FORUM Spring 2016 FORUM Spring 2016 - Page 2

FIRM OF THE ISSUE Built by Hand: Red Brick Communications Weaves History and Tradition Into Firm Culture High School Outreach 101 The Summer Checklist Everyone Should Follow BY SARAH JOHNSON PRSSA VICE PRESIDENT OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Although Red Brick Communications at Waynesburg University opened its doors less than five years ago, this Nationally Affiliated Student-run Firm embodies a legacy dating back to the mid-1800s. How did it achieve such a rich history so quickly? From its early stages of formation in 2011, the firm integrated the unique traditions of its university into every aspect of its brand. In doing so, Red Brick created a brand voice that emulates Waynesburg’s rich past while empowering and strengthening the public relations professionals of the future. The firm name, Red Brick Communications, is a nod to the distinctive infrastructure that distinguishes the Waynesburg campus. In the construction of the university’s first two buildings in the 1800s, students used clay deposits from a nearby lake to form more than 803,000 red bricks by hand. It is these bricks, fingerprints still visible today, that literally built the foundations of the university as well as symbolically built the foundations for a storied tradition. Red bricks have now become an important architectural aspect of every building on campus, and their meaningful history is the backbone behind Red Brick Communications’ brand voice and vision. “This truly one-of-a-kind story gives the firm a character of unique tradition and rich history,” said Waynesburg senior Jordan Mitrik, firm director at Red Brick Communications. “The name is perfect for the firm because bricks symbolize strength, and the firm and its members are definitely strong and confident in their abilities to be a reliable resource for their clients.” In the same way the first Waynesburg buildings were constructed by students, Red Brick operates first and foremost as a student-run entity — an aspect that defines the firm’s culture. Firm members are challenged personally and professionally to lead lives of purpose — Waynesburg’s mission — and to use that dedication and professionalism to produce outstanding work for the firm’s five pro bono clients. Among others, Red Brick aided the Special Olympics of Greene County in rebuilding its marketing strategy from the ground up, transforming it from a little-known program with zero athletes to a fully-functioning program competing at the regional level. Achievements like BY RYAN MCSHANE ACCOUNT MANAGER, TIAA-CREF Summer is just around the bend, but there is still time to effectively prepare for a productive and outcomes-focused internship. A checklist is a perfect tuneup tool that holds us accountable for meeting personal and professional goals. Reference my suggestions below to create your own checklist, and let’s make 2016 the year we started something big. Develop goals. BY VICTORIA LEWIS PRSSA VICE PRESIDENT OF ADVOCACY Assistant Firm Director Cassidy Graham (left) and Firm Director Jordan Mitrik (right) discuss client work at Red Brick Communications. Photo courtesy of Red Brick Communications. these help Red Brick’s leadership continue to build a firm culture focused on both professional development and a passion to better the community. “At the beginning of each year, myself and the rest of the firm’s leadership provide a lesson to members about the connection between Red Brick and the university,” says Mitrik. “We really stress the importance that there can be a connection between public relations and helping others, which makes the firm members work a little harder to make a lasting impact.” Like the university it so proud- ly represents, the foundation for this outstanding student-run firm has been laid — brick by brick, student by student. Red Brick Communications continues to look forward to serving a new and larger clientele, all the while maintaining the strong and historic firm culture that built it by hand. PREP CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Angela Yee, a graduate student in the Seton Hall University Master of Arts in Strategic Communication program, who was one of the first in the nation to pass the examination. The Certificate also helps students compete internationally for positions. Kimberley Martin, who graduated last May from Appalachian State University, is now a customer service communications officer at Hospital Lam Wah Ee in Penang, Malaysia, and credits the Certificate with helping her find a job after graduation. “I was i