My Causerie

"All great change in America begins at the dinner table." ~ Ronald Reagan

Career Development Day Success February 27, 2017

Filed under: ACS 213,ACS 313 — mycauserie @ 2:30 pm

1PRSA-St. Louis and PRSSA-SIUE collaborated on another successful Career Development Day giving students from Illinois, Missouri and even Kentucky a chance to learn from some of the best communication professionals across the country.

Paul Spooner, PRSA-St. Louis president-elect, opened the event with a reminder to 3students of the doors their PRSSA membership will open for them as they pursue their careers. Many of the professionals speaking throughout the day affirmed Spooner’s statement as they shared stories of how their PRSSA/PRSA memberships have impacted their professional success.

The morning keynote speaker was David Grossman, founder and CEO of The Grossman4 Group and author of “No Cape Needed: The simplest, smartest, fastest steps to improve how you communicate by leaps and bounds.” Grossman shared advice regarding respectful authenticity. He also surprised everyone with a free copy of his book, and he even conducted an impromptu book 6signing after his presentation.

Afternoon keynote speaker, Travis Sheridan, President of CIC Venture Cafe Global Institute, talked about the importance of diversity and collaboration among industries. From a global perspective to individual advice using a nursery rhyme that explained why you need a butcher, a 8baker and candlestick maker, his energy was contagious.

There were also two informative professional panels. The first panel gave students the opportunity to learn more about real-world jobs in the communications industry, and the second panel shared advice with students regarding the various career advancement options they could consider as young professionals.

The day-long conference wrapped up with a professional speed networking session that allowed students to talk one-on-one with professionals from a variety of different sectors of the communication industry including public relations/marketing agencies, retail, corporate, government, healthcare, nonprofit, education and entertainment.

We’ve talked about the importance of ROI in class, and I would venture to say all the students who decided to spend $25 to attend this conference saw a tremendous return on their investment!

If you attended Career Development Day, what was your favorite part?

Pull up a chair and let’s talk.





Last Chance to Register for Career Development Day February 20, 2017

Filed under: ACS 213,ACS 313 — mycauserie @ 2:30 pm

Stop waiting for things to happen; make them happen!

Photo Credit: sarah dinu Flickr via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: sarah dinu Flickr via Compfight cc

That’s just one piece of advice shared in the article “5 professional development tips for college students,” and if you want to heed this advice, today is your lucky day!

Today is the last day you can register for the PRSA-St. Louis Career Development Day, hosted by the PRSSA-SIUE Chapter on the SIUE campus. Registration for students is only $25 and includes breakfast and lunch. If you are a member of PRSSA-SIUE, the Chapter will also reimburse you $10 of the registration fee.

Getting two meals in one day that consist of more than Pop-Tarts and Ramen noodles is probably deemed a win by most college students, but attendance at this Friday’s Career Development Day will do so much more than just feed your belly.

You’ve heard it multiple times: It’s important to network! Who you know could be the deciding factor between you and someone else getting that job you are going after. If you are early in your college career and thinking you have plenty of time, read this article, “4 things networking can help you do (besides get a job)” for more motivation to step up your game. As the article says, “There’s no excuse to not be networking,” and considering Career Development Day is right here on the SIUE campus, there really is no excuse! Have you registered yet? No? Why not?

According to Jason Weingarten, co-founder and CEO of talent acquistion software Yello, “If soon-to-be grads are just starting their job search, they are already behind. As early as freshman year, college students should begin building their networks by attending club events, networking with faculty members, securing leadership roles within campus organizations and lining up internships.”

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have plenty of time to network before you graduate. Instead of sleeping in this Friday, why not take the initiative and register for Career Development Day? Make things happen!

In the meantime, pull up a chair and let’s talk.


Choose your classes wisely February 13, 2017

Filed under: ACS 313 — mycauserie @ 2:30 pm
Photo Credit: Leonard J Matthews Flickr via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Leonard J Matthews Flickr via Compfight cc

As you look ahead to your coursework, consider what classes will best advance your career goals. This applies to the classes you take within your major and in choosing your minor and electives.

For example, take a look at “10 things young PR pros need to stop doing to get ahead.” All the tips offer sound advice for young professionals, but there are a few I want to point out to you.

No. 5: Ignoring the numbers. You have to understand the business of your clients and this includes understanding data and analytics. Don’t shy away from business or marketing courses that could help strengthen your understanding of the numbers game.

No. 6: Monitoring for stories, not trends. You can practice this now. As you look for story ideas for writing assignments this semester, consider current trends. This is what produces publishing opportunities.

No. 8: Being a generalist. Once again, with so many facets to the public relations industry, consider classes you can take to help build your expertise in a specific sector of the industry. Whether that be crisis communication, healthcare, finance or something else; be strategic in the classes you take. You want to make yourself marketable.

No. 9: Accepting the existing process. Young professionals can bring a wealth of knowledge to a project especially when it comes to the use of technology. You are avid users of technology, now learn how to use that knowledge in your chosen career. Sign up for the social media for PR class to learn more about how to use the different platforms from a professional standpoint instead of just to take cute selfies!

These are a few suggestions that can help make the most of your college classes. Remember you are pursuing a career in public relations–as No. 4 points out, it’s about building relationships. That is something you should be doing now. So grab that cup of coffee and meet a mentor.

Photo Credit: jeffdjevdet Flickr via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: jeffdjevdet Flickr via Compfight cc

I have one last piece of advice: stay organized. That way No. 10 won’t slip away from you!

In the meantime, pull up a chair and let’s talk.




Celebrating Valentine’s Day like a pro…a PR pro! February 6, 2017

Filed under: ACS 313 — mycauserie @ 2:30 pm
Photo Credit: ara_shimoon Flickr via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: ara_shimoon Flickr via Compfight cc

As a student studying public relations, you may start seeing everyday situations differently. Problem solving might become more strategic, purchasing decisions analyzed more closely and holiday marketing might have a different perspective when viewed through your rose-colored PR glasses. Let’s take Valentine’s Day as an example.

You have to be proactive in your planning, but if a student organization you are involved in is doing any kind of campus or community project relating to Valentine’s Day, it could serve as an opportunity to pitch the story to the campus or local newspaper. Take a look at the tips on “How to Pitch Valentine’s Day” from the Tin Shingle.

If using Valentine’s Day for an assignment doesn’t tug at your heartstrings, then maybe you want some gift ideas. With juggling coursework, internships, jobs and deadlines, you might want to show a little love to yourself this Valentine’s Day. Here’s a unique list of Valentine’s Day gifts that an up and coming PR pro like yourself might enjoy.

If you aren’t into gift buying for Valentine’s Day, maybe you’ll enjoy sharing this top 10 list about why you love PR! It’s also a great reminder of all the different career opportunities available to public relations professionals. What’s not to love about that?

Speaking of different career fields, here are some “Valentine’s Day PR tips for hoteliers and hospitality pros” or take a look at this list of some of the “Top Valentine’s Day PR Stunts” of 2016. All of these stories point to creativity, one of the most-loved characteristics of the public relations industry.

What do you love about your future career? Pull up a chair and let’s talk.




Let’s not spoil it: Groundhog Day your message January 30, 2017

Filed under: ACS 313 — mycauserie @ 2:30 pm

You were probably still in diapers when this movie was originally released, but no matter your age, many have probably seen, or at least heard about, the movie “Groundhog Day.”

Other than just enjoying this iconic film, Adele Cehrs points out that we can learn a lot from Phil Connors as he repeats Groundhog Day again and again and again…but let’s not spoil it. You can watch the movie later; for now, let’s look at the ways Cehrs says you can make your messages repeatable.

To “Groundhog Day” your messages as Cehrs puts it, you need to avoid these four common mistakes.

  1. Use clear and concise sentence structure. We’re only a few weeks into the semester, and you are probably already grasping the importance of brevity when it comes to your writing. In every exercise and writing assignment, you want to take the time to edit–get rid of the clutter if you want the message to be repeatable.
  2. Limit the number of messages. You don’t have to throw everything into one piece of copy. Cehrs recommends addressing three-five key points. If you have more than that, consider using a separate piece of copy to focus on the other issues.
  3. Write conversationally.Your audience won’t remember your message if you don’t speak their language. Writing in a comfortable and familiar tone makes it easier for your message to be repeated.
  4. Know your audience. When writing, you need to know the voice of your client along with the voice of their audience. This speaks to the importance of research and understanding the culture of each individual client. This means tweaking each message so that it resonates with each specific audience.

Keeping these tips in mind will make your messages repeatable, and that means repeatable success for you and your clients.

Here’s to Punxsutawney Phil not seeing his shadow and looking forward to an early spring! In the meantime, pull up a chair and let’s talk.


Infographic: Choosing images for your blog January 23, 2017

Filed under: ACS 313 — mycauserie @ 2:30 pm

As you begin a new semester of blogging, here is a great infographic from Who is Hosting This that can help you understand copyright laws and how to use images on your blogs. It also offers other tips and resources to help make your blog a success.


Are you ready to meet the demands of 2017? January 16, 2017

Filed under: ACS 313 — mycauserie @ 2:30 pm
Photo Credit: Gideon Flickr via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Gideon Flickr via Compfight cc

You are two weeks into the new year, and the first week of the spring semester is behind you. How did you do? I know this class is demanding, but I am honestly doing you a favor. If you hang in there, I am confident you will reap the benefits in the end.

Strengthening your writing skills is at the top of the list for this class, and if you take a look at the article “The key skills that 2017 will demand of marketers,” you will see it is No. 2 on this list too. You might also take note of No. 5 on the list, which touts the benefits of blogging experience. If you open the link “10 questions to ask when hiring a social media manager,” you will see question No. 7 is “Do they have a blog and do they write content for social media channels?”

You heard me say it on day one, the assignments in this class can be worth much more to you then the points assigned to them in this class. You should view every assignment as an opportunity to better prepare you for those post-graduation job interviews. There is a lot you can learn in this class, and much of it comes from outside the textbook.

No matter what your professional career goals are, there are integral qualities that all great leaders possess.  You can read a variety of articles on this topic, but I think “Top 10 qualities that make a great leader” does a good job of highlighting some of the most important qualities. You can read the full article at the link above, but I want to touch on a few of them.

  1. Honesty. I’m not sure I would read any further if this quality didn’t show up at the top of the list. This is paramount to success, and it is one I expect students to abide by in class. I do not babysit work ethic or integrity in this class. However, if either are compromised, there are natural consequences.
  2. Communication. This is another one that always makes the list. Effective communication is important in our personal and professional lives. It is especially important in a digital world and that includes this online class. Let me know if you do not understand an assignment. If you have questions, it may be several of your peers also have questions. Do not be afraid to speak up.
  3. Commitment. If you have learned anything about me during this first week of class, I hope it is that I am willing to be in the trenches with you. I want you to succeed, but I cannot do it alone. You have to be willing to work hard to achieve your goals. I have a strong work ethic; I expect the same from my students.
  4. Positive attitude. No, I will not provide the occasional beer…sorry…but if you are willing to stop by my office, I am happy to share advice and some dark chocolate! I want you to have a positive outlook toward this class, your writing and your career. Be happy and upbeat, and put your best work forward.

In the meantime, pull up a chair and let’s talk.



%d bloggers like this: