Saturday, April 19, 2008

Using YouTube for a PR Campaign

As PR majors, we all know that students at UGA are pretty jaded toward new messages. Everyday students are being pitched information about a new club, campaign or event. Most of the time these messages are distributed through flyers or Red and Black inserts, which we all know are very quickly thrown away at the nearest trash can. One group of PR students, however, has chosen not to go that route.

This semester Dr. Sallot's public relations campaigns class executed a campaign to educate students on environmental issues on campus, but they didn't make flyers. Instead, they created a series of fun and witty online PSAs promoting sustainable behaviors.

The four videos, created for the Go Green Alliance, show how students' individual actions affect the environment. These PSAs have been incredibly successful so far with each receiving more than 200 hits in just one week. PRSSA members can check out the PSAs (and share them with friends!) by visiting the links below:

Beware of the lint monster!

Some things are just better cold…

The world is not disposable

Reduce consumption (and embarrassment)

The Go Green Alliance is dedicated to connecting environmentally focused campus groups and promoting green efforts on the University of Georgia campus. The organization was started in the fall of 2007 in conjunction with Dr. Lynne Sallot's public relations campaigns class and will be continued by some of campus' brightest environmental leaders. For more information on the Go Green Alliance, please visit

By Jessica MacLean

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Top 5 reasons to join PRSA as an Associate Member

I hope members are looking forward to the ultra-exclusive seniors-only night on Wednesday, April 2.

One of the many guests will be a representative from PRSA with information about joining as an Associate Member. To prepare, take a look at this list of great reasons to join:

1. Expand your network

With a network of more than 22,000 members and 100 Chapters nationwide, you have the opportunity to be an essential part of your local public relations community. Increase the effectiveness of your membership by joining one or more of 19 practice-specific Professional Interest Sections or the Young Professionals Affinity Group.

2. Low cost of membership

Being a PRSSA member has paid off! By joining PRSA as an Associate Member, you are saving over $150. This membership is offered exclusively to PRSSA graduates as a way to join a professional network before starting their careers. Students can join as early as five months before graduation!

3. Advance your career

PRSA Professional Development gives you the highest value at reasonable prices with on-site seminars and conferences, teleseminars and e-learning as well as the most dynamic yearly gathering of the industry, the International Conference, all available to help you become a valued professional.

4. Stay current on industry trends

Members will receive e-mail updates from PRSA Issues and Trends, a daily review of the most relevant stories and issues in public relations. In the mail, members receive Public Relations Tactics, a monthly tabloid newspaper written by seasoned public relations professionals, and The Strategist, PRSA’s quarterly magazine.

5. Leadership opportunities

Just as there were many leadership opportunities within PRSSA, there are countless leadership possibilities in PRSA. Take advantage of the effective, challenging and rewarding avenues for leadership, ranging from local to national involvement.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Crisis communication, a guest post

We are pleased to have the first "guest post" to the PRSSA blog from this week's speaker, Valerie Elston of Levick Strategic Communications. You're encouraged to attend Wedensday's meeting at 6:30 p.m. in room 150 in the SLC.


The spirit of the Bulldog Nation permeated the Beltway this past week as the Hoop Dawgs arrived to face-off against Xavier in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Leaving work that week, I spotted two men on the street dressed in UGA gear and yelled out "Go Dawgs" as our paths crossed. As I was walking down Baxter Street to the Stadium on game day, I heard an enthusiastic "Go Dawgs" ring out from amongst the heavy pedestrian traffic in response.

The spontaneous exchange reminded me how strong the UGA community is, even outside of Georgia. Our Grady community is especially strong so I look forward to sharing with y'all some of the experiences I have had working in crisis communication at Levick Strategic Communications during Wednesday's PRSSA meeting.

Every day the media draws our attention to another crisis: housing woes, product recalls, financial troubles, or the misdeeds of our leaders. For the modern student of PR, learning the skills to craft and implement a crisis communications plan should not be an elective, but a part of the core curriculum. Regardless of whether you see yourself specializing in crisis communication, the ability to know when and how to respond, should the inevitable happen, is invaluable.

Levick has directed global strategic crisis communications engagements in the highest-profile matters including the Catholic Church scandals, the national spinach E-coli scare, the pet food and toy recalls of 2007, and a number of the most significant matters rising out of the Middle East.

I can honestly say that as an undergraduate I never saw myself working at a PR agency. However, when the time came to leave my first job at the State Department I saw Levick as an opportunity and challenge. Both sentiments proved to be correct. I have spent the past five months learning to think strategically about the tactics necessary to help our clients win in the high-stakes communications arena.

Have you considered the following when thinking about the strategies and tactics for your next crisis plan:

  • How would you create positive relations and impressions for your client or company among key stakeholders?

  • How would you leverage those results to position clients favorably in their region, state, country, or marketplace?

  • What tactics would you use to drive the right type and volume of communication and recognition that tells your story effectively to the most important audiences?

While there is no one, sure-fire strategy for success, working at Levick has taught me some of the best practices for developing successful campaigns. I hope you will be able to join me for a discussion about the importance of crisis communication, as well as some of the best practices and lessons I have learned while working at Levick.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Link yourself ... literally

Are you stressed yet? I know I am. Spring semester means great weather, exciting spring break plans and the ever-dreaded job/internship search.

Everyone goes through it, so there must be an easier way to deal with the unwanted stress.

Unfortunately searching for a job or internship is never completely stress free. However, there are wonderful Web sites that connect you to internship opportunities and professional contacts that most college students don't know about.

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking Web site. Through a network of business professionals, members of LinkedIn are able to gain introductions to employment opportunities and advances through mutual contacts, also known as second-degree contacts and third-degree contacts. LinkedIn also supports employment search engines such as Monster, CareerBuilder and Craigslist , providing job opportunities in more than 150 industries in 400 economic regions.

LinkedIn is not the only social network Web site devoted to success in the business world. Doostang is another Web site targeted primarily to those just graduating college.

As a wonderful professor once told me in my class, Public Relations is not just about communicating with publics, it's about creating knowledge and pushing forward. We are the tech-savvy, business leaders of tomorrow. It just makes sense to use new technology to find future employers, they might be impressed you contact them through one of these Web sites.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Don't miss the Grady career day!

I want to encourage all Grady students to attend the fourth annual Journalism & Mass Communications Career Day on Wednesday, Feb. 6. There will be a number of sessions throughout the morning in the journalism building, followed by a career fair at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

PRSSA members, what great practice for Real World Atlanta on Feb. 22! (Remember to register.)

IABC is sponsoring a session at 10 a.m. in the Drewry Room about creating your personal brand through communication. (A plug for IABC, which you should all consider joining, too.)

Our very own Katherine Strate will serve as one of the moderators for "Careers in Advertising & Public Relations" at 11 a.m. in room 404 in the journalism building.

I would love to have someone attending either of these sessions give a short recap at the PRSSA meeting with Chuck Reece on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 6:30 p.m. in Tate 137. E-mail if you are interested.

See the full schedule of events below. I was told that students are free to drop in the sessions at any time. Don't worry if you're late; just go!

For the career fair portion, dress professionally. It's always better to overdress. Bring plenty of resumes and your PRSSA business cards.

Have fun networking, and enjoy the day.

10 a.m. - Journalism Building, Drewry Room
“YOU 101: Creating Your Personal Brand through Communications”
by Chip Bush, The Coca-Cola Co. Sponsored by IABC

11 a.m. - Careers Panel Discussions – Journalism Building
* “Careers in Advertising & Public Relations” - Room 404
Co-sponsored and moderated by Advertising Club and PRSSA

* “Careers in Journalism” – Room 404A
Sponsored and moderated by Magazine Club and NABJ
* “Careers in Telecommunications” – Room 406
Sponsored and moderated by Di Gamma Kappa

Noon – Recruiter Reception and Lunch - Drewry Room

2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. - Journalism & Mass Communication Career Fair, Georgia Center for Continuing Education

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Check out the most recent issue of the PRecedent here. It gives an overview of PRofessional CONNECTION, in case you missed it!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

How to become a social media junkie

Taking a class like Dr. Sweetser's Social Media or Dr. Russell's WOM class will help you on your way. Don't have time in your schedule? Try these easy steps:

1) Read what's out there. If you are interested in social media's influence on PR, the blogs are the best place to start. Kevin Dugan's prblog keeps up with new social media and links to tons more resources. Paull Young's Young PR gives great tips for students and young professionals alike. Media Bullseye has several contributors who provide news and commentary about current communications trends in media, marketing and PR. Dr. Russell also compiles a "best of" every week with some interesting links to check out.

Also, check out what your peers have to say. PRSSA members have blogs on tons of different topics. Lizzie Azzolino, Katherine Strate, Ashley Beebe and I all have blogs.

To keep up with the blogosphere, the easiest thing to do is get and RSS reader. Google, Yahoo and AOL all have them.

2) Start slow. Join Twitter, a microblogging site that is sort of like Facebook status meets chat room. It's a great way to share and follow links, connect with people with similar interests, and do some online networking. You might want to read up first so you get the jargon and etiquette before you jump in. (Thanks for the links Dr. Russell!)

3) Go for it! If still feel like you want to be a blogger, do it. Blogger and Wordpress are fairly easy (and free) platforms that will help you design the look of your blog. Once you have a few good posts, put the link on your Facebook profile, Twitter account and anywhere you can find. Plus, if you comment on others' blogs, they will be more likely to check yours out and comment back.

4) Keep trying new things. Post to YouTube. Subscribe to some podcasts. If you are a photographer, try Flickr. If you are looking for a job or internship, join LinkedIn. It's kind of like Facebook, but more professional. (You post your resume instead of your pictures from downtown.) If you're feeling really adventurous, check out Second Life. There are lots of articles about how to use Second Life in the blogosphere, but the best way to learn is to try it.

You don't have to follow all these steps. Some people would rather observe than participate. You will still have the knowledge of social media that many employers are looking for. 

Good luck! Maybe I will see you out there in the 'sphere.

Sydney Carroll