#UDPRIntern: 5 Tips for Future Event Planners

Planning and setting up for events is definitely not as easy as it may seem. When that day rolls around, after months of planning, you need to make sure everything is exactly how the client wants it. Whether it is a Bar Mitzvah, a Sweet 16 or a Corporate Company Holiday Party, there is always so much to do when the day of the event arrives. Stefanie Bartell-Zednick, who also happens to be my aunt, is the owner of SBZ Events, a full-service event planning and production company. I have had the opportunity to work some of these events with her and have learned so much about event planning and how to make sure everything runs smoothly.

  1. Arrive VERY Early. Stefanie does a lot of the preparing before the day of the event. Any décor she can arrange before she does. She has a complete layout of what everything is going to look like before she gets there and she also makes sure that everyone involved in the event is on the same page. However, there is always something that doesn’t go as planned, or some problem that comes up that has to be taken care of. When planning an event, youevent planning have to make sure you leave yourself a lot of time for any unexpected issues that may arise. For example, if an event starts between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m., I am usually there between noon and 12:30 p.m.
  2. Have a Timeline. Although things will come up; you want to have a rough timeline for how much time you want spent on each project. If you don’t watch the time, you might get caught up in it all and run out of time.
  3. Don’t Ask Unnecessary Questions. In the beginning, I would go up to Stefanie for every little problem I had. When setting up for the event, the person who is running it all is going to have a lot of things going on. You can’t be going to them with every little problem you have. Either ask someone else or figure it out yourself. If it’s a stylistic question definitely ask, but don’t ask where the tape is. Learn to be a problem solver and work through it.
  4. Relax, Breathe, Don’t Stress. Depending on the size of the event, the hours leading up to the event can be very stressful. With so much going on, you can get very overwhelmed. The hour before the event starts is always the craziest. All of the final details have to come together and everything is being checked to make sure it’s up to standards. I once did a corporate event in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We were holding the party in one room that didn’t was open to the public until 6:30 and our event started at 8. We only had an hour and a half to pull it all together and it was the most stressful hour and a half of my life. People will yell at you, and you will be all over the place, but do your best to relax and breathe because it will all turn out great.
  5. Bring two pairs of shoes. I learned the hard way that working in the same pair for shoes for 12 hours is a terrible decision. Always wear sneakers to work and then different shoes for when the event starts. Otherwise your feet will be numb by the end of the night!

Working for Stefanie has taught me so much about event planning. It is definitely a stressful job but when you see the finished project it is definitely worth it.

To view pictures of events or to learn more about SBZ events, visit http://www.sbzevents.com.

By: Katherine Bartell

Katherine Bartell is a sophomore with a Communication Interest major with a Spanish minor. She is the Finance and Fundraising Director for PRSSA-UD, and a member for the Harrington Theatre Arts Company. She is a PR enthusiast and can’t go a day without a cup of coffee!

Photo source: https://samaneapr.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/like-most-about-event-planning-s.jpg

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#UDPRIntern: #UDWinter At Home– Not Boring When You’re Exploring

Recently, my social media feeds have been chock-full of study abroad pictures, tweets about UD’s first snowfall of 2015 and the top ten reasons to spend winter session at Delaware. But what about all of those students reading social updates from their living rooms? What about everyone that opted not to pack up their bags, go abroad, or just go back to the land of the Fightin’ Blue Hens?

I never thought I would be one of those people that chose to come home and stay home from mid-December to mid-February. Until I was.

When I made my decision to stay put for the entirety of winter session, I received mixed feedback from my family and friends. Because UD’s break is pretty unique, people who have never heard of winter session can’t understand why it even exists. They don’t see the point of giving college students extra time off when almost every other university is back in session while we still have five weeks to go. Some people assumed that, like most college students with typical-length breaks, I would sit at home and take time to relax…except for two months rather than one.

Little do these people know that winter session is far from a time to gloat about how you are spending two months on the couch instead of in the classroom. Winter session allows people to explore a new country while knocking out some breadth requirements along the way. Winter session enables people get a broader education by offering classes students wouldn’t normally take. To put it simply, the goal of winter session is to allow the UD community to explore what other opportunities are out there.

paxton1This winter, I chose to explore professional development from the comfort of my own home. I have two internships, both within public relations and social media marketing-related fields, to obtain experience doing the work I love. I am compiling a list of PR firms that have internship programs matching my interests, and I have a list of Delaware alumni I want to reach out to before February. In my free time, I have a reading list of books I’m making my way through on effective engagement and professionalism. I even finally launched my own blog!

 

I barely have any time to sit on the couch and binge-watch Friends, and I am totally okay with that.

Like myself, PRSSA members choosing to stay home this winter have the chance to explore and apply themselves towards achieving their post-graduation dreams. From home, PR students can gain valuable experience in the industry through a winter internship. There is also no better time to get ahead on networking and developing a personal branding strategy; both become much harder to make a priority once classes begin. And with a clear personal voice in mind, students can get ahead on summer internship applications, knowing their unique voice sets them apart from other candidates. paxton2

I don’t regret that I’m not posting pictures of me jumping off a cliff in Hawaii, or that I’m typing this up on my desk instead of in the Trabant Lounge. I, along with my fellow aspiring public relations professionals, choose to have clear-cut goals and tactics I can take on at home. I am broadening my horizons, sharpening my skillset, and preparing to tackle whatever opportunities come my way this winter session and beyond.

Now excuse me as I take a selfie of myself writing this and post it using #UDWinter. My social media audience needs to know that I’m at home this winter, and I’m going exploring.

By: Paxton Mittleman

Paxton Mittleman is a sophomore communication interest and English double major who is passionate about public relations and social media marketing.  When she’s not attending PRSSA meetings, Paxton is tweeting from her @BlueHenPaxton Social Media Ambassador account, volunteering with the sisters of Gamma Sigma Sigma, or planning events as a Senior Fellow for the UD Honors Program.

#UDPRintern: 4 Easy Ways to Make The Most of Winter Session

Winter Session at the University of Delaware (also known as #UDWinter) is a great way to get ahead of the game. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take a class. The most important part of Winter Session is making the most out of your time, whichever way you choose to spend it.

Here are four major Winter Session paths to choose from:

  1. Take Classes

Aside from the obvious, being a student at the University of Delaware is extremely advantageous to one’s overall success, due to Winter Session. As students, we are given an opportunity to earn up to seven credits while on winter break. These credits can abate the course load for the coming semester, or help to ensure that one graduates on time or even early.

  1. Study Abroad

A traditional study abroad excursion puts one away from his/her home for as long as four months. While this is bearable for some, many students find this to be too overbearing. Lucky for students at the University of Delaware, there is an option to study abroad for one month during its winter session. Additionally, students are still offered a broad range of destinations during this time.

  1. Intern

Whether it is through the University of Delaware or an independent opportunity, finding an internship for Winter Session is an extremely productive use of one’s time. Due to the fact that UD’s Winter Session is two months, companies are more inclined to hire a student who can be there for a longer duration. Even still, during this time period, students can network and prove their abilities in order to attain a summer internship, as well.

  1. Self-improve

For some students, Winter Session is a time for utmost relaxation instead of being completely focused on schoolwork. Winter Session is a great time to give one’s brain a little detox; however, there are many productive activities that do not come with stressful baggage! Working a part-time job, improving one’s overall fitness, volunteering or participating in resume building activities are all great ways to have a dynamic, yet peaceful, Winter Session.

Whatever you choose to do this Winter Session, there is a way to make the most out of it!

By: Morgan Pudimott

Morgan Pudimott is a freshman Communication Interest with a minor in advertising. She is passionate about the field of Public Relations. Morgan plans to continue to become more involved in the blog, and PRSSA itself.

#UDPRintern: A Winternship to Remember

My name is Amanda Schuman and I’m a sophomore communications interest major. I have been a member of PRSSA-UD since fall semester of my freshman year, and as someone who wasn’t entirely sure what to be when I grew up, it was a great organization for me to join. PRSSA introduced me to many aspects of the public relations industry, which led me to pursue my first internship in the field this winter.

I currently intern at my old highschool, Golda Och Academy, in its alumni relations department. On my first day, I tweeted about my #winternship. The school’s principal took note of this term, enjoyed it, and now it is sticking. My job involves contacting alumni (my friends) through social media to rally involvement with fundraising and keep the alumni society updated with their accomplishments and milestones.

My first major task was to help promote and plan an annual basketball game of ahashtaglumni vs. the current high school team. This event invites back the last four graduating classes to have brunch with their former teachers and then watch the game. A couple weeks in advance, I was in charge of sending out emails to both alumni and faculty informing them of the event, making a Facebook event and managing the giveaways that were to be handed out.

While discussing the event, I remembered how during the PRSSA-UD networking event, Night With the Pros, a Twitter contest was held to encourage participant engagement on social media. I applied that to the basketball game and created a contest using a hashtag that got alumni talking about the game through social media. My colleagues were impressed with the results and I have PRSSA-UD to thank for that.

On game day, I was in charge of the school’s Instagram account. While I took time to catch up with my friends, I also snapped pictures of alumni and faculty mingling, as well as, action shots of the game. I then had the idea to recreate the famous ‘selfie’ of Ellen Degeneres and other celebrities by having the principal of the school take a selfie with the entire alumni section of the game. This photo managed to get more ‘likes’ than any previous picture on the account.

In the end, it was a win for the alumni team and a win for my winternship.

By: Amanda Schuman

4 Common Marketing Mistakes on Social Media and How to Fix Them

Social media is a great platform for companies to get their name and product out to a large audience with relatively minimal effort. While using social media might come easily to some, others are actually hurting their business rather than helping it, due to lack of knowledge on how and what to publish. In order to benefit from social media, businesses need to recognize their mistakes and work from them. Here are the top four mistakes made on social media, and how to fix them.

  1. Posting too much or posting too little

Some businesses might think that constant posts, tweets, or announcements will advance their campaign by constantly displaying their brand; what they do not realize is that they are exasperating their audience. By posting too much, the business is clogging the viewer’s newsfeed and timeline and annoying the potential client, who in turn might ignore the post, un-follow the account, or unsubscribe from the company’s announcements. This is the last thing businesses want. On the other hand, some businesses are not posting enough. Posting once a month or less does not keep the brand fresh in the viewer’s mind. To fix this common problem, the business needs to find the happy medium: Post only the most important key points, and post on average about five to six times a month. By asking, “will this help further my business/name/product?” before posting, the company has a better chance of obtaining the potential client’s attention.

2Posting at inappropriate times

Another common marketing mistakes businesses make is posting at the wrong time. Posting at 2 a.m. when the majority of their audience is asleep is not beneficial. Neither is posting during a time when the audience is distracted, such as during a national crisis, an election, a holiday and so forth. In order to fix this mistake, companies need to cater to their audience by recognizing the big picture. By observing current events, time of the day and year, and audience’s interest or feedback, companies should be able to post accordingly.

3. Using Social Media as a Megaphone

A third common mistake is using social media as a megaphone rather than a sounding board. Media should be used as a means of communication and interaction between audience and business. Companies need to listen to customer’s replies, critiques, requests and interest levels, and reply and cater to them. In other words: give the people what they want. When companies interact with their audience, they are creating a relationship that is positive and beneficial for the companies’ reputation. In order to fix this problem, companies should read their audience’s responses, make a list of the most common requests and complaints, and post further media accordingly.

  1. Using the appropriate channel for the appropriate audience

There are many different channels of social media, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, forums, snapchat, email and linkedin. Depending on the company, certain channels are more appropriate than others. For example, a company selling retirement plans to an older crowd might use email as opposed to blog posts because the generation they need to cater to is more familiar with email. A company selling Go-Pros might post videos on Facebook because the audience who would buy the Go-Pro uses that channel- also posting a video as opposed to sending out an email allows for a better demonstration of their product. To fix this problem, companies should first identify their audience and the most common channel they use. Then determine what kind of media they can post to that channel to best represent their company.

Companies who use social media are more likely to gain more clients, increase their revenue and create a better reputation for their business. Businesses are constantly competing on social media everyday; however, those that follow these tips will find greater success, ten out of ten times.

socialmedia

http://www.inc.com/steve-tobak/does-social-media-content-have-any-credibility.html

By: Julia Fletcher

Julia Fletcher is a Communications Major with minors in Legal Studies, Political Communication and Journalism. She plays midfield for the University of Delaware’s club lacrosse team and is also the team’s Social Chair. Julia is from Boston, MA and in ten years hopes to own her own Public Relations Firm in the city.

Resources:

1. http://www.fitmarketing.com/blog/social-media-marketing-mistakes/

2. http://www.fastcompany.com/3022843/work-smart/7-critical-mistakes-youre-almost-certainly-making-on-social-media

3. http://www.jeffbullas.com/2013/11/14/the-top-five-social-media-marketing-mistakes-and-how-to-fix-them/ 

5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Be on LinkedIn

Last week, I connected with yet another social media-marketing consultant on LinkedIn. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities LinkedIn has provided me in helping carve out a niche for myself in the public relations and digital marketing industry. Yet, I have friends who do not understand how LinkedIn can be beneficial for them.

“I don’t need a LinkedIn.”

“I’m a science major. People only look for communication majors on LinkedIn.”

“You sell yourself on LinkedIn; it makes you look cheap.”

These statements were like nails on a chalkboard to my ears. Although I admit I’m biased towards all things social media, LinkedIn can do nothing but help anyone, whether you’re a a chemical engineer or a theatrical performer. Brace yourself, college kids. If you are not on LinkedIn, there are 5 reasons to get on it as soon as possible, or risk falling behind in landing the career of your dreams.

1. ALL companies look for it

Everyone’s heard that potential employers look up their job candidates on social media before even considering them. More importantly, they are looking to see if you have established a professional presence. One source informed me that a chemical production company  (I’m talking to you, scientists and engineers) specifically looked to see if job candidates had a LinkedIn before even reviewing the rest of the resume. You don’t have one? Well… guess you really don’t care that much about professional development.

2. You are not a Red Solo Cup, You are a Passionate (Insert Job Here)

Nothing on social media is meaningless. Every single picture, status, and shared link on any platform contributes to the development of your online identity. As aspiring professionals, it’s time to start considering how you want to define yourself to employers. What are your goals? What are you looking to accomplish after your get your degree? How do you feel your experiences have contributed to your overall goals and personality? A LinkedIn profile answers those questions. Posting pictures of your sorority’s formal on Facebook does not.

3. One Page Limit? What One Page Limit?

It irks me how you can never put every single experience and accomplishment on your print resume without going over one page. Before I joined LinkedIn, I wished there was a way I could show employers that I have done X Y and Z on my resume, but I’ve also done A B and C that I consider to be of equal value to my successes. Then I found out, oh wait, on LinkedIn there is no page limit! Your profile acts as a resume where you can add anything — publications, causes you care about, links to research you’ve conducted — that you want without worrying about lack of space. Everyone needs a resume; everyone wants to showcase every success that contributed to their development. LinkedIn gives everyone the chance to craft their identity using as much or as little information as possible.

4. Networking Just Got That Much Easier

While LinkedIn is a place to establish your professional presence and brand, at its core, it is a social networking site. Students are at an advantage here: you have the power to reach out to people you admire in your industry without fear that it’s impolite. Why? People on social networking sites want to meet other people, and successful people love when students reach out to them to ask for advice. Successful people get excited to meet students who are interested in their work, and students get to meet people they may have been scared to approach through email and build their network in ways they never imagined possible.

5. On That Note, Job Searching Just Got That Much Easier

Job searching can be overwhelming with so many search engines and options to consider. LinkedIn can help you specifically target opportunities in the companies you specifically want to work for. On LinkedIn, you can follow a company, join an alumni network, and find groups that are talking about fields that interest you. People post job opportunities in these groups. There could be a potential perfect job out there for you where the employer is specifically looking for members of a certain group, and you could never know about it. Unless you join LinkedIn.

People may not think that LinkedIn doesn’t apply to them, that it’s not useful, or that it makes you look cheap. But I assure you, if you invest the time into creating a simple profile, LinkedIn will take your career places you never thought possible. I look forward to connecting with you all in the future!

By: Paxton Mittleman

Paxton Mittleman is a sophomore communication interest and English double major who is passionate about public relations and social media marketing.  When she’s not attending PRSSA meetings, Paxton is tweeting from her @BlueHenPaxton Social Media Ambassador account, volunteering with the sisters of Gamma Sigma Sigma, or planning events as a Senior Fellow for the UD Honors Program.  You can find her on Twitter and, of course, LinkedIn.

 

How Political Views are Impacted by Your Sense of Humor & Social Media

Social media can become an addiction, especially when you have run out of shows to watch on Netflix or when you find yourself stalking anyone/anything imaginable.

Although contrary to popular belief, social media does dominate significant ideals and morals in our lives, including our political views. I will not discuss how solid statistics and facts read on new media (like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) are more likely to influence your personal views and future attitudes on political candidates, rather than opinions. Instead, I’d like to explain how your political view relates to your sense of humor, which in turn effects how you view social media. Social media is not only a symptom of a need to see an outsider’s view in order to create your own, but it also is a side effect of a changing technological world.

Conservatives tend to use exaggerated jokes that could be repeated several times and contain very clear punch lines. However, liberals tend to use jokes that incorporate sarcasm and irony.  tweet

So, lets break it down. Your sense of humor ultimately defines what you find intriguing, and thus influences your social media searches and “likes.” Conservatives are looking for more “breaking news” stories, like a hot scandal on how Florida’s 29 Electoral College votes should have been given to Gore, and the votes must be recounted. Conservatives’ exaggerated news will change their attitudes to more intense and possibly instantly view changing, depending on the media’s emphasis or importance.

On the flip side, liberals’ ironic sense of humor can have them more infatuated with ironic news, such as a Harlem doctor who is trying to help cure Ebola patients, but cannot detect his own Ebola illness. What’s more ironic than a doctor trying to save Ebola patients, while potentially spreading that epidemic to America’s largest city? It provokes thought.

With these different senses of humors come different social media cravings and disputes, because you read it on the Internet, so it MUST be true. The overall problem is that we all find different things humorous; it’s that simple. If only there was a joke category all people always enjoyed and could fall back on. However, if that were the case, there would also be no need for persuasive social media tactics. Then what would we do on our unproductive procrastination Sundays?

By: Alexandra Chiodi

Alexandra Chiodi, sophomore bachelor of arts in mass communication and bachelor of science in marketing, with a minor in advertising. She is currently the Co-Founder and Co-President of Pencils of Promise at UDel. Follow her on Twitter: @chiodii2 and @udelpop.

Research: “Fundamentals of Communication: Theory Readings and Exercising,” by Dr. Steven Mortenson.