Leadership rally recap

By: Anna Kendall

At the end of May, I flew down to sunny Scottsdale, Ariz. to attend PRSSA’s Leadership Rally. The event brings together chapter presidents and firm directors from all around the country to learn about effective leadership and share best practices.

During my time there, I was reminded of three awesome things I’ve noticed at every national PRSSA event I’ve attended.

1. There’s always something new to learn

Sometimes it can feel like there’s nothing new to discover once you’ve spent years studying and practicing a profession. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

National conferences take knowledge from classes and internships to the next level by connecting you with practitioners from all over the world and discussing emerging industry trends. You learn about everything from diversity and inclusion to emergency communication, from people who’ve lived through it.

2. PR people are the easiest to make friends with

I’m a natural born introvert and networking doesn’t come easily for me. Every time I attend a national event, I’m reminded just how easy it is to make friends with other public relations students.

They’re eager to tell you about their chapter and ask about your own, and even more eager to add you on Instagram and ask what you’re doing after the day’s sessions. No matter how shy you are, making connections is inevitable.

3. Everyone there wants you to succeed

It can be easy to think that our struggles aren’t similar to other chapters or that the national PRSSA committee is too busy to help, but events like Leadership Rally prove this to be false.

When speaking with other chapter leaders, I learned many of them have similar challenges and heard how some groups managed to overcome them. National committee members also took time to offer suggestions and connect me with resources I didn't know were available. Most remarkably, members from both groups shared their business cards or LinkedIn profiles and asked me to follow up.


Whether it’s Leadership Rally or National Conference, each PRSSA event leads me to new lessons, new friends and new resources. I can’t wait to see what International Conference has in store.

If you’re interested in attending this year’s National Conference in San Diego, Calif., visit PRSSA’s website and email Anna Kendall at kenda1ac@cmich.edu.



Posted on June 17, 2019 .

Pro tips: Portfolios

By: Elizabeth Jones

Standing out during an interview in a competitive job market can be tough. Having a professional portfolio can help make a memorable impression. A portfolio is a compilation of your greatest achievements. Specifically, it’s a collection of your academic accomplishments, skill sets and certifications that show your potential as an employee.

When creating your portfolio, it’s important to include the necessary information that applies to the job you are pursuing. So what goes in a portfolio?  

1. Statement of confidentiality

This should be the first page of your portfolio that claims a ownership by the creator to help eliminate any duplications.  

2. Resume

A resume gives your viewer a short summary of your experience, skills and awards  cultivated over the years.

 3. Skill sets

Skill sets are the heart of your portfolio. It’s where you provide the best examples of work that you have completed. It shows you have prior experience and are prepared for what’s expected in your career. Include sections of work that reflect each of your skill sets, such as writing, graphic design and research.

4. Extra-Curricular Activities

A great way to market yourself is to include any professional memberships, certifications, organizations and volunteer experience you have. This shows that you are a determined worker and willing to put effort towards your professional development.  

5. Letters of Recommendation

This is an important part to include because it provides insight on who you are as an individual and expands on your reliability and work ethic.  

6. Transcripts

Often times, people will include their transcripts to show some of the courses they have taken and to highlight their GPA.  

Design

When designing your portfolio, the goal is to make it visually appealing and easy to follow. Make it look organized and professionally formatted by including a table of contents and separators that label each category. This will help guide the reader to specific materials  within the portfolio.

When deciding between an online portfolio or hard copy, there are many strengths to both. Depending on where you are applying, it’s important to make a knowledgeable decision about which type of portfolio will best highlight your skills when displaying your work.

Benefits for an online portfolio include:

It’s simple to update .

Your portfolio should always be up to date. Adding new material and rearranging sections can be a hassle with a hard copy portfolio. Having everything online simplifies the process.

You are able to include video clips, animation, sound clips, etc.  

If you are applying to a job that seeks multimedia skills, an online portfolio lets you include the criteria that shows these specific skills.  

Benefits for a hard copy portfolio:

It creates a meaningful connection.

Having a hard copy portfolio gives your reader a physical object to hold, which can create a stronger connection and eliminate distractions.  

You won’t come empty handed.  

When arriving to an interview and having a portfolio visibly available shows a sense of professionalism and preparation.  

Having a portfolio is an important tool for proving you’re an advanced candidate for the job. It can help during networking, interviews, jobs and anytime you need to make an impression. Follow these guides when creating your professional portfolio to stand out from other candidates.  



Posted on April 23, 2019 .

PR myths: Debunked

By: Grace Berndt

Public Relations is a diverse profession. There are many different elements to public relations which cause misunderstanding about what PR is and how it is carried out. Some of these misconceptions cast public relations in the wrong light and don’t accurately capture what PR is. Here are a few of the top myths about public relations, debunked.

“PR Twists the truth.”

Public Relations is commonly misconceived as spinning the truth, or even propaganda. Many believe that since public relations maintains the face of the company and is concerned with how the public perceives an organization, PR twists the truth for company interest. The opposite is true. Public relations focuses on communicating a brand's values with their publics. In fact, the Public Relations Society of America code of ethics requires professionals to conduct themselves professionally, with truth, accuracy, fairness, and responsibility to the public.

Public Relations strives to deliver strategic messages. They choose the best time and the best avenue to deliver critical communication points. PR develops key messages in a way their audience can understand based on what is most needed at the time.

“Any press is good press.”

Not necessarily. A large part of public relations is working with the media to communicate with their audience.  Since messages are not always delivered as they are intended, PR professionals are trained for crisis management.  This prepares them for the negative elements of any press. Crisis management is often put into effect when the company receives negative media attention. PR professionals know the media are likely to report on an organization when an issue arises, and they are prepared to combat that. Negative press cannot be made into good press and often causes more work for public relations professionals.

“PR is the same as marketing and advertising.”

PR is often viewed the same as marketing. However, although PR is similar and often partners with marketing, they are two different elements. Marketing is concerned with a product, and how best to promote it to the public. PR is concerned with the public and their perception of the product or organization.

Public relations differs from advertising because advertising is one-way communication, simply presenting a product to the public. Public relations is based in two-way communication and listens to an audience to create the most effective avenue to communicate.

“You only need one publicity breakthrough.”

People often think of PR as a “one hit wonder”, meaning you only need one good publicity break through and then you’re set. However, public relations is an ongoing process. PR continuously communicates and listens to the public, watches trends and keeps up with media to search for opportunities to initiate campaigns. It is essential for public relations practitioners to stay up to date so their organization can be relevant in a fast-paced, always changing environment.



Posted on April 16, 2019 .

How to keep up with PR trends

By: Bailey Talaska

As a current and future PR professional it is important to keep up with trends in the ever changing industry. Podcasts, social media and books are great mediums for staying up to date on industry news.  Here are some of the top tools for the aspiring PR professional.

Podcasts

Inside PR

This podcast is co-hosted by Joe Thornley and Martin Waxman. They talk about everything including current events, crisis communications, social media, reputation management and how it all intersects.

Women at work

Worth a listen for any business professional, Women at Work explores gender in the workplace and gives tips on how to handle tough situations.

Young PR Pros

If you’ve just landed your first job or internship in public relations, this podcast is for you. It looks at public relations at an angle that is is specifically designed to provide young PR professionals with tips, advice and information on how to establish and advance their careers.

Social Media

AP Stylebook

This account gives you all the rules you need to know about AP style writing.

Adweek

This outlet provides examples of creative advertising, which is good for developing ideas and drawing inspiration.

Business Insider

This profile has lots of cool business ideas and keeps you up to date about the goings on in the business world. Anyone is business should give them a follow.

 Books

 They Don’t Teach Corporate in College by Alexandra Levit

This book gives good advice on how to conduct yourself in a business professional setting and tips for dealing with corporate America.

 The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell discusses trends and how they spread through social media and how they reach the pinnacle of reaching the masses and becoming “viral.”

 Loveworks: How the World's Top Marketers Make Emotional Connections to Win in the Marketplace External link  by Brian Sheehan

This novel does a really good job helping you learn how to connect with people on an emotional level and how you can use that to your advantage in the business world.



Posted on April 4, 2019 .

Four tips for preparing for conference

By Madeline Tunison and Anna Kendall

The sun is shining and the snow is melting, which means spring conference is right around the corner.  Make sure you’re prepared for this years event with these conference tips:

1. Research the speakers

It’s good to know who the speakers at the conference will be ahead of time. Research the individuals and their companies so you can connect and understand them better. Find the list of conference speakers and their bios here.

2. Dress to impress

The dress code for the event is business professional. Break out your best blazer and suit pants or skirt and spend some extra time getting ready so you look your sharpest. You’ll want to convey professionalism while remaining comfortable so you can give your attention to the speakers and readily network with other conference attendees.

3. Write it out

Though conferences in the public relations world support the use of electronics to take notes or live tweet at professional events, always have a back up plan in case your phone dies or computer crashes. There’s lots of material you don’t want to miss just because of technical difficulties. Don’t be afraid to take notes the good old fashion way with a pencil and a notepad.  

4. Wear a smile

Bring a smile and get ready to connect! Conference offers ample networking opportunities that you should be ready to take advantage of. Positive attitudes make great first impressions, so be sure to bring yours and get ready to socialize.

Use these tips to get  the most out of your time at conference on March 22 in the UC rotunda. Check out CMU PRSSA’s website and social media for tickets.



Posted on March 17, 2019 .

Tips and tricks for professional networking

By: Dajuan Young and Anna Kendall

Networking is a valuable skill for all careers that contributes to professional growth and career opportunities. Building relationships with peers, professionals and professors is especially critical in the competitive PR world. Though sometimes intimidating, taking advantage of networking opportunities can significantly impact your growth as a public relations professional.  

No connection is too small

Networking provides connections that open doors for job opportunities. Having conversations and keeping in touch with those you meet can lead to positive personal recommendations  and assistance searching for internship and career opportunities. In competitive industries like public relations, sometimes it comes down to who you know.

Take advantage of all networking opportunities, no matter how large or small, to give yourself an edge. Take a second after class to personally thank a guest speaker, or send them a thank you message on LinkedIn. Go to a conference and hand out business cards to each person you speak with. Even talking to other students in your classes can help you build a foundation of professional relationships. You never know what connections will help you later on.

Connections across industries

Networking can broaden the base of people you know across various industries. Public relations can play a role in any organization, so having connections outside the communications sector may still benefit you. Individuals you meet at professional events who work in healthcare, technology or any other industry might still know a communications professional in their field that they can connect you to. Networking opportunities are all around you, so don't limit yourself to only professionals within your industry.

Overcoming anxiety

Taking the initiative to begin a conversation with a professor or professional can be intimidating. Always keep in mind that these individuals want to help you grow and succeed, but they won’t know how to help you until you ask. Keep the conversation casual and centered around the other person. By asking about their professional experience and current job, you’ll express your interest and they’ll likely offer advice and any help they can.  

Give yourself the opportunity to begin expanding your personal network at CMU PRSSA and White Pine PRSA’s spring conference, Recognizing Our Impact. The event is March 22 in the UC rotunda and tickets can be found on CMU PRSSA’s website and social media channels.



Posted on March 17, 2019 .

Choosing public relations

By: Dajuan Young

Choosing public relations as my career path took time but was well worth it. Exploring  other majors, speaking with my academic advisor and keeping an open mind all played a role in my decision to become a PR practitioner.

I knew coming to college I wanted to pursue something that incorporated writing. I love to read and write and after changing my major from journalism to human resources, I finally came across public relations. After taking the introductory PR and learning what public relations is about, I knew it was the career path for me. The PR program here also allows for students to take business classes which was another aspect that played a role in my decision.

All About Integration

PR is an  attractive field and career path because of how integrative it is. The thought of being well-equipped in journalism, communication and broadcasting all captivated my interest. Central Michigan is also one of the top schools for PR in Michigan. The courses offered are comprehensive and prepare CMU graduates for the public relations world.

Variety and Vision

PR is a field that offers many career paths. From crisis management to lobbying, there are countless opportunities. Being able to have the skills to bounce around from one field to another is appealing and exciting. Someday, I would like to be the public relations director for a corporation on the international level. Sports, finance and health are the industries that intrigue me most that I aspire to work  in.

PR is a major that offers many career options, and equips students to move easily between industries. The classes offered at CMU provide students with the best material to excel in the real world, and that’s why I chose public relations.



Posted on March 14, 2019 .

PR strategies in bloom

By: Alexis Schuchert

Public relations strategies are constantly changing and it’s your job as a communications professional to stay up to date. Check out these strategies that are currently trending in the PR world.

Live video streams

The next superior social media trend may be live streaming. Facebook and YouTube are two of the apps that authorize brands to go live using any mobile device. This helps spread news quickly while allowing the audience to engage. Understanding today’s most popular live video platforms is important for PR professionals to stand out.

Quantifiable results

Clients want tangible and valuable results. They would rather receive a report detailing the effect a company’s social media strategy is having on sales than a clever new Facebook post every day. Learning to quantify your impact on a company is becoming essential. This will help you stay competitive and  present your worth to clients. To grow as a PR leader, you need to find ways to deliver the results your clients are looking for.

Chatbots

Another growing PR trend are chatbots. Chatbots are a computer program that ignite conversations with human users, especially your target audience and customers. Chatbots work to offer customer service and access to vital information. Chatbots provide a form of customer service, help reach audience members and build audience engagement. Facebook Messenger is one of the most effective forms. The key is to grow your contacts and use it to strategically deliver content.

Keep these trends in mind to stay ahead of the game and to grow as a PR professional. These are only a fraction of what’s out there, so always be on the lookout for the latest and greatest PR strategies.



Posted on March 14, 2019 .

Keeping it fresh, PR style

By: Kaitlyn Bondar

Public relations is an ever changing field. Your dream job may not have existed 10 years ago or may not even exist now. To stay fresh, professional development and networking are essential. These are important aspects of working in public relations and are timeless skills. Their forms may change, but the idea stays the same.

Throughout my four years at CMU and three in the integrative public relations program, there have been many changes in the PR field. Although classes have changed, CMU is still offering the best integrative program possible to set students up for success. With the addition of social media analytics, psychology and business courses, CMU is equipping its students for success after graduation.

Taking extra PR related electives will help you  get your feet wet in various areas of the profession. The graphic design course you struggled in might set you apart because of the plethora of pieces you created for your portfolio. The statistics course you dreaded might help you communicate with future clients about social media analytics.  Challenge yourself to take classes that challenge you, invoke critical thinking and add to your toolbelt.

Keep up with changes by staying  involved on campus, especially in your field of study. Attend as many conferences, club meetings and study group sessions as you can. Join organizations like PRSSA, PR Central and other related clubs on campus. Go to professional development meetings and stay after to network with the speaker. All the extra work will pay off when you enter your professional career.  



Posted on March 14, 2019 .

Invest in a conference, invest in yourself

By: Grace Berndt

Professional conferences can be a game changer for your future career. Often, students are discouraged from attending conferences because of  money and time. These barriers often lead students to view conferences as a hassle when really, it’s a worthwhile investment for their future. There are several benefits that come from attending conferences that can kickstart your career in PR and elevate your professionalism when you graduate.

Seeing the Future

Conferences are a place where professionals from different areas within the industry come together to share ideas and set goals. In the midst of the hub, you’ll witness the newest developments and strategies in PR. Knowing what to expect in the industry in the future and how to shape your individualistic skills will help you stand out.

Hello PR Major, Meet Your Future Career

As any PR major knows, public relations is a vast profession that can be used in any industry or organization. Conferences showcase the unique ways PR is being put to use. If you’re unsure of what you want to do in PR conferences can open you to new opportunities you may never have known existed.

Rubbing Elbows

Another benefit of conferences is networking. Conferences bring together speakers, vendors and attendees from all levels of the industry and all over the country.  This is an opportunity for you to meet professionals and talk to them about what they do and gain insight on what they look for in new hires and how you can excel.

Carpe Diem

Seize the day. While at the conference, be attentive and be present, both physically and mentally.  Take notes, gather information and take professional’s business cards. Take what you learn to your classroom, on campus clubs or internship and begin implementing your newfound PR powers.

Showcase Your Drive for Success

Not only will you obtain insight into the industry, but this is also an experience that shows you are invested in PR. Attending conferences will give you a step up and show your willingness to learn, your commitment to the industry and your drive to succeed. Get started with CMU PRSSA and White Pines PRSA’s spring conference “Realizing Our Impact” on March 22 in the Bovee University Center.  



Posted on March 1, 2019 .

Four essentials for event planning

By: Alexis Schuchert

Event planning is one of many skills that fall into public relations, and it’s an important one that requires a lot of work. Though it’s not part of the curriculum at CMU, it’s  something we may all encounter at some point in our career. Here are four factors to keep in mind when planning an event.

Understand your audience

It’s important to know your audience in order to establish the perfect execution of communication. For example, if it’s a health or fitness brand then you want to contact health bloggers and use social media platforms to promote the occasion.

Outline the five W’s

Another important aspect of event planning is being aware of the details of the event. Know the when, where, what, why, who and even how. Outlining these characteristics will help with the understanding and planning of the event.

Take advantage of social media

Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are your best friends throughout every event. Use these platforms to get your audience excited. Get them interested in your event and give them reasons on why they should attend. Using these communication tools will provide a larger turn out on the day of your event.

Plan your budget

Creating a budget is critical. Without money, there is no event. There is a lot to consider when planning a budget. Remember things like the venue, entertainment and catering. Check out these templates to help with your financial planning.

These are just a few of the aspects of event planning. If you’d like to learn more and gain  hands-on experience, join PRSSA and become a member of the Chapter Events and Fundraising Committee. You can put your creativity skills to the test and plan events like fundraisers, socials and the spring banquet.

For more information, contact Jenna McDonnell at mcdon1jn@cmich.edu or Nicole Bowers at bower2na@cmich.edu



Posted on February 13, 2019 .

The importance of a professional network

By: Terzah Dyer

Professionalism can be a difficult skill to acquire if you’re not exposed to it, but it doesn’t have to be. Building your knowledge of professionalism through people and experiences can start as early as your college years.

Have you ever heard the  saying, “the people you know will get you to where you need to go”? Well, it’s true. Connections are a fundamental part of succeeding in the PR field.

Knowing others can help you to get a foot in the door for a potential job down the road. You never know when you’ll need friends or mentors in PR. They could be a contact for graphics, photos or writing. If you need professional expertise, you can simply call up an old college classmate.

Experience with professional networking can be hard to come by in the early stages of your career. Luckily, you can build experience and your network right now by joining the Professional Development Committee.

In your career you will constantly be interacting with industry professionals. It is essential you know how to conduct yourself around these individuals. The professional development committee will give you an opportunity to not only grow your network, but push your educational to the next level.

This committee builds relationships through event planning and collecting portfolio pieces and will help you stand out on your resume. For more information, contact Abby Fischer at fisch2aj@cmich.edu  or Brianna Walter at walte1bn@cmich.edu.  



Posted on February 13, 2019 .

Help wanted: Internship search tips

By: Madeline Tunison

As summer quickly approaches, students are competing for internships. Here are some tips to help you find the internship of your dreams.

Explore what kind of internship you want.

There are seemingly endless paths in the PR profession, so be sure to see which ones interest you. There are opportunities in agencies, healthcare companies, non-profit organizations and corporations. Do some research to see which fields you’re most interested in. It’s best to begin your internship search with a goal in mind.

Build your portfolio.

Your portfolio should should showcase the work you’ve done within the PR profession. You should always have a hardcopy of your portfolio and an online version. Our job is to communicate efficiently and having multiple platforms to showcase your work proves that. Your online portfolio should contain general information about yourself, contact information and your resume.

Research companies.

Find companies that could benefit you in your learning. Companies that reflect core values that you agree with can make your internship experience more enjoyable. Knowing a company's background, purpose and core values will also aid in the interviewing process. If you're well read on a company, it will show you care and separate you from candidates blindly searching for an internship.

Start your search early.

Don’t wait until the last minute to begin looking for an internship. The sooner you apply, the better for everyone involved. You’ll feel less rushed and flustered for the rest of the interview process which will help you feel more prepared and confident moving forward.

Use these tips to show companies what a valuable asset you are and land your dream internship.



Posted on February 13, 2019 .

Revamping your personal brand

By: Dajuan Young

Finding fresh and innovative ways to brand yourself on social media is the perfect way to start 2019. Check out these tips on implementing techniques to enhance your appearance and develop your brand through your social media accounts.

Combine personal and professional life

Fusing together the personal and professional aspects of your life is a great way to establish  your brand. Posting about what you do in your spare time allows your audience to connect with you and builds a personal  bridge with your audience and makes you more relatable.

However, be mindful about what you post. Don’t ever use explicit or inappropriate material to establish  your brand. Your accounts are a representation of you and your values. Once you post something, even if you delete it, will always be on the internet forever.

Vary your media content

People learn in a variety of ways. Some connect best through visual displays, while others learn best auditorily. The audience you’re appealing to is likely diverse  in this aspect . Different media outlets like podcasts, videos and newsletters allow your audience to connect with you in multiple ways and have the opportunity to choose which one fits them best.

Look aesthetically pleasing

Looks aren’t everything, but they are an important thing. You only have one chance  to make a first impression and it’s important to make it count. Appealing to your intended audiences’ visual senses is a good start for creating a favorable first impression of your brand. Contrast, dominance and color that are properly implemented will quickly capture someone’s eye and drag them in.

Try out these tips and watch it impact your personal brand.



Posted on February 7, 2019 .

How CMU's PR resources set me apart

By: Kaitlyn Bondar

Completing an internship is a requirement of CMU’s integrative public relations program and plays a significant role in providing hands-on experience for students before they enter the workforce. I secured and excelled at my internship because of the training I’d received through the IPR program and my involvement in PRSSA and PR Central.

This past summer I was a marketing intern at the environmental engineering and consulting firm Limnotech in Ann Arbor, Mich.  When I first started looking for an internship I was extremely discouraged. I live in lower metro-Detroit, where most of the paid internships were located far away. Just before the end of the spring semester, I was hired by Limnotech.

Required skills for the position included graphic design, journalistic writing, research skills and social media analytics. Core IPR classes like foundations of public relations, PR and advertising research and public relations writing were tremendously helpful in teaching me these skills. All of my coworkers were scientists and engineers. I was the only person with formal training in communication or public relations and was given a lot of responsibility in this area of the business. I was confident in my abilities because of my coursework and hands-on experience in PRSSA and PR Central.  

PR Central and PRSSA helped me build the skills that ultimately allowed me  to secure this position over people from larger schools like Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. My internship coordinator said my well-rounded, digital portfolio and professional attitude set me apart from other applicants.

Working at LimnoTech, I further developed my professional communication, graphic design, writing and multitasking skills. Without the IPR program, PRSSA and PR Central, I would not have secured my internship. The IPR program gave me the necessary skill foundation,  PRSSA taught me what professionalism truly is and how to professionally network and PR Central provided valuable leadership opportunities and portfolio materials.

As I complete my last semester at CMU, I want to thank PRSSA and PR Central. I owe these organizations so much, and would not be the PR professional I am today without them.



Posted on February 7, 2019 .

Five ways to beat boredom over break

By: Bailey Talaska

Though winter break is relaxing, three weeks without school can sometimes lead to boredom. If you find yourself with nothing to do, consider these activities for getting ahead.

Work on your resume

While you’re sitting at home, start updating your resume. Add any new jobs or projects you’ve been working on, and make sure your wording is as effective as possible. Pay special attention to design, no matter what program you create your resume with. Design a layout that is clear, effective and unique.

Look for Internship and job opportunities

Break is the perfect time to research what companies might be hiring or looking for interns. While winter break isn't long enough to complete an internship, you can use the time to find one for the spring semester or the summer.

Network

While you have some extra time on your hands, network and get your name out there for future employers. One way to do this is by reaching out to anyone you’ve networked with previously or had an internship with. Send them an email or a card saying happy holidays and thanking them again for their time. This is a great way to remind them of your name.

Update social media platforms

While this is something many people don’t think about, more employers are looking at the social media pages of employees. Over break, clean up your accounts and make sure everything on your Twitter, Instagram and Facebook is something you wouldn’t mind your boss seeing. With professional social media channels like LinkedIn, make sure your profile is up to date just like your resume. This will  help with future networking.

Create or update your portfolio

When applying for jobs and internships, employers will want examples of the work you’ve done. Going through and collecting pieces you have written and putting them together so you have it ready when you need it will make your life easier. If you have already have a portfolio, make sure it’s up to date with your newest work.

These activities will have you feeling more prepared for the upcoming semester and all of it’s professional opportunities. But most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy a wonderful, relaxing break.



Posted on January 2, 2019 .

New year, new you: PR edition

By: Alexis Schuchert

Take advantage of 2019 and expand your skills as an integrative public relations major. Here are four New Year’s resolutions you can add to your list to become a stronger PR professional.

Practice AP style

Associated Press Style is essential in the world of PR. Practicing this style of writing will benefit you in your future. Every week of 2019, find time to focus on an aspect of AP style. Focus on datelines, abbreviations of months, when to use a comma and so forth. Making this a goal will help to increase your confidence in your future classes and career.

Consume news

As an integrative public relations major, consuming news and reading PR articles is important. Making this one of your New Year’s resolutions will help increase your awareness of the daily news and of proper AP style rules. This will also help to expand your knowledge on the inverted pyramid style of writing.  

Exercise your writing skills

Knowing how to write is crucial and is a great skill to possess in any career field. Good writing goes along with knowing AP style and how PR articles are written. The first step is to get familiar with these two aspects and then put it to use. Get comfortable with creating headlines, datelines, leads, quotes, attribution and implementing the inverted pyramid method.

Increase your involvement

Make it a goal to expand your engagement at Central Michigan University. A big way to apply yourself is to become a paid member of the Public Relations Student Society of America. PRSSA offers ways to put your skills to the test and grow as an IPR major. PRSSA includes committees for writing, planning and budgeting. You’ll have opportunities to create portfolio pieces, and graduating PRSSA members can continue their professional development by joining PRSA at a discounted rate.

Take control of 2019 and make it your year.



Posted on January 1, 2019 .

Five tips for tackling finals

By: Alexis Schuchert

Many students forget to take care of themselves when it comes time for finals. Check out these tips to help you be conscious of your well-being and of the people around you.

Don’t procrastinate

As public relations majors, many of our final exams consist of group projects and final papers. The worst thing to do is to push assignments off until the last second. This can cause you to become overwhelmed, severely stressed and can lead to an unwanted grade. It can also put stress on your group members. Make sure you do your part and never leave your group hanging. The best way to handle finals season is to stay organized, stay focused and complete things in a timely fashion.

Get enough sleep

An important part of managing stress is getting enough sleep. Ideally, young adults should get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Giving your body the rest it needs will help you stay on task, pay attention in class and allow better time management. Getting enough rest during finals week is essential. You want to be wide awake and ready to go for each of your exams, whether it be a multiple choice test, a presentation or an essay.

Give your best effort

PR finals often consist of group projects and presentations. Try your best to get along with your group and work as a team. Even though you may not like someone personally, learning to work productively and considerately with them is crucial. Work together to successfully finish the project in a timely manner.

Eat well & stay hydrated

Eating well and drinking water is essential, and can be easily forgotten during busy times. It’s important to eat three meals a day, especially breakfast. When your schedule is full of group meetings and writing papers, it’s easy to snack all day or even forget to eat. Remember to give your body the nutrition and protein it needs. Take time to find some healthy breakfast choices that are also convenient for busy mornings.

Stay positive

During the last few weeks of the semester, it becomes easy to slack off or feel down about yourself and your grades. The key is to be optimistic and confident in yourself and the success you want to reach. If you visualize yourself doing well and succeeding, there is a greater chance that you will. Stay positive.

Best of luck on finals this week!



Posted on December 11, 2018 .

Wait, what's your major?

By Bailey Talaska

The holidays are filled with visiting family and friends. This often leads to questions about what you’re studying in school. Given the diverse nature of public relations, explaining what the profession is can be a daunting task. Here are some helpful tips for handling questions about PR from your loved ones this holiday season.

What is PR?

Public relations is a diverse profession, but a basic definition describes PR as strategic communication that builds a mutually beneficial relationship between an organization and their public. This means connecting with the audience and promoting a company, organization, or product.

What can you do with a degree in that?

A public relations degree  can open up different opportunities for  communications careers in many areas including:

  • Nonprofit

  • Communications agencies

  • Corporations

  • Government  

  • Sports and entertainment

  • Hospitality

  • Healthcare

Why did you choose public relations?

This will be different for everyone. You might mention the diversity of the degree or the creative nature of the profession. Whatever your reasons are, share them.

What kind of money will you be making?

It depends on where you are working and what branch of PR you are in.

Are you going to have a job after graduation?

The need for PR professionals is expected to grow due to the increased use of the internet and social media. Companies need people who are knowledgeable and can help them promote themselves online. Public relations is a field that is diversifying and growing consistently.

Keep these points in mind for any PR questions you might have thrown your way over the holiday weekend and enjoy spending time with your loved ones!



Posted on November 20, 2018 .

The professional dress code

By: Terzah Dyer

Professionalism begins with your appearance. The effort you put into making yourself look presentable shows how much you care. Employers want their staff to represent their company well, which includes looking professional. Professional dress is essential for successful first impressions.

Looking professional doesn’t take much effort and doesn’t have to be costly. Here are some head-to-toe tips on how to look the part.

Shoes

For women, heels or flats are good. Heels should range from two to four inches. The shoes should be closed-toed, and in neutral colors like black, nude or navy blue. Leather and patent are respectable materials for shoes. Shoes shouldn’t be worn-down or dirty looking.

For men, the most common dress shoes are loafers, oxford and wingtips. They range in style but all have a clean, classic look.

Clothing

When dressing for career and internship fairs, business professional is the best option. For men, this will include dress pants with a nice belt, a collared shirt and a tie.

Ladies can wear dress pants and a nice blouse or a skirt or dress as long as it’s not too short. Avoid jeans and crazy colors.

Adding a blazer to both the men and women’s options will make the outfit more professional.

Physical appearance

As for physical  appearance, look clean and well groomed. This should include tidy hair, a clean smell  and overall good hygiene.

Combining these professional dress tips will prepare you for future interviews, internship fairs and the professional world. You can practice these professional dress tips at the Department of Journalism/PRSSA  Internship Fair on Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the UC rotunda.



Posted on November 1, 2018 .