Category 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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My EMU PRSSA Goals For The New School Year

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Source: Nikki Mikolon

By Hope Salyer

It’s that time of year, and a new E-board has been elected for EMU PRSSA. As the new Vice President of Professional Development and Special Events and Programming, I decided that I wanted to set out my goals for the new year, and provide an opportunity to hear the opinions of our entire chapter.

My goal for the 2017-2018 school year are to provide new experiences to our members to help them with networking, and learning more about public relations in every aspect. PR is a large field, and there are so many different options you can choose from. Often times, we go on Agency tours that focus on the same thing. We don’t always get the chance to experience what the corporate, nonprofit, entertainment and sports aspects of PR are like. Even those options don’t cover the entire PR spectrum. My goal as VP of Professional Development is to provide as many experiences and networking opportunities for those types of PR as possible. I want to include every part of PR that our members are interested in.

In talking with past and present members, corporate, entertainment and sports PR seem to be  topics many people are interested in. My plan is to start there, and learn more about what our future members want to see as well.

As your e-board member, my responsibility is to provide you with the best opportunities I can. I promise I will try my best to provide an opportunity for every one of our members to build their networks for after graduation and learn more about something he/she is interested in.

Please comment below or tweet me @hsalyer01 with any ideas or suggestions you have for the kinds of experiences you would like me to try to facilitate. I’m excited to see everything the new school year is going to bring, and I look forward to working with each and every one of you!

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.

Why join PRSSA? Here are 3 reasons!

By: Hope Salyer

Why join PRSSA? That’s a question I get asked a lot as an E-Board member for our Chapter. Students want to know why they should join an organization that brings in people to lecture and costs $65 to join. The last thing full-time or even part-time college students want to do is listen to another lecture at 5:30 p.m. on a Tuesday and have to worry about coming up with an additional $65 for school. Trust me, I get this. But I’m going to tell you three reasons why you should join PRSSA anyway.

  1. Lifelong relationships.
Wiard's Orchard

Photo Credit: Nikki Mikolon

Trust me when I tell you that some of the best friends I’ve gained at my time at Eastern have been from joining PRSSA. PRSSA isn’t solely about career building. It’s a great organization for that, but it’s also a great organization to join if you want to make new friends. At EMU, our PRSSA Chapter holds socials about as often as we have guest speakers. We try to keep a balance between social and professional development, so it’s really the best of both worlds.

With that being said, this organization is filled with students like you who have a lot of the same goals and majors you do. These students understand what you’re going through. PR is one of the most stressful careers you can go into, and that stress definitely begins during your time in college. Joining PRSSA allows you to make friends with people in your major that can help you during those stressful times. These people know PR campaigns, they know social media, they know how to write a plans book. If you need help, you can look to any of your fellow PRSSA members and I guarantee they can help you out. This goes for when you’re in college and even after you graduate.

  1. Professional development.
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Photo Credit: Education World

PRSSA offers so many opportunities for professional development. We’re going into a field that is growing and has a lot of job opportunities. Public relations is also one of the most competitive fields to break into. Because of this, PR students have to begin professional development during college. You need to know how to write a resume and cover letter that is going to get you noticed. You need to have experience in the public relations field before you graduate. Ideally, this should come from multiple internships, but if you only have one, you need to be able to show the experience you have gained from your courses and student organizations during an interview. PRSSA is going to give you these experiences, and it will also teach you how to articulate the experiences you already have to a hiring manager.

  1. Networking.
Business Communication Duplicate model

Photo Credit: Live Books Blog

I know you hear this all the time, but networking is so important these days. You have to make connections with people so you will have those relationships to draw on later when you need them. Now I get it. You’re a busy college student. You don’t have time to seek out a mentor. You don’t have time to attend these workshops and conferences your school provides you with. I know all about being busy, but you will make time for the things that are important to you. With that being said, PRSSA makes it easier for you to make those connections without the excuse of you being busy. This is a great student organization for PR students to take advantage of. You can attend conferences, meet professionals in your local area, and gain extra knowledge and experience that you can’t get in the classroom.

As a PRSSA member at Eastern, you meet every two weeks for an hour and a half. During this time, you can make friends, work on professional development, and network all at the same time. College students love to multi-task, and PRSSA is a great option for you to gain the skills and experience you need for life after college. These are my top three reasons for joining PRSSA, but I want to know what your top three are. Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to join your school’s PRSSA Chapter!

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.

The struggle with recruiting

By: Nikki Mikolon

the-struggle-with-recruiting

Photo created by Nikki Mikolon using Canva

Every organization focuses on recruiting whether it’s a school or sorority. All groups want more people to join their membership to be able to share their experiences with others. These organizations want to scream to the sky why they are the best fit for each individual.

Recently, our PRSSA Chapter attended the Winter Festival for organizations on Eastern Michigan University’s campus to recruit new members of the student body. Students, new and current, come to the event to check out the two hundred and one organizations at EMU.

Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapters all over the nation struggle with recruiting new members, especially small Chapters like EMU’s. How does one convince a college student that joining a “professional development” organization is more beneficial than just for his or her resume?

The national site for PRSSA does list some ways to help with recruiting new members, but here are some reasons why joining PRSSA changed my college experience:

1. Adventure

Joining PRSSA with EMU and other Chapters across the country gives students the opportunity to explore their studies, the PR field, and even the world! Since joining PRSSA, I have been able to visit more than half a dozen pubic relations firms and other agencies. I have also been able to travel to the National Conference in Indianapolis and other members have traveled to Texas and Alabama with PRSSA.

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EMU PRSSA at National Conference 2016

2. Skill builder.

As a member of PRSSA, I have had the pleasure to be on the executive board in a couple of different positions. These positions have given me endless opportunities to benefit from. Through these positions, I now have experience with blog writing, working with other professionals in the field, and even event planning. This organization has also given me the opportunity to speak at the National Conference and give a professional presentation in front of many other members in the society.

Being part of the PRSSA Bateman Competition is also a great “resume” builder. Bateman gives members like myself a chance to put together, and most importantly, execute a PR campaign for the chosen client.

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EMU PRSSA at National Conference 2016

3. Lifelong connections.

One of the most important benefits one receives from joining a “professional development” organization like PRSSA is the lasting relationships fostered along the way. Being a commuter, it is hard to “fit in” or find a place at a university. It is human nature to want to be a part of something, and being in PRSSA, myself and other members have found their place with people aspiring to the same goals. Not only have I found lifelong friends through PRSSA, but I have also made professional connections that I would not have without this organization.

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EMU PRSSA at Wiard’s social outing

The moral of the story is, just because an organization is meant to be professional, doesn’t mean that it isn’t fun or comes without its perks. Thank you to the society for all the opportunities to prosper and thank you to the friends made along the way that made my experiences even better.

Nikki Mikolon is a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing. As a Detroit native, she hopes to spend her beginning years working for the city and being a part of its renaissance. Connect with Nikki on Twitter @nikkimikolon.

Corporate public relations workshop tomorrow!

Join EMU PRSSA tomorrow for a corporate public relations workshop hosted by guest speaker, Tim Wieland. This is a great learning opportunity for anyone interested in corporate public relations. The workshop will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and will be held in SC 304. See you there!

EMU PRSSA Bateman Competition 2017

Interested in gaining real-world experience in the PR world? Consider being on the EMU PRSSA 2017 Bateman Case Study Campaign team!  To apply, please send your name, class standing, major/minor, and why you would like to apply to Nicole Raymond, VP of External Relations, at nwelch3@emich.edu.  The deadline to apply is October 20!

“Getting involved in the PRSSA Bateman Competition was an amazing opportunity.  It gave me real life experience outside of the classroom to work with real clients.  Not only did I receive experience, but it opened so many doors for networking.”  – Irene Pool, former Bateman team leader and former VP of Social Media for EMU PRSSA.

To learn more about the competition or view previous competitions visit http://prssa.prsa.org/scholarships_competitions/bateman/.

Team members must be full-time or part-time undergraduate students at EMU and current PRSSA members who paid March 2016 or November 2016 dues.  If you have any questions please contact Nicole at nwelch3@emich.edu.

Meet the Speaker: Corporate Public Relations Workshop

Join EMU PRSSA Tuesday, Oct. 18 for a corporate public relations workshop hosted by guest speaker, Tim Wieland. To learn more about our speaker, check out his bio below!

guest-speaker

Tim Wieland

Tim Wieland is manager of media and public relations for Robert Bosch LLC, where he handles mobility and technology topics for Bosch in the U.S. Prior to joining Bosch, Tim spent 12 years at Airfoil Group, culminating in a role as vice president overseeing accounts, such as Microsoft and Parrot. His previous experience includes brands, such as eBay, Best Buy, Brookstone, FordDirect and Carbonite.

The workshop will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and will be held in SC 304. See you there!