By Carissa Brzezinski (@CJBrzezinski)
Recently, the Dr. Julie Henderson Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter at UW Oshkosh had the opportunity to go on an agency tour of Red Shoes PR, Inc. The students participated in a question and answer session with surprise guest Mayor Tim Hanna of Appleton and a professional panel of members from the agency. Panel members included Red Shoes’ President Lisa Cruz, Kristen Schremp, and two UWO journalism department alumnae, Karilyn Robinson and Lauree Frechette. Below are the top five insights from the Red Shoes PR team.
- Do your research
Research is essential in public relations in a variety of ways. Some of those ways are researching who you are going to be working with, interviewing with, or whose business you’ll be visiting. The Red Shoes team wanted to drive that last example home, by giving the members of PRSSA a pop quiz. The students were quizzed on things that were discussed during the Q-A session to test their listening skills and things that would require prior research such as, “What is the name of Red Shoes PR’s blog?”
(The answer is Above The Fold)
- Wear many hats
Nine individuals staff Red Shoes, and while they all have their own titles and specialties, the reality of being a small business requires these professionals to be able to work in a multitude of areas. For example, your title may be content developer but you need to be willing (and able) to be a client solutions coordinator if and when your boss needs you to be.
- You will utilize your classes
As a student you’re being prepared to wear those many hats by your journalism classes. Both Robinson and Frechette mentioned using skills from their classes at UWO on a daily basis. Two of the classes they referenced were J221: Writing For The Media and J340: New and Emerging Media.
- Have an outlet
Public relations is a never-ending job. The hours on the office door may say 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. but that isn’t necessarily when you’re done working. Things happen, some projects require extra work; sometimes there will be events or meetings you need to attend. Having a busy schedule makes it important that you find an outlet away from your work. Find something you’re passionate about and set time aside to focus on it. One outlet amongst the Red Shoes team is volunteering. They volunteer at a variety of places such as Orphan Animal Rescue & Sanctuary, Homeless Connections, and the Center for Grieving Children.
- “Take risks. Dream big.”-Lisa Cruz
That risk might be trying a crazy idea, like having George Wendt hand deliver your business proposal (which Cruz successfully did) or pursuing your dream job.