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Shining the Spotlight on the Best of Student Posts from Winter Term

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The term has come to a close and we’re all off on spring break at the University of Oregon. As usual, in J452, our students blogged twice a week for seven weeks. It’s so fun to watch students find their voice and really get into the groove of blogging. This term was no different. The students did a fantastic job. I was consistently impressed with the quality of their posts.

Special note: This term, I had the pleasure of team teaching this class with Mandy Drakeford, our newest adjunct instructor. So the list is a bit longer than normal (we had 32 students between the two of us). But I hope you’ll take the time to check some of them out.

Photo via flickr by /dam


Finally, a New Conversation!

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I am beside myself. I’m so excited about my spring term Strategic Social Media class that I think I am starting to annoy people. My reasons for this enthusiasm are threefold:

  1. I get to design my own class about a topic that I love.

    I love social media. I am not so good at the technical stuff, that’s not what I mean. I love the idea of social media. The visionary philosophies and the challenging discussions that go on every day about the whys and the whens. I love the potential of social media and I am fascinated by the drawbacks.

  2. The level of discussion is not about how-tos and technical aspects with a dash of strategy, it’s a whole new level. That means that we’re ready for a whole new level.

    The first time we talked about blogs in my principles of PR class, I invited a guest speaker. I had the sense blogging was important, but didn’t know much about it (this was 3 years ago). The next term, I tried the lecture on my own. The looks were glazed over and the response was tepid. I often get a similar response on day one in Advanced PR Writing, but by the end of the term I have a roomful of evangelists. That’s exciting to me. It’s these evangelists that are ready to take the next step with a class like this one.

  3. I get to challenge myself with new ideas and new conversation with a roomful of students who are interested and excited about this topic. People who register are doing so on purpose. I expect great dialogue and look forward to new connections.

If you’re interested in the course, or just following along, you can check out the blog (in progress!). If you’re a UofO student, the class details are in the schedule. It’s a J4/512 class on Mondays and Wednesdays at noon. I hope to see some of you there.

Getting Started, Uncategorized,

Waggener Edstrom Staffing Launches Facebook Page

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Amybeth Hale (aka Research Goddess) announced this week the launch of the Waggener Edstrom Staffing Facebook page. From Amybeth:

I am happy to announce that the Waggener Edstrom Staffing Facebook page, Careers with Waggener Edstrom, is live! If you are a Facebook member, I would encourage you to add this page to your Favorites, become a Fan, and/or share the link with your Facebook PR contacts – check it out!

Some of the items featured on the page include:

  • A photo album introducing the members of the Staffing Team
  • A listing of upcoming events at which various staffing team members will be in attendance (viewable once you log in)
  • Our WE Connect blog RSS feed, showcasing several of our Waggener Edstrom bloggers
  • Notes listing some of our current agency openings
  • A list of our agency awards
  • Several quotes from our candidates complimenting our Staffing team
  • …and more to come.

We have lots of duckies at WaggEd in the Northwest. Check out this Facebook page and get in the know.

Guest Post, Uncategorized,

Guest Post: Surviving a Dull Economy


This guest post is from Anthony Cain (’06), currently an account executive at Staccato Design in Portland, Oregon. He posted this as a Facebook note and has graciously agreed to let me share it with you here. Want to connect with Anthony? You can find him on Facebook or via email at: anthony(at)

After hearing countless tales of unemployment woes and an overall industry hiring freeze, that I feel it is important to reach out to those who may be losing hope of finding that golden job.

Those of us who are lucky enough to be employed during these slow financial times want you to know it hasn’t always come easy. Most of us have had jobs and left jobs, but overall, we have all had to keep motivated and keep believing in our chances of finding that perfect fit. Its all in how you market yourself. Since most of you are graduates of the University of Oregon, you should know- the industry wants you! I have found that a degree from the UO, especially in Business or Journalism, will get you far.

Just keep submitting those resumes. Keep leveraging those contacts, both students and faculty alike. Set up informational meetings. Take an executive to coffee. Believe me, it’s all we drink!

Finally, never give up! You should always be networking! I will list a few helpful organizations that could potentially assist you in finding that great job. I will also tag a few industry ‘insiders’ that may have some helpful insight.

Good luck!


Whirlwind Week: Updates Coming

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Just a few short days after my last post, I was called on a difficult assignment. Three wildland firefighters injured in a helicopter crash in the Trinity Alps in northern California, seven missing and feared dead. Their employer, Grayback Forestry, devastated and being bombarded by media calls. I partnered again with my friend Leslie Habetler and we answered the phone and answered questions non-stop for 4 or 5 days. I arranged interviews and spoke on the company’s behalf.

I’ll have several “after action” posts, I’m sure, detailing my experience and what lessons I can share with my readers. Right now, I’m a little exhausted and trying to catch my breath from being on site at the southern end of Oregon for 10 days.

In the meantime, the Medford Mail Tribune had a terrific story and image gallery of the memorial service from Friday, August 15 that was a moving tribute for the men of the Iron 44. Take a look.


Great Videos: PROpenMic is the Place to Be

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With the end of the year stuff going on, I’ve been a tad busy. But I had a chance this morning to catch up on PROpenMic and thought I’d share some highlights:

Peter Shankman’s Buy Peter a Sandwich Series is pretty great:

See Peter’s other videos here.

Phil Gomes talks to Julie Crabill of SHIFT about his favorite social media tools (and his wedding ring):

My friend Michelle Honald at Ohio University encouraged her students to post their final projects for the intro to PR class on PROpenMic. There’s tons of new content to take a look at. My favorite:

How Can you Stay Smart with Social Networking? (Natalie LaConte)


Ducks on the Move


‘Tis the season for new jobs, internships, projects and other exciting developments! I’m hoping to need to update this list soon, but here’s what I know about soon-t0-be Duck alumni heading out into the wide-wide world. If you have an update (whether it’s a new job or promotion, let me know!).

Leona Laurie, M.S.: Federated Media
Emily Tormey: Broadway Rose
Megan Soto: Launchsquad
Allie Cefalo: SHIFT Communications
Joey Mucha: Sproutbuilder
Alyssa Carter: Bernard Hodes Group
Kaitlin Stewart: YRG Communications
Branden Johnson: Hill & Knowlton, Portland
Stacey Myers: Waggener Edstrom
Eileen Chang: Waggener Edstrom

Who am I missing? Leave a comment, send me an email or a tweet and let me know!


Lindsey Durrell: Nerland Agency (Anchorage)
Shelly Ivey: Eugene Faith Center
Beth Evans: T Art Center (Beijing)
Scott Lansing: Grady Britton (Portland)

Katy Spaulding: Waggener Edstrom (Lake Oswego)


Guest Post: Tips for a Great Portfolio Review

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This guest post is from senior Kaitlin Stewart. Winter term 2008, Kaitlin participated in portfolio reviews and had very positive evaluations from her reviewers. I asked her (and a few others) to share their tips.

Top 5 Tips for Presenting Your Portfolio:

  1. Be yourself. The portfolio is a reflection of your work and your personality. Make sure reviewers can really see your work experience, skills and character traits.
  2. Be professional. Leave the “likes,” “ums” and other slang at the door.
  3. Be a storyteller. You need to really paint the reviewers a picture of the situation or event. Why does this press release matter? Why did you put this piece in among all other work you’ve done? Why did you respond the way you did to a situation or problem?
  4. Be enthusiastic. If you’re not excited about your work, how do you expect reviewers to be excited about seeing it? You put a lot of time and effort into your portfolio so be proud to show it.
  5. Practice. Present your portfolio to a friend or in front of a mirror. You will be amazed at how much better you will present your portfolio after a little practice.
Linky Love, Uncategorized,

Linky Love in the Summer Heat

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It is hot today in Western Oregon! Hopefully summer if finally coming. In the meantime, here’s your weekly dose of linky love.

PR Bludgeons Itself Again (InfOpinions?) – this particular link is a lot of the PR news out there this week. Here’s a collection of links from Media Bullseye.

5 New Social Media Turn-Ons For Me (Global Neighbourhoods)

PR and the Chick Factor: What Kent State Learned About the Missing Men of Public Relations (Tough Sledding)

Louis Vitton Gets Brand-Jacked, Collateral Damage in Anti-Genocide (Jeremiah Owyang)

Bush Online Interview a Wake-Up Call for PR
(Catching Flack)

Congressman Attacks Big Pharma Companies for Deceptive Marketing, Demands Policies Regulating “Manipulative Commercials” (Daily Dog)

What Makes a Good PR/IMC Practitioner? (Les is More)

I look forward to hearing what you think!


Survey of Young PR Agency Professionals

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If you’re working at a PR Agency full time and are younger than 26, please take minute to read the info below and respond to our survey (link at the bottom).

Welcome to an exciting profession!

As a member of the up and coming generation of public relations practitioners, we would like to ask for your help. Workplace expectations are changing with the new tide of public relations practitioners. Public relations employers are asking for help in understanding how to build strong relationships with your generation.

If you work at a public relations agency, we hope you will help us by sharing your experiences with us. No scholarly public relations studies have been published that examine the perceptions of young practitioners in public relations agencies. We hope that you will confidentially share your experiences with us through a survey. Participation is voluntary.

Opportunity to Make a Difference
With your help, we would like to make a difference in the lives of new public relations practitioners who work at agencies. We want to make recommendations regarding how agencies can improve their relationships with young practitioners and how they can create an organizational culture that resonates with your generation. In addition, we would like to refine an existing model for ethical decision-making so that it will be useful to young agency practitioners.

If you participate, we will add your name to a random drawing. The winner will receive his or her choice of either an iPod Nano or a $150 gift certificate to iTunes. A $50 gift certificate to Target will be given to two runners up, also randomly chosen. We expect the odds of winning one of the prizes to be about 3 in 500.

At the end of the survey, you will have the opportunity to contact us to indicate whether you would like to participate in an interview or focus group. If you are selected to participate in these activities, you will receive financial compensation in exchange for your participation.

Survey Completion
Because the survey is online and the questions are about your experiences with your employer, please refrain from completing this survey at work. Your employer could otherwise intercept the data. Your participation is confidential.

We are grateful to the Public Relations Society of America Foundation and the University of Oregon for funding this study.

You can begin the survey here:

Thank you for your help!

Questions and Comments
If you have questions or comments, you are welcome to contact us via phone or through e-mail from a personal email account (away from the workplace). You will find our contact information listed below.


Pat Curtin
University of Oregon
(541) 346-3752

Tiffany Derville
University of Oregon
(541) 346-2035
Blog: PR Post

Kelli Matthews
University of Oregon
(541) 346-3744
Blog: PRos in Training

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