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Creatives: Create Your Online Brand!

Are you a creative in 2020, struggling with getting your art and design out into the bustling competitive online community? Are you having trouble creating an online presence as a writer, animator, poet or traditional artist? Here are some of 1853 Communication’s self-representative tips for expanding your creative brand.

Organize your portfolio

I know artists and writers are sick of hearing this but before you can start putting your name out into the professional world you have to have an up-to-date portfolio of your work. It is key to staying organized and feeling like a professional in your field. If you’re a writer, take some time to organize your writing into an archive. If you’re an animator or an artist, buy an external drive to store digital copies of your pieces. There are some great platforms for archiving writing like Notion or even just good old Google Drive.

Create an online “hub”

Now that you have your work ready to share, it’s time to figure out how! The first step is social media, if you’re striving for individuality in your brand it’s important for your audience to know who you are. Ask yourself these questions: Who is your audience and how can you reach them? Do want to sell your art to individuals or businesses? Are you trying to market a book to a certain demographic?  Who will commission your work? Depending on your answers, your audience could range from college students to dentists’ offices, but the good thing is that they all have social media in common. Think about creating a business page on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and even TikTok and get involved in the creative community there. Follow other creative professionals, build connections in the field you wish to be a part of. There is an audience out there, you just have to give them a place to gather! If you choose to create a website for your work it should be concise and easy to maneuver like an online resume, and always include your name, and professional ways of contact.

Spread your brand!

Now that you have a page it’s time to create an online presence and brand. Decide a mission statement for yourself, what does your art mean? Are you an animator whose art style you think would be perfect for children’s television, or a poet wishing to sell copies or your newest collection? Lean into your style and create a brand based on your creation’s individuality. Create mystery around the content you post. If you’re a poet, post lines from your poetry and encourage them to buy your book or check out your website for more. If you’re an artist post a short video of you creating your newest work and encourage your audience to buy it or commission a piece like it! Don’t worry about not having a large following at first, if you remain consistent, organized and engaged, you can develop active and loyal followers interested in supporting your work.

COVID-19 changed the world in so many ways

COVID-19 changed the world in so many ways. People worldwide have to adapt to those changes to perform their normal day-to-day, especially people who are working during the pandemic. As the virus continues to be a significant issue, there’s a whole group of people who are now working from home for the first time. Whether that’s you or you’re looking to help someone strive to keep productivity going out of the office, here’s a few things that might help make the transition seamless and how to stay sane when working remotely.

Make a dedicated workspace
It would be pleasant to work from the comfort of your bed; it’s not the most helpful way to bring out your best work. As a commuter student who did most work in the bedroom, I can tell you this: keep work separate from the bedroom. Your space should serve as a sanctuary that doesn’t contain the stressors of work. Create an area that you can work in that’s separate from the places where you relax.

Keep a schedule
When you no longer have to commute to work, you might find that you don’t have to do the things you’d typically do. It seems alluring to sleep into the last minute before you have to start working, but you wouldn’t make the most of your time. It’s essential to keep to your usual schedule. Wake up early, eat breakfast, workout. You can take the time you spend commuting doing something productive. While it’s nice to sleep in, you’d feel better if you make the most of your time.

Make sure you have the things you need
Working in an office is easy because you already have everything you need. You don’t need to worry about office supplies, printers, internet speed, etc. When working from home, you want to make sure you’re ready to go for the week. Whether you need to increase your internet speed, obtain malware, and antivirus software to secure company information, make sure you have everything you need to make the transition as seamless as possible.

When five o’clock rolls around
At the end of the workday, walk away from work. Go to your sanctuary and relax. You deserve it. It can be easy to overlook the time and work till late, but keep in mind that people will be working from home for an undetermined amount of time. You don’t want to burn yourself out at the beginning of the week. Separate your work life from your personal life as much as you can. As I said above, it’s essential to keep to a schedule, and that means having the time to unwind and rest for the next day. You may find yourself in limbo when you’re working from home, so for your sake, keep a healthy balance between work and life even if your office is in the comfort of your home.

6 Tips For Staying Focused In A Zoom Meeting

Due to the ongoing pandemic this year many businesses and schools have switched over to virtual means of meetings and learning. This means for many people that they have to combine their work and home lives into one, which can be very challenging. During this working from home situation, it is important to stay focused and aware of what is going on in your meetings without the distractions of your personal life coming through. Here are some tips to help you stay focused and successful during Zoom meetings or Zoom class.

Isolate yourself

Seeing real people can be far more interesting than watching people on your screen, however that makes them much more likely to be a distraction. Try sitting in a quiet room away from any family members, roommates or others that could potentially take your attention away from your meeting. If you are in a loud setting maybe consider getting noise canceling headphones to block out any unnecessary noise.

Eliminate small distractions

Simply muting your cell phone or turning off the T.V. can make a big difference in how often you are looking away from your meeting. Fighting the urge to fall asleep can also be a distraction during a meeting, so taking the time to get out of bed and into a desk can help to focus on the task at hand.

Take notes

Have a notepad and pen on hand! Whether your meeting is school or job related, taking notes can help you stay focused on what is being discussed during the meeting. Taking brief notes about your zoom meeting can help refresh your memory after the zoom call is finished as well!

Prepare your work space

Take the time to prepare your workspace with everything you need before your meeting begins. This can prevent you from having to take away time and attention from your zoom meeting to grab a pen or notepad.

Be fully awake!

Wake up with plenty of time to get yourself ready for your meeting. Eating a good breakfast in the morning, or even just grabbing a coffee can help you stay focused. Also maintaining good lighting in the room you join your meeting in can help decrease the likelihood of you wanting to fall asleep or becoming drowsy on Zoom.

Take breaks

Many people are now experiencing what is called ‘Zoom Fatigue’, which comes with excessive amounts of staring at a screen. To combat this you should take breaks in between meetings and either take a walk, stretch or just relax. Give yourself time to switch between meetings and topics


Halloween is an annual festivity where people of all ages are free to play pranks, wear outrageous costumes, and eat their weight in candy. Unfortunately, the holiday is the latest victim of the Corona Virus. The pandemic has restricted large gatherings of people, subsequently canceling haunted houses, costume parties, and trick or treating. The threat of COVID-19 has encouraged candy companies to instill more creative marketing campaigns this season.

Hershey’s is responsible for creating many of our favorite childhood candies, and now they’ve made it their mission to save Halloween. They’ve enlisted help from the Halloween Costume Association and the Harvard Global Health Institute to build a website where users can access a geographical map. The map measures the risk of covid in each state and its counties. The risk level corresponds with a chart that details alternate methods of celebration. To help maintain the tradition of knocking on doors while simultaneously respecting safety guidelines, Hershey has installed Reese’s doors in select locations where trick or treaters can knock and retrieve candy from its mail slot.

Mars Wrigley prepares for the Halloween season two years in advance, but the pandemic shattered their carefully devised marketing plan. They needed to work quickly to create a new tactic around the unprecedented phenomenon. Instead of hosting their usual festivities, Mars has created “Treat Town;” a free app providing a virtual Trick or Treat experience where users can obtain credits redeemable for real candy.

Big box companies have managed to quickly adapt to a new version of the spooky season, but what about families or small businesses that do not have access to millions of dollars? What about older groups who had high hopes for a Halloween party?

Families wanting to be extra careful have resorted to a trick or treat at home, transforming their bedroom doors into different themed rooms for their children. Communities have taken advice from the Easter bunny and transformed their neighborhoods into a spooky wonderland complete with a candy scavenger hunt.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much maneuvering around CDC guidelines regarding hosting a Halloween bash. A small gathering themed around mask oriented characters are ideal, but party alternatives exist for celebrators wanting to stay extra safe this holiday season.

The Rainforest Car Wash in Medina, Ohio, has transformed a usually mundane errand into an excitingly haunting experience where guests enjoy candy and screams. Carwashes around the country have followed suit forming an irresistible trend. For those who reminisce in haunted houses, Drive-thru haunted houses have become an exciting new activity. Their owners have displayed real talent in prop making and acting talent, assuring the same if not, better quality than pre-social distance times. Drive-in movies are a revived outing appealing to those who aren’t fond of jump scare attractions. Great for a small group of friends to relax and those who can’t remember their last visit to a movie theater!

Although Halloween will be very different than previous years. To ensure Halloween 2020 will be equally as fun as past celebrations and twice as safe, businesses and families have banded together with limited resources to create new seasonal traditions that many will look forward to long after Corona. When life returns to normal, we will recall their creativity and effort with gratitude.

My Experience with a Virtual PR Internship

This semester I am interning at the public relations firm VMS Communications. The purpose of this blog post is to highlight what I have learned so far and how my education at Arcadia has aided me.

VMS Communications is a Houston-based public relations firm run by Michelle Stephenson. My role in this internship is as her assistant where I aid her with clients and assist with projects. The firm is currently going through a rebrand where she wants to become more focused on catering to black-owned and women-owned businesses. Due to her being based in Houston my internship has been entirely online. I prefer this method of work because it lessens (in my opinion) the stress of having to physically be present.

As far as the actual work I’ve done so far with her company, it has varied in importance and quantity depending on the client. Throughout the semester I have aided Michelle in drafting press releases, curating a list of celebrities to pitch to, researching possible clients, and more. The format of our relationship typically goes that Michelle will email my assignment for the week (or two weeks), and then when I finish I submit it to her for review, she gives me notes, and then another assignment follows within the next few days. I love this style of work because the weekly/biweekly assignments never feel too rushed or overwhelming.

An unexpectedly helpful thing that has occurred, is that I have been able to utilize some of the assignments I have had over the course of my Communications classes to use in this professional setting. I took the PR courses ‘Crisis Communication’ and ‘Intro to Public Relations’ last semester and they have been extremely useful in working on real-life assignments with my internship. For example, last semester we were tasked in creating fake press releases but in the exact format that would be expected of us if they were real. I’ve been able to take that past assignment and use the formatting to help curate a press release that I drafted for Michelle. She was impressed my knowledge of how to do so, and the accuracy in formatting.

 It feels good to know that what I am learning at Arcadia will be able to help once I start a career in the communications field.

How Internships Can Help You Navigate Your Future

Internships are a mandatory part of many college curriculum, and for good reason. Internships are a students opportunity to figure out what they like or dislike, what they’re good at or not-so-good at, what the professional workplace is like, how to build professional relationships, how to be a part of an organizational culture; the list of benefits goes on and on. For me, my internships did all of these things, the most important being that my first internship wasn’t what I thought it was going to be; it taught me a lot about myself, what I like, and how to navigate my future.

In September of 2019, I was fortunate enough to be accepted for an internship at goPuff, a Philadelphia-based company that delivers essentials like snacks, drinks, school supplies, pet food, and more, in less than an hour in over 170 locations across the country. My position was in the marketing department, in a sub-department for brand ambassador relations. My primary interest for a career at this point was marketing communications, but this internship showed me that I wanted to go in a different direction. For the first few weeks I really enjoyed my work, but after about a month, I realized I was completing the same three tasks every day. In addition to that, the three tasks I was completing were all data input and analysis, something I was not interested in and didn’t enjoy. These repetitive tasks really got to me over time, and by the end of October, I wasn’t excited to go to work anymore. I didn’t feel like I was learning anything, and I didn’t feel that I could take this experience and apply it to what I was learning at school. This was extremely disheartening for multiple reasons: I really thought marketing communications is what I wanted to do, everyone I had worked with and met at goPuff were awesome, I thought what everyone at goPuff was doing was cool and I wanted to support that, and I really didn’t want to leave.

I had grown quite fond of goPuff, and even though it was my first professional workplace situation, it felt like the absolute coolest place on the planet to work. Though I wasn’t enjoying my work, I really wanted to make things work at goPuff. I was extremely fortunate that, after my semester and internship in the marketing department had concluded, I was able to transfer and start a new internship in goPuff’s communications department. My semester working in the communications department is the best I’ve had. The things I was learning in school were meshing with the work I was doing in my internship, and I finally felt that the internship was enhancing the education I was getting at Arcadia. Along with the educational benefits, I really enjoyed all the work I was doing; not once through the semester did I dread a day of work. Every day was different, and I finally felt like I had found my place.

The point of this blog is to show you, the reader, that internships are not the end-all-be-all, internships are the opportunity for you to try something out and see if you like or not. In my case, I tried something out, decided it wasn’t for me, tried something new, and ended up falling in love with it. Internships help you understand what you want to pursue when the time comes for you to get a permanent job. My internship in the marketing department showed me what I didn’t want to do down the line, whilst my internship in the communications department showed me what I would like to do down the line. My advice: get as many internships as you can; try as many things as you can. If you find a place that you love, see if you can try something new there, while maintaining the bridges you built the first time around. Internships are extremely valuable and can seriously help you navigate your future.

The PRSSA: A Useful Tool to Public Relations Students

Transitioning from college to career can be a daunting journey. Many students are unaware of what opportunities are out there for them and are unsure of how to get there. One resource that has proven to be a helpful tool in this journey is the PRSSA. It’s resources like these that aid in college education, to advance our capabilities beyond the classroom. Mentioned below are just a few of the powerful assets that I have found by joining the PRSSA.

Find Internships and Jobs

One useful tool that can directly benefit your future in Public Relations is obtaining an internship or straight-up job experience. The PRSSA has a search engine solely catering to its members, where employers will be hiring. These applications are often less competitive than other popular search engines, and will have you working with people in the organization. This exclusivity can lead to better experiences, with stronger learning outcomes.

Find Scholarships

Paying for that education and all those great experiences is not easy, and PRSSA knows that. Being a member opens the doors for countless amounts of scholarships that are easy to apply for, and fit a range of different qualifications and needs. These are all found on their website, and are only available to members, which makes them less competitive than usual.

Join Events and Meet New People

What better way to kickstart your career than getting to meet people that are already doing what you’re inspiring to do? Joining in on the copious amounts of events that the PRSSA holds, opens you up to networking with career professionals, and learning from their advice. Such a network system is truly one of the greatest aspects of being a member. It would not be as possible to obtain such enhancing experiences, without being part of an organization that promotes interaction between members. Not only is it advancing your network with people already in the field, but also making connections with other students, which are a great support system in college to grow with.

In Conclusion

This is just my perspective as a student, having been part of a newer chapter of the organization and getting to experience all of the benefits. Having some sort of outlet to advance your college experiences into a career is such a smart step that I’m glad I took. There are so many resources for students to have on hand, through the PRSSA.


I remember registering for classes last year and being so excited to take the Arcadia offered practicum for Public Relations. It was recommended to me by my advisor, and teacher of the practicum, seeing as I am a Media and Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations. I had started to second guess my ability to be a PR professional and being given the chance to start the very first student run PR firm at Arcadia was exactly what I needed.  I was ecstatic to be able to experience what its like to work professionally in the Public Relations realm, before I started my internship. The weeks we spent still at school working hard on the Donate Life campaign was some of the most enjoyable and rewarding times I have ever had in class at Arcadia. Right before we left for spring vacation we began to plan and work on our projects to promote Donate Life.  Even with the COVID-19 crisis looming over our heads, we split up times and responsibilities for the exciting events we had planned. I was ready and excited to help run the events and activities we had planned for the campaign but unfortunately I never got to.

Once we started our spring break, the pandemic began to spread rapidly. Only halfway through the week of our spring break did we receive an email telling us the rest of the semester would be online only. While it was good to know how much our university cared about our health and safety, I was devastated to realize that meant the end to our Donate Life campaign. The few weeks I was able to spend with my 1853 Communications classmates were amazing and I am so sad that those few weeks were the only ones we would get. I enjoyed my short amount of time in this practicum so much that I registered for it again for this fall semester. I take pride in being one of the founding members of 1853 Communications and having the opportunity to create our name, website and goals. I am excited to spend next fall doing what we prepared to do this semester and I hope nothing gets in our way this time.

Crisis Comms: Think About It!

The COVID-19 pandemic has come on suddenly and unexpectedly, and there isn’t a company in the world that isn’t changing course in one way or another. This kind of out-of-left-field crisis is the kind of thing that crisis communicators specialize in, but not every organization properly values this kind of expertise. It’s not just organizations either – many professional and student communicators don’t have the experience or interest in the field of crisis management. Let me pitch you on why you should consider specializing in crisis communications.

Let’s just start with the facts. Not everyone is suited for crisis work. It’s high-pressure, high-risk work. If you get it all wrong, like say, Tony Hayward of British Petroleum (Links to an external site.), you risk turning a crisis into a series of crises that enrage shareholders and cost you your job. A level head and creative problem solving are non-negotiable aspects of the field. If you have trouble working under pressure or tend to get thrown off your game easily, it may not be the best idea to look for crisis work. 

On the other hand, if you’re at your best when your back is to the wall, then you might have a specialization on your hands. A good thing about crisis work is that it’s often not the only role of your job – day-to-day communications work will be most of the job, but being a part of the crisis management team not only makes your position more diverse, but it also makes you less replaceable. You get to have real, tangible problems to solve, you create your own job security (f you do it well!), and most of all, you get to prove your worth to the organization, which can be a real struggle to communicators at times. It may not be fun to work 24/7 during a major crisis, but it gives a purpose and direction to your role.

Your First Internship

As you venture through your undergrad years in communications and public relations, you are exposed to so much fascinating and helpful material that will academically enrich you. By the end of your junior year, you will have a greater understanding of public relations. By this time, you will be ready for your first internship. This is an exciting time for each student, as it gives them a sneak peek into working in the PR industry. You will meet people in the industry, you will be doing work that is helpful to the company and yourself, and you are building up your resume. Internships are a lot of fun, if you put in a great work ethic and have a great attitude. You are most certainly going to need an internship or two, so it is important to seek out what interests you and what will benefit you as a you near the real world.

My first internship was a marketing and social media internship at a facilities management company called STAR Building Services. I never envisioned myself working for this type of company, but looking back, I am so happy I accepted the offer. I was able to learn more about marketing and PR, work with fantastic people, and learn about an industry that I never would have imagined of. I was assigned to create LinkedIn posts for the company, along with other office tasks. I wanted to learn as much as possible during my time at STAR, and I demonstrated my eagerness to learn. This allowed my boss and coworkers to view me as a reliable person and one who is fit for the job. Image is everything, and when you show up to work everyday ready to learn and be productive, you will open up many doors to your future. I learned in this internship that it is not always about where you work, it’s the experience you’re gaining as an intern.

Public relations offers so many opportunities for internships in the New Jersey and Philadelphia area. You can work for small or large companies, doing an array of work. I enjoyed learning more about marketing and social media, and it has greatly elevated my experience and readiness for a career in the PR industry. Other areas within PR are branding, promotion, event planning, or even one of my specialty’s, social media. Look for internships that have work and tasks that interest you, don’t always fixate on what the company does. I never knew a small facilities management company could teach me so much, and I was pleasantly surprised. Keep an open mind for your first internship because it is your first step into the real world, and it is one exciting time for students to partake in!

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