New executive board spotlight: Assistant Program Director, Katerina Vlitas

– Name: Katerina Vlitasphoto2

– Class year: Sophomore

– PRSSA E-Board Position: Assistant Program Director

– Nickname: I go by Kat for short.

– Favorite meal/foods: My favorite meal is brunch. For Brunch I’d like a nice big (emphasis on big) cup of coffee, with a Belgian waffle with whip cream, fruit and bacon. With a side of  a feta cheese and spinach omlette and home fries ( but only from a dinner back home in Brooklyn). Then for the lunch part of brunch I’d like a grilled cheese and buffalo wings ( from a local bar in Brooklyn).

– If you could meet anyone: If I could meet anyone it would be J.D Salinger.

– Dream career: My dream career would be PR for the President.

– Sibling(s): I have two younger siblings, Evie’s 15 and Nicoletta’s 9.

– Pet(s): No pets, my parents are “allergic.”

– If you could travel anywhere: Bora Bora!

– Favorite place to study on campus: My favorite place to study is the Trabant Chapel.

– Guilty pleasure: My guilty pleasure is anything that airs on the TLC channel.

– Weird fact: I’m not telling you my weird habits #embarrassing.

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New executive board spotlight: Public Relations Director, Keri Betters

– Name: Keri Betters
KATG1– Class year: Senior

– PRSSA E-Board Position: Public Relations Director

– Nicknames: Kerbear, Carols,
K-Dawg, Eliza, Ker, KB Toys, Betters

– Favorite meal/foods: Dinner’s my favorite meal! Favorite foods are grape leaves (a Lebanese dish), hummus, chicken and broccoli casserole, coffee (it’s a food group, I promise), and watermelon.

– If you could meet anyone: Johnny Depp, Tim Tebow, Troy Polamalu, and Michael Jackson.

– Dream career: My dream career is to go into sports PR (ideally for my favorite team of all time, the Pittsburgh Steelers) and/or become the next Erin Andrews.

– Sibling(s): I have three younger brothers: Jeremy (19–he goes to UD, too!), Zachary (16), and Joshua (10).

– Pet(s): Sadly, no pets currently, but I really want a white husky with blue eyes!

– If you could travel anywhere: Australia, Hawaii, Neverland, and Narnia.

– Favorite place to study on campus: Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and The ISE Lab.

– Guilty pleasure: The Bachelorette and caramel iced coffee.

– Weird habit: Most of the time, I purposely spell my name wrong at Starbucks because I’ve realized that’s a battle I’m never going to win. Also, before any stressful event (interview, exam, competition, etc), I listen to “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson on repeat. Don’t know when this habit started, but it calms my nerves every time!

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.

New executive board spotlight: Program Director, Sydney Scheiner

prssa– Name: Sydney Scheiner
– Class year: Junior
– PRSSA E-Board Position: Program Director
– Nickname: Squidney
– Favorite meal/foods: Breakfast is my favorite. Put pancakes and eggs in front of me and I’m the happiest person alive
– If you could meet anyone: If I could meet anyone, it would have to be Amy Poehler and/or Tina Fey.
– Dream career: My dream career would be to be on Broadway or a rapper, but my realistic dream job would be to work for SNL or Jimmy Fallon.
– Sibling(s): I have an older brother named Corey who is 24 and works at Major League Baseball Productions.
– Pet(s): I have the poster dog for golden retrievers. His name is Parker, he’s 4, and my parents treat him more like a child than me.
– If you could travel anywhere: If I could travel anywhere I would go to Australia, then some small town in Montana.
– Favorite place to study on campus: The best place to study on campus in my opinion is the Chapel, but when that gets too crowded, go to Alfred Lerner, it’s usually very empty.
– Guilty pleasure: Jersey Shore and Keeping Up With The Kardashians
– Weird fact: I have an incredible memory. I remember very trivial things about people and I never forget anyone’s birthday.

#UDoPR: PRSSA-UD’s Unforgettable Day in the City That Never Sleeps

“Everything I owe to PRSSA. I would not be here without it.” – Grace Leong, University of Delaware Communication alumna and owner of Hunter Public Relations.

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Two weeks ago, fifteen members of PRSSA-UD traveled to New York City for the semester’s agency field trip. The weather threatened to downpour, but never once did we have to run for cover. After arriving bright and early in Manhattan, all fifteen of us eagerly anticipated the many adventures the day would bring. As a lover of all things social, meeting The College Prepster, visiting Hunter Public Relations, and touring Buzzfeed HQ reinforced exactly why I adore public relations.

First stop: brunch with Carly, AKA The College Prepster, at Le Pain café. Carly’s career in the blogosphere boomed unexpectedly, but Carly has learned a lot about public relations through the process. While chatting with her, she explained that knowing your audience and what they’re into are critical for both blogging and public relations. “Learn social media etiquette as quickly as possible,” Carly urged. “Anything on social media can and will be traced back to you so always represent yourself (and your company) professionally.”

Next stop: a visit to Hunter Public Relations. Grace Leong, Hunter PR owner and University of Delaware graduate, majored in Communication and founded the PRSSA-UD chapter. Her passion for what she does is evident in both her words and actions. Speaking with her was encouraging, refreshing, and motivating. Grace promised that although working in a fast-paced agency can be exhausting, it is extremely rewarding. “When you get burned out,” Leong encouraged, “do more of it [what you do], but change the scenery. It helps reignite your passion and creativity.”

After our discussion with Grace, I walked away with three tips for success:

  1. Be transparent. Always admit you’re sorry.
  2. In a job interview, state the impact and relate it back to the company and how you would fit in
  3. While job searching, look at the entire package of the company. Salary isn’t everything and it won’t motivate you through the hard days—go with your gut and do what you love.

The final stop: a tour to Buzzfeed Headquarters. The HQ reminded me of Google’s office in the movie, The Internship. Not only did the office include a life-sized cutout of Ryan Gosling, but there were ping pong tables, foose-ball tables, an Xbox, and a few giant TVs. One of the employees, Ashley, gave us insight about what it’s like to work at a social media-focused company. Her #1 tip for success: “Marketing is paid media, but public relations is earned media. Knowing this, the distribution strategy is as important as the idea itself.

Although we heard advice from three different perspectives, the overall message stayed consistent. Public relations is relationship building. Whether you build that relationship through blogging, working directly with a client at an agency, or focusing strictly on the social media aspect, implementing public relations skills is critical for long-term success. As a field trip attendee, the experience further sparked my passion for PRSSAA, motivated me to keep pursuing my dream, and reinforced the true value and importance of public relations. Bill Gates summarized it best: “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on PR.”

To read the tweet-by-tweet summary of the day’s events, click here for the Storify! 

By: Keri Betters

Keri is a junior Interpersonal Communication major with a double minor in advertising and interactive media and a concentration in public relations. She currently serves as PRSSA-UD’s Program Director and will be the PR Director for the 2014-2015 academic year. In addition to serving on PRSSA-UD’s executive board, she is a UD Social Media Ambassador, a social media marketing intern for UD Career Services Center, a youth group leader, and a member of Lambda Pi Eta. Connect with her on Twitter, @LilMissKeri93.