Kent State PR bloggers are immersed in social media

Aside from showing students how to use WordPress, I can’t take much credit for this semester’s PRKent bloggers. Professor Michele Ewing created and taught the class, “Online Public Relations Tactics.” I just persuaded her to make blogging a required activity. Decide for yourself if it worked.

bloggers.jpgTo know a blogger, you must be a blogger. That’s my view. But not everyone has the constitution for it. You gotta be thick skinned to blog, and you need to be a little bit full of yourself, too. You won’t find many modest bloggers, as most of us love to show off.

So it’s not surprising that student bloggers have reservations about putting themselves “out there.” Yet for eight weeks this semester, they did it. We asked students to create blogs focused on some aspect of public relations so they could promote their careers, showcase their PR savvy and enhance their portfolios while learning a bit about social media.

Check ’em out when you have minute. I think you’ll like what you see. And yeah, I’ve begged ’em to fix the typos and usage errors. Here’s hoping they do it before this post goes up!

The PR Novice Blog. Junior blogger Allison Tomei is the first-ever Kent student to be elected to national office in PRSSA. She’ll serve as VP-Member Relations for the 8,700-member organization next year. The 2007 E. Zoe McCathrin Scholarship winner at Kent State, Allison will intern this summer at University Hospitals Health System in Cleveland.

Experience PR. Senior Blogger Heather Bing was the focus of my post on April 12, so I won’t brag about her again. She’ll complete her degree in August after an internship with Cleveland’s Landau Public Relations. That’ll be Heather’s third internship, somehow squeezed in around her globetrotting that’s taken her to 20 countries so far.

PR for Beginners. Second-year grad student Alexis D’Agostino is the first of our MA candidates to take the blogging plunge. She admits that “putting yourself out there” as bloggers must isn’t really her style, but she overcame that reticence to offer some thoughtful posts. She’ll spend the summer on a special-events internship.

PRSSA Kent Conversations. Senior Missy Pollock served as Kent State’s PRSSA chapter president for 2006-07, so she opted to create a blog to serve that group. Missy also spent the past year as an intern in Goodyear Global Communications. She’s in the job hunt, so drop her a line.

Mundo PR. Senior Holly Mueller gave her blog a Latin flavor to go along with her double major in public relations and Spanish. Holly will graduate in August following a summer internship with the Hitchcock Fleming Ad/PR firm in Akron, Ohio. She spent last summer as a PR intern with aerospace giant Lockheed Martin.

Apology PR. Public relations means always having to say your sorry. At least that was the premise of Eric Wagner, whose blog looks at the role of the apology in communication practice. Eric is a senior PR major in his spare time. In his other life, this U.S. Navy vet is an Akron police officer, husband and father.

Everyday Ethics. Senior PR major Alison Turner focuses her blog on public realtions ethics, symbolized by the tightrope walkers in her header image. Perhaps it was Ali’s intense interest in political public relations that prompted her to focus on ethics. She spent last summer as in intern for Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Ohio).

Coping with PR. Any student who plays off her own name to create a blog title is OK in my book. Emily Cope uses her site to share stories and lessons on how she “copes” with being a PR student in a demanding program. She does it with humor, and a bit of attitude — both critical attributes of a blogger. Emily will intern this summer in the PR department of Salem Community Hospital, Salem, Ohio.

Healthy PR. I get the feeling that ever since she was 3 years old, Nikki Weible wanted to work in healthcare PR. She did just that with her internship at Hillcrest Hospital, part of the Cleveland Clinic system, and she extended the theme into her blog. Nicole raises some thorny issues. Let’s hope her bosses are reading, too.

Chasing Perfection. Senior Erika Puch focuses on PR campaigns from the student perspective. In addition to chasing perfection, she’s chasing one more internship to round out her experience before a December 2007 graduation. I’m a bit envious of Erika, as she has a knack for the 200-word post!

KSU PR.axis. For perspectives on public relations and on life, check out Callie Fruit’s site. She wins the award for the most philosophical of the blogs in this class, and one of the most insightful about PR as a career choice. Callie’s blog gave voice to some ideas that no other assignment would have brought forward. It makes you think, and that’s what a blog should do.

Sideline Reporting. Senior Carrie Rupp made sports PR the focus of her blog — no surprise given her service to the KSU Sports Information Department and her experience as a Division I athlete in field hockey. Carrie’s impossible task this semester is to complete the senior Campaigns class while also conducting a job search.

Give them some feedback when you visit. Conversation is good for the soul and for the job search!


3 Responses to Kent State PR bloggers are immersed in social media

  1. mundopr says:

    Thanks, Bill, for the promotion. The blogging experience is a fulfilling one–where else can I talk about myself whenever I want:)

    Have a great summer, and I’ll make sure to keep you up-to-date on the crazy life of a jub-hunting, almost-graduate.

    Thanks for everything.

  2. Congrats to all the students who completed this project! Blogging has become a form of communication, in its own right, and today’s new PR professionals must take notice. Use this experience as a lesson of how and when everyday people communicate about topics close to their hearts. It’s through these communications that we can really learn about how real people feel about real issues. Again, congrats!

  3. Karen says:

    Great stuff! I will enjoy reading through them now that I’ve graded all 30 of mine. 😉 Although it’s not very compassionate of me, I’m also glad to read that you’ve encountered some of the same resistance and problems I did — I was really expecting my students to be full-blast excited about the project, and they weren’t.

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