SENIOR SHARES SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERTISE DURING PR INTERNSHIP
| by Rebecca Shirling ’13
Senior Rebecca Akosi has been impressing her supervisors at her internship with the Ohio Department of Transportation this year. She has assisted with planning and carrying out many programs. Akosi is also very involved with many daily duties, such as writing daily press releases.
Perhaps the thing that surprised Akosi’s supervisors most was her expertise with social media. She assisted the Public Information Officer, BGSU graduate Theresa Pollick, in the development and implementation of an innovative strategic social media communications plan.
“When we first began utilizing social media throughout the organization many people where intimidated because they had never used this format before,” Akosi said.
Akosi even worked with several other districts in the beginning by creating the social media pages, sending out useful links, and offering helpful hints and tricks. “I felt very comfortable offering my assistance in any way,” she said. She has continued to send out helpful hints or tricks and make herself available to anyone who may have questions throughout the internship.
“I know how important social media is and I wanted to create a Facebook and Twitter page that really reaches out to the customer who uses these resources as a tool,” Akosi said.
She was not always this comfortable with the internship though. “When I first started my internship I was intimidated because I knew nothing about road construction, but I was very open-minded and willing to learn.”
Akosi’s advice for anyone beginning a new internship or job is “do not be afraid to ask questions and always be willing to learn new things and apply what you learn to your daily tasks.”
BG NEWS WINS OHIO NEWSPAPER AND SPJ AWARDS
The BG News was awarded third place in Division A in general news coverage by the Ohio Newspaper Association, and The BG News received third place in the Best Collegiate Newspaper Web Site category. The awards were presented at the Feb. 9, 2012 at the Ohio Newspaper Association conference in Columbus, Ohio.
The BG News received second place in the Region 4 Mark of Excellence competition for Best All-Around Non-Daily Newspaper. Hannah Sparling, who graduated May 2011, received third place in the Mark of Excellence competition in the General News Reporting/Four Year College/University for her story, “It Won’t Phase Me.” The awards were presented March 24, 2012 at the Region 4 conference in Lansing, Mich.
TWO STUDENT NEWS GROUPS LEARN ABOUT LOCAL NEWS
The BGSU chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Online News Association hosted an event for students titled “Taking Local News Live.” The event took place March 31 in West Hall and featured speakers who gave students tips on how to succeed in print and online media after graduation.
About 20 students and faculty attended the event. The speakers at the event included Jan Larson, Thomas Palmer, the BGSU Career Center and instructor Dave Sennerud.
Larson, county editor at the Sentinel Tribune, spoke about her experience in the field and what she looks for in incoming reporters.
Larson encouraged students to question information, try to see the “bigger story” and hold people accountable.
She stressed that journalists’ responsibilities are not to their sources, but they should always treat sources responsibly. Larson also spoke about the challenges the newspaper industry has faced in recent years and encouraged students not to forget the importance of media in a democracy.
Palmer, owner and publisher of GalionLive, spoke about his experience beginning GalionLive, which is a local independent online news site in Galion, Ohio, started in 2008.
Palmer, a lawyer, got into the business of journalism partly because he saw that it could be profitable and partly to address what he saw as an opportunity to engage citizens in local community issues.
He explained GalionLive, how it works and encouraged students entering journalism to be transparent in their experiences reporting and to have dialogue with readers on the web, instead of using “canned” responses.
The BGSU Career Center gave a presentation on how to succeed in an interview and encouraged students to come to the career center with any questions or assistance they needed.
At the end of the four-hour event, faculty member Dave Sennerud talked to students about how to prepare for a job search in journalism. Sennerud encouraged students to look beyond just the traditional media outlets and to look for jobs at places like online sports websites and other companies that need reporters who can tell a story.
Tara Keller, a sophomore print journalism major and a member of SPJ BGSU, attended the event and thought it was beneficial. “It was a good way to get insider tips and discuss the direction journalism is going in,” Keller said.
The SPJ BGSU chapter hopes to host future events such as this one.
PRSSA CHAPTER NETWORKS WITH ALUMNI IN COLUMBUS
The BGSU PRSSA chapter was on the road in April, traveling to network with alums in Columbus, Ohio. While there, they visited Ben Marrison, editor at the Columbus Dispatch, and Jillian Roach, account coordinator at GSW, an inVentiv Health Company.
The chapter learned the journalist side of news from Marrison, who gave important insight on how a public relations professional should properly pitch to a journalist. According to those who attended, the best advice he gave was to “never forget what you learned in college.”
The chapter then visited Roach at GSW, an award-winning health communications agency. A former member of BGSU’s PRSSA Executive Board, she gave students helpful information on agency life and her role within the company.
She also gave post-grad advice such as remember your networking. “Don’t forget people that you have met, and the value of your internship is priceless,” she said.
This fall, PRSSA will be attending the National PRSSA Conference in San Francisco, Oct. 12-15. If you are an alum in that area and would allow us to visit with you, we’d love to hear from you! Contact PRSSA faculty adviser Julie Hagenbuch at 419-290-3044 or email at email@example.com to arrange.
NABJ LOOKING FOR ALUMNI SUPPORT
Student journalists in the BGSU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists are seeking alumni professional contacts to give guidance, help with networking, work in a a one-on-one setting, and provide funding. If you are an alumni and interested in helping, please contact the department chair. [READ MORE]