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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

First Public Relations Student Society of America Meeting- open to all communication studies students!

Monday, September 16 - 7:00 p.m.
CFA 302 (Pizza provided)

COM Studies students are invited to attend this introductory meeting to learn the benefits of joining PRSSA!

Networking, internships, scholarships, guest speakers, conferences, participation in the national Bateman Case Study competition & more!

It's time to join the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)! PRSSA is a student-led organization that is open to all communication studies students, and seeks to “advance the public relations profession by developing ethically responsible pre-professionals who champion diversity, strive for an outstanding education and advocate for the profession” (http://prssa.prsa.org/about-prssa/mission/). AU students participate in leadership and service through this organization, and have attended social media conferences, regional PRSA meetings, and for the last two years participated in the Bateman Case Study Competition. In addition, monthly PRSSA meetings include guest speakers, PRSSA professional development webinars, internship sessions and social networking opportunities.

Our first meeting is coming up on Monday, September 16th from 7:00-8:00 p.m. in CFA 302. During this meeting, Professor Shawn Orr will introduce the association and share the benefits of joining, and an election for officers for this year's chapter will be held. Students will also hear from a newly-graduated public relations student who will share her experiences with PRSSA and how it impacted her ability to find a job right after graduation. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Taking Group Presentations into the Future

Advanced Public Speaking, COM 301, has taken group presentations to a new level. Instead of the typical face-to-face presentation in which groups present a symposium type speech (each person in the group presents his/her part), groups collaborated to create mock webinars.

Webinars are online seminars and their purpose is to enhance the listeners’ understanding of a topic associated with the organization. They can be strictly informative or they can have a persuasive push.

Topics presented by the groups included: the cost of being healthy, nutritional guidelines, professionalism as a collegiate leader, and the life of an AU student. 

Following the format of traditional webinars, one person in the group acted as the moderator and the other group members acted as “expert” panelists. The moderator ran the presentation by providing a thorough background on the topic and then transitioning to the panelists by asking questions. The panelists presented their part, imparting their expertise on the topic.

Moderator, Madison Graver, introduces her “expert” panelists:
Tiffany Price, Ashley Helenthal, and Bailey Winand.
The group created a webinar discussing the MyPlate nutritional guidelines.

Groups also had to create a cohesive slideshow. Using Google slides allowed the students to create their own slides within one file. One member of the group was in charge of choosing the slideshow template as well as running the slideshow during the presentation.

The webinars were recorded using Zoom Video Conferencing. According to Keith Harris from AU’s Academic Technology Department, this class was the first to use the Zoom platform for recording organized student group presentations.

Learning how to create a webinar is an excellent opportunity for our students because webinars are gaining popularity as a form of internal and external organizational communication. Webinars are a cost-effective tool used for employee training sessions or departmental presentations as well as a channel to connect with customers, clients, or the general public.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

PRSSA Final Meeting & Guest Speaker


PRSSA invites all communication studies students to the last meeting of the year, on April 15th from 7:00-8:00 p.m. in CFA 301. This final meeting will feature a remote guest speaker, PR professional Jennifer Thomas, Founder and CEO of Beauty Results PR, a division of FSR Ventures.

Jennifer connects media and beauty industries with 30 years of passion, process and purpose. Jennifer translates wellness and beauty brands into media messages that resonate and result in placements and brand recognition from Vogue to Allure and O, the Oprah Magazine to Glamour, to Vanity Fair and People Style Watch, to US Weekly and People, to Elle and Real Simple, to The Doctors and The Today Show.

In addition to managing PR and Social Media campaigns for clients, Jennifer is a featured travel writer for magazines including Grandeur, Parent & Child, ASTA Network Magazine and more. She has presented at conferences including the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), PRSA’s Counselor’s Academy, National Association of Convenience Stores, and more.

We look forward to seeing you next Monday, April 15th!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Communication Students to Present at 2019 URCA

The Communication Studies Department wishes the following department majors the best of luck as they present their scholarly works at the 2019 CAS Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Symposium.

Erin Staley, Public Relations & Strategic Communication and Health & Risk Communication major
Topic: Bateman Case Study 2018 Competition: Ashland Has a Heart of Gold 
The Bateman Case Study Competition is the Public Relations Student Society of America’s national case study competition that provides college students with the opportunity to create and implement a public relations campaign. For this competition our team created The Heart of Gold Campaign which utilized the four steps of the public relations process including conducting research, planning and implementing the campaign, and evaluating the results. We exceeded both objectives by reaching 364 students, faculty, and staff members through face-to-face communication and collected 302 target signatures on our petition.

Topic: Breaking the Barriers of Mental Health through Graphic Medicine: An Analysis of Ellen Forney’s Marbles
During this presentation, I will discuss how graphic medicine, a movement that combines images and narratives to tell the stories of patients, offers a new means of expression for patients that can open different channels of communication between a patient and physician. I will analyze excerpts from Marbles to show how drawings and words can help a patient reclaim their own medical narrative.


Kaitlyn Dailey, Health & Risk Communication, Public Rela­tions & Strategic Communication, and Religion major
Topic: Connecting with the Saints: A Protestant’s Pilgrimage into the World of Relics 
My research project seeks to understand the Roman Catholic practice of the veneration of relics. While Protestants consider the veneration of relics as being blasphemous, this is a central spiritual practice for Roman Catholics. Through my research, I hope to reconcile the two beliefs and determine if there is an appropriate place for this practice in Protestant piety.


More information about URCA, including full abstracts for each presentation, can be found on their blog

Monday, March 25, 2019

Professor Orr Attends PRSSA Workshop with Students


Professor Shawn Orr, faculty in Communication Studies, and two Public Relations Student Society of America members, Addie Coder and Carolina Carlton, attended the PRSSA Social Media Workshop at Ohio Northern University on March 22nd. 

This workshop focused on optimizing social media presence and included a keynote presentation by Amanda Todorovich, Senior Director for Content & Creative Services at the Cleveland Clinic, and winner of the prestigious Content Marketing Institute 2016 Content Marketer of the Year.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Assistant Professor Cory Hillman Interviewed by WalletHub for March Madness

WalletHub, a financial wellness and credit monitoring website, interviewed Professor Hillman for its "Ask the Experts: March Madness Musings" series.  A snippet of the interview, which can be found here, is below.  

Among these questions is "where do you stand on the issue of paying college athletes?"
First of all, I think college sports are more interesting because athletes are not paid. At the same time, there is a lot of money being made for a lot of people on the backs of athletes who are not paid. Let me put it this way, college athletes are already getting paid at big-time Division I institution in sports like football and basketball in violation of NCAA rules. Periodically, schools get caught and are punished. I think the easiest solution is to allow it to continue, let boosters write checks to attract talented athletes, but remove the rules against it. Nothing else has to change in this regard.
Be sure to check out the full interview to learn more!