New executive board spotlight: President, Natalie Hines

– Name: Natalie HinesIMG_7062

– Class year: Senior

– PRSSA E-Board Position: President

– Nickname: Nat, Natty, and Patty

– Favorite meal/foods: Spaghetti for lunch or dinner, or a mid-day snack. Also, chips and salsa. Don’t forget the guac!

– If you could meet anyone: Taylor Swift, Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Fallon.

– Dream career: I aspire to work in communications or public relations that benefit children in some way. I have always wanted to work with Buddy Valastro, of TLC’s Cake Boss. We’ll see.

– Sibling(s): I have an older sister, Erica, who works in human resources for Delmarva Power.

– Pet(s): Unfortunately, no. But dachshunds are my favorite.

– If you could travel anywhere: Italy.

– Favorite place to study on campus: Trabant chapel and library multimedia center.

– Guilty pleasure: The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Also, Christmas cookies.

– Weird fact: I have traveled to the very top and bottom of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, I met Jessica Simpson and Kelly Rowland and I once wanted to be an artist.

True or False? Communication Crises Burn Like Wildfires

It seems as though several major crises occurring in the world today could have been avoided or saved with effective communication; whether that consists of sending out tweets, email updates or news releases to the media – crisis communication has taken on a new role in the world of public relations; an essential element.

In past news, a wildfire erupted on the California State University San Marcos campus and wildfiresurrounding regions. While the fire continued to spread outside, inside the CSU facilities, a stand-by team of four communicators handled the chaos and situation with effective communication strategies and tactics. As school evacuations began, tweets were consistently and immediately sent out to inform not only students and parents, but the entire CSU community and general public surrounding the affected areas. All updates from the communications team where embedded in the emergency operations center, police updates, and campus administrators. During the hectic times, the communications team sent out tweets and website updates every three to five minutes, navigating people to more information about the wildfire, the students’ safety and campus emergency news. From May 14 to 19, the communications team at CSU sent out 24 posts and tweeted more than 200 tweets and replies. The conversation continued on Twitter through replies and direct messages to concerned people in the university area. Peoples’ questions were answered quickly and with the relevant information, a core element of crisis communication.

When a crisis occurs with a client in a public relations agency, crisis communication plans, written BEFORE a crisis happens are executed. Companies should have these on hand because crises do happen; when people least expect them too. For example, the recent bee spill on the 95 expressway, there was a pre-written communications plan for inspect epidemics. The plan was executed, the specific personnel was contacted, immediately arrived at the scene and performed its necessary measures to keep the car safety managed and all people surrounding the scene. The media was approached, stories were written, and people received their information in a timely manner. Although, the bees never provided a good quote to the media.

The main goal of crisis communication is to assess the situation, admit wrongdoing and execute all communication efforts as soon as possible to answer questions or issue apologies – remaining transparent at all times. Follow these tips – crisis averted.

True AND False. A crisis can burn like a wildfire but can be extinguished with an effective communications plan.

For more information, click here. 

** Photo source: California State University San Marcos Facebook page

Written By: Natalie Hines

Natalie is the current Chapter president of PRSSA-UD. After serving two years on the executive board, she is excited and prepared to start a successful year for the Chapter. She is also a social media ambassador for UD, a marketing assistant for UD Career Services Center and a summer intern for Tipton Communications in Newark, DE. Born and raisedin Delaware, she is a true Blue Hen at heart. Follow her on Twitter, @NatalieHines1 and visit her website!

New executive board spotlight: Historian, Elizabeth Coulbourn

Name: Elizabeth Coulbournbetsey
-Class Year: Senior
PRSSA E-Board Position: Historian
-Nickname: Betsey Boodle
– Favorite meal/foods: Breakfast–anything with eggs and sirracha.
– If you could meet anybody, who would it be? Janis Joplin.
– Dream career: To combine my love of public relations, government, policy, journalism, and Islamic studies. Working for a government agency is my dream. 
– Sibling(s): An older brother. 
– Pet(s): A dog named Lucy.
If you could travel anywhere: I would travel somewhere exotic and seclusive, anywhere off the beaten path.
Favorite place to study on campus: I love studying in Purnell.
Guilty pleasure: Two words: frozen yogurt.
– Weird habit: No idea (haha). I don’t think I have one!

Social Media Safety Tips for Young PR Professionals

With social media being such a great outlet for people to speak their minds, it also has created an issue—what is too much to be put online? What is okay to be shared, and what should not be?  Sometimes, it is hard to determine, but it is important for students looking to enter the world of PR (or looking to become any professional, really) to understand their limits.  Within the last year, I have learned that I need to take more precautions with my social media accounts after realizing that they really are important in representing you as a brand to future employers, and that your representation online can really help or damage your chances of landing that internship/job. Here are a few social media tips I found online that can help you utilize Facebook or Twitter to give you an edge over another student.

  • Conduct a “social media sweep” every month.

Make time every month to go through and check your accounts, making sure to delete anything that does not portray you in a positive light.  Un-tag yourself from Facebook pictures that might not be too flattering, and even check what pages you are “liking.”  Other people can usually see these, too, and what you like says a lot about you.

  • Make sure your profile picture is professional.

This may seem like common sense, but your picture is the one feature anybody can see regardless of your privacy settings.  Just remember to keep it relatively classy, because your profile picture will also come up on Google when your name is searched.

  • Consider your Facebook page your live resume.

Ask yourself:  Would you print out your Facebook page and hand it to a potential employer?  Would you be proud of what you have posted?  It is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to posting if you are not sure of its level of appropriateness.  Even if you delete things, it is not necessarily gone forever—Google and Facebook can keep track of what you have posted, and it is better to keep in mind that an employer will potentially be able to see anything you have posted.

  • Find an honest friend to look at your social media profiles and tell you what should be removed.

Find someone who has your best interests in mind and is willing to look through your sites for you, and ask them what are the top three pictures on your profile that should be taken down.  Once they tell you, at least seriously consider deleting them.  Same goes for posts and likes, if you are not sure.

  • Set your Facebook profile so that everything is private.

This shows that you are smart with social media, and you know how to control your own profile!

  • Don’t air frustrations and concerns for all to see.

No offense, but no one really wants to see a bunch of passive-aggressive “sub-tweets” or Facebook statuses about other people.  It damages your social media presence, and ultimately does not accomplish much.  You would be much better off by having a private conversation with the person you are having a problem with.

These are just a few tips to help you manage your online presence.  You use Facebook and Twitter everyday anyway; why not use it as tool for getting a job, too?

Written by: Allison Knouse

Allison Knouse is a rising junior Mass Communication major with a minor in journalism.  Along with being involved in PRSSA-UD, she will be the Vice President of PR for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at UD starting fall semester.

New executive board spotlight: VP of Professional Development, Laura Hepp

– Name: Laura Hepp

– Class year: Juniorlaura hepp cinderella

– PRSSA E-Board Position: Vice President of Professional Development

– Nickname: I have no idea!

– Favorite meal/foods: Lunch! I’m a veggie addict with an additional love for soups and salads…needless to say, lunch makes me very happy.

– If you could meet anyone: Maya Angelou, Kristin Chenoweth, and/or Chris Colfer

– Dream career: With emphasis on the word “dream,” I’d say starring in a Broadway musical (Christine in Phantom of the Opera, Glinda in Wicked, Cinderella, or originate a new role!). Being realistic, I’d love to work in a creative environment like a nonprofit or agency. I ultimately hope to incorporate all my passions and live a fulfilling life.

– Sibling(s): I’m the baby of my family with two older (and scientific) siblings. My sister Courtney works as a pharmacist, and my brother R.J. works as an engineer.

– Pet(s): Growing up, I owned a pet rabbit named Lily. She was essentially the rabbit version of a Persian cat (80% fur, 20% bunny).

– If you could travel anywhere: Hogwarts. Hands down.

– Favorite place to study on campus: When I need to focus, I always go to the ISE Lab. If I need to lightly study or complete smaller assignments, I go to Perkins so I can socialize and drink Dunkin Donuts coffee.

– Guilty pleasure: N*SYNC, the Jonas Brothers and Disney Channel Original Movies.

– Weird fact: I only hate one thing in this world—velvet (the fabric, love red velvet cake). The touch of it or the sound of something brushing against it just freaks me out.

PRSSA- The Reason I’ll Be Successful

One word to describe the first day at your first internship?


Walking into Needham Partners on my first day of my first ever internship was one of the most nerve-wracking  days of my life. I was so scared I wasn’t going to be good enough, that I wasn’t going to be the intern they were hoping for.

After my first few days, I started to realize that I had nothing to be nervous about because I was prepared for whatever they would throw my way.

Why was I prepared? I owe it all to PRSSA-UD. eboard

I couldn’t be happier that I joined PRSSA at the beginning of my freshman year because I have already learned more than I would ever learn in a classroom. First, I learned about all of the do’s and dont’s of resume making in PRSSA I learned that when applying for specific jobs/internships, you have to change your resume to appeal to the people at that company. When applying for my internship at Needham Partners, which is a marketing and public relations company that organizes large conferences for huge corporations and important people, I knew some of the things on my resume wouldn’t be relevant when they were reviewing my resume so I took them off.

Second, during PRSSA, we had a meeting dedicated to making and perfecting our LinkedIn profiles. Having a LinkedIn that is updated and descriptive is very important for employers when they are looking for new employees. Having a LinkedIn came in handy when getting my internship because I have been using it very often in all of the work that I do in the office.

Another great thing about PRSSA is all of the trips that we go on. Every semester we take trips to talk to professionals in all types of industries. They tell us about how they got to where they are today and they give us tips about  what we can do to be successful. This year I went to Tipton Communications, a PR agency in Newark, DE and Hunter Public Relations in NYC. I learned so much from the people working at these two companies and they gave me so many great tips that I have been using at my internship and that I can use in the future.

Lastly, because of PRSSA I feel that I have matured professionally. Being able to watch all of our Executive Board this year, and having the amazing opportunity to be on the Executive Board next year, I feel that I have matured a lot. If I had started my internship a year ago I would not only have been very un-prepared but I wouldn’t have been as emotionally ready or as mature as I am starting my internship now. I am so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to intern at this great company and I owe all of my success at this internship and in the future to PRSSA-UD.

Written by: Katherine Bartell

katherineKatherine Bartell is a Sophomore at the University of Delaware and is from Nanuet, Ny. She is majoring in Communication Interest and minoring in Spanish. Katherine is so excited to be apart of the PRSSA Executive board. She loves the beach and spending time with family and friends. Katherine’s favorite place she has ever traveled to was Rome, Italy and she hopes to be able to return to Italy and travel in Europe after she graduates college. She has a crazy obsession for Disney and loves the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Katherine hopes to have a career in PR agency when she graduates college. She is extremely proud to be a Blue Hen and feels so lucky and happy to attend UD.

New executive board spotlight: Finance & Fundraising Director, Katherine Bartell

– Name: Katherine Bartellphoto1 (1)
– Class year: Sophomore
– PRSSA E-Board Position: Finance and Fundraising Director
– Nicknames: Kat, Kitty, and Kitty Kat
– Favorite meal/foods: Breakfast-chocolate chip pancakes Lunch- Boneless Teriyaki Wings  Dinner- Chinese Food
– If you could meet anyone: If I could meet anyone in the world, it would be Carrie Underwood, because she is incredibly talented, hardworking and seems like a down-to-earth person. I am really inspired by her.
– Dream career: My dream career is to own a PR agency in NYC.
– Sibling(s): I have a 17 year old sister named Julia and a 14 year old sister named Grace.
– Pet(s):  I have a cairn terrier named Rocky.
– If you could travel anywhere: If I could travel anywhere I would travel to Spain.
– Favorite place to study on campus: My favorite place to study on campus is the ISE lab.
– Guilty pleasure: My guilty pleasure is Oreo’s- I could eat a whole pack of them in a day!
– Weird habit: My weird habit is that I crack my wrists, when I get nervous I do it constantly.