Category Archives: Uncategorized

Agency Tour Recap: Weber Shandwick

By: Madison Harmon

Recently, our chapter was given the grand tour of Weber Shandwick Detroit! It was inspiring, to say the least. We were guided by a relatively new employee and fairly recent graduate, Shelby. She made us feel welcome as we settled into a gorgeous meeting room. Weber Shandwick Detroit is a quintessential example of Detroit’s industrial past and its modern urbanity; sleek glass surfaces and espresso colored wood were in tasteful contrast to the exposed overhead ceilings and metal light fixtures. It looks like a television set designed by millennials come to life before my eyes. The pretty face of Weber Shandwick Detroit is matched by its talented and diligent personnel behind its walls. We got to meet several team members and leaders and ask questions and exchange information for quite a while. Here are the golden nuggets of what I learned:

  1. ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING! One team member said she would rather work with a person who is able to face a challenge with optimism rather than a person who might be great at the job but is awful to be around. So, keep your head up!
  2. REACH (FAR) OUT! Stretch those arms a little for that next handshake! As we all know, networking is everything. Another team member of Weber Shandwick Detroit encouraged us to reach out to professionals that we may only have one tiny connection with. So that could mean a mutual connection on Linked In, or that they just happen to have graduated from your school. Suggest meeting up for coffee and having an informational interview – people remember being in our undergraduate shoes, and are often happy to set time aside for someone looking to better themselves. Think about it! Showing the initiative to reach out and learn makes you look good all by itself!
  3. BE A SPONGE! Get as many experiences as possible. This doesn’t always have to be a rigid summer internship! Be creative; if you notice a small business in your hometown doesn’t have a large social media presence, offer your services to them pro bono. Don’t disappoint! Or write a blog in your free time; this serves you by enhancing your writing skills (practice makes perfect, 10,000 hour rule, etc.) and proving that you can operate a functional website. Learn everything you can from your peers, professors, and jobs.
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.
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2017 Student Development Conference

By: Hope Salyer

I am so excited to announce the 2017 Student Development Conference will be on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The conference’s theme will be Diversity.

Registration for the conference ends on Nov. 28, so be sure to sign up to attend the conference on our EventBrite page. The conference is free to all EMU students, and anyone else may attend the conference for a small fee of $5.

The conference will feature TaQuinda Johnson, EMU’s new Social Media Strategist, as our Key Note Speaker. There will also be an LGBTQIA in the Media Panel as well as a Diversity Panel.

Continental breakfast for the conference will be available from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided following the LGBTQIA in the Media panel.

For more information on SDC including Speaker Bio’s and the event program, be sure to check out our SDC page.

I can’t wait to see everyone there!

Hope Salyer is a senior public relations major and journalism and communication double minor. Hope is serving as the Vice President of 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 @hsalyer01or by email hsalyer@emich.edu.

Three ways that PR can Bring More Value Than Advertising Alone

By Michael Doute

How valuable is advertising? How many of us actually pay attention to advertisements? People who consume content have never had as many ways to avoid advertisements as they do today: ad blockers on the internet, streaming TV shows from services like Netflix, and recording TV shows to watch later have all contributed to this. Even if someone is watching live TV these days, don’t you think that they’d just pull out their phone during the commercial break? While this doesn’t look great for advertisers, it sets the stage nicely for PR. Here are three ways that PR can bring far more value to your organization than ads alone.

  • Don’t interrupt the content, be the content

I have never understood the advertising mindset. How did interrupting somebody’s TV show and trying to sell them something become the standard method of operation for every organization in the world? What makes far more sense to me is to become the content, rather than interrupting the content. For example, if you run a small company sells art, create content about art. The same time that you could spend buying, and placing ads could be used creating your own branded content. Whether it’s a podcast, video series on YouTube, or a blog, people will happily consume it if it gives them some value.

  • Storytell in a way that works for you

A big mistake that some people can make is that they assume that their brand should appear everywhere. If you have a big enough organization with the budget to hire enough talent to make that happen, it might work for you. But for the rest of us, you should storytell on a medium that you are talented on. Not a strong writer? Shoot some video or run a podcast. There are endless options out there, you just need to understand what your strengths are, and double down on them.

  • Don’t throw out advertising

I know that I questioned the value of advertising in the beginning, but I don’t want anyone to stop doing it entirely. The American Marketing Association defines IMC as “planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time.” Good PR work helps an organization craft their story, create their story, and understand the publics that will ultimately consume that story. It should be up to advertising to help amplify that story.

Telling a good story and bringing actual value to a consumer is much more compelling than any advertisement. Often times, advertisements are the best way to amplify the message of your story, but I don’t think that any brand should rely on them alone to tell it. PR has a big opportunity over the next few years to become content advocates within organizations. What kind of branded content do you consume? Is it a podcast? A video series? Let me know!

Michael Doute is a senior majoring in public relations. He is currently the VP of Professional Development for the PRSSA organization at EMU. Mike’s passion is with storytelling, and he hopes to end up working for a company that allows him to be creative.

#PRSSANC – An Experience of a Lifetime

By Josie Bobeck

October 5th was a big day for PRSSA. We woke up early to catch a flight to Boston, Massachusetts to go to the Public Relations Student Society of America National Conference.

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Source: giphy.com

Not only was this super exciting for us because we were invited back for the second year in a row to present a student development session, but we were able to attend seminars on the Revolution of Public Relations.

The session that I went to the stood out the most to me was the New Professionals Panel. See, I’m graduating in April, which is both exciting and terrifying. To be able to listen to people who were in my position a year or two ago who are successful young people was very appealing to me, and I am very glad I went. Below are a few of my key take-aways from the panel:

Pick two things you need in a job and two things you want, and the rest is extra. If location and salary is something really important when you’re job hunting, but you also want a job that lets you dress business casual and has good benefits, that is what you should focus on.  It’s okay to want those things, but you also have to be realistic.

Show your impact. You are capable of doing wonderful things, so make it happen and you will stand out.

Don’t be the hero. You physically, mentally, and emotionally cannot do everything for everyone, so it’s best to not even try.

Use your network. This is so important. You never know when you will cross paths with someone you met at #PRSSANC later on. The people in your network can help you in a multitude of ways , so it’s best to keep on good terms with them.

If you’re thinking you want to go to National Conference next year in Austin, Texas, I would recommend it 100%. You learn so much, you get to meet incredible people, and you get to travel to new places.

I’m lucky to have wonderful E-Board members to share these memories with. Boston has such an important place in my heart and I’m grateful to have been able to go to National Conference.

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Source: Josie Bobeck

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 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.