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Volume 12 Edition 2




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The Integrative Public Relations program at Central Michigan University is an interdisciplinary major that combines the departments of Journalism, Communication and Broadcasting. This unique strategy offers comprehensive coursework that will provide a wide range of skills to use in future public relations careers.

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Presidents Address
Dear PRSSA members, This has been a fantastic year to be a member of CMU PRSSA. Our organization has made huge strides in the past year and has gained momentum for the upcoming years. New events like the Internship Fair and PR Bootcamp has have shown the hard work and effort our members and are willing to put in to ensure the success of our members. In October, twelve members traveled to San Francisco for PRSSAs National Conference. Students had the chance to network and connect with peers and mentors from around the nation. while developing a professional image through various motivating sessions and distinguished speakers from around the globe. Students also had the opportunity to check out the local attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fishermans Wharf. Throughout this year, CMU PRSSA has had the opportunity to see numerous influential professional speakers from places like Dow Corning, Biggby Coffee and Spectrum Health. These diverse speakers have shown the different fields and opportunities available in public relations. I want to thank everyone for the dedication and hard work they have committed to our chapter. Without the participation of our members, we would not have been successful. I would also like to thank the driven, creative and motivated executive board members. They have been determined to build this chapter up to its full potential. I hope the underclassmen are able to take any opportunities they possibly can from this organization in the future. Use CMU PRSSA as a tool to become an educated public relations professional while still in college. There are several ways to get more involved with PRSSA in the future. Dont be shy to join a committee, share fundraising ideas, help plan events or write blog posts and Central PRemiere articles. Any involvement will help you be successful in your future. In conclusion, I would like to congratulate the graduating seniors. Our chapter appreciates all the hard work you have put into our chapter. I wish the best of luck to all of you in your future careers. Best wishes, Ally Converse CMU PRSSA President 2012 - 2013

Public Relations
Kelsi Haas

& Marketing

As future PR professionals, it is necessary to accept that there arent enough hours in a day. Face it, time as college students are numbered and the only way to make the most of it is to dive into work headfirst. This means joining committees, applying for as many internships as possible, surviving off coffee and taking valuable classes other than what is required for the Integrative Public Relations major. A marketing class is a great option to learn a breadth of different skills used closely with public relations work. Its true that marketing and public relations often get mixed up, but there are significant differences. Understanding how they both work separately will be beneficial when they have to work hand-in-hand. Many companies have recently combined these departments to reach success. The late David Packard, cofounder of Hewlett-Packard (HP), agreed that it is necessary to use different tactics to make a company successful. Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department, he said. For public relations students, being aware of the marketing world will help to better execute duties and achieve career goals. Think of it as a cycle. Public relations work is done to position a company in the best way possible to a target audience. This company awareness keeps the public informed and drives them to buy a product or service. Therefore, marketing focuses on strategies to sell the product or service, while public relations work aims at building relationships between the company and its customers. Both public relations and marketing goals are met and the company is a success. Because both fields are becoming heavily integrated, future careers in PR could depend on knowing the importance of each. Simply put, taking a marketing class will only enhance a public relations students time at Central Michigan University and prepare them for an amazing career. Classes like MKT 221, Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and MKT 300, Introduction to Marketing, can help strengthen students knowledge of the public relations industry...and dont forget the coffee.

A New Perspective
Abby Schantz
Being a transfer student from Grand Rapids Community College, I knew that to make the transition easier I needed to become involved with student groups at CMU. After signing my Integrative Public Relations major, I joined PRSSA and found PR Central. During this past semester, I was actively involved with PR Central and decided to run for an executive board position. I have always been a person to aim high and accept new challenges and the new PR Central President, I am ready to face those challenges every day. One of my main goals this coming year is to bring in more members to keep the continuity of PR Central going. I plan to have the group work with clients to give each team hands-on experience that will prepare them for a future in public relations. Another goal is to have the university and community become more aware of PRSSA and PR Central through learning how the organizations are helping students develop professionally in the public relations field. Through PRSSA and PR Central, students are able to apply techniques and tactics learned in the classroom. This will help PR students to gain knowledge, experience and a glimpse of the professional world. My motto has always been, A successful life is not handed to you, but it is earned. Achieving goals is done through many baby steps on the road towards your future. You will run into challenges and sometimes face failures. Take your experiences and learn what worked and what didnt, then adjust your ways to become a better professional. I plan on using PR Central as one of the baby steps for public relation students through facing new challenges and figuring out what works and what needs more improvement.

Ashley Stein

Your Words

Todays public relations professionals will face the greatest communication barrier challenge yet - keeping the attention span of a social media audience. With only a few seconds to capture their attention, public relations professionals have to use methods other than written communication to intrigue an audience: design communication. The IPR program requires students to take Introduction to Graphics and Visual Communications, JRN 302. The program offers other elective courses like Introduction to Multimedia Design, CPS 282, and Advance Multimedia Design, CPS 482, for students interested in enhancing their communication design skills. Students who use these opportunities to take design classes have a leg up in the market after graduation. IPR students should definitely take the design courses because in todays world, we have to be able to do everything, not just PR. They need to have multiple skills not just one, Senior Melissa Torok said. Design allows people to take a normal, type-based paper and make it unique and creative. People will want to read something that is visually appealing, with less text and has a nice color scheme. Torok said to make a design effective, there still needs to be written communication. While design makes the message appealing, written communication delivers the message. Nicole Yelland, director of marketing and communications at Livio Radio, told IPR students at a CMU alumni dinner to take time and learn Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and HTML before graduation. Other alumni at the dinner agreed basic skills and knowledge of design go a long way in the field of public relations. The ability to send messages to an audience through a variety of channels, including both written and design communication, helps a graduate become more marketable. Its one more skillset for a students public relations toolbox.

Chelsey Colston

The Chicago Way

Your Way to Success
Stephanie Cardaris & Jenny Muscat
The Central Michigan University chapter of PRSSA held its annual spring conference on April 5, 2013 at the Comfort Inn & Suites and Conference Center. The theme for this years conference was, Climbing Your Way to Success PR Bootcamp. Attendees were able to climb their way to success through listening to five expert public relations professionals in different themed sessions. The conference started with keynote speaker, Don Tanner, founding partner of Tanner Friedman as he led the first session, Mapping Your Ascent. He discussed the importance of PR, gave brilliant advice for professionals starting in the career, a background of how he was able to start his own agency and even shared some famous campaigns his agency produced. Students listened intently to every word, vigorously taking notes. Tanner set the morning off to an energizing start. It was inspiring to see a full room of engaged, enthusiast PR students eager to listen, learn and contribute. If that group is any indication of the talent to come, our industry is in outstanding shape, Tanner said. The Packing Your PR backpack session featured Tom Crawford and Neele Churchill from M3 Group in Lansing, Mich. Students strapped on their imaginary backpack and learned the essential tools they will need to have a successful PR career. Tom and Neele gave great advice to students on what they can prepare to do now while they are in school before heading out to the real world. Next, Rachel Esterline Perkins presented a session on social media called Sharing Your Journey. Esterline Perkins graduated from the Integrative Public Relations program in 2010 and has recently moved back to Mt. Pleasant to join the University Communications team. This session informed students on the importance of developing their personal brand and online presence. Attendees were enlightened on how to use social media to their professional advantage, especially sites like Twitter and LinkedIn. Esterline Perkins also spoke on the purpose of a blog and the ways students can effectively use a blog to enhance their online presence. Miesha Krueger, account director at Weber Shandwick, helped students with Making your mountain call heard. She gave a breakdown of media relations and presented successful campaigns Weber Shandwick has executed. Kruegers presentation brought what students learn in the classroom to life through showing the brainstorming, preparation and execution stages of each campaign. To end PR Bootcamp on an exciting note, Chris Brandon and Tim McIntyre from Dominos Pizza spoke on crisis communication in the final session, Navigating Back to Success. Students were intrigued to learn about Dominos recent rebranding efforts and how their public relations team was able to completely change the face of the company. The Dominos turnaround story is really quite unique. The notion of honesty and transparency- and Dominos is really becoming a case study of how to properly connect with people through this tone- is something we are extremely proud of and will only continue to increase as a hot topic related to PR issues in the future, Brandon said. The students in attendance, the awe-inspiring speakers and the wisdom they shared allowed PR Bootcamp to be beneficial to all and a great success.

Classrooms were full of students dressed in professional attire, ready to network with and learn from public relations professionals. There were opportunities ready to be sought after to land internships and entry-level positions. The stage was set for PR - The Chicago Way, DePaul Universitys 2013 PRSSA regional conference in Chicago, Ill. Two representatives from the Central Michigan University chapter of PRSSA attended this years conference held on Feb. 14 and 15. The conference began by providing students the opportunity to tour public relations agencies in downtown Chicago. Agency tour options included Ketchum, Edelman, Fleishmen Hillard and Golin Harris. On the tours, students were able to better understand the agencies diverse clients and see an agency environment and culture firsthand. Following the agency tours, the first day of the conference ended with two professional speakers and a networking event at a nearby restaurant. The following day was filled with speakers of from various backgrounds in public relations. The day began with a complimentary breakfast and was followed by keynote speaker Fred Cook, CEO of Golin Harris. The conference then broke into different sessions based on students interest in diverse types of public relations including non-profit, digital, agency and entertainment. The conference honestly completely changed my outlook on my public relations career, it was a total game changer, sophomore and conference attendee Katie Frankhart said. Coming from a small town, it always seemed really unrealistic to have a public relations career in the city working for big agencies. Having the opportunity to network with people who have done that made me realize if you do the right things, you can easily end up where you want. Speakers such as Joseph Tateoka, account supervisor at Edelman and Kevin Saghy, manager of communications for the Chicago Cubs inspired students by discussing the routes they took to become the public relations professionals they are today. The conference ended with a career fair with representatives from local agencies, nonprofits and graduate schools. The windy city - a public relations hub and speakers coming from diverse backgrounds and types of public relations were both factors leading to the success of this years PRSSA regional conference.

Katelyn Sweet

Creating a story

Scott Stewart

The IPR program at CMU contains six journalism courses: JRN 202, JRN 302, JRN 350, JRN 450, JRN 551 and JRN 556. Although these courses have the abbreviation for the journalism department, understanding their worth is definitely correlated to the success of a public relations professional. Assistant professor of journalism, Dr. Elina Erzikova, teaches journalism courses that are in the IPR program. Erzikova believes these courses benefit the PR students because all good public relations practice starts with a good writing technique. Journalism is essential to the IPR program because the courses give the true skills that students need, Erzikova said. JRN 202, Writing for the Mass Media, introduces students to the idea of writing press releases, features stories and the Associated Press guidelines for grammar and punctuation. JRN 450, Public Relations Writing, also reinforces the importance of writing. You cannot be a successful public relations person if you cannot write, associate professor of journalism James Wojcik said. If you dont have any writing skills you will have a hard time lasting in this profession. Wojcik also said JRN 551, Public Relations Case Studies, gives students an opportunity to study good PR and bad PR. Situations that already happened in history are great teachers. The case studies class takes a look at how things were handled, and what we can learn from them, Wojcik said. The journalism classes provide the foundation for students to get a better look at what public relations actually is, Erzikova said. She also believes that students will benefit from knowing what the profession of a journalist is like. PR people work so closely with journalists so it is important that they know how and what they do, Erzikova said. Times are changing in the journalism field, and video, photography and design have become essential to know as well. JRN 302, Introduction to Visual and Graphic Communication, is a course in the IPR program that shows students how to work with everchanging computer and design technology. Wojcik said the seminar class, JRN 556, is one of the most hands on courses in the IPR program. The seminar has every student create a communications plan, which tests your PR ability and all that you have learned in the program. There is also hands on approaches to events and students need this real world PR experience, he said. The IPR program offers diverse courses in creating a well-rounded PR student, and journalism is an essential subject in the field that should not go unnoticed.

Helping PR become visual

The School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts is one of the main components of the IPR program. The director for the school of BCA, Dr. Peter Orlik, was on the original steering committee for the degree. The aim has always been to offer a multifaceted degree that provides students with training in interpersonal and organizational communication, print communication, and electronic media communication, Orlik said. Conventional PR majors at other institutions do not encompass this three-pronged approach. Their students thus have a more narrow skill set and are not able to handle and integrate the variety of communication challenges and media with which they may be faced with as PR professionals. Due to the nature of public relations, working alongside the media is essential to any position one acquires. To be successful in future employment, students must be able to effectively gain skills in media relations. The classes that are required for the program allow students to gain hands-on experience at working in a mass media setting. This provides students with the opportunity to understand the work of mass media outlets, and improve their media relations strategy. Many of the skills needed in broadcasting such as video production, writing and promotions are also helpful in public relations. Classes such as BCA 311, Broadcast and Cable Copywriting, and BCA 512, Broadcast and Cable Promotions, teach students how to incorporate these skills into public relations. Since PR practitioners typically work with marketing and advertising departments, it is necessary to promote the organization in multiple ways. The use of videos is becoming more prevalent in connecting and engaging with audiences. Being able to effectively produce a video that will captivate others is an important skill that students will gain in taking BCA classes. The school of BCA adds an opportunity for students to learn more skills that will be helpful in their future career. Graduates of CMUs IPR program have been very successful because they are so broadly trained, Orlik said. The school of BCA adds an opportunity for students to learn more skills that will be helpful in their future career. The IPR program provides students with a well-rounded education that ensures success for graduates.


Derek Wooton

Reaching your potential


Megan Shankland

There are many ways one can become a leader. A leadership minor at CMU only requires 24 credits and is a great way to strengthen ones resume as well as build their leadership and interpersonal skills.

Reaching your audience

Leadership minors require students to take four core classes including LDR 200 Intro. to Leadership, COM 461 Communications in Leadership, LDR 402 Application of Leadership and the choice of either PHL 118 Moral Problems, PHL 218 Ethical Theory or PHL 318 Business Ethics. It has been a good experience obtaining a leadership minor. Jessica Hefron, PRSSAs vice-president of chapter development said. The communication classes have helped me understand individuals on a more personal level and to reach out to those whom I may not see eye-to-eye with. Aside from communication skills, there are other important skills that help in making exceptional leaders. A leader is not the person who talks the most or has the most ideas, it is the person who can transform the teams ideas into productive, proactive goals and outcomes. Hefron said. Listening gives the leader a rounded idea of who their team is and what they want out of their experience If the leader isnt listening to what their followers are saying or recognizing goals of the group, then its hard for proactive progress to be made. This means the leader has to gain the trust of their followers in order to listen and reach those mutual group goals. For public relations professionals, gaining the trust of audiences and clients by listening to them is extremely important. Practicing and working to better leadership skills is an important role for PR students to strive for. One great way to build those skills is to take advantage of the leadership minor offered at CMU. Leadership plays an important role in PR by allowing an individual to better their skills and help those who surround them. A leader helps develop the skills of those who look to them for advice and offers up their time to benefit another. Hefron said.

Communication is one of the most basic elements needed to succeed in any business, and to a public relations professional, it is easily the most valued. Public relations professionals use communication on a daily basis to interact with both clients and the general public. So it should come to no surprise that completing communication courses for an Integrative Public Relations major are not only required, but also extremely beneficial. Although there are only a few communication courses required for the major, COM 357 falls into the public speaking category making it a vital tool for PR students. Wherever you choose to take your PR skills, knowing how to deliver a clear message to the audience on behalf of your organization is key to being successful in the field. Alyx Newton is a sophomore majoring in public relations who believes COM 357 is beneficial to PR students. I would say that it is really good for helping people develop their professional presence and helping them realize how to control their body language and voice when presenting to a large group of people, Newton said. This class allows students to better their speaking skills while learning to do so at a more professional standpoint. It may not be the most exciting course, but the class is structured to provide real- world scenarios of what might be done in the profession. For IPR students, it is apparent that communication plays an important role in the overall structure of the major. Communication is a vital part in any business and for PR professionals. Knowing how to communicate effectively will make one look more credible as an individual.

A Diverse Look
Ally Converse

Who is Richard Ren?

Chunbo (Richard) Ren recently joined Central Michigan University as an assistant professor of public relations in the College of Communication and Fine Arts. Ren currently teaches Public Relations Principles and Practices and the Public Relations Seminar. Because of his diverse background and journey, Ren brings a fresh perspective for teaching public relations at CMU. Ren got his start at Qingdao University in China where he received a law degree in Foreign Affairs Management in July of 1995. Since Ren wanted to work in an exciting and new city, he moved to Beijing after graduation. At a job fair he attended, Ren spoke with individuals from MSL China, Chinas leading strategic public relations agency. At the time, he knew little about public relations but was of interest to the agency because of his writing skills and fluency in English. Working for MSL China was Rens first job in public relations where he worked with clients like IKEA, Ericsson, Intel, Juniper and Electrolux. After working for MSL China for six years, Ren left and began working for Weber Shandwick, a leading global public relations agency with offices in 74 countries around the world. While working with Weber Shandwick, Ren had the opportunity to improve his leadership and public relations skills. While working with his first client, LOral, Ren learned how to use public relations strategies to understand the clients needs and formulate tactics around those needs Ren slowly developed an interest in healthcare public relations after a close family member fell ill. He became group leader in the healthcare practice division at Weber Shandwick. In this role, he was responsible for new businesses developments of Beijing and worked with various clients such as Bayer Healthcare, P&G, Pfizer and Nestle. After deciding he wanted to gain more knowledge of the public relations field, Ren chose to leave China to get his Ph.D. in healthcare communications. He studied at Washington State University for five years before moving to Mt. Pleasant, Mich. to teach. As a student, I can tell Richard Ren is a life learner. His lessons in the classroom are carefully researched and well put together; we dont get the same old stuff everyday, said senior, Jill Simpson. He has a passion for PR and brings all of that enthusiasm into the classroom. With his impressive work history, Ren is able to bring a great deal of knowledge and experience to the IPR program. He is committed to helping students get the most out of their education while attending CMU.