public relations

Patricia Stout has just become chair for the department of advertising and public relations in the Moody College of Communication. According to Stout, her goal is to encourage faculty and students to continue adapting to new media.

Patricia Stout, who has been a professor in the department of advertising and public relations since 1984, was named chair of the department Wednesday. Stout said she looks forward to taking on the new position during a time of growth in the college.

“Advertising is a large department … [and] we are at a very strong point relative to the students in our major,” Stout said. “We have a really great group of faculty and I’m looking forward to working with everyone in the role of chair of the department.”

Stout will replace advertising professor and current department chair Isabella Cunningham, who will return to full-time teaching.

“I have done it for 20 years and I am happy to have done the job,” Cunningham said. “I’m looking forward to working with my graduate students and my undergraduate students, and I’m excited about being able to develop the internship [program] more.”

Stout said she her first goal for the coming year is to focus on encouraging faculty and students in the department to keep using their strengths and adapting to new media.

“Technology drives how persuasive messages are delivered and the need for creating innovative messages,” Stout said “I’m anticipating our students will be prepared and take a lead in the evolution relative to technology, communication, advertising and public relations.”

Advertising senior Alysia Chen said she enjoys how professors try to make classroom knowledge applicable to real world situations, but she hopes advertising students can take public relations classes and have better access to software.

“I think it could be really useful to have a class or at least more access to programs like the Adobe Creative Suite … and free printing,” Chen said. “I think that those who are not necessarily in the Texas Creative program, but want to pursue a career in that area should have the opportunity to do so.”

During her time as chair, Stout said she wants to interact with students both formally and informally.

“I know there are a lot of student organizations that are a part of the college and part of our department and to be able to interact with them and understand more of what the goals are for those groups,” Stout said. “Our students are really super [and] I’m very impressed with [them] at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral level.”

Fred Cook, chief executive officer for GolinHarris, speaks to students about persuing a future career in public relations.  

Photo Credit: Gabriella Belzer | Daily Texan Staff

Fred Cook, CEO of GolinHarris, said confidence is key in landing new work experiences.

Cook shared personal experiences that led him to create his own public relations firm in a talk on Thursday. Cook discussed how having courageous qualities could lead to gaining new work experiences.

“You have to have the confidence and reassurance to follow the path that is the right one for you,” Cook said. “You have to have the courage on the way to improvise a little bit and to try something new, because in the end, where you end up isn’t nearly as interesting as the trip you took to get there.” 

Cook said the most important thing for students to learn is to separate themselves from others when looking for jobs.

“Companies like ours and our clients have really big problems and really big challenges, and we’re looking for people with new ideas and new thinking and new skills to help solve those problems,” Cook said. “So the most important thing, I think, is to expose yourself.”

Jacqi Moore Richardson, UT alumna and senior manager at GolinHarris, also spoke at the event. Richardson said looking into a career in public relations gives students the opportunity to learn more about things that interest them. 

“Yes, you’re here studying communications, but one thing to really take with you is, anything you’re interested in, dive deeper into it,” Richardson said. “PR gives you the opportunity to learn more about something.”

In her presentation, Richardson shared her work experiences with different clients and celebrities. 

Public relations junior Kelly Nash said she enjoyed hearing about Richardson’s experiences at GolinHarris.

“I thought it was really cool to learn all the different types of things that she’s done,” Nash said. “She hasn’t just done one thing and that’s what’s cool about an agency.”

Nash said the presentation was helpful because she was able to learn about different careers in public relations that interest her.

“She was really informative with her whole experience, and it was cool to see someone that’s done the same thing and not switched around,” Nash said. “I’m just trying to see all the different types and kind of go from there.”

Published on March 8, 2013 as "PR firm representatives share words of wisdom". 

Student representatives from different campus-wide minority groups collaborate together Monday evening to finalize plans on the Decision 2012 election night watch party. While originally aiming to bridge different partisan groups, the representatives decided instead to create an environment for students of all cultures and political preferances to watch the election together.

Photo Credit: Raveena Bhalara | Daily Texan Staff

Public relations and political communication senior Antonio Guevara first approached Carissa Kelley, the current president of the Student Events Center, with the idea for Decision 2012 last year. The Student Events Center is the arm of the University Unions that puts on programming for students.

Guevara wanted to put on an “epically huge” Election Night watch party, public relations senior Kelley said. Kelley liked the idea. She envisioned a screen in front of the Tower to broadcast election results and a party on the Main Mall in which all major campus organizations from every cultural and political group would take part.

The event, called Decision 2012, will take place Tuesday in the Student Activities Center Ballroom, but it will not be the campus-wide party that Guevara and Kelley originally imagined. When they approached partisan political groups like University Democrats and College Republicans, they found that those groups, like many others, wanted to watch the election individually at events that were openly partisan. 

When Kelly and Guevara couldn’t bridge the divide between political parties, they turned to bridging cultures. The watch party may not be truly campus-wide, but it will be an event that brings together students from the African American Culture Committee, the Asian American Culture Committee, the Black Student Alliance and Longhorn League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), to name a few of the many participating organizations.

“It really turned into a minority-driven thing, and I think everyone’s happy with the way that it turned out,” Kelley said.

The event will “make sure the campus has a place that is multicultural and nonpartisan for students to watch the election,” said Chelsea Jones, a journalism sophomore and chair of the African American Culture Committee, which like the Asian American Culture Committee and the Mexican American Culture Committee, is a subset of the Student Events Center that deals with cultural programming.

Although an election watch party certainly can’t ignore politics, the organizers of Decision 2012 have attempted to make the event engaging and celebratory rather than divisive. The event will feature three screens, two of which will show live election coverage. The central screen will show a live Twitter feed. Event attendees will be told a hash tag (tentatively #Decision2012UT) as they walk in the door and will be encouraged to tweet questions they have about the election or the election coverage. These questions will be answered via Twitter by the event’s organizers.

If attendees want to show their political affiliations, one wall will be covered with a large piece of butcher paper divided into sections for the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Green parties. Students may sign their name on the paper to show support for their party or submit an anonymous pre-cut “handprint” to be taped to the wall under their party’s name.

“Something I always wanted to do was blend the cultures here on campus,” Guevara said. “It’s a very minority-heavy event, but at the end of the day, this is the first event of its kind [at UT], at least since I’ve been here, and I’m going on my fifth year ... but what we’re all hoping is that we’re kind of laying the foundation for more events like this, so you don’t just have to come together for the watch party, and it’s not just centered around minority groups. [The whole campus] can come together like this any time of the year.”

Printed on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 as: Watch party unites cultures

Public relations juniors Elizabeth Allensworth and Jonathan Ochart are the public relations officers for UTÂ’s University Fashion Group. Elizabeth descibes her style as classic whereas Jonathan pulls fron vintage influences.

Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff

Although Austin has experienced a mix of rain and mild temperatures this past week, summer can often seem like a never-ending season in central Texas. While many students opt for the ever-trusted Nike shorts and T-shirt combination, comfort and fashion do not have to be mutually exclusive for the last few weeks of erratic Texas weather. The University Fashion Group, a student organization with a goal of spreading principles from the arts through means such as apparel design, textiles and retail merchandising, has a few tips and tricks for surviving the heat that is bound to return in upcoming weeks.

“Wearing layers is pretty much a death wish [for summer], unless you enjoy sweating on the way to class,” said Jonathan Ochart, assistant director of public relations for the group. “So, to add personality to my everyday look, I try to incorporate bold colors, stand-out prints and interesting accessories.”

Although some may be eager for fall’s layering-friendly pieces such as cardigans and sweaters, this can prove impractical. To combat this, Ochart recommends unique color choice and accessories like jewelry, belts and wristwatches to add subtle variety to your wardrobe. “

Mixing basic shorts with a v-neck in eye-catching hues, from an intense cobalt to a calmer, yet pleasing tone like mint green, provides a break from floods of burnt orange and neon,” said Ochart. “Some guys shy away from v-necks, but in reality, they streamline the body, creating a more flattering and stronger torso.”

Alongside v-necks and tank tops, UFG member Christi Williams recommends polo shirts as another way to dress up an outfit without having to throw on any unnecessary layers.

“My look over the summer is what I liked to call modern prep,” said Williams. “I love the classic polo shirt with an Oxford button up and some cute loafers, but at the same time I like to consider myself a vintage queen. I love retro denim and 80s cuts and prints.”

When it comes to dressing for summer, Elizabeth Allensworth, director of public relations for UFG, suggests creating a pair of cut-offs out of old Levis from thrift stores like Buffalo Exchange, allowing for a quick fix to any outworn pair of jeans. She also recommends sundresses as a summer staple, paired with accessories to add flair to a simple piece.

“Kendra Scott’s new Skylar Earrings have been a favorite of mine this summer,” said Allensworth. “They are light enough to wear all day and don’t add the weight that a big, heavy necklace does, which can also be terribly hot. Those earrings with my watch and go-to rings and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!”

Alongside bimonthly meetings, the group also organizes an annual senior fashion show for design majors. For more tips, the University Fashion Group’s newly launched website’s street style section features students’ looks as spotted throughout the UT campus.

“Scrolling through these photos can provide viewers with several ideas for putting together their own outfits that not even 100 degree weather can destroy,” Ochart said. “Or, even better, attending our bimonthly meetings grants students the opportunity to meet stylish guest speakers and fellow UFG members for fun fashion ideas in real time.”

Printed on Monday, September 17, 2012 as: Fashion club offers tips to dress cool

Communication senior Tristan Mace was recently named a TSM board member. An active entrepreneur, Mace has started two businesses.

Photo Credit: Jamaal Felix | Daily Texan Staff

Public relations senior Tristan Mace has always had an eye for design and a head for numbers.

Mace created his first website development company at 14. At 16, he sold that company to media firm Livney+Partners, launching his journey toward owning two highly successful companies before college graduation.

Mace said he taught himself to make websites by replicating personal and company websites and making small changes to see what he felt looked best.

“I created some websites and pastry chef Pichet Ong, who is frequently on The Oprah Winfrey Show, asked if I would create his recipe portfolio,” Mace said.

Mace, originally from The Woodlands, said he applied to the McCombs School of Business in 2008 and was surprised he wasn’t accepted even with his high grades and previous business experience.

“It’s better in the end, and I will fully recognize that,” Mace said. “I went into advertising in the communication school, and senior lecturer Terry Hemeyer suggested that I switch my major to public relations to diversify my skill set.”

Mace said that despite having some experience when he arrived, skills he has learned at UT are giving him new creative tools and ideas.

“[Senior business lecturer] Dr. [Michael] Brandl, who I took two classes with my freshman year, he’s an economist and taught me to look at interesting mathematical models to discern whether a business idea was viable enough to consider it or give it funding,” Mace said.

Mace started two companies in January that require frequent travel and take up much of his time. UT has helped him find strategic ways to complete his degree and continue to be successful as a businessman.

Mace created ParkerMace, a consulting company, and travel company Want Me Get Me, in January.

“ParkerMace specializes in branding and helping companies rediscover who they are and what they do,”

Mace said. “When a client or potential client comes to us, we begin an initial phase of researching who they really are, their passions and why they started that company. We try to make associations with their target audiences and go from there.”

Mace said the University is ParkerMace’s biggest and most recent client. The company is working on projects with the Office of the Dean of Students and Student Government.

The company Want Me Get Me fell into place by chance when an “angel” investor interested in meeting Mace asked Dallas businessman Jeffrey Hedge to make the meeting happen. He and Hedge created an immediate friendship and co-created the company that will officially launch in two or three months.

The company is a membership-only travel group with a hotel search engine that allows its members to find hotels nationally and internationally, request amenities and make reservations. He said each experience is tailored to the individual.

“Our platform is really the top hotels of the world. We have the most exclusive, highest rated big names in the hospitality industry,” Mace said.

Membership is free, but members are hand-selected by the board of directors based on an algorithm they developed.
Student government president Natalie Butler said the company ParkerMace is currently working to create a new SG website.

“We’re working through concepts for the website right now, and I’m really happy with what we are working on,” Butler said. “We really wanted it to be more interactive and easier to view, and he is making that happen.”
Mace took senior advertising lecturer Lisa Dobias’ introduction to media class, and Dobias said Mace was active and successful.

“He’s obviously very motivated and intelligent and forward-thinking,” Dobias said. “He brought a lot to the classroom with examples and helped a lot of students along the way.”