My day with a state representative

In October 2014, I was given the opportunity to share my life as an Eastern Michigan student with Representative David Rutledge from Michigan’s House of Representatives. This opportunity was presented to me by the Honors College here at EMU.

Representative Rutledge represents the Ypsilanti area in Lansing. He is an experienced politician who was brought to Michigan by an opportunity to attend law school at the University of Michigan. Through our conversations during the day, the two of us discovered that we actually had a lot in common about our college experiences, including that fact that we both served as resident advisors for our respective institutions.

Our day started with breakfast at Einstein’s, continued on to my German language class and then too lunch. After lunch we attended an American government course in Pray-Harrold before having to go to a meeting with my boss. Following the meeting we concluded the day at Starkweather where we debriefed about the day with other members from the Honors College.

Andrea Mellendorf and David Rutledge

Andrea Mellendorf and David Rutledge

Being able to represent the Honors College was a very enjoyable privilege. I had such a blast showcasing my life as an EMU student to someone who devotes part of their life advocating for funding for our institution.

Representative Rutledge was genuinely interested in what I do as a student, what I am hoping to do with my public relations degree one day, and the ways in which I was spending my time as an undergrad outside of the classroom.

At the conclusion of our day together on campus, Representative Rutledge extended an invite for me to come to Lansing for the day and shadow his daily life as a Representative for the Ypsilanti area. This is an offer that I will certainly be taking him up on! Being able to teach Representative Rutledge about my day as an Eastern student makes me very excited for the opportunity to learn about his day as a politician.

Andrea Mellendorf
Chief Financial Officer

Top five benefits of attending SDC

The Student Development Conference and Workshop is an annual, day-long conference that is planned and implemented by members of the EMU PRSSA. Some might be wondering how they will benefit from attending this year’s conference, and what they will gain from their experience. Here are five ways SDC will benefit your future toward gaining experience and knowledge in the public relations, communications, journalism and marketing fields.

Source: Nova Law Careers

Source: Nova Law Careers

  1. Educate Yourself. This year’s theme is “The Convergence of Public Relations.” Today, the growing field is becoming more blended. With the merging of marketing, branding, journalism, and public relations, we are beginning to notice collaboration. Our three speakers will touch on topics relevant to multiple aspects of PR today. Come and learn about the convergence of public relations, a new take on the press release, and entrepreneurship.
  1. Build Your Network. It’s all about whom you know. Rub elbows with local professionals and students in and around Southeastern Michigan. Attendants will develop professional relationships that can assist in finding internships, and learn from one another.
  1. Personal Feedback. Bring your resume with you and get one-on-one feedback and editing during a resume-building workshop. Better prepare yourself for the professional world by speaking to a panel of human resources professionals that will answer questions about the interview and hiring process.
  1. Earn LBC credit. This event offers Learning Beyond the Classroom credit. Satisfy area five of the university’s General Education Program while enjoying a day of learning and networking.
  1. Professional Development. Attending class isn’t the only way student’s can develop a professional outlook on their future. Conferences such as the Student Development Conference will help student’s build their professional persona by surrounding themselves in a business-like environment.
Leah Rodriguez
VP of  Public Relation

Hunger Drive

Source: Rocky Mountain Lodge

Source: Rocky Mountain Lodge

Last week on November 11,  EMU PRSSA kicked off its first ever Hunger Drive. The drive was implemented by the Executive Board members of PRSSA, becoming part of the solution to end hunger within metro Detroit. Our theme for the drive is “Ending Hunger 1 Can at a Time”. The purpose of the hunger drive is to help students understand that hunger is a dreadful part of our society and plagues the homes of many. By implementing this drive students will be able to help alleviate hunger within their immediate community, altogether working to end hunger on a national level.

When families have no food we have no choice. The number of people seeking food assistance in our communities continues to increase due to loss of wages or lack of employment. In 2013 49.1 Americans lived in food insecure households. In response to this growing need, the students of EMU PRSSA are geared up to end hunger in our immediate community. This is a community wide effort to gather non-perishable foods that will be donated to food banks and churches who will aid in ensuring families in need receive hot meals and grocery for their families.

Thus far we have successfully partnered with St. John Hospital and Medical Center (Detroit) and St. Joseph’s Manor HFA to extend our mission and further the impact of our hunger drive. We are actively seeking community partners who are willing to keep a box at their facility to collect donations to further our goal.

For all attendants of the upcoming SDC we are asking for your participation in our Hunger Drive. You can participate by bringing at least one can or non-perishable item to the conference.

Important Dates to Remember:

Hunger Drive Kick Off: November 11, 2014

Final Date of Collection: December 31, 2014

On behalf of our Executive Board, thank you for your support in making our initiative a success.

“Ending Hunger 1 Can at a Time.”

Sam Plymale to speak on Nov. 25, 2014

Sam Plymale is an EMU almuni, he graduated with a public relations degree. Plymale is also a former EMU PRSSA e-bord member. He currently works as the Coordinator for the Plymouth Downtown Development Authority. His previous jobs includes being a broadcast news reporter and working in EMU’s admission office.

Join emu prssa and sam plymale on tuesday, nov. 25, 2014 in halle library 302.

Careers in crisis management

Public relations is an awesome career choice, because it can be used in any field rather it be government, politics, environmental studies, social science, etc. Most people that study public relations also have specializations like marketing, business, media relations, healthcare communications, community relations and many other fields. One of the growing specializations is Crisis Management, but few people actually choose this field, because while it can be rewarding it also can be demanding and stressful.

What is Crisis Management

Crisis Management as defined by the Society for Human Resource Management defines crisis management as, “the overall pre-established procedures outlined for preparing or responding to cataclysmic events or incidents in a safe and effective manner.” It involves such activities like planning, organizing, leading, and controlling assets and activities in the critical period immediately before, during and after an actual or impending catastrophe to reduce the loss of resources essentially to the organization’s eventual full recovery.

Many crisis can arise at a moment notice, for instance 9/11 or the leakage of NSA spying habits by Edward Snowden. Some of the popular types of Crisis according to The Management Study Guide (MSG) are Natural Disasters, Technological, Confrontation, Malevolence, Organizational Misdeed, etc. Whatever the crisis, it is the role of the crisis manager to think about event before it occurs, plan for it, and prevent it from affecting or interrupting day-to-day operations.



The Law Dictionary says the goal of crisis management is, “learning to recognize signals that a disaster might be approaching. Develop a plan to prepare for or prevent a crisis. Know how to contain the crisis and any resulting damage.” One of the most important parts of crisis management is the evaluation stage. This is the part where managers and organizations get to see if their current plan was successful at thwarting the crisis occurred and what could be done better next time to better prepare or prevent the crisis from occurring.

Necessary Education

Now that you know what crisis management is all about, I’m sure you’re wondering what kind of education is necessary. Well I’m glad you asked! To begin a career in crisis management you simply need a bachelor’s degree in either Public Relations, Crisis Management, Emergency Management, etc., however there is no one universal degree that will prepare you for a career in crisis management.

It’s also important to gain work experience as this can help you gain experience and help you move up the corporate ladder. Many people will go on to earn a Master’s Degree in hope of moving into the Director position. Be advised that the career overall is fairly old in the organization eyes, however the role is taking shape as an actual career tract. Currently there are 180 universities that offer higher learning in crisis management or emergency management.

What is the pay for Entry Level

The overall pay depends on the level of experience and your position on the hierarchical organization chart. However, it is suspected by The Law Dictionary that salaries fall in the median range of approximately $53,000.

DeAndre Brown
VP of Community Relations

PRSSA’s Gary Yoshimura Scholarship

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be pursuing a higher education in the public relations field
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Be a PRSSA member

To apply for this award you need to submit the following materials:

  • A completed application form
  • A letter of recommendation from internship supervisor/employer or faculty adviser
  • A 1,000-word essay describing a challenge you have faced, either personally or professionally, and how you have overcame it
  • An official transcript

All application materials must be received at PRSSA Headquarters by Jan. 26, 2015.

PRSSA — Gary Yoshimura Scholarship
33 Maiden Lane, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038

Military experience can benefit a PR Pro

The daily grind of a public relations practitioner is vastly different when compared to most military jobs, but some lessons from the front lines could be related to any PR major looking to hone his/her skills.

Although the stakes may obviously differ greatly in comparison, there are still ways to use knowledge taken from those who were trained to defend their country and use some information that could be relevant in any public relations’ office.

Here are a few from an old retired Marine infantry sergeant.

Attention to detail

 In the military, the tiniest of mistakes can compromise a mission and have disastrous results. Troops often train for weeks/months at a time in order to have not have a mistake when there is no room for error.

Public relations is a fast-paced industry but there is always a need for properly written documents and accurate research. If there is a lot of pressure to reach a deadline that is fast approaching, remembering the small details is still a necessity.

Controlled Chaos

In the middle of combat, those that can stay calm and remember their training usually end up as the victors. My drill instructors used to call this “controlled chaos,” and one of company’s DI’s had the phrase tattooed down the back of his arms.

In PR, one wrong statement at a press conference could be on the front page (“I just want my life back” was on the front page of every newspaper when the BP spokesperson forgot the scope of his words). Remembering your core message during times of crisis is a necessity, and keeping a level-head will usually prevail.



Being a Team Player

Before a mission there is a routine to ensure the patrol will be successful. Pre-combat checks and pre-combat inspections are meticulously conducted before every trip “outside the wire,” and checking and double checking gear, radios and weapons is not one squad member’s responsibility, but the entire unit does their part to stay prepared for all scenarios.

Providing a message to the public often takes a group effort, and being accountable and reliable is absolutely imperative when the team is counting on everyone to contribute. Don’t let your squad down when they need you the most.

 As a Marine, I was often told there were only two goals for any mission:1) Mission Accomplishment 2) Troop Welfare – and in that order.

There will always be time to rest and enjoy the comforts of life, but not until the mission has been completed to the high commands’ expectations. Public Relations can often work the same way. When a crisis erupts or a deadline is pressing, taking personal time may be out of the question until the needs of the client are met. Early mornings, long days and late nights may be necessary at times, but a good boss will always recognize the extra effort. Giving something back to the troops after a job well-done is always appreciated and will ensure good morale.

Work Hard – Play Hard

Why do people with the most stressful jobs always seem to know how to have the most fun?

Ken Bowen