I was always impressed by University of Greenwich PR students. Their PR Fraternity became a platform for networking and out-of-class learning from top PR pros. I recently caught up with Fraternity’s President, the fabulous Cheyenne O’Kane, to find out more about their incredible work.
MK: Tell me a bit more about yourself.
CO’K: My name is Cheyenne O’Kane, I am a 21-year-old, Essex raised, second year PR student and enthusiast studying at the University of Greenwich. Prior to starting University, I took a year out to independently travel in South East Asia, parts of Europe and work at a summer camp in Maryland, America. My inbuilt curiosity and magnetism to people has guided my life, which is why I am now plunging into the field of public relations.
I love to keep my finger on the pulse with current affairs and changing digital trends, soaking up the broadest range of knowledge to stay aware and versatile. I take no greater pleasure than spending time with friends and family whilst fuelled on good coffee, soulful music and a can-do attitude.
Tell me about the PR Fraternity!
The PR Fraternity is an academic society dedicated to the study, professional development and academic reflection of public relations. We provide our members with guest speakers from a multitude of industries, in addition to networking events and social gatherings.
As students ourselves we understand what is required to enhance classroom learning, homing in on skills such as branding by learning from the experiences of industry professionals to refine our own practise. This year we have already been fortunate enough to hear from Kerry Thorpe, Ben and Jerry’s, Colin Cather, Bottle PR, Ana Maria Leonte, Jumio Corporations, Colin Byrne, Weber Shandwick and Ezri Carlebach, The PR Network.
The PR Fraternity is a community of students, staff and alumni who together explore the changing dimensions of the comms industry.
The PR Fraternity is a community of students, staff and alumni who together explore the changing dimensions of the comms industry. People are at the heart of why the PR Fraternity operates so we aim to evolve with the needs and interests of its members. We are also fortunate enough to receive the support of three Honorary Patrons: Colin and Ezri as mentioned above and Colleen Harris, Greater London Lieutenancy Ltd, who all generously lend their time and support to our efforts.
What’s your role within the Fraternity?
My role is President of the PR Fraternity (not the free World…yet). I coordinate speaker events, liaise with guest speakers, manage the incredible executive team, oversee all corresponding activity, liaise with the Students Union and set Fraternity goals and objectives.
The beauty of being in a team of likeminded, passionate PRs is we embrace this with every inch of our being.
The role of President is a full-time task as the lines between working hours, class time and social interaction all overlap. The beauty of being in a team of likeminded, passionate PRs is we embrace this with every inch of our being; nothing has shaped my University experience more than the Fraternity and I will pour myself into the role until passing it onto the next President.
Without the Fraternity I would not have a platform to communicate with the most inspiring people I’ve met, from the likes of Paul Simpson to society collaborations at the University of Greenwich. We use our voice for good and hope to carry this through to the working World, whilst having the time of our lives in the process!
Fraternity’s social presence is incredible. What’s your social media strategy?
The PR Fraternity’s Digital Media Officer, Ellie Tyrrell, pioneers our social media strategy by posting content across platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. This term our approach has been to gather the most interest for our events whilst creating buzz and engaging content.
We have used social to hold opinion polls for preferred event days, giving us direct, transparent and representative data collection methods. Additionally, we have followed in the footsteps of our friend, and guest lecturer, Jennifer Begg by live tweeting during speaker events providing a way to engage Alumni and members who are unable to attend. Social media is an imperative tool for our operation, you can find us regularly posting pictures and videos of what we’re up to whilst connecting with the PR community (so please do head over to one of our pages to find out more!).
What have the benefits of running Fraternity been for you and your fellow students?
The benefits of running the PR Fraternity have been endless, it is a platform to put our learning into practise for the requirement of stakeholders, social media, managing relationships, content creation and strategising our own brand. Through the Fraternity we have the leverage to house guest speakers and events like the Vlogstar Challenge because that it what our valued community want to see. From the perspective of an organiser you certainly become tenacious when striving for others.
Would you recommend other universities starting PR-oriented societies?
Most definitely, if anything is going to mould your University experience it is going to be the sense of community driven by PRs who see the purpose and benefit behind a body of people raring to get involved. In a PR orientated society, you find yourself hooked in many a discussion with someone who elsewise you may not engage with due to studying different courses for example, but by doing so you learn from each other and debate/discuss in a safe and understanding environment.
For anyone considering starting their own PR society please do; build your network, emphasise the essentiality of having an awareness for the World using a Public Relations lens, listen to your prospective members and cater to their interests. We are closely tied to the PR and Communications course at University of Greenwich, led by the PR guru that is Nicky Garsten and I would highly recommend using this bond to supplement course content.
Where can people find you and Fraternity?
People can find the PR Fraternity and I on one of our social media platforms, or at our individual Twitter handles as shown below. Alternatively, you can reach us by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – we would love to hear from you!
President: Cheyenne O’Kane / @CheyOkane
Vice President: Hannah Larsen / @HannnahLarsen97
Digital Media Officer: Ellie Tyrrell / @EllieRTyrrell
Events Officer: Jess Voller / @JessVoller
Photographer: Agnese Gailuma / @agnesegailuma
Marketing Officer: Megan Bakewell / @megs_bw
Secretary: Catriona McAllister / @catrionamca3012
If you have any suggestions, would like to guest post or give me a feedback, feel free to email me at kl.marcel [at] gmail.com, tweet me @marcelkl or connect with me on LinkedIn. Thanks for stopping by, have a splendid day!