OU PRSSA Takes on Downtown Dallas

This past weekend, I joined other OU PRSSA students on the Dallas trip. We met with several agencies in downtown Dallas to tour and get our foot in the door with companies that many of us hope to work for in the future. From learning about how to polish a resume to meeting and talking directly to employees, we spent our Friday visiting SPM, Ketchum, Fleishman Hillard and the Richards Group.

 OU PRSSA Members pose at SPM.

OU PRSSA Members pose at SPM.

SPM

SPM is ranked as the 5th Independent Public Relations Firm in Texas. We met with this agency first and learned what they look for in personal interviews, resume tips and an overall idea of what they do as an agency.

First, we took a tour of their office. It was very modern- every office space in the building had a white desk, and the walls were painted in bright colors. Each employee had a personal desk placed in smaller office rooms aligning the building. In the middle of the building was a big conference room, where we eventually all sat down to watch a slideshow presentation put on by each employee in the office.

The employees spoke about their roles within the company and the names of their clients, including Mimi’s, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Cici’s Pizza. Two of the employees are former OU graduates, and one of the interns graduated from OU in 2017. The intern, Shelby, was the secretary of PRSSA when she was a senior at OU. One unique thing I noticed about this company is that it is very dog friendly. Everyone is allowed to bring their dogs to work, so there were several dogs hanging out around us. Overall, I left with these tips below…

In-Person Interviews

  • Bring in personal resume

  • Research interview questions before

  • Prepare at least 3 questions

  • Look professional (women: have your nails done)

  • Be responsive

Resume Tips

  • No more than 1 page

  • Be descriptive about what you have done (sent press release to [list specific company])

  • Find a mentor to read over your resume before you turn it in

  • Send a great email with an attached resume

  • Cover letters are not too big of a deal

Ketchum

The next agency we visited was Ketchum. This agency is 95 years old and is part of Omnicom. They have teams and resources in over 70 offices around the world. We met in their conference room with two Senior Account Executives, the retail sector, the head of Influencer Relations and three new employees that had just finished the summer fellows internship program.

 OU PRSSA Members pose at Ketchum.

OU PRSSA Members pose at Ketchum.

The employees discussed their roles at the agency and told us which clients they worked with directly. The retail sector employee, Jamey Peters, welcomed us with the history of the company. Sr. Account Executive Amy Baker discussed the work she had done with Wendy’s, including a Wendy’s Twitter campaign that targeted millennials and eventually appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show.

Amy achieved this with the help of Carter Wilkerson, who made Twitter history on his post about Wendy’s. With 18 million retweets, Carter Wilkerson surpassed Ellen DeGeneres’ Guinness World Record of retweets.

Gabby Caballero, the influencer relations at Ketchum, spoke to us about her role at this agency. She personally works with the client Orange Theory, where she connects with bloggers who she hopes will post positive things about Orange Theory. Another Senior Account Executive, Madilene Lake, discussed issues and crisis management that she works on with the company Exxonmobil.

Finally, the three new employees spoke to us about the Summer Fellows Internship Program. Their biggest advice to us was to begin building connections. Below are the notes I jotted down about the Summer Fellows Program…

Summer Fellows Program

Fleishman Hillard

The next agency we visited was Fleishman Hillard. This agency is located on the 34th floor of a building in downtown. They greeted us with fresh warm cookies when we arrived, and there was a full kitchen in the conference room that was available for the employees to use on a regular basis. One of the employees told me how many of them joke about getting the “Fleishman Hillard 15” in relation to the “freshman 15”, as they have people constantly making sweets in the kitchen.

 OU PRSSA Spring President Demery Pennington presents at Fleishman Hillard in collaboration with one of the agency’s employees.

OU PRSSA Spring President Demery Pennington presents at Fleishman Hillard in collaboration with one of the agency’s employees.

Overall, the employees were diverse yet shared the same value of providing quality work to their clients. We had several employees discuss work they have completed with clients such as Longhorn Steakhouse, Lowe’s and Google. Below are a few facts the employees shared with us...

Facts

  • 92% of consumers are likely to trust peers over advertising

  • The people are who consumers look at for inspiration or advice

  • You can’t force an influencer to say something positive; therefore, building strong relationships is important

  • When writing a press release, use the strategy of “and, but, therefore” to get your point across clearly

Two employees spoke to us about what an average day looked like as a Fleishman Hillard employee:

Day in the Life of Fleishman Hillard Employees

  1. Reading and replying to many emails

  2. Spreadsheets

  3. Stalking companies to make a scoring process

  4. Building product sheets

  5. Creating and producing case studies based on research

The Richards Group

Lastly, we visited The Richards Group, a branding agency that endears brands to people. This agency is located in a beautiful building over Central Expressway. It was designed by the CEO with special intentions behind each piece of the building. Two job recruiters gave us a tour of the agency and pointed out each design that the CEO created. Listed below are some of the designs I wrote down…

Building Designs

  • Each room is named after one of the longest working employees currently in the office (honoring them for their committed years spent with the company)

  • The printers are located by the kitchen so people could multitask

  • The elevators are located on the outside of the building, so there is a 360-degree view of the Dallas skyline on every floor

  • No offices are closed off because the CEO believes in an open-door policy

  • The top floor of the building is a workout facility, spin studio, yoga studio, juice bar and nap room, because the CEO is passionate about health

This agency is composed of 750 employees that work amongst themselves, so everyone is valued in the agency, and they don’t have corporate titles. Some of their major clients are Fruit of the Loom, Home Depot and Zales. After the tour, we met with three new employees that gave us advice for getting a job at an agency like the Richards Group. Below are the notes I took…

Tips to Get a Job At The Richards Group

 OU PRSSA members pose at The Richards Group.

OU PRSSA members pose at The Richards Group.

  • Attend networking events at your school

  • Take an accounting class; you use these skills often

  • Build a LinkedIn profile and use a professional picture

  • Make a website for yourself

  • Learn about different companies

  • Use a traditional resume when you apply for the job


This trip was a great experience, and we learned a lot about the different agencies. As we left, we were all astonished by the amount of things we learned in one day. It was truly an enlightening experience, and I encourage more OU students to get involved with OU PRSSA, because it gives you opportunities to learn more about companies and network with them, further preparing you for a future career in PR.

-Elizabeth Clarke

PRSA-OKC Career Day Mingle Event

 From left to right: Haley Carson (Historian), Chelsea Journee (President), Alyssa Danley (Digital Coordinator), Jensen Armstrong (Treasurer), Pritch Pritchard (pro adviser & PRSA board member), Emory Hood (PRSSA member).

From left to right: Haley Carson (Historian), Chelsea Journee (President), Alyssa Danley (Digital Coordinator), Jensen Armstrong (Treasurer), Pritch Pritchard (pro adviser & PRSA board member), Emory Hood (PRSSA member).

On Wednesday, November 14, PRSA-OKC held an event for PR professionals and students at Remington Park in Oklahoma City. It was a night filled with networking, eating, playing bingo and winning raffle prizes.

Four of our exec members and one PRSSA member attended the event. Our professional adviser Pritch Pritchard was also present, as he serves on the board for PRSA.

The room was lively and brimming with conversation from the moment the event began to the end. An unexpected horse race occurred during the event, which made the night even more exciting.

 Some of our exec and PRSSA members attended the PRSA-OKC Career Day event held at Remington Park.

Some of our exec and PRSSA members attended the PRSA-OKC Career Day event held at Remington Park.

There were representatives from Gooden Group, Koch Communications, Smirk New Media, VI Marketing and Branding, e-ventures, OG&E, Candor PR, Saxum Communications, Visit OKC, and more. Students had the opportunity to share their resumes, chat with PR professionals, exchange business cards and learn more about the local PR industry as a whole.

The Jingle Mingle is the next PRSA-OKC networking event on December 6. This event will feature a cash bar, food, Santa pictures, raffles and prizes, and will serve as another opportunity for students and members of the PR community to connect with local PR professionals. All of the proceeds will benefit the Dream Fund, a charity that has helped PRSA colleagues in Oklahoma.

We are looking forward to this upcoming event and encourage our members and other Gaylord students to attend!

In the wise words of our adviser Professor Pritch: “If you don’t leave without at least three business cards in hand, you aren’t networking enough.”



On your marks... get set... GO! : Speed Networking Fall 2018

 Students and representatives communicate about the PR industry and what to expect after graduation  (OU PRSSA, 2018).

Students and representatives communicate about the PR industry and what to expect after graduation (OU PRSSA, 2018).

On Tuesday, November 6, we held our annual Speed Networking event in the Gaylord Library. There were several representatives from local companies who chatted with various OU PRSSA members and Gaylord students.

We were honored to have representatives from OKC Dodgers, Oklahoma Blood Institute, Brides of Oklahoma, StellaNova and Candor PR, as well as Micayla Payne, a recent graduate from Gaylord College who currently works in the entertainment PR industry.

Students had the opportunity to speak with each representative in a group setting for 15 minutes. They rotated from table to table in order to connect with each representative and share their resumes.

Topics of conversation included information about each company that was present, tips and tricks to make it in the PR industry, what to expect after graduation and other valuable insight from experienced individuals who have worked in the PR industry.

 Back row (from L to R): Lauren Snodgrass & Jennifer Mathis (Brides of Oklahoma), Larisha Hunter (Candor PR), Alex Freedman (OKC Dodgers), Micayla Payne (Chesapeake, BOK), Lacy Young (StellaNova), Heather Browne (OBI)  Front row (from L to R): Lisa Johnson (OKC Dodgers), Lauren Gensheimer (Programming Chair), Programming Committee: Caroline Baker, Amanda Huse, Madi Quine, Jarrett Sipes, Naomi Walker

Back row (from L to R): Lauren Snodgrass & Jennifer Mathis (Brides of Oklahoma), Larisha Hunter (Candor PR), Alex Freedman (OKC Dodgers), Micayla Payne (Chesapeake, BOK), Lacy Young (StellaNova), Heather Browne (OBI)

Front row (from L to R): Lisa Johnson (OKC Dodgers), Lauren Gensheimer (Programming Chair), Programming Committee: Caroline Baker, Amanda Huse, Madi Quine, Jarrett Sipes, Naomi Walker

Not only did the students enjoy the experience, but Jennifer Mathis from Brides of Oklahoma said that it was one of the best networking events she has been to, and Larisha Hunter from Candor PR asked us to send her pictures from the event. We were pleased to see all representatives and students engaged for the entire two hours, and our executive members even participated in the fun.

Our fall Programming Chair Lauren Gensheimer was in charge of planning and organizing the event, and her Programming Committee worked tirelessly to help make it the best Speed Networking event we have had up to date.

We know how important networking is in the field of PR, so we hope that every student made meaningful connections with each representative so that potential future opportunities can unfold.

We would like to thank all representatives, students and PRSSA members that attended, Chick-fil-A for catering, and Lauren and her committee for putting their plans into action. We look forward to next year’s Speed Networking event and the many to follow.





5 Reasons to Attend Top Jobs this Year

 Check out this amazing and colorful poster our friends in Lindsey + Asp designed!

Check out this amazing and colorful poster our friends in Lindsey + Asp designed!

By Meg Bradley, PR Chair

Top Jobs is this weekend! So get excited because this time next week you could have a internship or job lined up if you play your cards right. 

If you are still unsure about attending Top Jobs this year here are 5 reasons to register today. 

1. Endless networking opportunities

First of all, attending Top Jobs regardless if you are a freshman or a senior, gives you a competitive advantage over other students who did not attend. Lindsey + Asp brings in representatives from top public relations, advertising, media and digital agencies from across the nation to meet with you! You can sign up for one-on-one interviews and attend break-out sessions with employers you are interested in. Even if you aren't currently seeking a job or internship you will have the chance to build your professional network and hopefully make a meaningful connection that could open more opportunities for you in the future. 

2. Polish your interviewing skills

You will have numerous opportunities to practice and perfect your interviewing skills at Top Jobs. Whether you schedule one-on-one interviews with representatives or ask questions at informational break-out session you will be polishing your communication skills that will be key to landing your dream job. 

3. Build your professional portfolio

Having a well-rounded and professional portfolio (whether digital or physical) is an asset in the media industry. A portfolio will help set you apart from the competition when you are applying for internships or jobs. Top Jobs gives you a platform to showcase your portfolio to representatives. So get those creative juices flowing and design a amazing portfolio that reflects your personal brand. 

4. Learn more about industry trends and companies

With a diversity of employers attending Top Jobs this year you are sure to have options. There are 20+ agencies attending. Take the opportunity to explore different sectors of the media industry and maybe you will find your perfect fit. 

5. And finally fingers crossed you will make a connection and land your dream internship or job

 gif source: giphy.com/suits 

gif source: giphy.com/suits 

Go register for Top Jobs today. It will be well worth the investment. 

Here is the registration link if you are interested: (you will need to copy and paste the link, sorry)

https://market.ou.edu/C20233_ustores/web/store_main.jsp?STOREID=164&SINGLESTORE=true