What A Difference A Year Makes: Dr. Nicolini’s First Year With UWO Journalism

12 05 2017

By Carissa Brzezinski (@CJBrzezinski)

Dr. Kristine Nicolini joined the journalism department this year as an assistant professor in public relations. She primarily teaches upper-level courses within the public relations major. These courses include: Principles of Public Relations, Public Relations Techniques, Research in Strategic Communication, Case Studies in Public Relations, and Public Relations Campaigns.

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  1. What was your professional experience before taking this position?

I have over 12 years of professional experience in public relations, strategic marketing, and corporate communication. I was fortunate to have many diverse opportunities in my career including shaping the marketing and strategic communication initiatives of Children’s Health System, Rockwell Automation, Bridgestone Firestone, Boys & Girls Club and St. Francis Xavier Educational System.

  1. What encouraged you to transition from a working professional to an educator?

During my career I have had two consistent passions, public relations and education. While working as a PR professional, I also taught one or two public relations courses at nearby universities. Five years ago, the chair of my department encouraged me to pursue my doctorate so I could teach at a university. I have always loved being in the classroom because of the unique ability one has to help students develop and grow. One of the best parts of my job is working with students and helping them achieve their goals. Even though I have transitioned into academia as my full-time role, I still work with organizations to help them achieve their communication goals through my consulting work.

  1. What is your favorite thing about the journalism department?

I love the dynamic, collaborative interaction between the faculty and students. Students are actively engaged and motivated to get the most out of their educational experience and this makes the department a vibrant, energetic and continuously evolving environment.

  1. What skills do you suggest students who want to go into journalism or public relations work on honing the most when they’re in school?

One of the most valuable skills students can possess as they transition into the job market is the ability to critically assess a situation and strategically formulate a plan of action. This skill takes time to develop but makes the difference between a mediocre communication professional and a cutting-edge leader in the field. I stress the importance of taking time to think through all aspects of the problem before trying to come up with a viable solution.

  1. What was the last book you read?

Besides academic textbooks and research methods books, the last book I read was Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline. Her books have so many plot twists they keep you on the edge of your seat from the first page to the last sentence.

  1. What is your favorite family tradition?

One of my favorite family traditions is spending time at our cottage in Winneconne, WI. My grandfather built the cottage when my mom was little and we have spent many days there boating, fishing, and spending time together with my extended family. I love knowing my kids are having those same experiences and making lifelong memories.

  1. What is your next skill to master?

One of the aspects of public relations that I enjoy the most is the ever-changing nature of the field. I am continuously seeking new knowledge related to how technology impacts how PR professionals do their work. Additionally, I am particularly interested in how meta-data influences major public relations decisions related to crisis communication. I am learning the different ways researchers are utilizing meta-data as a tool to uncover these trends.

  1. What is one thing you couldn’t go a day without?

Starbucks!!! I am addicted to their Grande Iced Caramel Macchiato and their oatmeal.

 

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UWO Ad Students Win Third at the National Student Advertising Competition for District 8

2 05 2017
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The third place plaque presented to UW Oshkosh at the NSAC 2017 District 8 Competition.

By: Catie Schultz (@CatieSchultz17)

After months of hard work and long hours, the preparation has paid off for the students involved in the Strategic Campaigns in Advertising course, offered by the Department of Journalism. The team placed third among seven other schools in the American Advertising Federation District 8 at the National Student Advertising Competition in Minneapolis on April 22.

 

“Placing third in District 8 is a big achievement for our advertising students – it shows how their high-quality creative and media skills edged out competing campaigns,” Dr. Sara Hansen, who teaches the campaigns course, said. “We are exceptionally proud of these young professionals who pushed their skills and worked very hard to win. As well, we are proud of the caliber of our advertising program in the Department of Journalism at UWO, which helped them prepare with the strategy, design and digital skills for competition at this level.”

AAF District 8 is made up of four states: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The competition at this level is high, due to the caliber of schools that are in District 8. Teams from bigger schools like the University of Minnesota, the University of North Dakota and the University of South Dakota, among others, present their campaign strategies in front of judges, who are professionals within the advertising and communication industry. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is the only school from Wisconsin that participates in NSAC, which displays the quality of the program and its students.

The work leading up to the competition involves students opting to take Research in Strategic Communication to gain insight through primary and secondary research for a national brand based on a case study. The client brand for NSAC 2017 was Tai Pei Frozen Food. Work in the Advertising Media class also helps with developing media plans that could ultimately be used for the final campaign. Lastly, work completed in Strategic Campaigns in Advertising prepares students for the real world by working as a team in various roles to develop the advertising plan for the brand. Based on this work, the team develops a plans book and presentation that is to be judged at NSAC.

The road to Minneapolis and NSAC was extensive, but once we got there, it became a life-changing experience for all involved. “The best part of the competition was honestly the compliments the judges gave us,” Cally Kobza said. “They called our notifications genius and our commercial eye candy. Those compliments from people that high up in the marketing and advertising fields mean a lot.”

Multiple students said that this experience helped prepare them to work collaboratively with others. “This has prepared me for working in IWM [Interactive Web Management] by allowing me to work with other creative people,” Emily Ackerman said. “Even for people who think they can’t be creative, it was great to show them a physical representation of their ideas. It has taught me to be patient and listen to everyone’s ideas to make sure I help create the best product.”

Other students enjoyed the overall experience. “My favorite part of the NSAC competition was just hearing our presentation and then comparing it to others,” Dakotah Armbruster said.  “I’m glad ours stood apart because it’s what made us unique as a school. Hearing other presentations was cool because we got to listen in on what other teams took away from Tai Pei, and the overall Minneapolis experience was amazing as a whole, it gave us a taste of the real world. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

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UW Oshkosh accepts the third place award at the NSAC 2017 District 8 Competition in Minneapolis.
Source: AAF District 8 Facebook.





Biersach runs for National PRSSA committee, increases awareness of UWO

1 05 2017

Brianna Colebourne    By Brianna Colebourne

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh journalism student Katie Biersach ran for a National PRSSA committee position and increased awareness of the UW Oshkosh Public Relations Student Society of America chapter and the journalism department as a whole.

Biersach, a junior majoring in public relations with a minor in Radio-TV-Film, traveled to Seattle from March 30- April 2 to run for the vice president of career services position, which entails managing the PRSSA Internship Center, planning events for Career Development Month, increasing champions for PRSSA’s presence in the society, and much more.

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In the end, she did not receive the position, but it was an extremely valuable experience. She even ended up running for another position off the floor, which she had not prepared for at all. Biersach said, “I put my professional skills to the test and proved to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to.”

Running for those positions meant so much more than the position itself to Biersach. She used it as a way to gain experience, raise awareness about the UW Oshkosh journalism department, showcase her skills, and spread her knowledge to inspire and lead students from all across the world because she truly admires PRSSA.

Sara Steffes Hansen, faculty adviser of the Dr. Julie Henderson PRSSA chapter, helped Biersach prepare for her presentation by listening to her speech and providing constructive feedback. Hansen said: “It is quite an accomplishment for Katie to be a finalist for a National PRSSA position among a highly qualified field of candidates. We are very proud of her for reaching this level, and further putting UWO and the Department of Journalism on the national stage.”

Biersach, who will graduate in May 2018, is president of the UW Oshkosh PRSSA chapter and has served on its executive board for two years. Biersach also will be the 2017-2018 Promotions Director for Titan TV and is currently a part of Reeve Union Board.

In the past, she was a news reporter for the Advance-Titan, the communications director for Fletcher Hall Government, production member for Titan TV and a news reporter on 90.3 WRST.

 

 





Organ Donor Awareness Campaign Kicks off at UW Oshkosh

24 04 2017

Abby Reich  By Abby Reich @missabbyrae23

The UW Oshkosh Dr. Julie Henderson Public Relations Student Society of America chapter started its Blooming Lives campaign for the National Organ Donor Awareness Competition on April 13, and they are already “blooming with joy.”

The PRSSA chapter at Rowan University sponsors the competition. The founder of the chapter received a life-saving kidney transplant from his sister, so the chapter created the annual PRSSA competition for other chapters to gain experience in event planning and to bring awareness to organ donation.

The Oshkosh chapter has been planning its campaign since February, and their events will kick off at the end of April. Their campaign has two main components: the Blooming Lives flower drive, which will be held 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. April 27 in Reeve Memorial Union, and a campus-wide planting event on April 29.

Ashley Larson          Working on Campaign

Carissa Brzezinski, the vice president of events for UW Oshkosh’s PRSSA chapter, is leading the campaign. “This campaign is a reflection of our chapter, not just me,” she said. “I want everyone to feel involved throughout the entire process and to feel proud of all the work we have done.”

Brzezinski also came up with the concept of flowers for the campaign. When she was thinking about the campaign, she kept coming back to the idea that NODAC is always held in the spring. She said, “There’s something about the springtime and new life … and that serves organ donation and the new life that it creates, as well.” Members brainstormed the chapter’s name for the campaign, “Blooming Lives” for organ donation, during a chapter meeting.

Blooming Lives Banner

One of the great things about the flower drive is that there will be no charge for the pansies. The flowers will be free to anyone who is a registered organ donor, signs up to become an organ donor or learns more about organ donation at their booth on April 27.

According to Brzezinski, “The goal of the flower drive is to focus on the positive benefits of donation and to celebrate those who are already donors and those who want to learn more and possibly become donors.”

After the flower drive, the chapter will plant 300 pansies on campus in partnership with the university on April 27. The chapter chose orange pansies to create a visual and long-lasting awareness on campus for organ donation. Brzezinski said, “Like organ donation itself, planting these flowers not only benefits the cause, but our campus community as well.” The pansies will be planted in beds on the front side of Kolf, Horizon, Dempsey and the power plant.

The Oshkosh chapter has a long history participating in NODAC starting in 1997 when the competition began. They also have a long history of success. In the last 10 years alone, they have received two firsts, two seconds, and two honorable mentions. Its members are grateful to be able to apply the skills they have learned in the classroom with their peers and colleagues for a very worthy cause.

“Blooming Lives is an honest and genuine campaign focused on bringing even more positivity and grace to the conversation around organ donation,” Brzezinski said. The chapter’s goal is to increase awareness of organ donation, and they hope that the campus community will take part in the Blooming Lives events.

The chapter will learn the results of the competition in May. Winning chapters will be recognized and will receive their awards at the PRSSA National Conference in October 2017.





University of Wisconsin Oshkosh journalism students help local school find new look

24 04 2017

By Jean Giovanetti

Students at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UWO) helped a local elementary school update its image.

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New Logo Design

Students enrolled in the journalism department’s Advertising Copy Layout and Production class worked with representatives of Carl Traeger Elementary School to develop a new logo. The current logo features an image of a wolf, representing the school’s mascot, a timberwolf.

Brenna Garrison-Bruden, principal of Carl Traeger Elementary School, sent out a request in her newsletter asking for help updating the school’s logo, which is used on everything from print and online communications, to spirit wear.

Journalism department lecturer, Jean A. Giovanetti, answered the call.

“This was a great chance for UWO journalism students to practice their design skills with a real client, as well as help the community,” Giovanetti said. “Students get on-the-job training, while the client gets a free professional-quality design.”

After meeting the school’s principal on campus, students in the journalism class created several drafts of a logo, which Garrison-Bruden presented to a committee composed of elementary school parents and teachers. Then staff and students voted on the new logo design and chose the logo created by Emily Fredrick, a junior from Poy Sippi.

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Emily Fredrick

“I wanted to create a friendly wolf that children will be able to look up to as their mascot,” Fredrick said. “I love promoting brands through graphic design, and this is exactly what this class allows me to do.”

“The students demonstrated a high level of engagement in getting to know the needs of our school and used this information in the design process,” said Brenna Garrison-Bruden. “Our Site Council, staff and students participated in the selection process and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results!”





April 26 NEWSPA Conference Brings Together Media Professionals, Students

19 04 2017

By Nikki Brahm

The 2017 NEWSPA conference will be held April 26 at UW Oshkosh, and will feature 35 sessions and speakers covering a variety of topics, including how to be a better writer or photographer, graphic design basics and careers.

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The conference, held in the UW Oshkosh Alumni Welcome and Conference Center and in the Gruenhagen Conference Center, is open with free admission for all UW Oshkosh journalism students. Download the schedule here.

“It’s a great chance to meet some professionals and to hear from people who our working in the field,” said NEWSPA Executive Secretary Barbara Benish.

The keynote presentation will begin at 11 a.m. and feature Pulitzer Prize winners Mark Johnson, a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Gary Porter, a former photographer at the Journal Sentinel who is now freelancing. The two were part of a team who won the 2011 Pulitzer for explanatory journalism.

Pulitzer Prize reporter Raquel Rutledge will also be speaking, as well as presenting students with $1,000 in cash prizes in NEWSPA’s first-ever In the Pulitzer Tradition Writing Contest, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes. Rutledge judged the 12 entries in this special competition. In addition, more than 100 students will take home certificates of recognition in the regular NEWSPA newspaper and yearbook competition. This year, schools submitted more than 600 student entries.

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Benish said about 350 students and advisers from about 25 schools generally participate in the annual spring conference, which also awards a $500 scholarship to a student planning to study journalism in college.

“What’s exciting is the number of journalism students who are helping to put this event together,” Benish said.  “Students in Reporting and Writing for the Media will be writing stories for our fall newsletter, and students in Dr. Kristine Nicolini’s PR Techniques class have been put in charge of NEWSPA’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and will be helping run the event.” Those students will be live tweeting at the conference, writing some stories for the fall newsletter, and taking photos to use in the newsletter, NEWSPA website or Facebook page.

In addition, students in Dr. Sara Steffes Hansen’s Application of New and Emerging Media class are updating the NEWSPA website, which will allow schools to register for the conference online and submit articles and photos electronically for the various NEWSPA contests.

Check out more about NEWSPA online, and on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 





UWO Ad Club Tours Element

14 04 2017

By Elizabeth Ritschard and Ashley Statz (@uwo_adclub)

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Advertising Club recently toured Element, a full service agency, in Neenah, Wisconsin. Element has two offices, one in Neenah and the other in De Pere, with 28 employees combined between both locations. Ad Club members were able to see how Element works hard to achieve great client-employee relationships. The students met with Chloe De Young, public relations specialist and alumna of the Department of Journalism, who led part of the tour.

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Ad Club members with alumna, Chloe De Young.

Touring the renovated studio space was quite interesting because of both its design and functionality. The office atmosphere at Element was very eco-friendly. Repurposed materials including light fixtures, metal doors, and wood paneling were all used in the renovation. Within this space Element provides both traditional marketing services and website development in-house.

When working for its clients, Element analyzes target audience behavior, local and national competition, psycho-demographics, and even takes consumer reviews into consideration. Element primarily focuses on business to business (B2B) communication rather than business to consumer (B2C), however with an 80/20 ratio, they also understand the importance of looking at the bigger picture. Additionally, the team at Element produces applications and websites through strategic planning, programming, graphic analysis, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and analytic reports.

We loved touring this small town agency and getting to know the team that puts in long hours to produce fun advertisements! Are you interested in learning more about the agency life? Join us for a meeting! Ad Club meets Thursdays at 4 p.m. in Sage Hall 3420! We hope to see you there!