My First Two Weeks as a Public Relations Intern

“It always seems impossible until it is done.” – Nelson Mandela

Throughout my college career it has been drilled into my head, along with every other college student, how important it is to have internships before you graduate college and start your post grad life.  To me, I didn’t think it would ever be possible because I just could not figure out what I wanted to study and I didn’t know how to be successful at something like obtaining an internship.  Believing I could not do the work to be hired for an internship was the only thing holding me back from doing it.  I was literally the only roadblock in my way; nothing else was.

This past school year I actually started enjoying my classes and I was confident in what I chose my degree to be in.  At that time, I realized that if I did work hard enough in school, and I networked enough with people in the Public Relations and Marketing fields, I could one day have an internship that I could turn into my career.  This confident boost is what has now led me into the most rewarding adventure I have embarked on thus far.

These past couple weeks have been extremely exciting in terms of how I want to grow into my career.  On Monday July 10th I started my internship at Ozarks Food Harvest as their Public Relations intern.  This means I am on the Development and Communication team at OFH.

To put everyone on the same page, Ozarks Food Harvest is a Feeding America food bank that serves all of southwest Missouri.   This includes 270 hunger-relief organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. OFH provides more than 15 million meals to over 260,000 people across these counties.  It is truly an honor to be involved in their mission.

The first week of my internship had a lot to do with me learning the ins and outs of the organization and exposing me to what each team does on a day-to-day basis.  I really enjoyed this because I did not realize how little I actually knew about Ozarks Food Harvest and how much of a reach it has when it comes to feeding southwest Missouri.

I was also included in meetings for planning some of our Hunger Action Month events that we host all through the month of September.  This was especially exciting to me because I have always been a planner and I love planning and hosting events, parties, showers, and anything that involves a crowd of people.

The particular event that I got to attend the meeting for was for Iron Chef, which will be this year on Saturday, September 23rd.  This event consists of local chefs who will be asked to prepare three dishes which highlight a unique market ingredient.  The chefs will be judged on their dishes by a panel of judges and the people that are attending the event.

People who attend will be able to taste a sample of each dish and vote for their favorite by making a cash donation.  All proceeds will support Ozarks food Harvest as a part of Hunger Action Month.  Seriously though, you all need to attend.  What can beat receiving free food while also giving back to charity?  Oh that’s right: nothing.

My second week, which is the one we are in right now, has been a huge learning experience as well.  It has shown me just how much I love this job and has confirmed my beliefs that choosing Public Relations as my career is what I was born for.

On Monday of this week, part of my day consisted of interviewing one of OFH’s volunteers and writing a story on them that we call the “Volunteer Spotlight”.  I absolutely love writing, so being in charge of this specific piece for our newsletter and website was especially exciting.  By the way, we have some incredible volunteers who give multiple hours of each week giving back to our organization and making sure people in the Ozarks are not going without fresh, healthy food.

As the week progressed, I got to work a lot in OFH’s WordPress. (yay!)  I was given the task to upload their stories and pictures, that will be in this months Harvest Times newsletter, to their blog.  I also learned how to create e-mail campaigns that we send out to close to 10K people to promote stories of what is happening in our company and community.   We also create campaigns to advertise events and opportunities that are coming up at OFH.

Overall, these past couple of weeks have been very exciting and I feel like I have learned so much in my short time at OFH so far.  To wrap up this post, check out my awesome cubicle I get to work in.  Also, shout out to my team who created the super cool welcome poster in the back.

Twitter: @alyssaChenry
Instagram: achenry11

~Alyssa

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Music in Public Relations

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” – Bob Marley

I do not even know how old I was when I discovered my love for music.  I don’t mean I have a love for singing or playing an instrument, I mean, my love for music has to do with listening to artists and songs that I can relate to and finding meaning in the lyrics.  Music gives me a metaphorical high that can cure any form of the blues, open my eyes to what I am truly going through at the time, or get me overly excited for a night out on Dickson with my girls. (*cough cough* Lauren Thompson, Jennifer Roberts, Karah Henry)

When my twin sister, Karah, and I were younger (and even now to be completely honest) we could never ride in the car with our family without asking for our mom or dad to turn up the radio.  When we got older and iPods became popular we would listen to music the entire length of a long road trip without pausing for a second to stop our music and actually have a conversation with our parents.  After I turned 16, a little over 10 years ago (what?), I was so excited to finally have my own car so that I could drive around all the time and listen to the music I loved, and that is exactly what I have been doing almost every day now for the last decade.

One of my favorite memories when it comes to music was in 2009 when I roomed with my best friend Lauren Thompson on the University of Arkansas campus in Pomfret.  We were both laying in our twin beds in our dorm room and we were listening to Slow Dancing in a Burning Room by John Mayer.  We were singing with so much passion (and to make the other one laugh) and I remember feeling such a sense of happiness because 1.) This song is absolutely incredible and 2.) We were bonding to some genuinely good music.  (Love you Laur-Anne, La-Rooskie, La-Ran, LaLa.)

This past semester in my Writing for Public Relations course we were given an assignment that was titled “Dream Job News Release”.  We had to create a news release that was announcing how we had landed our dream job.  This assignment was not only fun but the second we were given it I knew exactly what I was going to write about.  My news release consisted of me landing a Public Relations job for the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.  If you know me in even the slightest of ways you know how much I love country music and Nashville is a mecca for this genre.  Maybe my love for country music is because I was born and raised in the south (Hey yall) or maybe it is because I can relate more to what the country artists are singing about in their songs.  Anyway, my dream job news release was written as if I was being offered a position at the Grand Ole Opry titled “Communication and Public Relations Specialist”.  Even though this assignment could be about any kind of  job I wrote about one that has everything to do with music, one I have dreamed of having ever since I declared my PR major.

Doing PR in the music industry is something I truly believe I would thrive in.  Working for a venue such as the Grand Ole Opry, The Ryman (I’m obsessed with Nashville, okay?), the AMP in Rogers, Arkansas, or anywhere that plays live music for large audiences would truly be my dream job.  Being a spokesperson for venues such as these would be an awesome way to surround myself with the art of music and use my knowledge in PR to grow these venues to be even more successful than they already are.  Live music is an incredible thing and to be able to make a career out of it in PR is what I dream about so passionately everyday.

Finally, I just want to share my top 13 favorite songs of ALL TIME so that maybe whoever is reading this can find some more music they can revel in.  I will also make each one of these a link to their music video on YouTube for your clickable convenience.

1.) Drops of Jupiter – Train
2.) Champagne Supernova – Oasis
3.) Wonderwall – Oasis
4.) I Wish it Would Rain Down – Phil Collins
5.) One Last Breath – Creed
6.) You’ll Be in My Heart – Phil Collins
7.) Carolina – Eric Church
8.) Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
9.) Slow Dancing in a Burning Room – John Mayer
10.) Overjoyed – Matchbox Twenty
11.) All My Life – KC and JoJo
12.) Dance Inside – The All-American Rejects
13.) Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

Like for real, I can close my eyes and just lose myself into every single one of these songs.

Once again, thank you all for reading!  Now go listen to some of your favorite music!

Twitter: @alyssaChenry
Instagram: achenry11

~Alyssa

 

 

My Love for Everything PR

“Public relations are a a key component of any operation in this day of instant communications and rightly inquisitive citizens.” – Alvin Adams

For as long as my memory allows me to go back I have loved to write.  Growing up, I would mostly just journal about my day to day life.  Looking back now I am so glad I did because it is pretty hilarious how cool I used to think I was. (Keyword: think)  As I have grown into an adult I truly believe that I am my most genuine self in written word.  About 99% of the time I can explain something better in writing than I can with words I let come out of my mouth.  Writing for me is a place of comfort and where I thrive the most.

As a Public Relations major at Missouri State University I have to write All. The. Time.  Lucky for me, it is what I enjoy the most.  There is something so satisfying about feeling a pencil glide across a piece of paper.  Especially when it is making a list of everything I need to do that day.  Lists are my best friend.  By best friend I mean no tasks will ever get done unless I make a list outlining everything I am responsible for completing.  By best friend I also mean lists just “get me” in a way no other human can. (Kidding.  Sort of.)

Choosing to study Public Relations in school has by far been the most rewarding decision I have ever made.  (Shout out to my boyfriend’s brother Shawn for introducing me to this major and career.  Love you, mean it!)  From the moment I declared PR as my major I have literally hit the ground running in being a part of everything PR related.  I even took the chance of putting my name out there to be selected as Missouri State University’s Public Relations Student Society of America president.  I truly believed it was a long shot but surprisingly  I was able to achieve this title for the 2017/2018 school year, which just so happens to be my last year of school before I graduate college next May. (Let me just say, graduation has been a long time coming, but I will get into my long 9 years of college in another post.)

Public Relations is more than a choice of study for me.  It has grown into such a passion that I did not realize I would ever have. By that I mean I can talk for hours and hours with my mom over a glass of wine about how much I love PR and what I plan to grow my PR career into.  Every time my parents and I go out to dinner I go on and on about the importance of education and what PR means to me.  Thankfully my parents are super supportive, but God bless them for having to listen to me talk about it for hours on end.  What can I say, though, I have finally found something I truly love and can build a lifestyle out of.  There is so much more I can say about PR but I will calm down about it for now.  However, I can guarantee that you will see a trend of PR related topics in posts to come.

To end my first post I just want to say thank you for checking out my page.  I will update my page at least once every week with new thoughts and ideas I come up with.  Thank you also for embarking with me on my journey into the world of PR!  If you want to keep in contact with me on other forms of social media check me out on Twitter and Instagram!

Twitter: @alyssaChenry
Instagram: achenry11

~Alyssa