Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Career Planning 101: Gearing Up For Your Public Relations Journey

Is graduation starting to make you nervous about finding a job? Are you wondering about what employers are looking for in a new hire? If so, Career Planning 101: Gearing Up For Your Public Relations Journey with Timmian Massie is the perfect Marist PRSSA Regional Conference session for you! You won’t want to miss this crash course on the essentials needed for a successful future in public relations.

Massie’s interactive career-planning session will cover topics such as what employers look for in a new hire, the value of networking and how to use social media to find a job. He’ll also take questions from the audience. If you’re eager to take charge of your own career, then this session is for you.

Massie is the senior vice president of public affairs and government relations for HealthQuest. He began his career as a local radio news reporter and went on to hold positions such as assistant to the chairman of the Dutchess County Legislature, director of corporate communications at Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation and chief public affairs officer at Marist College. Massie is also an adjunct professor and one of our chapter’s professional advisers. In addition, he has served on more than 50 nonprofit boards in the Hudson Valley and New York City and is a nationally recognized leader in the use of social media.

Don’t miss Career Planning 101:  Gearing Up For Your Public Relations Journey
at the Marist PRSSA Regional Conference on February 28, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Be sure to follow @tcmassie on Twitter!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Friday Night Networking Event to be Held at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Home

The Marist College PRSSA Regional Conference Committee is pleased to announce that its networking event will be held on Friday, February 27, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The Henry A. Wallace Visitor and Education Center at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Home, which is located a short drive from Marist College in nearby Hyde Park. The FDR Presidential Library and Home is America’s first presidential library and a popular attraction for visitors to the Hudson Valley region of New York. We thank the staff of the FDR Presidential Library and Home for helping us make this event possible.  

What is the Itinerary for the Evening?

Conference attendees will be greeted in the lobby and given a brief overview of the FDR Presidential Library and Home before embarking on an hour-long self-guided tour. Upon completing the tour, attendees will meet up in The Henry A. Wallace Center for the networking portion of the evening’s event. There will be brief remarks and light refreshments served. Please check the conference website for transportation-related information.    

What Can I Expect to See?

Attendees will journey back in time to experience the Roosevelt presidency beginning from the Great Depression through the New Deal and World War II. In particular, the FDR Presidential Library and Home includes interactive exhibits along with some of the President’s personal treasures.

What Should I Bring?

Since this is a networking event, it is recommended that you dress in business attire and bring business cards to swap with fellow conference attendees – remember, building relationships is important in our industry.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Marist College PRSSA Receives Second National Award

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (Jan. 28, 2015) – The Marist College Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter has been honored with its second national award this school year. Marist PRSSA received the Pacesetter Chapter Recognition Award for September after participating in PRSSA’s National Ethics Month.

The Chapter submitted an application for the Pacesetter following its interactive Q-and-A Skype session with the Founder and Chairman of Golin, Al Golin. The session took place on Sept. 17 and was moderated by PRSSA Faculty Adviser Jennie Donohue. The hour-long Q- and-A covered topics including Golin’s revolutionary “Trust Bank” concept, the importance of transparency and business ethics, as well as the need to build interpersonal relationships in today’s high-tech, low-touch culture.
Approximately 50 students from the Marist College School of Communication and the Arts attended the event, which was live tweeted using the hashtags #MCOM347 and #MaristPRSSA. More than half of the students in attendance were active PRSSA members. The Marist College PRSSA Chapter also used this event as a recruiting opportunity to gain new members for the 2014-2015 academic year.

This is the second national award that Marist PRSSA has won this year, including a Star Chapter Award in October.

About Marist PRSSA
The Marist Red Foxes PRSSA Chapter was founded in 2006 and is the recipient of a PRSSA Star Chapter Award that recognizes the activities and relationship-building opportunities the Chapter offers its members. Now in its eighth year, it has more than 80 members and hosts a variety of events to help foster a clear understanding of the public relations industry and prepare members for life after graduation. Follow Marist PRSSA on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Blogspot and Pinterest.


Jennie Donohue | Professional Lecturer and Marist PRSSA Faculty Adviser |


Julianna Sheridan | Director of Public Relations for Marist PRSSA |

Monday, February 2, 2015

Keynote Speaker: Michael O'Looney

The Marist Communication Department has its share of extremely successful alumni. Did you know one particular Marist alumnus is also an Emmy-nominated reporter, previous Deputy Commissioner for Public Information for the New York City Police Department and has overseen corporate communications in the Americas for Barclays PLC and for Merrill Lynch? We are extremely excited to have Michael O’Looney, current head of communications at Elliott Management Corporation, as the Marist PRSSA Regional Conference keynote speaker.

Michael began his career journey in broadcast journalism and was an Emmy-nominated reporter for WCBS Television and a correspondent for the CBS Evening News.  He covered a range of domestic and international stories including the terror attacks of September 11th, the death of John F. Kennedy Jr., the crash of TWA Flight 800 and a series of reports from Interpol on narcotics, weapons and human trafficking.  His career took a turn when he worked for the New York Police Department, followed by Merrill Lynch, and most recently with Barclays PLC. He now works for Elliott Management Corporation that administers two multi-strategy hedge funds which combined have more than $25 billion in assets under management. 

Michael has even appeared in the feature film, City Hall, and the HBO series, The Sopranos. Conference attendees will be inspired by his keynote address, Crisis Communication and Media Relations: Career & Other Life Lessons.  We are excited to hear his advice and tips for a successful career in the communication industry.

Register today for the Marist PRSSA Regional Conference to hear Michael O’Looney speak at our keynote lunch from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. on February 28, 2015.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sports Public Relations: Live From "The Classroom"

Calling all Sports PR fans! The Marist PRSSA Regional Conference committee has booked a session that you absolutely cannot miss. Join Dr. Keith Strudler, founder and director of the Marist College Center for Sports Communication, for an interactive chat and live radio/TV broadcast of “The Classroom,” a weekly sports talk show which airs Saturdays on ESPN 1220 and on America ED TV. This show is the first ever partnership between an academic center and an ESPN affiliate, so do not miss the opportunity to get an inside look! Check out archives of the show that are available on iTunes for a sneak peak of what this exciting session has to offer.

Strudler, executive producer and co-host of “The Classroom,” will spend the first half-hour sharing tips and answering questions on how public relations professionals can successfully pitch sports stories that grab a producer’s attention. Strudler is a true expert in his field as he has written sports commentary for the Poughkeepsie Journal and airs a weekly radio commentary on sport and society for WAMC, a public radio station in Albany, NY, that broadcasts over seven states in the Northeast. 

The second half-hour of the session will have the conference attendees serve as the studio audience, getting a unique view of the inner workings of real sports broadcasting as it goes live at 10:00 a.m.  Whether you are interested in sports, media broadcasting, or both, this session will be the perfect fit for developing your public relations skills.

Don’t miss Sports Public Relations: Live From “The Classroom” at the Marist PRSSA Regional Conference on February 28, 2015 from 9:30 a.m - 10:30 a.m. Register now on Eventbrite!

Be sure to follow @ESPN_Classroom on Twitter and like their Facebook page! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014 Year in Review

This is Marist PRSSA's round up of 2014's most notable PR crises and how they were handled. This list first appeared in Vol. 6 Iss. 2 of esPResso, which can be found here. Thank you to esPResso Committee Chair Lizzy Peper on all her help with this feature.

Most Poorly Handled Crisis
Winner: Ray Rice and the NFL
Ray Rice allegedly assaulted his fiancĂ©e in Feb. 2014, but the NFL decided to cover up the incident. When TMZ released footage of the event, the NFL’s PR strategy began to crumble. The firestorm of a PR crisis hit not only the football player but also the league. Still not fully resolved, it will be interesting to see its path. 

Runner Up: Amazon/Hatchette Disputes

The mega e-commerce site was in a public dispute with Hatchette publishing for much of 2014. The battle was for the future of e-books and how publishers would be compensated. Amazon and Hatchette did not handle the situation well, gathering many critics along the way for antitrust

Worst Social Media Crisis

Winner: American Apparel Challenger Picture
In an effort to be patriotic American Apparel posted a photo to its Tumblr of what they believed was a picture of smoke. But to the company’s dismay, a young international employee did not know that it was a photo of the space shuttle Challenger exploding. The company apologized for the tasteless mistake, but that does not make up for the oversight. 

Runner up: #MyNYPD
This hashtag was trending for all the wrong reasons. #MyNYPD was started as a campaign to thank the police force for its help and achievements, but it soon turned into a forum for people to post photos of police brutality. What had good intentions quickly showed that not every organization should use social media for branding.  

Most Avoidable Crisis

Winner: General Motors Recalls
In February, General Motors began recalling more than 2.6 million cars after 13 deaths which were caused by a faulty ignition switch that went unrecalled for more than a decade. GM has been cited as being not empathetic about the situation and failing to respond properly to an issue that it has known about for years. 

Runner Up: Target Photoshop Errors
Not once but twice Target was caught Photoshopping its clothing models in the most unflattering way. With thighs being erased and entire parts of the body missing, Target may want to consider hiring a new photo editor or at least look before posting an image. 

Most Global Crisis

Winner: Ebola in the U.S.
In September the first of 14 cases of Ebola in the U.S. was reported. The next month health screenings and questionnaires were administered at U.S. airports receiving planes from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Obama later appointed a Ebola response coordinator but many criticized that the appointee has no experience in the field of health or medical care. 

Runner Up: Malaysia Airlines
After eyes were already on Malaysia Airlines because of a plane carrying passengers that went missing in early March, another of its planes was shot down over Ukraine in July.  Both flights were fatal for all on board. The airline considered changing its name to avoid the negative connotation currently attached to Malaysia Airlines. 

Most Comical Crisis

Winner: Dumb Starbucks
In July, comedian Nathan Fielder created a parody coffee shop called “Dumb Starbucks” to use in his show Nathan for You. Starbucks took a laid back approach and representatives calmly stated that the trademarked name could not be used. The shop is now closed. 

Runner Up: Bending iPhone 6
After the release of the iPhone 6 Plus in September, complaints that the larger phone was bending after customers kept it in their pockets for a prolonged period of time came to light. What became known as #Bendgate was trending on Twitter and numerous videos of the manufacturing malfunction were posted on YouTube. 

Best Handled Crisis

Winner: Under Armour Olympic Uniforms
When the U.S. speedskating team started the Winter 2014 Olympics with worse performances than expected, several athletes blamed the Under Armour uniforms they were wearing. The company responded by supporting its technology without turning blame on the athletes. Before the Olympics came to a close, Under Armour committed to sponsoring U.S. speedskating until 2022, solidifying its support of the sport.

Runner Up: Virgin Galactic Crash Response
The crash of a Virgin Galactic space plane being tested for potential tourism resulted in the death of one of its pilots. The company’s chairman took control of the situation and visited the site of the crash in addition to providing a statement of respect to the people affected during a press conference and on social media.