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It’s interesting to recognize that working at a public relations firm may be the closest thing to a profession where I use everything my major required.

As employees at Saxum have said, they feel fortunate to work in a firm where they use skills incorporating writing – press releases, op-eds, memos, talking points, etc.,  media/client relations, campaigns/event planning, media tracking, research, social media, creative aspects; all that public relations entails.

Not only does working at a PR firm include using communication skills, but as I became involved with clients I learned about their company and what they represent, sometimes using skills I learned in what I thought was a “filler” or “gen. ed.” course in college.

There are various careers in communications that actually have little to do with public relations. PR is such an all-encompassing occupation, yet the jobs that appear in communications searches have little to do with it.

Here are some examples of what is often confused as being public relations:

  • Human resources
  • Marketing
  • Development
  • Advertising
  • Sales

Although they may contain an aspect of communications, they aren’t exactly public relations.

Luckily there is hope for those who are seeking a career upon graduation in one of the more popular college majors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2006 to 2016, faster than average for all occupations. This is because businesses will decide to contract public relations through a firm rather than support full-time staffed positions.

So what does one do?

Decide what aspect of the major is most important to you.

If I were to decide that I enjoyed every aspect, then I guess I would choose to wait for my turn in line to apply for a career with public relations in the title.

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There was never a question or doubt that I would go anywhere other than OSU upon graduating from high school. My dad, being an O-state alum, dragged me to football games and various OSU activities for as long as I can remember. His plan worked; I fell in love with the campus, the smiling faces, the college-town feel, and the traditions.

Involvement in various activities has always been a priority to me, and my passion for meeting people and staying busy didn’t stop after high school. I participated in Camp Cowboy, Alpha Week and panhellenic recruitment right off the bat.

The memories that will last a lifetime for me are the following:

  • My involvement within Kappa Kappa Gamma and Greek life as a whole

I lived in the house seven semesters, held three offices, and rarely missed an event.

  • Singing and dancing in Varsity Revue, Freshmen Follies, and Spring Sing!
  • Homecoming- the enormity of this tradition at OKstate and the countless hours that go into putting on a nationally recognized celebration
  • The School of Journalism and Broadcasting- the intimate feel, distinct smell and caring professors and advisers
  • My participation in Arts & Sciences Student Council, Mortar Board, Order of Omega and various philanthropy events
  • Constant construction that led to amazing results (Boone Pickens stadium, Hall of Fame, North Classroom Building, etc.)
  • Going to Aspen Coffee and The Third Place to study and chat with friends
  • The Strip including The Barn, J.R. Murphy’s, Dirty’s, Copper Penny, etc. and some hangouts that aren’t on the Strip such as Eskimo Joe’s and Stonewall

Words cannot describe or explain the incredible experience I had discovering who I was as an individual, my passions, my goals. I met the most incredible people and am honored to have had the opportunity to become close friends with so many, who I know will do great things in their lifetime.

As a graduate I can say with the rest of ’em, “college was the best four years of my life!”  I’m looking forward to the next chapter in life, and I know that my journey at OKstate does not end here. I’ll continue to be an active alum participating in homecoming, sporting events, and the like. I’ve learned so much and feel fully prepared to take on whatever the world throws at me.

Please take the time to view the 2009 commencement video to get a better feel for why I love OSU and why you should too.

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What an honor it would have been to be one of the fans injured by flying debris from Carl Edwards’ car in the final lap at Talladega Superspeedway. If you missed the wreck that led to Brad Keselowski’s first Sprint Cup win, here is your chance to catch up.

Reaching the finish line on foot, Edwards’ displayed a heroic ending to an exciting race. Yes, there is controversy about the block and bump drafting, whether more penalties should be issued to prevent similar accidents, but as a fan I enjoy watching drivers fight to the finish. In this case, Edwards made the mistake, and I’m thankful it wasn’t fatal.

Unfortunately, the opportunity for a top finish was taken away from Kasey Kahne and 12 others in a wreck that occurred seven laps into the race. Take a look at the footage below:

And finally one more reason why the Aaron’s 499 was a thrilling race:

I don’t know about you, but I’m marking my calendar Nov. 1, when NASCAR will rally for the second time in Talladega in the Amp Energy 500.

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Public relations professionals tend to have similar personality traits and skills.

According to careermag.com, PR people tend to be: “friendly, outgoing, and enthusiastic; affectionate articulate, and tactful; highly empathetic but easily hurt; creative and original; decisive and passionately opinionated, productive, organized and responsible.” So how do you determine the field that suits you best?

After researching personality traits from PR job descriptions on careerbuilder.com, I’ve compiled a few personality distinctions among corporate, agency and non-profit public relations.

Corporate PR:

  • Loyalty – willing to maintain the goals and mission statement of one corporation.
  • Competitive nature – has the company’s competition always in mind; outshining the competition must be important in the communications department of a corporation.
  • Confidence – readily manages the pressure of “big business” in a fast-paced environment.

Agency PR:

  • Adaptability – operates with several companies and adapts easily to their various needs.
  • Vibrancy – often in twenties and thirties, which creates a young, energetic environment.
  • Teamwork – all are familiar with various forms of communication and work in teams to research, brainstorm and implement campaigns, likely an everyday task.

Non-profit PR:

  • Self-starter – often in a more laid-back environment and needs to work outside a typical PR job description to aid the organization; requires being inventive without supervision.
  • Independence – rarely more than two communications specialists for the organization; must be able to work independently on multiple projects and take the initiative to work without needing help.
  • Benevolence – loves philanthropy, performing good or charitable acts, and is not seeking to make a large profit.

If you are a public relations professional working in either corporate, non-profit, or agency communications, leave a comment and let others know what personality traits you think it takes to succeed in your particular field.

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For the Samsung 500 two weekends ago at Texas Motor Speedway, my dad, who had to attend the race without me, decided to caravan with other Oklahomans through a packaged deal put together by wimgo.comwimgo_logo_beta

After seeing an advertisement in the Daily Oklahoman, my dad visited wimgo.com where they had a great deal for those looking for a way to get to the race. The package was $159 and included a bus ride to the speedway and back, a ticket to the race, pit pass and a boxed lunch. According to him, “it worked like clockwork”. There were six buses with approximately 50 passengers each, mainly couples ranging in age from 30 to 70 years old, and as the event timeline said, they were on the road at 7:00 a.m. Going along with the NASCAR theme the film Days of Thunder, featuring Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall and Nicole Kidman, was shown on the bus ride.days-of-thunder847front

The seats in the grand stand were in turn one, section 147, which made sense because it was close to the bus parking lot and allowed for a quick return after the checkered flag fell.  He couldn’t see pit road but still good seats.

Overall, I’m glad that wimgo offered this deal because my dad does not need to be driving 3 hours down and back by himself after an early morning and long day. He got home around 9:00 p.m., making great time being in race traffic. He praised the organization of the trip and how everyone was timely in getting back to the buses after the race.

If you’re looking for events in your area or want to add an event, visit wimgo.com

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OKstate’s PRSSA chapter had an on-site visit Tuesday, April 7 at Stillwater’s Meridian Technology Center.

Meridian Technology CenterWe heard from Tawny Dotson, strategic communications director, and Ken Koch, chief communications and marketing officer. They gave us a guided tour of the facility and told us about opportunities Meridian offers through various career based classes.

I wasn’t familiar with Meridian and the classes they offer to people of all ages. Their best form of spreading awareness is through word-of-mouth, so I’m going to put in a plug for them on the sociallyorange.org network that if you or someone you know is interested in learning more about any of the following please consider taking a short course or full-time career training from Meridian:

Architecture & Construction

Business, Management, & Administration

Finance

Health Science

Hospitality & Tourism

Human Services

Information Technology

Manufacturing

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics

Transportation, Distribution, & Logistics

or a vast number of short courses!

I’m going to advise PRSSA chapter members to take advantage of on-site visits even if you don’t think it applies to your specific career plan, because I went to this on-site visit knowing very little about Meridian but now I know quite a bit and will keep in mind the opportunities that technology centers have to offer.

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I was drafting work similar to this.

I began my college career as an Interior Design major mainly because I had no clue what else to do and I enjoyed watching HGTV.

After a semester of all-nighters and the realization that I needed to love interior design because the job market is limited, I decided to get out and try a major that would provide me with broader career opportunities.

Not only had I met numerous friendly, involved, hardworking students my first semester of college who were PR majors, but I just knew that being a person who loves interaction, communication, and anything but science, PR was the major for me.

public relationsSince my second semester freshman year, I have never looked back on my decision to pursue public releations. It’s interesting how expansive a PR professional’s knowledge can be. I actually used my drafting/interior design skills in a PR internship one summer when I was planning an event and needed a sketch of a building layout to plan where booths and games would be located within. Sometimes I complain about the random electives and gen. eds that are required of a PR student, but it makes perfect sense to have a well-rounded knowledge. Because with PR, you never know what company you might end up working for or with.

I’ve never been one to have one interest. My interests are always changing and expanding so I’m thankful that upon graduation I will have the freedom to find a job with a company that fits my personality.

If you love people, writing and communication and you’re a potential OKstate student or aren’t satisfied with your major, consider majoring in public relations. I’m so glad I did!

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