Flash Communications

Tales from a student-PR agency at Kent State University

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What are you really getting out of your education?


With the beginning of the new semester comes a new batch of students to Flash Communications. As I write this, we’re just wrapping up our third week of the semester.

Already I sense the excitement they emote about new classes, this new job, other internships, graduation and – of course – starting their careers.

Some of them are too cool to admit it, but some of them are openly stating it: “I can’t believe we’re graduating this semester…” I remember the feeling (yes, it was a long time ago), a sense of excitement and dread and introspection in the form of “am I prepared for this?”

And that’s what your education is supposed to do: Prepare you for this. And we are doing this, but I’m not certain you know that.

One thing I’ve been hearing lately from students at work and in class is “how does this apply to me?” and I find it a tad disturbing. Oh, sure, there are the obvious subjects and tasks we cover in class, creating media lists, writing exercises, media and blogger outreach, developing SMART objectives, etc. But there are so many other concepts, lessons and skills we teach that seem to go over the heads of many students.

So let me assure you of this, students. It applies to you. Whatever it is, if it’s taught in one of our JMC classes, it applies to you in some way. You may not apply it on the first day of your job or even within the first year, but when you’re suddenly asked to concept and design an event or put together a strategic plan framework for a new client based on an obscure problem statement, you will start to recognize the “hidden” value of your education. Our classes are designed to prepare you. Our lessons are designed to challenge you. Our discussions are designed to inspire you. Ask some alumni; I think it works.

So my suggestions to you: Go to a conference. Go to a networking event. Join a club. Be an officer. Go on interviews (informational or employment).Go to a job fair. All of these will help you. And remember, you get more out of it, when you put something into it. So turn on your brains and explore. It will pay off.

photo credit: j.o.h.n. walker via photopin cc

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New Coordinator, New Faces at Flash Communications

Hi. I’m Luke Armour, the new coordinator for Flash Communications. You can find a lot more about me on my semi-retired blog and on Twitter. I’ve been playing in the social media space since 2005 and working in it nearly full-time since 2007. Now, I’m here at Kent State University as an assistant professor and coordinator for this outstanding group of young professionals known as Flash Communications.

It’s only two weeks into the semester and I am thrilled with the students Stef Moore hired this fall. We’re just getting ramped up, but I have high hopes for Fall 2012.

You’ll be hearing more from them – with guest blog posts, on the Flash Communications Facebook page and maybe via Twitter – as the semester progresses.

In the meantime, I look forward to turning my past experiences, education and knowledge into teachable moments for these students as the semester progresses.

I also look forward to them educating me as well – about Kent State, about what hip youngsters are into these days and about themselves.

I really want to thank Stef Moore for so many things: for building such a powerful community here for the voices of student PR, for hiring such an outstanding group of students and for being on speed dial during the first two weeks of this semester.

Stay tuned for more observations from Student PR at Kent State.


Flash Communications is Hiring

Only five weeks remain. Fall semester is almost over, and we’re already planning for spring 2012. To help create awareness about Flash Communications and the application process, Flash students Heather Thomas and Kasey Fahey put together this video. Starring in the video are current Flash Communications students.  And they’re singing their hearts out.

I don’t know about you, but I’d apply at a place like this.

Check it out.

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Back-to-the-Office Etiquette

Be a professional in the officeSummer has been grand, but it’s time to start thinking about fall semester! We have a great new crew of public relations students, including two who are returning from last semester. I’m in the process of developing a Flash Communications Guidebook to show the newbies the ropes. My assistant, Sarah Lack, suggested we create a more comprehensive guide than my “one sheeter” to help answer questions, especially when I’m not in the office. I thought it was a great idea. I love it when students help streamline processes.

It’s easy for us to get under each other’s skin when we work in such close quarters and when the stress of the semester is on our shoulders, so I’ll be sure to include reminders about office etiquette in the guide. We already have a bulletin board in our office with reminders of what it means to be a professional.

To kick off the discussion about what not to do in the office to drive each other bonkers, here’s a post from Ragan’s about the 12 Most Annoying Workplace Habits. Here’s a quick recap:

1. Loud talking

2. Reheating last night’s salmon in the microwave

3. Whispering

4. Bare feet

5. Saying “excuse me?” in response to every comment or question

6. Interrupting

7. Complaining

8. Correcting people; no one likes a know-it-all

9. Micromanaging

10. Chewing with your mouth open

11. Taking cell phone calls in meetings

12. Intruding on personal space

What would you add to this list?