Beat the Winter blues by blogging

We have officially hit that point of year where on some days here in the Mitten State it’s colder outside than it is at the same time in Alaska. If you are anything like myself, you avoid going outside on days like that.

Winter gets tough because sometimes it seems as if there isn’t much to do. No beach, no casual bike rides or hikes, and overall just very few options for outdoor activities. Driving places gets dangerous, and sometimes it is simply the best option to stay inside. What better time to try blogging!?

Blogging is a super beneficial skill to have when pursuing a career in the public relations field. While ultimately as a practitioner it would be advantageous to blog about issues and current events in the public relations world, any sort of blog is beneficial simply because blogging can strengthen writing skills and give you experience navigating a blog platform.

Source: Rae Lewis-Thornton

Source: Rae Lewis-Thornton

If you find yourself thinking that starting a blog is an intimidating idea, don’t worry. Although blogging might seem intimidating (Will people even read my blog? What do I blog about?), I promise that it is not. The key to blogging is to find your voice and use it to blog something that you are passionate about. If you are well-engaged with your topic, your audience will be able to tell. If you aren’t interested and you are blogging about something random just for the sake of blogging, they will also be able to tell that. So that’s the trick, blog about something that you love.

When it comes to choosing a blog platform, that can be a tricky task, but it’s all about finding one that you find to be user friendly. I personally use WordPress for my blog. I find it to be easy to customize and post on and  I would highly suggest it to a first time blogger. However, there are a multitude of options available as far as blog platforms go. To get you started, here is a list of the top ten most popular blog platforms, as according to technochilly.com.

  1. WordPress
  2. Blogger
  3. Tumblr
  4. Medium
  5. BraveNet
  6. Live Journal
  7. Type Pad
  8. Joomla
  9. Quora
  10. Silvrback

Whether you start your blog on one of those platforms, or if you already have a blog, blogging is a great way to hone in on and strengthen many crucial tools needed for a career in public relations such as writing and the ability to craft a visually appealing blog. So, when you are stuck indoors this winter, beat the winter blues by starting and working on your blog. You will not only spend your time inside in a productive manner, but you will also continue to become a better PR pro by sharpening your blogging skills.

Andrea Mellendorf
Chief Financial Officer
EMU PRSSA

Save the Date: Speed Mentoring will be on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015

Have a chance to learn more about the different areas of public relations and the similar fields associated with it. Speed Mentoring gives students a chance to meet, network and get advice from local professionals around Southeastern Michigan. Just like speed dating, each participant will have a limited time to chat with every professional throughout the night. Please bring multiple copies of your resume and/or business card with you to pass out and gain tips for improvement. Don’t forget to dress to impress, professional attire is necessary to make a lasting impression!

Source: David's ESOL Blog

Source: David’s ESOL Blog

When/Where: Tuesday, Feb. 10, from 6 p.m. to 8p.m. at the Tower Room in McKenny Guild Hall on EMU’s Main Campus.

*For more information about Speed Mentoring, please contact PRSSA Special Event’s Coordinator, Leah Rodriguez at lrodrig9@emich.edu.

Winter Kickoff Meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 27

welcome-back-flower-graphic

Come join EMU PRSSA as we kick off the Winter semester. At the kick off you will be able to join PRSSA and learn more about our organization. Also we have a lot of fun activities planned for this semester that will be discussed during the kick off.  Please bring any questions you may have.

The kick off will be in 302 SC at 5:30 p.m.

Five tips on dressing for success in PR

Source: Resume Planet

Source: Resume Planet

When you attend any interview it’s important to dress for the career you want and not the job you have. It’s important to be overdressed, because it’s the first time you’ll be introduced to the company and you want the interviewer to have a positive impression. After all they say that first impressions are the most important, because it will be what the interviewer will remember the most when considering you for employment.

So now you’ve advanced from being a candidate to being selected for the position, but you’re confused about what you should wear, especially sense the company culture is informal. Further, how do you reflect your personality in how you dress? Considering every company has its own culture it’s important to research the company and ask the interviewee what are the expectations for dressing at your company.

However, here are a couple tips that can help you select the appropriate attire and reflect your personality without being too informal.

  1. Feel comfortable in your clothes: You should always feel comfortable in the clothes that you wear and never dress a particular way, because someone advises you to unless it’s required.
  2. Fit the culture: A company can be informal and have a casual dress code for the office, however when they meet clients they wear more formal attire. It’s important to follow what everyone else is doing and don’t be afraid to stand out with your style. However there is such a thing as standing out to much but, you don’t want to be the talk of the office. If your coworkers dress up to see clients then you should follow their lead.
  3. Follow the leader: If your boss dresses a specific way in the office, however when attending meetings they dress in formal attire you should do the same.
  4. Dress your age: When you’re working in an office it’s important to dress your age and not to fit in. Remember you don’t want to be too informal by wearing articles like flip-flops, because you’re not going to the beach, but to work. Feel free to include minimal accessories with your wardrobe as they tend to reflect your personality and add to your clothes.
  5. Look presentable: When working in Public Relations rather it be a large corporation or an agency it’s important to look your best, because you’re often considered the face of the company or at least the first person people will see.
DeAndre Brown
VP of Community Relations
EMU PRSSA

Five tips to noticing trends in PR

As budding PR professionals it is imperative that we notice key trends and capitalize on them before they vanish. I’m not just speaking of fashion, but worldly trends. As a student this can be hard. We have many different responsibilities and therefore may not have the time to keep up on trends. Thank goodness for the speed at which technology develops and the production of apps.

Tools that will help you keep up with current trends.

1) Listen to Podcasts
The best time to listen to podcast are while you are at the gym or walking to class. During this time I am in a state where I am able to concentrate on what is being said and evaluate it.

2) Read 50 blogs in 15 minutes
Apps like Pulse allows you to quickly read over blogs. You save articles and websites that are of interest to you via the app and categorize them based on genre.

Source: Customer Think

Source: Customer Think

3) Utilize  Twitter Lists
Twitter lists used to annoy me until I found out one of its important features. It minimizes Twitter. On a smaller scale I am able to read posts directed towards a specific topic. Considering the opportunities, Twitter lists can also be used to follow industry thought leaders and follow bloggers. You can even create private Twitter lists to follow competitors, industry influencers and other people you don’t want your competitors seeing.

4) Follow people on Twitter
This is old fashioned, but it helps! The best way to get info is from the horse’s mouth. Many people receive their news from tweets made by celebrities and other spotlight people. By following them you have the potential to see information first hand.

5) Watch the news
I am not saying you have to wake up at 5 a.m. to watch the early morning show, but it is good to know what is going on in the world. Every morning before classes I turn my television on either channel 2, 4, or 7. I see local and worldly news that is not covered in any application or blogs I view.

How do you keep up with trends?

Gabrielle Burgess-Smith
Vice President
EMU PRSSA

Inspiring Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.

Source: Loren's World

Source: Loren’s World

Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Quotes-1020

Source: Love Life Media

Source: Love Life Media

Martin-Luther-King

Seven tips to release stress

With the start of a new school semester and especially a new year, it is always good to learn how to better control your stress level. As reiterated many times, PR is the sixth most stressful occupation (Forbes). To better acclimate yourself for the future and its duties, you should prepare for your career life as though you are living it now-so it will become habitual.

In college we tend to manage. We manage our stress level just enough so that it does not hit the ceiling, sending us into a tidal wave of emotion. Stress needs to released, not managed. New Year, better you…correct?

Remember! Stress is not always bad. Stress is what motivates us to keep pushing through, but sometimes it can get tiring in copious amounts.

Source: Fooyoh

Source: Fooyoh

Follow these tips to assist you in a less stressful year.

1) Have a regiment
Develop a schedule that fits your daily lifestyle. You don’t have to map out your daily activities (not if you don’t want to), but it sincerely helps to go to bed and wake up at a set time.

2) Exercise
Exercise is a stress-reliever, but many (like myself) don’t like to sweat. Incorporate sweat-less workouts to your regiment. There are some great ones located here. Also, make it a point to have a power workout once or twice a week to release muscle tension and burn a few extra calories.

3)Eat Clean
Clean eating makes your insides feel so much better. They are not clogged with oil and ridiculously named toxins that can barely be spelled, better yet pronounced. When you feel better inside you feel better overall.

4) Detox
A few of you may be thinking “ewww”, but detoxing is very beneficial for the body. There are many ways to detox. Detoxing releases toxins from your body and helps your body naturally release the toxins we take in every day from daily uses, such as soap, lotions, and even the air we breathe. A hot bath detox with epsom salt and baking soda does wonders for the skin and the hot water opens your pores. It’s like a mini spa in your own bathroom.

5) Talk
Have someone you can talk to. Sharing your concerns with another person works wonders. It can be a friend, family member, or even mentor. Overall make it someone you trust, so you will be more willing to accept their opinion and feedback.

6) Meditate
There are many ways to meditate. I see meditating as being specific to a person. You can do yoga, pray, paint nails. It doesn’t matter how you meditate, as long as you are in a relaxed state of mind.

7) Free day
Last but not least, have a free day to re-coop. Do whatever you want to do on this day, just don’t let it impact the productivity of future days

Happy New Year everyone and make 2015 as stress free as possible.

Gabrielle Burgess-Smith
Vice President
EMU PRSSA