Fall 2019, Volume 3
PR ROUND UP
Shippensburg University PRSSA Newsletter
A MESSAGE AND THE STAR LEARNING THE THE INSIDE
FROM OUR CHAPTER AWARD INTRICACIES OF SCOOP ON THIS
PRESIDENT SOCIAL MEDIA
GOES TO... SEMESTER
PG. 1 PG. 6
PG. 2 PG. 7
A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT
As the semester comes to a close, our Chapter has made
several accomplishments. I am very grateful for all our
members that have stepped up to take on various
leadership roles within their client teams. This semester, we
have worked with new on-campus clients that include:
Enactus, People Involved Equally, and International Studies
Club. In addition, we continued to work with Raspberry
Jam, an off-campus boutique in Shippensburg and new off-
campus client, Presbyterian Senior Living in Dillsburg.
Thank you to our members that represented PRSSA to
these clients throughout the semester. Special
congratulations to our graduating senior, Samantha Bream.
We wish you the best of luck in all of your future
In October, three members also had the opportunity to attend
the PRSSA International Conference in San Diego, California.
At the conference, our Chapter was recognized for receiving
the Star Chapter Award from PRSSA National. The Shippensburg University PRSSA Chapter was 1 of 22
chapters to receive this award. In addition, we were the only PASSHE school to be honored with this
award. Surely, this could not have been accomplished without our dedicated executive board, members,
PRSSA advisor, Dr. Carrie Sipes and PRSSA Professional Advisor, Keri Oram.
Our Chapter has already made several advancements in ensuring that we are eligible to be honored with
this award next year. One of the accomplishments that we have made thus far was having guest speakers,
Jason Kirsch and Keri Oram from PRworks speak to us about, The Role of Ethics in Public Relations for
Ethics month in September. We also collected non-perishable canned goods for the Shippensburg
community for the holiday season. The Executive Board will be planning to conduct a high school outreach
in March to complete another requirement.
Looking onto next semester, we will have several new clients that members will have the ability to work
with. We will also host several public relations professionals that will speak to our members about event
planning, the entertainment industry, and the Pennsylvania Public Relations Society to name a few. PRSSA
District Conference will be held in Chicago, IL by DePaul University on February 27-28.
Thank you all once again for a great semester! I hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday season. See
you on Tuesday, January 28 at 3:30 P.M. in CUB 226 for our General Interest Meeting!
AND THE STAR CHAPTER AWARD GOES TO...
By: Samantha Bream
Every year, PRSSA Chapters around the world are
given the opportunity to complete the Star Chapter
Award that is presented at the PRSSA International
Conference. This award is given to Chapters that
successfully complete eight out of 10 requirements
presented by PRSA Foundation.
Out of these 10 requirements, the Shippensburg
University PRSSA Chapter successfully completed
nine of them. They were recognized for this
achievement at this year’s International Conference
in San Diego, CA.
Initiate and Complete At Least One
Community Service Project
For this achievement, PRSSA participated in
Awareness Competition lead by The Anthony J.
Fulginiti PRSSA Chapter at Rowan University Organ
Donor. PRSSA members organized an event outside
of the Ezra Lehman Library where students had the
opportunity to sign up and become organ donors.
There were games as well as prizes.
Give Attention to Ethics in at Least One Chapter Meeting
Jason Kirsch, PRWorks, came to speak to the chapter about the role of public relations and ethics
month for ethics month in September. Kirsch was also a Shippensburg University Alumni who was
recently awarded the 2019 PPRS Ernest McDowell award. This award recognizes individuals for
sustained excellence in the field of public relations in both the profession and community.
Conduct a High School Outreach Session
PRSSA E-Board members visited the Shippensburg Area School District and gave a presentation to
the journalism class on public relations, communications and PRSSA. This presentation was to inform
the students about the benefits of PRSSA.
Confirm Attendance by at Least One Chapter Member at National Conference,
National Assembly, and Regional Conference or Leadership Rally
Five PRSSA members attended the 2018 PRSSA National Conference in Austin, TX. The conference
was titled, “The Art of PR.” The 2018 E-Board members traveled to Texas to listen to guest speakers
and network with other chapters and PR professionals.
Sabrina Disney, the current PRSSA Chapter vice president, spoke on behalf of the conference by
saying, “Being able to travel to Texas and experience my first National Conference was such a worth-
while experience. Networking with professionals and other PRSSA members and hearing about their
experiences in public relations really showed how rewarding it is to be in this amazing organization.”
2 Continued on next page
Continued from previous page Being awarded the Star
Chapter Award was an
The PRSSA Chapter also completed five other smaller incredible honor, especially
tasks that ultimately led to the success of the award. since we are one of 22
chapters that were awarded
Gain positive attention for the Chapter in at least out of over 300 PRSSA
one campus or community publication or other chapters across the country.
Extend an invitation to students/faculty from other
disciplines to attend at least one chapter meeting.
Strengthen the relationship with our PRSA
The Chapter applied for at least one national
At least one Chapter member applies for an
individual National PRSSA Scholarship or Award.
I spoke with Vanessa Grzyboski, the current PRSSA chapter president, on her experience when
accepting the Star Chapter Award at the PRSSA International Conference in San Diego, CA.
“Being awarded the Star Chapter Award was an incredible honor, especially since we are one of 22
chapters that were awarded out of over 300 PRSSA Chapters across the country. We were also the only
PASSHE school to receive the award,” said Grzyboski.
The Shippensburg PRSSA chapter has already started accomplishing some of these goals for next year’s
2020 PRSSA International Conference which will be held in Nashville, TN.
INTERNING FOR NAPA TRANSPORTATION
By: Sara Romage
Interning for a trucking company in Central Pennsylvania may Continued on next page
not sound that glamorous at first, but what I learned from my
experience at NAPA Transportation helped me create a more
positive opinion on interning.
In Summer 2019, I was hired by NAPA Transportation, Inc. as a
communications intern. NAPA Transportation is a family owned
transportation company that has five terminal locations:
Mechanicsburg, PA, Harrisonburg, VA, Richmond, VA,
Columbus, OH, and Tunkhannock, PA. NAPA Transportation
provides truckload services to various regions of the United
States, with over 400 tractors and 1,500 trailers. I worked in
NAPA’s corporate office in Mechanicsburg, PA and helped with
their marketing efforts that consisted of managing social media
platforms and creating company wellness programs. I also
learned a lot about NAPA’s other departments as well including
driver recruitment and safety, the brokerage department and
Continued from previous page
One of my bigger projects during the summer was assisting my human resource manager with a
weeklong event called Driver Appreciate Week. This event was held this past September and was a
full of week-long giveaways with food trucks, cookouts, games and information sessions for the
drivers of NAPA. I created and planned the entire schedule down to the time and where everything
was supposed to be held. This consisted of booking food trucks and caterers, designing T-shirts,
ordering prizes and creating digital content for NAPA Transportation's social media. This was
definitely a challenging experience because I had to complete this project along with my daily tasks
and other smaller assignments. I loved having this opportunity to plan Driver Appreciate Week
because it made me realize how much planning and decision making it takes to create a successful
Another larger project I took part in was the creation of monthly wellness programs for the company.
An example of this was creating July’s Wellness Program called Snack Down. NAPA employees had
the opportunity to track the days where they did not eat unhealthy snacks and choose healthy
alternatives instead. For instance, it is better to eat whole foods like fruits and vegetables rather than
processed foods. After submitting their logos to human resources all participants were entered to win
a $25 credit to the NAPA store. Also, every week I was responsible to send out creative emails with
facts about choosing healthy food alternatives.
Throughout my internship at NAPA, I learned a lot about time managing projects and daily tasks while
working with coworkers in a team and learning from one another. Working in a corporate office was
an adjustment for me, but gave me a clearer idea of what I would look for in my future career. It is very
important to get an internship before you graduate college. Internships give students real experience
that will help transition you to a full time job in the future.
ENHANCE YOUR EDUCATION, BROADEN YOUR
NETWORK AND LAUNCH YOUR CAREER
SOCIAL MEDIA Start discussions and connect with PRSSA members from all over by
plugging in to PRSSA social media. Use our hashtag to follow the
LEADERSHIP Add to your résumé and gain valuable leadership skills by running for
office in your Chapter, Student-run Firm or the PRSSA National
EVENTS Network, learn and interact with public relations students from around
the country at PRSSA events like International Conference, Leadership
Assembly and District Conferences.
To learn more about PRSSA at Shippensburg University,
please contact Vanessa Grzyboski at [email protected]
A GUIDE FOR POTENTIAL GRADUATE
By: Jessica Quinn
Graduate school can be an intimidating step for
students to make; however, it can open many
doors for their career as well. It is important to
understand the benefits of attending graduate
school to see if its the right path for you.
There are many reasons attending graduate
school can advance your future. For example,
some individuals decide to go to graduate school
to continue their education. For many, this means
completely changing their career path. For others,
it means to continue to gain knowledge in the
career they chose as an undergraduate student.
Another reason an individual might decide to further their education is to become a professor. This
was also a topic of discussion at a panel presented by the Career Center this past November. Becoming
a professor has many exciting benefits. For one, it is a career many are passionate about pursing,
especially when they are extremely interested in a certain degree. As a communication student,
graduate school is a crucial step to become a professor.
Additionally, students also use a graduate degree to set them apart from other candidates. The
continued education and degree can include certifications and new knowledge that others might not
have if they directly proceeded into the workplace. For some careers, it is more beneficial to get work
experience; however, certain careers change often and continued knowledge can be valuable. There
are many certifications students can receive without another degree. For example, having a Hootsuite
Social Marketing Certification can demonstrate your knowledge in analytics to your future employer.
At the end of the day, graduate school is not for everyone. It gives students new opportunities and a
chance to grow in their careers. Applying to graduate school is a process that can be intimidating for
many, but the opportunities are endless.
For more information about graduate school or your future,
connect with the career center on Shippensburg Campus!
ERIKA PRIME ‘THE GEN Z ERA: LEARNING THE
INTRICACIES OF SOCIAL MEDIA’
By: Brian Iatarola
This past October, the Digital and Social Strategy Lead at Taco Bell, Erika Prime, presented to the
PRSSA International Conference in San Diego, CA. She covered ‘The Gen Z Era: Learning the
Intricacies of Social Media’ and spoke about her role at Taco Bell. The audience of students easily
connected to the topics that were addressed due to Erika Prime's young and exciting personality.
Prime shared her experiences on graduating and her journey from college graduation to running
social media platforms for an international franchise food chain.
Taco Bell focuses on relating their products to
worldwide everyday culture. Prime and her co-
content creator took their followers from 300k to
over one million followers by creating trendy posts
through the incorporation of Taco Bell's brand. The
top social media platforms for Taco Bell are
Instagram,YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook.
Knowing how to incorporate your brand into all
social media platforms is important for your brands
success. “It’s critical for your company’s impressions
online and how individuals view your brand,” Prime
said. Storytelling and inventing creative ways to
incorporate original ideas into posts for each
platform is essential. For example, Prime posted a
picture of her in a Taco Bell custom jean jacket that she designed herself. Not knowing the outcome
or success, the jacket sold out in minutes on Taco Bell's pop-up shop online.
“Listen to your audience and have the ability to predict different trends and jump on them as they are
starting off. You can gain millions of impressions on your social media just by using trending hashtags,"
Prime said. Although you won’t be successful every time, it’s the risk you have to take in order to be on
the forefront of the newest trends.
Taco Bell targets influencers who truly love their brand. Jeffree Star is a perfect celebrity influencer
for Taco Bell, not only because of his massive following, but Star also loves Taco Bell. Taco Bell created
a temporary hotel called, “The Bell Hotel,” where they had rooms, an outdoor pool and decorations
that screamed Taco Bell. They worked with different influencers, including Jeffree Star, who love their
brand and who were willing to go to the hotel. Taco Bell does not pay influencers, but instead
encourages them to enjoy their brand and offers them other ways of payment including a free hotel
stay. Teaming up with different influencers created a success story for the brand new hotel. The hotel
sold out in minutes due to the help of influencers. Jeffree Star gained over 11 million views for his
"Bell Hotel" YouTube video which generated business and popularity for Taco Bell.
6 Continued on next page
Continued from previous page
Prime made a great statement on working toward Listen to your audience and
your dream job. “Don’t give up on your dream. have the ability to predict
Just work towards your future goal and tell different trends and jump
people about it so they can help you” Prime said.
From being a bartender out of college, Prime
networked at her job and that helped give her a on them as they are starting
starting position at Taco Bell. Despite being off. You can gain millions
discouraged for a bit of time, she soon found the of impressions on social
perfect job that embraces her creativity.
‘The Gen Z Era: Learning the Intricacies of Social media just by using
Media’ was my favorite session at the PRSSA trending hashtags.
International Conference because of how relatable
as Prime was. Prime gave advice to aspiring PR
professionals about updating their social media
platforms. By keeping your socia lupdated, it could help employers see you ability to network and use
social media professionally. Many young aspiring professionals can be motivated by Primes journey
as they graduate and look for a future job. Although you might not be doing exactly what you pictured
right after college, continuing to network and taking on new projects can help you land your dream
SHIPPENSBURG UNIVERSITY PRSSA: THE
INSIDE SCOOP ON THIS SEMESTER
By: Erynn Lynch
Every Tuesday for the last four months, PRSSA
has been recruiting new members, working with
clients, promoting the Chapter and educating
their members on public relations in the real
world. Let’s look back at everything PRSSA has
done during the Fall semester.
Throughout the course of the semester, PRSSA
has had different workshops to help members
expand their knowledge and skill set for the
future. The Vice President, Sabrina Disney,
taught the members how to use Canva by
designing social media posts for our Succulent
Fundraiser that occurred this past Fall. This
workshop helped students gain real life content designing for public relations and events.
7 Continued on next page
Continued from previous page
PRSSA was lucky enough to hear from multiple guest speakers, who are experienced in the world of
public relations. The Chapter learned about public relations and ethics in a presentation from long
time PR professionals Jason Kirsch and our professional advisor Keri Oram from PRworks Inc. We
learned how important it is to stay truthful to your clients, yourself and your company. Jason and Keri
also showed us how important it is to stick to your personal and professional values.
PRSSA also heard from a former Shippensburg PRSSA
member Emily Shoemake. Emily gave members a
presentation titled “The Ins and Outs of How to Write a
Good Blog.” Practicum members within PRSSA then
had the opportunity during the Fall semester to write
blog posts for Presbyterian Senior Living, the company
where Emily works for.
Our final guest speaker for the semester was past
Shippensburg PRSSA Chapter President, Samantha
Dougherty. She spoke of her journey after college and
took many questions from current members, helping
students feel more confident before graduation.
This semester for PRSSA, the Director of Chapter
Development, Autumn Addley, organized three different fundraisers for our chapter including selling
ice pops, selling succulents and partnering with MOD pizza. The ice pops helped students beat the
heat of August, while MOD Pizza gave students the opportunity to indulge in a delicious treat while
also helping PRSSA. Overall, each of the recruitment events were successful and something that
Autumn would love to do again. Out of the three recruitment events, the succulent sale was the most
successful. “The succulent sale was a huge success,” Addley said enthusiastically. “We raised over
$300 which was great for our Chapter." Autumn says that the recruitment team is planning on hosting
another succulent sale during the spring semester.
For the Future
The E-Board has exciting new ideas for next semester including new fundraiser ideas with Pura Vida
Bracelets and potential workshops on using social media analytics in the field of public relations.
PRSSA will continue to provide excellent skills and resources to their members to better prepare
them for a future in public relations.
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
@SHIPprssa @shipprssa @prssaship
A PRSSA ALUMNI SUCCESS STORY
By: Breann Scheckells
In today's competitive public relations field, it is difficult to
break into the industry according to Keri Oram, Shippensburg
University's PRSSA professional advisor.
Because many "entry level" jobs expect at least one to two
years of experience, "Take advantage of what PRSSA offers
you," says Oram. "Become a student leader and show your
future employers that you not only know what to do, but that
you've done it." Oram recommends students studying public
relations to get multiple internships and network with
professionals in the area and guest speakers who visit the
Oram currently is a strategist at PRWorks in Harrisburg, PA
near her hometown of Halifax, where she conceptualizes, plans
executes and measures public relations and marketing programs/campaigns that align with her
clients' goals. Throughout her career as a PR professional, she has worked in several industries
including banking, healthcare, the nonprofit sector and now in an agency role where her clients are in
the arts, theatre, health and technology.
Prior to graduating from Shippensburg University's Communication/Journalism Department in 2011
with a concentration in public relations, she attended Harrisburg Area Community College for two
years, where she developed interests in writing and learning a wide variety of subjects. That’s when
she began researching the marketing and PR fields of study. “I heard great things about Ship's
Comm/Journ department,” said Oram, “and it pushed me over the edge towards public relations.”
Once she enrolled at Shippensburg University, she became an active member of PRSSA, where she
served as both the vice president and later president. "PRSSA gave me the real-world experience
employers want," said Oram. "Right out of college, I qualified for and accepted a position that
required two years of experience because of my time spent in PRSSA and internships."
Oram also said that the guests that spoke to the PRSSA gave me the
PRSSA chapter were some of her first mentors real-world experience
and to this day are an important part of her career employers want.
story. Seven years after graduating from
Shippensburg University, Oram became the
chapter advisor. “As a past PRSSA president, I am
all too familiar with the chapter's struggles,” Oram
said; “it's hard to get students involved when there
are so many activities and options for students to
participate on campus.”
As advisor, she guides the chapter’s executive board and acts as a sounding board when they need
help with clients, projects or new ideas to expand the chapter. Oram is also open to working with
PRSSA members to review their resumes or portfolios, as well as provide support when challenges
BECOMING A PR PRO: ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR
PR STUDENTS WHILE IN COLLEGE
By: Tyler Rock
As an undergraduate student, searching for
opportunities to gain experience in your field of study
is always encouraged. Do not limit your learning
capabilities to just a textbook, or your lecture notes;
find ways to apply what you have learned in the
classroom to strengthen yourself as a public relations
Get Involved with Campus Organizations
Who says no to free public relations? Developing
public relations materials for a campus organization,
whether new or established, provides you with the
chance to experiment with your approach to creating original content. More often than not, you will
not be working alone on a organizations public relations materials. This provides the opportunity for
conversation between peers and can give you a new perspective on developing content and
collaboratively work towards a common goal.
Find an Internship
There are many students who will graduate with a degree in the field of public relations, but haven't
acquired hands on experience. Internships are the perfect way to gain applicable experience in the
field, but can also be a great way to build connections. I have completed academic research while
directing a musical at Shippensburg University. This research has allowed me to work alongside
students, theatre professionals and members of the local community to develop public relations
materials. By creating these connections, you can grow your contact list and build a strong list of
Connect with your Campus Career Center
It is never too early to reach out to the career center on campus. This resource is here for all students,
no matter where they are in their educational experience. Working with this office can assist in
linking you to alumni within your field and can lead you to internships, or jobs post-graduation.
According to Shippensburg University, 68% of students who visited the Career, Mentoring and
Professional Development Center found employment following graduation. 31% of students reported
that they made $50,000 in their first position. The center, located in the Ceddia Union Building, offers
many resources, including resume review, cover letter review, SHIP Career Connection, on-campus
employment and career fairs.
Completing these few tasks will prove a great start to your future career in Public Relations.
Graduation Data. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ship.edu/career/graduation_data/.
MEET OUR CONTRIBUTERS
SABRINA DISNEY SAMANTHA BREAM SARA ROMAGE
PRSSA Vice President Member Director of Digital
Head of Newsletter Committee Communications
JESSICA QUINN BRIAN IATAROLA ERYNN LYNCH
Member Member Member
BREANN SCHECKLES TYLER ROCK DR. CARRIE SIPES
Member Member PRSSA Chapter Advisor