PRSSA officers spend a day with Mr. Buffett

By Angelina Mangiamelli


Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, told a group of university students to recognize the importance of doing work that makes them happy.


This was just one piece of advice Buffett gave during a meeting Oct. 14 at the Berkshire Hathaway headquarters in the Blackstone District of Omaha. In addition to business and communication students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska-Lincoln, other students came from the University of South Dakota, Harvard University, Stanford University, Rutgers University, Sanford University and Boston College.


The event began with a one-hour tour of Nebraska Furniture Mart, followed by a bus ride to the Kiewit building where students rode an elevator to the top floor known as the “Cloud Room,” where Buffett spent two hours talking to students in a Q&A session.


Many of the student were business majors with knowledge in stocks, bonds, e-commerce trading and investments. For communication students some of the dialogue was difficult to understand.


Buffett discussed such topics as stakeholder v. shareholder capitalism, key variables in exit investments and investing in the United States and Middle East.


Buffett stressed the importance of doing what is right for the public and thinking of the big picture over time.


“Be emotionally prepared to act when other people are terrified, be the person you admire,” Buffett says. “You have to be able to look at numbers and investigate a little bit and do it when the opportunity arises, it is 10 percent brains and 90 percent temperament.”


Buffett wrapped up the discussion with advice on the future to be successful.


“Do what you love with the people you love,” Buffett says. “Pick the ones who are the most effective leaders, list the qualities you like and don’t like.”


I found these simple words of wisdom to be the most important. Look for the qualities in people you admire, and make sure those qualities reflect in yourself as well.


Buffett then treated us to a lunch at Anthony’s Steakhouse where we sat with other UNO students. This was an opportunity for the communication and business students to network, ask questions and talk to each other about our roles and responsibilities as students. The day ended with a group photo of all the UNO students together with Buffett holding our school flag.


The day with Buffett opened my mind up to the importance of understanding money and investments and educating myself to be prepared for my financial future.


However, I suggest, mixing up the questions from both business and communication students to better get Buffett’s viewpoints on current events, global media and other issues outside the world of investments. I’d like more women at the event as well as an opportunity to network with other schools. Being completely separated projected an uncomfortable feeling of superiority that a few schools projected.


Overall, the experience was extremely memorable and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that most students won’t get from any classroom experience.

True leaders in PR need strong ethical values

Angelina Mangiamelli, VP of Public Relations

By: Angelina Mangiamelli

Having ethics in public relations provides a positive platform for professionals and creates a happy, clean and energized work environment.

That’s the message Beverly Kracher, executive director of the Greater Omaha Business Ethics Alliance, shared with attendees at the Nebraska PRSA monthly luncheon, Sept. 13.

“Ethics the Heart of Leadership” is the theme for PRSA’s 2016 Ethics Awareness Month in September.

Ethics is described as the same as personal values and morals. It is the idea of striving to do good, knowing the difference between what is right and what is wrong, imagining something bigger than ourselves and ultimately, striving to live, “The Good Life.”

One major topic covered in the discussion was why we aren’t trained to be ethical leaders in the classroom and workplace. We have to train ourselves to be abstract thinkers, especially in communication and public relations.

We must use, “Big Picture Thinking,” when creating a plan and working with clients. This means putting a situation before your mind, withdraw concrete information a bit at a time (don’t overload yourself!), look for ethical patterns, major themes, abstract principles and trends, and explain their significance to the situation, Kracher says.

As young professionals, just starting to build our portfolios and resumes gaining professional experience. It is extremely important to understand why an ethical leader, is an important leader. An ethical leader is a valuable leader being they are good people. They are accountable, compassionate, influential, motivational and inspirational.


-I want to finish this blog post with the PRSA code of Ethics for all members to remember-

 ADVOCACY | We serve the public interest by acting as responsible advocates for those we represent. We provide a voice in the marketplace of ideas, facts and viewpoints to aid informed public debate.

HONESTY | We adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public.

EXPERTISE | We acquire and responsibly use specialized knowledge and experience. We advance the profession through continued professional development, research, and education. We build mutual understanding, credibility, and relationships among a wide array of institutions and audiences.

INDEPENDENCE | We provide objective counsel to those we represent. We are accountable for our actions.

LOYALTY | We are faithful to those we represent, while honoring our obligation to serve the public interest.

FAIRNESS | We deal fairly with clients, employers, competitors, peers, vendors, the media, and the general public. We respect all opinions and support the right of free expression.

The Best Defense is a Good Offense in a Crisis

By Amy Nielsen

Gina Pappas stressed the importance of crisis control in an organization during the PRSA Nebraska Professional Development Conference.

Pappas is president of Albers Communication Group, a prominent public relations and digital marketing firm in the Omaha area.

During Pappas’ breakout session “Crisis Control: When Bad Things Happen to Good Organizations,” Pappas explained different ways to define a crisis, prepare for a crisis, handle a crisis, manage the media, evaluate the crisis management process and the best practices in crisis control.

“You shouldn’t wait until a crisis happens to start trying to fix it,” Pappas says. “You should have crisis planning as part of your fundamental communications strategy.”

Pappas says an effective crisis plan should seek to define all types of crises that can affect your organization, research how to reduce the risk of crises occurring, build a crisis management team and understand the target audiences of potential crises.

The goals of a crisis management plan should be to resolve crisis quickly and effectively, manage all incoming information and share what the audience needs to know. Additionally, the crisis management plan should protect employees, clients, communities, brand and reputation, and adhere to all laws, Pappas says.

“The best defense is a good offense,” Pappas says. “The best offense is a good defense.”

Registered Organ Donors Increase Odds By 8 Lives

By Trent Ostrom

Giving another person the gift of life is one of the most remarkable things a single human-being can do.

Tom Neal, Public Relations coordinator of Nebraska Organ Recovery, spoke to UNO PRSSA at February’s Lunch and Learn about the importance of organ donation.

According to Neal, an organ is received that will help save a patient’s life while another person is added to the waitlist every 10 minutes. More than 500 Nebraskans are currently waiting for an organ donation. Meanwhile, only 54 percent of eligible Nebraskans are registered organ donors.

While this percentage has increased by eight percent over the past two years, more awareness needs to be made.

“Of registered organ donors, only one percent will be qualified to give an organ,” Neal explained. “The more people we have registered, the better odds we will have of saving those who need an organ transplant.”

When an individual registers to become an organ donor, that individual has the possibility of being to save up to 8 lives. If one decides to become a tissue donor, more than 100 individuals can be healed.

Former PRSSA Member Alex Jensen and Creative Director Kelly Bast draw the National Organ Donor Awareness Competition (NODAC) sign.
Former PRSSA Member Alex Jensen and Creative Director Kelly Bast draw the National Organ Donor Awareness Competition (NODAC) sign.

In April of 2016, UNO PRSSA will participate in the National Organ Donor Awareness Competition to inform the UNO community about the importance of becoming a registered organ donor. The competition is held annually by Rowan University.

Following is an excerpt from UNO PRSSA’s Lunch & Learn, a program implemented to increase member engagement with diverse opportunities and meeting times. Click here to view upcoming Lunch & Learn meetings. 

Fundraiser Benefits Youth Emergency Services

Every semester, UNO PRSSA fundraises to benefit our community. During the fall, “Say Yes to a Pack” backpack drive assists at-risk and homeless youth served by Youth Emergency Services. In addition to backpacks, our chapter also collected four boxes of hygiene products, socks, warmers and gently used jeans, hoodies and sweatshirts.

This is one of many ways UNO PRSSA likes to give back.


Ultra Chic Boutique Benefits Lydia House

By Bryonna Johnson

Max I. Walker held its 9th Annual Ultra Chic Boutique at the Ramada Plaza Inn on 72 and Grover streets. Every year, prom and wedding dresses are donated and sold for $30 each. All proceeds are donated to the Open Door Mission’s Lydia House.

Within the last 8 years, Max I. Walker’s Ultra Chic Boutique raised $97,800 for the Lydia House. Isn’t that incredible?  This event is a big hit and every year the crowd increases.

Before the doors even opened, Trent and I were selling $1 raffle tickets to win prizes. During the event, I sold raffle tickets from 8 a.m. to noon. The line wrapped around the entire lobby. Some customers had been there since 7 a.m.

Six different raffle prize packages being drawn every hour. Prizes included t-shirts, gift cards, Omaha Fashion Week tickets and so much more.  Various upscale gowns were raffled in addition to one of Mrs. Nebraska’s gowns. During my shift I would estimate that we easily made over $300 in raffle sales.

I was so impressed with the entire event. Max I Walker’s Ultra Chic Boutique was very fun to work and I am so happy I was a part of such a wonder event that benefits a great cause.  I plan to volunteer at this event every year because I had such a great time and I loved contributing my time to such a great cause.

Dresses sold through raffle tickets were displayed on mannequins.
Dresses sold through raffle tickets were displayed on mannequins.
A speaker moderated the raffles and modeled dresses throughout the event.
A speaker moderated the raffles and modeled dresses throughout the event.
President Trent Ostrom and Communications Director Bryonna Johnson volunteered during the morning shift.
President Trent Ostrom and Communications Director Bryonna Johnson volunteered during the morning shift.

UNO PRSSA Earns Top Chapter Award for the Third Time

For the third time since 2009, UNO PRSSA earned the highest honor PRSSA bestows—the F.H. Teahan Outstanding Chapter Award.

The award honors one chapter out of 344 chapters that excels in professional development and community and university service.

PRSSA presented the award to UNO during the Gala dinner Nov. 9 at the National Conference in Atlanta. The $500 cash award presented with the plaque will help pay for the chapter’s fall service projects.

In addition to being named Outstanding Chapter, UNO PRSSA also received recognition as a Star Chapter for the fourth year in a row as one of only 20 chapters to receive the honor, which rewards students’ efforts in professional development and community service.

UNO seniors Angela Eastep and Trent Ostrom also earned individual honors at this year’s conference. Eastep, the chapter’s president, earned the PRSSA National Golden Key Award for excellence in their professional and academic endeavors. Ostrom, the chapter’s recruitment director, earned the $1,000 Ron Culp National Mentor Scholarship.

Eastep and Ostrom were also part of the UNO team selected to present a chapter development session at the conference, “”Fundraising Nightmares: How to Earn Kneaded Dough.” The members created a video, PowerPoint and 20-minute skit that spoofed Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares.” Other team members were Maria Brown, Casey Riesberg and Jessica Teaford. Kelly Bast served as technical director.

Hard Rock Cafe, Atlanta, Georgia November 2015. Photo by Susan Payne.

Hard Rock Cafe, Atlanta, Georgia November 2015. Photo by Susan Payne.

Recap of Fall 2015 UNO PRSSA’s Meetings

By Susan Payne

Four UNO PRSSA alumni told students to gain as much professional experience as possible before graduating.

Andrea Hennings, Kristin Webb, Katie Godbelt and Stephanie Larsen discussed at an alumni panel in September how important education and experience is during undergraduate careers, paid or unpaid.

  • Internships matter during collegiate experience.
  • Nonprofits are great exposure for job opportunities.
  • Being involved on campus is only a small glimpse of the working world, but it helps immensely.
  • If an opportunity to learn about something arises through classes or webinars, take them.

Lisa Turner, owner of Turner Events and Marketing, told PRSSA members at the October chapter meeting that event planning takes much energy and attention to detail. Members learned about successful event planning through Turner’s wide variety of experiences and expertise. She discussed through the process of event planning.

  • Conceptualize
  • Plan
  • Execute
  • Evaluate

Members of the 2015 UNO PRSSA executive board packed their bags and traveled to Atlanta, Georgia in November to claim the 2015 F.H. Teahan National Outstanding Chapter award at the PRSSA National Conference. During the weeklong conference, they attended multiple sessions in specialized fields. In the November chapter meeting, attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions and find out what type of work it took to win such an award.

While the rest of the executive board members boarded a plane, Kimberly Bailey stayed home to bring her UNO volleyball career to an end. Kimberly was named, for the second time this year, defensive player of the week November 2. She is the first Maverick to collect an individual Summit League player honor, earning the first all-league honor of her career.