PR and Politics with Kristin Morgan

Kristin Morgan    Account Lead at Sagac Public Affairs

Kristin Morgan

Account Lead at Sagac Public Affairs

OU PRSSA kicked of it’s first meeting of the school year this past Tuesday, August 27th, 2019, with guest speaker and Account Lead from Sagac Public Affairs, Kristin Morgan!

The chapter was happy to welcome back OU alum, Kristin Morgan back to Gaylord for the first time since her graduation, in 2015. Since leaving OU, the alum is now an accomplished Account Lead for Sagac Public Affairs, a public relations firm based in OKC. Sagac is known for their work with PAC (Political Action Committee) funding, helping 160 clients raise over $30 million in the 2017-2018 election cycle. Kristin, being responsible for 15 of these clients personally, says she gets to go to Washington D.C. each month to help with tasks like fundraising!

During these D.C. visits she works with clients like, the American Dental Association. For their 50th anniversary, Kristin was able to create lapel pins, for those who donate over $5000 to the organization and has also designed posters for their large events.

Kristin says that she attributes the connection of public relations to politics with this simple equation:

Awareness + brand/rep + influence

  1. Awareness of things like the PAC (Political Action Committee)

  2. Having a brand or representative that is trying to gain support/donations

  3. Gaining influence through events such as the Democratic debates

Her career in politics was first influenced by her dad who works as a Political Consultant. She knew that she wanted to pursue this career through her passion for making relationships and storytelling.

Image.png

After graduating from OU she moved back to her hometown of Kansas City, driving back to Oklahoma City once a week for 13 weeks until she landed her position at Sagac Public Affairs, where she works today.

Kristin gave the chapter some tips on what she had wished she had done while she was still in college:

  • Enjoy the summer after graduation because you don’t get breaks like this again in the working world

    • Kristin suggests taking a road trip by yourself!

  • Take more design and social media classes

    • It will pay off if you can help out your graphic designer

  • LEARN HOW TO USE EXCEL!

    • It cold help you turn an all nighter into a quick 10 minute project!

After a few years in the world of political public relations, Kristin says she’s learned a few things along the way and was kind enough to heed this advice to future members of the professional world:

  1. Critique yourself like you do others

    • Often times we are very harsh on others but we need to learn to “be judgemental internally” in order to produce an excellent level of work and become empathetic to others

  2. Say it in fewer words

    • “CEO’s don’t have time to read ten pages!” Kristin says that it’s important to be cognizant of your wording because we’re all busy people so it’s better to get right to the point, especially in emails too!

  3. Be thoughtful rather than an “overachiever”

    • Sometimes we think it’s best to turn things in earlier, rather than later, Kristin argues against this and says that clients “care more about good products” than having the bare minimum done in a short amount of time.

  4. Resumes must be PERFECT

    • “If you can’t do your resume in a perfect way, then I don’t want to even see it.” Take time to perfect your resume and fine tune all the little details before you apply to any job or internship!

Kristin was kind enough to offer to look over resumes for those seeking help! If you are interested in getting resume tips, internship information, or learning more about Kristin’s career in political public relations, please email her at:

kristin@sagac.com



PRSSA Alumni Feature: Micayla Payne

Public relations is a diverse profession where you have the opportunity to work in any industry you desire. The skills PR professionals are expected to have are endless - social media marketing, professional writing, media relations, rebranding - to name a few. The expectations are high but, if done right, public relations can help bridge the gap between different audiences and brands around the world, to establish and foster relationships. So, the OU PRSSA Chapter set out to interview former PRSSA members to learn about the different paths they took to arrive at their career today. We’ll explore diverse skills PR professionals possess, their responsibilities and the different industries our alumni are working in.

Everyone loves someone who is available.
— Micayla Payne, former PRSSA member

As a first-generation college graduate in her family, Micayla knew OU was her “end goal” before she set out on her college journey. Now, she is the marketing director of a 30,000 square foot music and event venue in downtown Oklahoma City called “The Criterion.” She interned at The Criterion for more than a year before she decided to pitch her services to the owner. In January, while still attending OU, she became the active social media manager and marketing coordinator for the venue.

Payne’s responsibilities include:

* Creating and cultivating various awareness campaigns on social media for upcoming shows and events

* Monitoring social media channels

* External communication (press releases, media kits and client pitches)

* Organizing show promotions and giveaways

* Audience research

* Radio and media buying

Some advice on dealing with the real world?

“Everyone loves someone who is available” because people are “more inclined to work with you if you respond quickly, are informative, and are a hard driven worker with options and answers,” Payne said. Along with availability, she says that learning to accept “no” as an answer, then taking that experience to form a new angle to pitch is so important.

“I don’t think I was prepared for how many times I would be told ‘no’… But that’s not always the case; “no” sometimes means finding a way that turns a ‘no’ into a ‘yes.’ Moral of the story: Don’t Give Up!!
— Micayla Payne

Author: Brianna Rhodes

PRSSA Hosts Saxum

PRSSA kicked off its first meeting this Tuesday, January 29th! We had the privilege of having OU Alum and Saxum account Executive, Madison Malget speak to our chapter.

Madison talks with Dean Kelley and professor robert pritchard.

Madison talks with Dean Kelley and professor robert pritchard.

Madison has just started her journey in the world of public relations and yet, she’s already accomplishing so much. She considers herself to be “one of the lucky ones,” but her work speaks for itself as she recently got promoted to account executive at the Saxum’s OKC office.

Through involvement in the Gaylord community, Madison was given the opportunity to find internships working at Ground Zero, LDWW Group and TSET through events like Top Jobs. She encourages students who are looking for internships to use LinkedIn as a tool to get to know people before and after a networking event. She said how important it was for employers to be able to “put a face to the name”. She was also involved with PRSSA and Lindsey + Asp.

Madison’s time at OU taught her many valuable lessons that she still follows today in her current position. She emphasizes the importance of networking and says that “you’re never too young to start.” She also tells students that it’s important to stand up straight and “exude confidence.”

Many people are unfamiliar with the specific tasks of what someone in account service for an agency like Saxum does. Madison explains that in simple terms, account service manages relationships with the media, stakeholders and vendors. Other tasks include supporting your team with day to day activities, being the face of the agency for the client and advocating between client and creative team.

Along with fulfilling duties for your positive, like account service, Madison has suggestions that can be applied to any job or position beyond the field of PR. She recommends that you do anything you can to “make your boss’s life easier” including being excited to learn, help and being good at time management.

Blog written by Sienna Severns, PRSSA Social Media Committee

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.

An Open Letter from OU PRSSA

To the OU family -

The statue by Tom Otterness sits outside of Gaylord College. ( OU Daily, 2018 )

The statue by Tom Otterness sits outside of Gaylord College. (OU Daily, 2018)

We, members of the Stewart Harrel Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America in Gaylord College at the University of Oklahoma, wish to register our disapproval of the installation of Tom Otterness’ ‘Covered Wagon’ statue, a donation by William Obering, located on the front lawn of Gaylord College. As young public relations professionals, we are taught that transparency is critical to an organization’s reputation and are particularly concerned about the lack of transparency which preceded the installment of the statue, as well as what we have come to learn about the artist’s past.

As one of the nation’s top journalism and mass communications programs, we are very proud of our public image and the successful recruitment efforts which have contributed to our success. We believe the statue and its placement outside Gaylord Hall will negatively impact the image of our college, our recruiting efforts and potential donor and alumni support. Most of all, we want to express our solidarity with members of the OU community who feel disrespected by the statue’s reference to Oklahoma’s colonialist past, as well as the artist’s mistreatment of animals.

Art is a wonderful way to enhance the beauty of our campus. We also know that beauty often lies in the eye of the beholder. However, we are confident that this statue has not and will not be viewed in a positive light nor will it enhance our campus community.

Sincerely,

The Public Relations Student Society of America

Steward Harrel Chapter at the University of Oklahoma

CO-SPONSORS:

Gaylord Ambassadors

Lindsey + Asp Agency

National Association of Black Journalists, OU Chapter

National Association of Hispanic Journalists, OU Chapter

Society of Professional Journalists, OU Chapter

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.





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.

DSC_0421.JPG

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

DSC_0430.JPG

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.


OU PRSSA Takes on National Conference

On Thursday, October 4, Jensen Armstrong and I traveled to Austin, TX to represent our Chapter at National Conference. National Conference is a yearly event, which is held in a new city every year; last year National Conference was held in Boston, MA.

(Jason Mollica speaking at PRSSA National Conference)

(Jason Mollica speaking at PRSSA National Conference)

The weekend is packed with networking, agency tours, resume critiques, career and Chapter development sessions and award ceremonies. Students who attend National Conference are also highly encouraged to attend PRSA’s International Conference, which is happening at the same time in the same city.

On Saturday, October 6, I attended a personal development session called, “Personal Branding, Digital Analytics and Your Future Success.” Jason Mollica, a professor from American University, led the session. Mollica stressed the importance of how developing your own personal brand never stops, even when you are out in the professional world.  

Mollica stated that as PR professionals, we should always be defining and redefining our brand because even after graduation, you should always be a student who is eager and willing to learn new information. Because of this, your brand should constantly be evolving.

(From Left to Right: University of Nevada Chapter President Daniel Long, SUNY Plattsburg New York Chapter President Haily Dang, University of Oklahoma Chapter President Chelsea Journee, University of Central Oklahoma President Marc Estuche)

(From Left to Right: University of Nevada Chapter President Daniel Long, SUNY Plattsburg New York Chapter President Haily Dang, University of Oklahoma Chapter President Chelsea Journee, University of Central Oklahoma President Marc Estuche)

Sometimes, we forget to think about our own brand because we are constantly thinking about our clients’ brands. It is important to care about your brand and be proud of who you are. Don’t be afraid of being passionate about something; use your passions to brand yourself.  

Mollica also talked about analyzing your brand. I personally think that is a step that most people forget about because as PR professionals, we are constantly monitoring our clients’ brands on social media and seeing the sentiment of mentions, comments, etc. It is important to take the time to audit yourself.

Remember to audit what you are posting and what you are putting out on the Internet. Tools that Mollica mentioned to successfully analyze your brand included Klear (https://klear.com/), Talk Walker (https://www.talkwalker.com/) and Meltwater (https://www.meltwater.com/).

My favorite thing about PRSSA national events is connecting with students from all over the nation. Jensen Armstrong and I had the privilege of meeting student leaders and Chapter members from California, Nevada, New York, Florida, Alabama, and the list goes on and on.

(Treasurer Jensen Armstrong and President Chelsea Journee at National Conference)

(Treasurer Jensen Armstrong and President Chelsea Journee at National Conference)

I highly encourage students from our chapter to attend National Conference next year. PRSSA’s National Conference will be held in sunny San Diego in 2019. 

If you have any questions about National Conference, please don’t hesitate to contact me!  chelseajournee@ou.edu 

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.

DSC_0400.JPG

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.

DSC_0407.JPG