The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations has started a tradition that has the makings to become a national public relations holiday — Betsy Plank Day.
Last year’s inaugural Betsy Plank Day was mainly celebrated at The University of Alabama because that’s where the Plank Center finds its home. However, social media allowed Betsy’s 90th birthday party to take steps toward national publicity.
This year, #BetsyDay took over Twitter on April 2, and showed PRSSA students and professionals joining together to celebrate Betsy’s legacy. Twelve PRSSA Chapters entered the #BetsyDay challenge, creating a national Betsy buzz that has never been seen.
The Plank Center wanted to make Betsy come alive for students. As the “Godmother of PRSSA” and the “First Lady” of PR, she had much to offer that unfortunately most of us were never able to witness firsthand. However, her artifacts, wisdom and impact are still present, and able to inspire us all. This was the idea behind the #BetsyDay challenge of 2015, which called upon all PRSSA Chapters to get involved and bring Betsy to their campuses.
Step one of the challenge required each chapter to take a selfie of its members watching a short Betsy Plank documentary. Chapters tweeted the selfies to the Plank Center to start the buzz in March.
Step two allowed chapters to get creative. With no requirements and a “sky’s the limit” approach, chapters were tasked with the challenge of innovatively promoting #BetsyDay on their campuses. The results showed just how much Betsy is still in the hearts of PR students today.
The University of Alabama PRSSA chapter took Betsy’s passions for students and Polaroids, and created a tribute to the PR legend. Members wrote personal notes to Betsy on the bottom of a giant Polaroid cutout and took their picture with it. The pictures were then compiled into a video that included testimonies from students thanking Betsy for her dedication to the industry.
The grand prize of the challenge, the “Betsy Bundle,” included quarterly Skype sessions with a Plank Center board member, a year-long subscription to PRWeek, a six month online subscription to PRWeek for each member, a chapter recommendation from the Plank Center and the title of Betsy Day 2015 Champions.
#BetsyDay had participation from 361 online users, including posts from Peru and Spain among other areas. While we are still waiting on a winner, one thing is clear—Betsy Plank had a birthday party fit to honor a true PR legend!
-by Taylor Shelnutt, PRSSA Executive Member
You’ve ordered your cap and gown. You’ve ordered your graduation announcements. You’re almost finished with classes and the next step you take will be when you walk across the stage to collect your college degree. That’s the easy part. In the midst of all the exams, meetings and other class activities, you have to find a job or internship. That’s a job in itself. So here are a few tips for when you are trying to land your first post-graduate job.
1. Write it down
Writing a to-do list will help you stay organized and prioritize your time, which reduces stress and leaves you with a clear mind. Having a clear mind is crucial when writing résumés — it allows you to sell yourself on that one, powerful piece of paper. Also, remember to write down every job you apply for so you can keep up with whom you have spoken and what application deadlines may be approaching.
Not getting enough sleep will leave you exhausted and making careless mistakes. Sleep is your fuel and will keep you going. Try creating good work when you’re exhausted and tired; I bet you can’t. Be sure to give yourself at least six hours of sleep a night to ensure that your mind is sharp and ready for success.
This seems like an obvious one but you might be surprised how easy it is to get distracted. With all the activities that surround graduation and senior year, focusing on a résumé or cover letter can get hard.
4. Work hard
After you have written down your to-do list, gotten plenty of rest and can fully focus on the task at hand, it’s time to put forth the effort. Research the organization and the position for which you are applying. Then tailor your cover letter to that particular position. Work hard on your résumé and cover letter(s). Write them, design them and edit them. Remember, you are selling yourself as a professional so put forth a solid effort and show the world what you’re made of.
The final tip, and in some cases, the most difficult to do, is relax. One thing you must remember is that every job may not be for you — you may get a rejection or two, and that’s OK. That doesn’t mean you’re a poor candidate; it may just mean that someone else is more suited for that particular position. You will find a job or internship, and chances are it will be a great fit, so relax and enjoy the days ahead — you will only find your first job once.
Finding a job is tough, especially in today’s economy, but don’t be discouraged when you don’t get the first job for which you are applying. Keep working hard and putting forth the effort; you will land the perfect job or internship for you! The next chapter in life is about to begin; you’ll turn your tassel and turn the page
-by Doug Killough, PRSSA Executive Member
All blogs are written by general members of UAPRSSA and Capstone Agency.