Great things are #HAPPO ‘ning!

19 02 2010

Please allow me to reintroduce myself.

My name is Evan Strange and I am a 22 year-old Senior at Butler University where I am studying journalism with a concentration in PR/Advertising and a backgound in business and marketing

Aside from school, I intern at one of the largest, full-service public relations and advertising agencies in Indiana and have been able to execute community relations, crisis communications and media relations programming.

I love to write, create, strategize, connect and am looking for an environment that is condusive to my creativity and strategic thinking.

I think outside of the box and I never want to go back in. I am a writer by trade and entrepreneur at heart- put those together and it’s a potent combination.

Add some proactivity, ingenuity and a lack of complacency and you have the makings of a lean, mean, public relations machine.

I enjoy a fast-pace, thrive on deadlines and I get results.

Put a problem in front of me and I’ll solve it.

I am hoping to move out west one day and would love to live in Colorado, Oregon or Wyoming but I am open to going where ever the wind should take me. Oh, and Indianapolis, I love you.

Want to know more? Here is my resume.


I’ll take my own umbrella.

12 02 2010

To preface this blog post, I must admit that I am a former marketing student who turned on the dark side (I only joke) and became a journalism and integrated communications major.

The other night I had an interesting discussion, some could call it a debate, with a good friend of mine who is a marketing student at Butler

As I was discussing a few PR matters with a fellow classmate, the marketing student across the room exclaimed “It doesn’t even matter, marketing CONTROLS the PR.  WE tell YOU what to do.”

With a simple “Oh, really?” muttered on my end, the debate ensued.

The point that she made was that PR fell under the magical Marketing Umbrella and that it was the 4th P, promotion.  With a few more text-book definitions rattled off, it was time for my rebuttal.

While I agree that the public relations and marketing departments in most companies work very closely, it is hard for me to believe that the marketers are in complete control of what the PR people are doing.

The next point I made was that she clearly misunderstood the role of public relations.  Yes, media relations (not to be confused with PR as a whole) executives may seek to promote a company or organization, but the end-goal of the public relations practitioner and a marketer are completely different.

While marketing is, in large part, focused on getting a product or service to a customer after a transaction is made, the goal of PR is the mutually beneficial relationship with not only the consumer, but with all stakeholders.  Yes, these relationships may result in a sale, but the main focus is completely different.

I’ve been fortunate enough to do some community relations and public outreach with my current employer.  To say those initiatives are controlled by marketing doesn’t sit well with me.

I have had an internship where both departments work directly with each other and another where the practitioner has a direct-line to the CEO of the organization being served.  In neither case was the marketing department in complete control.

Instead, it was more of a collaborative effort.  This is where IMC comes in.

At this point we came to a stalemate.  Progress was absent, and we were right back where we started.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a knock on marketing.  This is an exploration of the relationship between the two “departments” and a notice to those who haven’t yet grasped the concept of integration.

So what do you think- does the marketing department CONTROL the PR?  What have your experiences been?  What would your response to Ms. Marketing Student be?

Thank you Theodore…again!

18 08 2009

DSCN0984As I sit at home with my family, I find it very hard to not be the least bit nostalgic as I am surrounded by memories, old bits and bobbles, and more particularly the catalogue of every issue of the Harrison H.S. Prophet in which I wrote. 

In these amateur pages written by kids who had no clue of an inverted pyramid, I always felt free to express my thoughts on my own terms, in a way people, especially my peers, could relate. 

Of all the articles I wrote there was one I am most proud of, and, although it was the first article I ever wrote for the newspaper,  I saved it for the last issue of my H.S. career.  Here it is, unabridged and unchanged since its publication on May 5, 2006:

At the beginning of the school year on the fifteenth of August, I was walking out to my car just like any other day, when I saw my close friend Erica Stenstrom. She looked at me and asked “Hey Evan, do you want to go see Jimmy Eat World and Green Day in Nashville tonight?” At first, I was slightly caught off guard by the short notice, but I quickly replied with an exuberant “Yes!”

I picked up my phone and immediately called my mother and informed her of our plans. Then, we loaded up the mini van and it was off to sunny Nashville, Tennessee. Joining the excursion was Erica’s brother Nate, friends Josh Compton, Jenny Beck, and fellow senior Brittany Beeler.

With Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity in the CD player, the three hour journey was full of anticipation and at times some anxiety, and we were met with some tears of sadness when we experienced some horrific traffic in Kentucky that nearly made us miss the show.  With ten minutes left until the concert of the century, we finally arrived.

It seemed, however, we were the only ones there.  When we found an unusually close parking spot, a balding man walked up to the van and gave us a piece of paper saying the concert had been cancelled because one of the band members was sick.

Our hopes and dreams were quickly shattered  and everything seemed lost.  Myself and the others were also quite bitter about the pansy band member.

Now, we had tons of time to kill, but nothing to do.  Out of nowhere, the hopeful Nate said “How about some BBQ?” and with our heads down, we walked to the nearest restaurant.  From the street, we could hear the smooth sounds of a country band playing a cover of an old Jimmy Buffet song; it was not Jimmy Eat World, but it lifted our spirits nonetheless.

With our stomachs full of barbequed meat, the night began to improve and we wandered the streets to ponder life’s deepest mysteries.

I was enjoying my stroll when a man, slightly intoxicated and possibly insane, invited us in to his ice cream store.  As soon as we walked in, he began telling us his philosophies, how he use to be a rockstar, all the illnesses that could be cured with a bottle of cough syrup and how no matter what he always made the best of his situation.

After an hour of learning important life lessons from the man’s reversion to his past, it was time for us to leave and sadly bid farewell to Theodore the Ice Cream Man.

At the beginning of the school year I found myself sitting in class wondering how I would get through my Senior year and make the best out of it.

At first I was irritated with the 365 days I had left until I was in college, but then I remembered what Teddy the Ice Cream Man had said: “You guys have to live life to the fullest everyday and follow your dreams.  Not everything in life is going to work out the way you want it to, but if all else fails, I’ll pay the babes fifteen bucks an hour to work in this joint.” 

Thanks for the advice Theodore.

This year has been awesome, but of course there have been instances which were a little rough and times that were trying.  When the going gets tough, people tend to get bent out of shape or blame other people for their situation, but that is the worst thing you can do if you want to be happy and have joy in your life .  I was guilty of doing just that.

Times can get hard and things will happen that just don’t make sense, but have faith and do what Theodore says; make the best out of life.  You only live once.

Thanks again Theodore, your lessons transcend the years.

Paging Dr. Strange…

3 08 2009

flatlineI like to pride myself on being a man full of ideas.  In one of my classes this past semester I was even asked what I could bring to the class , and I responded with “I’m the idea guy” – whatever that means.

Ask anyone who knows me and they will quickly tell you I am not one to bite my tongue and refrain from offering any suggestions, no matter how good or bad they may be.  

Over the course of my summer internship, however, I learned a very valuable lesson about these “ideas” of mine: treat them like your patients.

Put yourself in the role of an ER doctor.  Everyday you have patients come in with all types of illnesses and afflictions and you are the first to treat them.  You have finally made your grand diagnosis and begin to operate by doing a procedure no one else had thought to do.

1. Don’t get too emotionally involved greys

No one wants an Izzy/Denny situation.  Yea you had a great idea that no one thought of, but that doesn’t make you special. You should take pride in the intellectual property you create, but if you are becoming far too protective and get irritated when other people make suggestions, something’s  wrong.

2. Let another Dr. take a look

If you’re patient is having an irregular heart beat, wouldn’t it make more sense for a cardiologist to take a look?  You can’t get offended/upset if you have to hand over your “patients” to someone else.  Don’t think for one second that because it was your idea, you should be the only one thinking about it.  Ask around, and see what other people think. It can only strengthen what you already have.

3. You have to let them go…

Sometimes, there are circumstances beyond our control and patients flatline whether you like it or not. Don’t take it personally- it happens.  Not every idea, whether you think it will be or not, is going to be a homerun.

From now on, think like a doctor and treat your ideas like they are your patients.  Treat them all equally, and give them all  the care and help they deserve.  If they flatline, fight like hell to save them, but realize there are sometimes when, even you can’t do a thing about it.