Guest Speaker: UCA’s Christina Madsen on Ethics

Christina Madsen, UCA associate vice-president of communications, public relations and marketing discussed ethics with UCA PRSSA.

Christian Madsen, UCA’s associate vice-president of communications, public relations and marketing, spoke to UCA PRSSA about ethics in the PR world and other topics related to her career in communications.

Check out our Storify on Madsen’s talk HERE.

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UCA PRSSA Volunteers at Brand Camp

UCA PRSSA Treasurer Ashlee Tapia and her group of middle schoolers create a campaign for a new UCA-inspired coffee.

What’s better than spending a week of your summer learning how to brand? UCA PRSSA students Jennifer Buckley and Ashlee Tapia helped Eric Rob & Isaac Advertising and the University of Central Arkansas’ University Relations & Creative Services Department make Brand Camp an opportunity for middle schoolers to learn the essentials of branding. Their mission: to create a campaign for a new UCA-inspired coffee for Blue Sail Coffee!  Students had the opportunity to work with industry experts to develop a new coffee flavor, design packaging, write and shoot their own TV commercial and get hands-on experience with brand development. The camp ended with a presentation day, during which the student teams presented their campaigns to real clients.

Click HERE to see more photos from Brand Camp.

UCA PRSSA Members Win PRISM Awards

Carter Broussard's certificateSavannah Babington's certificate

The Arkansas Chapter of Public Relations Society of America recognized the recipients of the PRSSA Prism Awards at its May chapter meeting. UCA PRSSA members Carter Broussard and Savannah Babington both won first place in their categories. Both award-winning pieces were created for their UCA service-learning public relations classes.

Broussard’s feature story was written in his Writing for Public Relations class after his in-class video chat interview with Moses Adjekwei, a Ghanaian pastor working with a Conway-based nonprofit called Water for Christ.

Babington’s infographic on Children’s Advocacy Alliance was made in her Public Relations Techniques class. The graphic advocated for the types of kids that are less likely to get adopted, in hopes of educating couples before they adopt.

Congratulations to the two winners!

Teaching High School Students About Public Relations

Five UCA public relations students, including a few of our own PRSSA members, discussed public relations and career preparation tips with students at Conway High School. Treslyn Fletcher, Jordan Reynolds, Shelby Sites, Leia Smith and Julia Woods presented to five separate classes on March 31, 2017.

“I was very excited to get to speak to high school students about public relations,” said Julia Woods, a UCA PR student. “I didn’t even know what it was before college, so I’m glad they’re hearing about it now.”

The five students explained what public relations was, what PR practitioners do and the skills they possess, how to use social media effectively and what PRSSA is and how it benefits students.

The savvy teenagers were easy to present to because they all use social media. The PR students just had to explain why and how they should use their social media. They also urged the high school students to maintain an appropriate online presence. Many teenagers don’t think beyond high school or college. The PR students explained ways their Twitter or Instagram accounts could help or harm their future career, or even their chances of landing a summer job in the meantime.

Another lesson the PR students taught was about networking sites, specifically LinkedIn, because of its importance in the public relations industry. The high school sophomores, juniors and seniors filled out their own information on a handout. They wrote about past job and volunteer experiences as well as skills and languages they spoke. This activity helped students understand what future employers may be looking for and what they need to do to prepare.

Story contributions by Jordan Reynolds

UCA Hosts Internship Panel

UCA PRSSA is hosting an internship panel March 16 open to all university students. There will be four past UCA students on the panel to discuss their internships.

Taylor Weston, communication director at Pro Auto will be opening the panel discussion by discussing his company’s internship, what he looks for in an intern, and the importance of internships.

Sarah Burns, resource development coordinator at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Saline County Cedar Mountain Club graduated from UCA in 2015 with a major in public relations and a minor in marketing. In her current position Burns oversees all fundraising, events, and donor cultivation for the Club in Hot Springs Village, AR.

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Sarah Burns, resource development coordinator at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Saline County Cedar Mountain Club.

Jennah Denny, WOW coordinator at Today’s Power, Inc. graduated from UCA in 2016. Denny specializes in social media and communication and communicates the Today’s Power message to over 30,000 individuals.

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Jennah Denny, WOW coordinator at Today’s Power Inc.

Jacqueline Moragne, is the founder, head go-getter, and creative director of JBM & Associates and currently works at Lawson & Company as a marketing assistant. She graduated from UCA with a major in public relations and minor in communication. Morange has always had a passion for serving others and tries her best to always give back.

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Jaqueline Moragne, founder, head go-getter, and creative director of JBM & Associates and marketing assistant at Lawson & Company.

Mary Dunlap, Arkansas Coding Academy, graduated from UCA with a degree in public relations. Right after college Dunlap worked in advertising at a small firm in Little Rock, Ark. before choosing to work at the Coding Academy to help retrain the Arkansas workforce.

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Mary Dunlap, Arkansas Coding Academy.

UCA PRSSA attends Little Rock Agency Tour

On Feb. 17 the majority of the University of Central Arkansas PRSSA members took advantage of the opportunity to attend the the PRSSA Agency Tour and a PRSA luncheon. Members from PRSSA organizations from UCA, Arkansas Tech, Arkansas State, and ULAR were taken on this tour by Allyson Johnson, who works at Mangan Holcomb Partners.

First stop on the tour was Mangan Holcomb Partners where all the PRSSA organizations got to tour the agency and got an explanation of what it was like for them day to day working with clients.

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UCA PRSSA members at Mangan Holcomb Partners excited for the tour! (bottom left to top right) Chynna Stipe, Lauren Gilbert, Savannah Babington, Dani Peterson, Stephanie Higginbotham, Rahel Barr, Jacolby Crow, and Jennifer Buckley.

Next stop on the tour was Stone Ward where Heidi Harrell talked to us about the history of the company and gave us great advice on how to get jobs after graduation. Harrell said “You don’t know everything. Learn.”

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Entrance to Stone Ward.

After Stone Ward it was off to Ghidotti Communications where the lovely ladies there showed off a presentation about things from media relations to content marketing showing off everything that their company does.

During the PRSA luncheon a special guest speaker Johnny Little from E’little Communications Group talked about doing public relations and crisis communication during the tragedy that occurred in Ferguson. Little gave a lot of great advice to PRSSA students and PRSA members about how to act and respond in a crisis situation.

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Johnny Little talking about handling the crisis situation in Ferguson.

Next stop was Communications Group where Jason Brown offered up helpful advice about keeping social media clean and professional to how to create your own personal brand. A helpful sheet full of strategies for building a winners personal brand was also handed out.

The fourth stop on the tour, Heifer International, a nonprofit organization that has a small but important public relations team shared what it was like to work for a nonprofit. They emphasized how important it was to continuously think about how to grow as a person to help your company.

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Heifer International building.

The last stop of the PRSSA tour was Union Pacific Railroad Company where Brandon Morris showed us around and let us see how things work. Morris discussed things like employee communication, media relations, social media, and branding. Morrison gave great advice about always needing to learn more, he said “always advance in your profession.”

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Group photo of UCA PRSSA members in front of Union Pacific train.

Be my Valentine! Love, UCA PRSSA

Continuing the annual tradition, University of Central Arkansas PRSSA collected candy and goods to take over to the local Independent Living Services here in Conway, Arkansas.

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PRSSA members Savannah Babington (left) and Jennifer Harris (right) giving valentine candy away!

A small group of members headed over to hand out the valentines to all the wonderful people there. Rolling a cart through all the classrooms, PRSSA members were greeted with nothing but excitement and love.

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More PRSSA members giving away candy! (left to right) Chynna Stripe, Savannah Babington, Jennifer Harris, and Steph

PRSSA collects soap, deodorant, shampoo, Kleenex, toothpaste and other toiletries to give away as well as regular and sugar free candy. All the PRSSA members this year were new to the tradition but can’t wait to do it again next year.

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Group photo of PRSSA members!

“ILS educates, advocates, and provides supportive services to empower families and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. ILS strives to advance the independence, productivity, and confidence of people into the community.”

-Independent Living Services Mission Statement

Spring 2017 Induction Ceremony

Savannah Babington (left), Chynna Stipe (center) and Stephanie Higginbotham (right) lead the Spring 2017 UCA PRSSA induction ceremony and executive board elections.

We’re happy to announce University of Central Arkansas Public Relations Student Society of America’s Spring 2017 inductees. Our newest members include: 

Jordan Ballentine
Carter Broussard
Alyssa Eads
Lauren Gilbert
Jennifer Harris
Krystal Marvel
Alexandra Taylor
Ashlee Tapia
Nicole Vandervort

Guest Speaker: Crystal Kemp

University of Central Arkansas PRSSA scored guest speaker Crystal Kemp for the second meeting of the Spring semester. Kemp works for the Conway Corporation which is local only to Conway, Arkansas and provides internet, cable, electric, water, and other similar services. Kemp works as a Public Relations and Marketing manager and came to tell us up and coming PR spokespeople what it is like in the field.

First Kemp gives a short history of how and why Conway Corporation was founded and then goes on to tell what to be involved in during college and even includes what she looks for during the interview and hiring process. 

She advised that being involved in as many things that are related to one’s major as possible is a great way to get a head start. She says that in college she was involved with things such as the school newspaper, she was on yearbook staff, she was involved with the media center, and was even in intramural’s for fun. She says by being involved in multiple things she was showcasing her leadership and hard work skills while also making important connections for her future. 

Kemp also offered up some things to include in a resume. She suggests getting together some examples of writing skills, design skills, and basic video skills. She also says never to forget to proofread a resume, small mistakes make a big impact! Of course she advises to include examples of involvement and include things that show that one has initiative. 

Kemp also offers up different things that she does under her title at Conway Corporation. She says that she writes, event plans, budgets, designs, handles social media and media relationships, and so much more. She shows the diversity that the field of PR and marketing provides. 

“If you wanna be successful in public relations, make story telling part of what you do.” – Crystal Kemp

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Spring 2017 PRSSA officers, members, and potential members posing with Crystal Kemp.