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A Statement from PRSA East Central District and Central Ohio PRSA

Statement on Racism from the PRSA East Central District
The Public Relations Society of America East Central District* is appalled by the events leading to the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many other members of our Black community. 

We condemn all acts of racism. We dedicate ourselves as communicators to stand in solidarity with our Black members, Black colleagues, Black students, and the Black community at large to promote the principles of equality.

We pledge our support to convene people for solutions and to listen in order to empower change in our communities. Furthermore, we resolve to do our best as advocates to bring truth to power, act always with justice, and to commit ourselves to an essential role in resolving systemic racism.

Central Ohio PRSA is a member of the PRSA East Central District.

Central Ohio PRSA President’s Message
Central Ohio PRSA stands with our colleagues in the East Central District on the important matter of racism.

I am proud of our chapter's commitment to diversity and inclusion through the leadership of our Diversity and Inclusion Committee, under the leadership of Chair Shanikka Flinn, committee members Gayle Saunders, APR, Jaron Terry, APR,  Fellow PRSA, Josh Hartley and Mackenzie Betts and Board liaison Wendy Schwantes, APR. This committee works to promote diversity and inclusion in the PR profession, support PR professionals from diverse backgrounds, and educate our members through timely, relevant content and educational programs. This year, our PRisms and Diversity and Inclusion Committees took steps to recognize the individuals and organizations that are leaders in this area by establishing diversity and inclusion criteria for our PRism Awards, along with a specific award recognizing this important initiative.

Our chapter believes every person is deserving of equal respect and dignity, and this is a strategic initiative we must keep at the forefront. That’s why our 2019 to 2021 Strategic Plan identifies specific goals related to diversity and inclusion. They include to:

  • Facilitate a culture of inclusion within our chapter;
  • Implement programs with topics related to diversity and inclusion that feature speakers representing diverse backgrounds;
  • Have a representative of the diversity and inclusion committee sit on various committees to allow for cross representation;
  • Actively invite interested members of all backgrounds to join committees and serve in leadership roles;
  • Develop and implement a plan, criteria and expectations that would create a path to elevate diverse members from committee membership, chair roles and board roles. 


We know we can always do more. And, we need your help. We appreciate the voices of all our members in making sure we can continue to empower change through effective programming and dialogue. Please join us in sharing your voice - share your feedback on how we can be more inclusive. Help lead the chapter by serving on a committee or through volunteer work. We can all play a role in moving the needle forward and making progress together.

I am happy to help answer any questions you have.

Katie Thomas, APR
President, Central Ohio PRSA 

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Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

By Gayle Saunders

Guess who’s coming to...

Dinner. Why is it the same question EVERY.SINGLE.DAY – Son: “Mom, what’s for dinner?” Me: “Son, we are in the middle of a pandemic, there are more important things to worry about. Let’s be grateful we have options for dinner.” Son: “Okay, mom, I was just wondering.”

Listening to your audience and responding to its need is critical. During these times of COVID-19, it is more important today than ever before.

As we watch our leaders communicate to their constituents, one thing has become abundantly clear...leadership matters, and having the right and diverse people on your team makes a difference. Ohio has become an example and will become a case study for communicators near and far on how to lead and communicate during a crisis, thanks to our governor, his team, and their commitment to transparency in communications.

In this unprecedented time of “alternative facts.” revisionist history, propagandist storytelling and daily barrage of misinformation, we as public relations practitioners, have a responsibility to develop strategies and communications that are transparent, real, and inclusive.

The roles we play, especially during crisis situations, are invaluable. There are examples after examples of communications gone bad, and how that negatively impacts community trust. And, let’s not overlook the social media disaster that targeted blacks, saying “there’s no need to worry about COVID-19.”

We must push the envelope to ensure our leaders are thinking about ALL constituents, how words matter, how strategies matter, how imagery matters. As we continue to drive toward our lives on the other side of the coronavirus, it is imperative that communicators of diverse backgrounds and experiences are at the table to counsel leadership and help drive strategies, messaging, and creative approaches to ensure ALL audiences impacted are receiving the critical information needed.

I offer a few key considerations as we work with clients during a crisis:

  1. Ask the tough questions – probe deeply.
  2. Determine if the right people are at the table to address multiple issues and audiences. Look around and see who is missing. Bring people of diverse perspectives into the discussion on the front end, rather than after the stuff has hit the fan.
  3. Be willing to acknowledge loss and be sincere in your sympathy to the loss. While you may not be able to share all the details, for various reasons, share what you can. And remember, it is imperative to show some heart during tough times.
  4. Communicate consistently and in a timely manner. Create a steady cadence of communications updates, and be sure media and community know when these occur. Provide access to these via social channels and other avenues.
  5. Develop communications approaches to reach audiences with the right message, where they are, and how they best receive the information. This includes your internal and your external audiences.
  6. Know who the key influencers are for your audience...who or what makes them believe?
  7. Select the right messenger(s) – be sure the people are relatable, trusted, demonstrate leadership, and exude confidence with a high level of compassion.
  8. Listen to your team, knowledgeable experts in the field, and your audience.
  9. Use social media to your advantage. Keep a pulse of chatter on social media channels and other networks and be prepared to respond as needed.
  10. Dispel myths quickly, address misinformation promptly.
  11. Most importantly, keep your crisis plan updated and have your team prepared.

Now, back to the question of the day – dinner. What is the relevance you ask? Audience matters...what is important to him matters. Responding in a timely manner, matters. Showing compassion and an understanding of his need, matters. You get the connection.

My diversion and avoidance tactic left an unnecessary void that could easily be addressed with an honest and transparent response. So today, when my son asks the dinner question, my response will be: “Son, I have not gotten that far yet, what would you like, or do you have a suggestion?” I guarantee, our engagement during dinner, and beyond, will be a totally different result – for the better.

E. Gayle Saunders, APR, is CEO of The Saunders Company, a full-service public relations firm in Columbus, Ohio. She is engaged by clients for support during crisis situations and has led public relations, crisis communications and acted as spokesperson for big brands such as The Ohio State University and Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at [email protected].

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Meet an APR: Michael Vannest

Michael Vannest is communications and marketing director at the E.V. Bishoff Company. He earned the APR in January of 2019.

What prompted you to pursue your APR? Put another way, what's your WHY for being an APR?
The process was both nerve-wracking and fun. I tell people two things. First, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. Second, if you dedicate yourself to the process, it will help you to mature as a practitioner. You’ll learn something new, present case studies and put together a campaign from scratch, or rework one and do it the right way.

My why for pursuing the APR was to show myself that I could do it. It was a personal journey for me. In 2014, I was at a point where I needed to write my comeback story. I set a goal to focus on my new job at E.V. Bishoff and run a half and then a full marathon. Then, I bought a house and got married, and the only thing left on my list was the APR.

It was truly my greatest sense of accomplishment since graduating from college. Getting my APR was the icing on the cake for my comeback story.

Looking back on the process, what would you say to your pre-APR self—or anyone else thinking of taking the plunge—to help you better prepare?
My panel presentation was in October, and I took the test in January. Throughout the preparation process, I had confidence issues, but it just required commitment and practice.

I needed to have a classroom setting to work through the problems that I couldn’t understand, so I took the online course. Learning about the research was a challenge for me, especially the difference between outputs and outcomes on the objective front.

What three things stand out as benefits to having your APR. What have you been able to do because of it that would not have been otherwise possible? Why does it make a difference?
Having my APR has given me the credibility to be able to sit at the management table. My leaders know how I prepared for the accreditation, and how I have changed since then. They have put their trust in me because I can now communicate clear business objectives. With the APR, you will become an authority.

Knowing the difference between outputs and outcomes has changed how my company communicates with our stakeholders. It has brought amazing success to our programs. The campaign I used for my panel presentation leveraged the outcome of customer satisfaction. Using the guidelines laid out by the study guide, I was able to see results immediately, which was impressive to the owner of my company.

Some believe that anybody can do PR. Doing it right is a different thing. We face a stigma of being spin doctors. The APR breaks this myth. We have a Code of Ethics and are serious about our profession.

One last thing I’ll say is that many in our chapter who have experience but no APR claim to already be thought leaders. Does everyone need the APR to do their job? If we’re honest about holding ourselves to a higher standard and constantly learning, the answer is yes. No one knows everything. We all need to learn more. This is why we volunteer, and this is why we set the bar higher for ourselves when it comes to accreditation.

How did you prepare for the portfolio process? Which resources did you find most helpful?
Without these three keys, I would not have walked through the door of becoming an APR:

  1. The Cutlip and Center text (Cutlip and Center’s Effective Public Relations),
  2. The APR Study Guide and
  3. The online course.

The online course is the best $200 you will ever spend, and you get a discount as an APR. You can remain in the course for as long as you want. I remained in it for almost a year. You can go at your own pace, and every week you get to meet online and make connections. We also had Google meetings once every two weeks.

I’d also consider renting the text instead of purchasing it, but it is a very helpful tool.

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Meet an APR: Gayle Saunders

Gayle Saunders is CEO of The Saunders Company, a public relations firm. She secured her APR in 2007.

What prompted you to pursue your APR? Put another way, what's your WHY for being an APR?

It really is about demonstrating excellence in our profession. Getting accreditation is another way to demonstrate the rigor of public relations. Our profession is not always considered a science, but there are metrics that demonstrate our work.

The science is real. How we demonstrate our values through metrics and measurement is so important. Accreditation helps to underscore that public relations truly has a process, guiding principles, rules and methodologies.

As an African American in the public relations industry, I believe it is important for people of color to be recognized in our profession. There is a lack of awareness of and support for the great talent that exists among people of color in public relations, and I want to raise that level of awareness and support. Having my APR projects credibility and accountability to clients, peers and others and gives me additional leverage to help mentor others along the way.

Looking back on the process, what would you say to your pre-APR self—or anyone else thinking of taking the plunge—to help you better prepare?

First, if you are not a member of PRSA, you should be! There are such great tools and resources online through the organization, and these are very valuable.

Secondly, I like to remind people to reach out to those you know, who have gone through the process recently, and pick their brains. See what they did to study and be successful.

Next, remember what you have at your disposal—your own plans and campaigns that you have created during your career. Use these as you assemble your portfolio and prepare for the panel presentation. As you pull those out, look at what you did to make the communications effective. And think about what you could have done differently, with more time or budget. These are critical considerations as you go before the panel.

Lastly, I remind people to go through the study process. Use the chapter’s study group or a boot camp. Gathering with a group of people planning to take the test, getting together in person or via conference calls, all help in ensuring success in earning your APR.

Remember that you are not alone. Where you may have strength in one area, your peers will have strengths in other areas. And you will help each other.

What have you been able to do because of the APR that would not have been otherwise possible? Why does it make a difference?

It makes a difference to me. To maintain my accreditation, I have to demonstrate how I have stayed in tune with PR trends and submit what I’ve done over the course of every three years.

This process holds me accountable. It benefits me, and in turn my clients and others I serve.

How did you prepare for the portfolio process? Which resources did you find most helpful?

I highly recommend purchasing or renting the Cutlip and Center text (Cutlip and Center’s Effective Public Relations), and be sure to download and use the APR Study Guide.

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Getting Through Tough Times - Together

I think we can all agree that the past month has been quite a year.

Anxiety. Grief. Disappointment. General overwhelm. These are just some of the emotions I know I’ve felt, and I’m sure many of us have experienced the same thing.

As we figure out our “new normal” of working from home, homeschooling and social distancing, it’s extremely important for us to take care of ourselves. I know we’re all guilty of pushing the envelope, but now, more than ever, we need to step back, take a breath and acknowledge that right now is not a normal time. It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to feel the feelings we’re feeling. 

But how do we build up our resilience and our ability to cope during this time? I loved this advice in  “How To Be Resilient: 5 Secrets To Mental Toughness (Pandemic Edition)”:

  1. Positive self-talk: Be nice to you! It’s been easy to be down on myself this past month. I’ve been practicing writing three positive things that happened that day: from a Zoom call with friends to sunshine to my husband cooking dinner … I’m trying to reframe my brain -- because there is still so much to be thankful for.  
  2. Physical fitness: Move your body to help handle the stress. The gym is such a huge part of my life and now I have to adapt. Take walks. Use cans of soup, cat litter, paper plates, your stairs and more to make a workout (email me if you want to know more). Moving will help you feel better.
  3. Make it a game: Can you clean your inbox? Can you make your to-do list a Bingo card? Games drive us to keep playing until we win.
  4. Humor: Don’t be afraid to laugh! (Memes highly encouraged!) Cheer up a coworker or friend with your favorite meme or quote. Or talk to someone who makes you laugh. Watch your favorite show.
  5. Embrace meaning: Research shows that those who get through life-threatening situations do so because they helped others… because helping others takes you out of yourself. Stay connected. Hear and see the voices of those you love. Continue to check in on each other. 

Central Ohio PRSA, I wish you continued health and hope. I know this time is challenging in our profession. Please lean on your association if you have questions or need help. And take care of yourself. I hope to see you online or hear from you soon. 

Katie
Katie Thomas, APR, President 
[email protected]

~~~ 

Since the March 10 order from Gov. DeWine banning gatherings over 100 people, your Central Ohio PRSA Board has been working behind the scenes on plans to help better serve you and to help keep our members safe and healthy. We are rescheduling our Annual Conference and PRism Awards and are looking to implement more online programs during this time. In the meantime, we’d like to know: what topics would you like to have informal chats or happy hours around? Please email me at [email protected].






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April is for APRs: Push Beyond Tactics and Advance Your Career

Each year in April, chapters across the country join with our national association to celebrate APRs--those who have demonstrated the pinnacle of communications excellence through our profession’s Accreditation in Public Relations.

This year, while it is quite a bit different than past years, it is still the right time for us to recognize our APRs. In our local chapter, we have a higher proportion of APRs than most. Among our members, 22% have earned the accreditation.

And because APRs are firm believers in lifelong learning, all of us want to support the next generations of APRs. If you have been considering this step, you may have questions, and we’re here to answer them.

What does it take to receive the APR? And why would you want to pursue it? This month, we have devised a number of ways for you to learn more:

  • Meet 12 Central Ohio APRs: Throughout the month, you will see our social media posts about the process. And we will be featuring a dozen APRs from our chapter, telling their stories via Q&A on our blog. 

  • Join Our April 16 Coffee Chat: Hear all about the APR from three panelists with a variety of experiences to share. You’ll learn about:
    • The study group hosted by our chapter’s APR Committee Chair Susan Fortner, APR The national perspective from PRSA’s Sr. Manager of Accreditation Kathy Mulvihill How the process unfolds consistently across the country via Arkansas PRSA’s APR Chair Denver Peacock, APR 
    • Tips for success from Bravo Group’s Senior Director Sean Connolly, APR, and Partner and Senior Counselor at PRworks Jason Kirsch 

  • Listen in for the Good Morning, Communicators! APR Panel Podcast: The coffee’s so freshly brewed with this one that we are still finalizing the date and our panelists. More soon!

  • Just Connect with Us: As our APRs share from their own unique experiences throughout the month, we encourage you to reach out to them for guidance as you consider this journey. Is there someone whose story resonates with you? Don’t be shy to reach out for virtual coffee, lunch or a happy hour to talk more about what it takes to get started, and sustain yourself through the process.


Any APR will tell you that the experience is life-changing. It reframes our industry, how we approach business challenges and how we engage with our peers all around the decision-making table. 

Questions about the APR? Contact [email protected] 

If you have your APR and want to make a difference, we’d welcome you to join the APR Committee! Just fill out this form, and we’ll follow up with you.

 

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AP Style Guide Updates on the Coronavirus

In early March the Associated Press Style Guide made updates in relation to the coronavirus outbreak named COVID-19. Here is an overview of the updates made. These updates are taken directly from the AP Stylebook website.

coronaviruses

A family of viruses, some of which cause disease in people and animals, named for crownlike spikes on their surfaces.

The viruses can cause the common cold or more severe diseases such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) and COVID-19, the latter of which first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China.

As of March 2020, referring to simply the coronavirus is acceptable on first reference in stories about COVID-19. While the phrasing incorrectly implies there is only one coronavirus, it is clear in this context. Also acceptable on first reference: the new coronavirus; the new virus; COVID-19.

In stories, do not refer simply to coronavirus without the article the. Not: She is concerned about coronavirus. Omitting the is acceptable in headlines and in uses such as: He said coronavirus concerns are increasing.

Passages and stories focusing on the science of the disease require sharper distinctions.

COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, is caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2. When referring specifically to the virus, the COVID-19 virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 are acceptable. But, because COVID-19 is the name of the disease, not the virus, it is not accurate to write a new virus called COVID-19.

SARS is acceptable on first reference for the disease first identified in Asia in 2003. Spell out severe acute respiratory syndrome later in the story.

MERS is acceptable on first reference. Spell out Middle East respiratory syndrome later in the story.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and breathing trouble. Most develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.

Do not exaggerate the risks presented by any of the three diseases by routinely referring to them as deadly, fatal or the like.

Reference: https://www.apstylebook.com/topical_most_recent

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The Ethical Use of Interns

By Kerry Francis, APR

Summer is fast approaching, and students are looking for internships and preparing to graduate. As you prepare to hire interns, there are a few questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re using interns in an ethical manner.

What should I pay my interns?

Compensation can be in the form of an hourly wage, class credit or a combination or both. While an unpaid internship sounds like a great solution when budgets are tight, getting something of value for free – the intern’s work – raises ethical questions. A few points to help determine compensation:

  • Are the interns replacing a regular employee? If an intern is doing work that you would pay another employee to do, they should be compensated.
  • Are you billing clients for the interns’ work? PRSA’s Board of Ethical and Practical Standards (BEPS) advises that interns should be paid if they are performing real, billable work.
  • Does your company have a policy? Some organizations have policies around if and how much interns are paid.


In addition to the ethical issues, there also are legal considerations when determining the compensation for interns. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires for-profit employers to pay employees for their work. In some cases, interns are considered employees. The FLSA uses the primary beneficiary test to determine in an intern is an employee – simply put, if an intern is the primary beneficiary of the internship, they aren’t considered an employee under the FLSA and you aren’t required to pay them. This U.S. Department Labor Fact Sheet offers more information, but check with your Human Resources Department or legal counsel for guidance.

What kind of work should I assign to my interns?

The first thing to remember is that the student is the primary beneficiary of the internship experience. While you benefit from the work your intern completes, the benefit to the student should guide your decision-making. You should be assigning your interns real-world, portfolio-building work that allows them to develop skills that will prepare them for that first job – not grunt work that no one else wants to do.

While you should be assigning your interns “real work,” it’s important to remember that they are students first. The assignments you give them should be flexible enough that they can take a few days off to complete an important school assignment or study for an exam.

How should I supervise my interns?

Supervising interns isn’t that different than supervising regular employees. The same processes apply, including setting goals, holding regular meetings to touch base on progress, and offering ongoing coaching and feedback. You may need to spend more time offering explanation about the work and your expectations, as well as helping your interns connect their work with the company’s objectives. This is critical to helping interns gain real-world experience that they can learn from and apply.

If your interns are completing the internship for class credit, be sure you understand what documentation is needed for them to earn that credit so there aren’t any surprises at the end of the internship.

Do employee policies apply to my interns?

A good rule of thumb is that, if you are paying your intern, all the same policies that apply to regular employees apply to interns. If you aren’t paying your intern, only broad policies that encompass non-employees such as contractors, vendors, and visitors apply, such as workplace violence and sexual harassment policies. Regardless of whether or not you pay them, it’s a good idea to have your intern complete the same orientation process as a regular employee – this ensures they receive the same information about policies and procedures, and it gives them a glimpse into what to expect when they start their first full-time PR job. Just be sure to point out any policies that don’t apply to them as interns so there’s no confusion.

An important note: Interns are young and may have little to no experience in the workplace. It may be difficult for them to identify and report inappropriate behavior due to their inexperience, or fears that they will be labeled as a complainer early in their career. It’s critical your interns know they have the same protections as regular employees. Be sure they are aware of your company’s policies, and who they can raise an issue to without fear of reprisal.

Should I hire a post-graduate intern?

I’ve seen questions around the topic of post-graduate internships from employers and recent grads who are looking at different employment opportunities. To put it simply, post-graduate internship are great opportunities for recent grads and employers, but they are still internships and should be treated as such. The same guidelines I mentioned above apply. Remember that any internship is a learning experience and the primary beneficiary is the intern, not the company – a post-graduate intern should not be viewed as an entry-level employee.

Internships are a great way to help the next generation of PR professionals to gain real-world experience. Structuring them in an ethical manner is important to helping students gain the most out of the experience.

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Healthy Eating During COVID-19

By Michael Vannest, APR

Ok, I will be the first to admit I didn’t buy all the coronavirus hype two weeks ago. I thought it was an overblown, overhyped, media-driven hysteria with nothing to warrant the precautions being placed.

Fast forward two weeks and I was wrong about everything. Now, I am the one running to the grocery to get provisions. Stocking up on the necessities to get through the next several weeks. And I am not talking about hoarding toilet paper, or boxed food. I am talking about stocking up on the things that will keep my wife and me healthy and promote a good immune system.

It is important to note that as we all go through these uncertain times together, we need to focus on keeping ourselves as healthy as possible. By that, I mean understanding everything about COVID-19 and what government and health officials are telling us and most important - what foods will keep our bodies prepared to fight.

What should I eat and stock up on?

Simple. Anything on the perimeter of the grocery store.  This includes fruits, vegetables and meats. Stay away from the aisles unless it is for spices. Trust me, you do not need anything in the aisles.

Now in a perfect world, you want to eat non-processed whole foods.  However, from a budget point of view, that may be hard. If you are shopping on a budget, some, and I stress some, processed meats are fine (i.e. lunch meat) but look for the processed meats with minimal additives and no added sugar.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, whole and unprocessed foods with no antibiotics or sugar added will provide your red and white blood cells with the added nutrients needed to combat a virus.

Studies also have shown eating the right whole foods will not only boost your immune system but helps increase brain power.  How about that? Not only will eating the right foods fight off the coronavirus, but it will also make you smarter!

So, what do you look for when stocking up at the grocery store? Here is a shopping list.

Simple grocery list to follow

  • Chicken breast, turkey meat, fish
  • Apples, grapes, dates, oranges, and pears
  • Veggies – any and all!
  • Almond milk
  • Water
  • Rice
  • Quinoa


So I purchased this food, how can I keep it fresh?
Freeze it! Everything in the above shopping list freezes perfectly and will keep for weeks and months. Pressure cooking and canning are other great ways to preserve your extra items.  

Food for thought tips

  1. Blanche vegetables such as zucchini, squash, asparagus and green beans.
  2. Thoroughly rinse all meats before you cook.
  3.  Spaghetti squash can create a lasting meal for days and feed an army. Here is a great recipe.

What are some sites to get healthy recipes?

Here are my favorites:

www.bulletproof.com/

www.thekitchn.com/

www.allrecipes.com

Remember: shop smart and shop for the things that will keep your immune system healthy. You won’t regret your decision. Use this time to take care and love yourself. We all will get through this and be healthier for it.

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The Benefits of Mentoring - and Being a Mentor

Coming from a small town in Appalachia Ohio to the big city, I was nervous about starting college. And my major. And schoolwork. There wasn’t one thing I didn’t have questions or worries about. 

But luckily, I was blessed with the guidance and wisdom of many mentors who helped me with pivotal life events – and even some not so pivotal moments where I just had a question or needed some quick advice.

Because I know I wouldn’t be where I am in my life without those mentors, I pay it forward through mentoring our next generation of PR professionals.

Mentoring is a powerful way to help young PR professionals. Research shows that there are many short-term and long-term benefits to mentoring.

Benefits for students:

  • Help with life questions and support. A mentor can help give practical advice, solve problems and provide encouragement. Conversations I’ve had over the years range from taking a job, to negotiating my salary and deciding between graduate school and starting a career.
  • Help with professional development. Have questions about resumes? Interviewing? Attire? A mentor can help with all of that – and more.
  • Gain insight into the field. When a mentor shares about everyday work – including accomplishments and challenges – it helps prepare students for what the “real world” looks like.
  • Expand your professional network. Mentors are great resources to help students meet others in the field who can ultimately connect them with future career opportunities.
  • Learn soft skills. Having a conversation with a complete stranger can be daunting. Meeting with a mentor and practicing follow up emailing a mentor builds those soft skills that are vitally important to the workplace.

 
Not only does the mentee benefit from a mentoring relationship, but I’ve gained many benefits from being a mentor. 

  • Fulfilment. Mentoring is my way to give back to all those people who have helped me. When I see a student I’m working with get a wonderful internship opportunity it’s a great feeling to know I played a part in that.
  • Insight into yourself. Talking about your own life experiences gives you insight into how you communicate and handle challenges in your life. It’s opened my eyes to how I could have better handled situations or how I’ve learned from these situations.
  • Leadership and communication skills. I’ve learned to hone my leadership and communication skills, which has helped at home, at work and in the community.
  • Learn something new. I learn something new about technology trends and how our future leaders think about our profession. It helps keep me young!
  • Making friends and colleagues for life. A lot of students I’ve worked with over the years have become my lifelong friends -- and even colleagues.

 

Stay tuned – in February we’re going to unveil a new program for students and professionals. 

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