APR Program Student Groups Garner Four Student Life Awards

FullSizeR_02The Advertising and Public Relations major program received four Student Life Awards this year.

  • Robin Spring was named “Outstanding Advisor” for her work as faculty advisor of the Advertising Club
  • Adrienne Wallace was named “Outstanding Advisor” for her work as faculty advisor of the GVSU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)
  • Student Sabrina Antcliff was named “Outstanding Vice President” as VP of PRSSA this past year
  • PRSSA earned the “Campus Engagement Award” for the many ways they have been involved on campus

 

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GVSU Ad/PR Program Gets Involved With Page Society

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Dr. Tim Penning in New York.

The GVSU Advertising and Public Relations program recently become more involved with the prestigious Arthur W. Page Society when a professor became a member and a group of students placed in the organization’s annual case study competition. Both happened April 5 in New York City at the Page Society Spring Seminar.

Timothy Penning, PhD, APR, a professor of advertising and public relations in the School of Communications at Grand Valley State University, has been named a member of the Arthur W. Page Society (www.awpagesociety.com).

The Arthur W. Page Society is a professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives who seek to enrich and strengthen their profession. Members are nominated by current members and must be approved by the board. Penning is one of a group of university faculty who are part of the elite organization.

“It’s a real privilege for me to be a part of this group of communications professionals,” Penning said. “Members are the top communications professionals in the largest organizations in the world, who directly counsel the CEOs. I teach that PR is a management function, and these select group of professionals practice it. I hope to learn much from interacting with them.”

Penning added that his association with the Page Society will also benefit students in the GVSU Advertising and Public Relations program as he brings current practice and insights from professionals into the classroom. It may also lead to high-profile guest speakers and networking.

Penning is a former journalist and public relations professional who started teaching full time at GVSU in 2001. In addition to his teaching and research, he is the coordinator of the Advertising and Public Relations program.

Meanwhile, a group of GVSU Ad and PR students placed third in the Case Study Competition in Corporate Communications.

The Case Study Competition in Corporate Communications, which is sponsored by the

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The GVSU student team is honored as third place winners in the case study competition at the annual dinner in New York.

Arthur W. Page Society and the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), awards students whose original case studies best examine the practice of corporate communications in a business issue or crisis. This year’s competition drew 105 entries from 36 communications and business schools across the country.

Students on the Grand Valley team included Aaron Robert, Brianna Olson, Brooklyn Wilson, and Erin Stehlik. Adrienne Wallace was the faculty advisor. Their case was about Target’s transgender bathroom policy. Teams from DePaul University claimed first and second place.

“This case study competition truly challenges students to take a 360-degree view of how communicating around a program or issue can have a significant impact on the overall business of an organization,” said Dr. Tina McCorkindale, President and CEO of IPR. “Winning this highly-competitive award is a great honor.”

The annual competition is judged by a panel comprising Page Society members and members of Page Up, a membership organization for senior-level communicators who have the potential to rise to a CCO or another executive role.

“I am very proud of my team for working this hard outside the classroom,” said Aaron Robert. “To compete and place alongside graduate students nationwide is a testament to our worth ethic and knowledge of public relations. We are honored to represent the GVSU APR program on a national level.”

Adjunct Wins Emmy for TV Spot

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS)-Michigan announced the winners of the 39th Annual Emmy® Awards over the weekend. Angela Peavey, an Advertising and Public Relations adjunct instructor who teaches sections of CAP 105: Technology in Advertising and Public Relations, took home the Emmy for “Best Commercial.”

AngelaPeavey1.jpgPeavey is also a 2013 graduate of the MS in Communicationsprogram in the GVSU School of Communications.

“Winning an Emmy® has been something I’ve dreamed about since I was a child,” said Peavey. “Now it came to fruition with a promo video I made for the Saugatuck Center for the Arts (SCA).”

The commercial was created to promote the theatrical programming the Art Center does year-round; including Equity theatre, sizzling concert series, educational programming, and more.

Five nominations created stiff competition for the “Best Commercial” slot and were the most nominations in a single category all night.

“I’m incredibly humbled to win against such amazing talent,” said Peavey. “Of course I ‘stalked’ the other nominations online before the awards to gain a sense of the competition and I’m still in awe that I won.”

 

The commercial was the brainchild of Peavey, but she thanks the Saugatuck Center for the Arts staff and Board of Directors for all their support. Other participating stakeholders in creating the award-winning piece are Kristin Armstrong, Kurt Stamm, and Jeff Zita of Z-Drones.

“This is an amazing way to kick start the Saugatuck Center for the Arts 15th Anniversary,” said Kristin Armstrong, SCA’s Executive Director. “​What I really love: last year Angela​ made a promise to our board member ​Dan Fox that she would create a video that would become Emmy nominated. Well, she can check that one off her list! And so can the SCA.”

Read more about Peavey’s award in this blog post.

APR Alumna Katelyn Davis Appointed Board Member of the ARPC

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GVSU Advertising and Public Relations alumna, Katelyn Davis, has recently been appointed as the newest board member of the Automotive Public Relations Council (ARPC).

Davis cites that:

“The APRC is a network of public relations professionals dedicated to the advancement of the automotive industry. It serves as a networking and information resource with the unique focus of finding best practices for promoting the industry and building relationships with the media and OEM customers.”

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Katelyn Davis

Davis currently works as the Corporate Affairs and Communications Specialist at Yazaki North America. Here, she oversees all of the internal and external communications including corporate marketing, branding, public relations, social media, and employee communications. Davis joined the ARPC shortly after her career began and was recommended for a seat in the fall, and voted in shortly after.

While studying advertising and public relations at Grand Valley, Davis always knew that she wanted to work in the technology industry. Specifically, she knew she wanted to do work that would help change the world. However, upon graduating in 2010, she found herself searching for a job during a difficult time for the economy. Over the course of a year, she applied for 200 jobs all across the country, but eventually found herself working as a social media recruiter for an automotive supplier. Shortly after, Davis attended an industry event where a speaker discussed the importance of the automotive industry and how there is no other tech industry with as expansive of a reach than automotive.

“He went on to talk about how automotive is one of the world’s largest and oldest global industries,” Davis said. “There isn’t Google in every country and not every person is carrying around an iPhone or Android, but there are vehicles on every continent taking water and supplies to even the most desolate and remote areas of third world countries. This really opened my eyes. I wanted to work in tech. I wanted to change the world. Well here was my chance (in automotive). From then on I set.”

The thing that Davis loves most about working in the corporate PR world is that she gets to be a jack-of-all-trades, not just a PR person. In corporate it is public relations, communications, advertising, event planning, writing, project managing, and everything else all rolled into one.

She encourages APR students to consider getting experience within the automotive field as it is a great opportunity to get hands on with a global industry.

“At the very least, if you decide automotive isn’t for you, you will have had major experience to draw from,” Davis said. “Being able to understand and be a part of a network that spans the world is invaluable experience that can really be applied anywhere.”

Katelyn Davis has been involved with the ARPC for the past five years and continues to do great work within this industry everyday. Congratulations to our APR alumna on this great achievement!

 

Local Professionals Share Branding Tips to APR Students

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By: Jaclyn Ermoyan

A panel of local professionals joined Grand Valley State University Advertising and Public Relations students on November 3, 2016 in the University Club of DeVos Center to discuss branding. After the panel discussion, students and professionals broke into teams to network and participate in a hands-on branding activity.

The panelists for the evening included Jenna Morton from 616 Development, Rob McCarty from The Image Shoppe, JD Osman from Amway, Julie Sheeran from 834 Design, and Raul Alverez from Getting The Stuff Done Group.

Each panelists brought unique experiences and contributions to the discussion. The first question provoked different answers from each of the panelists by asking them to define what a brand is and what it means to them. Sheeran discussed the difference between visual identity and brand, while encouraging the audience to think about what makes their brand different. She asked the audience, “What do you want people to feel and experience when they pick up your product?”

To answer the same question, Osman walked around and asked students in the audience what their favorite brand was and why. He questioned if it was the product or the values that made this brand their favorite. Alverez and McCarty shared their experiences of working with creatives, as neither Alverez or McCarty do the creative work, but participate in the many more things that go into a brand.

Professor Frank Blossom, who coordinated this event, continued the discussion by asking if brand something different than branding. The panelists agreed that brand is the perception and the promise, where as branding are the activities and the tactics done that create the feeling, logo, color scheme and news releases.

After the panel discussion, time was spent doing a brand development activity for SteadyFare, a local rideshare program that competes with Uber and Lyft. Groups were created and students were given a creative brief, tasked with creating a brand description, position statement, new tagline and communication tactics.

After the activity, each team was given the opportunity to present their ideas and discuss with the large audience. The professionals in attendance seemed to be pleased and impressed with the results, commenting that in the professional world, this work normally takes months, rather than in the minutes that the students accomplished it in.

PRSSA Chapter Starts One of Nation’s Only Podcasts

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Grand Valley’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) wanted to do something a little different this year. We have a weekly blog that goes out written by members that discusses different topics, but what else can we do to differentiate ourselves from other chapters who also have blogs? What is something other chapters haven’t done yet?

A podcast.

This podcast is available on mixcloud.com, iTunes and soundcloud.com. It originally started as a biweekly podcast, but the content started becoming too timely to wait, so we are now a weekly podcast. Episodes air Wednesdays at 2pm. As mentioned, we try to stay up to date on events and be as relevant as possible. Part of that included covering the recent PRSSA National Conference that took place October 21-25. A lot happened here, many
speakers gave advice and words of wisdom to soon-to-be PR pros in a positive way. But then something rather negative surfaced and we agreed it was an opportunity to use the podcast as our voice on an issue we felt as aspiring professionals needed to be addressed.

One PR pro made a sexist tweet about a woman speaker using the National Conference hash tag. This started to spread like wildfire.

One main influencer in the recognition of this was Heather Whaling (@Prtini) as she called out this tweet. She also wrote a blog about this experience, laying out a way to actually combat this from happening besides just tweeting about disappointment.apr

I reached out to Whaling and asked if she could come on the podcast and discuss what happened. She’s in Ohio, however, so we had to do a Skype call and record it to put it online. She agreed immediately and that podcast went out Friday, October 29, 2016. It can be found here .

The goal of our podcast is to get a mixture of student and professional opinions about varying topics, as well as a recap of our meetings and interviews with the professionals who speak to us. PRSSA meetings are an experience. We as students get to meet some amazing influencers and PR pros and the best way to capture them is by getting firsthand accounts from speakers themselves or students who experienced the meeting and record the conversations. Podcasting is something I love doing, more so being able to host the podcast and interview and meet some amazing people.

My name is Kelly Darcy and I am the host and producer of GV PRSSA’s podcast, PR Hangover. I am an Advertising and Public Relations student minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies. I started dabbling in broadcasting as a hobby when I joined GV’s WCKS The Whale two years ago. I had a radio show that I recorded and put up as a podcast. As any other student, I am not exactly sure what I want to actually do with my future, but I am determined to have as many skills in my toolkit as possible.

If there are any questions for me about podcasting, feel free to email me at darcyke@mail.gvsu.edu or tweet me @kaydarcc.

40 Under 40

By: Chantal Shaw

Each year, the Grand Rapids Business Journal recognizes the best of the best in the annual 40 Under 40 event. Throughout the night, these top young business leaders are honored for all of their hard work, success and accomplishments.

Last night, I was fortunate enough to attend this prestigious event and sit amongst some of Grand Rapid’s most successful leaders. The night was filled with great entertainment from music and a comedy show to a video reel of all of the honorees. While it was truly inspiring to hear from all of the honorees, there were two specially that stood out and left a lasting impressing on me.

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The 2016 40 under 40 event recognized two of our very own GVSU Advertising and Public relations alumni: Rick Jensen and Adam Russo.

Rick Jensen

Rick Jensen has an extensive background in communications and public relations including working at Davenport University, SeyferthPR and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Since then he has won multiple Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Proof Awards, was named President of West Michigan’s PRSA Board of Directors in 2015, and continues to have a successful career as the Senior Media Relations Specialist at Spectrum Health.

“I am honored and humbled to be included among such a wonderful group of well-known professionals and community leaders,” said Jensen. “As a PR professional, it means even more for the profession that our work is being recognized by business leaders and validated by such a prestigious list and publication.”

Jensen said that GVSU helped set him up for success in career through the great things he learned from the amazing professors in the School of Communications.

For aspiring PR professionals, his biggest piece of advice is to land an internship early on and get involved within your major.

“My first internship was highly influential in landing my first job out of college, and the relationships I made at that time are the building blocks on which my career is built upon today,” said Jensen.

Adam Russo

Adam Russo is deeply rooted in the West Michigan communications community where he has had an extremely successful career thus far working previously at Haworth and SeyferthPR. After gaining experience working with global brands like Amway and Haworth, regional companies like Comcast and Varnum and several different nonprofits, Russo began his own public relations firm, COM 616. He will also serve as the next president for the West Michigan PRSA chapter.

“I’m truly honored to be recognized with the 40 Under Forty award,” said Russo. “When I looked at the full list of honorees, I was humbled by the level of everyone’s talent, experience and leadership. “

Russo said that GVSU provided him with the foundation that he was able to build his career on. He also advised students to recognize their network as one of their most valuable resources.

“Start building your network while you’re in college,” said Russo. “Get out and meet as many people as you can. Volunteering is a great way to gain experience and meet new people.”

img_2454As an aspiring PR professional, I take every bit of advice from the real pros that I can get. We’ve been told countless times that entering this field will not always be easy and things will never be handed to us. And sometimes, the future can seem kind of scary. However, at Grand Valley we are fortunate enough to be provided with countless opportunities for professional and personal growth. We are given the tools necessary to help us survive in the “real world” and be successful within our chosen field of advertising and public relations. Jensen and Russo are proof that with hard work come great rewards. Their professional success is a testament to the idea if you work hard enough, make great connections and relationships, and get involved within your field- you really can accomplish great things.

While attending the 40 under 40 event, it was clear to see the passion that each honoree had for their career as well as the city of Grand Rapids. Congratulations to both Rick Jensen and Adam Russo on representing our great city and our great school!