Government Relations

Our chapter was pleased to have James Smith, Jessica Alaimo, Patrick Flanigan, and Donald Starver from the City of Rochester share insights on government relations. The four work in the Bureau of Communications and Special Events and made an interesting panel with their various backgrounds. Director, James Smith has had experience with both sides of political parties throughout his career. Donald Starver, Deputy has experience with business and marketing. Jessica Alaimo, Press Officer and Patrick Flanigan, Interactive Media Editor wrote for the Democrat and Chronicle.

When talking about the city’s messaging James mentioned how it’s crucial to be proactive and reactive. James and his colleagues said they are proactive by staying ahead of negative stories. They do this by thinking of positive visual stories, trying to defend the indefensible, and keeping negative stories short. Reactive responses and events tend to get the most headlines and attentions, this is why they require all tools and assets since you are starting with a disadvantage. As in any field, there are certain events you can’t predict that you must react to. Patrick, stated how as government practitioners you often have to consider things from a worst-case scenario. Regardless of the story the number one rule is to remain truthful, it is important to establish credibility so people have faith in the government.

Government communications and public relations are all about the messages that will drive your research, communication, programs, development, etc. In order to keep audiences engaged, keep a consistent platform. Don’t switch your messaging. Within their department every story has a connection back to the mission of the city. Although the strategy and goals for developing the city of Rochester haven’t changed, the tactics for communicating and supporting have, as Donald stated. Cities are dynamic therefore they are constantly changing. In order to keep communication interesting visual hooks and repetition are used.

Jessica ended our panel by saying her job makes her feel she is making a difference in the community everyday. This is because they create more jobs, safer neighborhoods, and create better educational opportunities for those in Rochester, NY.

For an internship with the city of Rochester go to http://www.cityofrochester.gov/internships/

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What’s your type?

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Last month, we hosted a chapter meeting to discuss the different personality types and how to communicate in business. We invited guest speaker Karen Sims, the Vice President of People and Development at Dixon Schwabl Advertising in Rochester, NY.

Karen comes from a background in PR, which transitioned into a career in human resources when she discovered her love for internal culture efforts and assessment.  Following this passion, she introduced ‘Companies are people, too,’ a culture quiz that is administered on a company wide basis to determine personal overall culture personality types. This personality assessment generates a Myers-Briggs personality type for each individuals at Dixon Scwhabl, which they post outside their doors with a list of recommended communication practices. As a company, Dixon Schwabl is ENFJ- The Enthusiast, by no surprise given their energetic and fun culture. Ultimately, this assessment is used to celebrate everyone as individuals.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personality assessment that classifies individuals as an indication of basic preferences. Based on the test results, each individuals is given a 4-letter personality type. The first digit labels E or I, based on your level of extroversion or introversion. This indicates how one recharges; whether you gain energy from being around others as an extrovert, or by being alone as an introvert. The second letter indicates how one handles situations with an S for sensing, or a P for perception. Third, we examine a person’s approach to getting information or facts and label it either J for judging, or F for feeling.

To better understand our own personalities and that of our peers, we decided to take the assessment ourselves! Each member in attendance took the test at 16personalities.com, and we took a moment to discuss.

Many of our members were shocked by the accuracy of their results. As we discussed, we explained our own preferences based on our personality types, and compared them to learn more about the various perspectives. We also discovered that some people’s types do not necessarily correlate with how others perceive them. For example, one member who was seemingly extroverted by the opinion of his peers, resulted to be introverted!

Understanding the different types of personalities and their preferences, we discussed communication and leadership tactics. As business communicators, we need to understand how to best approach situations with many different types of people. We learned that sometimes, we need to work in different ways with different people to accomplish the same goals. Karen Sims enlightened us with how this has benefited the culture at Dixon Schwabl, and we were glad to share this perspective with our members to take into their own professional experiences!

Thank you to Karen Sims for leading this session, and all of the members who attended with interest and energy!

SOURCES:
http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/
https://www.16personalities.com/
http://www.companiesarepeopletoo.com/

 

Written by Alexandra Hristodouloul, Chapter Co-President 2016

PRSSA National Conference

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A few weeks ago, members of the Tom Proietti Chapter of PRSSA and the student-run firm, The PRIMA Group, took off for Indianapolis, Indiana with tightly packed bags and purses spilling with resumes and business cards, with the opportunity to attend the PRSSA National Conference, “The Crossroads of Public Relations.” With the support of our school and local agency, a group of six students and one faculty adviser attended the conference:  Olivia Rotondo, PRSSA Chapter Co-President, Alexandra Hristodoulou, PRSSA Chapter Co-President, Claire Sauter, PRSSA Secretary, Claire Lupi, The PRIMA Group President, Alexandra Ormond, PRIMA Account Executive, Jade Rood, PRIMA Marketing Associate, and Professor Arien Rozelle.

In just our three days there, the conference offered a multitude of insights and opportunities for us as students and as leaders of Fisher’s PRSSA chapter and student-run firm. Over the course of intensive and helpful resume critiques, chapter development workshops, keynote speeches and panels, personal and industry-related discussion sessions, networking opportunities, and PRSA International Conference exhibition and speaker events, we filled out pages upon pages of notes, tweeted until we ran out of characters, collected over 60 business cards, and connected with over 120 other PR students and professionals around the country. Some of our favorite workshops and sessions informed us on the process of writing a “killer” job application; knowing “what works and when” for campaigns and candidates in political PR; and how to create the “perfect experience” for an audience when planning events.

We aren’t just bringing back notes and business cards, though. We have ongoing email communication with professional contacts, resumes that are more refined and quantified than ever, and to-do lists of chapter developments such as fundraising ideas and mentorship programs.

Our appreciation for the opportunity to attend PRSSANC 2016 in Indianapolis can never be expressed enough. We would like to thank the Media and Communication Department for its continuous support and facilitation of professional opportunities for students to engage in. A special thank you to Eileen L. Lynd-Balta, Assistant Provost, for her care and investment in student and club development, and Professor Arien Rozelle, for accompanying us at the conference, for advising our Chapter and firm, and for challenging
us to reach for more. Finally, thank you to Roberts Communication for your generous support of our clubs and students, and for allowing us the opportunity to present our conference insights and experience with the agency.

Interested in learning more about each session we attended, the keynote speakers, and the connections we made? Check out our twitter @SJFCPRSSA and the hashtag #PRSSANC.

Leading Ladies Love First Annual Lead #LikeAGirl

By: Alexandra Hristodoulou

Celebrating strengths, building skills, and speaking with experience professionals.

The first annual Lead #LikeAGirl was hosted on Wednesday, March 30th by PRSSA and The PRIMA Group for young women studying in the fields of media and communication, marketing, and business at St. John Fisher College. With the support of the Media and Communication Department, and the time and efforts of the planning committee, Casey Cuthbert, Alexandra Hristodoulou, and Rachael Zelewski, Lead #LikeAGirl brought together over 20 young women for a leadership training session and a fabulous professionals Q&A panel discussion.

Lead #LikeAGirl was established in celebration of National Women’s History Month, with the mission “to empower young women with the skills to speak assertively, reframe challenges, and celebrate strengths as they begin their journey to leadership in the professional workplace.” The PRIMA Group and PRSSA here at Fisher have all female e-boards, and are made up of over 80% women, which demonstrates the importance of hosting events like this one. The goal of the event was to embrace the abilities of our young women and build a stronger understanding of where we stand as women in the workplace and how to overcome any obstacles that our gender may pose on our future opportunities.

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The night began a session instructed by leadership trainer and founder of Thrive Potential, Miranda Wilcox, a strong and knowledgeable woman who engaged the audience as she spoke about choosing to use assertive communication tactics when faced with the natural  urge to react in a passive or aggressive way, instead. Thanks to our brilliant and active group of young women in the audience, this session became an open and conversational session that addressed real-life instances and situations, bringing the lessons to life through multiple perspectives.  Through discussion, the students were able to discuss different leadership and communication tactics and ideals, which built greater understanding among academic peers, as well.

As the night continued, the enthusiasm grew. Invigorated by the beginning leadership session, we began the dynamic and energetic panel with professionals from various areas of the field of communication. Sitting on the panel was the notably (and proudly)“spunky” Amanda DeVito, who has been a professional in the advertising and communications world for over 15 years with different start-ups and other endeavors, and currently loves her leadership role as Vice President of Engagement at Butler/Till. Also, we had the young and beautiful Katelinn Ryan Pellett, the Vice President of Programs at Causewave Community Partners, formerly known as the Rochester Ad Council, where she has successfully progressed her leadership positions throughout her 8 years with the not-for-profit organization. And last but certainly not least, we were given the writer’s perspective, with the cool Sheila Rayam, the Community Engagement Editor from Rochester’s token newspaper, the Democrat & Chronicle.

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These fantastic and energetic women spoke as an inspiration to those in the audience, as they honestly and openly discussed their career paths, transitioning through leadership roles, addressing conflict, overcoming difficulties, and leading #LikeAGirl. Students left with positive impressions of the event, one attendee answered our anonymous survey, stating “I thought Lead #LikeAGirl was extremely beneficial. Everything was put together very professionally and every guest that we had was amazing.”

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With the first annual Lead #LikeAGirl as a success, The PRIMA Group and PRSSA express many thanks to all of the individuals who made it possible– the panelists, the attendees, and the Media and Communication Department. Next year, these groups look forward to building this empower event to be event bigger and better!

Super Bowl Ad Review

Last week our PRSSA Chapter had the pleasure of having Tom Proietti, Resident Scholar in Media, Dominick Annese, Customer Intimacy Consultant, and Tony Conte MCC Professor of Business for our Third Annual Super Bowl Ad Review. Throughout the night we analyzed majority of the advertisements both locally and nationally. A few of the favorites were Axe, UR Medicine, and Colgate.

The Axe commercial “Find Your Magic” was a favorite because the messaging behind it told viewers to be confident with themselves. Camille Audette, PRSSA President, pointed out how Axe has grown up with its users and matured from the stereotypical muscleman the brand used to be centered around. Our guest Tony Conte said “It doesn’t matter if you have a big nose, go for something.” Find out what makes you unique and own it.

It’s safe to say UR Medicine “UR My Sunshine” tugged at (almost) everyone’s heartstrings. It was amazingly well done and beautiful. Our audience agreed it did not have the feel of a local ad (no offense Billy Fuccillo). Golisano Children’s Hospital wants to be known as not only the place for medicine but also a place for comfort during a family’s hard times.

Colgate’s “Save Water” commercial was an “absolute Touchdown” as told by Tom Proietti with the call to action hit right on the head. The commercial focused more on the planet instead of the product. One of our members, Chloe Smith, expressed how she believes advertising is selling the brand more than the product. I wonder if as an audience we are beginning to relate Colgate to helping the planet instead of just being an oral health care product.

As a whole the general consensus was that the ads this year were not as strong as past years and that we also can’t stop singing “Puppymonkeybaby”, thank you Mtn. Dew.

Sharing Our Success

Today is the second day of finals week at St. John Fisher College, meaning only four more days until the campus empties out while everyone heads home for the holidays. It is important to reflect on EVERYTHING you have accomplished over the course of the semester, because according to American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer John Dewey: “We do not learn from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience.”

So, taking this advice, we decided to create a post reflecting on what we have accomplished over the course of the semester.

This semester, our PRSSA Tom Proietti Chapter, led by Co-Presidents Allie Guido and Camille Audette, Secretary Alexandra Hristodoulou, Treasurer Olivia Rotondo, and Faculty Adviser Arien Rozelle, focused on the objective of raising awareness of the chapter in an effort to attract new members.

Several strategies were implemented throughout the course of the semester with our weekly meetings, partnerships, social media presence, and continuous learning in order to meet our goal.

We had weekly meetings on Thursdays from 6:30-7:30 pm where we had local PR professionals share their knowledge and insights on different fields of PR, including: Tourism and Travel PR, Sports PR, Festival PR, PR in the Arts and Fisher PR Alumni.

Additionally, we collaborated with our on campus agency, The Prima Group, and held our 2nd annual Meet the Media Series, an interactive panel about the relationship between journalism and public relations. We had four panels held in Professor Rozelle’s classes, plus a Thursday evening networking panel that drew nearly 40 students and featured seven panelists. We then worked again with The Prima Group, to host a Butler/Till workshop called “How to Advertise and Get Noticed Through the Clutter,” where we learned all about the art and science of advertising during political seasons.

Not only did we collaborate with our on-campus agency, but also with local colleges, Brockport and RIT, as well as PRSA Rochester. Together, we organized and then toured Martino Flynn and The National Strong Museum of Play and met with PR pros at each location.

Then, in November, we were able to send four members to the PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia thanks to the help of our MAC department and the School of Arts & Sciences. E-Board members Heristodoulu, Rotondo and chapter members Chloe Smith and Sarah Fredendall attended. They were able to bring back endless knowledge on public relations, because they experienced agency tours, professional development workshops and seminars, chapter/firm development sessions, living legends of PR panels, keynote speeches, networking events, career exhibits and a CNN tour.

Finally, we created a major presence on social media! We began not only tweeting during our meetings but tweeting content throughout the whole week about events going on at Fisher or just articles we wanted to share. We now have over 500 followers. We also began blogging a recap after every meeting or event that our club held. We then would share all of our blog posts on Facebook which increased our frequency and, as a result, our followers and traffic increased.

This semester has definitely been one for the books and I can’t wait to how we can achieve more in the Spring semester.

Happy Holidays!
– Fisher PRSSA

P.S. We also took a lot of selfies

 

Thursday, December 3, Carrie Riby and Kristen Lennarz from Butler/Till came to St. John Fisher College to discuss the art and science of advertising during political seasons.

Carrie is the Strategic Planning Director. She is an advertising media professional experienced in all forms of media planning and buying. Kristin is a Digital Strategy Director focused on developing fully integrated digital marketing programs that align to connect with customers and drive measurable ROI. These lovely ladies provided PRSSA and The PRIMA Group with a better understanding of human behavior during a cluttered advertising period.

There are a variety of ways Butler/Till positions their brands during this time. Most consumers are tired of seeing negative or attacking commercials from politicians. This is why Butler/Till uses their advertisements as a sense of relief. They create their advertisements opposite of the political advertisements to make them stand out more.

After comparing product advertisements to political advertisements the tables turned. Carrie and Kristin split us into three groups where we were in charge of creating our own advertisements. It was a lot of fun working with each other and bouncing ideas around. We love how Butler/Till gets our creative juices flowing and can’t wait for them to come back.

To find out about future events, presentations, and other networking opportunities, follow St. John Fisher’s PRSSA on twitter.

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  • Treasurer, Olivia Rotondo