What I have gained as a PRSSA member:
PRSSA has given me more than I could have imagined when I joined as a first-year. I was just looking for a way to get involved on campus, but PRSSA helped me grow in so many ways and as a senior, I enjoy looking back at all I have gained as a member.
First off, I gained friendships with my classmates. I have been on the executive board of PRSSA for three years now and have gotten to know so many intelligent, reliable and dedicated people. From going on trips to Blue Jackets games, to carpooling to PaRtners conferences, I have made so many memories with the people of PRSSA that I would have not known otherwise.
Secondly, I have gained leadership experience. I have held different positions on the board such as social media director, membership chair, PaRtners Conference liaison and now the VP of programming. Through these roles I have gained social media experience, event planning knowledge and have taken on a large responsibility in the success of our chapter.
Lastly, I have gained knowledge about how to work as a team, which will translate into the workplace upon graduation in the spring. Communication depends on the cooperation of teammates and I have received a lot of practice as a member of PRSSA. The skills I need in the professional world have been fostered here and have helped prepare me for whatever career is in my future.
I am grateful for the role PRSSA has played in my education at Otterbein and I encourage anyone who is looking to challenge themselves and grow as students to join.
The benefits of a PRSSA membership
Do you want a backstage pass to the Columbus Zoo to feed giraffes and personally speak with the world-renowned zoo keeper Jack Hanna? Or gain field access to a major league baseball game and take a picture with your favorite player? How does attending a photo shoot with model Kendall Jenner sound?
These are only a few examples of the countless opportunities PRSSA students at Otterbein get to experience. These experiences you can brag about all over social media are also combined with valuable information and skills that will help you in your future career, regardless of your major. As a PRSSA member you will have the opportunity to network with various professionals in the workforce. They are willing to share their knowledge and advice for any student, as well as provide any support to help land that dream internship or job.
PRSSA is a prestigious national chapter with more than 10,000 students. PRSA, the parent organization, is the nation’s largest professional organization with more than 30,000 members of communication professionals spanning every industry sector nationwide. This large-scale organization can create endless connections when launching your career.
As well as a resume booster, PRSSA gives you the opportunity to get involved while gaining public relations field experience outside of the classroom. Don’t miss out on these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities; become and member to get involved! For more information on how to become a member contact me, Bethany Eippert, at email@example.com.
Otterbein PRSSA Secretary and Historian
Why I’m a PRSSA Board Member
Aselya Sposato, Otterbein PRSSA Secretary and Historian
Happy October, everyone! It’s truly difficult to believe so much time has already escaped us. The semester is flying by faster than I could have imagined.
Despite the bittersweet feelings, this passing of time has given me a lot of opportunity to think about how far I’ve come since my very first freshman public relations class. I vividly remember how nervous I was a year ago about starting my education in public relations, but now I’m an executive board member for PRSSA. To me, that’s a journey in itself.
I decided to become an executive member of PRSSA for several reasons, one of them being career-driven. I walked into public relations not quite knowing if it was for me. However, it only took a couple of weeks of classes for me to determine that yes, I did want to pursue a public relations career.
Once I made that decision, I decided to go all in. I wanted to do whatever I could to develop my professional skills. When Dan approached me about a board position for Otterbein’s only public relations organization, of course I said yes. It was the perfect opportunity for me to have a hands-on leadership role in the major of my choice.
Since then, I’ve helped plan events for PRSSA, connect with professionals, communicate internally within the organization, develop design skills and much more. Being a board member has allowed me to have a direct influence on the future of an organization that has come to mean so much to me, and I think that is what I’m most thankful for.
In hindsight, I realize now that an indirect reason for joining the executive board was to share in the fellowship and camaraderie that is the executive team. Waking up for 7 a.m. meetings, deciding the best decorative style for a bulletin board and spontaneously going out to grab some dinner brings a group of people together in a way I didn’t expect, but now appreciate.
I strongly encourage any of you thinking about joining the executive board to consider the possibilities that await you if you decide to go for it. I don’t regret my decision for a minute.
Join us for our next meeting on Oct. 15, where we will be hosting of panel of students with professional public relations experience. Hope to see you all there.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
I spent my summer as the digital marketing and analytics intern at OhioHealth. I was given this position in March and started in May, and it has changed my life for the better. When starting school, I knew internships were important, but I didn’t realize just how important they were. Moving into upper-level classes at Otterbein and starting my year-long commitment with OhioHealth taught me that working hard and performing well during your internship is so valuable.
After attending a new associate orientation for OhioHealth, I was beyond excited to start working at the corporate office in downtown Columbus. On my first day, I was eager to meet new people who shared the same interest as myself and put what I’ve learned in school about health communication and public relations to action. I was completely overwhelmed with how many people in the office were excited to meet me. This included digital marketing specialists, social media specialist, direct digital marketing managers, directors and more. OhioHealth is filled with associates from all different realms of marketing and communications, and they are great with interns. Getting to meet specialists, senior specialists, directors, etc. from different areas of marketing and communications really helped me to decide what path of PR I want to follow.
After a few weeks of getting acclimated to working in such a highly respected place, not only at Otterbein but in Ohio communities as well, I quickly realized how much I enjoy PR. I knew who everyone in the marketing and communications department was. I learned their name and title, what they do for OhioHealth and my favorite aspect of meeting new associates
was asking them how they made it to where they are now. Many associates came from other organizations or agencies but a number of them were previously interns at OhioHealth, which is awesome to hear.
Within the first day, I started getting put on projects. Being the digital marketing and analytics intern, I had many different roles. I directly reported to the digital direct marketing manager, and we both worked on the CRM (customer relationship management) and analytics team. We had a team of five people that included my boss, the CRM/analytics director, a senior analyst, a CRM consultant and myself. Our team works to analyze data for OhioHealth, mainly from email marketing campaigns and social media posts. As I worked over the summer, the OhioHealth CRM/analytics team was starting new email marketing campaigns through a platform called ActOn. We were looking to engage with patients and customers that were in the scope of OhioHealth facilities and physicians. In addition to this, I also supported our digital marketing team. I did this by running all of the OhioHealth social media platforms and using Yext, our CME (content management system) to update our Google local listings for both OhioHealth facilities and physicians.
Having an internship at OhioHealth this summer taught me many more aspects of health communication and public relations than I could ever ask for. I was certainly challenged and acquired many different skills that I wouldn’t have learned outside of my internship. I will forever cherish the opportunity I had to work with OhioHealth and learn from marketing and communications associates.
Welcome Back, PRSSA
Haylie Schmoll, Otterbein PRSSA president
On behalf of Otterbein’s PRSSA executive board, I am excited to welcome all students, staff and faculty back to campus. It is going to be a great year for PRSSA and we are eager to get started!
It’s crazy to think that four years ago I joined PRSSA not knowing what to expect. I became a member of the organization in search of learning beyond the classroom, networking opportunities and internship experiences. My involvement accomplished those things and so much more.
During my time in PRSSA, I have developed relationships with experts in the industry, built my network and learned from the best. I have attended speaker meetings and tours that I never would’ve experienced outside PRSSA including tours of local agencies, sporting teams, hospitals and more.
One of my most valuable experiences in PRSSA was developing connections that helped me obtain my dream internship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. PRSSA introduced me to media relations specialists from the organization and organized a tour of the hospital. These experiences helped prepare me to apply for the a summer internship early in my college career. My work as the Media Relations Intern was one of my most rewarding experiences to date. The internship equipped me with skills needed to succeed in my future career including strong writing and pitching skills while also allowing me give back to an organization that gave so much to me as a young patient.
Experiences through PRSSA are invaluable and I look forward to providing opportunities for more students to network and learn just like I have. As Otterbein’s PRSSA president, I am honored to lead this year’s executive board in planning and organizing events for members and we welcome all feedback and ideas. This semester we are hosting a networking mixer, hearing from industry experts young and old and touring organizations like the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
In addition to supporting the chapter’s local involvement, I also serve as your liaison to the National Organization and connect students to resources and internship opportunities. In October, myself and several members will attend the PRSSA National Conference in Austin, Texas where we will gain valuable insights to share with the chapter as a whole.
There are so many great opportunities ahead for PRSSA and we are just getting started. Hope to see you at our first meeting on September 17th at 5 p.m!
By: Brian Hammel
When you think of a mentor, you probably imagine someone established in their career, with a keen sense of the PR landscape and a respectable list of connections. This past year, thanks to PRSSA, I’ve developed a different kind of mentor/mentee relationship—one with my peer and fellow Regional Ambassador, Lenie. We became fast friends after meeting in Boston for National Conference. From there, our friendship blossomed into one with a professional angle.
A judgement-free zone
If I had a dollar for every question I’ve sent Lenie with the preface of “Don’t judge me for this but…” in front of it, I’d most likely be able to match an entry-level salary. Peer mentoring allows you the freedom of asking questions that you may be too nervous to ask a professional mentor.
A second set of eyes
They say that if you have 20 different people look over your resume or cover letter, you’ll get 20 different responses. A peer mentoring relationship offers another set of eyes to look over wording, personal branding and overall cohesiveness of your application materials. Another set of eyes on your materials can never hurt.
“Just do it”
There are times when we dream about connecting with a certain professional and absorbing their wisdom. Whether you reach out via LinkedIn or a cold email, networking can be intimidating. I always love when I can text Lenie my concern and, in minutes, she responds with a pep talk akin to Olivia Pope. Sometimes, all you need is a little push and a cheerleader to get you over your fear.
Student today, colleague tomorrow
One of the most valuable benefits of PRSSA is the network you create while in college. PRSSA has introduced me to some truly inspirational peers—they work hard, they have giving hearts and they know how to have fun. One of the greatest gifts PRSSA has given me is meeting the best and brightest up-and-coming professionals in the industry. The best part? One day, I get to call them my colleagues.
I will forever be grateful for Lenie’s friendship, both personally and professionally. Through the hour-long Skype calls, the frantic texts and the reassuring emails, Lenie has shown me what it means to be a leader and a true professional. I am so thankful for PRSSA for bringing me a person I would never have met otherwise but now, can’t imagine my life without.
By: Lauren Heberling
As college students, we should consistently be looking for opportunities to get involved and further our education. That’s why we chose higher education, after all. PRSSA is a beneficial organization because, as a member, you have the insider’s scoop on internships and job openings, access to tours of agencies and firms and a killer experience on your resume that is the first thing employers look for.
During my time in Otterbein’s PRSSA chapter, I have attended multiple professional mixers, visited various agencies and companies around Columbus and have held an executive position for the past two years. I have also attended PR conferences and am currently on a planning committee for the 2018 conference for all PRSSA chapters in Ohio. These experiences would not have happened if it weren’t for my involvement in the chapter.
PRSSA offers an abundance of opportunities for it’s members to try new things and experiment in what interests each one of us. We only need to be willing to work and learn in order to get a full college experience as PRSSA members.
Although PRSSA is geared toward the communication field, there is no doubt in my mind that students from other majors wouldn’t benefit from the professional growth and experience the monthly meetings provide us. Need help with a resume? PRSSA can help. Need to know what and what not to do at an interview? PRSSA can help. Want to know how to improve your social media profiles for future employers? PRSSA can help. Want to hear from and network with professionals? PRSSA can help.
As I am finishing my third year as a PRSSA member, I am reminded of everything this chapter has provided me with. I have a new sense of professional confidence, numerous experiences under my belt and an entire year of new opportunities and experiences to look forward to.
By: Josh Plichta
For the greater good, for profit or for a person, it doesn't matter, everyone needs their story told. To me, that's what public relations is—storytelling.
Coming to Otterbein as a first-year, I knew I excelled at telling stories: exaggerated fish stories, complex family stories or simple, "how was your day" stories. I enjoyed the dynamics that made a good story and wanted my major to reflect accordingly. As I searched for ways to tell stories, I researched various majors: English literature, broadcasting, journalism and film studies. While these majors allowed me to tell my stories, I wanted something different—a unique way to tell other's stories.
Other people's stories are much more exciting, interesting and different than mine, and that intrigued me. Instead of rambling about me, myself and I, I wanted to learn the stories of others and the best ways to tell them.
When I learned stories could be told through traditional newspapers, television spots, news conferences, 280 characters (still getting used to that) and so many other ways, I knew PR was the major for me. The ever-changing story sculpting made me excited for the major to come.
Now, after four years of learning how to tell different types of stories, there is still so much to learn. Like any profession or passion, lifelong learning is essential. Storytelling will continue to change and evolve. We don't know where the future will take us. There may be new media for us to tell a story or a new generation that prefers one medium over another, but there will always be stories to tell. With a never-ending supply of stories, I look forward to the years of creative, unique, interesting and one-of-a-kind stories I will tell.