SmartNews app helps busy students keep up with current events

By: Katie Gerweck

By now, most public relations students probably know the importance of following the news. According to Come Recommended for Business Insider, having an understanding of current events can boost your career by helping you make better decisions, spot trends faster, and possibly impress your boss (source). Luckily, there are news apps available that simplify the process of following the news by bringing it right to you. Last month Rachel Dwornick wrote about why students should use the Apple News app, but I’d like to introduce another: the SmartNews app.

SmartNews is a free app available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play. According to, the app uses an algorithm that “automatically curates the must-read stories that matter now” from diverse channels like Vox, USA Today, TechCrunch, People, and NBC (source). I find the app’s variety of channels makes it easier to find news, as you do not have to go to each individual website to find content.

Furthermore, the app’s organization is simple. The news in SmartNews is divided into different categories (Top, Entertain, Sports, Lifestyle, U.S., ect.) and organized in colorful tabs across the screen, making it easy to find the category you are looking for.

But to me, the biggest advantage of SmartNews is that it automatically refreshes with the latest news each time you open the app, so you always have the most current news. You can also be alerted to breaking news by changing the notification settings for the app on your iPhone, so you are always up-to-date on current events. I have learned about many significant events through my SmartNews app, which I otherwise would not have heard about until I watched the news on TV that night, or logged onto Facebook.

I recommend the SmartNews app as a news app because it is easy to find the information you are looking for, and you have access to a variety of news sources. You only have to open the app to find the latest news.

 Katie Gerweck is a senior majoring in public relations with a minor in journalism. She is the editor-in-chief for EMU PRSSA. She was the copy chief for the Eastern Echo during the summer of 2015.


Measuring social media: what’s working?

By: Natalie Burns

Let’s face it — social media is indispensable. It gives you the ability to attract new prospects, connect with customers and establish an active-leadership voice. However, due to the rapid development of technology, potential employers and clients want to see the measurement of your results.

 The Social Media Marketing Industry Report revealed “a significant 59% of marketers are using social media for 6 hours or more and 33% for 11 or more hours weekly” (source). Although Google Analytics is a great tool, there are other ways to pull that social media data, which will give you insights on what’s working and where there is potential room to grow.

If you really want to show that social media is the key element to a successful way to reach out to potential clients, you will need to start measuring the ROI so you can see the positive and negative effects. Showing real results and promise will ensure your employer and client know that PR matters.

Recently, I came across TrendKite. This company exists to help brands and agencies quantify and amplify the impact of their PR efforts. “TrendKite tracks a comprehensive set of metrics to accurately measure the impact PR is having on your brand, website traffic, and business goals” (source). TrendKite introduces and discusses tools like; custom media dashboards, automated, interactive PR reports, news monitoring dashboard and news reports.

Take a look on the inside and see, “The PR Tools Your Company Will Actually Use.”

Natalie Burns is a senior pursuing her public relations major. She is the Chief Financial Officer of PRSSA. She has experience in both marketing and non-profit organizations. Connect with her via Twitter @burns_natalie and Instagram @natbsweetee. You can also check out her blog at

Job alert! Campus Life student assistant positions

Campus Life is now accepting applications for student assistant positions. According to the Campus Life page, “Campus Life is hiring student staff for 2016-2017! Working as a student assistant offers a challenging, pre-professional job experience to upper-class student leaders” (source). To apply, visit this page and click the link to the Google Form under “Additional Information.” Applicants will need their EMU PIN and E#.

The application deadline is Friday, Feb. 5 by 5 p.m.

Meeting preview: media training workshop

EMU PRSSA will be holding a media training workshop tomorrow, Feb. 2 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in SC 304.

The speaker will be Pam Young, the director of communications at Eastern Michigan University. Her “main areas of responsibility are College of Health and Human Services and College of Arts and Sciences” (source).


Internship alert! MSLGROUP, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation


MSLGROUP is looking for a full-time public relations intern. The internship would be in Detroit, Mich. According to the job posting, “Successful candidates will gain hands-on exposure to clients in our Consumer Practice group. We are looking for dynamic, dependable, driven college juniors, seniors or recent graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in public relations.” Responsibilities include writing, event planning, research, and media relations (source).

For more information, including job requirements and how to apply, visit the job posting here. To learn more about MSLGROUP, visit its website here.

Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation

Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation is currently seeking a part-time communications intern. This is an unpaid internship. According to the job posting, “Reporting directly to the Communications Manager, the Intern’s primary function is to provide assistance on specific marketing and communications activities. This internship is an excellent opportunity for an entry-level professional to gain ‘hands on’ experience in the exciting field of Communications and to experience various aspects of marketing while working for a growing nonprofit organization” (source).

For more information, including job requirements, responsibilities, and other information, please visit the job posting here. To learn more about Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation,  visit its website here.

Scholarship alert! IABC Detroit Student Achievement Award

According to the IABC Detroit website, “The IABC Detroit Student Achievement Award recognizes outstanding work completed by an undergraduate communications (or related field of study) student from the southeastern Michigan area. The winning student will receive a check for $500.” This must be original work, with an entry that includes a work plan of 500 words or less (source). For more information on what the entry must include and how to apply, visit the Student Achievement Award page here.

The deadline is April 1, 2016.


New app revolutionizes the selfie game

By: Irene Pool

Technology is rapidly growing in this day and age, and we are always trying to think of ways to stand out. But how do we change the world behind a selfie? We can add filters or decorative borders to make the photo stand out, but those features have been around for years now. So how do we bring the game to the next level and make selfies more interactive?

Selfies have become a competitive field with friends trying to out-selfie one another. People are climbing bridges to snatch that perfect photo or jumping out of planes to capture the moment. But to take a photo that allows the viewer to see every single angle of the scenery would definitely stand out!

Fyuse is an app that adds a sense of depth to a photo by making it 3D on your smartphone. This app is compatible for both iOS and Android products, making it available to a large audience. This app works through “spatial photography” (source).

This app makes a photo feel like you’re truly at the location. By looking at the photo, you can tilt or even move your phone to make the photo come to life. It allows you to view an image completely, as if you were truly walking around it. This app combines the use of a video, animated GIF and 360-degree panorama.

The next time you’re thinking of what will make the perfect photo, think of this app.

Irene Pool is a senior at Eastern Michigan University majoring in public relations and minoring in communications. This is her first year in EMU’s PRSSA chapter. She was drawn to social media because she likes being able to connect with others in many different ways. Irene is an outgoing person who enjoys learning something new every day. She loves finding the beauty in the world and facing new challenges.