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 .

Tips for creating a stand-out resume

By: Alexis Schuchert

Show, don’t tell

You might have  section on your resume where you list the skills that are most impactful for the job you’re applying for. Listing skills can get boring to read. Show what skills you have by describing how you’ve used them in previous jobs. Instead of saying you’re a leader, describe situations where your leadership made an impact.

Measure it

Public relations might not be a STEM field, but don’t be fooled: numbers matter. Make your material measurable whenever possible. Don’t just say you helped a company increase their following on social media-- include how many new followers you gained. Let the numbers do the talking.

Make content count

Strategically decide which experiences you include on your resume based on the job you’re applying for. You might discuss your past internships, volunteer experiences, part-time jobs, or clubs you were involved in. It all depends on the job. What might be a relevant experience for one position might not be as effective when applying for another.

Make key words count

In resumes, less is more. Most of the time, recruiters will not read every single word on your resume, especially if it’s a big company with hundreds of other applicants. Keywords make your resume faster and easier to read. For example, a public relations practitioner’s resume could include keywords like “social media skills,” “communication skills” and “research skills.” You could also include personal attributes like “creativity,” “organization” and “reliability.”  

Design a header

Placing an attractive and informational header has the ability to make a resume stand out. This should include your name and contact information. Including a header is simple, but effective.

Don’t forget your business card

Not everyone is going to want to take your resume, so have personalized business cards on hand. Business cards are small, effective and easy to exchange. Hand them out to every company you make an elevator pitch to. This is a tangible way for your name to be remembered.

Once you have your resume ready to go, head to the CMU Department of Journalism/PRSSA Internship Fair on Nov. 7 in the UC Rotunda from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.



Posted on October 31, 2018 .

How to balance an internship during the semester

By: Bailey Talaska

A major stress factor of college is being able to balance things such as work, an internship and school. It can be tough to manage. To find out some of the best ways to balance an internship, I talked to Joshua Geary who works part time for Tanner Friedman, while working 15 hours and balancing 12 credits.

1. Prioritize

Before starting your internship, know your priorities.

Give some thought to which you value more, your internship or school. They don't have to be at odds, but if you have a busy schedule during the semester, putting more time into one and less into the other may unfortunately be the case.

Knowing your priorities ahead of time allows you to avoid making rash decisions. Time management is important as well.

Geary said “You are building towards your future by balancing both, so set time aside for both responsibilities.”

2. Be upfront about your school schedule

It's important that the company you're interning at knows your school schedule ahead of time and knows your commitment to sticking to it. Communicate with your supervisor and professors to stay on top of your work for classes and your internship. Ask yourself, “Am I stretching myself too thin?”

Geary said “Being involved is good, but being too involved may not be as fruitful if you were involved with less and were more invested in fewer involvements.”

3. Schedule down time

It's not healthy to fill up every part of your day with school, work and your internship. Having time to relax will  allow you to perform better in school and at your internship. Self-care is important and you don't want to burn out. Whatever gives you energy or a physical or mental break, do it. Be sure you have enough time to eat and sleep, and if you realize you can't handle all of your responsibilities, let something go.

Listen to yourself because not every moment of every day has to be productive.

4. Plan, plan, plan

Be organized with the way you spend your time off the internship clock. Make a list of what you want to achieve or cross off your to-do list in the amount of time you have. Although the amount of time you have available may vary, be productive in the time that you do. Use tools like planners or google calendar to organize your days to know what you need to get done, in addition to having it written out will help you stay organized and reduce stress.

5.Pick the right internship

As long as you pick an internship that you enjoy and are trying to make the best of it, everything will be alright. It might be stressful at some points, but know that it will not be like that forever and that all your hard work will be worth it.



Posted on October 24, 2018 .

The importance of classroom community

By: Terzah Dyer

You probably have quite a few of your major classes with the same people. I know I do. Instead of keeping your head down in class, connect with your classmates and make an effort to network. This will not only benefit your academic life, but help you in your future career.

Many students get stuck in the routine of going to class, doing their due-diligence as a scholar, hearing the professor speak and taking notes and then going home. We often forget to step outside of our shells and get to know our classmates. We don’t always like the idea of making the effort to make friends or having to try harder beyond the work. We think it’s better to focus on the professor and rather than the students sitting next to us. However, networking in class is  something we should take advantage of.

Building a community will cultivate a better atmosphere in class. Creating a community within the classroom can make class far more enjoyable. Class is more exciting when you have a friendly face to sit next to rather than sitting alone, especially when the curriculum gets tough. A good community fosters a positive learning environment, which allows for a more productive class.

Another great factor of starting a community in your classes is having reliable relationships.The more people you know, the more resources you have when you graduate. When you are looking for a job, a foot in the door might put you above others. You can make an effort to get to know those same students you see on a weekly basis to start building a community. The students around you might have similar goals as you, making it simple to achieve these connections. You have comparable passions and ambitions and will end up working in the same profession. There are many people I know who received a job interview because of somebody they knew in college.

Not only will it benefit you in the long run, but it will also benefit you as a professional in the short term. Having a community of classmates, especially in your major classes, will make you a well-rounded student. You can learn from each other and better yourself, so you can be a better PR professional.

Sharing experiences together is great for after college when you run into each other in a professional environment. You can look back and bond over the good ole’ times in Will or Woj’s class. Those memories will create a lifetime bond.



Posted on October 24, 2018 .

Top five benefits of PRSSA

By: Anna Kendall

Making frugal decisions about what you spend your cash on is an inevitable part of the college experience.  Deciding to spend $75 on dues for a professional organization might be a tough decision, especially if you aren’t aware of all the benefits you could experience. Check out five ways PRSSA can benefit you below.

Discounts

Spending money to become a member of PRSSA might save you money in the long run. When you become a member, you will receive a discounted rate on chapter and national PRSSA events. From spring banquet to national conference, your national membership will give you access to a lower price. You also have the opportunity to join PRSA at a lower rate upon graduation.

Hands-on experience

Joining PRSSA gives you the chance to gains hands-on experience outside of the classroom. You can gain published work by writing for the publications committee, or experience planning events with the chapter events committee.

PRSSA members are also eligible to apply to CMU’s student run firm PR Central. PR Central works for real clients and students are able to gain valuable experience with real projects.

Networking and mentorship

PRSSA frequently brings professionals in to speak at meetings and for events. As a paid member you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and network with these professionals in addition to connecting with other PR students. There are also opportunities for mentorship from older students in PRSSA.  

Internship materials

Finding an internship is a requirement of the IPR program, and PRSSA can help you find one. As a paid member you’ll not only have access to the national internship center, but the CMU PRSSA internship book which is full of resources specifically for CMU students.

Awards and scholarships

Becoming a member of PRSSA will give you opportunities for scholarships and awards from CMU and at the national level. You can also enter national competitions such as the Bateman Case Study Competition, or write for national publications like FORUM.  

PRSSA  opens doors for its members not only at the university level, but the national level as well. Becoming a paid member of PRSSA is not just a purchase, but an investment in yourself and your future.



Posted on October 22, 2018 .

Six tips for interviewing

By: Alexis Schuchert

Feeling nervous for an interview is common-- don’t stress. Use the tips below to help diminish nerves, expand your knowledge on interviews, and help you get the job.

Know the company you’re applying to

Weeks prior to your interview, develop your understanding of what the company or organization does, its history and what they can provide for you and your career.

Practice common interview questions

Prepare and practice questions such as, “What are your biggest strengths?” “Where do you see yourself in five years?” “Out of all other candidates, why should we hire you?”. Having an idea of what you want to say will help to decrease your nerves and increase your confidence.

Know the job description

Show up to the interview knowing exactly what you’re being interviewed for. Have knowledge of the job and what the job entails.

Ask questions

Go to the interview with questions that will help you better understand the work environment, the culture and the position. You can ask the interviewer questions like, “Where do you see the company in five years from now?” “How would you describe the employee moral here?” “Are there events or activities that engage the employees throughout the year?” “Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?”

Be yourself

An important part of the interview process is to be yourself and express your personality. Show positivity and enthusiasm. Make the interview a conversation rather than a Q&A. They are not only interviewing you, but you’re interviewing them. Use the meeting as an opportunity to decide if this is a company that you see yourself working at.

Always follow up

After the job interview, thank the interviewer for their time. You can express your eagerness and appreciation for the position. Also, if something didn’t come up during the interview, use this opportunity to share it. You want to make your name memorable.

Last minute tips

  • Arrive at least 10-15 minutes early

  • Don’t forget your resume. You should also bring a personal business card.

  • Dress in professional attire

  • Begin the interview with a firm handshake, eye contact, and a smile!

Keeping these tips in mind will help you crush your next interview.



Posted on October 20, 2018 .

Professional benefits of study abroad

By: Jozlyn Gauthier

Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity that more college students should take advantage of. The program gives students an opportunity to travel to unique locations around the globe with their peers while having the opportunity to learn.

Cultural Experiences

Having the chance travel to a foreign country provides students with a unique opportunity to immerse  themselves in different culture. Victoria Vitale, 20, spoke about ways that an intercultural experience was beneficial to her through study abroad to Florence, Italy. Vitale said it helped her to expand her knowledge of public relations and graphic design on a global scale, and she was able to learn how her major was differentiated in a country outside of her own.

Understanding how your area of study is applied around the world allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the field as a whole and can open up doors for international careers, giving students a competitive edge while applying for jobs. Studying abroad can allow for a unique understanding of your field that couldn’t be obtained in your typical classroom at your university and is valued by employers.

Personal Growth

Flying across the country to live and learn for a period of time is a big deal Students speak of it as an unforgettable life changing experience. Anna Kendall, 21, spoke about the personal growth she achieved that benefitted her in a professional capacity from her study abroad experience in Florence, Italy. Kendall said studying abroad gave her an opportunity to figure a lot of things out for herself such as navigating a different city, meeting new people and building connections. She shared about how the experience made her feel more independent and confident professionally. Character building experiences are important to have while shaping yourself into a well-rounded professional.

Communication Skills

Overseas travel allows for the unique experience to develop the skill of communicating across language barriers. Ashlee Croy, 21, shared that studying abroad gave her the opportunity to learn how to work with people who spoke a different language for the first time and how to present to someone that speaks a different language while she was studying abroad in Florence, Italy. This skill takes dedication and patience to develop, and is highly sought after in the professional world. Having experience communicating through language barriers is an excellent resume builder, as future business partners and clients could speak a different language.

Want to Study Abroad?

Interested in studying abroad? CMU’s study abroad program hosts 30-minute information sessions weekly in Ronan 344 on Mondays at 11 a.m., Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 2 p.m. Applications for summer and fall 2019 are open now. Schedule an appointment with an advisor today and begin your study abroad journey.      



Posted on October 20, 2018 .

Benefits of joining student media organizations

By: Andrew Glezen

Universities provide several opportunities for students to get involved and gain professional experience before graduation. College is a time where one can gain real world experience and develop their talents.

Student media is a popular example of this. Many universities have student newspapers, broadcasting opportunities and other media organizations.

There are endless advantages to student media, but three benefits stand out above the rest.

Published Work

Classroom work is nice, but many employers in today are looking for someone that has previous experience. Student media organizations give students the opportunity to publish their work whether it’s in a newspaper, on a television station or company or organization website. Having published work can enhance one’s portfolio by showing that a student can excel in a work environment and allows the portfolio to stand out above the rest.

Networking and Relationships

Student media organizations bring in alumni and guest speakers that current students can network with. This is a great opportunity to pick the brain of a professional and possibly gain a professional reference moving forward.

Students can also create relationships with peers in the organization. There is a good chance that one might end up working with other members of the organization and they might be able to help you professionally moving  forward.

It’s not all about work. Students can also create relationships and friendships in their student media organization that will last a lifetime. You likely have a few things in common if you’re in the same organization as someone.

Experience and Growth

No one expects a person to be perfect the first time they do something. By joining a student organization, you are afforded the opportunity to make mistakes without hurting a company.

As long as a student learns from their mistakes, they will be more likely to succeed the next time rather than someone who hasn’t tried it at all. Students grow from experience and that is exactly the opportunity student media organizations provide.    



Posted on October 20, 2018 .

PR pro's guide to photo and design

By Madeline Tunison

Sometimes PR requires us to utilize skills beyond the average communications trade. This can be a fun challenge or a bothersome one. Today’s public relations professionals  are expected to know the basics of design programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign. Lucky for us, thousands of easy-to-follow tutorials exist. But creating an attractive design goes past basic knowledge of the programs. Here are a few tips to help amatuer designers create eye-catching displays.

Photography

If you are ever tasked with picking or taking photos, here are some things to know before you get started.  

Make sure the photo has a clear, focused subject.

Cluttered photos make it harder for the viewer to understand the purpose and see the subject of the photo. It’s also always good to follow the rule of thirds to make your photo more interesting to the eye. The rule of thirds is the concept of putting a nine square grid over the photo and having the subject fall in the intersection of two of the gridlines.

Pay attention to color.

After you’ve got the basic structure of a photo down, watch for tonal range and contrast. Good photos have a wide range of dark and light colors and good contrast between colors.

Don’t oversaturate.

With that being said, do not oversaturate your photos! Your photo should have a wide range of tones while looking natural. It’s important to not lose photo detail in your colors. Make sure the light colors aren’t too light and the darks aren’t too dark.

Design

In design, you should bring out your more artistic side without letting it run away with the project.

Fonts matter.

A lot of beginners love to pick out fun fonts and crazy colors and in doing so, they forget about their audience. You should keep what’s best for your audience in the front of your mind. Simple, easy to read fonts always outmatch the curly cute fonts. When using fonts in a design, try to stick to only two. Anything more than two or three makes your design seem choppy and hard to read.

Choose your colors wisely.

Colors should be catered to what your audience would like. Just because your favorite color combo is hot pink and neon yellow doesn’t mean you should make a hot pink flyer with neon yellow text. Everything about your design should cater to the design’s purpose.

Visuals, whether they are photos, graphics, or infographics, will help your design. It is always helpful to get a second and third opinion on your work. A set of fresh eyes is never a bad thing. Some things will look great to you  but might look terrible to someone else. Critique your own work and have someone else critique it too. If you’re looking for more tips about photography and design, consult books or more experienced designers.



Posted on October 5, 2018 .

Five public speaking tips

By Terzah Dyer

Public speaking is already a part of our everyday college routine and will continue to be more prevalent as we become PR professionals.

Sometimes people think of public speaking just as speeches and nothing else. However, public speaking takes place in a variety of situations including:

  • Small internal meetings

  • Meetings with clients

  • Presentations

  • Conversing with co-workers

  • Approaching upper-level management

  • Press conferences

  • Media pitching

  • Group work

The list goes on, but you can see public speaking is not a small avenue. Speaking well is only the beginning of handling yourself appropriately in public speaking situations.

Though you may feel you are a masterful communicator already, there will be times when you may need to revert back to the basics to help you shake off the nerves and communicate the best you can.

With these overarching tips, you won’t ever have to doubt your public speaking ability. .

Tip 1: Know your audience.

This is a critical PR and media rule. Be sure to know who you are talking to so you can get across the necessary information. For example, if you are among co-workers, the way you speak and conduct yourself could differ from when a client is present. Your language and persuasion methods will change. To know how to communicate with someone, you first have to know who you’re communicating with.

Tip 2: Be confident.

Positive nerves are actually great for public speaking. They allow you to be animated and energized across the board. However, nerves mixed with timidness are not productive. You have to be confident in what you are talking about. This can sometimes be difficult when dealing with upper-level management. Nerves will help you be excited about what you have to say and confidence will solidify what you’re saying. You won’t be taken seriously if you cannot be confident in what you are talking about.

Tip 3: Let your personality shine.

Whatever you are saying should promote both professionalism and who you are as a person. PR is all about making connections and if you sound like a robot, people won’t relate to you as much as if you’re being yourself. PR gives us a chance to be creative, so use it.

Tip 4: Word Choice.

Though public speaking isn’t writing, you still need to be conscious of your word choice. It must be both effective and efficient. You have to get your point across simply so you can affect as many people as you are intending. In PR especially, be objective.

Tip 5: Be organized.

You will not always have enough time to put together a full on powerpoint every time you need to get your point across. This is OK. Organize your thoughts on paper by making notecards or taking notes during a meeting to more easily remember what points you want to make.

These tips will benefit you in every step of your PR journey. They can be used from approaching management to media pitching, so you can be as effective as possible in a  public speaking role.



Posted on October 5, 2018 .

How to find comfort at your internship

By Teddy Wingert

Being surrounded by a new group of people can be very intimidating, especially in a professional setting. Finding how to navigate the do’s and don’ts of an organization can be tough. Every intern wants to put their best foot forward and get the days of uncertainty behind them. Here are a few tips that should help finding comfort at your internship a bit sooner.

Gain knowledge of the organization

Anyone can do research to obtain general information about an organization. However, as an intern, you have an opportunity to see what happens behind the scenes. If you observe or encounter something you don’t understand, ask questions and seek out answers. Gaining knowledge of an organization can only help and your enthusiasm will be appreciated by co-workers.

Make intentional connections

Getting to know others will only make this internship transition easier. Show interest in people’s positions. Ask them about their passions and life outside of work. A lot of your time will be spent with your co-workers, so it’s best to break the ice as soon as possible. Share yourself and be willing to listen about others in return. The connections you make may take you farther than this internship alone.

Communicate and activate your skills

Learning in the classroom is a completely different experience compared to activating your skills in the workplace. If an opportunity arises for you to utilize your skills, be upfront and offer to assist in the project. Your supervisor is probably as eager to know your skills as you are to execute them. If you are asked to help with a task you are uncertain of, be willing to learn and growth will come from it.

The first day at an internship can create a lot of nerves. Gaining knowledge of the organization, making intentional connections and using your skills will set you up for success in no time. Think about how you want to look back on your experience, and take the steps it takes to get there. Take advantage of your internship by stepping in with both feet and experiencing an opportunity of a lifetime.

Posted on May 2, 2018 .

The benefits of joining PRSSA

By: Abby Fischer

Deciding to join any RSO can be challenging, and often the question we ask ourselves is, “what’s in it for me?” Here are some of the main benefits of PRSSA and why PR students should join.

Networking

We all know the famous saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Through PRSSA, you’ll be able to meet other PR students, at CMU and at schools across the country if you go to conferences. You’ll also have the opportunity to speak one on one with speakers who come to PRSSA meetings or conferences who could help you get a job or internship. Building your network is important in any profession, but in PR it’s necessary. PRSSA makes it easy to build your network, which makes it one of the best reasons to join.

Building your resume and portfolio

If you join a committee within PRSSA, you will gain portfolio pieces or experience for your resume like blog posts, newsletter writing and event planning. It’s a very small time commitment to join a committee, and it’s well worth it to have that line on your resume.

Access to internship listings

As a PRSSA member, you’ll have access to the PRSA JobCenter where you can search for internships available only to PRSSA members. This is a great place to start looking for internships if you’d like to work outside of Michigan since the list is nationwide.

Travel opportunities

Members of PRSSA have several opportunities to travel throughout the school year for regional conference and national conference. Members get to enjoy the conference and expand their knowledge in the profession, but the conferences also allow for free time to explore a new city. Next year’s national conference will be in Austin, Texas.

Scholarships

PRSSA members have access to scholarships through PRSSA’s website. Every year more than $30,000 is awarded to members. Amounts range from $1,000 to $5,000, and there are more than 20 awards members can apply for.

Make sure you stop in at our next meeting to see what PRSSA is all about and start enjoying all the benefits!

Posted on April 9, 2018 .

How to make the most of conference

By: Abby Fischer

Like most things in life, spring conference is what you make of it. Take advantage of all conference has to offer with these tips.

Talk to the speakers

The speakers coming to conference are really excited to share their insights with us, so take advantage of that and do some networking. Introducing yourself and making connections with speakers could help you get a job or internship down the line. At this year’s conference, attendees will have the opportunity to speak with the VP of corporate communications at Edelman, the director of customer lifecycle management at General Motors and several others. This conference has a broad panel of speakers from different areas of PR, so there’s a little something for everyone.

Be attentive

Although live-Tweeting is encouraged, try to stay away from viewing your social media feed. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook will still be there when conference ends. Be attentive by listening to speakers and jotting down key pieces of information. 

Take notes

Just because you aren’t in a classroom doesn’t mean you shouldn’t jot down a few notes. After all, conference is a learning experience. You’ll have lots of information to process during the conference, so taking notes on a few important takeaways will help you later when you’re trying to apply what you learned to your work.

Network with classmates

Spring conference is a great opportunity to meet new people in the PR program. It’s always nice to take a class with someone you know, so introduce yourself to some of your fellow PR students in your sessions. Odds are you’ll probably end up with a class or two together at some point in your time at Central.

Posted on March 12, 2018 .

How to prepare for conference

 By: Alexis Golfis

Conference is just around the corner, and attendees can make it a great experience by preparing in the following ways:

1. Wear business professional clothing

Make a great first impression by dressing business professional. For women, this means dress pants, dress or skirt with a blazer or night blouse. Men should stick to a suit and tie. 

2. Bring resume and business cards

There will be plenty of time for networking with peers and professionals in the field, so make sure to get to know those around you.

3. Bring a phone charger, notebook and pen

You’ll want to take notes during the presentations, so make sure you have the tools in order to succeed. Plus, live tweeting is encouraged, so be sure to have a phone charger on hand in case your battery dies.

4. Bring a positive attitude and open mind

This conference will hit on many hot topics. You will get a lot out of conference if you allow yourself to take advantage of every opportunity.

Posted on March 12, 2018 .

Introverted vs. Extroverted

By: Krystal Black

Introvert: a shy, reticent person, or someone who tends to keep to themselves. Extrovert: an outgoing, overtly expressive person, or someone who is energized by the presence of other people. At this point in our lives, we all know ourselves enough to identify as either the life of the party or the person who doesn’t attend the party at all. There is nothing wrong with being either, and I would say there are major pros and cons to both of the traits. One thing that I am certain of is the fact that you don’t have to be one or the other to thrive in public relations.

If you ask most people about which type of person is a public relations professional, an introvert or an extrovert, most will tell you that it’s most definitely the extrovert. I, however, couldn’t disagree more. With public relations, now more than ever, taking on more roles that require multiple skills in a variety of backgrounds, outgoing people as well as quieter people are needed.

Sure, your average public relations professional may be an extremely personable human who loves talking their clients up at a big event. However, there are also roles behind the scenes, like the professional who can design logos or write a radio advertisement for their client, saving their client money. An introvert doesn’t necessarily know how to communicate any less than the extrovert, rather they use a different approach. For example, while an extrovert may give excellent speeches, the introvert may be an exceptional listener, paying attention to what the client wants the most.

Overall, no matter who you are, the calm and collected introvert or the people-oriented networking extrovert, there is a spot for you in public relations.

Posted on February 6, 2018 .

Ethics in PR

By: Krystal Black

Ethics is defined as moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity. We make decisions all the time based on our ethics. As public relations professionals, we hear about the importance of ethics in our business all the time; it is instilled in us from the very first public relations course we take. Ethics determine the reputation of the company you work for as well as who you are. They are different for everyone because they are based on where you grow up. It is said that it takes a community to raise a child; this means your family, friends, school, neighbors and more are where you learn your morals. For this reason, it is difficult for companies to teach ethics.

In general, more simpler terms, clients need to be able to trust that, as public relations professionals, we will protect their sensitive information and that we can do a job for them. The problem is that ethics in public relations is constantly challenged, and we are constantly criticized for “spinning the truth.” However, as the front line for our companies, communicating to our audiences, we need to convey the right message. What I mean by this is sticking to the standards of the industry, as well as our “gut feeling.” Ethics are telling the truth and being transparent for consumers.

The overall goal and importance of being ethical in the public relations field is telling consumers no more than the truth about what the company can do for them. In a world full of unethical businesses, it’s important that we are ethical for our company’s sake, our own sake, consumers, and for the good of the field of public relations as a whole.

Posted on January 23, 2018 .

Great gifts for your PR professional

By: Krystal Black

· Starbucks gift card

PR professionals spend long days and nights working hard to complete their tasks, so what’s better than the gift of caffeine?

· AP Style Book

You can’t remember everything you learned in school, so you can’t go wrong with the newest edition of the style book.

· External hard drive

Anyone who writes a lot can use a little bit more space to store pieces of writing or to store extra pictures in general.

· PR Week subscription

This is a great magazine and a way for PR professionals to stay up-to-date in the PR world.

· Stationary

Decorated notepads, cards and letters are perfect for jotting down daily reminders. In addition, everyone can use stationary for thank you cards, especially after the holiday season.

· Planner

Help that PR professional in your life stay on track with a planner. How else will your loved one know when that dinner you planned for them is?

· Fitbit

Fitbits can track heart rate and sleep, so why not give the gift that will help them stay on track?

The holiday season is the perfect time to give back to special people in your life. With the holidays so close, give the PR professional in your life something useful and something they will surely use in their everyday lives. 

Posted on December 18, 2017 .

The role of PR in nonprofit organizations

By: Abby Fischer

Working in nonprofit PR can be very rewarding, especially if you work with a nonprofit organization you’re passionate about. Here is a glimpse at some of the work nonprofit PR specialists are tasked with.

1. Conduct fundraising campaigns

Fundraising is essential for nonprofits to survive, and as a PR specialist working in nonprofit, you’ll create lots of fundraising efforts.

2. Volunteer recruitment

Just like fundraising, finding volunteers to work events your organization puts on is very important. You will have to find various ways to recruit volunteers through email, social media and other platforms.

3. Utilize social media

Social media is a large part of all forms of public relations, so it’s no surprise that you’ll need to hone in those skills in nonprofit PR. Social media is a great tool to use when recruiting volunteers or promoting an event. While working in nonprofit PR, you’ll utilize this tool frequently.

4. Lobbying/advocacy

In order to make a change, most nonprofits have to call government officials to action on the issue. Lobbying is an important part of nonprofit PR because the way you portray information to government officials will affect the outcome of the decision.

5. Help mold and create the nonprofit’s story

A large part of nonprofit PR is creating a story that sticks with your nonprofit’s image that your audience can relate to or empathize. This is a crucial part of the success of your nonprofit’s PR and it will branch out into many different campaigns and promotions.

6. Promote an idea or cause

Most importantly, when working in nonprofit PR you are promoting an important cause or idea that will help make a difference in the world and change people’s perspective. Working in this industry is a great way to affect change through your career and help others.

Posted on November 22, 2017 .

Five Steps to Take After Internship Fair

By: Haley Les

1. Send out a follow up email

It is important to send potential employers a follow up email so that they know you’re interested in the position. Potential employers receive so many resumes; sending a thank you email will help separate yourself from others. It would also be helpful to include distinct topics from conversations you had with potential employers in your email. Make sure that the email is well written and professional. 

2. Organize/keep track of notes

Taking notes is important not only during an internship fair but also very much after. Revising your notes from an internship fair will help you organize them as well. There are so many different employers which is why organization is key when following up with them. This step will also help you keep track of all the different positions available within companies.

3. Consider suggestions from potential employers

Critique yourself after the internship fair to help yourself improve. Pay attention to what potential employers suggest you to work on. For instance, if you were told to work on your writing skills, it would be a good idea to practice writing. 

4. Revise

Make sure to triple check your resume and LinkedIn account for anything that could be revised. Look for previous employers on LinkedIn to help with references for future employers. Review and revise the questions you asked at the fair for beneficial information. Remember: this is only the beginning, and there is always time to improve for next year’s internship fair.

5. Practice your interviewing skills

The interview stage is the scariest part for some students, which is why practice is key. Watch videos online, practice with friends, and read tips.

Posted on November 1, 2017 .

Confidence 101

By: Krystal Black

Confidence is something everyone struggles with at some point or another. It could be your looks or confidence in a task you’re working on.

There are some simple ways you can gain confidence in your everyday life, and one way to start is by being positive. I saw a quote once and it said, “Your body hears everything your mind says.” If you wake up every morning, look in the mirror and tell yourself you can do it, imagine the possibilities. Whether it’s acing that test, staying healthy, performing your best, or anything else; telling yourself you are worth it and you can do it is the very first step.

Another simple way you can gain confidence is by practicing. Everyone knows the quote “practice makes perfect.” Although I don’t believe in absolute perfection, I do believe that if you run through your speech four or five times versus one or two times, chances are you will present a stronger speech.

The most important thing about confidence that everyone needs to understand is that confidence isn’t the same for any two people. Each person was put on this Earth with different abilities, appearances and talents. Whether you are good at cooking or writing, rock wall climbing or swimming, taking tests or playing an instrument; no one person has the same exact talent. You can’t compare yourself to someone else. Everyone looks different for a reason, and everyone has different talents for a reason. What if we lived in a world where everyone looked the same, acted the same and had the same talents? First, we wouldn’t last long because we need people who are good at being chefs, doctors, scientists, police officers, firefighters, teachers and more. Second, the world would be flat out boring. Once this idea that you were created differently is understood and accepted, your confidence will soar. Imagine all the things you could do if you just believed in yourself!

Posted on October 24, 2017 .