Ohio Northern - Student-Run Firms


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Ohio Northern University presented "FIRMing Up: Working Your Way to Student-Run Firm Excellence" for their Chapter Development Session at the PRSSA 2012 National Conference in San Francisco. This is an online version of the presentation.

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Ohio Northern - Student-Run Firms

  1. 1. FIRMing Up: Working Your Way to Student-Run Firm Excellence The Ohio Northern University Chapter of PRSSA
  2. 2. ReferencesFor more information on student-run firms, pleasecontact the PRSSA National vice president ofprofessional development. She is the main contactperson for student-run firm question. The 2012-13 Vice President of Professional Development is Danielle Stewart Email: ds.lynne@gmail.comTwitter: @ds_lynne
  3. 3. Building your clientele Our Clientele:  We’ve worked with:  student organizations (like our music department and our school’s relay for life organization)  local non-profits (Good Samaritan Society)  national campaigns.  Our most recent national campaign was the Theatrics: Mass Participation TV campaign in which we won and we were able to earn some money for our firm.
  4. 4. What if you can’t find clientele? Tap into your resources:  Talk to:  alumni  professors  local PRSA Chapter  school groups and organizations  Your school has a variety of groups that need your help  There are competitions out there. A few we’ve worked on are:  Theatrics  Contiki  NODAC  Ohio State Parks
  5. 5. Clientele Non-profits, small businesses and government organizations need your help because of limited budgets. Don’t be afraid to start working for free-- with time and experience you will hopefully be able to build up to paid clients. Use your network extensively. Options are out there!
  6. 6. Clientele The key to finding clients: don’t limit yourself to a few skills! Have your firm become multi- faceted. Try to recruit other majors:  Graphic design  Journalism  Marketing majors  Sports management Tell all of them about the benefits of joining your firm.
  7. 7. Setting goals for obtainingclientele One great strategy TrueNorth PR has this year is setting goals for obtaining our clientele. At the first meeting, these goals were laid out: 1. See a growth in the number of clients asking to work WITH us—not just us searching for clientele. 2. land a couple paid clients.
  8. 8. Forming relationships Relationships are vital. They are why our profession exists! Remember: PR is the: ―Creating and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its public.‖
  9. 9. In order to build relationships throughyour firm: You have to let people know that you’re available.  Create a position for a promotions director.  Advertise on social media.  Use WOM! Word of mouth is a very powerful way to form relationships.  Plan joint fundraisers/events with other organizations.
  10. 10. What can you do for people? What services to do you offer?  Social Media  Webpage Design  Promotions  Communications Audits
  11. 11. Like we said earlier, get other majorsinvolved! Graphic Design  They can help with InDesign and anything visual. Marketing  You may work closely with these people in your career. So network!  They know the business side of things and can give different ideas. Journalism  They have good writing and strong proof reading skills. Sports Management  You may have to work with sports management majors as well.  They will benefit from event planning.
  12. 12. Work well together Account Executives  Lead projects  Need to be firm with deadlines Be sure to assign people with projects they enjoy with skills they are advanced at. Hang out with each other!  Don’t let the only time you see each other is while you’re working. Do socials and be college kids!
  13. 13. Reach out! Our firm Chapter decided to rebrand our firm during the 2011-2012 school year. We wanted to change our name, look and objectives. During this processes we reached out by getting campus involved.
  14. 14. We utilized social media during therebranding. Reach out with Twitter!  Follow and tweet to other campus organizations  Follow other PRSSA Chapters and Firms @ONUTrueNorthPR @ONU_PRSSA
  15. 15. We created a new and improvedwebsite. Easy to use, visible links  Services  Case Studies  Clients  Awards  Twitter and PRSSA National www.onutruenorthpr.weebly.com
  16. 16. We created a new position during therebranding. Promotions Director is in charge of:  Firm newsletter  Social media content  Press kits
  17. 17. Tips and tricks for a successful firm:Showcase your success! After you’ve put the effort into your firm, be sure to show off your work! This will help:  Your Chapter shine  Appeal to potential clients  Clients see the quality of work you produce
  18. 18. How to showcase your firmsaccomplishments Create a website to showcase your accomplishments. This lets anyone access your work which helps to get your name out. After each campaign, write up a case study to:  Give clients an idea of what you worked on  Use to apply for awards
  19. 19. Be the expert Don’t be afraid to talk about your firm – and not just in person. Be active on social media.  Comment on blogs  Talk on Twitter and Facebook. Become the expert of your Firm. If you appear knowledgeable and confident, you can attract more clients. People want to work with experts! If you produce well for your clients, word travels fast. Before you know it you’ll have more clients!
  20. 20. Network! Meet with Professionals:  Conferences  Online  Luncheons  PRSA events These are all great ways to connect with professionals. Many area professions are eager to help PRSSA Chapters in any way that they can. They will connect you with someone if they can. Remember, no matter where your Chapter is located – Ada, Ohio or San Francisco – everyone can be a potential lead – Small businesses, non-profits, student organizations and more.
  21. 21. Showcase your Firm by applying forawards PRSSA awards and competitions look awesome on your resume. These competitions are easy to find and apply for.  Ask your advisers and check out the PRSSA website. Not only do competitions and awards look awesome, but they can provide you with money to buy swag or host events in the future.
  22. 22. Become Nationally Affiliated! Being nationally affiliated is key to your success – especially if you’re just starting out or looking for more clients. Although many businesses may not know what being nationally affiliated entails or looking for it, but being nationally affiliated gives you instant credibility and status as an organization. You’re not just a group doing work – you’ve met a set of requirements and abide by a certain level of standards. Need help? Contact the Vice President of Professional Development throughout the process.
  23. 23. Qualities of a Nationally AffiliatedFirm PRSSA centered PRSA connection Professional and faculty support Accountable Outcome-driven Ethically based Geared toward professional practice Organized and structured
  24. 24. What you need to apply for NationalAffiliation Client List. The description should include what type of organization the client is, the services provided to the organization and how many staff members are working on the account. Case Study. At least one case study detailing a public relations program implemented by the firm Adviser Letter. A letter of support from the Chapter’s Faculty or Professional Adviser. History. A brief history of the firm describing when it was founded, how it has evolved and the mission of the firm. Firm Directory Letter. A letter from the firm director
  25. 25. FIRMing Up: Working Your Way to Student-Run Firm Excellence The Ohio Northern University Chapter of PRSSA