Psychology + Public Relations = Career?

19 06 2012

ImageBy: Sarah Sperry (@SarahE3290)

Who would have thought that a Psychology major would be interested in a Public Relations course?  This girl right here, being a psychology major with an interest in behavioral health, specifically hospital settings, never thought I could learn so much from my three week PR course.

Public relations is all around us, and it’s utilized in every job out there in some form or another. Though I never thought social media sites could give me an advantage in my future, I’ve learned now that they can do just that for me. 

Although Facebook has been found to hurt individuals in the work place, rather than give an advantage, social media site Twitter can have the opposite effect.  More and more facilities are looking for those who can reach out to their publics

Personally, when looking further into how these facilities use social media sites, I found it has been beneficial.  During my course, I researched how hospitals and healthcare systems use social media sites like Twitter to reach their publics. I would have never thought that this would be the next up and coming trend, but it seems to be going in that exact direction. 

Through taking a public relations course with the Journalism Department, I was able to understand what type of professional behavior I need to put forth to impress any and all employers.  This course has also shown me what type of personal qualities, online and offline, employers are looking for. 

The key is to keep social media sites professional but also using a language that can reach all of your publics.  I’ve learned that through social media, hospitals have ask their patients and community members what they want to know on a daily basis about their surrounding healthcare systems and are directly tweeting these exact answers, giving their publics what they want.

I always thought of Twitter as only for celebrity use, and even after viewing a Grey’s Anatomy episode of surgeons using Twitter, I did not take it seriously.  Without taking this course I would have never considered the use of social media in a professional way.  Public relations has come a long way, and it is only going to become more dominant in our everyday situations. 

The more we know about the newest social media sites the better off we are, and the more advantage we possess.  Although some organizations may not benefit from the use of social media sites, others in their category can greatly benefit from them and having employees who know how to navigate their way around these sites.  What started off as a course to fulfill a lack of credits ended up giving me great insight of how healthcare facilities can be impacted by social media sites.


The Email that Opened the Door: My First Internship

8 06 2012

By: Maegan Krause (@MaeganEli)


       At the beginning of my junior year at UW-Oshkosh, I began to hear professors talk increasingly about the importance of internships. One day, a girl walked into my Advertising class to give a presentation on her internship at Red Shoes PR. Her presentation inspired me, and I decided to put my professors’ advice into action. I searched the Journalism Department website for internship postings. My search led me directly to the department’s local internship page, which displays the different openings throughout the Fox Valley area. As I scrolled down the page, two things caught my eye. The first being a post that mentioned the word “Photography” and the second being that same post listed under the “Public Relations” category. The posting was a PR intern position for Ardent Photography in Neenah.

      As I read through the posting I began to feel a wave of excitement. I knew the job would be perfect for me. There was just one problem: the post was a few months old. I doubted that the position would still be available because the opportunity seemed too amazing to go unnoticed. However, I decided to email the company about the position just in case. To my delight, Amy, the owner of Ardent Photography, promptly emailed me requesting my resume. Shortly after came my interview at a trendy coffee shop in downtown Neenah, where Amy offered me the position.

          My internship began in January 2012. At first I was assigned simple tasks, such as putting together promotional vendor packets to send to different venues that held weddings and events, and packaging photo orders to send to customers. As I gained more knowledge about the company, I began to do tasks such as selecting photos Amy had taken to submit to wedding blogs for publication, and even assisting her during different types of photoshoots. The internship really turned out to be an amazing opportunity, when I was hired on as her Assistant Wedding Photographer in April 2012.Image

         A word of advice to all Journalism students: Take initiative! The Journalism Department is constantly updating the internship page. There are plenty of local internship opportunities. All you need to do is apply yourself, and look into it. In my case, a simple email opened the door. At any rate, an email will at least get the ball rolling. The way I see it, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!