6 Things Incoming PR Majors Should Know

By Heather Pruitt

At the beginning of 2017, I was given the opportunity to become a Group Leader as a part of Eastern Michigan University’s Orientation program. As someone who loves interacting with people, and has a passion for Eastern, working this job has become one of my favorite things to do.

However, my favorite part about being an Orientation Group Leader is getting to know the incoming students. I am excited for them to find their place at Eastern, just as I have found mine, and to start writing their own story while they’re at college.

I enjoy talking with all students at FastTrack (the segment of orientation where students register for classes) but nothing gets me more excited than meeting a future PR major. Even though I have only encountered a handful, I am incredibly excited for everything that they are about to experience when they start PR at EMU.

While I am excited to see the students start their journey at Eastern, there is nothing that I want to do more than to tell them everything I wish I had known when I started. But with one short day, it can be a little intense for incoming students to register for classes, get their first taste of college, and be bombarded with advice about their program all in one day. So I decided to create a list of the six things I wish I knew about PR as an incoming freshman.

Learn to love writing.

When I started the program, I expected to exclusively be planning events, posting on social media, and standing up in front of my class giving presentations about the future of Facebook. While these aspects are apart of the Public Relations program, I was in the dark about how important writing is in the world of PR. Press releases, feature articles, crafting newsletters, and blog posts, are all incredibly important parts of PR. So learn to love writing, learn to love your writing, because it will become an important part of your life.

Start networking from the beginning

Within the first few weeks of starting my freshman year, I decided to join PRSSA. I’ll be honest- joining PRSSA freaked me out because I had to learn to network and get acclimated to college life. How was I, an 18-year-old, who was stressed about finding new friends, supposed to network with professionals for a career that was years away? I found that having someone in the program who I felt comfortable asking questions to, and getting help from, was reassuring. They can help ease any worries you have about entering the world of PR. Additionally, the earlier your start networking, the more people you come in contact with, which can benefit you in the long run.

Join PRSSA

Joining PRSSA is great way to start networking and to learn about PR. It allows you to learn how to network, as well as give you information about subjects that are relevant to the PR world. Joining PRSSA also gives you the chance for great leadership opportunities in and out of the organization.

Invest in a ‘professional outfit’

When I started college, I had no idea what clothes would identify as ‘business casual’. I didn’t even know when or why I would need them! I found that it is important to invest in clothing that is appropriate for the occasion. While it may not be frequent when you start college, there will be occasions that require you to dress in business casual and possibly business professional. Make sure that you are prepared and have outfits that fit criteria. Having the wrong outfit can leave the wrong impression! However, if you are unsure about what outfits are business casual or business professional, there are lots of ideas on Pinterest!

Make time to do a little PR everyday.

Make an investment to look at a PR blog a few times a week to stay updated with the ever changing world of PR. There are some professors who like to use current events as teaching points for their classes. When you are up to date, it gives you an advantage to speak up in class, and really helps fuel class discussions. Additionally, if you don’t have a lot of time I recommend subscribing to Help A Reporter Out (HARO). HARO is an online database that helps journalists with upcoming stories. They send you emails several times a day with topics that are relevant. This is a great way to stay updated on current trends.

Set out a timeline of how you want things to go.

It is one thing to know that there are goals you want to accomplish in college, however, it is another thing to achieve those goals. Create a timeline of what you want to do in your college career, and set dates to accomplish those goals by.

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

Walkouts at the New York Times

By Josie Bobeck

Image result for the new york times

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.

Image result for copy editing

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.

 

The Power of Pinterest for Businesses

By: Nicole Raymond

Everyone knows social media is extremely important for organizations to engage with consumers and draw attention to their business. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are some of the top performers when it comes to marketing through social media with millions of users, but many businesses overlook social media such as Pinterest.

Pinterest has seen exponential growth and marketing opportunities since its inception as a beta site in 2010, and it continues to grow and evolve as a strong social network. Let’s take a look at the features Pinterest has available for business and marketing uses.

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Source: Nicole Raymond

BUSINESS ACCOUNT

Pinterest has a business account to accommodate many types of businesses, large and small, for free. To sign up for a business account through Pinterest, users enter an email address, password, business name and an optional web address. Utilizing a business account instead of a personal account will allow the user to unlock more features that will help with marketing.

ANALYTICS

Overview:

When you sign up to Pinterest with a business account you have the ability to see your post analytics. You can track your Pinterest boards and pins to see how content is measuring up and which topics are the most popular with viewers. The analytics tab also allows you to see how many people your content has reached over average monthly viewers and monthly engagement rates. Pinterest analytics also allows you to connect your website through HTML code to see all of your pin analytics including click-through rates, saves and much more. At the bottom of the Pinterest Analytics page is your top impressions, saves, clicks and the pin type for the last 30 days.

Profile:

Analytics for your Pinterest profile will allow you to see your average daily impressions as well as average daily profile viewers through your own customizable timeframe. This will allow you to see how certain days and time frames work best for potential customers. The profile analytics page will also allow you to see the top impressions, clicks, saves and pin type of posts and boards within the last 30 days.

People You Reach:

This feature on Pinterest Analytics allows you to see your audiences and analyze the people that see and act on your pins through average monthly rates. The site further breaks down your audiences for you by country, metro, language and gender and even include this helpful hint for better analyzing data to better your business .

Helpful hint

Source: Nicole Raymond

ADS

Pinterest for Businesses has an advertisement feature that allows your business to pay for more users to view your pins. It also has, as you may have guesses, built in analytics for those ads. Ads create traffic and engagement to reach audiences, while allowing you to measure success, failures and compare the two. Pinterest Ads will also help you stay on top of all that needs to be done with reminders and other helpful notifications. The analytics will help you determine which pins are most popular so you can create content similar and drive more traffic to the right places.

Built-in analytics and ads to social media platforms continues to grow in popularity and Pinterest has all the tools needed for a successful promotion or advertising plan, in an easy to understand format. With the immense popularity of the site, I think the tools available will continue to help marketers of all sizes succeed in their Pinterest marketing efforts.

Nicole Raymond graduated from EMU in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Public Relations and served as PRSSA’s VP of External Relations from 2016 to 2017. Raymond will be starting graduate school at Eastern Michigan University to get a Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications.

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.

United Airlines: How Not to Act in a Crisis

By: Hope Salyer

It’s easy to think about public relations as always being happy. With TV shows constantly depicting PR practitioners as publicists working in Hollywood, or always helping to plan a successful campaign, it’s easy to forget something practitioners have to face more than they would like: crisis communication.

We see companies going to a crisis constantly. Crises can range from something like the BP Oil Spill to the tween President Trump sent out about Boeing. In a more recent case, United Airlines was caught (and continues to be experiencing) a major crisis.

https://youtu.be/VrDWY6C1178 (Embed in blog post. The embed link can be found when you click on this link)

The above video showing a passenger on a United flight from Chicago to Kentucky being forcibly dragged out of his seat off the overbooked flight. Passengers were quick to share the video on social media, and from there it spread like wildfire.

While PR practitioners have to constantly be prepared for something like this for their own companies with the rise in social media, it’s more important for us a practitioners to look at United’s response. Responses from company CEO’s and spokespersons can be analyzed to show what a practitioner should do and should not do during a crisis.

The response from United’s CEO is a prime example in what not to do. In an article from PR Daily, Hinda Mitchell breaks down the issues with United’s CEO Oscar Munoz initial statement.

Screen Shot 2017-06-09 at 9.13.59 AM

Source: twitter.com

According to Mitchell, the problem with Muno’z statement started with the first sentence. By saying “This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United,” Munoz ultimately gave off the impression he was feeling sorry for himself and United by writing this. Mitchell argues, and I would agree, that the incident was probably far more upsetting to the victim and passengers onboard than it was to anyone at United.

Munoz also says in his statement “I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers,” and “Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened.” There are two issues with these sentences. First, there appeared to have been no accommodation for this passenger from the video or statements released by United. Mitchell argues that the overbooked flight is a secondary issue. Because overbooking happens regularly, yet very rarely results in a situation like this, the issue is instead with United’s handling of the situation. The second issue, is with Munoz’s statement of “working with urgency.” Considering it took United 24-hours to respond to the situation, it is hard to fathom that United is working with urgency in response to anything in this situation.

Munoz’s statement is a prime example of what not to do in a crisis situation. Do you agree with Mitchell’s argument? What would you have done differently if you were United in this situation? Let me know if 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.

Straight from the Recruiters Part 1: Resume Writing

By: NinaMaria Badalamenti

writing-computer

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.

 

 

How to make amazing blog graphics (for free)

By: Abby Cousineau

Do you want to make your blog posts pop off the screen and grab people’s attention? This article will explain how to create amazing, FREE graphics for blogs, social media and so much more.

blog post

Source: Abby Cousineau

We all know the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” and although I agree with this statement, I think we all know that living by this saying is actually super hard! We are visual creatures and whether we like it or not, having good graphics for blogs, social media posts, books, etc. can make a huge difference.

If you currently have a blog, just started one or even if you are strictly a connoisseur of other people’s blogs, you probably realize the importance of an eye-catching image. Having a unique graphic is a major factor in getting people to click on your posts.

Creating amazing images for your blog is actually a lot easier than you think and it doesn’t have to cost you any money either!

So, how do you make an amazing blog graphic with no money or graphic design experience?

Here are my three tips:

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Source: Abby Cousineau

Tip 1. Utilize online tools

Canva and Picmonkey are both online sites that make creating graphics a breeze. You can play around with templates and designs like the image above and make it fit your needs by changing colors, text and pictures. You can also create unique designs by utilizing tools like text boxes, frames, shapes, illustrations, charts and more. The best part? Both of these tools are totally free and simple to use.

Tip 2. Design with Adobe Programs

Adobe programs like Illustrator and InDesign are made for graphic design purposes. There are a lot more functions and options on these programs, and there are millions of free YouTube videos that explain how to use them. Although these programs do cost money, if you are a student, most campus computers have Adobe creative suites installed on them, AKA they should be free to use! Additionally, Adobe offers student packages which make getting these programs affordable.

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Source: Abby Cousineau

Tip 3. Get Stock Images for Free

One of the challenges of making graphics for blogs and social media is finding high-quality, relevant photos. Let’s face it, not everyone has the time or the equipment to take photos for their blog posts. Websites like Kaboompics, Pixabay and Pexels make getting stock photos easy and free. Just search for what you want, download and use.

So, there you have it! My tips for how to create professional, eye-catching designs for free.

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.