Come to this Friday’s PRSA luncheon!

It’s that time of the month again!

The Northwest Ohio Chapter of PRSA is hosting its monthly luncheon this Friday, and PRSSA members can attend for just $12. This month will feature a panel discussion and a video presentation from a marketing, public relations and social media perspective on how Restaurant Week Toledo became one of the hottest events in town.

The panel consists of:

  • Cory Dippold, founder of RWT and member of Leadership Toledo;
  • Anna Toney, member of Leadership Toledo;
  • and Candice Harrison, Leadership Toledo board member and RWT kick-off chair

Students who have paid chapter dues may attend, students who have not yet paid chapter dues may attend by paying the $10 semester dues before attending. The $12 entry fee is paid at the door, and can be paid in cash, credit, or check made payable to NWO PRSA.

Networking will begin at 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 20 at Mancy’s Italian on Monroe Street.

If you have any questions or would like to RSVP, email


Meeting Recap 9/22/2014

Couldn’t make Monday’s meeting? Take a look at some of the discussion below!

Our speaker this week was Kelly Fritz Garrow, director of communications at the Toledo Museum of Art. Kelly is a BGSU grad who has worked in several nonprofit and for-profit organizations, such as Defiance Hospital, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Wauseon Chamber of Commerce, and Sunshine.

During her time at Sunshine, she started thinking about what her next step would be. She had been underemployed and overqualified for some time, and wanted to prepare herself for the next step. In 2007, she tested and received her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and subsequently pursued a masters degree in organizational leadership.

Soon after, Kelly heard of an opening at the Toledo Museum of Art. She applied, and out of more than 200 applicants, she got the job. She says it is the best job she has ever had. Below is some of her advice on working in the nonprofit world, and especially when it comes to digital communications.

Kelly says the nonprofit world is diverse — there are many different fields that are nonprofit. But one thing that is often true with these organizations is that one person can make a huge difference. In many cases, one person is in charge of all PR aspects of an organization. Because many can’t afford entire teams, it is up to one person to manage all of the organization’s media relations, social media, website, etc. It can be overwhelming and challenging for some, because not everyone is good at every aspect of PR.

This is why Kelly stresses the value of having a network like PRSA — though you may be good at writing and not as skilled at creating websites, someone in your network likely is. You can usually bounce ideas off of one another or ask for help in certain projects. Kelly has a small team at the museum, but she says she still relies on PRSA along with another group she is part of for new ideas and tips.

During our meeting, Kelly also broke down some of the digital communications at the Toledo Museum of Art and some of the challenges of doing social media for a nonprofit.

Museums are 10-15 years behind the rest of the world, as Kelly likes to say. She explains that when a museum is looking to bring new things into their collection, they usually are looking to keep them forever. The environment of a museum is based around longevity, which can make for an interesting dynamic when they try to use digital communications that are based around continuous updates.

The museum created their Facebook in 2009. Today, they have more than 58,000 likes — but Kelly says that number is often misleading. Because of the way Facebook is set up, the museum’s posts don’t always show up in their fans’ feeds. This is because Facebook wants businesses to pay to promote their posts — something many nonprofits can’t afford to do. Because of this, only about 900 of the museum’s 58,000 fans see each post. A large post may get 9,000.

Kelly says that these results differ among nonprofits — some have the money to pay for promoted posts. Others have content that is more likely to be shared. Nonprofits that deal with animals tend to do well, because many people want to share photos of animals on their social media. This leads to more views than an organic post on the organization’s page.

The museum also has a Twitter, which was started even before their Facebook. They currently have more than 27,000, which is one of the biggest followings in the Toledo area. Twitter is a much more useful tool, because unlike Facebook, there isn’t a need for promoted posts in order to be seen. The museum also tends to create specific hashtags to encourage community engagement with events and exhibits — one such hashtag is the #GameOnTMA for their exhibit “The Art of Video Games,” which ends this Sunday.

The museum also uses hashtags on their Instagram, which they only have had for a year. They have around 150 followers, and one of the hashtags they use is #TMAmoment. People use the hashtag when they visit the museum to showcase their personal experience, and occasionally the museum will share their photos on its own Instagram.

The museum’s YouTube channel has more than 800 subscribers, and they have been experimenting with it for a while. At first, they would only post videos of lectures, which were more than an hour long. Because not many people will sit down to watch an hour-long video, they have tried to diversify their videos  to provide some shorter ones as well. While their panel discussions still can get around 100 views, their Art of Video Games commercial has more than 6,000. It is only 31 seconds long.

Overall, the museum tries to strike a balance between the generations who get their news online and those who like more traditional methods of communication.

Some additional PRSSA announcements:

BASH is looking for a PR representative to help promote BASHcon, their yearly convention. If you are interested in helping out, send us an email at

Starting this year, PRSSA members must at least pay the $10/semester chapter fees if they wish to go to PRSA luncheons, socials, agency tours, and any other events outside of regular meetings. Regular meetings will remain free and open to the public.

Our next meeting will be at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7 in SU 2591. See you there!

Why pay dues? Here’s why!

This year, your $70 dues will be due at our October 20 meeting so that the chapter can submit dues to PRSSA National by November 1. But what does that $70 get you, and what makes your membership worth that amount of money?

First of all, let’s explain where that money goes. Of the $70 you pay each year, $50 of that goes to PRSSA National, and $20 goes to our chapter for the $10/semester chapter dues. Chapter dues pay for things like marketing expenses, speaker expenses, and any other expenses that relate to the function of the chapter. Members who pay chapter dues are allowed to attend PRSA luncheons each month, any agency tours hosted by PRSSA, and other programming outside of meetings. The PRSSA National dues are what get you most of your benefits, and we’ll explain some of those benefits below:

These are only some of the many benefits of being a paid PRSSA member. Many more can be found on the PRSSA website, which is full of information.

If you’re unsure whether you’re ready to fully commit to PRSSA, there are other payment options for you. Attending regular meetings is always free to everyone, no matter what. For those who only pay chapter dues ($10/semester), there is still the opportunity to attend PRSA luncheons and other PRSSA programming outside of regular meetings (agency tours, socials, etc.) This option is new this year, because we want to make the benefits of PRSSA accessible to more members.

There also is an opportunity to pay national dues during spring semester. We will provide more information about this when it gets closer to the time for dues. No matter when you pay national dues, the $50 remains the same and so does the length of time you pay for (If you pay November dues, your membership lasts November-November the following year. If you pay March dues, your membership is March-March).

If you ever have questions about dues, feel free to email us at We’re always happy to help!

Grab some ice cream and support PRSSA!

Hello everyone! From 6 to 9 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 19, our chapter will be having a fundraiser at the local Baskin Robbins! (1313 S. Reynolds Rd., Toledo, OH 43615)

Just show up any time between 6 and 9 p.m., buy whatever you want, and a portion of the proceeds will go to our chapter. We’re also splitting the proceeds with Food for Thought, a local nonprofit that feeds the hungry in Toledo. So not only will you be helping our chapter grow, you’ll be helping the hungry in our area!

We hope to see you there, and please pass the word on to all of your friends!

Volunteer for the uHeart Digital Media Conference!

Hello PRSSA members!

This year, PRSSA members have an opportunity to attend the 2014 uHeart Digital Media Conference free of charge by volunteering! The conference takes place Thursday, Oct. 9 and Friday, Oct. 10 at the Radisson Hotel on The University of Toledo’s Health Science Campus.

The two-day conference features speakers from Seelio, McGraw-Hill, Capstone Media, Gamer Saloon, Good F*cking Design Advice, and more. The conference focuses on how the communications field is evolving through the development of technology. To learn more, visit the conference’s about section of their website.Registration for students is normally $55, but PRSSA students who volunteer will get to attend the conference and go behind-the-scenes for free! We are looking for 5-7 volunteers, so if you are interested please be sure to let us know ASAP before spots fill up.

This opportunity is only available to students who regularly attend PRSSA meetings – it is not required to be a paid member, but paid members also can volunteer.

If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Sam Watson

Get published!

When it comes to building your resume and skills, PRSSA offers a lot of opportunities for students. One such opportunity is writing for PRSSA’s newspaper, FORUM, or the Progressions blog.

By writing for one (or both!) of these publications, students do a number of things, including:

-Improve writing skills, which are essential in any field within PR and communications;

-Get their name on a national publication seen by upwards of 12,000 people; and

-Add a valuable piece to their portfolio and resume.

Many students decide not to write for these publications because they are not confident in their writing skills, but the editors of both Progressions and FORUM are there to help! They provide valuable feedback and help you to create a well-written piece for publication.

Last year, UT PRSSA’s president Sam Watson had an article published on the front page of FORUM. Not only is her name at the very front of a national publication, but the University of Toledo is written right below her name. This brings recognition not only to the student, but to the chapter they represent as well!

If you are interested in writing for either publication (and you should be!), check out the News & Intelligence section of the PRSSA website for more information.

Come to the PRSA Luncheon!

It’s that time of year again! PRSA luncheons will be starting up again this month, and we’re inviting all of our members to attend.

This month’s luncheon is at 11:30 on Friday, September 19 at Mancy’s Italian. The cost for students is $12, which pays for your lunch and the speaker.

The speakers this month are Angie Clark of Clark Research Consulting, Inc.and Colleen Dowd Kollman of Kollman Research Services. They will discuss a variety of newer qualitative methodologies, such as online bulletin boards, web cams and mobile device-based tools, and how they can provide valuable insights into the experiences, behaviors and perceptions of consumers.

These lunches are a great way to network with a variety of professionals in the area and learn about the ever-changing field of PR and marketing. We strongly encourage every student to attend as many as possible.

If you would like to attend, please email no later than September 16, and tell us if you prefer chicken parmesan or lasagna!

A lesson in crisis PR from DiGiorno

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about the story of Ray Rice.

On Monday, thousands of women (and men) took to Twitter to discuss their experiences with domestic violence, using the hashtag #WhyIStayed. But DiGiorno, a frozen pizza company, used the hashtag without first doing their research. The tweet, “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.” means that DiGiorno now has joined the countless other companies with social media blunders. But there is a lesson here in the way they handled it.

Check out the full story from AdWeek here.

Meeting Recap 9/8/2014

Did you miss our meeting yesterday? No worries! Below is the Powerpoint presentation from last night’s meeting, with all of the information we covered.

What is PRSSA

Some important points to remember:

-Dues will be due at our October 20 meeting, they are $70 for the year ($50 for national dues, $20 for chapter dues). We must put together and mail all dues together as one check to PRSSA national by November 1, so the October 20 deadline is pretty rigid. Members also can pay in the spring if they wish, but they will not have full access to the PRSSA membership benefits until then.

-Our next meeting is at 8 p.m. Monday, September 22 in Student Union 2591. Our speaker this time will Kelly Garrow,  who has been director of communications at the Toledo Museum of Art since 2009, and oversees marketing, public/media relations, and digital communications.

-We will be begin planning for the annual Student Organization Gala soon, and any member is welcome to be a part of the planning committee. The event usually has more than 300 students from organizations around campus and is a great way to gain event planning experience.

-Meetings will be at 8 p.m. every other Monday in Student Union 2591.

-If you have any questions, contact us!