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#RockTheFirm: Hill Communications

Posted At: December 3, 2013 7:24 a.m.
by Amanda Michelson, Guest Contributor.

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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