Senior Farewell: AJ’s Story

Saying goodbye to PRSSA is probably one of the toughest parts of my senior year.

 When I left the graphic design program at Ferris, I was lost and had no idea what else I could possibly do with my life. Looking back, I’m impressed to think about what I could have chosen to do instead. I could have gone to Kendall and continued to pursue a bachelor degree in graphic design. I could have gone back to the East side of the state and studied information technology or web development.Image

Instead I took a look at the public relations program at Ferris and discovered a gem so valuable I couldn’t believe it. With a program so unique no other program in the nation can compare to it and the opportunity to utilize my design skills in a unique and exciting way, I jumped head-first into PR my first semester. I immediately volunteered to fill the position of treasurer in PRSSA and did everything I could to help my fellow classmates and PR peeps anyway I could.  Since then I’ve grown as a leader and this past year I had the honor of being the president of PRSSA. I couldn’t be more grateful for such an incredible opportunity.

From the PR program I made friends and connections that I am looking forward to keeping in touch with over the course of my professional life.  My lessons and experiences I have had during my time at Ferris have prepared me for what I think will be a very successful business career.

With all that being said, I’m going to miss showing up in IRC 107 every Thursday to be part of a proactive, forward-thinking group of individuals whose futures are incredibly bright. You will all be in my thoughts and if you ever need to reach out for advice from someone, I am always willing to listen and do what I can.

I’m so glad I met you all. I hope to see you in a business meeting sometime in the future.


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Ferris State PRSSA \Welcomes President for 2014-2015

By: Carman Plank

Internal relations is working on senior sendoff, chapter development is wrapping up their blogs for the year, and client relations is finishing up last minute touches on their client work with just over a month left of classes. It’s hard to believe that this year in Ferris State PRSSA is coming to an end. With that being said, PRSSA would love to welcome Kaitlyn Baase as the president for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year.

“I chose to take on the presidency because PRSSA has done so much for me that I felt it was the perfect opportunity to give back to such a wonderful organization,” said Kaitlyn, soon-to-be senior in the public relations programImage.

When Kaitlyn isn’t deciding on a mocha frappucino versus a caramel frappucino from Starbucks, or jamming out to Taylor Swift, she is working hard at planning blogging schedules and speakers to bring in to better the PRSSA chapter.

When she was a sophomore she took on the challenge of being blog manager, and soon realized that if she kept growing as a leader, the impact she could make on PRSSA would be astronomical. Therefore, her junior year she accepted the position on Vice President of Chapter Development.

“I learned a lot as the VP of Chapter Development,” she said. “It really helped me learn how to run an organization and just get things done.”

Her involvement doesn’t stop there, though. Along with her experience in PRSSA, she was the captain of the Ferris State University cheerleading team and has held two internships, one of which she is currently doing at a cheerleading company called JAM! Brands.  She also works at University Advancement & Marketing at Ferris State University. WHOA! Where does she get the time?!

Kaitlyn has three main goals that she would like to accomplish as her time being President, including:

1)      Work on our involvement on campus.

2)      Work on developing members professionally.

3)      Work on becoming a big ole’ happy PR family. (:

In her words, “I have a lot I want to do to help make this organization take the next step towards being ‘professional cool’.”

With her in office, PRSSA has no doubt that she will be able to accomplish these goals and we can’t wait to see where next year will take us. 

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Jessica McLean: Taking the PR World by Storm

 By: Noura Ashri

Jessica McLean has done a lot to prepare for her career in the field of Public Relations in a short amount of time.

Jess is 21-year-old senior, majoring in Public Relations. She came to Ferris from Oxford, MI. Originally, she enrolled at Ferris for Music Industry Management, until she took a PR class with Professor Bishop that changed her mind.Image

Her mind was made up once she learned that speech writing and presentation was a huge part of the public relations industry. After she fell in love with public speaking and debate classes, she decided to also take up a minor in Communication.

 “I was hooked after Dr. Bishop’s PREL 240 class. The more I learned about PR, the more I became drawn to other parts of the career like writing, advocacy, event planning, crisis management, and social media,” McLean said.

Mclean has had four internships during her time at Ferris. During her second year, she interned with It was a virtual internship where she wrote content for their website and did search engine-optimizing research. Afterwards, she did a short internship with a non-profit organization called, One With The Water, where she assisted with social media and website content.

Last summer, she also worked with website called Dumblebee where Jessica created and implemented a social media campaign and managed a team of other interns. Her most recent internship was with Bad Rhino, Inc. where she was given the opportunity to manage their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Jessica is also very active on campus. She is a student receptionist at the FSU President’s Office, a writer for the College of Business website, president of Bulldog Radio, and the social media manager for Ferris State PRSSA.

Right now Jess is busy working on her capstone project. She is excited to be working with WISE, a local women’s shelter that supports women and families that have been affected by domestic abuse victims. Jessica is hoping to find a job after graduation where she can put her love for writing to use and make the world a better place. 

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A Quick Glance of the Rest of the Semester

As the semester begins to wind down, we have some exciting things happening at Ferris State PRSSA. Here is a quick look at what you can expect for the rest of the semester:

  • Presidential elections will take place on Thursday, March 27. Presidential candidates will have the opportunity to give a speech as to why they want the title of president and what they plan to do with it. Other e-board applications are due on the 27th as well.
  • Our first ever Detroit agency tour will be taking place on Friday, March 28. We are headed to Helloworld and Franco Public Relations group. Our bus will be leaving at 7 a.m., so make sure you are at the IRC in time to get some coffee before heading out.
  • Adrienne Wallace and Derek DeVries will be heading to Ferris State University on Sunday, April 6 for a quick lesson on online portfolios. We know it’s a Sunday, but you’re probably just going to sleep all day anyways. Why don’t you come and learn about how important online portfolios are instead?
  • Senior Sendoff is Thursday, April 24. Though the location is still a secret, we can tell you that you are going to have a blast! Wear your best formal attire and get ready for some tears as we say goodbye to our great seniors.
  • Our end of the semester newsletters will be distributed at our last meeting of the year, May 1. And most likely, we will have pizza to celebrate a great year. So come happy and ready to eat!
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Spring Break: Tips for Having Fun and Staying Safe


By: Kaitlyn Baase

Spring break is almost here! As the weather gets colder(even though we are begging for warmth), we can’t help but get a little stir crazy in here in Big Rapids. If you are leaving the state or staying in town, there are many things you need to consider to have a safe yet fun spring break. Here are some things to think about during your break.

What happens in Vegas (or PCB) doesn’t always stay there. We get it. You want to have fun on spring break. Who doesn’t? But you need to be extremely careful of what ends up on social media while you are on break. Sure, you may think you are being safe with your social media, but what about your friends? Don’t be that kid in the background of your friend’s photo passed out in a corner or holding massive amounts of liquor (especially if you are a minor!) The picture might end up online, and someone might think it would be funny to tag you in it. That is not something you want your future bosses to see.

 Know your surroundings. Make sure before you venture away from your hotel that you know where you are and where you are headed. This is a good reminder to make sure that your phone is fully charged before you leave, in case you do get lost and need to use your map app on your phone. Are you in an unfamiliar area? Use the buddy system. If you do get lost, don’t panic. Call a friend.  Make sure you have some cash or a card on you so you can call a cab to get back safely. There is no need to wander around an unfamiliar city with a bunch of strangers.

Not going anywhere for spring break? It’s okay, me either. I suffer from this horrible thing called BEING BROKE. I don’t have money to take a vacation. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try and have some fun over break! Try and take a day trip. Go see a comedy show, take the train to Chicago, and hang out with your family.

 Make the most of your time. Use this time to set up some job shadows or possible interviews. Maybe there’s a firm down in Daytona that you are interested in. Shoot them an e-mail and ask if you can job shadow someone for a couple of hours. You don’t need to spend all that time on the beach anyways, you’ll probably just end up with a bad sunburn. If you are at home, this applies to you too. You have a whole week off to set up as many internships and job shadows as possible. I have dedicated this week to internships and have appropriately renamed it “Week of the (Internship) Hunt.”

What are your plans for spring break? Whatever they are, please make sure you are staying safe and having fun. Can’t wait to see everyone after break!

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A Passion for PR!

By Jessica McLean

For Shelby Austin, public relations was contagious.

Shelby enrolled at Ferris State University from Coppersville, Mich.  with a narrow focus on the Music Industry Management program. Once she found herself in Dr. Bishop’s Principles of Public Relations course, she knew that PR had to be part of her life.

Writing, social media, crisis communication, any many other aspects of PR, all contributed to the new passion she had found for the industry.

 “It felt like a much better fit for me, overall. I am a very outgoing person.”

Shelby initially planned on picking up a minor in public relations but after many hours of thought and debate, she officially switched her major during the spring semester of her sophomore year.


Shelby now dreams of working for a non-profit organization after she graduates in 2016. She is still discovering what part of the public relations industry she might find herself.

 “There are so many options. I really like the social media aspect as well as corporate communications. Some organizations I’d love to do PR for are Invisible Children or Women for Women International,” said Shelby.

 At Ferris, Shelby is the Social Media Intern for the College of Business. She is working with the Marketing Department Chair to create an entirely new Social Media Marketing strategy and increase enrollment. She is also a member of the Ferris Chapter of PRSSA and hopes to study abroad in Spain next summer.

“I love everything about the program. The people are wonderful and Dr. Bishop is great. The work, although hard, is very rewarding and I actually feel like I’m learning something. I feel like I learn something new every day.”

As for advice to other public relations students, Shelby encourages everyone to always follow your heart. Don’t be afraid to take risks and never ever underestimate yourself.


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House of Cards Offers PR Hopefuls Some Advice

By: Will Harris


House of Cards, a Netflix original series, centers on the cunning and power-hungry politician, Frank Underwood. Volatile and devious, Frank plots to move up political ranks as he tears down anyone who stands in his way. With season two having recently aired on Valentines Day, Frank is back to his manipulating ways. Aided by his equally diabolical wife, Claire, and other cohorts, Frank makes waves after being sworn in as Vice President.  To us beyond the fourth wall, however, season two offers

1. Face a crisis immediately.some relevant advice to those in PR.

This season starts with reporter Zoe Barnes hot on Franks trail. While visiting Freddy’s BBQ Joint for his morning rack of ribs, Freddy tells Frank that the most humane way to butcher a pig is to do it quickly, not to draw it out. Frank uses this thinking to face his own problems before they can escalate into a much bigger scandal.

PR hopefuls can relate to this train of thought by being proactive rather than reactive when facing a crisis. Rather than letting a crisis escalate, PR practitioners should strive to face the issues at hand head on.

2. Be able to think on your feet.

We’ve all practiced our interviewing techniques and perfected our elevator speeches, but what happens when someone asks you a question that throws you completely off-guard?

During an exclusive live interview, Claire Underwood was asked the question about why she and Frank had never had children. Her answer was one that she had given before, and when the interviewer picked up on that it raised more questions. By quickly thinking on her feet Claire was able to turn a potentially negative situation into a positive one.

As PR hopefuls we should remember that being well rehearsed for any situation might not be enough. We should always be prepared to think on our feet to overcome any obstacles that might present themselves.

3. Do your homework.

When Connor Ellis interviewed to be the Underwood’s new press secretary he came prepared. Connor had done his homework, going so far as to fly to a different state in order to watch the Underwood’s first interview together. By doing so he put himself above and beyond other applicants.

Whether it be applying for an internship or job, or doing work for clients, doing your homework will set you apart. By going the extra mile to find pertinent information you are showing a committed work ethic and enhancing your personal brand at the same time. This simple act will put you leagues ahead of colleagues in the eyes of your employer or future employer.

Watch House of Cards on Netflix or check out their Facebook page.

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