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FORUM

SPRING 2013 | VOLUME 45, ISSUE 3 | www.prssa.org/FORUM The Publication of the Public Relations Student Society of America

Five Ways to Maximize Your Summer Internship Experience

CRISIS COMMUNICATION IN THIS MOMENT

BY BEN BUTLER Geneva College Within recent years, the potential for an organization to undergo a crippling crisis has increased due to the growing influence of social media. According to Brittany Thomas, coordinator of external affairs at Cabot Oil and Gas, “Crisis is no longer a question of if, but when.” With this in mind, every organization should follow the three P’s – planning, practice and people – to prepare for a potential crisis and protect its reputation and stakeholders. The first method to properly handle a crisis is to develop a series of written plans. Plans should be prepared with risk assessments and potential scenario developments in mind. Also, each plan should contain specific language, a crisis team list, communication approval flow charts and steps to thwarting any variety of problems an organization may face. At the PRSSA 2013 Regional Conference at Penn State, Rob Boulware, stakeholder relations manager at Seneca Resources Corporation, encouraged young

Four Tech Tools for Public Relations Professionals BY BOBBY SCHRADER University of Delaware Every day, new social applications launch, individuals post and converse with friends and public relations professionals strategize for how to best use the broad spectrum of online tools to engage with their key publics. With such an ever-changing social landscape, it can be difficult for professionals to keep up. Public relations professionals must remember they do not need a presence on every social network or need to use every new application. Instead, they should decide which platforms make the most sense for engaging with their audiences. In this chart are just a few of the latest platforms that may support communication with your audience.

P

LANNING RACTICE EOPLE

professionals to consider several questions while developing plans, including: “Who hates me?” and “Who wants to see me fall?” Planning does not complete the preparation process — practice is also necessary. It is in the best interest of communication professionals to facilitate regular mock crisis situations, involving not only the appointed crisis team, but also other important company executives. Planning and practice are vital to success; however, the most important element of successful crisis communication are the people – the team members. Planning can provide the foundations and language to handle any variety of situations, but crises are constantly changing and incredibly stressful. “Good crisis response is based on key individuals working to-

Vine

BY CAMERON SCHIELDT Liberty University

gether through planning, situation discussions and role playing, so that in an emergency situation, each member of the team knows what he or she needs to do,” Cheryl Johnston, director of marketing and public relations services at Geneva College, said. “Together, they work in unison with a common goal.” An organization must decide which employees should be active during crisis and should properly prepare them to be ready at any time to jump into action. These employees should be highly qualified to handle the stresses and the developments, while following a strict consistency established by the structured plan. By carefully preparing for the three P’s, an organization’s chances of dodging the negative effects of crisis rise dramatically.

As the media industry becomes more integrated, public relations professionals must be well-rounded in experience Many prospective employers are no longer impressed by just a list of skills, but now seek demonstration of achievement. An internship is the best way for students to perfect and hone their written, verbal and criticalthinking skills. Dr. Norman Mintle, dean of Liberty University’s School of Communication, has experience in many fields of communication after working in movies, as a television news host and writer and as executive producer/director of a broadcasting network. When asked how students can maximize their summer internship experiences, he shared these five tips.

1. ACT PROFESSIONALLY

According to Mintle, a working professional is timely, works diligently and dresses appropriately. A mental shift must take

Pic Stitch

Slideshare

place. “Realize that you are no longer a student, you’re a professional,” he said. He or she does everything possible to be loyal to the position, company and boss. Going above and beyond the requirements of an internship is crucial to being positioned as a potential candidate for permanent employment.

2. WOW YOUR BOSS

Two-way communication is important and shows initiative. Interns should seize all opportunities to ask for feedback on performance and to give feedback when asked about potential solutions for overcoming company issues. Prepare for life after the internship by asking for professional development advice along the way.

3. BECOME AN AVID READER

Mintle stressed the importance of lifelong learning and the ongoing pursuit of knowledge. A well-read person can intelligently and actively engage in conversation. Soak up informaSEE INTERNSHIP, PAGE 2

Storify

WHAT IS IT? Vine is a video application for Twitter that allows users to film six seconds of content. The app allows users to film different things, and join each separate clip to form the six-second product.

Pic Stitch is a photo editing application that gives users the chance to not only alter the filter of an image, but also join two or more pictures together into one piece of content.

Slideshare is a social network where individuals and professionals can upload and share presentations and documents with one another.

Storify is a story-sharing tool that allows users to pull in content from social media networks to create an overall “story.”

EASE OF USE Very Easy — It’s simple to post directly to Twitter and Facebook from the app.

Very Easy — A user-interface that is similar to YouTube makes this an easy tool to learn.

Very Easy — It’s quick and easy to apply filter edits.

Easy — This tool has easy sharing options, but searching for content has a learning curve.

HOW TO USE IN IMC Professionals can use Vine in campaigns to demonstrate product how-to’s. Because Vine allows the user to film several clips, marketers can show how to use their products in a step-by-step fashion. Vine loops the video, which gives the user a chance to watch over and over again.

Because Pic Stitch “stitches” images together into one piece of content, professionals can put multiple images together to display the attributes and personality of the brand.

Slideshare lends itself well to organizations that give presentations frequently — specifically ones that share a lot of research or new industry trends. Organizations can share their ideas and details about their service through posting their presentations on Slideshare. These can be great for companies in the B2B market.

Brands that live-tweet events, or ask attendees at an event to tweet with a certain hashtag benefit from using Storify because they can form “stories” using user-generated content. This helps the organization inform others of successful programming at events.

LIMITATIONS Only six seconds long — must convey information quickly. No ability to add text to videos.

OPEN FORUM 2

Limited filter options on free version.

Read tips to ease your transition to a full-time public relations pro.

Brands are still determining how this fits into broader content marketing strategies.

4

Learn six steps that will help you perfect your online portfolio.

7

Average user interface.

Hear from an expert on how to succeed as a Chapter leader.


2 Five Ethical Missteps of Young Professionals BY ANDREA GILS Southeast Missouri State With many mentors, industry resources, blog posts and books pushing out advice, often times young professionals can receive mixed messages about what is acceptable and appropriate ethical behavior as a public relations professional. “Your reputation is something that is going to accompany (you) the rest of your life and you have to be very careful not to jeopardize it by an incident,” Emmanuel Tchividjian, senior vice president and chief ethics officer at Ruder Finn, said. Professionals new to the industry would be wise to heed these five common mistakes.

1. BEING MISINFORMED OF ETHICAL WORK BEHAVIOR

Deborah Silverman, APR, Fellow PRSA chair of the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards, said the most common mistakes occur because the person wasn’t aware what he or she was doing was “wrong.” What is right or wrong? Silverman said each case is different and should be approached individually. The more discussion on ethical case studies and scenarios one has, the better informed one becomes. “Ethics is a process of discovery,” Tchividjian said. A deep look at PRSA’s SEE ETHICAL , PAGE 5

FORUM® STAFF 2012-2013

Editor in Chief Ashley Mauder Design Editor Kaitlin Bondra Copy Editor Jeni Kmic Managing Editor Lauren Stahl Advertising Manager Lauren Tennet

8

Spring 2013 | Volume 45, Issue 3 | www.prssa.org/FORUM

INTERNSHIP

Tips for Transitioning to a Full-Time Public Relations Pro

BY NICK LUCIDO Senior Account Executive, Edelman BY SCOTT THORNBERG Account Coordinator, Eastwick Communications Starting a new job or internship after you graduate can be an intimidating concept. You will have to worry about finding your way around the office, learning your new co-workers’ names and getting into a new routine that involves staying in one place for more than eight hours. You will also have to forego that afternoon nap you might have become accustomed to in college. On top of all the nuances of your newfound professional life, you will also have to find ways to excel in your career as a new professional. Below is a list of tips that can help you transition into a new job or internship after graduation, no matter what type of company you work for:

FORUM

1. LEARN TO BE TEACHABLE

You will always have something to learn — even after you think you have got it all figured out. Be humble and be willing to listen, even if you think you know the answers.

2. PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL

Employers do not always notice when you do your job right the first time — that is what they are paying you for. You can be assured, though, they will notice if you make a mistake. Take things slow and triple-check everything.

3. BECOME A RESOURCE FOR KNOWLEDGE

You were in college for several years, studying the industry and reading up on industry trends. Your new boss may not be as up-to-date on the latest trends as you. Be humble, but do not be afraid to speak up and provide insight on new trends.

4. GET INVOLVED IN PRSA

Continue your professional involvement with PRSA. Join the PRSA New Professionals Section to continue your experiences from PRSSA, make professional friends and stay connected to the industry.

5. BE POSITIVE

Sometimes, it is easy to fall in the habit of being frustrated with your workload or having a negative outlook on client work. As a new professional, you can stand out by being a source of positivity and optimism for your team.

6. LEARN TO ASK QUESTIONS

One of the most important skills a new professional can master is the ability to ask smart, strategic questions. When given a new assignment, be sure to ask questions that will help give you the context to provide superior work, such as questions on the intended audience, the format and the purpose.

7. ADMIT MISTAKES

Let’s face it – no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes in his or her career. The most SEE TRANSITIONING, PAGE 4

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 tion by following professionals on Twitter and Facebook and by reading material from varied news outlets, blogs, books and magazines.

4. KNOCK ON EVERY DOOR

Mintle said to take advantage of the opportunity to network inside and outside the organization. Networking may lead to employment at the current organization or at another. He said the person who enters an internship with the mindset to take full advantage and meet as many people as possible will succeed at making relevant connections. “Every time a door presents itself, knock,” he said. “If you don’t knock, the door is always closed.”

5. GO ABOVE AND BEYOND

According to Mintle, interns must be interested in activities beyond regular hours by attending meetings, events and seminars. He encourages students to think critically, creatively and innovatively. The goal, according to Mintle, is to leave an employer exclaiming, “Wow, this intern fits. We want and need this person in our organization!” Executives are looking for people who are enthusiastic about rising above the minimum and finishing strong.

How to Find Communications Experience in Any Job BY ROBIN ROTHBERG, APR Lecturer, UNC-Charlotte

What do sneakers, serving trays, snotty noses and lawn sprinklers have in common? There is public relations efforts hiding within each of them. The number one mistake many public relations students make when crafting their resumes is not showcasing their communications experience. I’m not talking about quantifying public relations internships — that’s easy. I’m talking about the public relations inherent in college-age jobs, such as selling shoes, waiting tables, babysitting children or tending yards. “Wait, what?” my students always ask. “Those part-time jobs aren’t public relations. Do you want me to lie?”

Of course I don’t. What I want students to do, though, is find and highlight the public relations skills in those jobs. For example, selling shoes involves meeting or exceeding sales goals, either personally or for an entire retail location, as well as accurately and intelligently representing a range of brands or a store-specific label. Comprehension of both sales and brand needs can help a public relations practitioner drive internal and external organizational conversations in ways that are both profitable and authentic. “OK,” my students will say, “That was an easy one because of the sales aspect. Well what about waiting tables, babysitting and tending yards?” Waiting tables includes managing the needs of

competitive publics as those hungry restaurant patrons wait at their tables. It also involves multitasking financial and emotional concerns, such as taking and returning payments while helping people who were or were not satisfied with their food. Waiting tables may even involve selling specials, which entails acting as a brand ambassador to encourage publics to find the mutual benefit in a managementencouraged decision. Babysitting, meanwhile, involves financial management by setting prices and collecting money when due, as well as marketing either by paper or online postings or word of mouth, and, most importantly, reporting need-to-know activity in a timesensitive environment. After all, it’s the babysitter’s job to tell

Mommy if little Jordyn didn’t finish her homework or to tell Daddy if little Cory is running a fever. Finally, tending yards involves adapting to constantly shifting working conditions such as weather and different locations. Yard work also means being able to identify and report problems to create opportunities to assist clients, for example, seeing water gathering and recommending a change in drainage to prevent mosquito breeding. To do this for themselves, I tell my students to think about the requirements and interactions in their jobs, to reflect on their public relations coursework and then to find and explain the similarities. There really is public relations in everything! All you have to do is find it.

Blog/ Staff Assistant Kelsi Rupersburg Publication Adviser Amy Bishop FORUM® is three times a PRSSA members.

published year for

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® team at forum@prsa.org. FORUM® is produced by students at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio.

Member Full Registration: $300 Non-member Full Registration: $335 www.prssa.org/conference


2 Five Ethical Missteps of Young Professionals BY ANDREA GILS Southeast Missouri State With many mentors, industry resources, blog posts and books pushing out advice, often times young professionals can receive mixed messages about what is acceptable and appropriate ethical behavior as a public relations professional. “Your reputation is something that is going to accompany (you) the rest of your life and you have to be very careful not to jeopardize it by an incident,” Emmanuel Tchividjian, senior vice president and chief ethics officer at Ruder Finn, said. Professionals new to the industry would be wise to heed these five common mistakes.

1. BEING MISINFORMED OF ETHICAL WORK BEHAVIOR

Deborah Silverman, APR, Fellow PRSA chair of the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards, said the most common mistakes occur because the person wasn’t aware what he or she was doing was “wrong.” What is right or wrong? Silverman said each case is different and should be approached individually. The more discussion on ethical case studies and scenarios one has, the better informed one becomes. “Ethics is a process of discovery,” Tchividjian said. A deep look at PRSA’s SEE ETHICAL , PAGE 5

FORUM® STAFF 2012-2013

Editor in Chief Ashley Mauder Design Editor Kaitlin Bondra Copy Editor Jeni Kmic Managing Editor Lauren Stahl Advertising Manager Lauren Tennet

8

Spring 2013 | Volume 45, Issue 3 | www.prssa.org/FORUM

INTERNSHIP

Tips for Transitioning to a Full-Time Public Relations Pro

BY NICK LUCIDO Senior Account Executive, Edelman BY SCOTT THORNBERG Account Coordinator, Eastwick Communications Starting a new job or internship after you graduate can be an intimidating concept. You will have to worry about finding your way around the office, learning your new co-workers’ names and getting into a new routine that involves staying in one place for more than eight hours. You will also have to forego that afternoon nap you might have become accustomed to in college. On top of all the nuances of your newfound professional life, you will also have to find ways to excel in your career as a new professional. Below is a list of tips that can help you transition into a new job or internship after graduation, no matter what type of company you work for:

FORUM

1. LEARN TO BE TEACHABLE

You will always have something to learn — even after you think you have got it all figured out. Be humble and be willing to listen, even if you think you know the answers.

2. PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL

Employers do not always notice when you do your job right the first time — that is what they are paying you for. You can be assured, though, they will notice if you make a mistake. Take things slow and triple-check everything.

3. BECOME A RESOURCE FOR KNOWLEDGE

You were in college for several years, studying the industry and reading up on industry trends. Your new boss may not be as up-to-date on the latest trends as you. Be humble, but do not be afraid to speak up and provide insight on new trends.

4. GET INVOLVED IN PRSA

Continue your professional involvement with PRSA. Join the PRSA New Professionals Section to continue your experiences from PRSSA, make professional friends and stay connected to the industry.

5. BE POSITIVE

Sometimes, it is easy to fall in the habit of being frustrated with your workload or having a negative outlook on client work. As a new professional, you can stand out by being a source of positivity and optimism for your team.

6. LEARN TO ASK QUESTIONS

One of the most important skills a new professional can master is the ability to ask smart, strategic questions. When given a new assignment, be sure to ask questions that will help give you the context to provide superior work, such as questions on the intended audience, the format and the purpose.

7. ADMIT MISTAKES

Let’s face it – no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes in his or her career. The most SEE TRANSITIONING, PAGE 4

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 tion by following professionals on Twitter and Facebook and by reading material from varied news outlets, blogs, books and magazines.

4. KNOCK ON EVERY DOOR

Mintle said to take advantage of the opportunity to network inside and outside the organization. Networking may lead to employment at the current organization or at another. He said the person who enters an internship with the mindset to take full advantage and meet as many people as possible will succeed at making relevant connections. “Every time a door presents itself, knock,” he said. “If you don’t knock, the door is always closed.”

5. GO ABOVE AND BEYOND

According to Mintle, interns must be interested in activities beyond regular hours by attending meetings, events and seminars. He encourages students to think critically, creatively and innovatively. The goal, according to Mintle, is to leave an employer exclaiming, “Wow, this intern fits. We want and need this person in our organization!” Executives are looking for people who are enthusiastic about rising above the minimum and finishing strong.

How to Find Communications Experience in Any Job BY ROBIN ROTHBERG, APR Lecturer, UNC-Charlotte

What do sneakers, serving trays, snotty noses and lawn sprinklers have in common? There is public relations efforts hiding within each of them. The number one mistake many public relations students make when crafting their resumes is not showcasing their communications experience. I’m not talking about quantifying public relations internships — that’s easy. I’m talking about the public relations inherent in college-age jobs, such as selling shoes, waiting tables, babysitting children or tending yards. “Wait, what?” my students always ask. “Those part-time jobs aren’t public relations. Do you want me to lie?”

Of course I don’t. What I want students to do, though, is find and highlight the public relations skills in those jobs. For example, selling shoes involves meeting or exceeding sales goals, either personally or for an entire retail location, as well as accurately and intelligently representing a range of brands or a store-specific label. Comprehension of both sales and brand needs can help a public relations practitioner drive internal and external organizational conversations in ways that are both profitable and authentic. “OK,” my students will say, “That was an easy one because of the sales aspect. Well what about waiting tables, babysitting and tending yards?” Waiting tables includes managing the needs of

competitive publics as those hungry restaurant patrons wait at their tables. It also involves multitasking financial and emotional concerns, such as taking and returning payments while helping people who were or were not satisfied with their food. Waiting tables may even involve selling specials, which entails acting as a brand ambassador to encourage publics to find the mutual benefit in a managementencouraged decision. Babysitting, meanwhile, involves financial management by setting prices and collecting money when due, as well as marketing either by paper or online postings or word of mouth, and, most importantly, reporting need-to-know activity in a timesensitive environment. After all, it’s the babysitter’s job to tell

Mommy if little Jordyn didn’t finish her homework or to tell Daddy if little Cory is running a fever. Finally, tending yards involves adapting to constantly shifting working conditions such as weather and different locations. Yard work also means being able to identify and report problems to create opportunities to assist clients, for example, seeing water gathering and recommending a change in drainage to prevent mosquito breeding. To do this for themselves, I tell my students to think about the requirements and interactions in their jobs, to reflect on their public relations coursework and then to find and explain the similarities. There really is public relations in everything! All you have to do is find it.

Blog/ Staff Assistant Kelsi Rupersburg Publication Adviser Amy Bishop FORUM® is three times a PRSSA members.

published year for

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® team at forum@prsa.org. FORUM® is produced by students at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio.

Member Full Registration: $300 Non-member Full Registration: $335 www.prssa.org/conference


4

Spring 2013 | Volume 45, Issue 3 | www.prssa.org/FORUM

Six Steps To A Stunning Online Portfolio BY STEPHANIE BLACK Kent State University

It’s that time of year again: time to revamp your resume and hunt for a summer internship or post-graduation job. While you’re polishing up the old resume, why not create an online professional portfolio as well? It’s likely you already have the necessary materials. Now, all you’ll need is a bit of time and motivation. An online portfolio is the perfect way to showcase and share your professional work to potential employers. Having an easily accessible online portfolio will boost your search engine optimization (SEO) and catching recruiters’ attention. Web-hosting sites, such as Wordpress and Weebly, make it quick, simple and cheap to

PRSSA 2013-2014

NATIONAL COMMITTEE President: Brian Price Immediate Past President: Lauren Gray Vice President of Advocacy: Jessica Airey Vice President of Chapter Development: Chris Bonelli Vice President of Career Services: Ellie Boggs Vice President of Member Services: Heather Harder Vice President of Professional Development: Helma Von Zadow Vice President of Public Relations: Ben Butler Vice President of Regional Conferences: Erica Brown

create an online portfolio. Here are six pointers for building your first online portfolio:

FOCUS ON SIMPLICITY

Your professional portfolio should only feature your best work. Take a moment to weed through your past assignments and projects. Choose pieces that best showcase your skills and capabilities. Always remember: you are only as strong as your weakest piece!

HIGHLIGHT CONTACT INFORMATION

Your LinkedIn, email, phone number and any additional points of contact should be easily accessible. Include links to your social media channels where you keep a professional conversation. You want to make it easy for

employers to contact you.

BRAND YOURSELF

they can’t find them, neither will a potential employer.

Your online portfolio is an extension of your personal brand. Personalize your portfolio with color schemes, images and your unique writing style, but be consistent. It’s helpful to ensure consistency with any other digital assets you have — like social media pages or blogs.

Creating a logo, color palette or interesting web template can be great ways to show off your creativity. Remember: An eye-catching portfolio can make employers eager to learn more so don’t be afraid to let your creative juices flow.

DESIGN WITH THE USER IN MIND

SHARE AND PROMOTE

Make sure your portfolio is user friendly; there is nothing more frustrating than a difficultto-navigate website. Use clear labeling of all major website tabs to ensure employers can navigate your site with ease. Tip: Ask a friend or family member to locate samples of your professional work. Chances are, if

GET CREATIVE

Use social media and your email signature to drive traffic, including potential employers, to your portfolio. When promoting, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your friends or colleagues. Also if your portfolio is part of a blog, use quality content to drive traffic to your website and ultimately your portfolio.

FORUM TRANSITIONING

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 important part of making a mistake is the aftermath. Admitting you made the mistake apologetically and providing a realistic and thoughtful solution can position you as a trustworthy and honest team member.

8. TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED

What, you thought the Golden Rule was only meant for kindergarten? Wrong. Being kind and respectful to your colleagues, clients, vendors, administrative assistants, interns and everyone else will help you in turn be treated with that kind of respect. Building up a bank of trust can help you build and maintain solid relationships throughout your career that pay infinite dividends.

PRSSA 2013 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY INSPIRES, EDUCATES CHAPTER LEADERS

BY LAUREN FROCK University of North Texas

During April 4-7, Chapter leaders from across the nation convened at the PRSSA 2013 National Assembly in Albuquerque, NM to network and prepare for the upcoming year. At Assembly, members had the opportunity to grow as leaders and make important decisions for the Society in the upcoming year. During Assembly, attendees competed in the Day-of Competition, elected next year’s National leaders and participated in sessions focused on professional development and ethics in public relations.

DAY-OF COMPETITION

The PRSSA Day-of Com-

petition is an annual event that challenges teams of Assembly attendees to create a campaign for a client in one hour. This year’s client was Duck® brand. Duck® brand challenged participants to create a campaign outlining an objective and supporting tactics to raise awareness of Printed EZ Start® Packaging Tape. Each team presented their ideas in front of a panel of judges and participated in a question and answer session. The winning team’s campaign incorporated a “Pin to Win” competition for families and children to enter ideas and accessories made out of the packaging tape on Pinterest for a chance to win funds for their school.

With more than three decades in policy-related arenas, LaVarr Webb has seen many sides of the spectrum — literally, since he wrote for Spectrum newspaper in southern Utah decades ago. Later, as a 17-year editor for the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Webb established himself in public policy through a journalism avenue. A veteran communicator, Webb’s experience in public policy led him to new endeavors. He founded the Exoro Group in 2008 to assist national and local clients in government relations

and public policy communication strategy. The Exoro Group has partnered with more than 50 organizations to promote various public policy issues. “The glamour jobs used to be in journalism,” Webb said. “Now anyone can be a journalist.” Webb’s journey is common, given that public relations jobs have tripled in the last 50 years and are expected to grow another 24 percent in five years, according to the New York Times. “Public relations specialist” was even recently rated by the U.S. News and World Report as one of the 50 best jobs in America. “As a journalist, I felt I made contributions to society through

government and political issues,” Webb said. “Now, I only take advocacy efforts that I want to see succeed.” Some public affairs firms are cautious to only represent causes and policies that they personally support. Other firms like Washington, D.C.-based VOX Global take a bipartisan approach to their advocacy. As VOX Global has grown from 15 to 50 employees in the past six years, it has relied increasingly on digital media to serve a rapidly growing clientele. “Because of the expectation of immediacy, what you say is that important,” Jessica Abensour, senior vice president of

Diversity in Communications Amplified by 2012 Elections

BY CLAUDIA CALDERON California State University, Northridge

The power of the multicultural voice was revealed during the 2012 presidential election. The election showed the changing demographics of the United States and how minorities are beginning to comprise the majority. Critical to public relations, this new minority “majority” wields great power as consumers. Additionally, communicators can learn from the ways the Obama campaign engaged and spoke with a variety of diverse communities. Understanding the shifting demographics in America will help public relations professionals create better consumer strategies in such a diverse market. “The November 2012 election reinforced the changes in the face of America which is CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 Code of Ethics helps professionals build a strong foundation for ethical communications.

2. COMPLAINING ABOUT CLIENTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

COURTESY PHOTO | HANNAH GILES

The newly elected PRSSA 2013-2014 National Committee was elected by delegates at National Assembly in Albuquerque, NM.

LEADERSHIP TRAINING SESSIONS

At Assembly, members were equipped with a better understanding of PRSSA’s member services, Chapter best practices

and ethical practices in public relations. Some of the key takeaways include: SEE ASSEMBLY PAGE 5

VOX’s Raleigh, N.C. office said. “It would be a mistake to put your social or digital media shop to the side.” Digital media facilitated public outcry on a bill two years ago in the Utah state legislature that would have nullified many protections afforded in the state’s Government Records Access and Management Act. It also invited public retribution nationally over the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity (PIPA) and Theft of Intellectual Property Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in 2011. Both bills died in committee. Webb said prior to the rise of digital and social media, those bills

would have been made laws. More than at any time in American political history, organizations have often taken hard lines, said Abensour, a 14-year veteran in the corporate social responsibility, education and nonprofit sectors. “There is a very different feeling in D.C. now than there was a decade ago,” she said, making clear communication paramount. “We focus our work on public policy campaigns that can be sustained,” Abensour said of VOX. “Breaking beyond the negative back-and-forth conversation resonates with the public and moves the needle on public policy.”

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Spring 2013 | Volume 45, Issue 3 | www.prssa.org/FORUM

What Public Relations Must Learn About the ‘New America’

ETHICAL

Public Affairs Industry Transforms; Clear Communication Remains Essential BY RHETT WILKINSON Utah State University

FORUM

According to Tchividjian, there is no privacy with social media and what you say to one person, you are potentially telling the whole world. Before clicking the “share” button, Tchividjian said, “Ask yourself, ‘Do I really want to tell the whole world?’”

3. MAKING BAD DECISIONS WITH ALCOHOL AROUND COWORKERS

Happy hour is the time to relax with coworkers. However, “partying and alcohol is an area of

ASSEMBLY

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 1. PRSSA offers more than $25,000 in individual and Chapter scholarships and awards, including opportunities for members to earn funding to attend National Conference. 2. Common Chapter best practices included weekly discussions of industry news in meetings, hosting guest speakers regularly and engaging younger members through Chapter mentorship programs. 3. The PRSA Ethics app — available for download for Apple

why the term the ‘The New America’ is so appropriate,” Angelica Urquijo, public relations consultant for Hispanic marketing agency ImageN Group, said. According to the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, by 2015, the estimated purchasing power of Hispanics is expected to exceed $1.5 trillion. Companies must be prepared to engage in a mutually valuable relationship with these potential consumers. “Now more than ever, it’s important for organizations to embrace diversity,” Urquijo said. “That starts with a diverse team in-house that can help them understand the nuances of this complex group. A ‘one size fits all’ mentality will not work.” Organizations and brands must be willing to develop an authentic relationship with diverse consumers in order to

establish trust. Additionally, organizations will have to meet consumers across the wide variety of channels they prefer. “The use of social media is certainly changing the way companies reach out to constituents,” Charlie Gu, senior associate at public relations firm David Lang & Associates, said. “A diverse social media strategy is also critical to the successful communication plan.” According to Diversity Inc, 79 percent of Latino respondents and 84 percent of Black respondents agreed that companies who make sincere efforts to be part of their cultural community deserve their loyalty. As a result of the 2012 elections, public relations and communications professionals must evaluate their audiences and integrated marketing plans to determine if they are effectively targeting the correct audience in the ‘New America.’

high danger for ethical lapse,” Tchividjian said. Remember that you don’t need to drink to be part of the team. If you do choose to consume alcohol, do it modestly and cautiously.

unsure of, you should talk to someone of trust and determine why you feel uncomfortable doing what your employer asked. Secondly, put on the shoes of the person who is requesting this unethical action, find out what his or her goal is and think of ways of reaching it in a more ethical way, Tchividjian said. If there is no way to accomplish that goal in an ethical way, don’t be afraid to explain to your employer how and why you feel you cannot execute that task. “Precisely because it is the beginning (of your career), you have to be extra careful not to violate your own belief ... Jobs come and go, but you only have one conscience,” Tchividjian said.

4. SHARING CONFIDENTIAL CLIENT INFORMATION WITH OTHERS

You may want to go back home and share work stories with friends or a significant other after a long day at work, but beware that the story could easily make it back to someone else who’s related to the company or client. In order to play it safely, one should respect any confidentiality agreements signed.

5. NOT FOLLOWING YOUR INSTINCTS

Tchividjian said that before doing anything that you are

and Android — is a convenient resource that addresses values and provisions to assist public relations practitioners in the event of ethical dilemmas. 4. The resume uploading function of the PRSSA Internship Center provides opportunities for employers to connect with members. 5. The PRSSA FUNdraising Bowl offers members the opportunity to share their fundraising ideas and a chance to win free registration to the PRSSA 2013 National Conference.

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS

Delegates from each PRSSA

Chapter were given the opportunity to vote on candidates for the 2013-2014 National Committee on Saturday at National Assembly. The delegates heard candidate speeches, conducted a question and answer period and then voted on who they wanted to represent them as the next PRSSA National Committee. On Sunday, Assembly attendees heard a keynote presentation by Tom Garrity, Owner of Garrity Group. Garrity applied popular movie quotes to the lessons learned in public relations. He encouraged students to be problem-solvers, surround themselves with people that tell them the truth and to follow their passions.

HOPKINS IS

ADVANCING CAREERS

Effective communication requires mastery of social science and digital technology, paired with strong practical skills. Johns Hopkins’

MA IN COMMUNICATION combines all three of these elements. TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF OUR COURSES: > Crisis Communication > Branding and Advertising > Introduction to the Digital Age > Effective Web Design and Strategy > Public Relations in the Age of Digital Influence

Take your career to the next level and join a flexible, part-time program with classes available in Washington, DC or online.

LEARN MORE:

communication.jhu.edu

KRIEGER SCHOOL

of

ARTS & SCIENCES

ADVANCED ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

WHERE YOU STUDY MATTERS.


4

Spring 2013 | Volume 45, Issue 3 | www.prssa.org/FORUM

Six Steps To A Stunning Online Portfolio BY STEPHANIE BLACK Kent State University

It’s that time of year again: time to revamp your resume and hunt for a summer internship or post-graduation job. While you’re polishing up the old resume, why not create an online professional portfolio as well? It’s likely you already have the necessary materials. Now, all you’ll need is a bit of time and motivation. An online portfolio is the perfect way to showcase and share your professional work to potential employers. Having an easily accessible online portfolio will boost your search engine optimization (SEO) and catching recruiters’ attention. Web-hosting sites, such as Wordpress and Weebly, make it quick, simple and cheap to

PRSSA 2013-2014

NATIONAL COMMITTEE President: Brian Price Immediate Past President: Lauren Gray Vice President of Advocacy: Jessica Airey Vice President of Chapter Development: Chris Bonelli Vice President of Career Services: Ellie Boggs Vice President of Member Services: Heather Harder Vice President of Professional Development: Helma Von Zadow Vice President of Public Relations: Ben Butler Vice President of Regional Conferences: Erica Brown

create an online portfolio. Here are six pointers for building your first online portfolio:

FOCUS ON SIMPLICITY

Your professional portfolio should only feature your best work. Take a moment to weed through your past assignments and projects. Choose pieces that best showcase your skills and capabilities. Always remember: you are only as strong as your weakest piece!

HIGHLIGHT CONTACT INFORMATION

Your LinkedIn, email, phone number and any additional points of contact should be easily accessible. Include links to your social media channels where you keep a professional conversation. You want to make it easy for

employers to contact you.

BRAND YOURSELF

they can’t find them, neither will a potential employer.

Your online portfolio is an extension of your personal brand. Personalize your portfolio with color schemes, images and your unique writing style, but be consistent. It’s helpful to ensure consistency with any other digital assets you have — like social media pages or blogs.

Creating a logo, color palette or interesting web template can be great ways to show off your creativity. Remember: An eye-catching portfolio can make employers eager to learn more so don’t be afraid to let your creative juices flow.

DESIGN WITH THE USER IN MIND

SHARE AND PROMOTE

Make sure your portfolio is user friendly; there is nothing more frustrating than a difficultto-navigate website. Use clear labeling of all major website tabs to ensure employers can navigate your site with ease. Tip: Ask a friend or family member to locate samples of your professional work. Chances are, if

GET CREATIVE

Use social media and your email signature to drive traffic, including potential employers, to your portfolio. When promoting, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your friends or colleagues. Also if your portfolio is part of a blog, use quality content to drive traffic to your website and ultimately your portfolio.

FORUM TRANSITIONING

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 important part of making a mistake is the aftermath. Admitting you made the mistake apologetically and providing a realistic and thoughtful solution can position you as a trustworthy and honest team member.

8. TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED

What, you thought the Golden Rule was only meant for kindergarten? Wrong. Being kind and respectful to your colleagues, clients, vendors, administrative assistants, interns and everyone else will help you in turn be treated with that kind of respect. Building up a bank of trust can help you build and maintain solid relationships throughout your career that pay infinite dividends.

PRSSA 2013 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY INSPIRES, EDUCATES CHAPTER LEADERS

BY LAUREN FROCK University of North Texas

During April 4-7, Chapter leaders from across the nation convened at the PRSSA 2013 National Assembly in Albuquerque, NM to network and prepare for the upcoming year. At Assembly, members had the opportunity to grow as leaders and make important decisions for the Society in the upcoming year. During Assembly, attendees competed in the Day-of Competition, elected next year’s National leaders and participated in sessions focused on professional development and ethics in public relations.

DAY-OF COMPETITION

The PRSSA Day-of Com-

petition is an annual event that challenges teams of Assembly attendees to create a campaign for a client in one hour. This year’s client was Duck® brand. Duck® brand challenged participants to create a campaign outlining an objective and supporting tactics to raise awareness of Printed EZ Start® Packaging Tape. Each team presented their ideas in front of a panel of judges and participated in a question and answer session. The winning team’s campaign incorporated a “Pin to Win” competition for families and children to enter ideas and accessories made out of the packaging tape on Pinterest for a chance to win funds for their school.

With more than three decades in policy-related arenas, LaVarr Webb has seen many sides of the spectrum — literally, since he wrote for Spectrum newspaper in southern Utah decades ago. Later, as a 17-year editor for the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Webb established himself in public policy through a journalism avenue. A veteran communicator, Webb’s experience in public policy led him to new endeavors. He founded the Exoro Group in 2008 to assist national and local clients in government relations

and public policy communication strategy. The Exoro Group has partnered with more than 50 organizations to promote various public policy issues. “The glamour jobs used to be in journalism,” Webb said. “Now anyone can be a journalist.” Webb’s journey is common, given that public relations jobs have tripled in the last 50 years and are expected to grow another 24 percent in five years, according to the New York Times. “Public relations specialist” was even recently rated by the U.S. News and World Report as one of the 50 best jobs in America. “As a journalist, I felt I made contributions to society through

government and political issues,” Webb said. “Now, I only take advocacy efforts that I want to see succeed.” Some public affairs firms are cautious to only represent causes and policies that they personally support. Other firms like Washington, D.C.-based VOX Global take a bipartisan approach to their advocacy. As VOX Global has grown from 15 to 50 employees in the past six years, it has relied increasingly on digital media to serve a rapidly growing clientele. “Because of the expectation of immediacy, what you say is that important,” Jessica Abensour, senior vice president of

Diversity in Communications Amplified by 2012 Elections

BY CLAUDIA CALDERON California State University, Northridge

The power of the multicultural voice was revealed during the 2012 presidential election. The election showed the changing demographics of the United States and how minorities are beginning to comprise the majority. Critical to public relations, this new minority “majority” wields great power as consumers. Additionally, communicators can learn from the ways the Obama campaign engaged and spoke with a variety of diverse communities. Understanding the shifting demographics in America will help public relations professionals create better consumer strategies in such a diverse market. “The November 2012 election reinforced the changes in the face of America which is CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 Code of Ethics helps professionals build a strong foundation for ethical communications.

2. COMPLAINING ABOUT CLIENTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

COURTESY PHOTO | HANNAH GILES

The newly elected PRSSA 2013-2014 National Committee was elected by delegates at National Assembly in Albuquerque, NM.

LEADERSHIP TRAINING SESSIONS

At Assembly, members were equipped with a better understanding of PRSSA’s member services, Chapter best practices

and ethical practices in public relations. Some of the key takeaways include: SEE ASSEMBLY PAGE 5

VOX’s Raleigh, N.C. office said. “It would be a mistake to put your social or digital media shop to the side.” Digital media facilitated public outcry on a bill two years ago in the Utah state legislature that would have nullified many protections afforded in the state’s Government Records Access and Management Act. It also invited public retribution nationally over the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity (PIPA) and Theft of Intellectual Property Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in 2011. Both bills died in committee. Webb said prior to the rise of digital and social media, those bills

would have been made laws. More than at any time in American political history, organizations have often taken hard lines, said Abensour, a 14-year veteran in the corporate social responsibility, education and nonprofit sectors. “There is a very different feeling in D.C. now than there was a decade ago,” she said, making clear communication paramount. “We focus our work on public policy campaigns that can be sustained,” Abensour said of VOX. “Breaking beyond the negative back-and-forth conversation resonates with the public and moves the needle on public policy.”

5

Spring 2013 | Volume 45, Issue 3 | www.prssa.org/FORUM

What Public Relations Must Learn About the ‘New America’

ETHICAL

Public Affairs Industry Transforms; Clear Communication Remains Essential BY RHETT WILKINSON Utah State University

FORUM

According to Tchividjian, there is no privacy with social media and what you say to one person, you are potentially telling the whole world. Before clicking the “share” button, Tchividjian said, “Ask yourself, ‘Do I really want to tell the whole world?’”

3. MAKING BAD DECISIONS WITH ALCOHOL AROUND COWORKERS

Happy hour is the time to relax with coworkers. However, “partying and alcohol is an area of

ASSEMBLY

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 1. PRSSA offers more than $25,000 in individual and Chapter scholarships and awards, including opportunities for members to earn funding to attend National Conference. 2. Common Chapter best practices included weekly discussions of industry news in meetings, hosting guest speakers regularly and engaging younger members through Chapter mentorship programs. 3. The PRSA Ethics app — available for download for Apple

why the term the ‘The New America’ is so appropriate,” Angelica Urquijo, public relations consultant for Hispanic marketing agency ImageN Group, said. According to the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, by 2015, the estimated purchasing power of Hispanics is expected to exceed $1.5 trillion. Companies must be prepared to engage in a mutually valuable relationship with these potential consumers. “Now more than ever, it’s important for organizations to embrace diversity,” Urquijo said. “That starts with a diverse team in-house that can help them understand the nuances of this complex group. A ‘one size fits all’ mentality will not work.” Organizations and brands must be willing to develop an authentic relationship with diverse consumers in order to

establish trust. Additionally, organizations will have to meet consumers across the wide variety of channels they prefer. “The use of social media is certainly changing the way companies reach out to constituents,” Charlie Gu, senior associate at public relations firm David Lang & Associates, said. “A diverse social media strategy is also critical to the successful communication plan.” According to Diversity Inc, 79 percent of Latino respondents and 84 percent of Black respondents agreed that companies who make sincere efforts to be part of their cultural community deserve their loyalty. As a result of the 2012 elections, public relations and communications professionals must evaluate their audiences and integrated marketing plans to determine if they are effectively targeting the correct audience in the ‘New America.’

high danger for ethical lapse,” Tchividjian said. Remember that you don’t need to drink to be part of the team. If you do choose to consume alcohol, do it modestly and cautiously.

unsure of, you should talk to someone of trust and determine why you feel uncomfortable doing what your employer asked. Secondly, put on the shoes of the person who is requesting this unethical action, find out what his or her goal is and think of ways of reaching it in a more ethical way, Tchividjian said. If there is no way to accomplish that goal in an ethical way, don’t be afraid to explain to your employer how and why you feel you cannot execute that task. “Precisely because it is the beginning (of your career), you have to be extra careful not to violate your own belief ... Jobs come and go, but you only have one conscience,” Tchividjian said.

4. SHARING CONFIDENTIAL CLIENT INFORMATION WITH OTHERS

You may want to go back home and share work stories with friends or a significant other after a long day at work, but beware that the story could easily make it back to someone else who’s related to the company or client. In order to play it safely, one should respect any confidentiality agreements signed.

5. NOT FOLLOWING YOUR INSTINCTS

Tchividjian said that before doing anything that you are

and Android — is a convenient resource that addresses values and provisions to assist public relations practitioners in the event of ethical dilemmas. 4. The resume uploading function of the PRSSA Internship Center provides opportunities for employers to connect with members. 5. The PRSSA FUNdraising Bowl offers members the opportunity to share their fundraising ideas and a chance to win free registration to the PRSSA 2013 National Conference.

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS

Delegates from each PRSSA

Chapter were given the opportunity to vote on candidates for the 2013-2014 National Committee on Saturday at National Assembly. The delegates heard candidate speeches, conducted a question and answer period and then voted on who they wanted to represent them as the next PRSSA National Committee. On Sunday, Assembly attendees heard a keynote presentation by Tom Garrity, Owner of Garrity Group. Garrity applied popular movie quotes to the lessons learned in public relations. He encouraged students to be problem-solvers, surround themselves with people that tell them the truth and to follow their passions.

HOPKINS IS

ADVANCING CAREERS

Effective communication requires mastery of social science and digital technology, paired with strong practical skills. Johns Hopkins’

MA IN COMMUNICATION combines all three of these elements. TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF OUR COURSES: > Crisis Communication > Branding and Advertising > Introduction to the Digital Age > Effective Web Design and Strategy > Public Relations in the Age of Digital Influence

Take your career to the next level and join a flexible, part-time program with classes available in Washington, DC or online.

LEARN MORE:

communication.jhu.edu

KRIEGER SCHOOL

of

ARTS & SCIENCES

ADVANCED ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

WHERE YOU STUDY MATTERS.


6

Spring 2013 | Volume 45, Issue 3 | www.prssa.org/FORUM

PRSSA CHAPTER AWARDS DEADLINE: JUNE 7, 2013

DR. F.H. TEAHAN CHAPTER AWARDS PROGRAM

STAR CHAPTER AWARD DEADLINE: JUNE 7, 2013 The Star Chapter Award is a distinction that Chapters of any size can earn by meeting specific Chapter and professional development goals. To learn more about Chapter eligibility and application requirments, visit:

www.prssa.org

SETTING THE PACE

As members of ImPRessions, the PRSSA Nationally Affiliated student-run public relations firm at Ohio University, we were recently awarded the prestigious PRSSA Student-Run Firm Award for Best Campaign. As a team of 10, we worked on the account for Cardinal Health, a Fortune 21 health distribution company based in Dublin, Ohio. Through our campaign, entitled “Dose of Reality,” we spread awareness of the prescription drug abuse on our campus. Successfully implementing a nationally recognized campaign boils down to the root of collaboration: teamwork. The Dose of Reality campaign was divided into social media, external relations, campus relations, media relations and creative teams. The overall goal was to increase awareness by educating the student body across several platforms, ultimately directing people to

Cardinal Health’s GenerationRx website to learn more. Our social media team crafted a communication plan for Twitter, as well as a response plan, which resulted in Cardinal Health granting us our own Twitter handle, @ DoseofRealityOU. Our tweets and interactions with Cardinal Health’s constituents on Twitter gave our team the opportunity to share statistics and myths about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs. This outlet proved to be the bulk of our campaign’s total impressions. The team members focusing on external and campus relations spread our message through pre-packaged bulletin board packets for resident assistants at on-campus housing locations. They also distributed informational fliers and posters designed by our creative team across campus. External relations members held presentations for members of Greek Life and students in health classrooms to further communicate our message. Our entire team came

COURTESY PHOTO | CAROLINE ALLAN

The Cardinal Health team paints the graffiti wall on campus to promote increase awareness of prescription drug abuse.

together to plan and execute an event called, “Pull an All-Nighter with Dose of Reality.” The premise of the event was to prevent students from abusing prescription drugs to stay up all night and study, and instead ‘pull an allnighter’ with our team. We created coffee cup sleeves which were given out with every cup of coffee sold at the library that included our Twitter handle, a statistic and a hashtag for the event. We also passed out free popcorn,

cotton candy, GenerationRx wristbands, posters and fliers with our Twitter handle. In total, the Dose of Reality campaign resulted in 61,268 impressions. After a year of research, planning and implementation, our team successfully educated college students on the dangers of prescription drug abuse on campus. The national recognition of our success from PRSSA came with a feeling of accomplishment for every team member.

Still the first and only certified master’s program in public relations in the U.S. • You can be part of the only PR master’s program that’s certified in the U.S. by the Public Relations Society of America.

Learn more at www.bsu.edu/journalism/graduatepr.

As the semester winds down and Chapters conduct executive board elections, I want to welcome our members who are now transitioning into PRSSA Chapter leaders – congratulations to all! You have chosen this leadership path for you, your Chapter and your members. As a former Chapter President, I know the job offers both highs and lows – but overall, the position is very rewarding. As a Chapter leader, you are a vital and crucial part of the growing PRSSA community. PRSSA’s leadership tools available at www.prssa.org will help you launch a successful year for your Chapter. The PRSSA Chapter Handbook describes Chapter standards and procedures, the PRSSA vision, national events, PRSSA benefits and initiatives. It also has helpful information on programs and tools you need to have a successful term as a leader. By reviewing the national initiatives list, you will see what core areas PRSSA members are striving toward and

what the Society represents as a whole. The initiatives focus on issues such as ethics, diversity, professional development and more. On the PRSSA website, www.prssa.org, you can also find our Tools for Leaders section. This includes valuable resources for Chapter leaders including dues information, handbooks, guides, Chapter officer transition materials, student-run firm information and more. Leading a Chapter is rewarding, but it often requires work. Difficult times may come, but remember there are people and resources available to help you. You can also utilize your other Chapter officers to work through issues that arise. Ask your members for input as to what they want to see for your Chapter. They will have direct insight as to how the Chapter can improve. Also, your Faculty and Professional Advisers, the National Committee and other Chapter Presidents are here to help all involved. Use these resources when you have questions or you need to brainstorm solutions for your Chapter. Remember these tips and resources to guide you through this year’s journey and your Chapter will have a successful year. Each incoming

Chapter President is invited to the PRSSA 2013 Leadership Rally in Scottsdale, AZ this June. Registration is free and PRSSA covers the hotel costs for all Chapter Presidents. Learn more at www.prssa. org/events/rally.

PRSSA Leader Checklist Chapter Handbook National Initiatives Member Benefits Tools for Leaders PRSSA Webstie PRSA Sponsor Chapters Faculty & Professional Advisers

ALL OF THESE RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE AT www.prssa.org

ADVICE ON ADVISERS

BOB “PRITCH” PRITCHARD, APR, FELLOW PRSA PRSSA National Faculty Adviser

I’m in the middle of interviewing for our university’s Agency Leadership Academy, which runs over the summer semester. In addition to the interview, students complete an application and write a short essay on leadership. This is an inspirational and exciting time for me as an adviser because I gain insight into where my students are in their leadership development. I’ve been particularly inspired this year by my students’ grasp of the essential qualities of successful leaders. Almost universally, my students are commenting that the ability to listen is the mark of a good leader. I think they’ve hit the nail on the head. Research has found that effective listening is essential to getting more information from coworkers, increasing others’ trust in you, reducing conflict and helping you better understand how to motivate people. An effective listener also inspires a higher level of commitment from those around you. Effective listening techniques involve four basic activities: encouraging, paraphrasing, reflecting feelings and summarizing. Encouraging uses expressions such as “I see” and seeks to reinforce the speaker’s belief that you are clearly listening. It also helps the speaker understand what part of the message is being appreciated and helps him or her elaborate on that topic.

Beyond the Best Practices of Media Relations CLASSROOM ASSIGNMENT BECOMES REAL CAMPAIGN A hypothetical public relations campaign has turned into a professional creative assignment for W. Sierra Hoffman who is pursuing Ball State’s online master’s degree in public relations. For her public relations campaigns class, Hoffman began creating a campaign for Down Syndrome Indiana, which turned into an internship and a live strategic awareness social media campaign. The promotion features photos and stories of Down syndrome children, photographed and written by Hoffman, with the theme “Get To Know Me.” “I can say with certainty now that I will use my degree to work for a nonprofit after graduation, and hopefully one that advocates for the inclusion and acceptance of people with disabilities,” says Hoffman, a professional photographer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

TRADITION+INNOVATION

During the first few years on the job, your media relations results will be a major staple of your performance reviews. Think of it this way. Over the course of a few months, your manager will have asked your team to draft media materials, build target lists, pull research and many other tasks. Those tasks will likely be completed. Media relations, however, is unique in this regard. If everyone on your team has had equal opportunities to pitch media, it’s not as black and white as completing a task. Some team members may show up empty-handed. These specific tips can help you go above and beyond in media relations.

SAVE EVERY CONTACT

For every email you receive from media, add the contact to your address book. Note details that will help you remember that contact, including location, what

you were pitching and what the feedback was. Consider assigning categories (Sports Radio, Healthy Living, etc.), as well as other information like Twitter handles, best times to call and a listing of interviews that you have booked. INTRODUCE YOURSELF AS A RESOURCE When I’m not pitching media, I proactively search for future contacts. I work on a lot of sports and motorcycle-focused accounts, so I search relevant keywords on LinkedIn to find media that will be a good fit for my account work. Rather than waiting for a story to come around to send them a note, I prefer to introduce myself as a resource and ask how I can help them.

MAKE THEIR LIFE EASIER

When working with a contact, send thorough yet concise emails to avoid flooding his or her inbox or increasing the chance of a de-

tail slipping between the cracks. Showing your contact that you are making their life easier will go a long way in strengthening the relationship.

FOLLOW UP

Before a story goes live, follow up with your contact to see if he or she received everything they needed. Spend some extra time to double-check facts — this 2-3 minute task certainly beats a frantic phone call the next day, as you’re begging for a revision. Don’t ask to review the story before it is published – that’s generally bad form – but be transparent about your client needs (program attribution, title information, website URLs, and any other relevant information). CHECK IN Instead of letting a relationship go cold, send an occasional note, even when you are not pitching a story. This could lead

7

Listening is Key for Strong Leaders

TALES FROM CUBELAND

• Ball State boasts of a long, distinguished track record in public relations education.

• Designed for working professionals, the program is offered 100 percent online.

Spring 2013 | Volume 45, Issue 3 | www.prssa.org/FORUM

How to Succeed as a New Chapter Leader LAUREN GRAY PRSSA National President

BALL STATE+ONLINE

• Classes are small and you can learn from professors with professional experience in public relations, journalism, advertising, and marketing.

FORUM OPINION PRESIDENTS COLUMN

Ohio University Shares Tips for Student-Run Firm Campaigns BY CAROLINE ALLAN BY SIENNA TOMKO Ohio University

• Outstanding Chapter • Chapter Development • Chapter Diversity • Chapter Firm • Chapter Newsletter • Chapter Website • Regional Conference • Community Service • University Service • PRSA/PRSSA Relationship • Faculty Adviser • Professional Adviser

FORUM OPINION

RYAN MCSHANE Senior Account Executive, Taylor

to future ideas; otherwise, it is simply good networking that will keep your name relevant in your contact’s inbox. MIND THE CLOCK In your email contact notes, write down the times of day they can be reached and their preference of communication (email, phone, text, etc.). Even if the person is a great contact, don’t take advantage of the relationship by waiting until their deadline to make the call. This can easily be prevented by asking in the upfront, or simply by tracking the times of day they respond to emails.

Paraphrasing helps the other party determine whether or not the message intended is the one received. When speakers hear back what they’ve said, they get a chance to correct misunderstandings or misinterpretation. The activity of reflecting feelings is similar to paraphrasing, but the focus here is on the feelings underlying the words spoken. Reflecting the speaker’s feelings helps her or him understand that you empathize with those feelings and spurs them on. Summarizing, as the name implies, involves summarizing what the speaker has said. It is also similar to paraphrasing, but provides for complete and comprehensive feedback, ensuring both parties are on the same page. There are also a few other things to keep in mind to ensure you’re listening effectively. • Don’t just parrot when you paraphrase; it’s annoying! • Questions by the speaker are sometime rhetorical intended as a means of expression. Avoid the impulse to answer them. • Don’t hesitate to ask questions to make sure you understand or heard correctly. • Maintain eye contact. Looking around the room or at your phone tell the speaker that what they’re saying isn’t important. • Unless they specifically ask for advice, don’t tell them about your personal experience; it’s also annoying! Some of us are born listeners. Most of us are not and require practice to become an effective listener. Practice these skills and techniques and you will be amazed at the results.

FIRM OF THE ISSUE

BY DANIELLE STEWART Vice President of Professional Development

With 20 diverse clients and specializing in various areas including, media outreach, social media, internal communications and community outreach, GrandPR, the student-run firm at Grand Valley State University, successfully provides professional, real world experience to each member. The firm became a PRSSA Nationally Affiliated student-run firm in 2011. GrandPR’s 19 members work around the clock for their clients and provide advertising, marketing and copywriting services. This firm also has a strong foundation and relationship with their PRSSA Chapter. For these reasons, GrandPR was chosen as the firm of the issue.


6

Spring 2013 | Volume 45, Issue 3 | www.prssa.org/FORUM

PRSSA CHAPTER AWARDS DEADLINE: JUNE 7, 2013

DR. F.H. TEAHAN CHAPTER AWARDS PROGRAM

STAR CHAPTER AWARD DEADLINE: JUNE 7, 2013 The Star Chapter Award is a distinction that Chapters of any size can earn by meeting specific Chapter and professional development goals. To learn more about Chapter eligibility and application requirments, visit:

www.prssa.org

SETTING THE PACE

As members of ImPRessions, the PRSSA Nationally Affiliated student-run public relations firm at Ohio University, we were recently awarded the prestigious PRSSA Student-Run Firm Award for Best Campaign. As a team of 10, we worked on the account for Cardinal Health, a Fortune 21 health distribution company based in Dublin, Ohio. Through our campaign, entitled “Dose of Reality,” we spread awareness of the prescription drug abuse on our campus. Successfully implementing a nationally recognized campaign boils down to the root of collaboration: teamwork. The Dose of Reality campaign was divided into social media, external relations, campus relations, media relations and creative teams. The overall goal was to increase awareness by educating the student body across several platforms, ultimately directing people to

Cardinal Health’s GenerationRx website to learn more. Our social media team crafted a communication plan for Twitter, as well as a response plan, which resulted in Cardinal Health granting us our own Twitter handle, @ DoseofRealityOU. Our tweets and interactions with Cardinal Health’s constituents on Twitter gave our team the opportunity to share statistics and myths about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs. This outlet proved to be the bulk of our campaign’s total impressions. The team members focusing on external and campus relations spread our message through pre-packaged bulletin board packets for resident assistants at on-campus housing locations. They also distributed informational fliers and posters designed by our creative team across campus. External relations members held presentations for members of Greek Life and students in health classrooms to further communicate our message. Our entire team came

COURTESY PHOTO | CAROLINE ALLAN

The Cardinal Health team paints the graffiti wall on campus to promote increase awareness of prescription drug abuse.

together to plan and execute an event called, “Pull an All-Nighter with Dose of Reality.” The premise of the event was to prevent students from abusing prescription drugs to stay up all night and study, and instead ‘pull an allnighter’ with our team. We created coffee cup sleeves which were given out with every cup of coffee sold at the library that included our Twitter handle, a statistic and a hashtag for the event. We also passed out free popcorn,

cotton candy, GenerationRx wristbands, posters and fliers with our Twitter handle. In total, the Dose of Reality campaign resulted in 61,268 impressions. After a year of research, planning and implementation, our team successfully educated college students on the dangers of prescription drug abuse on campus. The national recognition of our success from PRSSA came with a feeling of accomplishment for every team member.

Still the first and only certified master’s program in public relations in the U.S. • You can be part of the only PR master’s program that’s certified in the U.S. by the Public Relations Society of America.

Learn more at www.bsu.edu/journalism/graduatepr.

As the semester winds down and Chapters conduct executive board elections, I want to welcome our members who are now transitioning into PRSSA Chapter leaders – congratulations to all! You have chosen this leadership path for you, your Chapter and your members. As a former Chapter President, I know the job offers both highs and lows – but overall, the position is very rewarding. As a Chapter leader, you are a vital and crucial part of the growing PRSSA community. PRSSA’s leadership tools available at www.prssa.org will help you launch a successful year for your Chapter. The PRSSA Chapter Handbook describes Chapter standards and procedures, the PRSSA vision, national events, PRSSA benefits and initiatives. It also has helpful information on programs and tools you need to have a successful term as a leader. By reviewing the national initiatives list, you will see what core areas PRSSA members are striving toward and

what the Society represents as a whole. The initiatives focus on issues such as ethics, diversity, professional development and more. On the PRSSA website, www.prssa.org, you can also find our Tools for Leaders section. This includes valuable resources for Chapter leaders including dues information, handbooks, guides, Chapter officer transition materials, student-run firm information and more. Leading a Chapter is rewarding, but it often requires work. Difficult times may come, but remember there are people and resources available to help you. You can also utilize your other Chapter officers to work through issues that arise. Ask your members for input as to what they want to see for your Chapter. They will have direct insight as to how the Chapter can improve. Also, your Faculty and Professional Advisers, the National Committee and other Chapter Presidents are here to help all involved. Use these resources when you have questions or you need to brainstorm solutions for your Chapter. Remember these tips and resources to guide you through this year’s journey and your Chapter will have a successful year. Each incoming

Chapter President is invited to the PRSSA 2013 Leadership Rally in Scottsdale, AZ this June. Registration is free and PRSSA covers the hotel costs for all Chapter Presidents. Learn more at www.prssa. org/events/rally.

PRSSA Leader Checklist Chapter Handbook National Initiatives Member Benefits Tools for Leaders PRSSA Webstie PRSA Sponsor Chapters Faculty & Professional Advisers

ALL OF THESE RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE AT www.prssa.org

ADVICE ON ADVISERS

BOB “PRITCH” PRITCHARD, APR, FELLOW PRSA PRSSA National Faculty Adviser

I’m in the middle of interviewing for our university’s Agency Leadership Academy, which runs over the summer semester. In addition to the interview, students complete an application and write a short essay on leadership. This is an inspirational and exciting time for me as an adviser because I gain insight into where my students are in their leadership development. I’ve been particularly inspired this year by my students’ grasp of the essential qualities of successful leaders. Almost universally, my students are commenting that the ability to listen is the mark of a good leader. I think they’ve hit the nail on the head. Research has found that effective listening is essential to getting more information from coworkers, increasing others’ trust in you, reducing conflict and helping you better understand how to motivate people. An effective listener also inspires a higher level of commitment from those around you. Effective listening techniques involve four basic activities: encouraging, paraphrasing, reflecting feelings and summarizing. Encouraging uses expressions such as “I see” and seeks to reinforce the speaker’s belief that you are clearly listening. It also helps the speaker understand what part of the message is being appreciated and helps him or her elaborate on that topic.

Beyond the Best Practices of Media Relations CLASSROOM ASSIGNMENT BECOMES REAL CAMPAIGN A hypothetical public relations campaign has turned into a professional creative assignment for W. Sierra Hoffman who is pursuing Ball State’s online master’s degree in public relations. For her public relations campaigns class, Hoffman began creating a campaign for Down Syndrome Indiana, which turned into an internship and a live strategic awareness social media campaign. The promotion features photos and stories of Down syndrome children, photographed and written by Hoffman, with the theme “Get To Know Me.” “I can say with certainty now that I will use my degree to work for a nonprofit after graduation, and hopefully one that advocates for the inclusion and acceptance of people with disabilities,” says Hoffman, a professional photographer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

TRADITION+INNOVATION

During the first few years on the job, your media relations results will be a major staple of your performance reviews. Think of it this way. Over the course of a few months, your manager will have asked your team to draft media materials, build target lists, pull research and many other tasks. Those tasks will likely be completed. Media relations, however, is unique in this regard. If everyone on your team has had equal opportunities to pitch media, it’s not as black and white as completing a task. Some team members may show up empty-handed. These specific tips can help you go above and beyond in media relations.

SAVE EVERY CONTACT

For every email you receive from media, add the contact to your address book. Note details that will help you remember that contact, including location, what

you were pitching and what the feedback was. Consider assigning categories (Sports Radio, Healthy Living, etc.), as well as other information like Twitter handles, best times to call and a listing of interviews that you have booked. INTRODUCE YOURSELF AS A RESOURCE When I’m not pitching media, I proactively search for future contacts. I work on a lot of sports and motorcycle-focused accounts, so I search relevant keywords on LinkedIn to find media that will be a good fit for my account work. Rather than waiting for a story to come around to send them a note, I prefer to introduce myself as a resource and ask how I can help them.

MAKE THEIR LIFE EASIER

When working with a contact, send thorough yet concise emails to avoid flooding his or her inbox or increasing the chance of a de-

tail slipping between the cracks. Showing your contact that you are making their life easier will go a long way in strengthening the relationship.

FOLLOW UP

Before a story goes live, follow up with your contact to see if he or she received everything they needed. Spend some extra time to double-check facts — this 2-3 minute task certainly beats a frantic phone call the next day, as you’re begging for a revision. Don’t ask to review the story before it is published – that’s generally bad form – but be transparent about your client needs (program attribution, title information, website URLs, and any other relevant information). CHECK IN Instead of letting a relationship go cold, send an occasional note, even when you are not pitching a story. This could lead

7

Listening is Key for Strong Leaders

TALES FROM CUBELAND

• Ball State boasts of a long, distinguished track record in public relations education.

• Designed for working professionals, the program is offered 100 percent online.

Spring 2013 | Volume 45, Issue 3 | www.prssa.org/FORUM

How to Succeed as a New Chapter Leader LAUREN GRAY PRSSA National President

BALL STATE+ONLINE

• Classes are small and you can learn from professors with professional experience in public relations, journalism, advertising, and marketing.

FORUM OPINION PRESIDENTS COLUMN

Ohio University Shares Tips for Student-Run Firm Campaigns BY CAROLINE ALLAN BY SIENNA TOMKO Ohio University

• Outstanding Chapter • Chapter Development • Chapter Diversity • Chapter Firm • Chapter Newsletter • Chapter Website • Regional Conference • Community Service • University Service • PRSA/PRSSA Relationship • Faculty Adviser • Professional Adviser

FORUM OPINION

RYAN MCSHANE Senior Account Executive, Taylor

to future ideas; otherwise, it is simply good networking that will keep your name relevant in your contact’s inbox. MIND THE CLOCK In your email contact notes, write down the times of day they can be reached and their preference of communication (email, phone, text, etc.). Even if the person is a great contact, don’t take advantage of the relationship by waiting until their deadline to make the call. This can easily be prevented by asking in the upfront, or simply by tracking the times of day they respond to emails.

Paraphrasing helps the other party determine whether or not the message intended is the one received. When speakers hear back what they’ve said, they get a chance to correct misunderstandings or misinterpretation. The activity of reflecting feelings is similar to paraphrasing, but the focus here is on the feelings underlying the words spoken. Reflecting the speaker’s feelings helps her or him understand that you empathize with those feelings and spurs them on. Summarizing, as the name implies, involves summarizing what the speaker has said. It is also similar to paraphrasing, but provides for complete and comprehensive feedback, ensuring both parties are on the same page. There are also a few other things to keep in mind to ensure you’re listening effectively. • Don’t just parrot when you paraphrase; it’s annoying! • Questions by the speaker are sometime rhetorical intended as a means of expression. Avoid the impulse to answer them. • Don’t hesitate to ask questions to make sure you understand or heard correctly. • Maintain eye contact. Looking around the room or at your phone tell the speaker that what they’re saying isn’t important. • Unless they specifically ask for advice, don’t tell them about your personal experience; it’s also annoying! Some of us are born listeners. Most of us are not and require practice to become an effective listener. Practice these skills and techniques and you will be amazed at the results.

FIRM OF THE ISSUE

BY DANIELLE STEWART Vice President of Professional Development

With 20 diverse clients and specializing in various areas including, media outreach, social media, internal communications and community outreach, GrandPR, the student-run firm at Grand Valley State University, successfully provides professional, real world experience to each member. The firm became a PRSSA Nationally Affiliated student-run firm in 2011. GrandPR’s 19 members work around the clock for their clients and provide advertising, marketing and copywriting services. This firm also has a strong foundation and relationship with their PRSSA Chapter. For these reasons, GrandPR was chosen as the firm of the issue.


Behind every successful PR campaign there is a perceptive, technologically-immersed professional.

M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communication As social and other digital media redefine the world of communication, companies in nearly every industry require coordinated, ongoing public relations campaigns. The demand for PR professionals is continually increasing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow 23 percent from 2010–2020 — faster than the average for all occupations. The NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers the M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communication, which provides you with a deep understanding of the industry trends and technological advancements needed to design and to implement highly effective campaigns. Learn from and network with New York’s top PR professionals.

To learn more about the program visit: scps.nyu.edu/mspr1e or call 212-998-7100

To request information and to apply: scps.nyu.edu/gradinfo16e

New York University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution. ©2013 New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

NYU-SCPS Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications


FORUM Spring 2013