5 Unforgettable Lessons I Learned From PRSSA

Five Unforgettable Lessons I Learned from PRSSA

By Jessica Pineda

 

Getting involved in CSUF PRSSA was the best investment I made to prepare for a career in communications. Two years later, the skills I developed and people I met from PRSSA have helped me create media magic at a prominent entertainment brand in my first post-graduation role and work on campaigns in my current position at a leading global communications marketing firm.

 

While I learned a lot during my time in PRSSA, these lessons were among my most notable takeaways, which continue to make a large impact in my professional journey:

 

Great things never came from comfort zones.

The concept of networking seemed intimidating at first, but PRSSA helped it become second nature. Leading up to my first mixer with our PRSA Parent Chapter, I ramped up my confidence by introducing myself to fellow Chapter members and guest speakers, who are more than happy to chat. Over time, I gained the courage to attend a professional networking event alone, which eventually led to an internship opportunity.

 

Define your personal brand.

My first set of business cards arrived a week before I left for PRSSA National Conference. Among all the inspiring lessons and panels, my biggest key learning was the importance of developing a personal brand and “elevator pitch.” They came in handy when introducing myself to attendees and reps from top agencies/employers.

 

It’s a small world after all.

At its core, public relations is about building meaningful relationships – not only with press but clients, peers and mentors too – which naturally makes the professional community very close-knit. I was surprised to learn that my leaders from two separate internships knew each other. Not to mention, our CSUF PRSSA alumni network spans across country and a variety of industries (not all of us pursue media relations!).

 

You get out of it what you put into it.

Preface: This goes for any organization or anything in life, honestly.

 

Having “PRSSA Member” on a resume may capture attention, but the real value comes from investment. The membership itself didn’t make the difference on my applications – what I learned from participating in events, networking and serving on the Executive Board did. Some members said they didn’t have the time, but there are countless opportunities to get involved and carving just 30 minutes to connect with someone new adds to the experience.

 

It all works out in the end.

It was inevitable; the “What am I going to do after graduation?!” crisis was in full swing during my last semester at CSUF. Thankfully, our Chapter advisers, professors and past members were wonderful mentors, reviewing my resume and sharing helpful advice, during the senior year job scramble. Going through the process with fellow members also made it significantly less daunting.

 

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About Jessica Pineda
Twitter: @jesipineda | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/pinedaj/
Jessica Pineda is a communications marketing professional, currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area and working in technology public relations at Edelman. She graduated from the CSUF College of Communications in 2015 and served as the Publicity Director for Cal State Fullerton PRSSA during her senior year. After graduation, she completed a year-long PR internship at the Disneyland Resort. When she isn’t brainstorming story angles, Jessica is likely to be found taking photos wherever she goes.

CSUF PRSSA Breaks Attendance Record

CSUF PRSSA Breaks Attendance Record at Kick-Off Event 

First Event of the Academic School Year Draws Over 200 Guests

 

FULLERTON, CA, August 31, 2017 – California State University, Fullerton’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) hosted “Launch Your Career: PRSSA 101” on Aug. 30, 2017 to kick off the fall semester at the Alumni House. The event was sponsored by Communications InterClub Council (CICC) and was catered by StoneFire Grill.

“PRSSA’s new executive board has been working tirelessly over the summer for our first event,” said Vice President of Events Arianna Ford. “We are excited to serve our year-long positions while celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Robert E. Rayfield Chapter.”

Attendees learned about the benefits of a PRSSA membership, such as career tours, agency boot camps, exclusive internships, and speaker panels planned throughout the semester. As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, CSUF and PRSSA gear were raffled away during the event, and students who signed up for the yearly membership will receive 100 complimentary business cards.

Veteran member Green Lee shared a fashion PR internship opportunity with the audience. PRSSA Faculty Adviser Kenneth Hagihara, who managed Integrity Public Relations since 2000, explained the importance of a PRSSA membership from a recruiter’s standpoint. Professional Adviser Matt Prince spoke about the importance of being ethical as a PR practitioner and the benefits of going to National Conference.

With an increase of 47 attendees from last semester’s kick – off event, PRSSA executive board members are hopeful to increase membership sign – ups by at least 100 members for the school year.

Please visit www.csufprssa.org to find out more information about becoming a CSUF PRSSA member or about upcoming events.

 

About The Public Relations Student Society of America at CSUF

The Public Relations Student Society of America at California State University, Fullerton is the premier organization for students to jump-start their careers in communications and public relations. PRSSA retains the highest membership of all PRSSA chapters on the West Coast and is the largest on-campus student-run communications organization. PRSSA exposes our members to all facets and intricacies of the public relations profession across the spectrum by providing speaker events, career tours, mixers and more. PRSSA is the only organization affiliated with a professional chapter and is the only on-campus organization to offer a student-run public relations firm that exposes students to real-world opportunities such as social media management, red carpets, writing and more.

 

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Media Contact: Andrew Vo

Writer: Allison Thuang

 

CSUF PRSSA Appoints Ken Hagihara As New Faculty Adviser

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CSUF PRSSA Appoints Ken Hagihara As New Faculty Adviser

Hagihara’s Strong Qualifications Secures Him the Advisory Role

FULLERTON, CA, August 21, 2017 – California State University, Fullerton’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) named Kenneth Hagihara as the new Faculty Adviser for the 2017 – 2018 academic year. Hagihara will replace 2017 Distinguished Faculty Member Dennis Gaschen, who retired after 23 years of teaching.

“PRSSA is excited to welcome Ken, who has a diverse amount of public relations experience and dedicates himself to help CSUF students achieve success,” said President Andrew Vo.

With entrepreneurship skills that led him to start and run a number of businesses, Hagihara was honored by CSUF as a distinguished alumnus in 2004. He has been Integrity Public Relations President for 17 years, and a U.S. Navy Public Affairs Officer for eight years.

Since the creation of Integrity Public Relations in 2000, Hagihara has provided comprehensive public relations, marketing, and consultation services to various technology and non-profit organizations. His extensive technical background allowed him to understand and effectively translate information about the technology sector to the public through media and analyst relations, social media marketing, and other communication tactics.

Hagihara handled visual, audio and written communications for internal and external audiences as a public affairs officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He coordinated and implemented high-profile public Navy Weeks, and conducted outreach in cities around the nation to raise awareness of the U.S. Navy.

As a CSUF adjunct professor, Hagihara taught public relations courses like PRactical ADvantage and Public Relations Management that explore the multifaceted areas in the industry.

“I’m honored to have been selected as the faculty adviser for what I believe is one of the top Chapters in the country,” said Hagihara. “The program that this strong, proactive executive board has put together for this academic year will bring new opportunities for Chapter members and the student body at-large to engage with professionals from a wide variety of industries.”

Hagihara, who holds the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential, earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from California State University, Fullerton and a master’s degree in Communications Management from University of Southern California.

About Public Relations Student Society of America at CSUF

Public Relations Student Society of America at California State University, Fullerton is the premier organization for students to jump-start their careers in communications and public relations. PRSSA retains the highest membership of all PRSSA Chapters on the West Coast and is the largest on-campus student-run communications organization. PRSSA exposes our members to all facets and intricacies of the public relations profession across the spectrum by providing speaker events, career tours, mixers and more. PRSSA is the only organization affiliated with a professional Chapter and is the only on-campus organization to offer a student-run public relations firm that exposes students to real-world opportunities such as social media management, red carpets, writing and more.

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Media Contact: Andrew Vo

Writer: Allison Thuang

Editor: Andrew Vo

Email: csufprssa@gmail.com

Why Hiring CSUF PRSSA Students Really Paid Off

Kristin Daher, President & Chief Storyteller of Powerhouse Communications

As a CSUF alumni myself, I may be a little biased but, I seem to lean towards CSUF PRSSA students when hiring. Being that I personally went through the CSUF communications program, I know firsthand how outstanding it is.

I love that CSUF PR courses are taught by talented professionals, many of whom are active practitioners allowing students to learn from their relevant, real world experiences vs. focusing 100% on a textbook. And, after staying in touch with many of my college professors, I know that the curriculum has only improved since I graduated from the program in 2005.

PRSSA is a fantastic organization, but I’m impressed with the CSUF Chapter in particular. CSUF PRSSA provides an unparalleled experience for those who are interested in being as prepared as possible once they graduate. PRSSA offers opportunities above and beyond what any class can deliver. And those who actively participate are coming to the table with more than a degree. The fact that PRSSA members choose to take advantage of the resources available to them, to really make the most of their college career, shows a great deal of dedication to their personal and professional growth. I’m even more impressed by students who take on active roles in PRSSA, on the board or through chair positions, because it shows they are willing to take on more responsibility. I’d say the experience gained in PRSSA is equivalent to an impressive internship, and I love that. This gives them an edge in my book.

When hiring, I’ve found that PRSSA students are typically more prepared for job and internship interviews, arriving early with portfolios and a basic knowledge of professional expectations. Networking is also a huge advantage of joining PRSSA. Through the many programs, members can interact with PR professionals and keep in touch. Having a good rapport with PR pros also gives you an edge when it comes to hiring. The students who stand out make the effort to keep in touch with me because they understand the importance of networking and that connections made, especially when you’re starting out, may lead to an internship or job opportunity.

So, why do I like to hire members of CSUF PRSSA? The students who I’ve had the pleasure of working with are confident, enthusiastic and have an eagerness to grow and learn. I felt comfortable in my decisions to hire CSUF PRSSA members because I knew they were willing to go the extra mile and had a strong work ethic. These qualities are valuable in any professional career, but even more so in the fast-paced agency setting. Keep in mind that Communications is a popular field of study at many schools, producing tons of graduates each semester. Consider them all to be your direct competition, vying for the same jobs as you are. What will make employers notice you while they’re weeding through countless entry-level applications? For me, candidates involved in PRSSA have an edge because I already know they won’t settle for the bare minimum. It also shows in their quality of work, which is why I can confidently say that hiring CSUF PRSSA students has really paid off.

So, do yourself a favor and take advantage of what CSUF PRSSA has to offer. Your future self will thank you!

Powerhouse Communications

www.powerhousecomm.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/powerhousecomm

Instagram: www.instagram.com/powerhouse_comm

About Kristin Daher: 

Headquartered in Orange County, Powerhouse Communications is a creative PR agency offering a wide scope of media relations, social media and strategic branding services. Powerhouse specializes in the restaurant segment, having represented clients including Del Taco, Panda Express, Wienerschnitzel, Pieology and Juice It Up! As the agency president, Kristin is equally focused on the creative and strategic elements of the agency’s work while providing a unique level of attention and service to each and every client. Along with her quick wit and outgoing personality, Kristin brings over a decade of public relations experience in the restaurant, franchise, lifestyle, and hospitality segments. No stranger to the fast pace and dynamic nature of the agency work-style, Kristin has kept her clients at the forefront of both traditional and new media while helping to shape brand reputations. Between running the agency, creating a high-energy environment for her employees, and overseeing strategic planning, she loves to pitch her heart out on behalf of agency clients.