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ATTENDS CROSSROADS AT PUBLIC RELATIONS BY MEAGAN CHONG When he heard of the PRSSA National Conference, UGA student Stanley Miller knew had to attend. His main motivation was to further immerse himself in the public relations field and soak up knowledge not only from passionate students, but also active practitioners and experienced veterans. “I thought it would be a very interesting, memorable trip,” Miller explained, “And indeed it was.” Miller jetted off to Indianapolis on Friday morning and met students from the Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania. The conference kicked off with resume critiques, as well as chapter development sessions, such as “Not the Boss of You: A Guide to Leading Leaders.” The biggest speaker of the night, however, was the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl CEO, Allison Melangton. Melangton spoke at the conference’s opening ceremony and offered valuable advice for aspiring practitioners. “She gave us good insight into the field,” Miller says. “She talked about her experiences and how she got to where she is today.”

Following the opening ceremony, the conference hosted a social for students to mingle over hors d’oeuvres, dancing and photo ops. The following day, again, featured a variety of presentations. Speakers from Nebo, Vera Bradley and Warner Bros. were among the many distinguished appearances. “Warner Bros. was one of the coolest speakers in my opinion because they allowed us to see shows that haven’t been released yet,” Miller recalled, “We were able to give our opinions like a focus group.” Like many of the speakers, the three publicists from Warner Bros. shared how they got involved in public relations and what it takes to be in the field. In particular, they stressed the importance of staying in touch with active professionals. After their presentation, the speakers gave students their contact information and added them to groups on social media, so they could stay connected. Most of the speakers encouraged students to strike a conversation after presentations and were “very nice.” “It was definitely advantageous,” Miller said. Not only did the professionals welcome networking, but the other students who attended the conference were very outgoing and friendly as well. “Everybody in the conference will come up to you and shake your hand. They’ll see you in the elevator and say, ‘Hey Stanley!’” Even following the conference, Miller has kept in touch with members of other chapters, as well as the speakers. Students across the country have invited him to visit their cities, and professionals have offered him resume critiques and advice to stand out on

internship applications. “One of the speakers from LA told me when that I come to LA, they’d give me a tour of the studio, so hopefully I’ll get out to LA one of these days.” Overall, Miller found the conference an incredibly beneficial opportunity for building his network and learning the ins and outs of the PR field. He hopes to attend more PRSSA events as he continues to grow as a communications student and professional. Miller believes his biggest takeaway from that conference is that “nothing comes easy, nothing falls into your lap.” While he’s never believed the opposite, stories from current professionals re-emphasized the importance of persistence. Professionals admire persistence and value tenacious students. “People are willing to help you if you’re willing to help yourself.”





DEC 2016

more diversified experience and more opportunities to learn that it isn’t all just traditional press releases and pitching anymore.” While the classroom can tend to focus on the more conventional parts of public relations, Berger said, “I definitely learned about the different aspects of the industry through my own research and PRSSA!” Besides diversifying your skill set outside of the classroom, Berger also shared her three biggest pieces of advice that she found to be extremely impactful throughout the start of her career at Edelman. The first was to not be afraid to take a post-grad internship; “I started out as an intern at Edelman before being brought on as an AAE and I think it made the world of difference in preparing me for what full-time is like,” Berger said. “The transition isn’t always easy from college to the professional world, and an internship can teach you so much more than you think and make the transition smoother.” After obtaining an internship or a job, Berger’s next piece of advice was to always ask questions. “You are not expected to know everything when first starting your career, and that is ok,” Berger said, “Be resourceful and try to figure out things on your own because it will help you learn. It’s so much better to ask questions and do the project well the first time around than to turn something in that is completely wrong because you were afraid to ask someone for help.” Lastly, Berger emphasized the importance of raising your hand for every opportunity and said, “Your team will greatly appreciate your efforts if you volunteer to help on things when they need it. Sometimes that means you have to work a little late or come in early, but I promise it is worth it in the end. Hard work never goes unnoticed.”




In the never-ending search to find the public relations job or internship that is right for you, it is often helpful to look to those who were once in the exact same position for inspiration and insight into post-graduate professional life. Grady graduate and former PRSSA Digital Media Director Isabel Berger is another one of the many alumni to have had her career kick started by the Drewry Chapter, and currently works as an Assistant Account Executive on the digital team at global public relations agency Edelman. Berger took the time to sit down with us and describe her role at Edelman, express how much Grady helped her prepare for her position and divulge her top three pieces of advice for all aspiring public relations professionals. In her position as an Assistant Account Executive, Berger spends her days as a content and community manager, which includes a variety of roles. The first job Berger takes on is a large amount of work with social media; “I am always monitoring social media conversations, checking our client’s social pages, posting content on behalf of our clients and managing their accounts,” Berger said. On top using her social media skills daily, Berger also analyzes data, writes copy and collaborates with other team members to get the job done. Acting as a chameleon and adapting to and completing an assortment of jobs on a daily basis is not unheard of in the professional world, and Berger felt that her time in PRSSA prepped her for this. On top of the opportunities to network and learn about the industry, Berger found that “one thing at Grady that particularly stands out was being able to have so many classes where we got to work with real clients, such as The Home Depot and Turner. Those opportunities allowed me to really put what I had learned to the test.” While the real-world experience both Grady and PRSSA gives its students is invaluable, Berger did mention that it would have been “helpful to have a




If you haven’t heard of Free The Girls at the University of Georgia by now, you probably live under a rock (or don’t have any form of social media). Free The Girls began its journey to success at the University of Georgia far before their very first meeting this fall. Thanks to their incredible public relations campaign that began in spring, FTG was able to quickly stand out on a campus known for a student population dedicated to philanthropies of all shapes and sizes. Emily Wilhoit, a senior at UGA, had a vision to bring FTG to UGA to build a coalition of modern-day abolitionists dedicated to eliminating sexual slavery around the world. And so the first collegiate chapter of FTG was born. FTG is a non-profit organization that collects used bras and raises donations for women in thirdworld countries who have been victims of sex trafficking, giving them entrepreneurial skills to have a life after their horrific pasts. Selling bras allows them to build relationships with other women while earning a living that keeps them far from the stark realities they faced. With the executive board formed, the next

step was to raise awareness and participation from students on campus and abroad. For this, they relied on a visual and simple Instagram campaign that proved to be just the ticket. The executive team’s initial challenge of promoting an organization widely unknown to college students was one that required an interactive social media campaign. The idea was to allow students, especially those travelling abroad, to participate in a fun, creative way. They could submit pictures of themselves with “FTG” written on their hands, and then FTG would feature the best posts on their Instagram page. Photo credits were included to encourage students to participate. Pictures from all over the world started pouring in, showcasing landmarks from around the globe while raising awareness for sex trafficking and the mission of Free The Girls. This small flame started a fire of questions, raising curiosity and attention surrounding FTG. Katherine Gillanders, the head of public relations for FTG, said, “Designing a campaign that was not only interesting but also very personal for students absolutely skyrocketed our platforms.” Their Instagram page now has over 2,000 followers encouraged to become everyday abolitionists. Their initial success has not slowed down. FTG now has over 100 members and has had multiple bra drives and fundraisers, each benefiting victims of sex trafficking. Public relations efforts have greatly contributed to the initial success of this program, and FTG’s popularity continues to increase on campus. This proves how one simple social media campaign with a dash of creativity and personalization can be incredibly effective in promotion. Hopefully, campuses across the company can follow the strong precedent established by the University of Georgia’s chapter of Free The Girls.



Executive Board 2017

" Vine, May You Rest in Peace"


DEC 2016

Vine recently announced in a post on that they would be discontinuing the mobile app. After being acquired by Twitter in 2012, the six-second looping video platform became a popular medium for comedic videos and quickly gave rise to an era of hilarious “Vine Stars.” Despite millions of users, Vine was never a big driver for revenue. The app’s platform has shown limited potential for growth and confines creators to small parameters for getting a message across. In a world where digital platforms are constantly evolving for the sake of the content creator and the user, combined with Vine’s lack of financial viability, it’s doesn’t seem so surprising that the app has reached the end of its lifespan. For the world of PR, the death of Vine has several implications. For starters, personal branding will definitely take a hit. A 2015 article written on LinkedIn stressed the impact Vine could have on promoting a personal brand. A Vine is only six seconds, but those six seconds have the potential to convey a powerful message to a targeted audience which is something very few digital platforms are able to consistently do. Even if the message is just to convey your sense of humor, a collection of these videos provide a snapshot of your essence and your personality which is essentially makes makes up your brand. For Viners that use the app as their primary source for personal branding or sole base for their followers, the loss of Vine will be devastating. In an article published in PR Week, social media influencer Zach King emphasized the importance of spreading messages over a variety of platforms, so that when things change the interruption in messaging is minimized. Many Viners made the switch to other video platforms like Instagram and Snapchat in recent months, but for those that have not established a following elsewhere, catastrophe looms ahead. Large companies also use the app to reinforce branding. Companies like Gap, Sephora and Target have all successfully used the app to strengthen their brand and reach a different audience outside of the traditional social media sphere. For these larger organizations, the effects will most likely be relatively minimal as they have substantial following across a multitude of mediums. Vine has produced some of the most iconic internet content over the past several years, and really has been a remarkable platform for many content creators. Personal branding will take a blow, but it is nothing that PR practitioners cannot overcome with effective messaging and utilization of other tools. The death of Vine has largely just proved the importance for PR professionals to stay ahead of social media trends and create content for a variety of platforms. Vine, may you rest in peace.


BEING A FLEXIBLE PR PRACTITIONER: THE UBIQUITY OF COMMUNICATIONS to change about the world? All these questions can help identify passion. On the other hand, there are other important questions to ask oneself: What are your strongest communications skills? What types of roles/internships do you excel in? How much time are you willing to devote to your job on a daily basis? These questions can help identify which industry may be the perfect choice for a person in terms of performing the best. It is important to also keep in mind the various jobs that a public relations practitioner does within their secPublic Relations is a dimension of The list for sectors that rely heavitor, with many roles such as crisis communications that practically ev- ly on PR is huge, but they include ery professional entity must manage many more obscure industries such communications, media relations, community relations, event planin order to remain relevant, market- as construction, the motor indusning and more coming into play able and in good standing with the try, science and engineering and overall public. For PR practitioners, property. Among the better-known more or less depending on which that is an exciting prospect because industries, one cannot forget about industry a person chooses. Balance and research is key. The choice must it means that there will be a variety fashion, food, healthcare, educaof different public relations jobs to tion, entertainment, technology and be made with all dimensions and fill once one makes it out into the travel. However, even this small list factors of one’s own PR experience considered: Do I know anyone in job market. Yet, despite the goal barely scratches the surface of the this industry? Do I know PR agenfor many to enter the industry of large amount of concentrations of cies for this industry? Is the indusPublic Relations, what to do spePR in different sectors in business. try growing or shrinking? Who cifically with one’s PR skills can With so many vastly differis hiring? All these questions are be a head-scratcher for some. The ent sectors for which one can do crucial in determining how one will good news is that there are many Public Relations work with, where ultimately pick. different types and flavors of public does anyone know where to start Deciding to be a public relations from which one can more when deciding the right one for relations practitioner is an exciting specifically hone their ambition him or her? One important thing prospect because of the huge variaand strengths. to keep in mind when searching Each sector is truly a diffor the right sector to is the balance tion in the jobs they do. However, it never hurts to take it a step further ferent animal with its own kind of of passion and pragmatism. What and decide which industry will be public relations, with each having interests you? How do you spend perfect for your needs and interests. different functions and attributes. your free time? What do you want BY GUSTAVO CERVANTES



The tradition of Black Friday has become just that in America – a tradition. But in recent years, less and less shoppers are showing up. The record numbers of shoppers showing up to score the hottest deals and best bargains have begun to decrease. In the 1980’s, the popularity of this day peaked and has steadily continued to grow until 2014, when customers realized they really didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to wait in a long line in order to find good discounts. In 2014, the Saturday before Christmas surpassed Black Friday with the amount of sales. This happened again the next year in 2015, convincing some this may be more of a trend instead of an outlier. The National Retail Foundation predicted that in 2016, since Christmas is on a Sunday, the Friday before will surpass both Super Saturday and Black Friday. But why is this? For one, CyberMonday and digital sales have steadily increased in past years. Receiving discounts from the comfort of your own home (or in your own pajamas) is a deal that consumers are finding hard to beat. Adobe Digital Insights predicts that digital Black Friday


deals will increase from $1.39 billion in 2012 to $3.05 billion in 2016. Consumers are also finding that sales are available throughout the holiday season instead of on this single day. Nearly two-thirds of customers said they would begin their holiday shopping before Black Friday. Stores have even begun offering deals as early as the weeks before Thanksgiving: Amazon will begin sales the week of Nov. 1, and Lord and Taylor will begin their discounts the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. John J. Canally, chief economic strategist at LPL



DEC 2016

Research observed, “It definitely matters so much less than it’s mattered in the past. The last couple of years ‘Black Friday disappoints’ has been the usual story.” The story here is not that Americans are spending less, but that they are spending their money differently. Some have embraced the convenience of shopping online, some focus on experiences, and some have simply decided to sleep in on Black Friday and spread out their shopping instead. But, while there is a trend, tens of millions Americans will still show up and shop on Black Friday. And retailers are holding out hope. Gerald L. Storch, chief executive of the Hudson’s Bay Company, said, “Christmas always comes, and people have to shop. They will be back.”



In case you are unfamiliar with this organization, Creative Consultants is the UGA student-run PR firm associated with PRSSA. Each year, the firm gathers 8-10 clients and divides into teams to help implement a PR campaign that will benefit each client. The firm has clients like Porter Novelli, Pixel & Ink Boutique and Eaton Corporation. So far, each team has successfully completed their first worksheet of the semester, which centered around researching their client in order to create their PR campaign. Savannah Flynn, a junior account executive for Eaton Corporation, is excited about their campaign plan to start in the coming months. “We are working close with Eaton Corporation and really getting to know their employees,” Flynn said. “We want to be able to develop a plan to further awareness of the company in the Athens’ community.” The Eaton Corporation team hopes to center its efforts around Twilight, the professional cycling event and festival Athens hosts every year.

Riley Muse, an account executive for Porter Novelli, hopes her team’s research will be helpful in their coming PR campaign. After gaining better insight into the audiences of Junior Achievement of Georgia, they feel confident in moving forward for their spring campaign efforts. “We want to create a social media campaign that will revitalize Junior Achievement’s social media accounts across all platforms,” Muse said. “We have a lot of great ideas in the works, and we all are so excited to continue to make them a reality.” This Spring seems to becoming an exciting time for all of the Creative Consultant teams, but before any team can actually move forward on their campaign plans, the executive board of Creative Consultants must review and give feedback each team’s research. Erin Shattles, the Creative Consultants’ director, and the rest of the executive board are very proud of all their teams’ efforts so far this year. “The submissions and content has been so impressive, and we are so excited to see what each team plans for their client during the planning phase,” Shattles said. The executive board hopes to see even more great progress from their teams in the coming months. “The things that teams are experiencing are perfect examples of scenarios they will encounter in their future careers with clients and partners,” Shattles said. “How we are seeing team members communicate with clients is truly reflective of what Grady teaches us.”  Creative Consultants has one more meeting left in the semester to share with each other the work they have done this semester and what they hope to accomplish in the coming months. DREWRY CHAPTER , UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA • UGAPRSSA.ORG

‌• TRAVELING THE WORLD WITH GRADY ‌• If you’re looking to cure that wanderlust spirit you’ve developed, then the Grady of Journalism and Mass Communication has the perfect programs for you. Whether you’ve dreamed of Europe, Costa Rica or an adventure to China, Grady has a program for it. Grady offers travel writing journalism trips to either Prague or Dublin, advertising and public relations studies in China, Cannes Lion and Cannes Film Festival trips, Grady @ Oxford and an environmental journalism focus in Costa Rica. The travel writing journalism trip is offered as both a maymester and summer course. The maymester trip goes to Prague while the summer course goes to Dublin for six weeks. Both trips help students hone their travel writing skills and offer an Intro to Travel Journalism course. Students will be immersed in the cultures of either Dublin or Prague and side excursions are scheduled as part of the programs. If you’re an advertising or public relations major and looking for an adventure in Asia, then check out the China study abroad program. The program lasts three weeks, and students will be visiting Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. Students on the program will earn a 3-hour, upper-level course credit as they learn about both the advertising and public relations industry in China. The Cannes Lion and Cannes Film Festivals are incredible opportunities for students to network and be a part of an amazing experience most people in college will never get. Cannes Lion is a festival centered around creativity within advertising. The program is three weeks long, and students will be able to earn credit in an upper level ADPR course. While in Cannes, students will attend keynote addresses and learn from top agencies and CEO’s in the advertising industry. With the Cannes Film Festival, students will be able to take two course gaining six credit hours.

BY SAVANNAH FLYNN The program lasts about four weeks and consists of students attending the film festival activities and seminars. “Cannes Lions is truly in incomparable experience for any student of advertising, media, or public relations," advertising major Emma Murphy said, "As students, we were given access to the same seminars and awards ceremonies as the top executives of creative agencies." The Grady @ Oxford program is an amazing opportunities for students to study at a prestigious school with a beautiful campus in England. The program lasts from the end of June until the beginning of August, and students will earn six credit hours while at Oxford. Students will be enriched in the culture of England and have excursions related to the materials they are learning in their courses. “My time studying abroad in Oxford was absolutely incredible,” PRSSA Drewry Chapter Publications Editor Riley Muse said, “Between studying international communication with Dr. Jin along with immersing myself in British culture, being in Oxford gave me the best summer of my life." Lastly, for those interested in environmental journalism, you can take a three-hour course at the UGA Costa Rica campus. This program is offered as a May-mester in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The journalism course offered through this program will focus on the effects of climate change and how journalists can report these changes in order to teach people about the changes happening. Overall, study abroad programs can add so much to your overall college experience. I studied abroad in Paris, and it was definitely a trip of a lifetime. No matter which study abroad program suits your studies best, Grady has great opportunities awaiting students through each of their programs. For more information regarding these programs go to grady. Safe travels!

UPCOMING PRSSA EVENTS DECEMBER 6th Reading Day, Member Appreciation and Graduate Recognition JANUARY 24th Meeting JANUARY 31-FEBRUARY 4th Washington D.C. Agency Tour Trip (deadline to apply is December 13th) FEBRUARY 7th Meeting: Omnicom Fellowship

FEBRUARY 15th Atlanta Tour (UPS & William Mills)


FEBRUARY 24th PRSA Real World Atlanta (scholarships available) FEBRUARY 28th Meeting: Southern Company


MARCH 6-10 Spring Break


APRIL 11th EBoard Elections



PRecedent December 2016  
PRecedent December 2016