Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Twitter offers more languages: Hello, hola or ciao

As a member of PRSSA, I receive emails that keep me up to date with all things PR. I occasionally scroll through the updates and click the headlines that catch my eye. Twitter happens to be my new social media networking site obsession, so anything Twitter related is of my interest.

Last week, PRSA's Issues & Trends email included the headline 'Twitter Now Supports 21 Different Languages.' Naturally, I clicked the link and read on.

I found out, within the article, that Twitter has been slowly adding more options to its language settings since 2008, when it added Japanese. You would think that Spanish would be its first option other than English, but it was not offered until 2009. As of December this year, Twitter added four new languages including Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Polish.

All in all, Twitter supports 21 different languages. As a Spanish minor, I find it interesting to have the ability to tweet in Spanish. It is intriguing to see a social media networking site such as Twitter offered in other languages. Offering such a wide variety of languages opens doors to PR professionals across the world,  especially global companies because it provides them with another platform for communicaiton. It makes me wonder if my future PR career might include tweeting in Spanish. Es posible, ¿no?

Monday, December 12, 2011

A research paper...about Twitter

Research paper: two very scary words for a college student. They require hours of searching for relevant sources, though our generation luckily has access to computers that do this task for us. Anyway, I was assigned a research paper in Communication and Society, a course that mainly focuses on media and its influences on today's society.

Our guidelines for this research paper involved selecting a form of media (for example, a TV show, a book, a social media outlet, a movie you consider your favorite that you have seen more than a reasonable amount of times) and then choosing a theory we discussed in class, which would be too complicated to describe in detail.

I selected social media networking sites for my form of media: Twitter, obviously, with a hint of Facebook. I'll provide a shortened version of the theory I chose to give you enough information to understand how I looked at Twitter and Facebook.

The uses and gratifications (U&G) theory views audiences as active receivers. Instead of traditional theories of media that see audiences as being dummy consumers of media who cannot resist its influence, whereas the U&G theory shifts the focus to audiences. Audiences, within the U&G theory, have the ability to select which media they wish to consume according to the gratifications it offers. Thus, audiences participate in the selection of their media to satisfy their media needs.

How does this connect to social media sites? Well, Twitter gives users the option to 'follow' other users while Facebook offers the option to 'friend request' others. The decision process behind these actions of 'following' and 'friend requesting' interested me to the point of wanting to write an entire research paper about it!

Details of my lengthy paper would bore you, so I'd like to give you some food for thought instead. I found that friend suggestions drove people to not only join Twitter, but to follow other users. Here is an interesting infographic I found giving you lots of information about Twitter:

Picture credits to Lab42. It was featured in a blog post by Mashable, which can be found by clicking here!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What is PR?

PR: a field all those studying Public Relations here at Marist hope to enter upon graduation. It is unspoken that we should all be able to spell out a distinct definiton of the field we'd like to pursue, but it is really that simple?

PRSA set out on a campaign to define public relations in November called PR Defined initiative so in the future when your family asks what you do at your job, you can answer appropriately. During the beginning of its initiative, PRSA asked the public to submit opinions for the definition of PR.
The most popular word cloud, taken from PRNewser's post,
highlights four words: public, communication, organization, and relationship.

The next step of this initiative involves an analysis by PRSA and its twelve global partners that can be viewed here. According to its timeline, PR will be defined in late January after the public votes on three definitons that will be posted to the PRSA website.

Be sure to pay attention to timeline updates in relation to the PR Defined initiative, as it is extremely relevant to the profession we Marist PRSSA students wish to enter in the future.

The beginning of Marist's student-run PR firm

Last year, a senior's capping project inspired the student-run PR firm on campus called North Road Communications, a fitting name. Our new Hancock Technology Center transformed this capping project into a start-up business entirely run by students in PRSSA spearheaded by Charlotte Catania, our Firm Director. As supervisor of our Client Research team, I was extremely excited to take part in this opportunity. Other colleges have created successful student-run PR firms that even make a profit. To be a part of the beginning stages of something that can develop into a profitable PR firm is truly amazing.

Fall semester proved to be the beginning of North Road Communications. Charlotte organized weekly meetings to brainstorm ideas about every aspect of the firm: potential clients, service offerings, etc. As this semester comes to a close, we are anxious to get started working with our first client in the spring.

We have the chance to receive real world public relations experience through the completion of tasks that will be carried out entirely by our group of communciation students with guidance from a few professionals. It will be a learning experience beneficial not only to our résumés, but to our knowledge of the public relations industry. I am looking forward to working with our team of PRSSA students to contribute toward our goal of providing our first client with exceptional work.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Upcoming Events!

Wednesday, November 30th: General Meeting at 9:15 p.m. in SC 348. This will be our holiday social so please come hungry, pizza will be served! Alexis will also be handing out certificates for being a PRSSA member. These are great to put into portfolios and come directly from nationals.

Thursday, December 1st: Networking event. Joe Madden, a Marist alum and VP for PR for MetLife will be coming to Marist.  From 12:30-1:30, an informal lunch and networking opportunity will be taking place in the old dean's office. This is located on the second floor of Lowell Thomas in the far corner in the middle of faculty offices room 213A. If you are available this is a great way to find out what it is like to work at a large corporation. Our adviser Jennie Donohue will be there as well.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Media Diet: Are you missing a food group?

As a Communication major I am required to take Communication and Society (However, newbie Comm majors have to take Digital Toolbox). I was assigned a "Media Diet" essay in this class. Basically, I had to dissect my life in terms of the media I consume.

So what media do I eat every day? Well, prior to explaining my media diet, you must know that I have a Blackberry. No, not an iPhone...I wish. The point is that people with a Blackberry are usually addicted to them. I can adequately say that I'm addicted to my Blackberry. Why? Because it has everything: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, the Internet. It's a change from my old enV Touch when I had to pay extra to use the Internet feature. Definitely an upgrade. So when I wake up, I shut my alarm off on my Blackberry (obviously) and check my notifications which are mostly emails and Facebook, sometimes Twitter if people decide to be so generous as to tweet me. But I get lots and lots of emails, usually from LinkedIn. They send updates about what's going on in the PR World, which prove to be interesting articles.

My new favorite form of media that I consume daily: Twitter. I would say that I overindulge in Twitter; it's my main consumption of media. I started eating Twitter last summer at my internship. I was the Social Media intern, but I had never caught on to Twitter. I decided to start using my account. I made one last year, but never actually tweeted. I instantly became obsessed. I found out that I could follow whoever/whatever I wanted. In my opinion, Twitter is a series of clicks. I follow Mashable, a social media news site, that leads you to one article but reallly a multitud of others due to enticing article titles. Click, click, click...and you eventually end up reading and reading tons of information.

Social media is definitely my favorite media food group: Facebook and Twitter, with some Google+. I get most of my information from these social media networking sites. As for other forms of media, I do not read newspapers unless I read newspaper articles online and I do not watch TV for the most part. Blogging is a newly added food group, but I like it so far. Twitter has led me to lots of interesting blogs.

Ultimately, this assignment made me realize how much media is out there and how much I think I should be consuming. As a Public Relations major, I should be up to date with everything there is to know! I question if I am missing a food group. Are you?

My professor gave us a link to get an idea of media professionals' media diets. Here it is so you can see what media professionals consume... http://www.theatlanticwire.com/posts/media-diet/  

Have you picked up a copy of esPResso?

Our monthly newsletter, esPResso, will be fresh off the printer this afternoon! Be sure to pick one up in the lobby of Lowel Thomas :)

Friday, November 18, 2011


Don't forget that the deadline for applications for Marist College's School of Communication and the Arts Spring 2012 internship is this Monday, November 21st at 5pm!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Internship Opportunity!

Attention PRSSA members: Marist College's School of Communication and the Arts is looking for a Spring 2012 intern.

Check out all the information about this wonderful opportunity:

Marist College School of Communication and the Arts

Integrated Communication Intern

Position Description

Description:  The School of Communication and the Arts is seeking an integrated communication intern on the main campus in Poughkeepsie for the spring 2012 semester. The school houses the largest undergraduate program at Marist College, offering degree programs in art and art history, fashion, communication, media arts and music.

The integrated communication intern will assist with the management of public relations, advertising, marketing and other related strategic communication functions that help manage relationships with key internal and external audiences. The intern will report directly to a designated member of the faculty or staff for supervision purposes; however, he/she will provide direct support to the school’s dean along with various faculty, staff and contract employees. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

o    Design, write/edit and upload material (e.g., text, images, videos, links) to the school’s website

o    Design, write/edit and disseminate traditional, online and social media content as well as related marketing materials (e.g., news releases, web content, Facebook posts, tweets, LinkedIn updates, flyers)    

o    Monitor communication and maintain databases related to school’s online and social media channels (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)

o    Shoot photos, videos and create audio-video content  

o    Maintain internal media list and assist with media relations efforts as needed   

o    Conduct research, analysis and evaluation of communication activities  

o    Attend meetings and develop reports as requested

o    Serve as liaison with student communication groups (e.g., PRSSA, Communication Arts Society, Advertising Club)


o    Minimum of 2.5 GPA and completion of 60 college credits as well as prerequisite course in employment practicum

o    Excellent writing and communication skills

o    Proficiency in online and social media networks

o    Keen attention to detail

o    Outstanding management and organizational skills

o    Must be highly motivated with strong desire to learn and take initiative

o    Ability to work independently

o    Available to work a minimum of nine hours a week (3 academic credits)

To Apply:  Submit cover letter, resume and list of three references to Jennie Donohue, professional lecturer of public relations, School of Communication and the Arts, via email at jennie.donohue@marist.edu. Put “COMMARTS Intern Application” in subject of email.

Application deadline is 5 p.m. on Monday, November 21, 2011. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Michael O'Brien, proud alumni of Marist College, speaks to PR students

This past Wednesday, our chapter of PRSSA here at Marist College had the opportunity to meet with Michael O'Brien, Executive Vice President and Director of the NYC office at Ketchum PR, one of the largest global PR agencies. If you thought that elaborate title was not enough, O'Brien also holds a position on the Board of Advisories for the communication department at Marist. As a graduate of Marist, we can relate to him and admire his success in finding a job he truly enjoys--one that changes every day and keeps him engaged.

During O'Brien's visit, he provided insights about the changing world of Public Relations; he refers to the combination of Public Relations and Advertising as "the narrative storytelling of corporations." The position O'Brien holds now at Ketchum did not even exist when he started 11 years ago. Nowadays, we live in a consumer world which grants more opportunities to influence dialogue and thoughts for Public Relations professionals. He presented a PowerPoint that explained how brand management has changed due to social media. "The Living Brand," the title of his presentation, emphasized how consumers make the brand which, in turn, changes the role of brand managers. Now, they must participate with consumers instead of directing the information they receive.

When O'Brien opened the floor to questions, PRSSA students were curious to know what experience would be attractive on a resume. O'Brien responded with valuable resume advice:
  1. Internships (Definitely essential!)
  2. Core writing skills (Also essential)
  3. Multi-tasker, a.k.a juggler
  4. Intellectual curiosity (O'Brien's personal preference)
In my opinion, O'Brien offered us the most valuable piece of advice by encouraging us to create our own brand. Our own brand is unique to each one of us. Our online identity reveals our own brand on social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We have the power to create and manage our own brand, similar to that of brand managers in the PR world. O'Brien told PRSSA members a nugget of advice: "Starting now, think of yourself as a brand; the brand that is you."

Michael O'Brien pictured with our
PRSSA chapter's President, Alexis Murphy.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Edelman and Ketchum PR Agencies Welcome Marist PRSSA Students

On Friday, November 4th, a group of PRSSA members, me included, woke up earlier than most college students. We met in Donnelly and frantically waited for our designated ticket holder, who we later found waiting at the train station. Crisis averted. Tickets in hand, we boarded a train to NYC.

Our first stop once we arrived was Edelman, a global PR firm, where we met with HR representatives and a panel of PR professionals. The atmosphere of Edelman was intriguing. It had a modern design with sunshine yellow walls and partly frosted glass doors that enclosed the conference room, where we were seated around a long, wooden table—very cool. The panel included three Marist graduates who reassured me, and I’m sure several other students, of their success after graduation. There is hope. One Marist grad in particular stood out to me. She works within consumer PR which means her job is to get her product into the hands of the media. Some of the products she works with include Planters, Trojan, and Barilla. Wait, she works with Trojan? Her job tasks include campaigns about sexual health. How exciting, literally. Personally, I find myself interested in consumer PR because products are diverse. To think that this specific Marist grad works with three very different products (Planters & Barilla=food; Trojan=sexual health) is exciting. The panel was not kidding when they told us that every day in PR is different.

Important advice that I gathered from the panel at Edelman: Internship experience, get involved on campus, know your media, read everything you can, network, and be well rounded!

Next stop: Ketchum PR, another very cool atmosphere. We passed a chalkboard wall on the way to the conference room and were distributed new flavors of Snapple.
Ketchum's warm, digital welcome on their presentation
screen in the conference room!

Michael O’Brien, a Marist graduate on the Advisory Board of the School of Communications and the Arts, began the presentation by providing us with information about Ketchum. An astounding fact: Ketchum is a global firm within the top 5 according to size in the PR industry. We were also informed of Ketchum’s Chair Fellows Program, a ten week summer internship program. It is very competitive, but it is an amazing real world PR experience. Another Ketchumite we met showed us creative projects that were awesome. He told us that ideas can come from anywhere and the crazier the idea, the better it is. Some advice from a Creative Project Leader at Ketchum: spend at least one hour a day on social media, developing your passion and manage your own personal brand. We also met the VP, International Network Relations Director who, of course, is a Marist graduate. He even included pictures of his fondest memories from college because he credits his position within the PR industry as a direct result of Marist—how inspiring! My favorite quote of the day came from him: “If you’re worthy of it, you’ll get it.”

Patrick Brady, a Marist Grad, points to his
inspiration, Professor Daniel Cochece Davis!

Our last panel member at Ketchum was an HR representative, who offered helpful tips about maintaining your online presence through social media, preparing and researching for interviews, and making your resume stand out. My favorite piece of advice (because it reminds of something my dad would say) involved starting a spreadsheet that includes companies you applied to, positions you applied for, which résumé you sent, and when. My dad loves spreadsheets and I’m sure he will be delighted once I create a spreadsheet comprised of internship/résumé/position information.

The NYC agency trip was eye opening. I caught a glimpse of actual PR firms while also having the opportunity to listen and talk to PR professionals. I am very thankful that PRSSA allowed us to travel into NYC for a day to see what it is really like to work within a PR firm and receive valuable advice from professionals.

A lasting piece of advice I remember O’Brien telling us as he closed the Ketchum presentation,
 “your career is a journey, not a destination.” 

PRSSA members pictured at Ketchum PR.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hi, I'm Kerianne.

I'd like to introduce myself: I'm Kerianne Baylor, the Blog Manager for PRSSA. I am a Sophomore here at Marist majoring in Public Relations with minors in Spanish and Global Studies. I live in Midrise, if you care to know. And this is basically a test run post, but I figured that I would share some information about myself so I do not remain anonymous.