Check out what our VP of Marketing and Public Relations, Monica Lawton, had to say about her trip to Chicago for Regional Conference!
As PR students, we all know the importance of branding. It’s a huge part of what we do, but it’s also a huge part of who we are. The most important brand you can create is your own. On February 5, Marquette journalism professor, Herbert Lowe, shared some tips on how to make the most of your personal brand.
“Who you are, is who you attract” was an overarching theme of Lowe’s presentation. Your personal brand is what connects you to the rest of the world. To make the most of this personal brand, utilize digital tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogging.
According to Lowe, LinkedIn is crucial for getting noticed by recruiters. It serves as your online cover letter and resume, and can be the difference between landing a job and having to start a job search all over again. Some tips for getting the most out of LinkedIn:
Regarding Twitter, Lowe’s biggest tip was the 33% rule. Your tweets should consist of 33% personal, 33% information, and 33% news. Balancing your content will expand your audience and increase your following.
To end the meeting, Lowe took some questions, most of which were about blogging. He said blogs should be about 6 paragraphs in length and you should come up with new content about once a week. However, quality is more important than quantity. Put yourself into your writing and make it your own. That’s what personal branding is all about!
To learn more about Herb Lowe, visit www.herblowe.com and connect with him on LinkedIn (just make sure you’ve followed his tips first)!
Join us for our next meeting on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in JH 303, where Tom Branigan of Branigan Communications will talk about his experiences in crisis communication!
As our undergraduate careers continue to fly by and seniors prepare for graduation, anxiety is beginning to ramp up around Marquette. Many of us are currently facing the biggest questions of our lives – where will I work? Where will I live? What do I really want to do with my life?
One of the best ways to be reassured is to hear from those who have been in our shoes not long ago. That’s why we invited Chelsea Real, Julie Caan and Maddie Smith to our most recent MU PRSSA meeting, held on January 22. The panel of recent Marquette graduates had plenty of advice to share, including how to make the most of your college experience, tips for finding internships, and recommendations for both seniors and underclassmen.
The consistent theme was that putting in the effort now, while we’re still in school, will serve to prepare us for “the real world” and set us ahead of the competition. All three of the ladies stressed the importance of internships – paid or unpaid – as a great way to gain valuable experience and develop important connections. Along with that, there was emphasis on getting in front of the people you want to emulate professionally. Making the most of networking opportunities and informational interviews can open some major doors, and Chelsea, Julie and Maddie all wished they would have taken better advantage of these opportunities.
They also reminded us not to get discouraged, which can certainly happen in such a competitive job market. “You don’t need a job on your first day after graduation,” Julie pointed out. “Everything will work out.” That’s an important message to remember going forward – hard work will always eventually pay off.
All three of our panelists offered great insight, and continue to do so on a daily basis. Follow Madison (@MadisonSmith10), Chelsea (@The_Real_Chelse) and Julie (@julie_caan) on Twitter to stay connected down the road.
As a reminder, PRSSA Regional Conference is being held at DePaul University in Chicago on February 14th and 15th. For more information, please contact Maggie Cooney or any other E-Board member.
Also, members with the best attendance for the remainder of the semester will be entered in a chance to win a $25 Starbucks or Sobelman’s gift card, so make sure you make it to every meeting! Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 5th at 7pm, JH 303. See you then!
On November 27, Molly Rasmussen, marketing and events coordinator for Professional Events and Consulting (PEC), which consists of a team that plans corporate events for various occasions, spoke about personal branding.
Rasmussen shared her journey from wanting to be an event planner to going into PR and using social media. She discussed the importance of working hard as a student in order to have an easier time securing a job come graduation time. A major part of this early work is personal branding.
Rasmussen suggested finding 5 things that make you who you are and expressing them to potential employers through various channels, mainly social media. Some must-haves for a communications major include LinkedIn and Twitter pages. Other helpful things to have are blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, online resumes, business cards, and portfolios.
The most important thing to remember in regard to your online and offline presence, according to Rasmussen, is consistency: in your profile pictures, the way you dress and present yourself, the way you design your resume and cover letter, and the way you act in your everyday life.
This meeting was the last of the semester. Look for updates about upcoming meetings after break and have a safe, fun, and relaxing holiday season!
For more information about PEC visit www.pecpros.com and be sure to connect with Molly on Linkedin! You can also visit her blog www.heartofablonde.com
Some of you may have noticed our hot chocolate bar under the Bridge the week of Thanksgiving. This was our first major fundraising effort of the semester, and was a success as temperatures began to drop! A big thank you to any of you who may have contributed to our chapter by purchasing a cup of hot chocolate, and to the brave volunteers who manned the table in the cold! If anybody has suggestions for future fundraising efforts, we would love to hear from you! Just drop an email to any E-Board member, or let us know at a meeting.
Hello, friends! Our last gathering was more of a social get-together than a "meeting." Rather than having everybody file in, watch a guest speaker for an hour, and file out, we wanted to take some time to get to know each other. And what better way to break the ice than offering free pizza?
Each member of our executive board introduced themselves and shared some experiences and advice. We heard internship advice, resume tips, a few jokes, and several shameless plugs. Fellow PRSSA members had the opportunity to ask questions and seek advice - and we encourage everyone to continue using the E-Board as a resource. After all, chances are one of us has gone through what you're going through!
Also during this meeting, we had the opportunity to hear more about Maggie, Megan, Ellen, and Ali's experience at PRSSA National Conference in San Francisco, CA. Those ladies have posted a few tidbits from their time at National Conference on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter, and we encourage anybody who is interested in attending in the future to check it out!
On a related note, Regional Conference is being held at DePaul University (Chicago, IL) in February. Be sure to contact Maggie (email@example.com) with any questions, and stay tuned for more information at future meetings!
Our next meeting is Tuesday, November 27th at 7pm, in JH 303. Molly Rasmussen, a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota and a Milwaukee area public relations professional will be sharing her advice and experiences with us. Make sure to stop by, as we will be discussing what's to come in the future - including a chance to win a Starbucks gift card for good attendance! See you on the 27th!
Before attending National Conference I had no clue what to expect. As far as I knew there were going to be great speakers and I was going to one of my favorite cities - San Francisco.
Little did I know, I was about to smacked with a PR bonanza of information, a slew of ideas and an overall mind blowing experience.
I thought that only staying for two days of the conference would limit me from learning a lot - but boy was I wrong. I was able to attend conferences run by other PRSSA groups which gave me so many ideas as president on how to expand our chapter. I even went to a workshop specifically for PRSSA chapter presidents that was led by Kevin Saghy, the Chicago Cubs public relations and marketing specialist. I have so many new ideas for the Marquette PRSSA Chapter and could not be more excited to put them into play!
As some of the members and my fellow E-board members know, I am highly interested in having a career in the fashion industry. Lucky for me, there was a whole session dedicated to students like myself . The session was led by Charlie Graham, the founder of Shop it To Me, and Jennifer Patricia Brown, the strategic communications consultant from JP Squared. They covered a variety of things - from how to make consumers want your products to how to get noticed in the fashion industry. Check out some of my highlighted advice from the session below!
If you have any questions about Fashion PR, National Conference or PRSSA in general tweet or e-mail me!
Maggie Cooney, President
*This event was supported by MUSG Student Activities Fund*
On October 11, 2012, myself and three other Marquette University PRSSA members boarded a plane in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Our first stop was Las Vegas, Nevada, where we unfortunately had to sit through a three-hour flight delay due to a large storm (we learned later on that this storm was the largest Las Vegas had seen in over 30 years – lucky us, right?). However, we didn’t let the delay get our spirits down, as we were far too excited to be headed to San Francisco, California for the PRSSA 2012 National Conference: Bridging the Gap! My friends and I were incredibly excited to see what the conference had in store for us. We were determined to learn as much as we could from the large variety of sessions that were being offered, and we were thrilled at the opportunity we were being given to meet students from many different universities. Personally, I couldn’t wait to get to San Francisco! I was born and raised in New Jersey, and Milwaukee was the farthest west I had ever travelled. Needless to say, I was itching to get there as fast as possible!
As soon as we got to San Francisco around one a.m., the girls and I checked in to the hotel and went right to bed. The next morning, we took some time to sightsee because conference registration didn’t begin until noon. The conference kicked off at 1:45 p.m., and one of the first sessions I attended was: FIRMing Up: Working Your Way to Student-Run Firm Excellence. This workshop was run by students from a variety of universities who were involved in their school’s student-run public relations firm. I’d like to share some of the biggest take-aways that I got from this workshop.
1. Use student organizations and local non-profit businesses as clients. Tap into as many resources as you can. This may include professors, friends, alumni and your local PRSA chapter. All of these networks have many connections, so don’t be afraid to reach out to them.
2. Set goals for your firm at the beginning of each year. Be sure they are measurable, and check back on them every few months to ensure you stay on track.
3. Spread the word! Conduct some outreach to let others know that your firm is available.
4. Make your student-run firm available to students from all majors.
a. Running a firm takes a lot of work and team effort. It is important that your firm has staff members who are learned in a variety of disciplines. This will enable your firm to offer more services as well as have a more balanced and well-rounded staff.
5. It is important to form friendships and bonds within your firm.
a. Relationships are important, especially when working closely together. So go ahead, plan a social activity and enjoy yourselves!
This session taught me so much about student-run firms. I am very grateful to those students who served on the panel at this event and can’t thank them enough for the plethora of ideas they shared with the group. I am excited to implement some of these ideas to GoldinPR, Marquette’s student-run firm and am hopeful that we will become more successful as a result.
Co-Firm Director, GoldinPR
On a bit of a whim, I decided to attend the “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Hospitality and Restaurant PR But Were Afraid To Ask” session while at PRSSA National Conference last month.
I worked at a Cleveland-based ice cream company throughout high school and during the summer months of college, so I thought it might be an interesting presentation to attend. Interesting doesn’t even begin to describe how fantastic the Andrew Freeman & Co. (AF&Co.) led session was.
It started with “Party Rock Anthem” blasting from the loud speakers—not the typical beginning to national conference sessions. Next, agency director Andrew Freeman speaks at 100 miles per hour about who he is, why he loves the hospitality and restaurant industry and what his full-service agency is all about. Andrew’s marketing account manager Casey Barks and public relations account manager Monica Powers introduced themselves, talked about what they do and how they ended up working for AF&Co.
What was so great about this was that even though Andrew, Casey and Monica are at different stages of their careers, they all took different paths to get where they are and they all are incredibly passionate about public relations and the hospitality industry.
This passion was contagious throughout room. All the PRSSA members in the room were smiling as if they just ate a big bowl of Mac & Cheese and were inhaling information as if it was their last meal on earth.
What AF&Co. stressed to us was the notion “If you don’t evolve, you won’t survive.” Hotels and restaurants, just like public relations, are constantly changing. Whether it’s the new trend of toasted breads, the rise of boutique hotels or the newest social media platform, you have to adapt and run with it.
In order to evolve, AF&Co. suggested being results-driven. At the end of the day, hotels need “heads on beds,” and restaurants need “butts in seats.” All of your strategies should drive people to book reservations. Without customers, hotels and restaurants lose money. Think tactfully and outside the box.
Remembering that you are always working also helps a hospitality PR professional evolve. During the session, Casey said you constantly have to be thinking of your clients. Whether you are at a bar with friends, eating dinner with relatives or staying at a hotel for a weekend, pick up tips to bring back to clients. Casey also shared that if you are at a client’s place of business, you should talk about it on social media.
Final tips of the trade sounded like a cheer from high school. In this business, you have to be aggressive—be, be aggressive. Whether you are on the job hunt, pitching a new client or promoting a new restaurant, AF&Co. stressed the importance of boldness in the workplace. It will get you noticed and drive results.
Not all of us plan on going into the hospitality & restaurant industry, but AF&Co.’s session was insightful and applicable to any career in PR.
By Megan Stinn
*Our trip to PRSSA National Conference was supported by the MUSG Student Activities Fund.
On Tuesday October 9, Arlene McCrehan, senior director of online media at Goodwill, and Mary Henige, social media and digital communications director of General Motors, each spoke about their roles in their respective companies.
McCrehan described the benefits of using social media for nonprofit organizations, specifically through the lens of Goodwill. Social media can have a humanizing effect for an organization and helps bolster a healthy relationship with an audience. Additionally, she gave the advice to pick a job that will bring out your unique humanity because “everything we do is about living an epic story”.
Henige spoke about her history in public relations. She seems to have a simple success formula down to a tee. Her six tips are to be prepared, show up, get involved, work hard, keep learning, and help others. Henige discussed the importance of managing your own personal brand, especially through social media. What you post on an online profile can make or break a person. Similar to Goodwill, GM uses social media as a relationship building tool. Henige left the PRSSA members with this:“Be the best professional you can be”. Simple as that!
Please join PRSSA for the next meeting on October 23, where John Steinmiller will speak about his role as vice president of business operations at Milwaukee Brewers!
For more information on McCrehan and Goodwill, visit http://www.goodwill.org/. For information on Henige and General Motors, go to http://www.gm.com/.