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New PRSSA fundraiser Members tour KC agencies Alumni testimonial: Katie Good
Alumni Newsletter2015-2016 EditionFall Semester
The K-State chapter of PRSSA experiences major growth
Whats new in K-State PR?
PR Case Studies, or MC382, is a required class in K-States PR sequence. In the past, it has looked at general cases, but soon students are going to be able to dive deeper into more specific case study topics. Starting next spring, students will be able to take classes that look at case studies involving the military, environment, health, sports and crisis management. The schedule for these upcoming semesters can be seen to the right in Figure 1. The cycle will begin again in the fall of 2018.
Dr. DeSanto calls these classes a required course with elective content, and believes that they will be much more fun for the students as well as the professors. With this new system, JMC professors get a chance to teach their specialties and students are likely to be more engaged since they will be choosing subjects that they find interesting. All PR students will be required to take at least one of these case studies classes, but also have the opportunity to take another class to be counted as an elective.
Meet Dr. Zhang!Dr. Angela Zhang is a professor that was hired just this past spring. Her experience includes extensive work in Beijing with the 2008 Summer Olympics as well as with Baden Aniline and Soda Factory (BASF), a German manufacturing company. Currently she is teaching Strategic Communication Research (MC396) and next semester she will take on Fundamentals of Public Relations (MC180) as well.
Future Entertainment PR Pro: Mattie SharpFor senior Mattie Sharp, a career in the music industry would be a dream job. Mattie wants to make this dream a reality, and is taking all the necessary steps to do so. She applied as the summer 2015 marketing and group sales intern at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas and was accepted. While at the arena, Mattie got the opportunity to work events to promote social media, create flyers for group pre-sales and create promotional graphics for upcoming shows. One of the most valuable things Mattie said she learned during her internship was how to be adaptable.
The music industry is a very fast pace industry. Things change and there are lots of outside factors to make something actually happen. Knowing how to adapt to every situation in a way that is going to benefit those youre working with was huge, Mattie said.During her internship, Mattie was given the opportunity to work closely with the marketing department and be responsible for a variety of projects, giving her a real glimpse of the music industry.
I love music; its my passion, so getting to work those events and see what goes into it was amazing, Mattie said.
PRSSA Student Spotlight
New classes, new teacher!
For our chapter, the P in PRSSA must stand for pizza. We had pizza during some of our first meetings of the semester, pizza during our new member initiation meeting and pizza during some of our last meetings of the semester. So it only made sense that our fundraising event this year revolved around pizza.
This year, K-State PRSSA organized its first fundraising event in quite some time called Hometown Taste-off. The event, held on November 17, brought four of some of Manhattans favorite pizza places including AJs Pizzeria, Gambinos Pizza, Pizza Ranch and Jeff s Pizza, to the K-State Student Union for a blind taste-off competition. More than 100 slices of pizza were placed on unmarked trays, and for $5, attendees got to try a slice of pizza from each pizza place. Then, each attendee casted his or her vote on which pizza tasted the best. The event also included raffle prizes to local businesses, cookies, lemonade, music and one of our very own members dressed in a pizza costume (his name was Mr. Pepperoni).
Over 50 people participated in the event and a winner was crowned as K-State students favorite pizza place in town. Congrats to Pizza Ranch! We plan to make Hometown Taste-off an annual event. It was a huge undertaking and really showcased the potential for our chapter.
Every year, our chapter goes on agency tours in which 15-20 members travel to Kansas City together to visit various companies that do public relations work. This year featured a diverse lineup: global communications agency FleishmanHillard, Kansas City-based advertising agency Barkley, and innovative communications firm Ink Inc.
Representatives from each company discussed topics ranging from how the role of public relations is evolving, how marketing, advertising and public relations are integrated, and how to create publicity through different public relations tactics. The companies were vastly different from each other, providing unique work environments and perspectives on public relations.One message that all three agencies did share in common is the fact that every day is different for a public relations professional. There is certainly no typical day in the office. The 17 students who attended agency tours got to see this firsthand. They were also able to network and learn about career opportunities at these agencies.
Agency tours have proven to be a great stepping stone for landing internships and starting careers. This year is likely to continue that trend, as all three of the agencies are currently offering internships that would allow students to put their knowledge to action.
Agency ToursSemester Highlights
What did you learn from your involvement in PRSSA?Being in PRSSA, you always hear the term network and well, thats pretty much how youre going to succeed in your career. Make a big network and stay in touch - whether its email, phone call, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat (you wouldnt believe how making goofy faces keeps you connected with people). Having a network helped me get my job and has helped advance me in my job in a six month time frame. Theres a lot of other things Ive learned too, but thats my biggest piece of advice - dont just go to meetings and call it good. Go to conferences, actively seek an organization that needs help and bring it to the chapter to work on for the semester (Dane Davis from SEMO is a great resource on this topic- I believe hes in the K-State Grad Program now), go to networking events, etc. Its definitely worth skipping class (dont tell my professors that!) or taking time off of work because in the long run, your serving job wont pay the bills like the job networking will get you.
How have your experiences in PRSSA helped you in the professional world?
My career (I work for Cerner in the healthcare industry implementing new solutions at hospitals and clinics) has me traveling 100% of the time, so I would definitely say the communication skills I learned in PRSSA have helped me tremendously. As a PR major, I never thought I would see an open heart surgery, let alone deal with angry surgeons, but having a strong set of communications skills has helped me explain the why of the solutions that were implementing (they were switching from paper to electronic health record charting) and diffuse them. Being an outgoing people person and being able to listen to their concerns and explain the why really goes a long way in this field.
Why should students join PRSSA?Joining PRSSA gives you a plethora of resources from online, to a mentor, to peers that you can nerd out over PR with. For me personally, I loved being able to discuss bad PR situations with my peers and how we would handle them if we were the PR pro in that situation. I think PRSSA is an important leap to help jump-start your career, and the more experience you have, the better jobs youll get. Being an undergrad, you might not have a lot of work experience when it comes to finding and internship (and thats okay), but having hands-on experience from PRSSA makes you more marketable over other internship candidates.
What is one of your favorite/best memories from when you were in PRSSA?Hands down, my favorite memory is going to Regional Conference in Nashville, Tenn. last year with Mattie Sharp, Kylie Fairman, John Tyler (JT, John, dad...whatever hes going by these days), Rafael Ramos, Gary Hadachek, Alex Lessard and Som Kandlur. Taking an eleven-hour road trip with your peers teaches you a lot about a person. It was also really cool to bond with my peers prior to the conference and meet new friends (Som had friends from Belmont that we connected with, the SEMO friends we made because three of us knew one of their peers, making friends from random places all over by sitting in the hallway waiting for the conference to start). We also each attended different breakout sessions and were able to share what we learned with each other which was awesome! I think one of my favorite breakout sessions was Kelly Davis, APR, and her presentation about understanding personality types from the DISC angle (literally Google it - it can be spot on about people). That presentation has really helped me understand how to deal with different personalities in the workforce and why they make decisions that they do.
Interview with Katie GoodConsulting Analyst, Cerner Corporation
Internship Panel New Committees
One of our meetings this semester featured a panel of four students who completed internships over the summer. The panel included Mattie Sharp (Intrust Bank Arena), McKenzie Cordell (Textron Aviation), Som Kandlur (Crossroads) and Teryn Carmichael (Steel and Pipe Supply Co.), and was moderated by our chapters Communications Chair,