A chat with the Executive Vice President of the largest PR firm in the world

By: Marissa DiGiacomoIMG_8217.jpg

On Monday, November 11th, PRSSA-UD had the opportunity to hear from the Executive Vice President of Edelman, Greg St. Clair. Wow, what an honor! If you know anything about the world of PR, you may know that Edelman is the largest Public Relations firm in THE WORLD. St. Clair was able to share with us inside information about the Trust Barometer, a fancy name for a way to measure how the public trusts their brands through four institutions, Non Governmental organizations, business, media, and the government. This tool is dependent on the whole globe, not just the US. 

In 2016, there was a crash in trust and the mood of the public but in 2018 we experienced a battle for truth. There is now an expectation for brands to start taking a stand due to how important it is for people to buy things from brands doing good. For example, people want to see CEO’s of brands speaking out and discussing social issues. You have the power to determine where you shop, whether that be supporting Starbucks for banning plastic straws or boycotting Chic-Fil-A for donating to anti-LGBT charities. 

St. Clair shared with us that “trust washing” is a term for when brands use societal issues as a marketing ploy to sell more. When brands act on their words, they become more authentic. For example, Dove soap promotes paternity leaves. The public as a whole hasn’t heard much about this because they don’t braIMG_8211.jpgg about it. He notes that companies can engage on different societal levels including living their values and partnering with communities. 

St. Clair states the core of PR is a passion for writing and storytelling. He notes that it is imperative to learn the craft of writing. St. Clair started out his career working in politics and over time he developed his love for storytelling through content and visuals. This proves to us, as young professionals, that no matter what field you start out in, there’s always a chance you may find more passions throughout your career.

 

Why I Joined PRSSA and How It’s Benefitted Me

By: Sammy Chmara

sammys article.png

Before this past August, I had little knowledge about the Public Relations industry and what exactly it meant to work in “PR.” After the first few classes of my Introduction to Public Relations lecture, I immediately became interested with the field. I wanted to somehow gain more experience and expertise in a more hands on setting, besides simply sitting in a classroom listening to a professor talk about it twice a week. I did some research on what UD had to offer and came across PRSSA UD’s chapter website. I attended the first meeting where a UD alumni shared her story and career path with us, and I realized that these meetings were something I wanted to participate in more regularly. Even only after a few months of being involved, I feel much more knowledgeable about much of what goes on in the field of Public Relations. Some of the areas I feel much more knowledgeable in are:

Job Preparation. The workshops and skill slams that PRSSA has held in regard to preparing students to find internships and jobs has been extremely helpful. I have learned the importance of LinkedIn and how to structure my profile so that employers are more likely to view it. Tips for composing a strong resume have also been acknowledged in meetings such as what important information to include and what order to follow. Additionally, the interview process has been outlined guiding us with principal suggestions for how to get that next job or internship. I feel much more comfortable and relieved knowing that I have been exposed to workshops and skill slams that go over such crucial aspects of job preparation that any individual in the Communication field can benefit from.

Jobs in the PR Field. The different speakers that have presented us with their stories and current jobs has been very helpful. It’s helped me to learn about all the different job paths one can take in PR, and which areas interest me the most. UD alum Colleen Cordaro, a current social media manager for Anthropologie, shared how her prior Communication related experiences helped land her a job with such a big company like Anthropologie. Another speaker, Robin Lornfink, discussed her job as executive director of campaigns and strategic initiatives of CHOP and how one can work in health and hospital PR. The speakers who come in frequently have made me more aware of how PR is involved in so many different fields and that is needed in so many different careers.

Being a member of University of Delaware’s PRSSA chapter has been one of the most rewarding experiences within my college experience so far. I am so grateful that there is an organization on campus that not only teaches students about the PR industry, but allows them to participate in a hands on approach. I look forward to how PRSSA can continue to benefit me moving onward!

What does business casual even mean?

By: Nicole Vuong

Let’s talk about business…casual.

Depending on the industry, the company and the climate, the standards of how employees dress may vary. I’ve noticed in public relations agencies and other creative fields, they opt to a “business casual” dress code, which is more relaxed and flexible than the traditional pantsuit. This type of dress code gives employees the freedom to be able to dress in their own personal style.

Although business professional clothing makes people look so powerful and authoritative, it’s not very comfortable. We’re seeing more and more industries move toward loosening their dress code and I’m loving it. 

The tricky thing about this dress code is that each company has their own definition of what “business casual” really means. It also changes a lot depending on the weather. It’s something that consistently sparks up confusion in workers, those entering the workforce and myself. 

I’ve learned that there really isn’t a clear standardized definition, the only way to figure out appropriate business casual attire is to ask. Get advice on what to wear, and what not to wear, by asking those who work at the company and during the interview process. If you’re not totally sure if your outfit fits the business casual look, it’s always better to go with something that’s a little more formal than too casual. 

I’ve listed and linked some staple pieces for women that are similar to the ones in my wardrobe. I think these articles of clothing would create perfect business casual outfits and still make you feel like a girl boss!

TOPS

Simple Blouse

Screen Shot 2019-11-20 at 11.22.36 AM.png

https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/f21/top_blouses/2000391416

This champagne Satin Billowy Sleeve Top is a great neutral piece to tuck into any bottom, plain or patterned. Since this is a color that goes well with almost everything, you can create multiple looks with it!

 

 

 

Graphic Tee

Screen Shot 2019-11-20 at 11.24.29 AM.png

https://www.urbanoutfitters.com/shop/junk-food-the-beatles-abbey-road-glitter-tee?category=graphic-tees-for-women&color=010&type=REGULAR

Depending on the environment, this Beatles Abbey Road Tee may or may not be appropriate. I’ve personally paired a graphic tee with a skirt or some cute pants at an internship and got compliments from my co-workers!

 

 

Patterned Blouse

Screen Shot 2019-11-20 at 11.25.04 AM.pnghttps://www2.hm.com/en_us/productpage.0794574001.html?CAWELAID=120032800000856518&ef_id=EAIaIQobChMIuqGU1tLq5QIVxJ6zCh1oqQ0kEAQYBCABEgJ_7PD_BwE:G:s&s_kwcid=AL!860!3!340015135091!!!g!667798239258!&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIuqGU1tLq5QIVxJ6zCh1oqQ0kEAQYBCABEgJ_7PD_BwE

This Leopard Print Blouse may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s something in my closet because it’s bold and on-trend. I think wearing a patterned top, whether it be floral, stripes or animal, is a great way to show off your personality!

 

BOTTOMS

High-Wasted Tie Pants

Screen Shot 2019-11-20 at 11.25.29 AM.png

https://www.express.com/clothing/women/high-waisted-paperbag-ankle-pant/pro/07459223/color/Pitch%20Black/e/regular/ 

High-waisted pants that tie around your waist are seriously the most comfortable business pants you will ever find (let me know if I’m wrong)! They’re my favorite type of business bottoms to wear because they go with so many tops and I think they’re flattering on every body type.

 

 

Fun Pants

Screen Shot 2019-11-20 at 11.27.22 AM.png

https://www.freepeople.com/shop/slim-pull-on-velvet-flare-pants/?category=pants&color=062&quantity=1&type=REGULAR 

I love incorporating different types of pants into my wardrobe, like these Slim Pull-On Velvet Flare Pants from Free People. I think it’s such a statement to wear pants with a flare at the bottom or in a different pattern or color that stands out. When I wear pants like these, I try to pair it with a dressier top to stay with a more professional vibe. (These types of pants are also so cute to wear going out!)

 

 

Midi Skirt

Screen Shot 2019-11-20 at 11.27.54 AM.pnghttps://us.princesspolly.com/collections/maxi-midi-skirts/products/romeo-midi-skirt 

I know it’s fall (and basically winter according to the temperature outside) here in the northeast, but I really wanted to include this Romeo Midi Skirt in a White Multi pattern. While interning in New York City this summer, I saw midi skirts everywhere. When I finally got one for myself, I realized why they’ve become so popular. They’re so comfortable and so cute, you should just try one on and see for yourself!

 

Shoes

Slip-on Mules

Screen Shot 2019-11-20 at 11.28.13 AM.png

https://www.target.com/p/women-s-remmy-backless-loafers-a-new-day-153-black-8/-/A-53383508?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=PLA_Shoes%2BShopping&adgroup=SC_Shoes&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9007460&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1248099&ds_rl=1241788&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-5CK9N_q5QIVxp-zCh1gPQRvEAQYDyABEgJw4_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Whenever I put on my mules I feel like it definitely elevates my look and gives it a more professional vibe. I prefer the slip-on ones because I think they’re more comfortable, but there are so many regular and slip-on mules to choose from!

 

Lace-up Ballet Flats

Screen Shot 2019-11-20 at 11.28.39 AM.pnghttps://www.asos.com/us/asos-design/asos-design-laffy-ghillie-ballet-flats-in-taupe/prd/12017769?CTAref=Recently+Viewed

If you’re not into the mule style, ballet flats are a classic. I’ve seen some of my friends wear them with laces that can be tied at your ankle, like these Laffy Ghillie Ballet Flats in taupe from ASOS. I think this style goes well with a lot of outfits and I want to get a pair for myself!

 

 

Booties

Screen Shot 2019-11-20 at 11.29.10 AM.png

https://www.nastygal.com/boot-your-shot-faux-leather-chelsea-boots/AGG60449.html

Since it’s fall and winter is approaching, having a good pair of booties for your business casual and regular closet is a must. When pairing it with your business look, make sure your heel isn’t too crazy because remember, you’re still trying to look professional!

 

 

A PR Dream Come True: Fall Field Trip Recap

By: Neha Shanker

Screen Shot 2019-11-15 at 11.25.24 AM.pngIf I were to choose the top-five greatest moments in my life, at least three would revolve around sports, and one would be the Philadelphia Eagles winning Super Bowl LII. Having grown up as an athlete, as well as an avid fan of this franchise, I was inspired to minor in Sport Management and pursue a professional career in the sports industry. PRSSA’s recent trip to the Philadelphia Eagles NovaCare Complex was not only a thrilling occasion for a football fan like me, but also served as a unique opportunity to learn more about prospective positions in the field! 

Our group met with three members of the Eagles organization: Nick Michaels, Alli Waddington, and Carly Pennacchia.

Nick Michaels told us about his role as a senior account executive for corporate sponsorships. He thoroughly expressed the advantages, as well as the hardships, of organizing brand collaborations for the Philadelphia Eagles. Michaels explained that not only is convincing brands to partner with this organization an issue at IMG_7954.jpegtimes due to the large fiscal agreement, but agreements can also evolve into prolonged projects that could take up to three years to negotiate. Michaels also explained how vital it was to the Eagles organization to collaborate with brands with like-minded principles and values, but nonetheless, many successful sponsorships transpired despite the lengthened preparations. One of the most lucrative and leading examples of fruitful sponsorships Michaels mentioned was Dunkin Donuts’ “Eagles Win. You Win!” This is where fans would receive a coupon for a free coffee on their mobile app the day following an Eagles win. Initially, this sponsorship was to bolster usage on the Dunkin Donuts’ Mobile App, however; it became so successful that Dunkin began to charge consumers because they were consequently losing profits. Listening to Nick Michaels and his experiences as an account executive for corporate sponsorships provided an alternate perspective about the fundamentals that comprise designing large sponsorships and brand collaborations.

 

IMG_7932.jpegNext, Alli Waddington, a public relations specialist for the Eagles, explained her day-to-day responsibilities to maintain a positive image for the organization. On Eagles game days, Waddington distributes media credentials, pregame materials, and in-game statistics, as well as transcribes and distributes post-game quotes tothe media. In addition, Waddington further prepares booklets that are to be distributed to important media sources, which contain pertinent information such as members in the organization, player profiles, and player statistics. Waddington provided great insight about the ins-and-outs of sports PR, and listening to her accounts about working for such a reputable organization was fascinating!

Lastly, Carly Pennacchia, the Eagles Community Relations Manager, oversees and administers the organization’s outreach programs, drawing upon donating and fundraising efforts as well as organizing player appearances. Pennacchia described the Eagles establishment as a “family organization,” emphasizing how the organization has developed program initiatives to give back to the community and highlight individuals who go above and beyond the organization’s “power from within” mantra. Pennacchia listed and explained just a few of the many organizations the team is involved in, including the Eagles Playground Build, which identifies local schools to transform barren schoolyards into rich recreational areas, as well as the Eagles Autism Challenge, a program dedicated to raising funds and awareness for Autism. By bringing the love of a franchise and the experience of participation, Pennacchia’s drive and skills pertaining to community engagement are inspiring!

IMG_8006.jpeg

The Eagles organization has made tremendous strides to empower the Philadelphia community and fans alike. Having grown up as a huge supporter of this franchise, I was constantly aware of the organization’s lucrative brand sponsorships, favorable broadcasts, and moving philanthropic efforts, however; I regularly pondered who the individuals were that contributed to the Eagles success off the field and how they acquired their roles in the organization. After meeting with Nick Michaels, Alli Waddington, and Nick Michaels, I have gained valuable insight on how to pursue a career in the sports industry, as well as the diverse positions the industry holds. Furthermore, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this eye-opening experience and learn about the opportunities I could have in my future!

 

 

Remote PR Firms: Just a Phase or a Long-Term Trend

0FDC8828-72FC-42AC-B665-FAECEDE87A22.JPG By: Jenna Newman

This past August, I began to intern at a fully remote PR firm. Okay, so what does that actually mean? Essentially, the firm has no one office or no one location that everything is based out of. Our “markets” listed on the website are Scottsdale, New York City and Los Angeles. All big ticket names that would get potential clients interested in who we are and what we have to offer. But all of the employees themselves are based all across the country. I was going to structure this post as a pros and cons of a remote firm, but I’ll be honest, I’m totally sold. So here are some of the reasons that I think this is a brilliant idea and why I am beyond #blessed to work for this type of firm.

Remote PR firms help with connecting with clients, media and influencers all across the country because you have people that understand all of the various markets. In the PR Writing class that I’m in right now, our professor constantly drills into us that PR is all about relationships. By having employees spread out across the United States, you have people who know Philadelphia inside and out, as well as people who know Seattle or Portland the same way. This can be a massive game-changer in getting that perfect coverage for larger clients who have a national focus and target. 

The biggest, and I believe most obvious advantage of working remote, is that you can work from literally anywhere with an internet connection. That is huge for me! I am the type of person that works best in coffee shops or anywhere with other people around me also doing work. I recently had one of my most productive work days on a plane flying out to San Diego! I believe that this does only apply to a specific person. You need to have the self-discipline where you can just sit down in a space where you can focus and get things done in that space. To relate it back to college – if you can’t handle an online class, a remote job is probably not for you.

8339FA6B-18FF-42BB-9BAA-E3958AA5E81A.JPG

Okay, so I’ve gone on and on about why this is amazing, but let me take a step back and talk about one of the challenges I’ve noticed thus far in the world of remote work: Being able to close the laptop and stop working at the end of the day. When the world is your office, it’s hard to leave at the end of the day. It’s important to find those places that you work efficiently, but also have those spaces that work isn’t allowed. Those places that at the end of the working day you can go and have a break. We aren’t meant to work constantly and it’s important to find that balance, especially your whole office is always at your fingertips.

Favorite insights from PRSSAIC

IMG_6562 By: Rachel Ornstein

Without a doubt, I came back to UD with so much new knowledge and insight into the PR Industry after International Conference, more than I ever thought I would. The conference provided us the opportunity to hear from industry professionals from different paths and concentrations. Here are some of the things I learned from some of the sessions that I attended: 

Be The G.O.A.T. of PR: Kaye Sweetser, a professor of PR at San Diego State University, taught us the “4 C’s” to excel in the PR industry: Clarity, Creativity, Critique, and Collaboration. Clarity emphasizes organization, and that we need to be clear in what our call to action is, and always be direct in what we want to communicate. We are always going to need to be creative and willing to look at things differently in order to stand out. Critique involves crowdsourcing your work, and getting another pair of eyes on it, to make sure that it is your best work. Finally, while collaboration isn’t always easy, it is important to view it positively and understand the strength of working as a team. 

IMG_6642.JPG

Celebrity Focused PR: Breaking news – working with celebrities is not always as fun as it may seem! Rose Tateel, president of the Celebrity Source, talked about the psychology of celebrities, and what factors play a role in situations where celebrities are not so fun to work with. She explained that celebrities are the most insecure people and how this can affect their behavior. She suggested what you can do when you work with celebrities at an event to make them feel more secure, and shared tips for how to make celebrities agree to attend events, even when they may not truly want to!

IMG_6751.JPG

The Gen Z Era – Intricacies of Social Media: Erika Prime, the director of Digital and Social Strategy at Taco Bell, talked about what the social media strategy for a big-name brand is like when targeting this new generation. She said that Taco Bell has to restrategize every year, and by specifying the generalizations of Gen Z, they have to think creatively and differently. She described case studies such as the Bell Hotel and the fight for a taco emoji to show the importance of “social listening,” and observing what your audience is saying. 

The 9 to 5s of PR: Agency vs. Corporate: Co-run by Hannah Rifle, an account executive at VOX, and John Soriano, the Vice President at Fleishman-Hillard, this session broke down the differences between agency and corporate PR. In a nutshell, corporate allows for the ability to learn a little bit of everything. Being in-house, you are the “jack of all trades,” so you do different types of tasks for one client. Agency, on the other hand, allows for things to be fresh, and the ability to jump around industries by having diverse clients to work with. There are pros and cons to each type of PR, and they are different for everyone!

PRSSAIC was a great experience, and it was amazing to hear tips from industry professionals!

 

“Everything you need to know about LinkedIn” Skill Slam Recap

By: Rachel Ornstein

IMG_5891-2.jpegWe all know the importance of LinkedIn as a professional social network, yet there are many students that don’t have an updated, or even any, LinkedIn profile. This is super important to the eyes of future employers. Jenna Newman, our Vice President of Professional Development, talked through the important aspects of a LinkedIn profile in our second skill slam of the semester. Here are some tips that Jenna covered:

 

Headshot: Employers are more 14x more likely to view the profile of someone who has a professional-looking headshot. You should have a recent picture of yourself that is from the elbow up. Make sure the picture is just of yourself and does not have a busy background. Employers want to see you, not you on the beach with your best friends.

Summary: While a summary may seem intimidating to write, it’s important to see it as an opportunity to sell yourself virtually to employers who are viewing your profile. You should state who you are, what you aspire to be, and a few qualities that will help you get there. Think of this section as a “30-second pitch” of yourself! 

Experience (Work/Volunteer): This section involves highlighting experiences that contribute to your capabilities. Regarding work experience, you should identify key tasks that you accomplished, as well as quantifying your achievements if possible. Make sure you highlight work experience from most recent to least recent. Volunteer experience can also be listed here. It’s important to note that 41% of employers find this experience just as vital as any work ones, so always take volunteer opportunities if you can!

Education: One of the most important questions regarding education is the debate on when high school related activities should be included. Students also wonder whether or not to put their GPA online. Jenna suggests that anything from high school should be off your profile when you are five years out, and with a degree. With regards to GPA, it is not something you must have on your profile; it will not count against you. Usually a GPA of 3.5 or higher can be listed.

Other Sections: Publications is a great section for you to list any writing you have done for employers to take a look at. Providing employers with evidence of your experiences is definitely a plus. The Endorsements section is something to keep in mind when you finish an internship. Here, other users can “endorse” you for skills that you are good at, and it can help with future employment!

It’s important to know that your LinkedIn profile will not become perfect overnight; it’s always a work in progress! Jenna suggests taking some time each week to update it, and before you know it, your profile will be a model for others to use as a guide!