The Giving Tree

12 12 2013

By: Andrea Larson (@andrea_larson_)

For this year’s holiday party, the Journalism Department created a social media campaign that would not only express what we are thankful for, but also give back to the community.

The department asked students and faculty to post a picture of what they are thankful for this holiday season to any social media site of their choice, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Submitted photos were printed into  an ornament for the giving tree, which quickly became the centerpiece of the holiday party.

A donation for each of the pictures submitted is being given to the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry (OACP). The Journalism faculty and staff were gracious enough to provide the money for the donation. For every dollar donated, OACP provides five pounds of food to families in need. Over $165 will be delivered to the OACP next week. That means area families will be provided with 825 pounds of food this holiday season.

“The faculty in the department were universally impressed when the STEP students came up with the idea to create the giving tree, with any donated money going to the local food pantry,” said Michael Cowling, Journalism Department chair. “Faculty members felt it was such a good cause that they, as individuals, and the department, should provide the money for the donations. We are proud of the students for developing the tree as a way to promote social media and to support such a worthwhile community program.”

Thank you to everyone who participated!


Touring Red Shoes PR

5 12 2013
By: Andrea Larson (@andrea_larson_)

Recently, UW Oshkosh’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) toured Red Shoes PR, a public relations agency in Appleton. Upon arrival, we met their eight full-time employees and were able to ask specific questions about their jobs and agency experiences. Among the eight was Owner and President Lisa Cruz, who came back to Wisconsin after working at a public relations job in southern California. She noticed there was not a high presence of PR agencies in Wisconsin, so she made the brave decision to start one of her own. Lisa told us she chose the name “Red Shoes” because wearing red shoes is not only a sign of confidence, but also a great conversation starter. When employees walk into a room, everyone knows who they are and about the agency they represent. Confidence can take you far, she noted, for which red shoes offer a daily reminder.

Red Shoes has recently moved to an eye-catching, new office. The first thing you notice is the glass front with a big red wall behind it and the words Red Shoes PR. Inside the office is very modern with a great atmosphere of appeal to our student group.

All of the employees shared their stories about their journeys to become part of the agency. Many were UWO alumni, who had multiple internships in the field and previously networked with Red Shoes employees. They all said that in agency life you are constantly working with different companies and organizations so the work is not repetitive or boring. They shared information about their jobs and day-to-day responsibilities. We received great advice about getting the most experience we can before choosing our first  “big person” job –  once you find what you love doing, stick to it and never give up.

As students aiming for work in public relations, we were reassured that it is normal to be uncertain about what we want to do with the rest of our lives. More good advice was to venture into other opportunities so we can figure out what we do and do not enjoy. There are endless opportunities in the PR profession and it’s constantly changing with society.

If you ever interview with Red Shoes PR, don’t forget to put on your red shoes