With a new school year comes a new group of PRSSA leaders. Click on their links under the Cabinet tab to learn more about them!
Being a student at the University of Oklahoma definitely has perks. Not only is it a premier university, it is also home to the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, one of the nation’s leading journalism colleges. As a public relations major, I am part of the terrific Gaylord College. I am also minoring in enterprise studies within the College of Arts and Sciences. My major and minor require me to take public relations, advertising and marketing classes. Some people may argue these three sectors are identical; however, through experience, I’ve come to find how different they truly are. My Tuesdays and Thursdays consist of three back-to-back-to-back classes: Introduction to Advertising, Introduction to Public Relations and Introduction to Marketing. Although each class goes hand-in-hand, the three courses could not be more different. Already I have learned to distinguish them, a valuable skill as a future PR practitioner. Here are my definitions, based on what I have learned in my classes thus far:
Public Relations: Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. (This is the official definition of public relations as outlined by PRSA. Learn more here: http://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/PublicRelationsDefined )
Advertising is a means of persuading a target audience using mostly paid media such as television, radio, Internet and print publications.
Marketing successfully develops, communicates, sells and delivers products and services based on research and planning a budget to promote a product (marketing also includes using both advertising and public relations for promotion).
Next semester, I will join OU PRSSA for its annual NYC Agency Trip. I will blog about the many things I will learn during this journey as well as describe my day-in-the-life experience as an adaptable student. I am very excited to be on board with OU PRSSA and blog about all my adventures this year!
Hi, my name is Dea Pennington and I am a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma. When I began college, I knew public relations was the right major for me. Ever since then, my passion has grown. I joined PRSSA this year in hopes of networking and learning even more about my major. I am currently involved in my social sorority as well as countless other organizations from Campus Activities Council to Camp Crimson, as a counselor. I plan on blogging about current events, topics I learn in my classes and our very own PRSSA New York City agency trip in the spring, which I have been blessed to aid in planning. I am very excited to blog about topics I love and I hope y’all enjoy!
We’ve all been there: going home for the holidays and your family members ask, ‘have you decided on a major yet?’ ‘When are you graduating?’ Maybe you’ve switched careers, transferred from a different college, or moved to a school in a new city. Having that pressure is one thing, but not knowing how to choose a profession or understanding how to get involved in it while in college can hurt you when you graduate and try to join to workforce. The good news is you’re not alone, and you CAN get a head start on important skills.
Student organizations are networks of students who come together to improve themselves personally or professionally. On-campus organizations provide members with a support system that aides in gathering and sharing ideas, taking initiatives and acting with purpose outside of the classroom.
More often than not, we focus on those who are already involved. Today, I’m taking the time to talk to those of you who aren’t yet involved with PRSSA and other great professional development organizations on campus. If you’re not sure whether on-campus organizations are for you, here are five reasons why you should consider joining one.
The obvious plus of joining a professional organization is to network. Groups with large memberships, like PRSSA, can provide more opportunities and diverse ways to grow for your future career. Whether it helps you pick the best classes, score an interview, or introduce you to friends and mentors, networking is pivotal at any stage in your career as a student. For instance, PRSSA holds workshops, shadow days, and other events around campus to provide you with skill building and career advancement. This helps to make networking a constant part of your routine instead of something to do when you’re just looking for a new job.
Knowing that someone has your back is always comforting. Imagine an entire professional organization standing behind you. Whether it’s through mentors, committees or “plain old conversations” with students like you, there’s always someone who can offer advice and feedback on your ideas, thoughts and plans based on their own experiences. PRSSA has mentoring programs that pair new students with experienced ones. This is a great way to establish a strong support system. In fact, you can download the application at the “mentorship” link in the tabs at the top of this page!
3. The Benefits
Like any group, membership has its privileges. Many organizations coordinate annual and bi-annual conferences, sponsor workshops, speakers, training sessions, and even forums. There are also the educational and professional development opportunities that are accessible exclusively to members who meet the requirements (volunteer requirements or dues).
4. Influence Your Organization
If you join an organization, you can be instrumental in improving the team by becoming an officer, joining a committee or just being a vocal participant. You’ll learn how valuable your experience and time really is once you get the opportunity to share it with others. Thanks to the time I devote to OU PRSSA, I’m gaining experience blogging!
Although I feel like a freshman learning the Sooner traditions, I am junior transfer student from Tulsa majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Spanish. I joined PRSSA at OU this semester excited to acquire new relationships and creative ideas. I plan to implement my skills in social media and social justice messaging as a first time blogger. I will be blogging about my work in the DREAM Act, internships, social media how-to’s and more.
It’s not often an OU college student is able to spend a week in Los Angeles meeting some of the most knowledgeable women in the field of Public and Media Relations. But, this past summer, my family members in California gave me that such opportunity.
At the Sundance Institute, I met Elizabeth Greenway, the Director of Foundation & Government Giving and Sarah Eaton, Director of Media Relations. When visiting with Sarah, she explained her journey from job to job. For over a decade, Eaton was Senior Vice President of Communications for Sundance Channel. Later, she left Sundance to be a freelance public relations consultant. After a short amount of time, she returned to the Sundance Institute to her current position. Although she enjoyed trying something different, she said she wanted to “get back to indie art,” and again use her planning and team management skills. By not being intimidated to go out on her own, she enhanced both her resume and life experience in the field of Media Relations.
For a person hoping to have a career in marketing, Eaton has the following advice: develop personal interests, hone your writing skills and keep up with digital trends. Social media plays a huge role in marketing, and keeping up with digital trends is important. As far as classes go, Eaton recommends taking some extra journalism courses because strong writing is a necessity. Taking advice from someone of Sarah’s experience is a good way to get a head start on being successful in your own career.
I am a sophomore from Muskogee, Oklahoma who delights in the power of language. I am new to public relations but chose it as my major because I enjoy writing and event planning. PRSSA is a great way to network and learn more about the career possibilities within PR. I will be blogging about my connections to some of Los Angeles’ coolest women in communications. Lastly, I believe that some things in life are too sweet not to be shared!
Connections—those elusive things you get when you have charisma, talent and a fair amount of spare time for networking. In our classes, professors seem intent on hammering in the fact good internships and job opportunities come from good connections. Until this summer, this concept was completely terrifying for me. The average day for me is a non-stop sprint starting at seven when my alarm goes off until I collapse in bed at the end of the day; I don’t have a ton of time to network.
At least, that’s what I told myself. This summer, I interned at a local winery—Stone Bluff Cellars in Haskell, Oklahoma. It was five minutes away from my house. I could literally roll out of bed thirty minutes before work and still get there in time. The dress code was casual and the work was intense but rewarding. I learned new marketing software and a lot about customer relations. Sounds great, right?
I got the internship because of one factor: connections. As it happens, I know the Director of Marketing and Hospitality. Want to guess how I know her? No, it wasn’t at an event or through a professor. I know her because she’s my mother.
When we think about making connections, we tend to forget about the ones we already have in place. It’s sometimes easy to get caught up in the “I’ve got to make more new contacts!” mentality. Sometimes the people we already know are enough to get the ball rolling.
“But my parents aren’t in PR/advertising/something-interesting-or-useful!” you might be saying. Ah, but I’m not just talking about parents. Almost all of us know someone who works in a field relevant in some way to our interests or major. Whether it’s an aunt who works for your city’s Chamber of Commerce or a family friend who volunteers regularly at a non-profit, you probably know someone who can help you find what you need.
These people—people you already know and interact with regularly—can be invaluable. There’s a lot you can learn from them and they’re a resource you shouldn’t underestimate.
I’m a junior with a passion for writing and a tendency to overcommit. (Partly because I’m easily bribed with vintage clothes, combat boots or tea.) This is my first year as a member of PRSSA, but I’m looking forward to being part of a great organization. As part of my involvement, I’ll be writing about internships, studying abroad and my other experiences as a PR major.
Welcome, PRSSA’ers, professors and practitioners alike!
OU PRSSA has started the 2012-2013 school year off with a bang by garnering a 100+ membership, representing the University of Oklahoma at PRSA OKC’s annual Shadow Day, and experiencing the largest level of club participation by members the chapter has seen in recent history.
Stepping out. Continuing this theme of “bigger and better than ever”, OU PRSSA is proud to announce that it is expanding its online resources by launching TEAM BLOG, a group of motivated young professionals in the organization who will regularly blog about their professional and academic experiences on this website.
Education through example. Our hope is that you will take advantage of this resource- firsthand accounts of internships, jobs and even classes at OU- and use it to expand your knowledge of the many roles and areas of public relations, as well as the importance of the education you receive in the classroom.
Supplementing the experience. If, in the course of the semester you spot a blog that interests you, feel free to tweet or post about it on OU PRSSA’s social media outlets. You might just spark a great discussion, engage other members, and get a question or two answered! As always, remember to attend the regular meetings, which feature diverse professionals from all over the country. This semester’s meeting schedule, as well as other important dates to remember, are posted under the “schedule” tab above.
More to come. Stay tuned for introductions of the 2012-2013 TEAM BLOG members!