Manship Student Runs Own PR Business

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Pryce Bahnsen

Some people may know Pryce Bahnsen as a senior studying public relations at the Manship School. What they may not know is that also she runs her own PR business.

When choosing what college to go to, Pryce chose LSU for its big college atmosphere and great communications program at the Manship School. She wanted to know her professors and have a multitude of opportunities outside the classroom.

As a freshman, Pryce was searching through the internship database on the Manship School’s website for a job. She stumbled across a listing to be a personal public relations assistant to the late Holly Clegg, a Baton Rouge cookbook author and chef. Pryce applied for the job and, to her surprise, got it. As a female entrepreneur, Holly inspired Pryce from the start of her internship. She loved how Holly was just one person, a female that could run her own business.

After thoroughly enjoying working for Holly, Pryce got in touch with a local social media influencer and helped her run her business. Pryce realized this was something she could do full-time as a student.

Since then, Pryce has launched her own public relations business that has represented 12 clients and counting. She helps her clients with digital marketing, branding, website design, blogging and more. Her contracts with each company are unique, but Pryce mainly runs each business’s social media, websites, newsletters and more. What’s even more impressive is that she does this as a full-time student, graduating a year early.

Pryce says one of her biggest mentors encouraging her to start her own business was Manship School public relations instructor Doug Draper.

“One of the first things he told me was just, ‘Why don’t you let it grow?’” Pryce said. “After that, I went full-force into my business.” Pryce also was able to repay Draper by representing him and designing his website.

“She worked more effectively than many experienced business consultants that I’ve encountered in my long career in corporate communications with Fortune 500 companies,” Draper said.  “She listened to my vision, provided clear counseling that would help me achieve it, and followed through on all the tasks needed to make it better than I imagined. Due to Pryce’s work, I’m proud to tell people to check out my website.”

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Pryce thanks the Manship School for giving her the confidence and foundation for her future as a business owner and communicator. “All of the classes I have taken at the Manship School have been realistic. A lot of times when I’m working on things for clients, different pieces of knowledge that I’ve learned in my classes will just pop up in my head,” Pryce said.

Pryce enjoys working remotely and on her own time. She is a reminder to all students on just how much you can accomplish by being self-motivated. Upon graduating in May 2020, Pryce will return to her home state where she will pursue a master’s degree in advertising at the University of Texas in Austin. She will continue to build her brand and book of clients in hopes to one day open her own in-house public relations and advertising firm.

Written by Gabie deBruler 

Get the Nat: Manship Students Live Out Their Dream Working The National Championship Game

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Lauren Cochran on the set of ESPN

One month ago, on Jan. 13, 2020, LSU Football prevailed for the first time since 2007 for the College Football National Championship title. Several Manship School students had the opportunity to work the game and witness history watching the greatest football team of all time.

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Lauren Cochran celebrates the National Championship

Junior Lauren Cochran had the unique opportunity to work for ESPN for the week of the championship. It all began when Lauren got an email from a Production Coordinator at ESPN saying that they had reached out to the Manship School, and received her contact information from them. Lauren was offered a phone interview later with the Production Coordinator from ESPN.

“The interview was super easy and fun. After talking to them for 30 minutes, I was offered the job working for ESPN on the spot,” Lauren said.

For the week leading up to the Championship game, Lauren worked for ESPN as a production assistant, running errands and making graphics that would later air on the network. Given that Lauren’s background is as a reporter for TigerTV, that week was a whole new experience for her. “It was so cool to see and be a part of a national broadcast and have the opportunity to do the behind the scenes for that,” Lauren said.

Lauren’s favorite part of working the National Championship game was getting to see her own school take home the title.

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Zachary Nunez celebrates with confetti

Zachary Nunez, a senior broadcast journalism major, also worked the National Championship game for TigerTV. Zachary’s favorite part of working the game was being able to live out his dream of being a sports broadcaster since he was young. “It’s an experience I had dreamed of since I was in sixth grade when I went to career day at school in a suit and tie with printed out articles from ESPN that morning,” said Zachary.  “To be able to talk about the National Championship that LSU won in the city I was born in—It really was a dream come true.”

Both Lauren and Zachary mentioned being able to meet many of the people they look up to in sports reporting. “Honestly, being able to say that I worked for ESPN is such a dream. This means so much for me and my future,” Lauren said.

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Zachary interviews Ja’marr Chase

Lauren and Zachary thank the Manship School for leading them to this opportunity and teaching them how to write and communicate in covering one of the greatest football teams of all time.

“Covering the Natty was an amazing experience, and it’s one I will cherish for the rest of my life because it’s an opportunity I may never have again,” Zachary said.

Written by Gabie DeBruler

Political Communication Student Gains Experience in Mayor’s Office

Alyssa Panepinto
Manship student Alyssa Panepinto

When she’s not in class or studying, Manship School senior Alyssa Panepinto spends her time working on the communications team for East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. The political communication major from Belle Chasse, Louisiana, writes speeches, puts together media alerts for press conferences, takes photos and makes videos, attends events on days she’s in the office, and records the Mayor’s speeches for Facebook live.

“I think this experience helps because I get to use what I’m learning in class,” Panepinto said. “It’s also helpful because I’m getting more practice, so my grades in class are better too.”

Her professor, Bob Mann, connected her with the Mayor’s communications director after Panepinto returned from the Media & Politics in Europe program that Mann leads alongside for Manship School professional-in-residence and LSU Student Media director Bob Ritter.

“Bob [Mann] became my mentor on the Media & Politics in Europe trip, and now my friends and I from the trip go to his office every week during office hours and just chat with him, because he has a lot of advice and wisdom about the field because he’s worked in it so long,” Panepinto said.

Though Panepinto initially chose to attend LSU because of its reputation as a top school, it’s the family atmosphere that reassured her the Manship School was the right place for her.

“Here at the Manship School, it feels more welcoming. You know everyone and you make connections with your professors too. I feel like professors here at the Manship School care about you and how you do after graduation and are always helping you to find jobs and internships. There is a really good support system here at Manship,” Panepinto said. “If you’re at all considering Manship – I’d tell you to just go for it!”

Manship School Student Works on Gubernatorial Campaign

Parker Carey
Manship student Parker Carey

Parker Carey grew up in Massachusetts where he was exposed to politics at a very young age when a neighbor ran for office. Days spent walking through the neighborhood with his parents knocking on doors on behalf of their neighbor sparked his initial interest in politics.

When it came time to go to college, Carey knew he wanted to attend school in the SEC and landed at LSU. During his sophomore year, Carey learned about the Manship School and its political communication concentration, which he decided to pursue.

“I was considering going to law school, and I knew that having a background in communications would help me in my career if I decided at some point that I didn’t want to go to law school,” Carey said. “I’ve developed a lot of skills at the Manship School that have helped me succeed in my internships, like writing. Professor Roxanne Dill drilled AP Style into me and the ability to write well, which helped set me apart from other candidates and helped me land my internship last summer in Washington, D.C.”

Carey spent his summer in Washington DC working at FTI Consulting, a firm that specializes in media and public affairs. He spent time working alongside the team on issue management, coding and writing which built on the skills he’d learned at the Manship School and had previously honed working for Rep. Garret Graves.

“I found my internship with Garret Graves my sophomore year in the Manship School’s internship database and that position helped me secure my current position working for Eddie Rispone.”

As an intern working on businessman Rispone’s gubernatorial campaign, Carey works on the phone bank, write postcards, helps to identify volunteers, assists the digital media team and sometimes photographs Rispone at events.

“It’s a great experience working for a gubernatorial campaign,” Carey said. “I was able to be backstage at the first debate that the Manship School hosted – and that was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had, being behind the scenes and watching people prepare for the debate.”

Carey is confident that the skills he’s built and network he’s grown thanks to the help of the Manship School will help launch his career after graduation. He’s already fielding interview requests from national political organizations that he might work for when he graduates in December.

“These courses will teach you everything you need to be successful and give you the background and skills,” Carey said. “I’ll always be grateful for the connections I made through the Manship School.

Entertainment Industry Pro Now Teaching at Manship School

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Manship School professor David Stamps

The Manship School just added eight new people to their internationally – known faculty full of scholars and top professionals, and on that list is St. Louis native, Dr. David Stamps.

Stamps brings a dynamic background, working within the entertainment industry, as an actor and dancer, as a field publicist with NBC Universal, as well as a strong research portfolio. It was his professional dancing that initially led him into acting and eventually to NBC Universal.

“I really wanted to be a dancer for Janet Jackson, but I would go to auditions and see these huge guys and I did not look like that, so I told my manager that we needed to find something different,” Dr. Stamps said.

That “something else” turned into opportunities for Stamps to work as an actor/dancer in film, commercials, and on shows such as “Hannah Montana,” as well as introduce his very own line of fitness videos.

Stamps soon found his way to the world of entertainment public relations, where he worked for NBC Universal for about eight years. Along the way he found himself interacting with various stars like Rihanna and Blake Lively on the films BATTLESHIP and SAVAGES, respectively.

“My boss would call me Sunday night and tell me that he needed me to deliver a film to Oprah’s estate Monday morning that hasn’t been released yet, so I would have to travel, wait for her to watch it in her theater, and make sure the movie did not leave the estate because that was a multi- million dollar project that has not yet been released to the public,” Stamps said.

Stamps helped develop marketing and strategic communication plans for multi-million-dollar box office movies such as the Fast and Furious franchise and the tentpole blockbuster, Despicable Me.

“My team and I helped bring this set of minions from unknown characters in a movie that hadn’t launched yet to a household brand – now you see them everywhere,” Stamps said.

Stamps traveled across the country, sometimes spending time working in multiple cities during a week. “It was exhilarating and exhausting,” Stamps said.

After nearly a decade in public relations, Stamps decided to go into teaching, specifically at the college level. Stamps wanted to teach students the same lessons he learned in the classroom, with his bachelor’s degree in media management, as well as his lessons in the industry. David earned his master’s at California State University in Northridge and doctoral degree at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB).

During his time as a graduate student, Stamps was awarded the Kennedy/Graves Research Fellowship in 2017 and 2018, was named the Pearl S. Simmons Scholar and Graduate Equity Fellow, and his research has been supported by the Congressional Black Caucus and the University of California, Santa Barbara Center for Black Studies. He also won the Mass Communication Graduate Portfolio Award from the CSU Mike Curb College of Media and Communication and was named a finalist of the CSU Trustee Award in 2015.

Stamps has bridged his work in media to his research program. He examines race-related media effects and stereotyping of marginalized groups within mass media. He’s authored numerous publications on media, including “The social construct of the African American family on broadcast television: A comparative content analysis of The Cosby Show and Blackish” in the Howard Journal of Communications and “Is it Really Representation? A Qualitative Analysis of Asian and Latino Characterizations in Broadcast Television” in The American Communication Journal.

Now that he’s at LSU, Stamps is eager to continue his important work and to mentor graduate and undergraduate students who want to conduct research and work in public relations or the academia.

“It’s cool that I walk past a tiger every day. The Manship School has a lot of great resources and potential and if we work together collectively, we can tap into a unique and culturally rich space,” Stamps said.

Written by Brianna Jones-Williams