Much to blog about.

Best for the World: American College of Education breaks through barriers

January 11, 2017 | by Bohlsen Group

We’re proud to congratulate our client, American College of Education (ACE), on becoming the first and only Certified B Corporation and Benefit Corporate in the state of Indiana. We’ve asked them to share a little more about why they chose to take this step and how it reflects their brand.


By KK Byland, Director, Human Resources and Benefits Officer at American College of Education

American College of Education (ACE) believes that higher education can–and should–be done differently.

In the 11 years since our founding, ACE has conferred more than 13,000 graduate degrees in Education in a way that’s flexible for teachers’ busy schedules and considerate of their budgets. By leveraging the true value of virtual technology, we’re preparing more educators to obtain the training and knowledge they need to strengthen their skills, to stay current in research and application, and to provide better outcomes for the students in their classrooms.

To build on this mission, we’re incredibly proud to become the first and only Certified B Corporation and Benefit Corporation in the state of Indiana. B Corp is a movement to redefine success in business as companies who aren’t just the best in the world, but the best for the world. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today, there is a growing community of more than 1,882 certified B Corporations across 130 industries in 50 countries working together toward one unifying goal: to redefine success in business. And this number is growing by the day.

“We became a B Corp because we wanted to make a public commitment to maintain our ideals and our mission,” said Shawntel Landry, Ed.D., provost and interim president of ACE. “We’re dedicated to unapologetically breaking perceived links between cost of tuition and quality of programming, making smart and innovative financial decisions always with our students’ needs–not our bottom line–in mind. We’ve demonstrated this commitment to our students and alumni since our inception in 2005, but we’re making the same commitment to be socially conscious to our employees and local communities as well. It is fundamentally who we are.”

By reincorporating our company as a Benefit Corporation, we’re also making sure that our corporate structure aligns the best interest of business with those of society in order to help businesses be built to last.

We’ve demonstrated this commitment to our students and alumni since our inception, but we’re making the same commitment to be socially conscious to our employees and local communities as well. It is fundamentally who we are. Through its commitment to innovation and fiscal responsibility, ACE is leading the way in shaping higher education that is accessible, affordable, and highly responsive to the needs of working professionals in a modern and frequently shifting global market, because they know the more educators learn, the more their students learn.


View ACE’s B Impact Assessment and profile.

To learn more about their programs and mission, visit www.ace.edu.

The Importance of Editing in Public Relations

January 6, 2017 | by Bohlsen Group

By Anna Axley

The world of public relations is essentially grounded on the concept of first impressions. More often than not, that primary impression is the foundation for your audience’s opinion of your brand. Helping clients maintain a positive reputation means there is no room for error or misinterpretation. Although editing is key to being successful in all types of writing, public relations writing requires a higher sense of awareness as to how your content is perceived, and the best way to make sure each message comes across correctly is to analyze and edit thoroughly.

Since the beginning of our education, teachers stressed the importance of correct grammar and punctuation. Seems basic, and maybe even second-nature to most of us, but you can never be too careful. One misinterpreted word can change the meaning of a statement, and in some cases, cause your audience to take offense. Stepping back to “let your writing breathe” while you work on another project or inviting another pair of eyes to look it over are all valuable options for second-hand review before publishing or sending along to a client. Follow these editing tips to cover the basics:

Be clear and concise.

The best way to take your writing down to only the necessities is to cut out extra descriptives or unrelated ideas. The next part of the revision process is trimming. Cut out extra adjectives and qualifiers, and make sure you don’t have language that distracts from the true meaning of your statements. Paragraphs and sentences can usually only support one idea at a time, so avoid cramming too much topic variety into one segment, or you’ll lose the reader’s attention. Ultimately, using fewer words allows for more attention to the deeper meaning.

Be grammatically correct!

Obviously, being grammatically correct in all professional writing is crucial, but in PR, your audience may only skim your work, and when a quick glance reveals a typo or spelling error, it’s a safe bet that they won’t continue reading. Among the most important of grammar rules are the AP stylebook guidelines, especially in public relations. If you’re ever unsure of spelling, placement, or punctuation with AP Style, you should always double check. It will ensure your writing is correct and will help you remember that rule for the future.

Follow the AP Stylebook.

When it comes to writing in AP Style correctly, there can be lots of confusion as to which concepts in writing are different with AP Style and which are the same. A great way to ensure you’re using the stylebook accurately is to create a cheat sheet with the rules you find most difficult to remember or understand. Here are some of the biggest pain points and possibilities for error in the Associated Press Style of writing:

  • Punctuation (where do periods and commas go in quotes?, etc)
  • Titles (Which ones do you capitalize and when? How about in quotes? Etc.)
  • Numerals (Which numbers do you spell out? How do you represent a percentage?, etc.)
  • Time/Dates (When do you use figures? Do you put commas in full dates?, etc.)

It can be super helpful to create a one-page cheat sheet for these common mistakes. That way you can readily remind yourself of the simple stuff while looking over your writing!

Review, Review, Review!

Revision during and after you’ve written a piece can change the caliber of your writing from “good” to “great”. Whether you copy and paste something incorrectly, type the wrong date, or misspell someone’s last name, it all stems from hasty editing. If possible, always have a coworker glance over your work as well. An extra pair of eyes can add perception value and catch mistakes you may have missed after reading the same thing over and over. Once you’ve finished writing, I suggest first double-checking the details of the piece (time, date, addresses, spelling, etc.) with what you have written and make sure those are correct. Lastly, always use an active voice in your writing. This strengthens your words and allows for easier understanding on the reader’s part.

Remember, your work will never be perfect before the editing process, and that you have the ability to create excellent content provided it’s edited correctly and easy for readers to understand. To quote Malcolm Gladwell:

“Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.”

Importance of Rapport in the Workplace

January 5, 2017 | by Bohlsen Group

By Jordan Galligan

The word rapport stems from the old French verb rapporter, meaning to carry something back to a person, or how people relate to one another. Establishing rapport within healthy relationships is the key to an effective workplace. During my time as an Events & Entertainment intern with Bohlsen Group, I’ve learned firsthand that the value of face-to-face communication and relationship building can make all the difference. The common ground found between employees helps to create a welcoming environment that fosters creative growth and limits workplace frustration. Here are my biggest takeaways on effective rapport during my time with Bohlsen Group:

Helps institute trust and authenticity.

Get to know the people around you. In most cases, you spend more time with your co-workers than you do your family. Trust isn’t a gift that is freely handed out; it takes time to develop and grow over time. Be real. Set aside a date to get together outside of a work setting. Here, you’re able to get to know people on a more personal basis, enjoy one another’s company in a unique setting, and establish the building blocks for a sturdy relationship. Heidi Harmon, a Senior Account Coordinator at Bohlsen, told me that it’s also vital to rely on each other through tough times. Ensuring that others are doing well, and sharing a communal drive for success, enables the office to run smoother and create quality content. Shared success only shows itself by investing in the people around you and showing your authentic self.

Catalyzes networking opportunities.

Look around you. More than likely, you have a multitude of useful networking sources all at your fingertips. The key to reaching them: explore. I’m the type of person that needs to move around in order to stimulate my mind. Whether that’s setting up shop in the conference room, the treadmill desk, or the kitchen, my creativity grows with each new location. The best decision I made at Bohlsen Group was venturing away from my desk into other parts of the office. Here, I was able to collaborate with other co-workers face to face. I introduced myself to David Cordell, the Director of Creative Services, on my third day of the internship. He welcomed the opportunity to speak with me and actually ran me through a newly acquired client campaign. Within the first week, I felt like a part of the team. I rounded out my time with Bohlsen by meeting with most of the staff for informational interviews, to get to know them better and garner advice as I head into my professional career. The initial relationship development with the people around me made the difference.

Establishes consistent and effective communication.

It’s important to establish a consistent voice with your colleagues. Be sure they know who you are as a person, what you stand for, and how you carry yourself. What are your hobbies, interests, and involvements outside of work? It’s advantageous that your co-workers or supervisors understand where you’re coming from before hitting the ground running. On the other hand, do the same with them. What makes them tick? Establishing rapport on the ground level helps to ensure compromise when other events or commitments come up outside of work. Once you know a co-worker on a better basis, you can establish that effective line of communication because you understand what the other party is expecting.

Creates a healthier work environment.

Naturally, you are more comfortable and creative in a setting that is receptive to human interaction. By developing those initial relationships with the employees around you, there’s a positive correlation in the quality of your work. Jordan Overton, Senior Account Coordinator, mentioned that this ever-evolving industry and the people invested in it provide the greatest privilege of all: “You never stop learning.” Rather than dreading the work day, you arrive with a purpose, looking forward to the day’s challenges. Knowledge is a valuable tool. As you grow and evolve over your career, it’s beneficial to surround yourself with people that push you to be the best you can be. In turn, the workplace benefits from a communal, creative environment, something that Bohlsen Group seems to know a little something about.

Rapport can go a long way in the office. Not only does it make you more comfortable with your peers, the quality of your work and attitude will improve. As a I leave Bohlsen Group to pursue post-grad professional opportunities, I’ll continue to apply what I’ve learned in the office to all facets of my life. And I’ll always remind myself to continue to do one thing: learn.

Want to be a part of the internship experience at Bohlsen Group? Learn more here.

5 Things Not to be Afraid of During an Internship

| by Bohlsen Group

By Erin Thistlethwaite

Being the new person around the office can put a lot of pressure on even the most experienced workers. Being an intern with no experience is even more pressure. You’re at the bottom of the totem poll and you want to impress everyone around you and show your potential. Here are five things I have learned you shouldn’t be afraid of as an intern.

Don’t be afraid of making phone calls

In the PR world, making phone calls to promote a client is a pretty regular occurrence. Having the interns make these calls is also a pretty regular occurrence. If you are like me, calling random people to help a client or cause can get the nerves in a frenzy. I am going to be frank with you… people are rude, but you get used to it. Don’t get offended or take it personally if your first call ends in three seconds or less. When someone interrupts you and hangs up, it’s not anything you said and it happens way more than you think. Eventually you will get someone who wants to talk to you and hear what you have to say. When this happens, suddenly you’ll forget all the rude people that came before.

Don’t be afraid of messing up

Wanting to impress everyone is something every intern strives to do. There is that internal pressure to make sure everything is perfect with no mistakes. By all means you should always put forth your best work, but it is okay to slip up. Internships are for learning and how are you going to learn or grow as a professional if you never mess up? The people you are working for are there to catch these mistakes and take your work to its full potential. They want to help and guide you to find your strongest qualities and mold the ones that aren’t. Critiques aren’t bad; they are simply a way to make what you have already done even better.

Don’t be afraid of the front desk

As an intern, you may be asked to run the front desk from time to time, and that can be very intimidating. Being put in charge of a phone with a million buttons and directing visitors who come into the office leaves a lot of room for error. I am here to tell you, it’s not that bad. And that is coming from the one person who had Canada, China, and every other country calling and looking for a dire decision about a package I knew nothing about. Every. Single. Time. There is no reason to think that you have to be a veteran at the front desk though. Just go in with a confident attitude like you know what you are doing and it will make the job a whole lot more fun; it’s surprisingly entertaining up there.

Don’t be afraid of talking

Creating relationships with coworkers can be very important for your future. Internships are a stepping stone to getting a job so making these connections could be pivotal to the next steps in your career. Talk to people. Get to know everyone around you. Most of the time, people want to help. They want to answer any questions you might have, or connect you with one of their contacts that you would never have had the chance to talk to otherwise. You never know who knows whom or how someone can benefit you. Take the opportunity and use the resources you have during your time with the company. Don’t shy away because you’re the new kid on the block.

Don’t be afraid of the top dog

Last but certainly not least, you should never be afraid of talking to the boss. In the same way as talking to your coworkers, making a connection with the president of a company can really give you an edge up after your internship comes to an end. The more effort you put into creating a relationship with those in a high position within a company, the more opportunities you open up for yourself in the future. They are valuable resources to have in your corner, so take advantage of it while you have the chance.

Overall, try your best to give 110% during your internship. Take everything as a lesson and use it constructively for your future. Whether the job is big or small, your efforts towards it can make or break you; you might as well give it your all and see where it can take you.

How to seek, process and move forward with feedback

January 4, 2017 | by Bohlsen Group

By Miranda Maritato

Mark Zuckerberg once said, “You grow more when you get more people’s perspectives.” As the Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, he must be on to something. The number one thing you should not take for granted during an internship is the people you get to work with. You can learn something from everyone, but you won’t learn anything if you don’t know how to take and, most importantly, utilize constructive criticism.

Ask questions

Each assignment is an opportunity to learn and grow, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember, this is a learning experience. You will make mistakes. If you’re unsure how to do something, it’s a better use of time and resources to ask than be completely off-mark. More importantly, if you get feedback you don’t understand or none at all, ask for clarification. If you don’t understand why a change was made, you can’t correct it in the future.

Welcome feedback

You’re first draft isn’t always the best draft. You might get an assignment back with a lot of edits and feel discouraged. Don’t! Feedback is an essential tool in learning. If everything you submitted got an “Okay, looks great!” it wouldn’t mean nearly as much as receiving some constructive criticism or pointers. Constructive criticism is caring. If the people you’re working for didn’t care about what you were getting out of your experience and your success, they wouldn’t offer guidance.

Feedback is also a great way to track your progress. Be mindful of any edits or notes you get back— they were made for a reason. Maybe the assignor of your project had a different vision for the assignment, or maybe you completely dropped the ball. Don’t make the same mistake twice, pay attention to detail. Make note of the comments or edits made and keep them in mind moving forward with your internship and future endeavors.

Appreciate fresh perspectives

The best part of my experience with Bohlsen Group has been working with so many different people on such a variety of projects. I’ve learned that there is no one way to do something. Everyone has their own style, and I’ve appreciated the different perspectives and collaboration. I got to see that firsthand through examples, edits, and feedback from different members of the team at Bohlsen Group.

As students and recent graduates, timely feedback is something we are familiar with and expect. You take a test; you get a grade. You write a paper; you get a grade. The real world doesn’t grade you. You sink or you swim with little to no notice. Take constructive criticism as swim floats. Seek it, embrace it, and use it to swim forward in your life, professionally and personally.