UW Oshkosh PRSSA

Preparing public relations students for life after college

NODAC: Cycle of Life

Written by: Hannah Thorn

Hey All,

It’s April so you know what that means!? It’s time for NODAC!

Every April PRSSA runs a National Organ Donation Awareness Campaign (NODAC) as part of a national campaign competition. Our main event this year will feature a presentation by the incredible Bill Conner, who will be coming to Ballroom BC in Reeve to speak on April 17th at 6 pm.

Conner had gone viral for biking from Madison, Wisconsin to Florida in memory of his daughter. On the trip he met the man who received his daughters heart transplant. In an extremely touching moment he embraces Loumonth Jack Jr., whose life was saved by the heart donation of Conner’s daughter. Conner was even able to listen to Jack’s heartbeat which was produced by his daughters transplant. You can read more about it here. Conner will be talking about his trip and the importance of being an organ donor.

For our second event we will be honoring the 2,600 miles Conner biked from Madison to Fort Lauderdale, Florida by sponsoring two cycling classes that last 26 minutes each. They will be held on April 17th in the cycling room at the Student Rec Center, one from 3:00-3:26 pm and the other from 3:34-4:00 pm. Come bike your little hearts out and learn about why it is important to be an organ donor!


We hope to see you at one of the events!!


What to say when relatives ask what PR is?


By: Hannah Thorn (@_hannahthorn_)


With Easter break fast approaching, most college students will be heading home to visit family members. Well intentioned aunts and uncles will ask you how classes are going and if you like your professors. Most will ask you what your major is. When you answer Public Relations they will say, what is that? Well here are a few basic answers for you to throw at them:


  • “A lot of writing and talking to people.”
  • “PR professionals make their clients look better by pushing the good news and controlling the bad news.”
  • “If marketing and communications had a baby that baby would be PR.”
  • “We are kind of like the professional wingman, just doing everything we can to make our clients or companies look good.”
  • “Research, research, and then some more research.”
  • “Do you watch Scandal? Well Olivia Pope works on the crisis communication side of PR.”
  • “Marketing but with less math and more writing.”
  • “Using social media to help and maintain our clients reputation.”


And maybe even a mix of all of the above!


If family members still don’t understand your major then just use the standard reply from the Public Relations Society of America PRSA: “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

How I Found Public Relations

By. Hannah Thorn (@_hannahthorn_)


When I came to Oshkosh in September of 2015 I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I choose Oshkosh because I wanted to run cross country and track here. My dad knew this so during my first semester he told me I had to take a “Discovering Your Major” course through our Student Success Center. It was a one credit class that ended up pointing me towards public relations.

I went into that class vaguely thinking that I wanted to go into the business field. I liked the idea of working with many different people and working with technology, specifically social media. Since I had no idea what public relations was I thought I would use this class to look into the marketing, advertising, and business programs that Oshkosh offers. What I found was that these careers would probably bore me. I remember having to find a specific major to research for the final project and I chose human resources. I knew this career would let me work with many people, but it just sounded like a lot of paperwork and not enough creativity. It was during this final project that I stumbled across our Journalism department page. I didn’t think much of it because I was thinking “oh I don’t want to be a reporter”. Oh how dumb that assumption was.

I left the class thinking I had time to discover what I wanted to do, but if I had to declare I would choose human resources as my major. Later, I started talking to one of my cross country teammates who was a human relations major and she started telling me about her classes. I started getting worried because it did not sound like something I would enjoy. By this time I had to start scheduling classes for spring semester of my sophomore year and I did not know what I wanted to do with my life. I met with my advisor and she calmed me down. I talked to her about what I wanted to do. She pointed me back to that Journalism department page that I had visited over a year before. I dipped my toe into the journalism department and took a class called Introduction to Media. That class is what gave me my first taste of what Public Relations is. Shortly after that I went to a PRSSA meeting. I did not speak at all. In fact, I think I said three words my entire first semester in PRSSA.

Even though I didn’t talk in the PRSSA meetings I learned what I could do with the public relations major and I started to really fall in love with public relations. I took more classes in the journalism department, I declared it my major, I became the public outreach chair in PRSSA, I went to PRSSA’s national conference, and now I am fully immersed in the crazy family that is the journalism department at Oshkosh. And I couldn’t be happier.

A Year in Review: 2017 PR Trends


Written by: Hannah Thorn

In the midst of holiday season I think it is important to take a look at our lives and realize what we are thankful for. For me, it’s my family and all of the memories I made this year. But as a PR professional-to-be I am thankful for a few more things. Here is my list of PR trends that I am thankful for this year:

1.Visual Storytelling

One of the biggest PR trends this year was the growth of visual storytelling. On average a person watches 32 videos per month and that number is growing. There is also a 74 percent increase in understanding when someone watches a video, which makes it a viable choice when companies are looking to advertise (Segal 2017). I like this trend because I feel like videos convey more emotion and information than a print or radio ad. Also it is a great way for companies to promote their mission and their brand. And I mean who doesn’t like scrolling through Facebook videos when you are supposed to be studying?

In 2018 visual storytelling will continue to grow. Soon there will be more apps to help edit and share videos on one’s smartphone. There will also be an increase in VR and AR videos for companies to showcase their products (Gerber 2017).

  1. The role of Social media expanding

I, along with many millennials, have grown up using social media so the fact that it’s use is expanding is good news. It is so easy to write up a quick tweet and send it out into the world without thinking that some companies have gotten into trouble this year. Who can forget Digiornos #WhyIStayed tweet or McDonald’s non-existent link on Black Friday? The expansion has also forced PR pros into more of a customer service role. If someone tweets at you complaining you better respond otherwise that tweet could blow up and things could get ugly.

My favorite part of social media expansion this year was the amount of businesses that were hopping on social media platforms.Brands were forced to get creative in 2017 in an effort to stand out from the millions of Twitter accounts. There was some real sass and shade thrown this year. We even saw companies like McDonalds and Wendys engage in Twitter fights. My favorite business account has to be Hamburger Helper (@helper). They are never afraid to toss a diss out there. You can see other sassy brands here:

3. A rise in PR spending

According to a report from the Association of National Advertisers and the USC Center for Public Relations marketers plan to spend more money and dedicate more jobs to public relations over the next five years. That allows PR pros to get more creative with campaigns and,hopefully, have more of an impact in their business. It also means more PR jobs will be created!! So how can I not be excited for that trend?

4. Cybersecurity

This obviously was a huge issue in 2017. There was more than one instance of security issues that rocked the headlines this year. From Equifax to “WannaCry” to Uber, it was a rough year (Gerber). So you may be asking why I am thankful for these issues. Well because I believe that with these hacks there will be people that are learning from these experiences. I am hopeful that in 2018 companies will have a renewed focus on the importance of cyber security.

And finally…….

5. PRSSA Growth

2017 marked my first full year in PRSSA. And what a year it was! Not only did I grow closer to the members in my own chapter, but I was also able to attend the National Conference in Boston and grow my PRSSA family. I was part of a growing trend of new members this year to PRSSA. PRSSA now boasts more than 10,000 members in more than 300 chapters. They have now expanded outside of the United States to Argentina, Peru, and Columbia. I can’t wait to see how many more amazing PR people I meet in 2018!



8 Reasons Why I Loved National Assembly

By Monica Salmeri

All of the delegates from Wisconsin PRSSA chapters

Continue reading “8 Reasons Why I Loved National Assembly”

PRSSA Spring Semester Update

By Collin BraultIMG_1591

So far spring semester for UWO PRSSA can be summed up by one word: new. New guest speakers, new ideas, new ventures off campus and new members! Our meeting attendance has nearly doubled compared to the fall semester. To all the new members, welcome, we couldn’t be happier to see so many new faces at meetings! Continue reading “PRSSA Spring Semester Update”

By Collin Brault, External Relations Chair
I am finally close to completing my last leg of general education requirements for my bachelor of arts degree.  This past winter interim term, I completed “Intro to Public Relations,” my first course that is required for the public relations major. Because I belong to the UWO PRSSA Chapter, I had a small working knowledge of what public relations is and some ways that it has a foothold in business and society. However, after completing this class, the fog has cleared, and I can truly see all that this career path has to offer.

Continue reading

A Glimpse of Agency Life


Written by: Collin Brault

As November comes to a close, the end of the semester is approaching. Since the Chapter hit the ground at full speed at the beginning of the semester, the Chapter hasn’t slowed down. Through November and leading up to the conclusion the semester the Chapter embarked on its first agency tour of the year while also hosting Skype chats with professionals s at meetings. Continue reading “A Glimpse of Agency Life”

Professional Development Through Community Connections

img_0493Written by: Collin Brault

Within the blink of an eye, two months of the fall semester have already flashed by, but the Dr. Julie Henderson PRSSA Chapter at UW Oshkosh has kept busy.  After only seven meetings the Chapter has already acquired new public relations skills and knowledge, inside and outside the classroom.

Continue reading “Professional Development Through Community Connections”

Blog at

Up ↑