FORUM Fall 2016 - Page 2

FIRM OF THE ISSUE Existing to Unite TALES FROM CUBELAND Cardinal Communications Empowers by Facilitating Relationships BY LIZ SKEELE PRSSA NATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DOs and DON’Ts Media Relations Follow-Through BY RYAN MCSHANE ACCOUNT MANAGER, TIAA-CREF DON’T bait and switch the reporter. Set expectations in advance and stick to the agreement. Pro Tip: Don’t offer exclusivity when you’ve blasted your pitch to every mommy blogger and social media guru on the planet. DO confirm your contact has everything they need to tell the story to the best of their ability. The Cardinal Communications Executive Board on their annual Chicago trip. Photo courtesy of Cardinal Communications. As emerging professionals, public relations students constantly feel pressure to gain real world experience and determine the direction of their career. The Nationally Affiliated Student-run Firm Cardinal Communications at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, exists to guide students through this process. As a creative communication agency, they work beyond traditional public relations practices to provide both digital and creative services to their clients. These projects give students the opportunity to sharpen their technical skills and see their work published before they’ve even graduated college. The firm’s legacy of success is renowned throughout Ball State’s communication program, and highly regarded by students, faculty and public relations practitioners in their community. Their reputation of excellence makes a competitive atmosphere, and many students apply to be part of the 80-member Student-run Firm every year. This past year they worked for 20 clients ranging from nonprofits to community organizations, including their local fire department. The work experience at Cardinal Communications allows students to enter the workforce far ahead of their peers. “The real-world work experience I gained at Cardinal Communications has been invaluable and prepared me for my future.” Katie Ronzio, Firm Director Professionalism is a crucial element of every Student-run Firm, but they like to have fun, too. Several students work on the Professional Development Committee to plan the numerous social events that happen throughout the year. Around midday, staff members are often found in the Cardinal Communications’ office eating lunch together. Additionally, at the end of each semester, the committee plans picnics so that students can share their successes with fellow members. Building bridges between the students is a high priority for the agency and it’s a principle that they’ve taken out of the classroom and into the community. By working for Muncie Downtown, Cardinal Communications has brought together the Muncie community with the students at Ball State. In the past, the two groups rarely interacted, but through the firm’s work Muncie’s attractions were better publicized to the college community. Students are now empowered with the knowledge of opportunities in their community, and the city realized the untapped potential on the college campus. Cardinal Communications’ service to the community was recognized by Ball State’s Student Life Organization with the Best Organizati