Monday, September 26, 2011

Missed Last Week's PRSSA Meeting?

If you were unable to attend last week's PRSSA meeting, no fear! This week's meeting, on September 28th, will also be an introduction meeting for students who are newcomers or are re-joining PRSSA this fall. PRSSA is always held on Wednesday, from 5:15-6:15 in Murphy 100.

Last week's meeting was full of information, so here is a re-cap:

What is PRSSA?

PRSSA bridges the gap between the classroom and the boardroom to help you reach your goals.

PRSSA helps you maintain and evolve your reputation by building mutually beneficial relationships between you and professionals.

So now your wondering, why should I join PRSSA?

Many reasons! Most importantly you will have the chance to meet and network with PR professionals around the Twin Cities. Throughout the year there will be a variety of guest speakers, PR and advertising agency tours, resume and portfolio workshops, and other various networking events.

Remember, when it comes to public relations, it's not WHAT you know, it's WHO you know. This is a major reason why PRSSA members are so successful at finding jobs in career fields that they actually want to work in after graduation!

PRSSA will also provide you with numerous internship and job opportunities and will allow you to gain some valuable pieces for your developing portfolio.

So now that you realize how beneficial PRSSA will be for you, I'm sure your eager to join! So now you're thinking, "Sign me up!"

If you haven't already done so, fill out a membership packet. These can be picked up at this week's meeting. PRSSA costs $75 but this fee will cover you for the entire year. Trust me, it's worth it! Please pay your dues by October 5th and give to Molly Rasmussen, cash or checks only. If you need to write out a check please make it out to University of Minnesota PRSSA.

PRSSA has two professional advisors: Kirsten Lesak-Greenberg and Ryan May.

They are willing to answer any questions that you may have about PRSSA, public relations, the working world, or anything else! Don't hesitate to ask them anything. Kirsten Lesak-Greenberg is an Account Executive at Padilla Speer Beardsley here in Minneapolis and Ryan May is the creator and writer for Minnesota's most read PR blog, Minnesota Public Relations Blog. You can read Ryan's blog at


PRSSA has a large executive board and we want you to connect with us!
Again, don't hesitate to tweet us with any questions you have about our committees or how you can get involved.

President: Molly Rasmussen -- @mollyrasmussen
Vice President: Chris Gaffney -- @Gaffney_Chris
Lead Writer and Editor for the Blog: Kelsey Darnall -- @KelseyJDarnall
Director of Bateman: Erika Vanriper -- @Vanri010
Director of Internal Communications: Reyna Sawtell -- @ReynaSawtell
Director of External Communications: Jenny Luttenberger -- @jlutty28
Fusion, The Firm Director: Tim Holtz -- @tim_holtz1
Fusion Account Executive: Liz Welle -- @Lwelle11
Fusion Account Executive: Shannah Henderson -- @shannahend
Director of Event Planning: Emelia Orke -- @emeorke
Assistant Director of Event Planning: Brooke Ahlers -- @blahlers
Director of Philanthropy: Edwina Reckel -- @ersreck
Assistant Director of Philanthropy: Morgan Hay-Chapman -- @morganrch

What's Fusion?

Fusion is a student-run public relations agency that provides real pro-bono work for three different clients around the Twin Cities area. This year, Tim Holtz will be running and directing Fusion. He will also be the main client coordinator for Home Grown Lacrosse. Liz Welle is an account executive on the Fusion board. Work with her if you're interested in getting into fashion! Shannah Henderson is the other account executive in Fusion, and her new client is sure to bring excitement into Fusion. Tim, Liz, and Shannah do ask that students wishing to join Fusion have completed upper division PR classes, seeing as they do real world PR work for their clients.

And finally...

My name is Kelsey Darnall and I am going to be running this blog this year! Jens Heig, another PRSSA member, is also going to be writing for The Link. We both want to bring PR news to you all, but we will also be writing articles about action sports, music, restaurants, event reviews, and more! I am very excited about this year and I have high hopes for PRSSA and this blog. If you ever have a desire to write a piece for The Link, go for it! Having a published article that you can keep in your portfolio looks great in interviews and at networking events. Contact me with any questions.

Thank you, and have a great year in PRSSA!

Monday, September 19, 2011

PRSSA Introduces the Bateman Competition

The Bateman Case Study Competition is PRSSA's premier national case study competition for public relations students. It offers an opportunity to apply your classroom education and internship experiences to create and implement a full public relations campaign.

That's what PRSA has to say about Bateman. In all reality, it would be better to say that the Bateman Competition is the holy grail of PRSSA. You will have no better opportunity than this to apply your experience, build up your portfolio, or learn PR in a hands-on situation. However, it's a huge commitment and a lot of work. The team size is limited to 5, leaving room for only 4 PRSSA members other than the Director. The first place team takes home $2,500 and a trophy. Placing in the final 3 guarantees your team a trip to California in October, 2012 to be recognized for your accomplishments. The University of Minnesota has never placed before. Its time to change that!

You must be a junior or senior and registered full time at the University of Minnesota. You must also be a PRSSA member. If you are interested in pursuing this exciting opportunity please email Erika VanRiper, Bateman Director, at

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Music Mayhem Philanthropy Event

By Shannon Ryan

On Sunday, May 1, 2011, members of the Philanthropy and Sponsorship Committee will be hosting an event for Music for Memories, an Alzheimer's research fund. The event is a trivia game-show fundraiser at Campus Pizza in Stadium Village and will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free, however raffle tickets can be purchased at the event to win cash prizes.

Music for Memories is run by the company, Music Mayhem, which hosts music trivia events throughout the Twin Cities and through the online game to raise money for Alzheimer's research and patient care. The game challenges you to master songs by correctly naming the title and artist of music.

The Philanthropy Committee has been working closely with the company's president, William Solboe, to develop this event that promotes Music Mayhem and Alzheimer's research. Solboe has a personal interest in his work:

"My mother and all three of my brothers were diagnosed with an early-onset Alzheimer's related dementia. I've experienced first hand how devastating the disease can be for everyone involved. As a result, I've dedicated myself, and my business, to join the fight to find a cure--it's time to make Alzheimer's a distant memory."

Want to make a difference? Come check out the Music Mayhem event at Campus Pizza on May 1!

To learn more about Music Mayhem or to play the online game, visit

Space 150 Tour

By Stacy Fahey

On March 23, 2011 the internal communications committee visited the Minneapolis chapter of Space 150 and it was an incredible experience. Space 150 is a digital agency specializing in conceptualized campaigns for a variety of companies such as Dairy Queen and Forever 21. Located in downtown Minneapolis, the office of Space 150 is industrial and beautiful at the same time. Its interior is full of metal pipes, lighting and woodwork. There are close-knit computer work spaces, but most of all, it is a friendly and fun atmosphere. Everyone works together even while playing ping-pong.

We were led through the trendy work spaces to a small theater that is used for meetings and conferences. We learned about some of the types of campaigns the company has worked on, including Dairy Queen Blizzard’s 25th birthday. They created a “Blizzardmobile” which would travel to about 25 cities giving away free blizzards. Perhaps the most significant tactic of the campaign was the use of social networking sites. It allowed fans of the Blizzard to come together to share pictures of the tour, play games that were created for the event, and participate in free Blizzard sweepstakes. People who were not a part of the 25-city tour were still able to celebrate Blizzard’s birthday. This campaign saw a huge increase in traffic on Dairy Queen's website and Facebook page.

Space 150 is a relatively small company in comparison with others with the same positioning, but the talented staff works together to create new and innovative ways to market its clients. Just as the website proclaims:

“We are a company of freaks and geeks, from different backgrounds and different disciplines. When we assemble our collective forces, we create a super-beast that can’t be stopped.” 

We learned that it is important to use the resources at your disposal in order to think outside the box. You must be mindful of the consumers and fans of a product or brand in order to create something meaningful. Lastly, social media is a weapon that can be used to garner success and create awareness. Touring Space 150 was a great experience in which we learned more about digital agency work. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Paid Summer Internship – ghost communications

We have an immediate opening for a smart, experienced intern at ghost. 

Work with, and learn from a fast-moving, senior-team of PR professionals that led major brand campaigns and teams at some of the area’s biggest firms. Work on major consumer, women’s accessories and lifestyle brands as well as with prominent local businesses and events.

If you’re the right person for us, you will get your hands on a ton of experience very quickly – faster than larger firms with traditional internship tracks. 

You should be a good writer, have experience with phone-pitching media and not be afraid to contribute ideas to campaigns that place our clients’ brands and products in major national consumer media. We may expect you to make a cup of tea and run an errand or two – but everybody does that here. 

  • Previous AGENCY internship experience essential
  • Knowledge of Vocus or Cision media database technology
  • Passion for real media as much as social media
  • Strong writing, verbal communications skills
  • Outgoing personality and a sense of humor
  • Open schedule and flexibility

Internship Terms

  • Compensation: paid (monthly fee commensurate with experience)
  • Full time hours with some flexibility
  • Term: three months renewable to six months/potential for future full time position 

About ghost communications
We’re a small, busy micro agency (five people) based in Uptown Minneapolis and growing quickly. Our clients include prominent local businesses and a growing portfolio of consumer products in the snow, cycle, women’s accessories and outdoor lifestyle categories. You won’t find much on our website right now – it’s STILL under re-development, so if you have a question, ask. Better still, come and talk. You’ll find us in an open plan, industrial space right in the heart of Lynnlake close to restaurants and bars for after work happy hours.

Send your resume to with a short email summary plus a cover letter detailing your current position, experience and availability. We are interviewing immediately for a May 1 start date.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Simple Steps for Successful Networking

By Abbie Burgess

Networking is the key to getting jobs. As college students, it seems like this is one of the most common pieces of advice that we receive, but no one really tells you how to network.

Bruce Moorhouse, adjunct instructor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and former manager of corporate communications at 3M, approaches networking with two simple steps:

  1. Ask yourself "What are my goals?"
  2. Connect your goals to the people who can help you accomplish them.
Once you are ready to initiate conversation with those people, there is an easy way to take the pressure off. Moorhouse says that every person's deepest desire is to be significant and be recognized. Ask people questions that let them feel important. For example "Can I get some advice?" and "Can you tell me about your career?" Those questions show interest in the person and get professionals talking. You will probably learn valuable information, plus it shows that you are not talking to them just to get an interview.

After meeting with someone, always remember to follow up, with a note or an email. It can include something useful for the professional such as a link to an article that the contact would enjoy. Make sure to approach networking with "How can I help this person?" rather than, "How can this person help me?"

Moorhouse's last piece of advice is to take care not to represent yourself in a way that isn't you, or you might end up working in a place that doesn't fit your personality at all. 

Networking doesn't have to be a chore! With time and practice it becomes a natural part of your routine, resulting in enjoyable work relationships and even friendships. The amazing job prospects that result from it are just an added bonus.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Olson Agency Tour Follow Up

By Molly Rasmussen
Last week, members of the University of Minnesota's PRSSA chapter took a tour of Olson Agency in Downtown Minneapolis. We walked out of the agency feeling inspired, motivated, and in awe! As mentioned in last week’s blog post, Olson is one of the most well known and advanced advertising agencies in the Twin Cities. On our tour, we also learned about Olson’s 14-person PR department who works alongside the rest of the agency.
The atmosphere of Olson was astonishing. We were impressed by the creative and contemporary workspace. With the help of our tour guide, we worked our way through the large building with several unique floors. We even saw Olson’s in-house workout facility. In the end, we walked away from the tour wishing we were those employees in front of the computers.
Luckily, we were promptly informed about Olson’s O-tern program that could give any of us the opportunity to intern for the summer at this vibrant and successful agency. We were given the following instructions about applying for this exclusive program:
OLSON’s O-tern Program

Join the next-generation brand builders through a comprehensive, educational, paid internship at OLSON. As an O-tern you will become part of something innovative, enriching and collaborative--an effort that goes beyond selling products and builds communities. You will spend the best summer of your life working in a creative, passion-driven agency working on brands like BAUER Hockey, Target, General Mills and Minnesota Wild. Together with smart professionals in the areas of public relations, account services, media, design, interactive and 1 to 1 loyalty marketing, you will experience the next generation of marketing communications. And, you’ll get the opportunity to start your career at one of the country’s fastest-growing agencies. OLSON was also recently named one of Advertising Age magazine’s “Agencies to Watch,” Inc. magazine’s fastest-growing private companies and a “Best Places to Work” by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal. 

Successful candidates will provide support to team members on multiple accounts. O-terns will possess a diligent work ethic, attention to detail and impeccable communication skills. You must be able to work autonomously and take initiative on a consistent basis. You will be given the chance to learn from the best in your field and will be assigned to a mentor in your area who will provide special assignments designed to help you develop essential skills in that area.  

Internship opportunities are in media, public relations, interactive, project management, account services, brand strategy, and 1 to 1 loyalty marketing.

We’re looking for smart, energetic, curious people who are passionate about gaining real experience in the business - people who are ready to work hard to get what they want. If you are a recent college graduate and are interested in joining this elite social circle, submit the following materials by March 11, 2011. 

• Resume
• Cover letter

An email indicating the next steps will follow your submission.  Internship begins Monday, June 6th, 2011.

Thank you for your interest in OLSON and the O-tern program.

HURRY! You only have until March 11, 2011 to apply!