Non-Profit Expert Panel Offers Public Relations Insights

21 12 2011

By Heather Hanson (@heath_er)

A group of professionals joined Dr. Henderson’s Case Studies in Public Relations class at semester’s end to discuss non-profit communication and case studies. Interactions among professionals and students were shared in and outside of class with live-tweeting at #uwoshpr.

The panel of professionals included Kelli Karpinski, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce; Dick Knapinski , EAA; Tracy OgdenBoys and Girls Club; and John Giesfeldt , Directions, Inc. The panel covered topics relevant to students such as non-profit case studies, networking and functions of non-profit organizations.

Photo: (left to right) Knapinski, Ogden, Karpinski and Giesfeldt

One of the key points centered on how to combat a crisis in an organization.  The panelists agreed that having an action plan already in place and anticipating potential problems is necessary in any organization. “My job is to think of the worst possible thing to happen,” Knapinski said to the group of students.

Knapinski presented interesting and relevant public relations case studies. In one case, he discussed how a person on Twitter said negative things about EAA. This person communicated information that only someone close to the organization would know. Among other things the Twitter account was reported. According to Knapinski, especially with new media, it’s necessary for public relations professionals to be proactive with all communication channels surrounding the organization.

The panelists also dispensed some important information regarding how to land a job after graduation. Giesfeldt noted how informational interviews are beneficial to gain insight about the employer and potential jobs in the organization. He also said that personal contact is always better when students are trying to reach out to potential employers.  What is the best way to make contact? “Pick up the phone,” Giesfeldt said.

Students also should seek mentors in their first jobs. “I was very fortunate to have bosses who were phenomenal mentors. It’s about networking,” Ogden said. If you’re not as good in certain areas, acknowledge the fact in your cover letter, but also say you are willing to try new things and willing to learn, she said. “When you’re applying for jobs, even if you’re not overqualified, explain that in your cover letter,” Ogden said.

Internships are extremely valuable to students. “Take advantage of free internships,” Ogden said when discussing ways to further professional development. It’s important to gain experience through them. “My best interns that I’ve had have come out of the (UW-Oshkosh Journalism) department,” Karpinski said.


Attn: J-Students! Alumni Relations is looking for a writing/editorial intern!!!

8 12 2011

By Sheng Lee (@shengdanger)

UW Oshkosh’s Alumni Relations office is currently seeking a writing/editorial intern for an immediate open position. You
can begin working as soon as winter interim and start building your professional portfolio. As an intern for Alumni Relations, you will get the chance to interview some interesting people, attend fun alumni events, collaborate with the nicest co-workers you’ll ever meet and write from a cozy office in the historical Pollock Alumni House! Don’t miss out on this great opportunity. Contact Alumni Director Christine Gantner today!

*TitanJob ID:


*Job Title:

Alumni Communications Intern

Organization Name :

UW Oshkosh Alumni Office

Work Schedule:

TBA (7:45a-4:30p M-F)

Employment Start Date:


*Job Description:

The success of UW Oshkosh alumni is a key factor in the University’s strategic integrated marketing efforts to increase the value of the UWO brand. UWO Alumni Relations has identified a need for a student communications intern to research, develop and market UWO alumni success and profile stories. Current staffing and resources make it difficult to write these stories in a timely manner. In addition, this position may help write and promote UWO’s alumni award winners. The student intern will have the opportunity to enhance his/her interviewing, writing and marketing skills, with an emphasis on human interest / profile writing.

Job Duties:
• Work closely with Alumni Communications Manager and the Alumni Relations Director to identify, research and write alumni profile/success stories.
• Research and identify best practices and new innovations for highlighting alumni success through traditional print, new media and social media outlets.
• Assist with taking and coordinating photos and video clips of alumni success stories.

Skills learned:
• Conducting research
• Conducting journalistic interviews
• Techniques for writing human interest profiles
• Photography and videography techniques
• Project management
• Time management


Must be knowledgeable in Microsoft Office Suite. Excellent written and oral communication skills. Ability to multi-task and work independently. Prefer news and feature writing experience.

Application Instructions:

Please send resume and cover letter to Christine Gantner at or call 920-424-0625

Job Location:

Pollock Alumni House

Job Category:


*Position Type:

Part Time
STEP(Student Titan Employment Program)

*Majors :


You’ve Got to be In It to Get It

5 12 2011

By Derek Schroeder (@Derek_Schroeder)

We’ve all got a dream job in our heads, not the do nothing and get paid millions job, but the dream job where you work in the industry you want and for a company that you dig. For myself it’s doing public relations for a bicycle company or being an event planner/manager for a cyclocross racing series.

Now that you know my dream let me explain how I took the first step in getting there. I’ve had a few internships before I landed my dream internship doing public relations consulting for November Bicycles. My advice, take that first unpaid internship if you can’t find anything else and then try to get another internship through the university.

Next comes the fun part, ask yourself: “What am I passionate about?” I don’t mean school, I mean what do you do on you’re free time (which seems to be harder and harder these days)? For me it was cyclocross, I practically live and breathe it. I set up a search for the word “cyclocross” on my Hootsuite account and started following everyone that tweeted anything of importance.

Then I saw that November Bicycles was hosting a sweepstakes to win one of their cyclocross bicycles, but there was a catch there had to be 2345 entries for them to give bike away. So of course seizing the opportunity, I signed up for the sweepstakes, and shared it on all of my social media channels.

This is where following the word “cyclocross” came into play again. I saw @Aaron_Spicer Tweet, “Today would be a great day for me if I had a cyclocross bike! But alas… I do not.”

Of course I had to do something:

And thus I was on the radar of @NovemberBikes who right away thanked me for passing on their contest.

After that my now boss, Mike May, sent me a direct message on Twitter saying he had viewed my “background” on Twitter and my blog, which I started as part of Professor Sara Steffes Hansen’s #UWONEWMEDIA course. Several emails were exchanged and I was the new public relations intern for November Bicycles.

If this story teaches you anything, you must follow your passions to land that job or internship that you’ve always dreamed of. So go follow your passions!