Author Archives: EMU PRSSA

4 Things I Learned from my PR Internship at Make-A-Wish

By Abby Cousineau

“School can teach you a lot, but nothing beats real-world experience.”

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Source: Abby Cousineau

I’m sure you have heard this phrase more than a few times in your life. And while it sounds cliché, there is a ring of truth to it.

This past summer, I spent my days working for an awesome non-profit, Make-A-WishÒ Michigan. While I learned a ton about PR and communications at a non-profit, here are the top four things I got out of my internship:

  1. Being a good writer is crucial

I can honestly say I wrote something every single day at my internship. Whether it was an email, a press release, a feature story or social media copy, it felt like I was literally always writing. At most non-profits, Make-A-Wish included, there is a small communications department that is responsible for pretty much everything PR/marketing related, so being a strong writer is important. You learn a lot of these writing skills in school, but nothing truly prepares you for your boss telling you she needs social media copy, a feature story and a press release by the end of the work day. Being able to write well, write quickly and being capable of taking one topic and translating it into multiple stories fit for different mediums is essential.

  1. Having solid research skills is almost as crucial as being a strong writer

During the summer, there were many times where I had to write about something I had no clue about. Being able to gather information and apply it to your project is a very good skill to have. Your boss will expect you to be able to find out what you need to complete the task on your own, and they will want you to be able to take that information and put it into something organized & clear.

  1. Event planning is tedious

Make-A-WishÒ Michigan puts on multiple fundraising events every year and I got to be part of & observe one of their largest events: the Wish-A-Mile Bike Tour. This event lasts three days, participants ride over 300 miles and there are multiple “mini” events that take place over the course of the weekend. I won’t get into the whole thing, but I got to see first-hand how event planning works at a non-profit. SO much goes into this process & it is extremely tedious. Communication between team members and extensive preparation has to be more than solid to pull off large-scale fundraising events. The weeks leading up to the Wish-A-Mile tour were hectic, but seeing everything come together in the end was truly magical and made all the stress feel worth it.

  1. If you want to work in PR, you have to be passionate about the company you work for

I think this is especially true if you choose to work for a non-profit, but working in PR in general can be exhausting. At my internship I saw my supervisors put in 15 hour days, push themselves physically and mentally for three days during the Wish-A-Mile Tour, and spend countless hours planning events, writing stories and working on design projects. PR can be draining, but if you work for a company you truly believe in it makes everything easier. There were a few times where I questioned why I was going to school for PR, but when I saw a kid get their wish granted, or talked to a parent on the phone and heard them cry about how grateful they were for the wish experience, it made me realize how powerful and meaningful the jobs we do every day really are.

Abby Cousineau is a senior at EMU majoring in public relations and minoring in graphic design and marketing. She is currently serving as president of EMU PRSSA and is excited to be leading such a creative and dedicated group of individuals. You can usually find Abby outside anytime the weather is nice or otherwise spending her time behind a computer screen, working on one of her design projects. Connect with Abby on Instagram @abcattt.
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3 Tips For Promoting Your Business on Social Media

By Hope Salyer

Whether it’s your personal blog, a skill or service you have or a business you own or work for, social media, more specifically social media promotion, needs to be a large part of your plan to achieve success.

Companies spend thousands of dollars each year on social media and social media specialists to keep up with other companies on social media. A strong social media presence can help to either make or break a company. These 3 tips can help you begin to build or strengthen your social media presence.

Follow the 80/20 Rule

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Source: Giphy

One of the biggest mistakes I see is companies focusing too much on themselves. Who wants to follow a brand on social media who only promotes themselves? Social media is about building relationships with your followers. Focus on them, and your community, 80% of the time. The last 20& can be focused on yourself. If you follow this rule, your 20% will stand out and be better perceived than if you only talk about yourself.

Choose your personal or brand style and stick to it.

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Source: Giphy

Certain companies are known for snappy comebacks while others focus on more positive customer feedback. Both options can work when done correctly, but only if you’ve established the brand appropriately. If you’ve always done positive feedback and then snap at a random comment, it’s probably not going to turn out well. If that’s the style you want to follow, try to establish the tone early, stick to it and know when to draw the line.

Have a crisis plan in place.

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Source: Impactiv8

Speaking of drawing the line, you can’t control what other people say and think about your company (as much as we would like to). Because of this, crisis are inevitable. You don’t know when one is going to occur, so you need to have a plan in place so you can react on instinct, rather than having to wait and think of what to do. When something pops up at 3 am, you don’t want to wait until 10 am to respond. Having a plan in place makes it easier to respond quickly without having to stress about procedures and policies.

Do you agree with these tips? Do you have tips of your own? Feel free to comment below or tweet me @hsalyer01 your responses!

How To Be Memorable

By NinaMaria Badalemti

Whether you are starting a new class, joining a new student organization, going into a job interview, or just trying to make new friends, we all want to be memorable. Being memorable is a huge part of networking and making connections with people. If you don’t stand out and people don’t remember you, you can say good-bye to that new job and making friends will be much more difficult. So here are four simple steps to make yourself more memorable to successfully create connections whatever your situation may be.

  1. Make eye contact.

Making eye contact with the person you’re communicating with shows them that you are not only listening, but also that you are comfortable with them. Having eye contact in a conversation instantly makes you more personable. This is a key component in getting people to want to listen to you. It also shows confidence, which allows people to gain a sense of trust and once again the ability to be comfortable with you.

  1. Be creative when answering simple questions.

Questions like “How are you?” and “Tell me about yourself” are easy to answer, maybe a little too easy. We often scratch the very surface when answering them and come up with the same response every time without really thinking about it. However, if you put just a little more thought and effort into answering them it will make you stand out. Use unique words; words other than the usual “fine”, good”, and “not bad”. Answers like that are pedestrian and overused. A little creativity goes a long way.

  1. Be excited about where you are.

Give yourself credit for how far you’ve come; no matter where you’re at in life, you got there yourself! You have yourself to thank! We all have low self esteem at times but realize that you are valuable and be confident. Being comfortable in your own skin and being excited when meeting new people gives you a fun quality. You will send off happy vibes that will make others excited to be with you.

  1. Be honest.

I think we can all agree that no one likes a liar. Yes, we all want to look good in front of new people, especially in an interview, and may tweak some of our answers but try to stick to the truth. It is easy to sense when someone is lying about something, which is an instant turn off. People respect those who are honest. It gives them a sense of authenticity which will certainty make you stand apart from those who are trying too hard and not acting themselves.

So there you are, four easy and certainly useful ways to make yourself more memorable. Remember, making an impression is all about being you!

NinaMaria is a senior double majoring in Communication and Electronic Media and minoring in Marketing. She is serving her first year on the EMU PRSSA E-Board as Vice President of External Relations. She hopes to find a career in Media that combines her interest in broadcasting and her passion for people. She also hopes to work in a big city one day. Contact NinaMaria through her email nbadalam@emich.edu.

Hunters Take Over PETA

By Hope Salyer

As public relations practitioners we are all familiar with crisis communication, backlash to campaigns and statements taken out of context. It is our job to plan ahead before launching a campaign. We have to ask ourselves, “What could possibly go wrong with this campaign? Is there anything in this campaign, graphics, promotional materials, planned statements, campaign slogans, etc. that could be considered offensive?”

If the answer to any of those questions is yes, we have to scratch what we were planning and come up with something new that won’t fall under one of those statements. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to know how things from a campaign will play out, and we find ourselves in the middle of a crisis just like PETA has found itself in recently.

PETA launched its “Shoot Selfies, Not Animals” campaign on Facebook, and very quickly hunters began to troll the campaign. The original idea was simple. With hunting season quickly approaching, PETA wanted the public to focus on taking selfies instead of posting photos of the animals they have killed during hunting season.

What they didn’t take into consideration? The massive amounts of hunters against PETA.

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Photo Credit: Facebook

Within a day, Facebook began blowing up with hunters posting photos of their most recent hunting kills with PETA’s filter. The words “Shoot Selfies, Not Animals” layered over photos of dead deer, turkeys, etc. filled my Facebook newsfeed, much like the one above, and have continued to show up on my feed ever since.

Even with the massive amounts of hunters taking over the filter, PETA is looking on the bright side of the matter. PETA released a statement from Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman saying, “PETA owes a big thank-you to the would-be trolls who are spreading our message of compassion.”

Sometimes the best way to deal with a crisis is to look at it differently. While many hunters have changed the original idea for the photo filter, the campaign has reached a larger audience than it might have otherwise been able to. According to PETA, the campaign filter has been used over 250,000 times and is currently the most popular filter on Facebook.
While it might not have turned out the way PETA had planned, the campaign was still a success. It’s not always possible to think of every way a campaign can possibly go wrong, but it is our job to be able to learn from it, grow and finish the campaign with success.

PETA’s original tactics for spreading awareness of PETA’s message might not have worked out the way they planned, but the overall outcome was achieved. More people are aware of PETA’s message than they were before the photo filter was launched.

Do you agree that this campaign ended up being a success? If you were PETA would you have reacted differently to the backlash? Let me know in the comments below.

Hope Salyer is a senior public relations major and journalism and communication double minor. Hope is serving as the Vice President of Professional Development and Special Events and Programming of EMU PRSSA. This is Hope’s second year serving for the PRSSA E-Board. A Michigan native, she hopes to start her career working for an agency or local nonprofit in Michigan. Her dream is to become the public relations coordinator for the Detroit Tigers. Contact Hope on Twitter @hsalyer01 or by email hsalyer@emich.edu.

 

Productivity 101

By Josie Bobeck

As the upcoming school year approaches, so does the impending stress of managing classes, extracurriculars, work, social life, self care, and so on…thinking about it all just sounds stressful, right?

The truth of the matter is college is always (to some extent) going to be stressful. There’s no getting around it. What everyone can do, though, is learn how to manage stress in a healthy way. Here’s how:

Find a way to stay organized and stick to it. Whether it’s using Google Calendar, using a planner, or bullet journaling, having a way to look at your daily or weekly obligations puts everything into perspective.

Utilize to-do lists. Some days might be busier than others, but nothing is more satisfying than crossing tasks off.

Get enough sleep. I know when I’m tired, I tend to get emotional. Rest when you need to instead of running on empty. You’ll be more productive if you’re feeling awake.

Find emotional support. Sometimes stress gets to be too much, and while some stress is totally healthy, there’s a line that can be crossed sometimes. If your stress escalates, sometimes it just helps to take a step back and talk to someone. CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) has support groups and free counseling sessions for EMU students. Sometimes it just helps to talk to someone, you know?

Remember your passions. Whether it’s making art, working art, or public service, make time for what makes your heart happy. It’s an important part of self-care, and everyone needs to take care of themselves.

Josie Bobeck is a senior majoring in written communication and minoring in communication. She is currently the VP of Public Relations, previously serving as VP of Member Relations. Josie hopes to one day work in a creative environment in a big city or for a record label doing publicity. Connect with Josie on Twitter at @Josephine3laine or by email at jbobeck@emich.edu.

Headspace

By Heather Pruitt

If you struggle with any form of anxiety, you know how hard it can be to live your day to day life. Anxiety makes the smallest challenges seem like your climbing a mountain. While there are many different methods that you can use to treat anxiety, my favorite approach to is mindfulness.

The objective of mindfulness is to focus on something in the moment, to help put your anxiety in perspective and have a calm moment. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, such as focusing on just the birds chirping outside, or focusing on the way that your body feel against the ground. As someone who’s mind wanders off easily, I’ve found that guided mediation works best for me.

If you’re looking into guided meditation, or just mindfulness in general I highly recommend the app Headspace.

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Source: Heather Pruitt

 

 

Headspace is a free app with a range of different mindfulness and meditation exercises. After downloading the app, and signing up for a free account, the first couple of mindfulness sessions that you go through are dedicated to learning the basics. These basic sessions can last anywhere from a quick 3 minutes to a half an hour, the time frame is up to you.

Additionally, Headspace offers a variety of themed meditation packs to help control things like anger, productivity, and motivation. One of my favorite parts of Headspace is that is goes beyond just helping ease anxiety. There are specific packs for those dealing with cancer, pain management, as well as pregnancy. Headspace also has meditation exercises when it comes to sports, work and performance, happiness, and braveness. It is incredibly easy to for everyone to find something to meditate about.

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Source: Heather Pruitt

In the app, there are single meditation tracks as well. They can be guided or unguided, whatever you prefer. Like the packs, the singles have options for everyone at anytime, such as commuting, cooking, sleeping, and even preparing for interviews. There is even a special section for kids.

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Source: Heather Pruitt

Since practicing mindfulness and learning how to meditate with Headspace, I have noticed a difference in my quality of life. I feel much calmer and am able to put situations into perspective. I also have made time to fit headspace into my daily routine wherever it fits. While it doesn’t completely fix my anxiety, it has really made an impact on my life. Additionally, it can also help with anything not just anxiety. Headspace is a great way to show that meditation and mindfulness can impact everyone in the long run for the better.

The Headspace app is available in the App Store as well as Google Play.

Heather Pruitt is a junior majoring in Public Relations. This is her first year serving as VP of Member Relations.

Internship alert! Whitmer for Governor, Comcast

Whitmer For Governor Fall Internship Program

Gretchen Whitmer’s Gubernatorial Campaign is looking for a fall intern to help with various roles in Lansing. Placements include Finance Team, Field Team, and Communications Team. Interns should expect to work 15-25 hours a week.

According to the job post, “eligible candidates must demonstrate progressive values, be committed to building a movement in support of Gretchen’s vision for change, and have the ability to learn and grow in a high-activity environment.” (source)

To apply for the internship, email your resume and availability to josh@gretchenwhitmer.com and jeremy@gretchenwhitmer.com or call 484-332-9704.

Comcast

Comcast is looking for an intern in Plymouth, Michigan.

According to the job post, interns will be responsible for “providing routine clerical support for functional groups. Under direct supervision will provide support such as copying, distributing mail, performing simple calculations, and maintaining records and files. Follows standard procedures for all assigned work.” (source)

To learn the job;s responsibilities and apply, visit the job description here.