The benefits of social media and an online presence.

Posts tagged ‘Salisbury University’

A Successful Fundraising Drive

"Delmarva Public Radio. This is Michelle! May I take your pledge?"

“Delmarva Public Radio. This is Michelle! May I take your pledge?”

Congratulations to Delmarva Public Radio for raising more than $95,000 during its fall membership drive “The Future is Now.” And all thanks to the listeners!

I was never sure what I wanted to do with my public relations degree when I began school because there were so many different career paths available. However, I know working with a non-profit organization is something I am overwhelming happy to say that I have been able to experience in my lifetime. Delmarva Public Radio is a “listener-supported” public radio station and Delmarva sure proved that during this last drive.

I’m happy to share with you some of my favorite aspects of the fall drive!

1.) The Volunteers: Sitting in the phone room waiting for listeners to call seems like one of the most boring jobs a person could be tasked to do. However, it was fantastic! I was able to meet and chat with listeners, members of the Community Players of Salisbury, Blackwell Library workers and employees for the Siedel School at SU. I established a relationship with several key members of the DPR community and can’t wait to work together in the future.

2.) The Listeners: If you thought sitting in the room sounded boring, imagine answering the phones and recording pledges for the drive. But you guessed it; it was just as great! All of the pledges I took came from loyal listeners or new members who were happy to share their favorite shows as well as how much they couldn’t live without our station. Several times they began their call with a small explanation of how they didn’t have much to give but they would be happy to contribute $30. And I was amazed. Someone who didn’t have much to give still put aside funds and had it in their heart to call and support the station. Speaking with those pledging was a humbling experience.

3.) Pitching: I’m an actress and a huge fan of public speaking so going on-air at the station sounded like an exciting opportunity.  But for the record, it’s terrifyingly exciting. Dead air is the one thing a radio station cannot have, so losing your train of thought or running out of things to say sounded like my worst nightmare. But it felt amazing. I went on to explain the drive hashtag and to encourage listeners to call in their pledges and speak to me. Pitching was a success!

I know working at a public radio station is something very specific and not something that everyone will be able to experience, but I feel great doing it. And I hope that each of you find your niche and have the opportunity to participate in something you enjoy as much as I did this.

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Oh, You’re A Communications Major?

“If a young man tells his date how handsome, smart and successful he is – that’s advertising. If the young man tells his date she’s intelligent, looks lovely, and is a great conversationalist, he’s saying the right things to the right person and that’s marketing. If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is – that’s PR.” – S. H. Simmons

As a Communications Arts major at Salisbury University, I often hear outsiders or business students commenting on the pointlessness of a degree in Communications. “You already know how to communicate.” “What are you going to do with a degree in that?” “You’re not going to be able to get a job.”

Again, as a studious P.R. student, I thank them for their input and refrain from letting them know that they are clearly wrong. If you like science, you get a science degree to learn the process behind it and hone your skill so you can work in the field that you love. What people don’t get sometimes is that is exactly what I am doing. I enjoy people; I enjoy speaking; I enjoy mediating and conflict resolution; I enjoy planning; all of these are aspects of public relations.

So, what am I going to do with a degree in Communication Arts? Or Public Relations?
Anything.

I’m going to do anything I want because the options are endless. Specifically for me, I could be a wedding planner, a fund-raiser, an account executive, a speech writer, a social media coordinator, or a corporate conference planner. My friends could be journalists, counselors, sales managers, or lobbyists. I guess that counters the statement of me not being able to find a job.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t be discouraged. You’re not a Communications major because Mom and Dad need you to have a college degree or because you’re lazy. You’re doing what you love. I get it. The business student or the law student will probably if not certainly make more money than I do in the future, but I’ll make more money than my best friend teaching English to Arabic-speaking students in Jordan. Do you think she loves her life any less than I love mine? Do you think she regrets her choice of major? The answer will always be no.

So when you get asked questions like the ones I’m asked, just keep learning, keep planning, and if only for once, stop listening.

A Public Radio Overhaul: Press Release Chaos

First thing’s first. I recognize that I’m going to be spilling my experience with Delmarva Public Radio all over this blog. You may get tired of hearing about it, but I’m not saying “look at me and my fancy radio position.” Every job is cool and exciting in a different way and I’m just ready to share the inside knowledge of what I get to witness and be a part of as the Membership Assistant.

Moving on! Today was a huge day for Delmarva Public Radio!

After the appointment of a new General Manager this summer, Dana E. Whitehair, Delmarva Public Radio is doing a much needed overhaul of the station. Salisbury University has invested a lot of time and money into sustaining public radio and DPR is doing its part to generate and keep listeners by making changes.

Today, I arrived at the office in a purple plaid shirt and jeans believing it to be a normal data-input/money processing type of day. Boy, was I wrong. My director Angela Byrd receives a telephone call while I’m in her office and she looks at me, smiles, tells the person on the phone that I am there as well as what I am wearing, gives a thumbs up and then hangs up. I had just become the student fill-in for a press release photo op.

After the Public Relations director for the college arrived and I borrowed my boss’s shirt for the photo, we rushed to gather information about the new programming that Delmarva Public Radio will begin airing on Monday. This press release is the first time anyone outside of the station will know that DPR is changing its format. DPR listeners are loyal and eternally supportive, but they are also the majority funding behind the station. The press release had to assure the community that the programming changes will catch the attention of a broader spectrum of listeners and ultimately lead to a stronger station. And it did!

In between photo ops and press release emails, we ran to the publications office to submit work orders for a new logo, bumper stickers, and an updated media kit. Publicity and promotion are no joke! And the public relations world moves faster than you realize.

In the end, Delmarva Public Radio officially announced its new programming schedule. And I finally realized that the real world is just as chaotic as the world of homework and college classes.

Sometimes you just have to wing it!

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Why No One Responds to Your E-mails

Let’s face it. No one responds to your e-mails.

If you have any marketing or sales experience, you know this for a fact. But in the public relations field, e-mail is one of the fastest ways to communicate a message, make an impression, or promote an event or organization. So what are we doing wrong?

First: If you haven’t already, you need to create an e-mail signature. Go into the basic settings of your email account and there should be an html box that will allow you to insert a signature. If you can’t find this setting, try searching the word “signature” in the help section. Once you find it, do not just type in your name. You should include all necessary information about your company and position, education if necessary, and contact information. For example:

Michelle Malinger
D
elmarva Public Radio

Membership Assistant

Salisbury University 2013
Communication Arts Major 

410-555-5555
mmalinger1@gulls.salisbury.edu
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mmalinger

This establishes you as a professional and gives information to those you may want to contact you in the future.

Next: Throw your mind back to primary school. When you wrote your first Valentine, what did it say?

Dear Ryan,
I like those new shoelaces your mom got you. Be my boyfriend.
Love,
Michelle

You had a salutation and a closing. Don’t be afraid to write them again! A “Greetings” or “Good morning” shows your personality and a “Sincerely” or “Regards” politely brings your e-mail to a close. These simple steps make you sound a thousand times more professional and are actually aesthetically pleasing when you look at your finished product.

Also: Don’t neglect your subject line! How often have you trashed an e-mail before even opening it? All the time, right? The key to a successful e-mail is making the recipient want to open it. Make them curious. Show them how they will benefit from your connection. For example, if you’re inviting them to a fundraising event for Salisbury University’s soccer team, tell them “Your classmates need your help.” Or something that will invoke a sense of obligation to their school community.

Finally: Make it short and sweet. In a fast paced world, we scan articles and e-mails when we actually care what they are saying, not to mention something we may disregard as unimportant to us. The recipient will ask “what’s in it for me” (WIIFM?) and you should answer immediately. Even if it’s an emotional benefit or recognition from peers. Be honest and to the point. Tell the necessary dates if it is an event and provide contact information even it is provided in your signature.

If you can successfully master the art of e-mailing, your response rates will improve greatly and fewer e-mails will need to be sent. Work smarter, not harder! Good luck!

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