Flash Communications

Tales from a student-PR agency at Kent State University


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Thoughts from the Assistant Coordinator

Ryan Collins, Senior Public Relations Major, shares his thoughts from the perspective of the assistant coordinator at Flash Comm.

Flash Communications is an awesome chance for PRKent students to learn from professionals and hone their writing skills.

I only had a small idea of what I was getting into when I first interviewed at Flash. I was accepted as an intern, and I got a writing assignment my first day. I was given project after project the entire semester. I wrote for Kent State’s faculty and staff newsletter, Kent State’s home page and the Kent State alumni magazine. I was able to interview students and faculty about their successes and accomplishments. My portfolio is full to bursting thanks to Flash.

By the end of last semester, I was ready to move up. The assistant coordinator position was open, and I applied. Happily, I got the job!

Flash Communications is part of Kent State’s University Communications and Marketing department. As the assistant coordinator, I’ve taken over sending out Kent State’s events distribution list to local media, giving me valuable media relations experience. I run the Flash Facebook page using an editorial calendar. I help supervise the interns who work at the agency. I also do work for a variety of other clients, such as PRSSA Kent and JMC.

Any PRKent students looking to gain valuable leadership experience, become better writers and gain PR skills should work at Flash for at least two semesters. I recommend being an intern writing for KSU publications. Then, apply to be the assistant. If you get the job, you’ll know so much more about the industry. It’s an opportunity worth trying out for!

Flash counts as an internship for your résumé, even if it doesn’t count as your internship for credit. Getting to work with University Communications and Marketing professionals is a chance no PRKent student should pass up.

What kind of internship are you looking for?

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Planning for 2012 YouToo Conference

Kasey Fahey, Flash CommunicationsThanks to guest blogger Kasey Fahey, senior public relations major and student assistant at Flash Communications, for providing this post about the upcoming YouToo Social Media Conference. Kasey shares how she and the Flash team are helping with online promotion and media relations.  Flash is working closely with Jennifer Kramer in the College of Communication and Information, along with the 2012 YouToo Planning Committee to make the event a success. This year’s focus is mobile and measurement. Be sure to register now for the event on Friday, April 13. 

For the past two months, Flash Communications has been hard at work on the 2012 YouToo Social Media Conference. We have been working side-by-side with other committee members to ensure that the fifth annual conference is just as successful as the first. Here’s a peek at what Ryan Collins and I have been up to:

  • Wrote scripts for the conference opening, welcome remarks, room managers and speaker introductions
  • Pitched more than 25 bloggers, newspapers, magazines and speakers to gain more conference coverage and audience outreach
  • Wrote two press releases and distributed them to local media
  • Arranged for students to create multimedia elements during the conference
  • Arranged for students to act as media liaisons and live-Tweet during the conference
  • Updated the conference website including organizing sponsors and speaker bios and building a newsroom and conference schedule
  • Reserved the Kent State University banner for the conference day

I currently serve as the assistant to coordinator Stefanie Moore at Flash Communications. I’m also the account supervisor for a communications campaign for AkronReads for the senior seminar campaigns course. I will graduate in August 2012 after interning at Lief & Karson Communications and Ashtabula County Medical Center this summer.

Ryan was recently elected as the online media manager for PRSSA Kent. He was also a member of the 2012 PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition. Ryan graduates in May 2013, and he is the author of the blog Not Straight Up.

Fellow Flash members Trenton Chavez and Olivia Arnette worked on the conference as well by analyzing tweets and pitching blogs.

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So, do you plan to attend?


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Confessions of an Ex-Journalism Major

Ryan Colins, Flash Communications studentThanks to guest blogger Ryan Collins, a senior public relations major at Kent State University, for sharing his experiences about making the switch from journalism to public relations. 

Anyone in the wrong major knows all about the sinking feeling you get when you calculate how soon graduation is. It’s scary to think of receiving a degree in something you don’t enjoy! That feeling also comes around when you schedule more classes you don’t really enjoy or when you have to look for an internship or job you don’t think you’ll like. It’s clear you need something new, but what if you don’t know where to turn?

I’ve been there.

PR Button Source:  Cision Blog http://blog.us.cision.com/I was a journalism major for almost two years. I knew I loved to write as a kid, so I thought journalism was a natural choice for me. I tried all kinds of student media, but I never felt totally satisfied. Thankfully, with the help of some caring friends, I decided to take a leap of faith and finally become an ex-journalism major. I switched to public relations.

Ever since I switched, I have set myself on a crash course learning PR.  I need to buy a button like this and wear it all the time:

I got a job working at Flash Communications, the student PR agency in Kent State’s University Communication and Marketing department. Here are some of my favorite things about working here:

  • I confess: My favorite thing about working in public relations is all the positivity! Here at Flash, we’re focused on all the fabulous things happening at Kent State University every day. I love that about PR. We’re happy people.
  • I confess: Being a study abroad alum, I love writing stories focused on other countries. I recently wrote a story about a KSU student who visited Jamaica and another story about a class that takes KSU students to Costa Rica over winter breaks. Working in public relations allows me to tell the Kent State community how beneficial it is to study abroad and see the world.
  • I confess: Working at Flash is special to me because I get to work with top communication professionals at Kent State. I get stories and feedback directly from people who I respect. I’m learning how to write for different publications around the university. Being here is a learning experience, it’s not just a job.
  • I confess: I love the intangible feeling of being fulfilled. My public relations classes and my job at Flash inspire me! PR motivates me to work hard. Even though this field is competitive, I love what I do. A career that emphasizes Twitter clearly is amazing.

If you want to be an ex-(insert your current major here) and switch to public relations, visit the Public Relations Student Society of America’s (PRSSA) website to learn more.

PS. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports employment of PR specialists is expected to grow 24 percent from 2008-2018.  Once again, I love this field for its positive outlook!