By: Chris Dinh
Hey Longhorns! If you missed out on our last meeting, no problem! Here’s a recap from our 2/9/16 general meeting.
The deadline for dues ($75 for annual membership) is Feb. 23rd! Payment is accepted through cash, check, or Paypal. In case you miss the first one, the late deadline is February 26th, but will be $85. Additionally, a filled out membership form is needed before you can officially become a member! Membership forms can be found through this link, http://bit.ly/246s8m6.
- Feb 23rd – Agency Tour
- Feb 24th – Moody job and internship fair
- -Volunteers are needed! Furthermore, anyone who volunteers will be given 5 incentive points! Also, volunteering at the fair is a great opportunity to meet employers first, so if you’re interested, be sure to contact one of our officers for more information!
- March 3rd-6th – National Assembly
FEATURED SPEAKER: Emily Wright, Global Public Relations at Whole Foods Market
Emily Wright came to our general meeting to give us a real-world snapshot of the working life in Public Relations. Emily majored in Public Relations at the University of Texas at Austin while completing both the Business Foundations Program and Senior Fellows Program. She now works as the Global Public Relations lead at Whole Foods Market.
Emily begins her presentation by bringing up, “What role does PR play?”. Some of the positions she mentions associated with PR include being a spokesperson, social media manager, public speaker, investor relations and agency manager. Emily goes more in depth on a few of these positions and their job responsibilities; however, she mentions two important things to consider that are apparent in all roles: PR buzz, and writing skills. In all of these positions, writing skills are a must. Constantly, one should be asking, “Is there a better way we can phrase this so our message will help us get to the top?”. Communication and writing skills go hand and hand, and is definitely a skill attributed to high success in this field. Regarding PR buzz, in all of these positions, one should think about, “What’s in the news that can help you advise people on your team”, what’s in the news that people will talk about? You want to be able to inform your team about something that’s buzz worthy, another notable aspect to consider in PR.
In the next section of Emily’s presentation, she presents, “What does that look like?”. She mentions spokesperson trainings, calendar invites, meetings, media interviews, short-lead pitching, long-lead pitching, briefing books, media backgrounders, and press releases, all of these terms being activities someone in the PR field should be familiar with. On a day-to-day basis, someone in PR should expect being involved in the listed activities.
Next, Emily defines the “ultimate goal of PR”. The ultimate goal of PR is to earn positive media coverage for your brand. In order to do this, one in PR must think about the customer, the reader. Emily suggests if you can’t relate to someone else, it can become difficult to achieve the ultimate goal of PR. Overall, in order to gain positive coverage for your brand, you should consider your audience’s thoughts and perspective.
Following the goal of PR, Emily shares some tools she uses on a daily basis in her career. She mentions Cision, Spred Fast, Twitter, Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat Pro, Evernote, Google Calendar, and Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Furthermore, Emily specifically mentions basic Photoshop efficiency is very valuable. In the field of PR, it’s common to have to crop a photo and know what a high-resolution photo entails in order to send it to a magazine or editorial.
After mentioning commonly used tools, Emily gives a few tips on “how to be a good PR pro”. The tips she offers include:
- -clear and timely communication
- -FOLLOW UP
- -be able to set and meet deadlines
- -know your message
- -work for a brand you believe in
- -learn how to cultivate media friendships
- -know when to say no
- -consume a wide variety of media
Emily elaborates on a few of her tips, for example, communication. Emily says, “One of the things that will set you apart is effective email communication, even if it’s just to say, “Yes, I’m working on it”. Being communicative is key and essential.” On saying no, Emily suggests, “To be a real leader, you need to know when to say no; the return on your time investment might not be worth it.”
Before concluding her presentation, Emily leaves a few tips for success. Regarding interning, Emily says to be proactive and take initiative. If you don’t land the perfect internship, it’s not the end of the world. There are plenty of opportunities and ways to pursue our end career goals. While interning, Emily suggests to ask your advisor if you can sit in on a meeting, that “you can learn so much by being a fly on the wall”. Regarding job hunting, Emily suggests to update and utilize your LinkedIn account. Furthermore, you should highlight your generalist and specialist abilities, she mentions, “you want to be good at a lot of things, but also really good at a few things”. Lastly, Emily advises to learn how to set measurable goals.
In conclusion, Emily leaves us with a presentation explaining positions in Public Relations, the activities and responsibilities entailed with those positions, the ultimate goal of Public Relations as a whole, tools used on a daily basis in Public Relations, and a few tips for success, not only in PR, but in internships and job hunting as well.
GUEST SPEAKER: Abby Simpson, CARE at UT Counseling and Mental Health Center
Our guest speaker for the meeting was Abby Simpson. She came to speak to us regarding academic pressure, the MindBody Lab (free resource at UT, a stress-free environment), and a recently released app called Thrive. Abby is a counselor in academic residence for the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center, specifically regarding the Moody College of Communcation.
First, Abby mentions academic pressure and that her office hours are between 1-2PM located on the 5th floor of the Student Services Building (SSB). Anyone is welcome to stop by, problem solve, talk about things that are stressful, and find out if there’s a resource on campus that’s helpful them.
Next, Abby speaks about the Mind Body Lab, which is a free resource at UT located within the SSB. The MindBody Lab is a stress-free environment where you can be given an iPod with relaxing music or instructional videos regarding breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, and much more. You don’t need to have an appointment in order to use the MindBody lab; simply check into the front desk and you’ll be brought to the area!
Lastly, Abby speaks about a recently released app called Thrive that has videos and information on topics such as mindfulness and gratitude that could be helpful to students. The goal of Thrive is to enhance the well-being and success of students. Thrive is currently only available on iOS, but is prospected to be available on the Android operating system soon.
Overall, Abby speaks about resources regarding student mental health and well-being. She mentions her office hours, the MindBody lab at UT, and a recently released app called Thrive, all of which are resources available to students at UT and on UT campus.