, this event stayed consistent. Bond said having a theme adds direction and cohesiveness to an event. “Décor, entertainment, food and location can all be catered to a specific theme making the event unique and special,” Bond said. “It helps create an overall vision for the event and creates an extra amount of excitement for those at-
SEE PLANNING, PAGE 7
Considering diversity in public relations planning Q&A with Laarni Rosca Dacanay, NBCUniversal BY Simon Oh California State University, Fullerton Laarni Rosca Dacanay is a diversity communications specialist at NBCUniversal Corporate. She took time out from presenting at the PRSSA 2011 National Conference to answer a few questions about working in diversity public relations.
What does your work entail? DACANAY At NBC, I’m responsible for managing our diversity affinity communications, internally and externally, and I work with our media coalition partners such as the NAACP and National Hispanic Coalition. I also manage executive communications for the chief diversity officer in tandem with
SEE DIVERSITY, PAGE 7
Winter 2012 | Volume 44, Issue 2 | www.prssa.org/FORUM
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Finding the leader within Adam aisner 2011-2012 PRSSA National President
How can you develop into a successful leader? A great deal can be said about leadership, more than this column will allow. For now, I’ve narrowed the discussion down to six key leadership points and best practices. The first is that being a leader is all about teamwork. You start by being a team player and showing your support for the other teammates. Once they respect you as a member of their team, they can then respect you as a leader. Have a positive attitude and listen. Your attitude will affect the others around you. Good leaders know that staying positive increases the efforts of the team. In addition, listen to your teammates. Their views are important; by encouraging their diverse opinions, you will maximize and think more about all strategic outcomes. Find your leadership style. Everyone has a different style of motivating and leading their team. For me personally, this is the most challenging part. This is the stage in which you learn how to approach leadership. It varies from person to person, but every leader has their approach. Find your style and develop it. A good leadership practice is to accept new challenges and have a vision. Leaders should have a clear and concise vision that leads them through new challenges. Test your limits and let your team rise to new challenges. It will greatly improve your leadership skills and sharpen your skills as a practitioner. As you develop your leadership style, there will always be room for improvement. My advice is to graciously accept all negative and positive feedback that is offered and treat it as a learning opportunity. When you receive constructive criticism, don’t take it personally. A leader understands that by accepting feedback, they can learn what to improve on. Next time you will be even better than before. Lastly, don’t be afraid to make mistakes as a leader. It is okay to realize that something hasn’t worked, just be sure to learn from that mistake and improve for the future. Now that you have some tips for leadership, be sure to practice them whenever you can, whether it be within your Chapter or at an internship. Don’t be afraid to step up and take on new challenges. Find the leader within and make things happen.
ADVICE ON ADVISERS
Engaging the disengaged Faculty Adviser What if your Faculty Adviser is just not actively engaged with your Chapter? It’s unfortunate, but it happens. What do you do? I’ll give you four techniques I believe will almost always work in these situations and, if done well, will make your Chapter stronger for it.
Seize the Initiative
Just as in the business world, you aren’t always able to pick your boss. And let’s face it, some of them just aren’t going to engage or are going to be very hands-off. So, assuming you’ve got your ducks in a row and know what your Chapter objectives are, seize the opportunity and lead your Chapter. It would be nice to be guided by your Adviser’s experience, but often this type of leader will “rule by exception.” In other
words, you’ll know you’re doing well if you don’t hear anything from your “boss.”
Entice Your Adviser to Action
I wrote on my blog for Faculty Advisers, www.prssapritch.com, that I was thankful for summer planning. If your executive board can develop your goals and objectives by the end of the spring semester and can put your programming together during the summer, you may find that all this organization and leadership may inspire your Faculty Adviser to jump in on his or her part.
Reach Out to the National Faculty Adviser
As the National Faculty Adviser for PRSSA, I not only support the other members of the National Committee, I support all Chapters
and their Faculty Advisers. Sometimes the best way to resolve an issue is for me talk to you and/or your Faculty Adviser about any questions or issues you’re facing. Also, don’t forget Sonja Popp-Stahly, APR, the PRSSA National Professional Adviser, who can help with Professional Adviser matters.
ask Headquarters to survey your local PRSSA ChapteRS
If you’ve tried everything in the first three techniques without positive results, it may be time to consider asking Headquarters to poll local PRSSA Chapters on how well your Chapter is doing overall and in respect to other local PRSSA Chapters. This is a new concept that looks at all aspects of your Chapter from your use of your Professional
Bob “Pritch” Pritchard, APR, Fellow PRSA PRSSA National Faculty Adviser
Adviser, to how the Faculty Adviser functions within the Chapter to the relationship between your Chapter and your parent PRSA Chapter. The idea is to provide the National Committee and Headquarters with information related to where they can help or intervene. The bottom line is I want you to be successful. PRSSA can and should be an important resource in your professional development. I’m happy to tackle your concerns, so please let me know how to help you improve your relationship with your Faculty Adviser.
CULPWRIT ON CAREERS
Go beyond basics to launch social media career Way back in the dark ages of the 1980s, my employer at the time, Eli Lilly and Company, gave me a big, boxy computer and asked me to stop using my coveted IBM Selectric II typewriter. At the time, I seriously questioned the need, but I eventually grew to enjoy that innovative device. Today we take electronic information processing for granted, but not that long ago many of us thought it was a geek-created fad. As I look back, I wish I had embraced the change even quicker. That’s my message: Don’t hesitate to embrace all aspects of social media and other communication tools. Becoming fully engaged in technology positions you well for a rich future in the public relations profession. I am not alone in urging future public relations pros to engage in a deeper command of all things
technological. Those making hiring decisions confirm the importance of doing so. “Entry-level candidates interested in pursuing opportunities in public relations need to stay at the forefront of technologies that allow you to communicate,” says Travis Kessel, vice president of recruitment at Edelman Worldwide. “These ever-evolving technologies allow you to engage an audience, and having proficiency with these tools and being able to communicate effectively through them are worth their weight in gold to potential employers.” Being fully adept in social media also opens more job opportunities. Every recruiter is scouring resumes for hits of technological savvy, and those perceived as early adapters quickly stand out. “Twitter and Facebook have
been the go-to campaign tools within agencies, but those who have a passion for finding and exploiting new technologies will shine as the agency stars of tomorrow,” Kessel said. Academic programs are adjusting curricula to provide more hands-on experiences, with social media gaining increasing focus. “Once you master (or think you have mastered something), it changes again,” DePaul University PRSSA Faculty Adviser Dan Azzaro said. “The best practitioners of tomorrow need to be able to see the forest for the trees — meaning you need to have a global idea and then see how technology and its ilk can be used.” Employers are lining up to snap up those with technology and digital skills, and social media jobs often dominate job boards. It may seem like preaching to
RON Culp Professional Director of Graduate PR & Advertising, DePaul University
the choir to tell young professionals to be on top of the social media cycle — you are the social media generation. But the message here is to not just be involved in the obvious. The challenge is to dig deeper and be able to use the new tools as they present themselves. The next “big thing” in business will wait for no one. The challenge will be in being aware of it and putting it to good use. Ron Culp is a Chicago-based, independent public relations consultant who has held a variety of senior-level corporate and agency positions. He writes a career advice blog, www.culpwrit.com.
TALES FROM CUBELAND
3 tips for successful time management When I made the transition from classroom to cubeland, the biggest bear I faced was time management. Students usually have the luxury of having at least a few days before turning in an assignment, whereas public relations practitioners often have tasks that were due 10 minutes ago. Instead of becoming overwhelmed, be prepared for these moments by practicing good time management. Use these tips as a reference.
Find a system that works
There are countless ways to systematically organize your time and responsibilities. Choosing the system that works best with your personality will make adding agenda items easy to maintain, ensuring
follow-through of tasks. Checklists and calendars are two common examples, but even the components within these systems are complex (e.g. digital vs. notebook, color coding vs. separate pages). For me, Outlook’s built-in checklist app makes it easy to link specific emails to tasks, which I can assign a priority and deadline.
GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME
So much of your day can be wasted if your work requires heavy revisions. Successfully completing tasks the first time will not only allow you to keep your other deadlines, it also helps your colleagues keep theirs. Ask your supervisor questions before you begin an assignment to clarify what the end product should look like. If you feel
a task is taking longer than necessary to complete, ask another staffer if they know a shortcut. Discovering efficient methods rewards you with more time in your day to accomplish other tasks.
Prioritize AND manage expectations
Working on multiple accounts or having multiple supervisors is a recipe for miscommunication. Managers rarely discuss the things on your plate, so it’s your job to raise flags when you have competing deadlines. Talking through assignments will sometimes uncover some flexibility in deadlines; maybe your supervisor has a long meeting at the time you were originally tasked to turn something in for review. I don’t recommend you challenge every
RYAN MCSHANE Account executive Taylor Global Inc.
assignment, but do speak up when it is necessary. Ryan McShane is an account executive at Taylor Global Inc. and works from the agency’s Charlotte office. He served as FORUM Editor in Chief in 2007-08 and was a member of the Hanna E. Norton Chapter of PRSSA at Arkansas Tech University. In 2010, McShane was named Young Professional of the Year by Charlotte’s PRSA Chapter. His blog, ryanmcshane.com, is dedicated to advice for public relations students and young professionals.
Winter 2012 | Volume 44, Issue 2 | www.prssa.org/FORUM
SETTING THE PACE
How To Earn Star Chapter Status
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 you post for personal or professional reasons, you do not want to send the wrong image to your followers. Interact with your followers. Everyone wants to belong. Make sure your audience feels connected to your brand online. Stay up to speed technologically. Many hesitate to join the new Google+ because they do not think Facebook is going to disappear, but who still uses MySpace? Don’t be afraid to try out new tools.
Creativity cannot be forced. Instead, foster creativity by stimulating your mind through reading and learning. Do not be afraid to take a risk. Creativity is full of risks; if it were safe, it would not be creative. Employ visual creativity. Grab a video camera and have fun! After all, YouTube is the second most popular search engine behind Google. courtesy photo | Andy Meng/Craig Huey Photography
Along with National President Adam Aisner, PRSSA members at National Conference represent the 12 Chapters that received the Star Chapter Award.
The Louisiana State University PRSSA Chapter was one of 12 Chapters honored with the Star Chapter Award at the PRSSA 2011 National Conference in Orlando. This national award encourages Chapters to provide specific programming and relationship-building opportunities for members. “The Star Chapter Award is such a great accomplishment for LSU’s Chapter of PRSSA. The executive board carefully planned a year full of professional, philanthropic, fundraising and social events,” said Lindsay Rabalais, vice president of the LSU Chapter during the 20102011 academic year. To qualify for the award, LSU PRSSA implemented an array of initiatives including ethics programming, strengthening their PRSA relationship, gaining media coverage and reaching out to students in other academic programs. Below are some ways LSU PRSSA executed these initiatives, which may inspire you and your Chapter to implement similar initiatives and apply for Star Chapter status next year.
To implement the national ethics initiative, the LSU Chapter invited Andrea Clesi, formerly a co-anchor of WBRZ News2 Louisiana, to give a presentation on being ethical as a mass communications professional. The Chapter members discussed the unethical practices demonstrated by the public relations professional, Samantha, on “Sex in the City.” They discussed how some of the character’s actions contradict ethical values of serving the public.
ELISE BERNARD Louisiana State University
Building relationshipS with sponsoring PRSA ChapterS
LSU PRSSA organized a professional development event with the Baton Rouge PRSA Chapter for graduating seniors. PRSA members gave a presentation on job interviews, met individually with students to review their portfolios and demonstrated what to wear for interviews.
Securing local media coverage
Two members from the LSU Chapter were featured in the Public Relations Association of Louisiana newsletter for receiving scholarships from the organization. The Baton Rouge PRSA Chapter also posted information about the LSU Bateman Case Study Competition team receiving an honorable mention in the 2010 Competition.
Reaching out to other disciplines
The Chapter reached out to journalism students and professionals. Ellen Kennerly, an LSU journalism professional in residence, spoke at a meeting about the relationship between journalism and public relations and encouraged students in each field to learn from each other. “Everything from ‘PRSSA Philanthropy’ to our professional development workshop and Chapter socials really contributed to a dynamic year full of participation from members and great opportunities to grow as a professional,” 2010-2011 LSU Chapter President Jennie Armstrong said. “We wanted to represent PRSSA well in our school, in the local community and in the nation.”
STAR CHAPTER REQUIREMENTS Help your Chapter meet eight of these 10 requirements and complete the application form and you could be a PRSSA Star Chapter. You will also strengthen your Chapter in the process.
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Complete at least one community service project. Strengthen your relationship with your parent PRSA Chapter. Give attention to ethics in at least one Chapter meeting. Apply for individual National PRSSA scholarships or awards. Apply for National PRSSA Chapter Awards. Implement at least one National initiative. Have at least one member attend a National event or Regional Conference. Gain positive attention for your Chapter in at least one campus or community publication or other media. Reach out to other disciplines and invite them to attend at least one Chapter meeting. Confirm that at least 10 percent of your graduating seniors applied for PRSA Associate Membership. Chapters with fewer than 10 senior members need to confirm one application.
ONLINE ONLY For more information about the Star Chapter Award visit: http://bit.ly/StarChapter.
Connect with PRSA after graduation. You may move away from friends and family, but wherever you go, there will be a PRSA Chapter. Get out there. To effectively practice public relations, you must have connections that are not limited to the public relations field.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 tending and creates a memorable experience.” That experience is also dependent upon the time you spend on the smallest details. “The smallest items, even though they may seem insignificant, can make the most impact,” Bond said. “For example, it took more than three months to find the right masks to adequately fit our vision for Carnaval.” Lastly, Bond stressed creating a timeline, sticking to your bud-
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 corporate communications. Why is diversity more important than ever before? DACANAY As our country is now more blended and multicultural, it’s important to understand our audiences when reaching out to the masses through television and movies. If we didn’t reach out to diverse audiences, we would be out of business. Why is diversity an important consideration for the public relations field? DACANAY There is so much focus on minorities and multi-ethnicities; you’re seeing the word “inclusion” come into play. It spotlights people of all different backgrounds. Also, employees working in
7 Professional Development
Brand yourself. Just like a favorite brand or product, be sure that your image is cohesive and speaks for you. Try matching your business cards and resume or creating an infographic resume. Consider shadowing professionals. Not sure what public relations niche is right for you? Ask professionals in various fields in your area if you can shadow them for a day. Always exhibit trust and loyalty. Ethics is the cornerstone of public relations.
Connect with alumni. Seek out former Chapter members to speak at meetings, schedule agency visits and fundraise. Make sure your Chapter leadership is on the same page. Consider updating bylaws or executive member contracts to be certain members know what is expected of them. Fundraise, fundraise, fundraise. To enter competitions, host events or go on agency tours, your Chapter will need financial support. Try contacting everyone from small, local businesses to larger corporations to see if they will donate their products or assist in another way. To learn more about these topics and others that can be applied to the real world, visit http://www. prssa.org/events/Conference/Program/Speaker%20Presentations to see presentations from National Conference. get and keeping communication open with everyone from your committee members to vendors. Even small budgets can create memorable galas. Keep in mind to plan wisely and prioritize your event’s needs and wants. Talking to your team and vendors consistently allows you to share the vision, see samples and get plenty of help when you need it. “Give yourself enough lead time to find the perfect vendors and items to go with your vision of the event,” she said. “We began planning for Carnaval eight months prior to the actual event. The sooner you start, the better.” an environment that embraces diversity will be happy and productive, which is good for business as well. What are the challenges and benefits of reaching out to diverse audiences? DACANAY The challenge is changing the way people think and having them realize an inclusive point of view. The benefit is that when people are more inclusive, they often have more open minds and varied ideas that make them consider looking at diverse candidates, projects or products. What advice do you have for students pursuing careers in diversity relations? DACANAY Follow your dream, stay persistent, have fun learning and believe anything is possible.
Thinking about graduate school? Meet Alison. Alison Zemanski 2007 WVU IMC graduate Media Relations Manager National Parks Conservation Association
I started working at a PR agency in Washington, D.C., and wanted additional skills in branding, marketing analysis, and creative strategy. The flexibility of the fully online IMC program at WVU allowed me to continue working while earning my graduate degree, and the curriculum gave me the edge I needed.
Watch Alison’s video story by scanning the QR code.
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The Public Relations Student Society of America's winter 2012 issue of FORUM.