Flash Communications

Tales from a student-PR agency at Kent State University

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Transitioning from College to Career with Greater Cleveland PRSA

Carrie DrummondThanks to guest blogger Carrie Drummond, a senior public relations major at Kent State University, for sharing her experiences in this post. This is her second semester at Flash Communications. Carrie has interned in healthcare and the National Hockey League. She is in hot pursuit of a job in Pittsburgh or Raleigh after graduation in May and can be found on LinkedIn.

Each year the Greater Cleveland PRSA Chapter sponsors a day for students to learn more about the real world of public relations. Student Day 2010 was based around the tagline, “From College to Career.”  For full transparency, you should know that I helped create that tagline. I was a member of the student committee that helped promote the big day. I got involved because I’m just about to make that leap myself, and I love hearing advice from PR pros.

What I didn’t realize was how much fun I would have in the process! I networked with other students and professionals and learned valuable career tips all at once.

The Top 5 Lessons Learned from Cleveland PRSA Student Day 2010:

  1. Schedule informational interviews. When you go, make sure you ask what you can do for that professional or firm in return. Give back.
  2. Think of your dream job. Look up the job description. Even if you won’t get there until you have years of experience, look at what you need to be working on in the meantime.
  3. Set up a Google Alert for your name. Keep an eye on how you appear to others online.
  4. If you’re not improving, you’re getting worse. Think of ways to make yourself better. Whether it’s attending a PR conference or writing a guest blog post, make sure you’re always working toward a goal.
  5. Follow @kyleplacy on Twitter.

For more information about the Greater Cleveland PRSA Chapter, check out http://www.prsacleveland.org.

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It’s All About Trust

Carrie Drummond

Guest Blogger: Carrie Drummond, senior public relations major

At the end of October, I had the opportunity to attend “Earn Trust,” the last session in the Meeker-Young PR Series at Kent State University. The series of PR workshops was open to professionals and students, and each session focused on a different way to make the best PR moves for your client.

I wasn’t able to stay for the entire day of events because I was busy at work for Flash Communications, but I did get to stop by and listen to Kevin Cook, executive vice president/director of corporate affairs for Edelman. I knew it was going to be a great part of the day to catch because I’ve been hearing about Edelman since I joined the PR track at Kent State.

Cook talked about The Edelman Trust Barometer, a surveying tool that the PR firm uses to determine the public’s trust levels in regards to business, government, media and other institutions. It was fascinating to go over the stats from last year’s worldwide survey. PR pros can use that information to better reach their publics. Once you know who your audience trusts, you can try to make a connection between the trust agent and the audience. On the flip side, you can make sure to avoid promoting people or institutions that your audience doesn’t trust.

The bottom line for me was that you need to know your audience. It’s one of the basics we’re taught from the start here at Kent State. Know who you’re talking to. Know what they like and why they like it. Know how to reach them. Know what influences them. And if you know and care about your audience, trust will be right around the corner.

What’s your first question when analyzing your audience?