FSU PRSSA Takes on Chicago

By: Katie Thornsberry

Last weekend, members of our PRSSA chapter headed to Chicago for a regional conference. The theme was “The Loop Chicago: Divergent” separating us into factions, like the movie, according to our interests with the types of PR industries we are interested in.



Before the conference, members that had arrived in Chicago got separated into their factions and headed off on agency tours and a scavenger hunt in the windy city. Our chapter, along with other chapters in the region, either went to Fleishman-Hillard and Ketchum, Golin Global, or Comcast Sports Broadcasting Network. We all got to see into the agency side of PR (in pretty amazing firms if I may add) and ask professionals any questions we had. The scavenger hunt took us to some major tourist attractions in the city, including The Bean and Crown Fountain in Millennium Park.

At the end of Friday, we all headed to Edelman (another incredible firm) to participate in a case study and be judged by professionals on the staff there. They presented the case to rebrand Starbucks to get away from the girly, basic image, and appeal to more men and diverse people. We got into groups, brainstormed, worked with many people that we had just met for the first time and came up with some pretty great ideas.


The conference began with many incredible professionals in the public relations world speaking to us. The first panel we were presented was Advertising vs. PR. We heard professionals from different agencies and advertising firms give advice and answer questions. The main points I learned from this panel was that it’s more about understanding and working together than public relations and advertising “versing” each other. Also, Kathleen Henson, owner of Henson PR Consulting, brought up an amazing piece of advice that stuck with me: “Act like you can.” If you are hesitant to begin a new task, or don’t believe in yourself to do something, just act like you can do it. You’ll prove to yourself what you are capable of and grow as a professional and person.

For the remaining segments, we broke off into seminars of the different PR industries that interested us. First, we either listened to professionals from entertainment PR or fashion PR. For the next groups, it was either political or nonprofit. We all had a chance to discover the different sides of PR and form an idea of what we could see ourselves doing in the future.

Lastly, we all came back together to listen to Maureen Bausch, the CEO of the 2018 Super Bowl. We heard her story of how she started her PR career at the Mall of America before it opened and handled their crisis of the negative comments it was receiving. She helped to turn the negativity around and make it known as the major tourist attraction it is today. She touched on how to have brand protection and continue growth so things won’t get boring and sales won’t die down. She showed anything is possible when you work to achieve it and you may fulfill dreams you didn’t even know existed. She did begin as a fourth grade teacher after all, and now is the CEO of a major sporting event!

Overall, it was an amazing weekend exploring Chi-town, spending a little too much money on souvenirs, making new connections, learning more about the industries, and bonding with our PR peeps.  We all learned some great advice and have amazing memories to carry with us from this trip!

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Client Spotlight – Hospitality Management Blog

Each semester, Public Relations Student Society of America takes on various clients within their student-run PR firm. Some of these clients include registered student organizations, local businesses and various campus events. The client that we are spotlighting this week is the Hospitality Management Gala.

By: Jordan House

Well for starters, unless you’re in the hospitality program, you highly underestimate the amount of stress you can be under as a human being. Once you’ve been a part of the Hospitality Management Gala team you learn a whole new meaning to stress and time management. I’ve never seen a group of people come together and start with so little, and allow it to blossom into something so massive and spectacular.

Backing up now, I’m Jordan House, a junior in the Public Relations program, and the current Public Relations Manager for the Hospitality Management Gala. I was blessed to be appointed to this position through my program’s RSO, PRSSA. I’ve since learned the meaning of working under a time crunch, and it’s possibly one of the most rewarding feelings ever when everything is fully accomplished.

Thus far, my team and myself have written over 20 press releases, distributed them to different cities around Michigan, radio stations in Big Rapids and Grand Rapids, and conducted a radio interview where I was featured on the radio! All these tasks are things that I could never have done without getting out of my comfort zone and using my PR knowledge while on the Gala team.

At the actual event, everything we accomplished came together and worked out fantastically. The meal was incredible, with a professional Steampunk Executive Chef creating most of the items, and other Executive Chefs dishing up the appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, and dessert items. Several awards were given out to students, faculty, advisors, and community members; speeches and thank you’s were given, and auction items were sold without a hitch.

All in all, Gala was an experience that has changed me for the better. I got to know an amazing team of people and watch them accomplish extraordinary things, and I was able to temporarily become one of them! If you are ever given the chance to join the Gala team, or anything like it, the task is not easy, but it comes highly recommended by me. Now my time has come and I am retired from my position at the ripe old age of 20, I’ve become a wise old woman. So take my advice, get out of your comfort zone; try applying yourself to something completely terrifying, and you might just see how awesome it can actually be!

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How to Have Fun (and Stay Safe!) on Spring Break

By: Kaitlyn Baase

Spring break is right around the corner! It doesn’t matter if you are leaving the country, leaving the state or just staying at home, there are plenty of ways to make the most out of your spring break.

Out of the Country

If you’re headed out of the country for spring break, that’s awesome! One thing I would suggest doing (besides getting a tan) is trying the local cuisine. It’s always a great experience to try something you never would, especially if it is a country’s specialty. I also suggest trying something you would never do at home. For example, if you’re headed to a resort, try taking an excursion and go snorkeling or something. You will probably have to fork over some extra cash, but the experience will be worth it!

Out of State

If you’re headed out of state, make sure you make the most of your vacation. If you are driving to your destination, make sure to make pit stops at the craziest tourist traps you see. The destination will be great, so you might as well make the ride just as great! Also, make sure that you are checking out some prime tourist attractions in the area. There is more to spring break than sitting on the beach. Get out and do something!

Staying at Home

Just because you are stuck at home does not mean your break has to be boring! Is there a store or a restaurant in your town that you have been dying to go to? This is your chance! Spending spring break at home is also the perfect time to catch up on sleep, reading, TV or even homework.

Regardless of where you are going, please make sure that you are following these safety tips

  1. Watch what you are posting on social media- Just because you are having a great time living it up on the beach doesn’t mean your future employers are. Make sure you are being careful with the content you are posting, especially since it is the prime time for recruiters to check out your social media
  2. Use the buddy system- If you are not at home, make sure you are using the buddy system. That way, you have each other’s backs in case something goes wrong (which we hope doesn’t happen!)
  3. Be safe- Don’t make silly decisions. Just because you aren’t with your parents doesn’t give you a reason to go crazy and start breaking the law. Remember- laws are in place for a reason: your safety. Make sure you are staying safe, following the rules and being smart.

No matter where you are going, spring break is a time to kick back, relax and unwind before the second half of the semester begins. Enjoy it everyone and have a great time!

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Ferris State PR Welcome Guest Speakers

By: Lauren Dooley


On Thursday, February 19, Ferris State PRSSA welcomed guest speakers Bruce Borkovich, the head of Ferris State Department of Public Safety, and Sandy Gholston, Social Media/News Services Manager at Ferris State University to their meeting. While they presented, here are a few of the questions that they touched on about “Crisis communication.”

  1. What is the process of telling parents about a crisis that happens at school?

According to Sandy and Bruce, the first thing that happens is that it goes out on ferris.edu, where it is then shared on various social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter.

2) How much time do you have to release a press release after a situation?

It depends on the situation that we are working on. You have to “feed the beast” when it comes to press releases and keeping the media informed. However, you have to make sure you have as much accurate information as possible which might take a little longer.

3) What is the worst crisis you had to deal with on campus?

Bruce- The shooting incident at Venlo was probably the worst. I have only worked for Ferris for about two years, and it was the first big crisis that we had to deal with. Making sure that the subject was apprehended, while keeping students safe was a difficult matter.

4) If its an off campus crisis does Bruce still handle it?

Ferris DPS is always dispatched if there is a threat of any kind to the campus, or students that attend Ferris.

5) Most important things you have learned throughout your career?

The most important things that we have learned in our careers are the ability to admit when you’re wrong and the ability to explain to the press and to the community what is going on within a situation.

6) Is it better to give the minimum necessary information or be honest and expose all that you have?

You have to be honest about all of the information you have. It helps build trust within the community and being upfront with all of the information you have is absolutely necessary.

The most important thing you must know is that you can’t say “no comment” to the media. That doesn’t build trust and they will learn to not trust you as a reliable source for information.

7) What do you believe the term off the record means?

Off the record is a generational saying that has become obsolete nowadays. It doesn’t help, and it doesn’t help build trust with community about their safety with what is going on.

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We are #PRProud

By: Chandler Owen

This year, Ferris State PRSSA has accomplished some amazing things for our community, university, and organization. From our Za Best of Za Best event to working with local clientele, the success we’ve had in our 2014-2015 year is something to be #PRProud of. But none of it could have been made possible without the contribution and effort of each of our members in Ferris PRSSA.

Let’s see who we’re all #PRProud of:

Shelby Austin: I’m #PRProud of our awesome Prez, Kaitlyn Baase, for taking this chapter to the next level and the rest of E-board (Kaitlyn Patrick, Emma Thibault, Tarah Bourke and Arielle Borkovich) for going above and beyond. And all the new members who jumped right in and took advantage of all the opportunities available within their first meeting!

Arielle Borkovich: I’m #PRProud of Natalie Bycraft for landing an internship in Malta!

Kate Bewak: I’m #PRProud of Emma Lavengood for being the first one to bring in essentials for OBK!

Carman Plank: I am #PRProud of Chandler Owen for being a go-getter and helping me withthe “Dress For Success” presentation!

Natalie Bycraft: I’m #PRProud of Arielle Borkovich for being our first-ever VP of Alumni Relations! I’m #PRProud of Shelby Austin because she’s going to Spain this summer to study abroad! And I’m #PRProud of Kate Bewak for taking on the role of our Relay for Life captain this year!

Chandler Owen: I’m #PRProud of Alexa Torres for taking on so many blog duties in Chapter Development. & I’m #PRProud of Carman Plank and Kaitlyn Patrick for keeping our section on track and effective!

Kaitlyn Patrick: I’m #PRProud of Jordan House and the client relations team for taking on Gala as a client!

Ferris State’s PRSSA is #PRProud of all of our incredible members that have done exceptional work over the past two semesters!

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Learning to Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day

By: Alexa Torres

Through my years of life, I’ve found myself dreading February 14th, mostly because I was always single during this time and it was the time that everyone got something so meaningful from someone who cared about them. I guess I was jealous and sad and angry and bitter that I didn’t have someone who cared enough about me to buy over-priced chocolates and a human sized teddy bear and flowers and a necklace with matching earrings. This Valentine’s Day I’ve decided to take a new approach to how I see it, and maybe you might want to try it too.

I’ve decided that one day someone is going to spend tons of Valentine’s Days with me, that I won’t even remember what it was like to be so miserable and dread one of the three hundred and sixty five days we have a year. Valentine’s Day is not a time to grieve or to be sad, but a time to love yourself until someone else can love you too. Find love in other places, like the sun when it shines through your window, or with your best friend who’s also trying not to loathe this day. Which seems silly because it’s hard not to loathe Valentine’s Day when there are girls that just got dozens of flowers and boys who just got the coolest shirt ever, but one day someone will give you everything you wanted too.

Right now we’re in the best years of our lives, and we shouldn’t be waiting around for someone to give us flowers that are going to die in a few weeks, buy them for yourself! You’re stuck with yourself your whole life, you might as well start treating yourself like the Queen or King you are. Eventually someone is going to love you for you, and if that’s not something to celebrate, I don’t know what is. Don’t look at Valentine’s Day as a day for you to be alone, look at it as a time for you to love yourself. Buy yourself chocolates on February 15th, or watch a movie with your best friends and eat all the Ben & Jerrys ice cream, that’s okay. Just don’t hate a day that’s going to come around every year for the rest of your life.

You are the greatest YOU there is, and somewhere along someone is going to think so too. Don’t get too down this Valentine’s Day, instead make it a good time!

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Fashion Friday

By: Katie Thornsberry

Girls, you know for the most of our closets are packed full of clothes. I’m sure most of us don’t even wear half of those clothes, either. I’m guilty of just buying somethingbecause it’s on clearance and then never wearing it while it sits in the back of my closet. So how can we make sure this isn’t a reoccurring cycle for the rest of our shopaholic lives? I’m going to list a few steps to remember when you’re shopping that can make sure you love your wardrobe and never let a garment go unworn again (hopefully).

1) Buy it only if you love it, not just like it. If you are head over heels for those $80 jeans, and only like the $40 pair because they’re cheaper, just go with your heart. You may be splurging, but you will thank yourself in the long run when you don’t let $40 sit in the closet.

2) Buy versatile items of clothing. Get that little black dress you can wear on a night out, then pair it with a blazer and statement necklace the next time to change your look entirely to business professional.

3) Think complementary colors and prints. I’m sure we all have that shirt we just had to have that goes with absolutely nothing else in our wardrobe. Next time, have in mind of what other things in your closet it could be paired with. Bold prints and colors can always be paired with a nice pair of black or white pants.

4) Wait until you have enough money saved for a shopping trip. Don’t cheat yourself out of something you’re going to wear all the time and hit the clearance racks because you don’t have the funds. Just wait!

5) Buy things that fit your body right now. I’m very guilty of thinking I’m going to stick to my diet and exercise routine to fit into the two-sizes-smaller pants I just bought. But things can change, and those items may end up sitting in your closet for a while (or forever). Be confident in the now and dress your body how it is!

For us going into the business work setting, it can be easy to pack our closets full. Next time you’re out to shop for business wear, or just casual clothing, remind yourself of these steps tohave a wardrobe you absolutely love.

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