A Memorable Meeting to End the Semester

On Tuesday, November 27, we had our last PRSSA meeting of the Fall 2018 semester. Although it feels like this semester flew by, the meetings we had were filled with exceptional speakers and helpful information.

We finished off our last meeting with an appearance from our three incredible professional advisors. Not every PRSSA chapter has a professional advisor, but ours is lucky enough to have three- Sandra Longcrier, Alyson Moses and Jennifer Dennis-Smith.

These women have been very successful and have an impressive amount of experience working in the PR field. Sandra Longcrier owns Longcrier Communications, Alyson Moses works at Autodesk and Jennifer Dennis-Smith owns Spontaneous Pop.

 From left to right: Jennifer Dennis-Smith, Alyson Moses and Sandra Longcrier shared their advice about how to succeed in the PR field.

From left to right: Jennifer Dennis-Smith, Alyson Moses and Sandra Longcrier shared their advice about how to succeed in the PR field.

They gave us a brief history of how they each started their careers, where they have been, and what they have accomplished, while also giving advice throughout their presentation. A profound thing they all agreed on is how every work day within the world of PR is different, which makes the job interesting and exciting.

Here is some of the advice they shared:

  • “The ability to understand what or who you are working for is very important to me while working in the Public Relations field.” -Sandra Longcrier

  • “It is very important to see a task from beginning to end and to be a very responsible person and employee in the PR industry.” -Alyson Moses

  • “A sense of humor is a necessary trait while working in the Public Relations field.” -Jennifer Dennis-Smith

Hearing from our very own professional advisors was beneficial for our entire chapter. It was interesting to hear the opinions and insights from three different people about what working in the PR field is like.

Undoubtedly, we all learned something from these women that we will be able to apply in our future PR endeavors. We are thankful for our professional advisers and the wisdom they shared, and continue to share, with our chapter.

Our Diversity + Inclusion Committee Hosts Tango PR

This past Tuesday, we had the pleasure of hosting Brenda and Jorge Hernandez from Tango PR as a part of our first Diversity +Inclusion meeting. Tango PR is a public relations firm that caters to the Hispanic community of Oklahoma.

They handle their service bilingually in both Spanish and English. They boast of a clientele that ranges from OG&E to THUNDER. This small firm is truly doing everything it can to help their community and support growth within it as well.

 Brenda and Jorge explain their roles at Tango PR and the origin of their company.

Brenda and Jorge explain their roles at Tango PR and the origin of their company.

Tango PR also aids in creating community events for the Hispanic society. Their main goal is to create an environment where everyone from various countries can come together to bond through their culture and traditions. They want people who have left their houses in each of their respective countries to be able find a place that feels like home. Even for the people who don’t have families, these communities allow them to have a family and to find people that they can call their own.

There are two aspects of Tango PR that are incredibly unique to them. The first is that they tend to use numerous colors and images within their graphics. This works very well with the community that they cater to as well.

 OU PRSSA’s Diversity + Inclusion committee poses with Brenda and Jorge.

OU PRSSA’s Diversity + Inclusion committee poses with Brenda and Jorge.

The second is their name. When explaining how they settled on Tango PR, George narrated the story himself. He explained that he initially wanted to name the company Mambo PR, but it was already taken.

He was still firm on the idea that if they were going to cater to a Hispanic audience, then the name needed to be something that related to their culture. Then, they came across “tango”. George mentioned that he fell in love with the idea immediately. In his mind, “tango” was something that intimately connected two people passionately and also related to their proud Latin culture.

Thus, Tango PR was born! The main takeaway from Tango PR is their story. They sprouted from a humble beginning, worked immensely hard and had good intentions that grew to success.

One piece of advice that they left us with was a three-step process. It consisted of having great ideas, working hard to develop those ideas and then ensuring that results are gained from those initial ideas. Tango PR is truly a testament to giving back to your community and being proud of your culture and representing it with all your heart.

We are so thankful to Brenda and George for taking the time out of their busy day to come and speak to our OU PRSSA chapter, and we can’t wait for our next guest speakers.

Anglin PR's Lori Johnson Shares her Not-so-Fishy Words of Wisdom

Our guest speaker for our meeting on October 9 was Lori Johnson from Anglin Public Relations. She is a senior account executive and has been working with Anglin for 7 years. Johnson graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. She also received her Master’s in Strategic Communications.

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Anglin PR is a full-service PR agency that works with people with big ideas. Anglin is located in Oklahoma City where they provide many different services such as PR counseling, social media, media relations, grassroots PR, materials production and market research. One of the big things that Johnson does for Anglin PR is create media pitches.

Johnson’s presentation covered the rights and wrongs of media pitches and gave tips on creating and drafting the perfect pitch. One piece of advice that she gave our members was to add visuals to pitches. This is “essential to catching the eye of reporters” and helps them better understand the newsworthy piece.

Johnson stated that there are four important pieces to a “Perfect Pitch”:

1. It has to be Newsworthy

2. The pitch must be customized

3. The pitch must be concise and straight to the point

4. It has to be visually interesting

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We had another guest speaker, John Schmeltzer, accompany Lori Johnson in her presentation. Schmeltzer is our very own Journalism professor, and he gave us the journalist insight on some of the media pitches that Johnson discussed during her presentation.

Schmeltzer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who held numerous positions during his 35-year career at the Chicago Tribune, from political writer to assistant business editor. At the end of Johnson’s presentation, both Johnson and Schmeltzer analyzed media pitches to help our members understand the correct way to draft media pitches.

Hearing from both a PR professional and a professional Journalist was an amazing experience for our chapter! As our chapter learned more about media pitching, we will remember that at the end of the day, it is important to be human when giving a pitch.


Our Meeting with OU Alum Jared Deimund

Our guest speaker at Tuesday’s meeting was Jared Deimund, an Account Executive specializing in Public and Political Affairs from Saxum in Oklahoma City. Deimund graduated from our very own Gaylord College in 2016 with a public relations degree, so we were so excited to hear about the work he has done.

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Diemund’s three main clients at Saxum are the Oklahoma Beer Alliance, Oklahoma’s For Criminal Justice Reform and the Oklahoma Lottery. His main focuses at the meeting Tuesday were how to choose between a small and large agency and the transition from college to the business world. He gave us these 5 tips to think about when trying to decide where you want to work:

1. Location- Where do you want to be?

2. What kind of culture do you crave?

3. Who are you going to be working with or for?

4. What kind of work do you want to do? In five years? In ten years?

5. Do I see this agency as a place I want to be for a while or simply as a stepping stone?

Along with this advice, Diemund also spoke about his experience transitioning from college to the business world and gave these 5 tips:

1. Relax. You’re not expected to be the CEO already.

2. First three months are vital

3. Be excited to learn.

4. Work is work.

5. Have fun.

So, whether you are transitioning into the business world, college or somewhere in between, Diemund’s advice is very helpful and, as always, it is good to hear from another successful Gaylord graduate.

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Lee Reynolds: Sticking to Her Roots

At our meeting on Tuesday, we had the opportunity to hear from Lee Reynolds, the Director of Development at our beloved Gaylord College. Many of us were surprised and excited to hear that she graduated from OU with a PR degree! 

Lee gave us a brief history of her time thus far within the PR field. After graduating from OU, she lived in three different states before returning to her roots: Norman, OK.

She recommended five lessons that we should implement in all of our PR endeavors: 

  1. Importance of storytelling
  2. Every interaction is a networking opportunity
  3. You can never over-prepare
  4. Personal touches can be a game changer
  5. Utilize every resource available
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In addition to informing us of these helpful tips, she also gave us interview advice by suggesting we position interviews as conversations. We're trying to learn as much about them as they are about us! 

In honor of Lee's two favorite words, we say "thank you" to everyone who came to the meeting and heard the wise words of Pritch, Dean Ed Kelley and Lee!

And remember: "It's not the grades you make; it's the hands you shake." -Lee Reynolds