Opportunity in Action at Phillips Group

Editor’s note: Today we continue our learning adventure in Australia. Here Madison Hesseltine and Sterling Payne write about our visit to one of Australia’s leading PR agencies. 

The students of UCM were fortunate to be invited to the Phillips Group office to learn and engage with the public relations professionals of Phillips Group. Phillips Group is “an award winning, strategic communications, creative and digital company.” They do everything from media relations and branding to auditing and reviewing. The managing director of the group, Stephanie Paul, gave us an overview of the firm and insight about what we should expect during our visit. We split up into five groups and rotated around the office to listen to five different case studies presentations.  The case studies covered a wide variety of strategy-based public relations work from social media to media relations and community engagement. IMG_6542

One of the projects we learned about was The Queensland Anzac Centenary grants program. The project was from 2014-2018. The grants program helped communities deliver projects that honor the legacy of Australian servicemen and women. It also commemorated the 100 years since Australia’s involvement in WWI. 

Another project we learned about was the Michael Hill Jewellers project. In 2017, they planned to open a global flagship luxury store on George Street in Sydney. Their intent was to extend the brand into the premium luxury jewelry market. The results of the program were highly successful as a grand opening featured celebrities, influencers and social elite, politicians and many other official guests.

After the presentation sessions, we were treated to genuine Australian food. we sampled meat pies, sausage rolls and Australian sparkling drinks. We learned some interesting facts about Australia and learned some Aussie colloquialisms. For example, McDonald’s is often called Maccas, barbeque can be known as barbie, and Christmas can be known as Chrissie.IMG_6541

It was very interesting to learn about workplace culture and environment which is slightly different than back home,  but overall the similarities around how PR in Australia is practiced is very much comparable. Nicole Mense said, “It was very insightful to see how PR and marketing work together and how successful it is. After listening to the case studies from the Phillips Group professionals, we learned that the way Australians do PR, marketing and advertising is not much different than we do it in  The United States.IMG_6543

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#OpportunityInAction at QUT

This post was written by Shelby Bueneman, Madison Hesseltine and Fatemeh Ghazaei Najafabadi.

One of the many things that the University of Central Missouri prides itself on is the opportunities that they provides for their students.

On Thursday, December 13 we went to the QUT campus where we met a panel of professionals. The panel included Lisa Tam who moderated, alongside Nicolas Grech, Kaitlyn Gilles, Stephanie Mckell, and Eunice Tsai. Each professional at one point or another was linked to QUT now or in the past. Also, they practice with public relations, marketing and advertising.

During this visit we learned about how public relations and marketing in Australia differ from the United States. In Australia, a growing proportion of marketing budgets have been allocated to PR. Also public relations tends to be more resilient than advertising, especially during economic downturns. A great piece of advice they provided us with was to “justify what you do and why it is valuable.”

They also provided us with fun facts about different Australian customs and staples. From the Australian favorite spread, vegemite, to their nickname for swimwear of budgie smugglers. Along with fairy bread, Tim Tams, keep cups and genuine Australian souvenirs. What shocked us the most was learning about the overpopulation of kangaroos, and how they are considered pests to some Australians. They are allowed to hunt them and use their fur as well as other parts for souvenirs.

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“I thought that the panel was very informative and gave us an insight into Brisbane culture.” said Nicole Mense, one of the students on the trip. The presentation really helped the students develop a sense of how the country operates. It was a great opportunity for faculty and students alike to learn from the QUT panel about the country and its culture.

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The Adventure Continues

The next group of students to post from our Australian adventure is Shelby Bueneman, Taryn Burks and Jessica Santangelo.

Arriving to Brisbane was a bit of a process. First, we flew in from Sydney and from there we bussed our way to our hostel. Our hostel is a smaller building located by the river, called Brisbane City YHA. The rooms, however, are small, but there are options varying from the basic shared rooms from four beds to six beds, as well as private rooms. The hostel offers a gorgeous view from the roof including a roof-top pool, seating area, hammocks, as well as a bar/cafe near the reception area. It is located on the top of a hill that we all became familiar with as a group when we had to trudge our luggage from the bottom on up in the Brisbane heat. The average temperature during our two- week trip in the gorgeous city of Brisbane, is around 75-80 degrees.

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After checking into our hostel, we familiarized ourselves with the rooms quickly to then head on a short tour with our guide Cole, who showed us around the Brisbane City area. During the walking tour, we saw the Brisbane Treasury, beautiful restaurants, gorgeous architecture, and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) campus. What we immediately noticed, is that the city is similar to the United States in ways, but the greenery was way more prominent. One thing Cole told us about Brisbane, is that they pride themselves in keeping their city clean and enforce this constantly, which explains the beauty of the QUT campus.

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Also we immediately had to adjust to the opposite directions of the streets and the sidewalks to where we had to walk on the left side instead of the right, and look to the left when crossing the streets as well.

The QUT campus is located next to the botanical gardens where students can visit and enjoy the scenery in between classes. IMG_0670

The QUT campus has super-advanced technology, check out this whole wall taken up by a projected display of images.

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The furniture was very modern and the architecture was advanced as well. The rooms were very spacious with tall ceilings and many of the classrooms have glass walls.

To wrap up our tour of Brisbane City and the QUT Campus, Cole guided us to a popular area in the city, Queen Street Mall. From there, he let us all go our separate ways to explore the shops and different dining options around the outdoor mall.

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Australian vs. American: the Difference is Clear

Editor’s note: This post comes to us from Sarah Arnett, Sydney Halas and Nicole Mense

People speaking with Australian accents, driving on the left side of the road and enjoying 80 degree weather in December.  This is what the average person believes to be true about experiencing Australia–and they would be right.

UCM students, however, are finding out the differences between American and Australian culture go much deeper than surface level.  The study abroad group has had the opportunity to appreciate the giving Australian culture, the interesting food and adapting to a new country’s slang.

As many students on this adventure are public relations majors, they have been utilizing their networking skills every chance they are given.  Locals have explained how much they value their country, their customs, and most importantly their people.  Australians seem to have a much greater sense of community as told by Lisa Tam.

“Australians choose to respect each other at a higher level than many other countries because we know how successful we can be when we are working together,” said Tam.

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Another area where Australians have major respect is the environment.  It is rare to see trash sitting on the ground or rolling in the streets, unlike the United States. Students have noticed similarities between Australian and United States cuisine, but there are also many differences–particularly involving the actual dining experience.  In Australia, customers view the menu outside of the restaurant, order at the bar and seat themselves.  Customers can enjoy Australian specialties such as kangaroo, lamb and meat pies.  For Missourian tourists, the tropical fruit that is currently available in Australia is a sweet treat for smoothies, acai bowls or fresh fruit juice.  After enjoying a meal, tipping is not expected as servers are paid a liveable a wage and contribute less to the dining experience.

A huge part of the Australian experience is learning to understand their slang and common phrases.  Confusion has arisen on multiple occasions for students when they are asked if they want a “takeaway.”  In Australia, conservation of the environment is important, so a “takeaway” or plastic bag must be purchased when shopping.  Thanks to these environmental efforts, not many plastic bags are thrown away in the “rubbish.”  The new name for an American trash can is slightly different than what is seen in the states, but it did not take long to adjust to.

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UCM students touched down in Brisbane only 48 hours ago, but they have gained a wealth of knowledge about Australian culture in that time. Throughout the next seven days, that knowledge will continue to grow as students further immerse themselves in Australian culture.

 

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Ready to explore

Editor’s note: today we hear from Kylie Dillon, Alex Nuelle and Yousef Alagha.

G’day mate! Arriving to Sydney Australia at 8 am was a bit of a struggle. A 16-hour plane ride over the Pacific Ocean is not one that you’d take on a normal trip in the United States, however it was one I’ll never forget. The anticipation was finally over. As soon as we could see the country of Australia you could see the relief on everyone’s faces. Everyone looking out the widow, people waking up people next to them to look at the beautiful country, the excitement was increasing. We were finally here. Right off the bat you could hear the accents in people voices, but not just Australian accents, ones from all over the world. Since arriving, I’ve learned that not many Americans come to Australia. Why you might ask? Well, the plane ride says it all.

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After the short plane ride to Brisbane, we were rested and ready to go! At first, it didn’t even feel like we were in another country at all, until we realized that walking on the right side on the sidewalk was NOT the way to do it. People could definitely tell we just arrived! When we made it to the YHA, we had a short time to settle in. Our guide, Cole, took us around the city. We got to see many restaurants, shops and even some amazing wildlife at the botanical garden. The botanical garden even has WiFi so we can work on our assignments while enjoying the weather and the beautiful views. The QUT campus was absolutely beautiful and we are so excited to be able to visit it multiple times during our stay.

 

IMG_2126 We noticed from the moment we landed that everyone is so polite and patient here. The slang and sarcasm is something we’ll definitely have to get used to. One thing that particularly stood out was that you do not have to tip your servers. The minimum wage here is about $18 an hour and most people will not accept a tip. Walking around and learning about the culture here is something we want to continue to do. So far, the group and we have had an amazing time and we’re not sure that we’ll be ready to leave when the time comes.

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Switching Snow for Sunshine

Editors note: Our students are developing blog posts and social media content as part of the learning process for our study abroad trip in Australia. We’ll be posting them here along the journey. We have two posts to share that students prepared before our trip. The first is from Sarah Arnett, Sydney Halas and Taylor Thompson. Then we hear from Taylor Long, Yousef Alagha and Alex Nuelle.

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While many Missourians may be trudging through layers of ice and snow in early December, the UCM Public Relations Program will be soaking up the sun in the land down under.

In the first study abroad trip in UCM PR’s history, students of all majors and public relations professors will embark on a journey that includes learning through every step of the way.  Students will expand their knowledge of public relations and international travel, enjoy unique opportunities, and immerse themselves in Australian culture.

Students will engage in learning on their first tour in Brisbane while visiting the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) campus.  Over the course of two days, students will attend workshops put on by professionals.  This visit will enable students to get involved as they create and present a blog or social media post with UCM’s new tagline in mind, “Opportunity in Action.”  After the second afternoon at the QUT campus, students will speak with the Phillips Group.  Here, students will discuss case studies, listen to presentations, and receive materials that will assist them as future professionals.

Of course, this study abroad trip is not all work.  The itinerary includes one day dedicated to enjoying the Gold Coast.  The group will arrive at Surfers Paradise shortly after 11 a.m. and have the day to themselves.  Some students plan to do more than just lounge on the beach.

“I have always been interested in marine life, but I have never gotten the opportunity to experience it first hand,” said Nicole Mense, a junior marketing major.  “On the day we go to beach, I am renting a snorkel and goggles to explore the ocean.”

To wrap up the trip, the group will visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.  This stop on the journey will integrate entertainment and learning.  Students will have free time to explore the sanctuary after visiting with employees to discuss how the sanctuary operates.

All the organized visits will provide learning opportunities for students, but one aspect of the trip that may provide more experience than any other is staying in the Brisbane City Youth Hostel.  The trip was strategically planned to take place during the holiday season.  This allows UCM students to interact with others from universities all around the world also on vacation.  As many students on the trip are public relations majors, it is important they learn to implement their networking skills in every possible situation.

Students and staff alike will have a busy schedule this winter break learning about international travel and public relations, partaking in excursions, and soaking up Australian culture.

Alumni, family and anyone interested in UCM PR’s first study abroad trip should follow this blog. It will be updated by students on the trip with posts including videos and pictures highlighting their group and individual adventures.  Even if the reader is at home layering up to brave the Missouri winter, they will, at least, have the opportunity to experience the land down under in spirit with UCM students and staff.

The Land Down Under

Taylor Long, Yousef Alagha and Alex Nuelle

The time has finally come. After what seems like an eternity of waiting and preparation we are finally heading to Australia, also known as “The Land Down Under”. Follow us on our journey to the great country of Australia and the beautiful city of Brisbane to see and hear about more!

Over 30 of us including students from several different majors as well as a few faculty and staff will be making the long journey to Australia from Kansas City . We have learned the slang, seen the places, and even learn some of their culture but now it’s time to finally get there and see how different this place is!

Before leaving we met several times with Dr. Hansen-Horn and talked about all the exciting things we would do while in Australia, how the time change would affect us and all the unique opportunities we would have to explore the city and surrounding areas. From workshops at QUT (Queensland University of Technology), and exploring the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary to walking around Brisbane on a warm sunny day and trying all sorts of new foods, we’ll be sure to see and do it all and post about it in our blogs.

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The city of Brisbane has so many things for us to see and do while we are there. Activities range anywhere from staying in the city touring a botanical garden to venturing outward and going on a rainforest tour in the Toohey Forest. There will surely be no shortage of activities for us to do in our free time while we are there.

As we pack our bags, with only a few short days before we embark on our trip, our anxiety is at an all-time high and our minds are full of ideas as to what life will be like while we are there.  Along with a whole new culture, a new unique group of people awaits us along with all sorts of new foods to try, sights to see and slang to learn.

We can’t wait to update our friends and families back home on such an amazing trip. Come on this journey with us and follow our blog and social media accounts!

Twitter: @UCM_PR_Program

Facebook: @ucmpr

Instagram: @ucm_pr.

 

 

 

 

 

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Greetings from Australia!

mo in brisbaneG’Day everyone, Prof. Heapes with just a quick note to let you know we are all safe and sound and have made it to beautiful Australia!

While it was about 33 hours from the time we all got to the Kansas City airport until we arrived in Brisbane, we are all super energized to be part of this great opportunity. Over the next several days we’ll be sharing the students’ observations and adventures from the Queensland University of Technology to the beach and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

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It’s almost time for Australia

It’s almost time for all 36 of us UCM PR program students, friends and faculty to head for the Land Down Under. Australia here we come. The Mules are Brisbane-bound.

We joined forces before leaving and spent time in and out of the classroom learning about passport applications and renewal, visa criteria, international purchases, different time zones, and planning for 230 voltage malfunctions, among other things. Additionally, technology has let us make plans with Queensland University of Technology – Brisbane faculty for a two-day workshop. We’ll meet all kinds of new people and exchange diverse ideas; we’ll plan and devise a host of interesting study abroad social media posts and blogs. We’ll even be evening guests of the Phillips Group.AUS class meeting

As we stand on the cusp of our departure, our excitement about experiencing and learning new things is contagious. Most of those traveling with us have never been outside the US borders. And, while we know we will depart Kansas City December 9 in hoodies and winter coats, we know we’ll arrive in Australia needing our shorts and flip flops.

Sunny skies and warm days, here we come. We’ll even lose an entire day on the way over and find it on our way back. What an experience.

We’ve got graduate and undergraduate, and UCM family and faculty traveling together. It’s already an energizing and diverse experience. How invigorating to meet and interact professionally with others from your same university who have different interests and degree programs. How exciting to meet more than 30 Australian professionals and form new relationships with them. New friendships are taking place, as well as professional network building sure to last a lifetime.

With a lot of people and at lot of plans, the public relations worldview in us guarantees a host of storytelling during this trip. From using Adobe Connect meeting technology to bring our travel agents to us during on-campus class meetings (they came to us simultaneously from Colorado and Tennessee), to “teleporting” a student in from Cape Girardeau, Missouri we’ve already had some robust and real-time exchanges of ideas. We’ll tell you all about it from the students’ perspectives.AUS t-shirt back

You can travel with us, at least through the blogs we’ll share and social media posts we’ll make. Our story can be your story.

All of the traveling students will be involved in the storytelling process, helping you experience what they experience “along the way” and as part of “opportunity in action.” Sign up right now for blog notifications by entering your email address in the upper right hand box found at www.ucmprprogram.com (the host of this particular blog). And, be sure to follow us (before we leave) on Twitter at @UCM_PR_Program, like our Facebook page (and follow it if you want notifications of posts) at @ucmpr and, finally, team up with us on Instagram @ucm_pr.cropped-ucm_studyabroad_australia_1757x738.png

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Alumna research spotlight

We’re super proud of all of our alums, so many of you are going on to do great work in our profession.Today we say congratulations to our own Cara Mahon. Cara earned her master’s degree recently from the University of Missouri.

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Cara, who works for AWG,  did some really interest research for her thesis about how independent grocery retailers (like AWG members) can successfully market and communicate their online grocery shopping offerings to their customers to secure sales online and in-stores. She did this through marketing email communications.

Here is a summary of the research Cara posted on AWG’s blog and was nice enough to let us share here.

Students and anyone reading this who might be interested in public relations, this is a great example of the kind of work people are executing in the public relations profession.

Thanks Cara, we’re super proud of you. Let us know what you’ve been up to and we’ll be glad to share it here.

 

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From first generation UCM student to first time international traveler

You may or may not know that many UCM students are first generation college students. Likewise, most students wanting to travel with us in December to the Land Down Under will be first time international travelers. It’s a terrific opportunity to expand worldly visions and connect with Queensland University of Technology School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations colleagues, as well as many other Australian professionals, through engaged learning experiences.

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You Can Help!

This is where you come in. Because most UCM students work one, two or three jobs to put themselves through college, and because UCM can no longer help students study abroad as easily as it could in the past through study abroad scholarships, we’re appealing to alumni and friends to help scholarship students’ Australia trip.

Our traveling abroad opportunity will allow students to experience a new culture, train with professionals, and visit organizations that do business in other countries. These are priceless experiences. UCM students who’ve applied for the December 2018 study abroad Australia experience know this too. They just need financial support to get there.

It’s easy to support the students, many who’ve already been saving for the trip for more than a year. Just click and give here: https://www.ucmfoundation.org/donation-pages/donation-form-pr-travel. Simply choose “other” in the dropdown menu.

Any contribution amount counts. It all goes to a designated fund overseen by the UCM Alumni and Foundation Office. Funds received for this purpose will be evenly distributed across all Australia-bound UCM students.

We leave Dec. 9 and return Dec. 21. Students from all majors and all points in their college career can travel with us and learn through the two classes associated with the trip. December graduates can go to Australia with us and complete their UCM credits earned through the trip (and accompanying assignments) in time to graduate. The two classes relevant to the trip are PR 4600 PRomotion and Australia, and PR 4600 PRomotion and International Travel. The courses are structured to adapt to students’ areas of expertise.

To learn more about the once-in-a-lifetime trip, click here: https://ucmprprogram.com/australia2018

#UCMStudentsHeadToTheLandDownUnder #UCMGoesToAustralia

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