Flash Communications

Tales from a student-PR agency at Kent State University

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The Importance of Social Media

Nicole Winkleman, Senior Public Relations Major, shares her thoughts on the importance of Social Media for students

Your teachers always tell you to keep your Facebook and Twitter accounts professional. Obviously that’s a good idea, especially when looking for a job or an internship, but it can be invaluable and help you land the interview!

I’m a fashion merchandising, public relations double-major at Kent. Although I work at Flash, I haven’t fulfilled my PR internship yet. The summer of 2011 I completed my fashion internship with the Cleveland Indians.

How Twitter helped me. When I first found out about the opportunity, I immediately started following the Indians on Twitter. The day after my interview I had a request to be followed by @tribeinsider. They were tracking my social media use and wanted to see if it was professional. Because I keep my Twitter professional, it helped me land the job.

How you can find jobs. I also started following @PRSAjobcenter recently on Twitter. Although I am not looking for a job yet (I need an internship first), you can easily find what markets are hiring and what types of jobs are out there for entry-level PR professionals.

Don’t be fake. Just because you’re being professional, doesn’t mean to be fake or overdo it. You don’t need to constantly post links to articles and #hashtag things. Make sure what you say is genuine, but it never hurts to link to a good article when you read one.

LinkedIn. Also, make a LinkedIn page if you haven’t already done so. This will help people find you and it is also a way to network with people that went to the same college as you. Sometimes that’s all you need for a recommendation from a colleague.

Network. Although social media isn’t all about networking – it is! Connect with people you’ve had classes with, people that work at a job you’d like to work, any professional in the field. You never know when someone will stumble on your blog, Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook and will want to get to know you better. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to professionals, but don’t stalk them. A lot of professionals will think of you as a go-getter, if you reach out to them.

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/n_winkleman 
Read my blog: http://portsandlinesoftheair.wordpress.com/ 
Connect with me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=151992892&trk=tab_pro
OR email me: nwinklem@kent.edu

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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?