Public relations courses prefix is now PURL instead of JRNL

Winter 2015 registration is coming up. If you are looking for your public relations course, you may not find them if your not looking them up under the new prefix PURL. Moving forward public relation courses will now have PURL before the course number and not JRNL. Journalism courses in the PR program will still be under the JRNL prefix.

If you have any questions regarding the change please contact Lolita or Gina.
PURL prefix change flyer

How to create word tag clouds using Wordle

"EMU PRSSA Tag Cloud" C/O of Gaberielle Burgess-Smith

“EMU PRSSA Tag Cloud” C/O of Gabrielle Burgess-Smith

I am sure you have seen these around. For the longest I did not know what to refer to them as, but after the constant rephrasing of my Google searches from “PR word backgrounds” to “word tag pictures” I finally found the correct terminology to describe this trending picturesque item on many social sites, word tag clouds.

Word tag clouds are tags that appear most frequent within a search context or even website/blog source. It combines these words into an image or rectangle like cluster that resembles a Scrabble game board. A word that has a lot of buzz or a lot of tags has a larger font size in the tag clouds. A word with not as much buzz has a smaller font size.

I have seen many social sites post a word tag cloud as their Twitter header or Facebook cover. Me being the type of  person I am, I wanted one specific to me.  Of course there was not an existing word cloud that had words that described me as an individual, so I made one.

There is a site called Wordle where you can make your own cloud words. I created one with my own list of words I inserted, but you can enter a website url and create a tag cloud based on the tags of the website. After I created my word cloud I went to Photoshop to give the letters a pink cheetah print skin. They have a color palette you can choose from to give your text color, but pink cheetah print is not an option so I used Photoshop.

C/O of Gabrielle Burgess-Smith

C/O of Gabrielle Burgess-Smith

I then wanted to see a word cloud for our PRSSA website. It looks pretty cool.As I developed a generic word cloud based on PRSSA site I discovered pros and cons to Wordle. If you are on a Mac computer it is very easy to save your Wordle because you are able to save it as a PDF via the print feature. On Windows there is not a save as via print. This makes it close to impossible to save your Wordle unless you use a third-party software program. Why does everything have to be so difficult!? However, I did a print screen and emailed it to myself. I downloaded the image as a pic and cropped it on an online pic editor to take out the extra remnants that showed the outline of my browser. For future reference, if you decide to make one you should do it on a Mac.

Here is a four minute video that explains how to change the text skin of your Wordle words.

Gabrielle Burgess-Smith
Vice President
EMU PRSSA

Join EMU PRSSA for the Rock Financial tour on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014.

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Carpool leaves at 11:45 a.m. from Starbucks in the SC. Students who want to attend should contact our VP, Gabrielle, by Monday, Oct. 20, 2014.  It’s important that you RSVP, so that your name will be added to the security list for entrance into the building. Rock Financial Tours are known for being great.

Visiting Compuware:
-Enter Parking deck from the Farmer Street Entrance (buses will drop off at Farmer Street doors)
-Enter Office Tower on Ground Level off of Farmer Street
-Proceed to Compuware security desk to register/receive a visitor’s badge
-Check in with our Client Ambassadors on the tenth floor, to receive parking validation and  further direction

Detroit Zoological Society winter PR internship

detroitzoo

Want to mingle with the macaronis and pal with the polar bears while learning valuable PR and communications skills? Then the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) has the internship for you!

The DZS is seeking college student interns for the winter semester who are in their junior or senior year and studying Public Relations, Communications, Journalism or related fields. Interns will be responsible for researching and drafting press releases, talking points, newsletter profiles, Facebook status updates and other PR-related copy; proofing and editing copy; scheduling and coordinating media interviews; escorting media through the Detroit Zoo during video/photo shoots; assisting with commercial and motion picture film shoots and special events; updating website and mobile app content; and performing other PR-related assignments.

Interns will work closely with the Communications Director, Communications Manager and other interns while learning valuable skills needed in the Public Relations workforce. Excellent writing and public speaking skills are a plus.

The duration of the internship is early January through early May; 16 hours (two days) per week. This is a non-paid internship, and it is mandatory that students receive course credit.

The Detroit Zoological Society is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workforce. We maintain a drug-free workplace and perform pre-employment substance abuse screening.

Potential candidates can apply online and send their resume to Communications Director Patricia Janeway at pjaneway@dzs.org with a cc. to PR1@dzs.org. Please put “Winter PR Internship” in the subject line.  The deadline is November 15, 2014.

The importance of telling a story through writing

The kick-off speaker this semester, Nick Synko from Synko & Associates LLC, gave many words of wisdom that were relevant to not only public relations students, but to anyone that is seeking excellence in their career field. He also gave motivational stories and shared helpful hints that would be useful to any scholar looking to transition smoothly into the work force. However, one tidbit of information seemed to resonate as I sat and listened to his lecture.

The kick-off speaker this semester, Nick Synko from Synko & Associates LLC, gave many words of wisdom that were relevant to not only public relations students, but to anyone that is seeking excellence in their career field. He also gave motivational stories and shared helpful hints that would be useful to any scholar looking to transition smoothly into the work force. However, one tidbit of information seemed to resonate as I sat and listened to his lecture.

“You’ve got to be able to find good stories,” Synko said.

This is incredibly true for all public relations practitioners. The skill of being able to find a way to tell the story of a company, organization, brand or individual is absolutely imperative. This can give the public an in-depth look at what is relevant about your client. However, there isn’t just a need for proper grammar, format and style.

Writing is a skill that is essential for any PR practitioner, and developing a sense of what will cause a lasting impact in the minds of readers takes practice.

But, how do you know if your angle will be relevant for your target audience?

There was a phrase one of my professors liked to commonly repeat to her students as they told her ideas regarding classroom writings. “So what? Who cares?” she would insistently ask. This is always a good place to start when concocting a press release, email pitch or feature story. Why would anyone care about this story? Why is this important to the audience that is supposed to be reached?

Source: publicrelationsblogger.com

Source: publicrelationsblogger.com

A good story will always be able to easily answer these questions, and the writer should have an inclination as to what will be well-received by their target audience. Research and an awareness of the clients’ market will greatly assist with these aspects of providing a solid piece of writing.

Public relations students should start honing their craft of using their writing to reach people. There are many opportunities for Eagles to practice this skillset, and any portfolio should be equipped with bylines and published works. Blogging for PRSSA, writing for the Eastern Echo or any other platform that allows for a story to be shared should be heavily considered by any student looking to excel in the world of public relations.

Good writing is not something people are born with. Having the ability to skillfully put words on paper takes practice, and there is always room for improvement.

Having an empathetic outlook is underrated in the world of PR. Being able to know what would catch the attention of the public is not always an easy task, but it’s a necessary skill for this career. Also, if a PR student is still writing at the novice level upon graduation, they are simply not ready for a job in this career field.

Synko emphasized the need to find good tales that need to be told. Would you be ready to complete the task of finding a feature story about the company if your boss asked you to? Take the time to prepare yourself in college, because there’s no better time to learn and make mistakes than right now.

This is incredibly true for all public relations practitioners. The skill of being able to find a way to tell the story of a company, organization, brand or individual is absolutely imperative. This can give the public an in-depth look at what is relevant about your client. However, there isn’t just a need for proper grammar, format and style.

Writing is a skill that is essential for any PR practitioner, and developing a sense of what will cause a lasting impact in the minds of readers takes practice.

A good story will always be able to easily answer these questions, and the writer should have an inclination as to what will be well-received by their target audience. Research and an awareness of the clients’ market will greatly assist with these aspects of providing a solid piece of writing.

Public relations students should start honing their craft of using their writing to reach people. There are many opportunities for Eagles to practice this skill set, and any portfolio should be equipped with bylines and published works. Blogging for PRSSA, writing for the Eastern Echo or any other platform that allows for a story to be shared should be heavily considered by any student looking to excel in the world of public relations.

Good writing is not something people are born with. Having the ability to skillfully put words on paper takes practice, and there is always room for improvement.

Having an empathetic outlook is underrated in the world of PR. Being able to know what would catch the attention of the public is not always an easy task, but it’s a necessary skill for this career. Also, if a PR student is still writing at the novice level upon graduation, they are simply not ready for a job in this career field.

Synko emphasized the need to find good tales that need to be told. Would you be ready to complete the task of finding a feature story about the company if your boss asked you to? Take the time to prepare yourself in college, because there’s no better time to learn and make mistakes than right now.

Ken Bowen
President
EMU PRSSA

Karen Spica is joining EMU PRSSA on Oct. 14, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.

 Karen Spica is a vice president at Shazaaam! Marketing & Public Relations (JB&A) based in Novi, Michigan. She is responsible for managing several of the firm’s client relationships, including those in the transportation, automotive, retail, professional services, non-profit and hospitality industries. She also conducts media interview training for many of the firm’s clients.

Spica previously was senior corporate relations manager for Allstate Insurance, serving as chief communications officer heading up an award-winning, four-member team for the company’s three-state North Central Region headquartered in Michigan. Before joining Allstate, she was a vice president of John Baily & Associates, Inc. (JB&A), a member of its management team and is chief media interview trainer.

Karen Spica

Karen Spica

Prior to joining JB&A, Spica was director of corporate communications for Lear Corporation, a tier one international automotive supplier of interior components, headquartered in Southfield, Mich. Her responsibilities included international corporate and product public relations and internal communications for more than 100,000 employees at more than 300 locations in 33 countries. Prior to joining Lear Corporation, Spica served as a consultant with Communications Counselors Inc., working principally on the Ford Motor Company and Automotive Hall of Fame accounts.

Spica is an accredited public relations practitioner (APR), a past president of the Detroit Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and a past member of the PRSA National Accreditation Board. She also is a member of Association of Women in Communications (AWC), and served as the Detroit Chapter president in 1984-85 and in 2003-2007. She is a member of the AWC Matrix Foundation, an independent not-for-profit in which she has served as board chair since 2012.

Spica has been honored by AWC as a “National Headliner” (1994)and “AWC Champion” (2003) and also was the recipient of AWC’s “Outstanding Professional Chapter Award” for her service as 1984-85AWC-Detroit Chapter president. Additionally, Spica was the recipient of the PRSA “National Banner Award” for the year she served as the PRSA-Detroit Chapter president. In 2002, she was recognized by PRSA-Detroit with its Distinguished Service Award.

Spica earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant.

Come Join us on oct. 14 at 5:30 p.m. in sc 302.

What I’ve received while being in PRSSA

With the time for dues coming up, you may be thinking to yourself “Why should I join PRSSA?” Well we can try telling you all the great things about our organization but until you learn for yourself, those aren’t huge persuading factors. With the $65 for new members and $60 for returning, it may seem like a lot all at once.

The good thing? Our memberships are good for an entire year! If you mentally break it up then it becomes less than $10 a month for some awesome pre-professional tips and benefits.

To help you thinking about what you can get out of the experience, below I have benefits that I’ve received.

  1. Great peer networking

I’m decently involved on campus but that is so different from being involved within my major. While in PRSSA, I get to meet other students in my field or related fields. This is really great and handy because you never know who you will run into in the future and how they could impact your life.

  1. Amazing mentors

The professors in our department are so caring and they truly want you to do well. When you become part of PRSSA, it shows that you are beginning to care more about your future therefore the professors start to care more too. You may be held to a higher standard now but you better believe our advisor and professors will be there to catch you as long as you tried your hardest. If there is a scholarship application available, they will push you to apply! Who is going to say “no” to money for their education??

  1. Fantastic speakers

Whether you’re a member or not, we invite a variety of professionals to come and share their stories with our students. You get the opportunity to not only hear from those speakers but also ask them questions and get their contact information for your future curiosity. Need to reach out to a professional for class? These speakers have connections and could potentially help you out.

4.  Resume Builders

Being a college student can make it hard to find worthwhile resume experience while still paying the bills. Being a paid member of PRSSA is nice to have but being an active member is completely different. Having the ability to say that I’m an involved member in the organization can open doors for me. Even better? Taking an executive board position has taught me skills beyond being an active member.

  1. Conference opportunities

Every year PRSSA holds a national conference. This year the PRSSA 2014 National Conference is themed with Intersections: The Meeting Place of Communications & Culture. It’s really exciting that the conference will be held in Washington D.C., a central place for the country’s large decisions and political people. And I’ll be there, October 9 to 14. PRSSA has given me the chance to get funding and get to the national conference with very little personal expense. This will be a great chance for me to meet peers from around the country as well as some professionals in the field.

Still on the fence about forking over $65 for the membership? Come to our meetings. You have the chance to experience meetings before the Oct. 15, 2014, deadline for dues arrives but don’t let that deadline sneak up on you. Pay the dues as soon as you can so you don’t remain stressed. You can even bring it to the next regular meeting, Oct. 14.

Raven Gardiner
VP of Member Relations
EMU PRSSA