POSTED IN Featured
Posted At: December 10, 2013 8:30 a.m.
by Lexi Holdbrooks & Benjie Ladrillono
But are these perceptions accurate? Who are the real millennials, and how can we be reached?
Born between the years 1980 and 1999, millennials have been surrounded by technology for most of their lives. It’s a generation that has lived through 9/11 and the economic recession. Therefore, we are more wary and critical of the world around them. However, we have also lived through the boom of social media, which allows us to always stay engaged with the global community.
Many believe that millennials, also known as Generation Y, are slackers and conceited; however, according to Pew Research, our generation is on track to become one of the most educated generations in American history. Only 37 percent of the generation does not have plans to attend college, while only half of Generation X has received or plans to receive a college education.
Another misconception about millenials is that this generation does not know how to communicate and that we care too much about ourselves. Keith Burton, partner at Brunswick Group who leads the firm’s global Employee Engagement specialty, explained this misperception.
“People wonder if there is a lack of interest,” Burton said. “In fact, it is just that this group is always on and always engaging — not necessarily with other people, but in other ways.”
Burton believes that it’s not that millennials only care about themselves; it’s merely a shift in communication. For instance, the art of writing letters is no longer common. Instead, members of Generation X use emails to communicate, while millennials typically interact with each other via texting.
“My son doesn’t like talking on the phone, but he will text me back immediately,” Burton said. “It’s not that he is rude; it is simply his preference in communication.”
So how does one communicate effectively with millennials in the work environment?
Working with millennials
Baby boomers and other generations have to face the challenges of working with such a tech-savvy generation now swarming into the job market. Unlike generations before them, Generation Y grew up with modern-day technologies like the Internet, social media and smartphones.
Burton described this generation as very smart but also very reliant on technology. Our reliance on technology is not necessarily a negative trait but a positive asset we can bring to the workforce. Millennials are natural pros at social media and become reverse mentors with elder generations.
Burton explains that senior leaders must understand reversing the model and allow millennials to help them learn how the world has changed.
“Millennials have such a command and dexterity with technology that some other generations feel like they are being left behind,” Burton said. “They help people like me understand technology to build a community to facilitate effective communication.”
The best way to teach millennials is by letting us conduct research and learn ourselves. Burton stated that in his experience, millennials go through an experiential learning process and have a willingness to make change. Generation Y also has a strong sense of social responsibility and a strong belief in our role to make communities better.
When working with millennials, it is important to understand the power behind our second-nature knowledge of technology and our global, expansive minds.
Commonly known as a generation that is not trusting of brands because of the economic recession, Generation Y is thought to not care at all about consumer products and at the same time care too much.
Adrienne Sheares, the social PR manager at Vocus, spent many of her working years at a nonprofit policy association that specifically targeted millennials. Here, she learned firsthand knowledge about typical stereotypes and the realities behind this generation.
Sheares explained that the most effective way to target millennials is through nostalgia.
“I believe you need to build trust with millennials,” Sheares said. “We are not tied to a particular brand because of the recession. We like going back to our childhood and remembering the good old days.”
Unlike other generations, who identify with certain brands, millennials are not easy targets to reach. Sheares recommended using social media as a way to engage in a conversation with this audience. It is important to not only make an impression, but to create a conversation that will stem into old-fashioned word of mouth marketing.
Yelp and Google are two tools that millennials seem to trust. Hesitant to part with our dollars, millennials use these type of sites to check out word of mouth marketing and research product reviews.
“There are very few things that I go to buy that I won’t go onto Yelp and make sure it has good reviews,” Sheares said.
When it comes to social media, Sheares recommended being subtle and relying heavily on conversational engagement. Social media tactics vary depending on which specific millennial audience you are trying to reach.
Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Snapchat are all great ways to reach the younger millennial generation. Sheares has learned that Facebook is most popular among the older millennial generation and dissuades using this tactic to reach those in college because it is a more personal form of social media. Twitter is Sheares’ favorite marketing tool because it engages those in conversation and builds a personal relationship between the consumer and the brand.
The future of the industry
All in all, millennials are the future. When asked his outlook on the public relations industry in the years to come, Burton said that he felt good about having such an innovative and caring generation taking the reins.
“I always tell the men and women of this generation that they are the future,” Burton said. “The way they learn, build community, and redefine problems and solutions are the reasons why this generation will thrive.”
Burton believes that with a new wave of millennials entering the field, the PR industry will change — not in a bad way, but in the sense that the work will be focused on the importance of people and community.
“Millennials will be able to focus on the human quality of marketing,” said Burton. “In public relations, this generation will lead the movement to have a more human quality in businesses. It will redefine the work from the past.”
So for everyone out there doubting our generation, it’s okay. We love the challenge. We will make the world a better place.
POSTED IN Featured
Posted At: December 9, 2013 4:30 p.m.
by Ashley Jones
Many often resist the thought of change. For most organizations, rebranding is a daunting task, but a necessity in order to keep up with the changing tides of the growing marketplace. 99designs, a San Francisco-based online graphic design marketplace, puts a fun and creative spin to the challenging rebranding process with its community contests.
The community contests, which focus on finding innovative designs for an organization’s potential rebranding efforts, offer companies the opportunity to engage with their customer base while giving designers the chance to showcase their artistic abilities and build relationships with potential clients.
For each contest, designers are asked to create a new logo for the organization. A select panel then judges the designs, and the winning designer is awarded a cash prize.
“The contests are a great way for companies to get a broad perspective from designers and for designers to meet new clients,” said Jason Aiken, product manager at 99designs. “It’s also awesome PR for us because it gets people talking about our company.”
Since launching in 2008, 99designs has quickly become one of the fastest growing online graphic design marketplaces in the world. The online marketplace, which has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Forbes, has held approximately 257,000 contests and has more than 260,000 registered designers in 190 countries worldwide.
“We’re always on the lookout for interesting ideas for design contests to give our designers a fun new challenge,” said Lauren Gard, PR manager at 99designs. “Oftentimes, our ideas stem from some kind of public controversy or compelling news around a major brand.”
Two of the company’s most popular contests generated national attention and even sparked a little controversy, too. 99designs recently hosted branding contests for two professional sports teams to get fans excited about rebranding their teams. Each contest gained hundreds of unique entries and served as a way for the sports community to connect with its most loyal fans.
The New Orleans Pelicans
After the New Orleans Hornets, a National Basketball Association team, unveiled its plans to change the team’s name from the Hornets to the Pelicans, 99designs created its first professional sports rebranding contest.
“The logo contest gained a lot of attention and was a cool way for designers to express their creativity,” Aiken said.
To select the winning design, 99designs ran one external poll and two community polls. The contest had a remarkable turnout, receiving more than 1,000 submissions. Although the rebranding contest was a success, it was met with resistance at first.
Aiken noted that change is always difficult and can sometimes cause controversy, which is good from a PR viewpoint.
“Brands have to be prepare themselves for resistance and negativity,” he said. “It takes time, but people will adapt to the new brand and become okay with it.”
Ultimately, some organizations are faced with trying to figure out how to change its brand or update its brand in a way that preserves how people feel about that brand. The winning logo for the Pelicans contest did just that.
The Washington Redskins
After earning positive results from the New Orleans Pelicans rebranding contest, 99designs launched a community contest to help promote a potential mascot transformation for the Washington Redskins, one of the world’s most expensive and historical sports franchises. The company’s graphic design community submitted more than 1,800 entries for the National Football League team, which was facing criticism for its derogatory name.
According to Gard, “The goal with this contest is to rebrand the franchise based on three different name suggestions with a logo that’s a little more positive. And to have fun with it!”
Aiken added that the Redskins contest was immensely successful because of the public’s interest in the controversial topic.
“People are so passionate about the Redskins,” Aiken said. “The contest was really the perfect storm of everything coming together. There was tension politically and a lot of talk surrounding the name change so the contest got a lot of attention.”
The winning logo incorporated two D.C. icons, the Washington Monument and the Pentagon, and judges thought the logo’s sleek look would work well for branding and merchandising.
Several of the Redskins contest designers gained public recognition for their work and were featured in the print edition of The Washington Post, as well as online, and dozens of other designers’ work appeared in articles in Fast Company, Yahoo Sports, Sports Illustrated and other major media outlets.
“It’s rewarding to think 99designs may play even a very small role in helping to promote change — numerous journalists and Redskins fans indicated they were on board with a name change after seeing what a potential Redskins rebrand could look like,” said Gard.
Although the Redskins have yet to change their name, hopefully the team’s owner Daniel Snyder will take note of the tremendous reaction the 99designs’ rebranding contest received.
The power of branding
The power of branding simply cannot be underestimated. If the sports and PR industries have taught us anything, it is that change is all a part of the business. Aiken noted that organizations must remember why they are rebranding in the first place and that there has to be practical reasons for doing so.
“When it comes to the rebranding process, the most important thing is knowing who you are, knowing what you are trying to achieve and knowing who you are trying to reach,” he said. “Be purposeful.”
POSTED IN Featured
Posted At: December 9, 2013 11:45 a.m.
by Kyle Borland
When the average American thinks of Barclays PLC, the first thing that comes to mind is more than likely the Barclays Center in Brooklyn or the Barclays Premier League (the men’s football league in England). Although these things are more impressive than what people would initially think of the other big banks, there is still a lot more to this company than meets the eye.
The Barclays communication department follows a typical corporate communications model; however, those who work there believe a certain something allows them to stand out and be successful.
“Everyone here is very straight forward,” said Mark Lane, director of corporate communications for Barclays’ equities and prime services division. “The mutual respect for one another breeds productivity and helps us all do our jobs.”
Like any other international company, Barclays is segmented into global regions. Lane works in the Americas branch for the bank and is on a team of four that reports to a supervisor who then reports to the head of the Americas division of Barclays.
“Everyone on the team is assigned certain divisions of the company,” Lane said. “Between the four of us, we cover everything going on with Barclays for the Americas.”
One struggle one might think a non-American company would face would be how to really solidify itself into American minds as a bank of choice. Barclays has taken this challenge head on.
“We’ve grown immensely since 2009,” Lane said. “When Lehman Brothers crashed, we were able to strategically fill that void and have grown into the number one non-American bank in the USA. And, in many key categories, we’re top five in U.S. markets.”
The biggest communication struggle isn’t the foreign-ness of the company but actually the difference in mentalities between Europe and the USA.
“The biggest problem we face is the perception of compensation,” Lane said. “In America, if you want a lot of money, it’s accepted if you worked hard to get it. In Europe, if you have a lot of money, people despise you. It’s a big shift in how we communicate to potential customers.”
Another area where Barclays succeeds is its internal communications. Lane pointed out that the leadership of the company is very receptive and wants to hear from its employees.
“There is huge senior-level support across the board,” Lane said. “They want to hear our feedback as the company’s employees.”
One area where Barclays truly flourishes with its employees is with its LGBT program. Lane serves as the program’s director and has become the go-to person for diversity and philanthropy affairs within the New York office.
“It really is such a great program,” Lane said. “The senior-level support I talked about earlier is phenomenal. They are really focused on making sure the company shows its support for the LGBT community.”
An example of that support was broadly shown to the world after the recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. Barclays had its entire building become a rainbow flag (the symbol of the LGBT community). For those who don’t know, the company’s headquarters is the blue building in Times Square, so you can imagine how big of a statement that was, since Times Square is the “Crossroads of the World.”
On top of the support shown immediately following the DOMA ruling, Barclays has embraced a recent trend by the financial industry in being a leader in LGBT benefits. Barclays and the financial industry as a whole have earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaigns Equality Index several years in a row.
At the end of the day, employee relations is one of the most important jobs of public relations professionals. The employees of a company have the potential to be the greatest advocates because they know the inner workings of the company. If a company can develop brand or company loyalty with its employees, the company is more likely to succeed.
Although the financial industry may not seem to be the most glamorous of industries in the communications world, it is definitely a sector with a lot going for it. As a communications professional, you’ll always have something to do when working for a bank, even a company like Barclays. Most importantly, the company keeps its employees happy, which is something not every company can say — in any industry.
POSTED IN Featured
Posted At: December 7, 2013 8:28 p.m.
by Sarah de Jong
The fashion industry has historically obsessed over weight and weight-related issues. In addition, speaking about a woman’s weight invites much scrutiny in our society. Just think back to Abercrombie & Fitch’s controversy about only making clothes for “skinny people” and Lululemon Athletica founder’s recent remarks about women’s body types. Weight-loss trends such as the thigh gap are coming into society in full force, and fashion companies are only egging them on.
Thigh gap trend
What is a thigh gap? According to ABC News, it is “a clear space, or gap, that can be seen between the thighs when a girl is standing with her knees together.” In order for a woman’s thighs not to touch, she must be very thin or have a particular body type. Thigh gaps are usually not about a person’s weight, but how their body is built. With the amount of negative press the thigh gap trend has attracted in recent months, even models have addressed the problem. Gap model Robyn Lawley spoke out about the backlash she has received for having her thighs touch as a model.
“The sad reality is that I’ve known about the ‘thigh gap’ since I was 12 — and there is nothing about this trend that’s new to me. Watching countless fashion shows as a teenager, I was unfortunately inundated with images of women and girls who had pronounced space between their thighs. The models’ legs would never come close to touching, even as they stomped down the runway. Staring down at my own thighs, I can safely say that has never been the case for me. I’m now classified as a ‘plus size’ model in the fashion industry,” wrote Lawley.
Kim Bissell, Ph.D., is an associate dean for research and a professor of journalism at The University of Alabama. Her research areas include exercise, nutrition and body image in adolescents. She is also a certified personal trainer and works with overweight and obese children to teach them how to get in shape. Through her research, Bissell believes that the media help to set the standard for how women see themselves with the thigh gap trend specifically and weight in general.
“Indirectly, the fashion industry is setting the standard of ‘normal.’ By seeing images of attractive women, we (as viewers and consumers) think that what we are seeing is average or the norm. So, by normalizing extreme thinness in the fashion magazines, these magazines are partially responsible for making young girls and women feel as if they need to diet their way to extreme thinness or exercise themselves to the point of being extremely thin,” Bissell said.
Companies’ reactions and how they deal with body image
Lululemon’s founder, Chip Wilson, spoke about his company’s yoga pants (ringing up at around $100 a pair) and the complaints about them piling in the thighs and being see-through. He blamed these problems on the women who wear the pants — more specifically, on their weight. Wilson said that some women didn’t fit the pants, not the other way around.
Huffington Post writer Alena Dillon responded to Wilson’s remarks on women by posting her own warning label for Lululemon yoga pants: “. . . Do not wear if you buckle your seatbelt. [Author’s note: That one’s real.] . . . Do not wear these pants if you are too curvy; your body pressures the pants to perform the responsibility of being pants, when really they aren’t much more than status symbols. Think of us as the Goldilocks of the clothing industry: we’re only suitable for bodies that are juuust right. . . .”
While Dillon’s response may be extreme, she succeeds in revealing how inconsiderate many people thought Wilson’s comments were, leading some to boycott the brand.
Crosby Noricks, the founder of PR Couture and a fashion branding strategist, said that she thinks the remarks were a careless and unfortunate incident for the brand, but that the media had a part in the backlash.
“I also think that media, both social and more traditional, are thrilled to jump on these types of stories as a means to drum up public outrage (and page views),” Noricks said.
Bissell said she boycotted Lululemon all together after Lululemon’s founder made his infamous comments.
“I used to buy Lululemon gear for working out; however, I have moved over to Athleta exclusively because of comments like the one made by Chip Wilson. We have to be smarter and resist the temptation to have the brand that ‘everyone else is wearing’ when really inappropriate comments like this are made. Truly as long as we continue to buy the products, very little will change, and Chip Wilson and other CEOs know it,” Bissell said.
So, is it the consumers’ fault, the companies’ fault or the media’s fault that so many consumers and companies are speaking out about weight?
“That is a huge disconnect. I am not suggesting that the media should be a mirror of society; however, I do think that socially responsible companies would take note of the fact that plastic surgeries have increased exponentially over the last two decades, the sale of dieting pills and products has increased exponentially over the last two decades, and the number of young girls suffering from low self-esteem and low body self-esteem has increased exponentially over the last two decades,” Bissell said.
Noricks said she thinks the fashion industry shouldn’t be to blame for how the media is portraying body image in society.
“It’s easier to blame someone else, or an entire industry, rather than assuming responsibility for how we each perpetuate, reflect and cosign an image-driven culture with a very narrow definition of beauty and health. These types of remarks — whether it’s a clothing line deemed only for the popular, pretty kids, or pilled fabric where our thighs meet when we run, are powerful because they touch our own insecurities and self-belief about our own value. That’s the real rub — fashion is just an easy target,” Noricks said.
Campaigns to solve this problem
Some companies, such as Target or Macy’s, have shown diversity in body types for their clothing. Each time a company shows a model who is closer to the average-sized American in an advertisement, it has the ability to earn credibility, since it is going against the norms of the fashion industry. Other stores, like Athleta, have a different approach.
“While Athleta does not necessarily show ‘average-sized’ women, Athleta does design its clothing so that it fits a broader range of body types. Furthermore, Athleta does very well at promoting healthy lifestyles for women. So, I think that brand has done better at catering to larger segments of the population because it isn’t just about appearance, even though on face value, it kind of is,” Bissell said.
Noricks mentioned a publication that she thinks handles the issue with class: Verily Magazine. It has a no Photoshop policy, focusing on the natural beauty of women instead. Its policy states:
“Whereas other magazines Photoshop to achieve the ‘ideal’ body type or leave a maximum of three wrinkles, we never alter the body or face structure of our models with Photoshop. We firmly believe that the unique features of women — be it crows feet, freckles, or a less-than-rock-hard body — contribute to their beauty and therefore don’t need to be removed or changed.”
While it doesn’t seem as though the body image and photoshop problem will be resolved any time soon, it is reassuring to some that many companies are making a step in the right direction and not using stick-thin models or excessive Photoshop. But, even though most consumers are aware that computer editing software may be the reason models look so thin and flawless in advertisements, body-image problems still affect the masses.
“I have been researching the social effects of media specific to body image for more than a decade. I know the research; I do the research; I teach my students how to use Photoshop, so I know exactly how it all works. Yet, despite all of that, I still look at images sometimes and have moments of self-doubt. I am an ultra-runner, and because I run a lot, I have big calves and big thighs. I know it is a muscle, but sometimes, even I don’t see it that way. That is how powerful the media can be,” Bissell said.
POSTED IN Featured
Posted At: December 3, 2013 7:33 a.m.
by Christi Rich
As November ends, we approach the two-month mark of the initial implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. From its inception and signing in 2010, the ACA has caused much controversy within both major political parties. The initial kickoff of the ACA was disappointing to many, with technological issues plaguing the healthcare.gov website.
The ACA is 906 pages of legal and medical jargon that will ultimately affect the lives of every American citizen. Communication professionals working in the health care industry are charged with the immense task of learning the ins and outs of this piece of policy in order to educate a variety of audiences about the parts of this law that may be of utmost importance to them. The influence of health reform has affected almost every player in the health care industry, whether it may be a pharmaceutical company or a hospital system.
The ACA requires that all Americans buy health insurance plans through the Exchange. The core economic concept behind this requirement is that it will increase competition among health insurance plans, driving down premiums.
Everyone is affected
Leigh Fazzina, principal of health care-centric public relations consultancy Fazzina & Co. Communications Consulting Inc., has worked for 20 years developing communications strategies for various health care companies such as pharmaceuticals, medical device companies, health care associations and more.
Fazzina noted that everyone in health care is affected by the ACA, all in different ways. She described the following scenario of how some programs will be changed by health care reform.
More than 50 million Americans are currently uninsured, and many of these individuals have sought treatment at free medical clinics throughout the U.S. But, in theory, the ACA eliminates the need for free medical clinics, as all Americans will eventually have health insurance. Some patient assistance programs from which uninsured Americans have been getting help to obtain medicines either at discounted rates or for free will also no longer be in place due to the ACA.
Clients who initially may seem immune from these changes are ultimately affected. These new laws force health care communication professionals in all sectors to rethink their strategies.
“Before health care reform went into place, we didn’t have to take many of these things into consideration,” Fazzina said.
In contrast with Fazzina’s agency view of the ACA, Jim Bakken, director of media relations at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, works with the third largest public hospital in the country; Bakken comes from the health system perspective. He explained that his job working with the media has essentially stayed the same with the reform; no matter the topic, he would still be working closely with the media.
“I wouldn’t say the ACA changed my job at UAB,” Bakken said. “But it has certainly given us reform-related messages to communicate through the media.”
Clients rely on communications teams
From an agency background with Peritus PR and McNeely Pigott & Fox, Bakken explained that reform affected him more in this setting, as new and existing clients sought to promote aspects of health reform important to their constituents.
But in a health system setting, the “client” is the patient. Bakken and the leadership at UAB work with the new law to ensure the highest quality of care and possible experience. No matter the law’s parameters, this will always be the goal.
“The UAB Health System has been working and thinking about this potential development for so many years,” Bakken said. “I have the luxury of working with forward thinking leadership that anticipates and troubleshoots before something becomes an issue for patients.”
Fazzina’s priority is to become well-versed on the aspects of the new law, in order to create strategies relevant to her clients’ work.
“I can’t say with certainty that anyone is reading all 900 pages of the Affordable Care Act, but it is our responsibility to know how it will impact the companies we are representing and working with,” Fazzina said.
She explained that companies affected by the ACA are now placing an even more critical burden on their communications teams to stay up to speed with health care reform in the news. First thing each morning, Fazzina spends an hour or two reading up on the latest health care reform news.
Working with government officials
Last year, UAB ranked 22nd among public universities in research with $454 million in research expenditures. Also responsible for media relations regarding academia at UAB, Bakken balances communicating Health System messages with sharing work done by UAB researchers studying a variety of topics, one of which inevitably covers health care policy. One recent article describes the research of David Becker, Ph.D., that defined the positive effects for the state of Alabama had the government opted to expand Medicaid under the new law.
Inevitably, the leadership at UAB communicates with government leaders on a number of issues, as UAB is the largest single-site employer in the state, but there is a separation between government relations at UAB and Bakken’s responsibilities to promote studies that may or may not support an institutional perspective on a given issue. Bakken explained that his job in promoting research is not to further a political agenda, but rather highlight studies conducted by faculty members who work with academic freedom.
“The health system has been working and thinking about this [potential development] for so many years,” Bakken said. “I have the luxury of working with forward thinking leadership that anticipates and troubleshoots before something becomes a problem.”
Fazzina noted that new strategies and tactics with her clients have been key throughout the process of reform, especially in reaching the audience with social media tools.
“Consumers are more tech savvy than ever these days,” Fazzina said. “Using online social communications, such as Twitter, is really important with my clients.”
But for Bakken at UAB, media relations is a tried and true strategy when it comes to communicating health care reform. Bakken simply seeks to help the audiences understand what’s happening with health care reform as it relates to them and to UAB.
“Our team has been working with the leadership in the UAB Health System to communicate important information to the community, patients and stakeholders,” Bakken said.
Health care reform certainly isn’t going anywhere; it’s just a matter of what will happen next. Luckily for communications professionals, there are new opportunities in this industry with every stage of implementation of the ACA.
POSTED IN Featured
Posted At: December 3, 2013 7:24 a.m.
By Amanda Michelson, Hill Communications
Hill Communications is the student-run public relations firm of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Established over a decade ago, the firm serves 7-10 clients and has about 80-100 members per semester. From its hierarchical structure and competitive application process to its time tracking, the firm maintains the highest level of professionalism.
Account Supervisor Mariann Yip said, “Hill Communication is not just another student organization; it’s a unique opportunity to work with real clients. I am able to apply all the skills I’ve learned in my public relations courses to deliver the services my client asks of me. It’s a very rewarding feeling to see all the successful work my account has done.”
The firm is one of only a few student-run firms certified by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Firm profit is reinvested into the Syracuse PRSSA chapter and Hill Communications to finance member benefits, such as guest speakers and conferences.
Hill Communications strives to fulfill the needs of clients in innovative ways, and our many accolades show that we exceed our clients’ expectations. The firm recently won Best Campaign at the 2013 PRSSA National Conference in Philadelphia for BE Wise, an alcohol poisoning education initiative at Syracuse University. BE Wise also won first place and a $60,000 prize in a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Challenge.
As a socially responsible organization, Hill Communications serves nonprofit clients with philanthropic goals. Last fall the firm was hired to represent the Interfaith Youth Core’s (IFYC) SU Better Together campaign, an initiative to address the issue of hunger in the Central New York area. The campaign was created in response to The President’s Challenge and was named Best Overall Campaign in the nationwide 2012 Better Together initiative.
In fall 2011, Hill Communications received the first student PRServing America Award from the Public Relations Society of America for its promotional work for Operation Homefront Tri-State, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
When firm members aren’t working on projects for their clients, they are enjoying fun, team-bonding activities. To reward hard work and strengthen employee relations, Hill Communications coordinates internal events, such as a Halloween Fright-Night movie screening. The firm also co-hosts events like trivia night and holiday formal, where it awards exceptionally dedicated members.
Assistant Director of Human Resources Britni Coe said, “Hill Communications has been the best part of my college experience. It gave me the opportunity to connect with other PR students professionally and personally at internal events like PRSSA formal and the BE Wise BE-BQ on the Quad. I am confident that PR is what I love to do and that it’s what I’m good at — and I have Hill Communications to thank for that.”
Hill Communications is more than a client-serving organization. It is a place for young public relations professionals to come together and grow with one another as they share their passion for, and experiences with, public relations.
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- Spring 2008 – Volume II, Issue II
- Spring 2008 – Blog
- Fall 2007 – Volume II, Issue I
- Spring 2007 – Volume I, Issue I