Category Archives: Professional Development

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.

Creative Writing in Public Relations: What’s the Big Deal?

By: Brandon Hardy

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hotcoursesabroad.com

Writing intensive professions are among some of the most flexible and malleable disciplines in the job sphere. If logistical, organizational and communicative necessities are required in business, there will always be a requirement for having proficient writing skills. Many individuals who enter college tend to understate the value of literary proficiency, usually looking to focus on allocating their skills in the STEM fields to gain more sought after majors from accounting to engineering. It would make sense to seek out a major that immediately pays dividends in the working world, but it would be uncreative to assume that these are the only methods to obtain marketability in today’s job climate. Writing offers a lot of value into the business world, especially when looking at public relations. The element that makes writing such an important element of PR is the fact that you are taught to know your audience, perform adequate research and to synthesize and evaluate information from various sources. Writing teaches you how to formulate new ideas and how to effectively communicate them, which is well and good, but what about creative writing?

Creative writing, as an offshoot of the typical writing discipline, involves thinking outside of the normal conventions of regular straightforward prose. It involves experimentation, inspiration, and artistic expression; these disciplines rewire the actions involved with standard prose and add a stylistic flair that is used to communicate ideas in a unique way. These different forms of communication are typically present in narrative prose and poetry. They center around creating an idea and communicating it, like regular writing, but the focus of this discipline centers around the ‘how’. What is the best way to communicate these ideas? How can one make this essay more entertaining? What is the most compelling way to grab the audience’s attention? This is where we start entering the realm of the creative process. This process is centered around spending time analyzing what one wants out of their piece of work whether it is hapless self-indulgence or popular art.

Poetry tends to focus on using rhythm and tone to express a feeling or idea. With poetic writing, the mundane can be entertaining, the depressing can be inspiring and the upsetting can become enthralling. It is a practice of painting pictures with words. This type of skill appreciates word choice and structure, something that is immensely important in the business world. In the blog post: “5 Things Everyone Should Know About Public Relations” the author and public relations professional, Robert Wynne, mentions how a simple spelling error could ruin credibility and harm the outward appearance of a company, imagine how effective poetic/stylistic writing could be when implemented in a similar format? Being able to effectively paint a company in a positive light is valuable, finding ways to tease out all sorts of valuable insights and descriptions from the history, mission statement, and business practices is something that can serve to completely turn around the perceptions of an association and help in building sympathy and relatability.   

Another element of creative writing is narrative prose. All sorts of different genres come out of this concept with the broadest ones being divided between fiction and nonfiction. Narrative prose integrates focusing on persistent variables associated with literature and storytelling: creating a thematic resonance with the audience. There is a genuine flow associated with creating and selling a story. There is a beginning, a rising action, a climax, a falling action and a conclusion. These narrative troupes can be sewed into any canvas. Most companies use these types of structural troupes, humanizing their business by detailing the rigorous challenges that they are undergoing, being transparent and creating a physical narrative that their audience can follow. One of the most important elements of narrative prose would involve making you care. Nonfiction will generally focus on describing an idea, persuading you of its value, and detailing how you can implement that idea into your life. Fiction focuses on a grand theme, a lesson or idea that can be found within the struggles and goals of its characters and uses that to create a connection with its audience.  The biggest strength of fiction is that its wide variety of settings and struggles can communicate a lesson of human condition; in worlds that are far removed from the naturalistic setting of our own, it is the characters who can bring people into these worlds and through them find connections and similarities to their own. Public relations professionals make it their business to make the audience care, and to sell an idea through a narrative stream and flow, whether that is the impetus of the company’s inception or the current plans, difficulties and details occurring with the company in the present time.

Poetry and narrative prose puts a great burden on knowing your audience and being able to find interesting ways to communicate an idea or message to them. When dealing with hazardous climates, a focus on word choice and seaming in a well thought out narrative can change the paradigm of a company’s public image, and can offer the resources to reverse and reshape that image as necessary. In this regard, I find the disciplines associated with creative writing to be an underrated and equally invaluable compass for navigating the stormy waters of public relations maintenance.

Brandon Hardy is a Biochemistry/Toxicology major entering his Senior year of college. His current interests center around extensive reading and creative writing, taking on various projects from novel writing to maintaining a functional blog site. Brandon hopes to be able to combine his love of writing with his love of chemistry in future job settings. May take up creative writing as a major for this year and is looking to join the PRSSA as well.  

Why You Need A LinkedIn Account

By Abby Cousineau

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Having an updated LinkedIn account can help you find a job before you graduate college

You have probably heard your professors tell you million times to create a LinkedIn account. If you haven’t listened to them yet, now is the time to hop on the bandwagon and do it.

Creating a LinkedIn account can help you in a million ways, but here are the main reasons you need to create an account before you graduate.

 

  • Job Recruiters and Hiring Managers are on LinkedIn

 

According to the polling company, Jobvite, nearly 94% of recruiters say they use LinkedIn to find candidates. This means if you want a better chance of getting a job, do yourself a favor and create an account, it could help you get discovered by your dream company.

 

  • Networking

 

Having a LinkedIn account connects you with employers, current job opportunities and can help employers find relevant candidates (AKA you!). Getting a LinkedIn also helps you keep up with your peers’ professional accomplishments. Having a strong LinkedIn network could help alert you to job openings and could get you a foot-in-the-door if you know someone at a company.

 

  • Online Resume

 

We all know that your physical resume should only be 1-2 pages long, especially if you are a recent grad. If you are having trouble fitting all your credentials in the page limit, a LinkedIn account can help you greatly. Your LinkedIn profile essentially acts like your resume, and there is no limit to how much information or how many areas you can include. Try to put your most relevant skills and experiences on your hard copy resume and feel free to go more in depth on your LinkedIn profile.

 

  • Research

 

Having a hard time finding companies that are actually hiring? You can use LinkedIn to search for jobs in your area. Don’t waste a million hours searching Google, instead head over to the jobs tab of LinkedIn, select your city and the positions you’re looking for and rejoice in all the job opportunities before you. Oh, and the best part? Most of the time you can apply to the job with your LinkedIn profile. It’s the easiest job application ever!

 

  • Endorsements and Recommendations

 

Say farewell to the old-school recommendation letters and say hello to LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations. LinkedIn allows people to endorse your skills as well as have colleagues and bosses give you recommendations (testimonials which explain how awesome you are). These all can help confirm your abilities to recruiters and hiring managers who don’t know you personally.

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.

Walkouts at the New York Times

By Josie Bobeck

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Source: deadline.com

The New York Times is one of the most well known newspapers in the world, if not the number one. And if you know anything about how newspapers work, you know that it takes a village from start to finish to get a newspaper to the public.

Earlier this week the New York Times announces plans to cut back on the news paper’s copy editors. Copy editors are super important in the world of journalism – without them, publications would be filled with typos, grammar mistakes, and missed punctuation.

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Source: lynettenoni.com

Executive editors said in a statement that by laying off editors, the newspaper would be able to hire as many as 100 journalists with the money.

Copy editors aren’t the only people in fear of losing their job – the role of public editor, around since 2003, is also said to be eliminated.

So why is this relevant to public relations?

PR professionals work very closely with journalists, and it is crucial that publications are well-written and clean. A simple typo could be very bad for a company. Copyediting is more than just proofreading – it’s a valuable skill that could help give you an advantage in the world of media.

Eastern Michigan University offers a Copy Editing class (JRNL 307). In this class you will learn more about AP style, grammar, and how to improve stories overall.

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.

 

3 Tips to Get Into Grad School

By: Madison Harmon

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Source: gradschool.duke.edu

Applying to graduate school can often be a very stressful time. Much like going to college for your undergrad degree, there are several steps you have to take to make sure you’re going to the get the most out of your college experience. Note that what you might have looked for in a college for your Bachelor’s most likely won’t be the same when you go to get your Master’s.

Here are three simple and easy tips for applying to grad schools!

  1. Excel Spreadsheets are your friend! It’s a great way to stay organized. Use it to keep track of dates, requirements, and to use as a checklist (I use color coding for priority items!)
  2. Visit! Just like undergrad, you’re going to be spending some time at this place so make sure it’s something you like! I’m personally sick and tired of Michigan winters, so I’m looking at schools in the Southwest to make a transition!
  3. GRE! Take advantage of the summer to study for the GRE – even though that’s not really what summers are for… But that extra preparation could pay off if you have a dream school in mind with stern requirements for the GRE score.

Madison is a student and loves learning no matter what she’s doing. She is both an optimist and a realist, which gets a bit hard to maintain! She is independent and self-assured, both in her personal and professional potential, and in her ability to find the bottom of those supposedly bottomless chips and salsa. Petter of dog bellies, ruler of quips, Madison is sure to make you laugh whenever you’re around her (or cry, but don’t take it personally). Ask her for brutally honest opinions, but never for directions. Madison can be reached at mharmon3@emich.edu.

Straight from the Recruiters Part 1: Resume Writing

By: NinaMaria Badalamenti

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Source: lilpickmeupdotcom.wordpress.com

I recently attended Global Team Blue’s “The Dirt”. This was an inside scoop of what GTB is and what they do. We got to listen to many members of the agency speak and also got to ask them some questions of our own. For one of the sessions we got to hear from the recruiters of GTB. We got to hear what they look for directly from them. We all know the general do’s and don’ts of resumes and interviews but the recruiters gave some insightful tips that you don’t hear every day. To summarize the highlights of this insightful session here are 3 tips to follow when writing your resume to get an interview straight from the recruiters of GTB.

  • Include additional skills that may or may not specifically pertain to the job description.

Adding in your hidden or not so hidden talents can give you just the boost you need to stand out. Things like being well rounded in Excel, Photoshop, or Google analytics, or even having experience in photography or graphic design can be helpful working in this field even when it doesn’t apply to the position your trying to get. Having these other skills is always useful and recruiters will note that you have useful skills that others might not. This doesn’t mean you need to study up in these programs if you don’t know how to use them but if you have the skills, flaunt them.

  • Don’t be afraid to give your resume a splash of color.

Adding some color to your resume will make it physically stand out and be more memorable to recruiters. Sticking to the traditional black and white is safe but bland. This doesn’t mean be flashy but just adding some simple, tasteful color on the sides or maybe an elegant design can do just the trick to give you some edge.

  • List ALL of your experience.

Even if you don’t have any experience in the field that doesn’t mean you don’t have any experience at all. The experience you have in life counts! Experience from previous jobs, schoolwork and volunteering count. Include it! Just because you don’t think your experience applies to the position doesn’t mean the recruiters won’t. They may see something you don’t. Also, be sure to use projects from class that might be relevant to the position. Don’t forget volunteering is great experience. Just make sure you explain how the tasks you did apply.

Bonus tip: Cut out the objectives section of your resume. This isn’t an important part of the resume and takes up space. The exception to this is if your degree doesn’t match the position you are applying for. In this case, it is helpful to show that you are dedicated to the new field. In addition to this, a cover letter is very crucial to explain your passion for the new position.

NinaMaria Badalamenti is a senior studying Communications. This is her first semester serving as VP of External Relations for EMU PRSSA.

 

 

Student Development Conference 2016!

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What:
The Student Development Conference, presented to you by EMU PRSSA, brings a different and broad perspective of the media relations world from new and seasoned professionals who have worked in a variety of facets within the industry.
Where:
EMU Student Center room 352
When:
December 2, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
*This is a FREE event, but you must register to attend. Registration includes breakfast and lunch! You can register here.