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As a member of the PRactice, an entirely student-run public relations firm connected to Ohio State’s PRSSA, in conjunction with our weekly meetings we have professional speakers share their experiences.

This week, Erin Pope spoke to us about media relations. She started off her Prezi by asking who was intimidated by talking to the press. Good thing I’m not shy- my hand shot up like a Poptart from a toaster.

It is a terribly nerve-racking thing to pitch ideas and stories to media, especially as a student. Why would any big time news editor care about what a lowly student has to say? The good news is- no one has to know we are students.

The concept, “fake it till you make it” has never applied more. If I speak confidently and play the role of professional PR pro, the media has no reason to doubt me.

Much like everything else in the communication field, media relations is exactly that; creating a relationship. Making connections with reporters is a way to leverage your story into their schedule for the week. Personalize the pitch, be respectful and always thank anyone who helps make the story happen. Maintaining those relationships is key. In this industry, we can’t afford to burn bridges.

When it comes to writing the actual pitch itself, keep it relevant. Writing on topic is necessary or you’ll lose all credibility. Be aware of what is current and newsy; that’s how you’ll find a story even if you’re not looking for one.

Media outlets are social actors too so engage with them on social media sites. Stay up to date on what outlets are looking for and let them know what you’re working on too.

Erin mentioned some key resources that make her life easier.

  • HARO or Help a Reporter Out is for journalists to find experts they need for a story. It’s free to post and connects those who can mutually benefit.
  • ProfNet is a similar resource from PR Newswire that provides the same services. Access to this resource requires a membership for a fee.
  • Cision helps professionals to create media lists and reach outlets all in one place. This also includes a fee.

Cision

Hearing Erin express that she too gets nervous to pitch to media made me feel slightly more normal. She answered questions and was living proof that the more you do it, the more comfortable it becomes.

After all the details and info she gave, her most important point she left us with was this: “Being a good writer can take you far”

If I had a nickel for every professor that has said something to that effect, I would have enough money to retire as a student. Hearing it from a professional in the industry makes it count that much more.

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I’ve given so much thought to this whole blogging thing. I am officially overwhelmed and have used that as an excuse to not write. Who would have thought that avoiding wouldn’t solve the problem? This seems to be something of a trend in my life. I opened up my Google Reader (hadn’t done that in a while) and felt once again overwhelmed but upon doing a little more reading, I realized that all of my questions and concerns are probably answered among the thousands…yes thousands…of unread posts. 

My latest goal- interact on Twitter. I’ve already followed a number of people in the advertising world (where I wish to be some day).  Hopefully the more I listen and the more I talk, the more gumption I’ll get to actually blog about actual things. I’m also planning on using some photos…I don’t know what to take pictures of but I’ll figure it out. I keep hearing that people like to click on things with pictures which is annoying. Then I realized that I’m  one of those people. 

So I wrote it down, it’s official. Operation be present on Twitter is a go. You as my witness, which is kind of funny because no one is reading this. Maybe one day when I’m a rich and famous and some kid who want to be part of the advertising world Googles me, they’ll read this and laugh. That’d be cool. 

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I tend to make New Years resolutions at arbitrary points in time. But today is not arbitrary. Today is the first day of my 22nd year on this very Earth and I am starting it off right. My resolution? To start living in the moment. And so, I am going to document the noteworthy moments here. I will likely document some things that are less than momentous but hey- isn’t that what blogs are for? I am also using this blog as a means to teach myself how to blog. If I end up changing topics all together, oh well. I just want to consistently post. 

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I have officially spent as much time as possible procrastinating the creation of this initial post. I guess there is nothing left to do but actually write something. Who would have thought that the girl that can never shut up has finally become speechless? Fear not, I’m sure it won’t last long.

And thus, the word vomit has been induced. Not unlike our favorite overly emotional friend from Mean Girls who wants to bake a cake made out of rainbows and smiles, I just have a lot of feelings. And lucky for the world I have little to no filter. So I guess this whole blogging thing might serve to be quite useful as I stumble through my last summer as a student…ever. 

This nostalgic element of “Katie’s last (enter something insignificant here) dot dot dot ever” may be something of a recurring theme. And hopefully Katie’s last internship….ever will be included in that. Because maybe, just maybe if I play my cards right (whatever random collection of cards I end up with) my next move will be a real live big kid lady job. 

Cue Let the River Run from Working Girl. Don’t worry I’ll tease my hair and change out of my Reebok’s in the elevator. 

But until that day comes, I shall hang out here. Figuring out this fancy technology thing. And by the time I master this art form, I am certain there will be plenty more technology that can do this way more efficiently. Until that day, I’ll be here. I welcome your comments, criticism and feel free to openly mock -but in a nice, laugh with her not at her kind of way….like I said I have a lot of feelings. 

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