Spotlight: Inspire’s Regina Volk

By: Ellen Havey
ellen-havey@uiowa.edu

With a knack for persuasion and great communication skills, Regina Volk is meant for public relations.

While working 25 hours a week driving a Cambus and participating in the University Dance Club, Volk is also the account executive for two Inspire Public Relations accounts.

Volk is currently the account executive for SureSteps and the Cambus 40 Year Reunion. She says the hardest part of being on two accounts is dividing up the time equally during meetings. The diversity between the two accounts provides challenges as well.

“SureSteps is raising PR for a new company and getting it off the ground, while the Cambus 40 year reunion is completely new and entails a lot of brainstorming and research,” Volk said.

Despite Volk’s dedication to her PR work, she didn’t always have a passion for the profession.

“I had an Internet marketing internship prior to college, but once I got here I realized I didn’t have a connection with the business school. I decided to focus on a strength I already had – communication,” she said.

Volk continues to grow her experience in PR outside of Inspire as well.  Her dad is running for the Iowa State Senate, and she is serving as the Communications Director and Public Relations Specialist for his campaign.

Volk has been a PRSSA member since August of 2011 and is currently a junior studying Communication Studies with a minor in English. She enjoys the hands-on practice she receives from PRSSA and Inspire.

Volk also stressed the importance of getting involved to gain real experience. She encouraged students to be ambitious and to jump into any activity possible in the PR field.

“It’s all about getting the experience that helps you jump up the ladder of publics relations,” she said.

Volk’s advice for other students pursuing PR is to get over the fear of meeting new people. If you feel comfortable, so will your client.

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PRSSA’s Growing Firm

PRSSA’s student-run firm has turned a new leaf this semester. Both Tina Larson and I, co-firm directors, wanted to expand the firm. With some hard work, we managed to generate new interest in PRSSA members and now firm has a 15-member committee! Our new firm members are committed to our clients and together we have accomplished more than expected thus far. With new clients, new members, and a new outlook, firm is well on its way to become nationally affiliated within the next couple of years.

With increased membership, firm has been able to take on more clients because the workload is dispersed. Firm is excited to have five new account executives and a few assistant account executives. Students have stepped up to the plate and volunteered their time and effort in return for public relations experience. Joining firm is a great way to heighten experience in the field as Monica Madura mentioned in her presentation last week. Firm supplies members with bullet points to put on their resumes because students are assigned responsibilities and held accountable for seeing them through.

Currently firm has five clients including: Ponseti Races, American Cancer Society, Colleges Against Cancer/Relay for Life, Polar Plunge/Iowa Special Olympics and Landlocked Film Festival. Ponseti Races was firm’s first event which took place Friday, October 16, 2009. This is a new client to firm. Ponseti Races launched its first 5K race this year to raise awareness of clubfoot and to honor Dr. Ponseti of the UI Hospitals who pioneered a non-surgical procedure to cure clubfoot. American Cancer Society is in the process of creating a Johnson County newsletter, and firm would be in charge of content and design of that newsletter. In conjunction, firm will be assisting Colleges against Cancer with the publicity and promotion for the UI Relay for Life held April 16, 2010. Firm will also be helping Polar Plunge with publicity this year which will take place on March 27, 2010. Landlocked is firm’s summer client, and we will help with publicity and promotions for the Landlocked Film Festival which will take place in August of 2010.

Joining firm is a great way to gain hands-on experience in public relations. This year’s firm growth has excited PRSSA, and we hope to keep on growing.

By: Paul Spooner, Co-Firm Director

‘Freezin’ for a Reason!’ Special Olympics Polar Plunge

On Saturday, March 28, the University of Iowa PRSSA firm participated in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge.  The tagline, “freezin’ for a reason!” rang true: it was cold.  The last few weeks of March had been surprisingly warm for Iowa standards, yet the one day we decided to jump in the Coralville lake, it was snowy and cold.  Despite my disdain for cold weather, I can say we all had a great time.  Our team costume theme was 80’s and special kudos to Sarah Washler, Allie Howarth and Paul Spooner who demonstrated the most team spirit!

polarplunge-crew

From top left: Allie Howarth, Stephanie Block, Sarah Washler, Paul Spooner, Megan McIntyre, Caroline Jones, Natalie Dubs, Natalie's roommate

PRSSA is proud to have helped Special Olympics Iowa raise more than $33,000 in donations that went to help fund the Special Olympics competition in Iowa City.  This is an event I hope our Firm continues to remain actively involved with.

— Caroline Jones