5 ways to practice self-care

By: Josie Bobeck

College is a very stressful time for many people. Every program is stressful in its own right, and the public relations program is no different. Between wanting to do well, finding and pursuing an internship, and being involved in PRSSA (on top of other classes outside the PR program), it’s easy to feel like you’re being spread thin.

That is why it is so important to practice self-care while in college. Things can get way more stressful once college is over, so practicing good habits now can continue later on in life.

Here are five examples of how to practice self-care:

1. Get some sleep.

College is filled with long nights and early mornings. Whether you like morning classes, they happen. Getting sleep is important because you cannot be a fully functioning human being without it. Creating a nighttime routine can make bedtime much easier. For example, not drinking caffeine after 4 p.m., taking a hot shower at the same time every day, and turning off electronics an hour before lights go out. Getting sleep is essential in order to do well in your classes, and will be important once you get a job in the real world.

2. Drink water.

Many students live in residence halls, and once one person catches a bug, it’s a matter of time before everyone else catches it. Drinking water can help you get the fluids your body needs, not to mention it can help with weight loss and make your skin look #flawless.

3. Find a hobby. 

I love coloring, but I don’t do it as much as I would like to. Penciling in time every day to do something you enjoy can be a great stress reliever, whether it be coloring, going for a run, or taking a nap. It can also help keep your sanity. Side note: Coloring is awesome and I recommend it!

4. Spend time with loved ones.

Whether that be going to dinner with your friends, hanging out with your parents, or even writing a letter to a loved one can make you feel better. I also recommend petting every dog you can. It makes my day!

5. Know that it’s OK to ask for help.

Stress is one of the leading factors of depression in college students, and while a certain amount of stress is OK, too much is not. Talking to a therapist even once can be good for your mind and can help in the future when stress comes uninvited.

Self-care is important. For what it is worth, you are doing great! You deserve to take care of yourself and feel good. If you follow these five tips, you will be on the right path to success!

Josie Bobeck is a junior majoring in public relations with a minor in psychology. She is serving as this year’s VP of Member Relations for PRSSA and is keeping her options open when it comes to her future career. Josie is passionate about mental health awareness and advocacy, animal and child welfare, and pop culture. She loves her two dogs and her cat, and twenty one pilots. You can connect with her on Twitter @JosieBobeckPR.

Holiday social next week!

Don’t forget to join EMU PRSSA for a holiday social on Dec. 13 at 5:30 p.m. in SC 304. We will be having light snacks and refreshments, music, games and an ugly sweater contest! We will also be kicking off our charity fundraiser, where we are collecting new children’s books to donate to the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital. We will be collecting books for one month, but you may bring an unused children’s book to our holiday social. We will provide more information on the day of. We will also be making bookmarks to be donated with the books we collect.

*Don’t forget to bring $15 to order an EMU PRSSA shirt. This will be your LAST chance!

See you there!

Cogi recording app brings something new to the table

By: Brandon Lazovic

Editor’s note: This blog is part of a series of guest posts from social media students at Eastern Michigan University. Follow the conversations at #LRNSMPR and @ginaluttrell.

Journalists and public relations practitioners often find themselves conducting interviews or sitting through lengthy meetings with audio recorders in hand, ready to catch every word and piece of information for use in an article or press release.

The biggest hassle of recording everything, however, is sifting through two hours of audio listening and transcribing important information from these lengthy meetings or interviews. One way to avoid this is by using the free Android app Cogi Voice Recorder, which moves away from large audio files in favor of recording the highlights of a conversation.

How It Works

The Cogi Voice Recorder is relatively easy to use. Once a user launches the application they tap their screen to start a session. When the user starts a session, Cogi begins listening, but not recording the conversation. The user will tap the highlight button to begin recording what was said and tap again to stop recording. Cogi will continue to listen until the user stops the session.


Screenshot by Brandon Lazovic


Screenshot by Brandon Lazovic

What makes this recorder unique is its ability to rewind for audio highlights because it’s listening to the conversation, but not actually recording it. A user can select in the highlight settings to rewind 5, 15, 30, or 45 seconds once they tap the screen to highlight. This way if something important or interesting is said, a user isn’t scrambling to hit the highlight button and miss out on part of the conversation.

Cogi also lets a user type notes while an audio session is happening so they can save them for later; it also allows users to launch their phone’s camera to take a photo, which will display on the session review page.


Screenshot by Brandon Lazovic


Screenshot by Brandon Lazovic

Once the session is ended users can review it in the next tab, which shows any photos or notes taken as well as the date of the session. Cogi supports tagging sessions with the name of one or more of a user’s phone contacts for searching. It also uses Twitter-style hashtags to add descriptions for sessions; however, it doesn’t allow for tags to be used on individual highlights.

The Perks of Cogi

Cogi Voice Recorder is a great way to record the highlights of a conversation, offering users the ability to add notes and photos to a session for future reference. The app is free on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

Cogi is incredibly easy to use and set up and also has pricing plans for additional features starting at $15 a month. Paying for the Cogi app allows users to record and highlight conversations of phone calls, as well as transcribe recorded audio for $1.50 a minute. This can be extremely useful for journalists or PR practitioners who are on a time crunch and can’t quickly transcribe audio themselves.


Attribution from Cogi Notes

Cogi’s Limitations

The biggest limitation of Cogi Voice Recorder is the specs of the phone it’s utilized on. Cogi is completely reliant on the microphone embedded in the phone, so the recording quality is limited as a result. To mitigate this issue, users can plug a microphone into the 3.5mm headset jack of their device to capture higher quality audio.

On a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge the audio quality was good, although it isn’t the greatest for isolating noise and will pick up the rustling of papers or anything that isn’t a person’s voice. The user’s voice is also exceptionally louder compared to anyone else speaking. It’s comparable to low-priced audio recorders, but can’t compete with the quality found in expensive equipment.

While a user can change the description of the audio file in the application, they can’t change the file name, so if they plan on transferring the sound files to another device the file names will remain untouched and unreadable.

Cogi is great for capturing highlights, but because it has limited storage space (500 free megabytes) an audio recorder would be more efficient if a journalist or PR practitioner needs to record a meeting in its entirety. An hour long meeting downloaded as an MP3 file takes up about 113 megabytes of space; this doesn’t include highlighted photos.

Battery life is also a concern, as the app will somewhat drain a phone battery. On a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge the consumption wasn’t too drastic, but on older phones that have shorter battery lives this app may pose an issue if it’s utilized for long interviews or meetings.

Final Verdict

Cogi Video Recorder is a useful app that’s simple, easy to use and great for journalists and PR practitioners who desire accessibility and ease of use. However, the usefulness of the app is reduced for users who own a high quality audio recorder or use a DSLR camera to take photos.

The biggest draw is that it’s free, so users don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars on equipment and materials that they have to lug around everywhere. The ability to record phone conversations and have audio transcribed under the paid plan is also an attractive feature of the application.

Many recording applications in the Play Store try to simply reinvent the wheel. The Cogi Video Recorder app actually brings something new to the table and should be considered by anyone who doesn’t already own high quality recording equipment.

This article was originally published on https://brandonlazovic.wordpress.com.

Brandon Lazovic is a guest blogger.


Product placement: The way of the future

By: Nicole Raymond

Digital disruption has been taking place over the years as technology has evolved dramatically. With the popularity of digital-streaming sites, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, less people are seeing advertising commercials, which means there are fewer eyes to market to. In fact, many homes now have a DVR and are fast-forwarding through commercials. So, what can marketers do to make sure their consumers are seeing and more importantly, buying their products?

The answer for many marketers is product placements. Product placement accidentally became one of the best marketing strategies for all types of brands from Apple to Reese’s. Product placement is when a company or brand pays for a movie or TV show to use the brand’s products in their productions. I’m sure we have all seen some of our favorite products on our favorite TV shows or movies, and it most likely is no coincidence. The Chevy Camaro in the “Transformer” series, the Reese’s Pieces in the movie “ET,” and the Wilson volleyball in “Cast Away” are all examples of product placements. The brands that use product placement generally have positive sales after the TV show or movie premiere, and see an increase in popularity.

A good product placement will be noticed, but not dwelled upon. Product placements are supposed to feel natural, which means product placements need to make sense. A marketer wouldn’t want to place a cigarette brand in a movie meant for young children. The placements need to be subtle, natural and make sense.

A whole episode of “Modern Family” was used for product placement when the iPad came out on the father’s birthday, and that was the only thing he wanted for his birthday. The episode focuses on the family running around on the day of his birthday to try and get him an iPad. It aired just three days before Apple released its newest iPad, and of course it had a positive impact on sales.

Product placement is the way of the future. Less people are watching commercials and more people are binge watching Netflix. Even a subtle product placement like a Pepsi instead of a Coke, can have an impact on the brand. The non-selling aspect of product placement also draws in advertisers and marketers alike. By placing a product in a movie, the brand is not directly selling to consumers, but rather encouraging them to notice the product and think about it on a subconscious level.

What are your favorite product placements?

Nicole Raymond is senior majoring in public relations and double minoring in marketing and communications. This is her first year serving on EMU PRSSA’s E-board as VP of External Relations. Nicole is a wife, aunt, daughter, sister and friend. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @nicoleraymond74.

9 things PR practitioners can learn from baseball

By: Hope Salyer


Source: pixabay.com

You stayed up to watch the World Series and you saw the Cubs win for the first time in 108 years. What you might not have realized is that you actually learned some vital PR tips as well. Here are nine things that public relations practitioners can learn from baseball.

1. It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

Don’t report to your client on the successes or failures of your campaign until it has ended. Just as anything can happen in the bottom of the ninth inning of a Detroit Tigers verses Kansas City Royals game, anything can happen in the last few hours of your PR or Social Media campaign. You don’t want to report an early success or failure, only to have something shake that information up an hour after your report. Like Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

2. Practice makes perfect.

Major League Baseball players take batting practice before every game because practice makes perfect, and PR practitioners need to do the same. PR professionals have to constantly work to strengthen their skills, but this is something that can easily be forgotten. Volunteer for a nonprofit organization, participate in a Twitter chat with other professionals (#PRStudChat is a great resource for professionals and students), or find a mentor to help you hone your skills. There are many opportunities for practitioners to practice their skills; they just need to remember to do it!

3. Quality over quantity.

Baseball teams can’t buy World Series rings, and PR practitioners can’t buy successful campaigns. Teams spend millions of dollars in salaries each year to have the best chances at a World Series championship, yet only one team can win. PR campaigns are in the same boat. You can spend as much money as you want on a campaign, but that doesn’t guarantee it will be a success. You can’t simply focus on the numbers of retweets, comments and shares your campaign is getting. You also have to focus on the sentiment surrounding the campaign. Just because you are trending on Twitter, doesn’t mean it is for something positive.

4. Don’t dwell on strikeouts.

You haven’t lost until your competition is celebrating with champagne. Any PR campaign is going to have bumps in the road, so it is important to take a step back from the situation, analyze what went wrong and how to fix it, and then focus on how to prevent it from happening in the future.

5. Watch for the curve ball.

Anything can happen in PR, so practitioners have to be able to think fast. When something unexpected happens during your campaign or to your client’s reputation, you have to be able to think fast and come up with a solution to minimize the damage.

6. Be prepared to perform in clutch.

PR practitioners must always have a plan in place for a crisis situation. Crises can happen at any time, so when you get a call at 2 a.m. that your client is being dragged into a damaging front-page news story, you need to have a plan set in place that you and your team can implement on instinct, without having to start from scratch.

7. You can’t always swing for the fences.

Just as Bryce Harper can’t hit a home run every at bat, your client’s happenings isn’t going to be front-page news every day. It is so easy to get caught up in seeing your client in the news, but if you continuously pitch stories to journalists that aren’t relevant, you will hurt your relationship with them and your ability to get a story covered when you actually need it.

8. Don’t throw your arm out.

Baseball is a long game, and so are PR campaigns. You can’t use up all of your creativity and resources in the first six months of a year-long campaign. Make sure that you spread out your resources to ensure that you have enough coverage for your entire campaign.

9. Be prepared to come off the bench.

In a crisis situation, when everyone has been working around the clock and exhausted, you never know who will be able to step up to the plate and be the go-ahead run. It is important to train everyone on how to act during a crisis—even your interns.

Hope Salyer is a junior public relations major and journalism and communication double minor. Hope is serving as the Chief Financial Officer of EMU PRSSA. This is Hope’s first semester serving for the PRSSA E-board. A Michigan native, she hopes to start her career working for an agency in the Detroit area. Her dream is to become the public relations coordinator for the Detroit Tigers. Contact Hope on Twitter @hsalyer01 or by email hsalyer@emich.edu.

Holiday social Dec. 13!

It’s the end of the semester! Help us celebrate by coming to our holiday social on Dec. 13 at 5:30 p.m. in SC 304. We will be having light snacks and refreshments, music, games and an ugly sweater contest! We will also be kicking off our charity fundraiser, where we are collecting new children’s books to donate to the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital. We will be collecting books for one month, but you may bring an unused children’s book to our holiday social. We will provide more information on the day of. We will also be making bookmarks to be donated with the books we collect.

*Don’t forget to bring $15 to order an EMU PRSSA shirt. This is your LAST chance!

See you there!

Student Center looking for a part-time marketing communications coordinator

The Student Center is currently looking for a part-time student marketing communications coordinator. Check out the information below for more details:

The Student Center is looking for a talented, creative, enthusiastic individual with a strong character, excellent copywriting, effective presentation, good project management and execution skills. The individual must be enrolled full-time at EMU and have marketing experience, proficiency in social media platforms, Microsoft Office, and knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite. The Student Center offers an eclectic and energetic environment to work in and allows for free creative reign. This student position also offers competitive pay at a minimum of 20 hours per week. If you possess the above qualities please email your resume to vbiwa@emich.edu by November 30, 2016. For more information email or call Valerie Biwa at 487.8380