Tag Archives: Liberty University

Presidential Advice from Senior Kristen Gorsuch

I remember walking into my very first PRSSA meeting my freshman year. I looked at all the executives at the front of the room and never would have thought I would become one. Even with my lack of knowledge, experience, and confidence, for some reason God chose to use me and place me in a position outside of my comfort zone. It has been an amazing experience to lead PRSSA and be a member of a chapter that is thirsty to grow and learn.

I think one of the most appealing aspects of being a PRSSA member is getting a chance to get hands-on experience in our student-run firm, Innovations. My junior year, I was involved in planning the Special Olympics Virginia Polar Plunge. I gained experience writing a press release, visiting businesses to get donations, and working with a team to put on a fundraising event. Innovations allows students to put what they learn in the classroom into practice.

I have 3 pieces of advice to current and future PRSSA members:

1. Run for an executive position
There are 8 executive positions and each of them offer amazing ways to use your skills. Your future employers will love to see on your resume that you took the initiative to go above and beyond by being a leader.

2. Network

When you are a member of PRSSA, you will get to meet many professionals in the field of public relations. Innovations also gives you the opportunity to work for professionals and glean off of their experience. Take advantage of this time to network with them. Ask for their business card, connect with them on LinkedIn, ask them questions, etc. You never know…one day they could offer you a job!

3. Get involved in one of Innovations’ accounts
Each semester Innovations has at least 3 clients they are working with such as HIS Vision, Special Olympics Virginia, Club Sports, and more. Pick an account and get plugged in!

Social-rating website signs with Liberty University’s student-run public relations firm

Liberty University’s chapter of PRSSA promoting start-up company TengradeTM

Lauren Creekmore – Account Executive at Innovations – lcreekmore@liberty.edu
Joshua Gordon – Account Executive at Innovations – jcgordon2@liberty.edu


LYNCHBURG, Va. – The student-run public relations firm of Liberty University, Innovations, is announcing its partnership with TengradeTM, a social-rating tool and website. The organization’s site features simple web ratings, which allows users to rank any subject in the world.

Innovations-Logo-New“We see Tengrade as being the universal rating gadget for everyone and as such, we can think of no better place to introduce our technology than among the enthusiastic, passionate, and truly blue-blooded American youth in places like Liberty University,” Stu Strumwasser, co-founder and COO of TengradeTM, said. “Tengrade enables users to stop trusting ratings from strangers, and start relying on their friends and people who are similar to them.”

The website, Tengrade.com, is a mobile-friendly site that shows rankings of different subjects based on a user’s demographics.

“We are very excited to be partnering with the organization,” said Olivia Witherite, firm director for Innovations. “Tengrade offers a new and innovative idea, and it is a great way for Liberty students and others to share their opinions on any subjects that are important to them.”

Identity and Button ExperienceCurrently, TengradeTM, based in New York City, is one of Innovations’ four clients. All members of Innovations are full-time students who have the opportunity to perform work in a setting that mimics a public relations agency.

“For Tengrade, we don’t expect to enjoy our initial adoption at Harvard. It will be in regular places, like the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains,” Strumwasser said. “And we are thrilled about that.”

For more information, contact Joshua Gordon at jcgordon2@liberty.edu or Lauren Creekmore at lcreekmore@liberty.edu.

Innovations is the nationally affiliated firm under Liberty University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). PRSSA is a student-run organization for emerging public relations professionals who are looking to network and gain practical experience. The organization serves its members by enhancing their knowledge of public relations and providing access to professional development opportunities.


Editor’s Note: If you are signing up at Tengrade.com, please enter “liberty2013” into the referral box.

PRSSA National Conference 2013 in Philadelphia

Let’s get innovative

By Olivia Witherite (@oliviawitherite)

Before we dive into talking PR, allow me a second to introduce myself. My name is Olivia Witherite, and I am Innovations’ firm director. This fall semester marks my last at Liberty University before I head off into the real world. I am excited to start my career doing what I love: social media marketing in the sports field.

After more than three years in college (studying advertising, public relations and broadcast journalism,) countless public relations conferences and meetings, years of internships, full-time work and a recent trip to Philadelphia for PRSSA National Conference, I have learned one main thing: I still have so much to learn.

PRSSA National Conference 2013 in Philadelphia

PRSSA National Conference 2013 in Philadelphia

Public relations is a constantly evolving profession, and there are so many opportunities to keep learning. As stressed by many prominent speakers during my recent trip to Philly, if you want to be a public relations specialist, you must be a lifelong learner.

The intent of this blog is to showcase what we are learning through Innovations. While this post mainly serves as an introduction, I hope that I can start off this semester’s blog with a few pieces of wisdom that I have learned over the last few years.

1. Keep up.

If you’re not staying involved and updated with the current news and technologies, you’re behind. Read up on the latest industry news, watch the news and keep up with what your friends are sharing on social media. Some good places to start are Mashable, Forbes and the good, old-fashioned local news. Also, I wholeheartedly suggest signing up for Google Alerts.

2. Clean it up.

If your social media isn’t clean, you better go fix it now. You may think that your posts are set to just your “friends,” but people will see what you want to keep hidden. And while I’ve never personally hired someone for full-time employment, from personal experience and from others’ stories, I know that people are looking at potential employees’ profiles. Watch what you share, retweet, like and pin. Is the possibility of three retweets from your snarky subtweet really worth jeopardizing your future career endeavors?

3. Live it up.

OK, so maybe No. 3 sounds a little cheesy (or like a slogan for a teenage clothing company.) Regardless, I really mean it.

College and your early career are great times for learning and for establishing relationships. Take advantage of both.

If there’s an opportunity to go to a public relations conference, volunteer to go! You’ll learn a lot and be able to network with professionals in the industry. Also, it won’t be easy, but try your best to balance your social life with your work. We’re only young for so long, and the one thing I don’t want to leave college with is regret. Have fun because your current stage of life will be over before you know it!

Best of luck in your endeavors, and if you have any questions, leave a comment below or tweet me.

For more on me, check out my LinkedIn and my about.me.