Social media has had a significant impact on the PR world. It has eliminated the barrier between a firm and the public to address questions, comments and concerns. Not only has it been influential in maintaining a brand’s reputation, but also in dealing with crisis management in a swift way. These digital channels have brought new ways to build stronger and lasting relationships with clients. Here are three ways social media can be used effectively in public relations. 

AWARENESS: Through social media, companies have been able to enhance their brand’s awareness and stay in the spotlight. People are constantly sharing and reading information on social media platforms. This cost-effective method has led many companies to find new clients through social media tools like hashtags that correlate to a brand’s vision. Aspects of social media such as shares and retweets have also had a positive impact on SEOs (search engine optimization) and have helped gain the attention of influencers and people in general. 

INTERACTION: Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all allow companies to have a direct relationship with their clients. The first thing anyone does when they have an issue or question is to address it on social media. We’ve all been there. Through this, consumers can get their questions answered and find out more information in a quick and efficient way. This one on one type of interaction can majorly influence a brand’s credibility for the better. In addition, incentives offered by liking, sharing and commenting has created an interactive and loyal relationship between a brand and its target audience. 

CONTENT: The most important and effective part of social media in PR is the variety of content that can be created and distributed. Social media has allowed PR to reach a large audience through links, stories, threads and more. PR professionals get to see what followers like and dislike so they can create content based on feedback. Learning about preferences that attract people by posting all types of content, and then customizing it is great PR activity. With aesthetic posts and quick links, PR pros can also announce updates in more appealing ways, keeping their audience engaged and informed. 

Still not convinced about social media’s use in the P.R world?  Read on to find out more from PR Pro Valerie Christopherson, founder and CEO of Global Results Communications (GRC) on their take on P.R and social media!

What types of Social Media does your firm use? Which social media platform(s) has the

company found most effective? 

Being a global firm with global clients, we focus heavily on B2B (business to business) tapping into social media platforms across the board when appropriate. When it comes to tech clients, it depends on the product, solution or service, and which platform their target audience or market is likely to use for engagement. It is important to be active everywhere there is potential for interaction and conversation, so we will always include the most familiar platforms with the largest user base including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

How do you use each platform for PR? (Is there a target audience or content that differs from each platform…) Each platform definitely has a user profile, so to speak. Instagram users typically love an inside look at the culture of a business or the culture surrounding a brand—kind of like a “Day in the Life” snapshot. Twitter, on the other hand, is the perfect platform for us to share client coverage in real-time. We can push out constant content to stay relevant on our followers Twitter feed throughout the day. LinkedIn really tries to keep things business-focused, so our client posts are more informative and newsworthy.

As PR professionals, we understand that all messages don’t necessarily resonate in the same way

with different groups of people. By finding what works for our clients’ audiences and appealing

to them, we improve the impact of their marketing efforts.

What are some benefits of using Social Media for PR?

Social media has changed the way we communicate today. These platforms allow us to reach

audiences from all parts of the world. If people and brands spend time honing in on their

expertise and consistently manage their social channels—or hire a team to do it for them—they

have the potential to greatly increase visibility. Good content gets shared, so by consistently

posting quality content, more people will see it and share it.

Also, the fact that we can connect with anyone at any given time is a huge advantage. Social

media gives PR professionals and students the opportunity to connect before, during and after

networking events, a conference or a meeting. It’s a great way to get to know someone prior to

that first meeting and be better equipped to have a conversation in person.

How do you believe social media has impacted the PR world?

Social media has impacted nearly every industry, but it has had a tremendous impact on public

perception. Drastically changing the way people get their news, social media has forced PR pros and reporters to adapt along with it. And this is no easy task—but it is essential for all professional communicators to get on board.

Social media is such a highly effective tool for communicating breaking news, but it also

shortens the lifespan of a news story. This means that journalists are constantly searching for

the next big thing, and we as PR professionals must keep up. Its influence is simply too large to


What is your name, age, and major?

My name is Sophia Gonsalves, I am 22 years old, and my major is public relations. 

How many years have you been at CSUF?

This is my first year starting as a transfer student. 

How did you hear about PRSSA?

I heard about it through my teacher actually- Professor Hagihara- shoutout to him. He told me about the organization.

What sparked your interest in the PR field?

I think the aspect of growing into personal relationships and learning more about business.

What is your favorite class this semester and why?

I would have to say my Principles of Public Relations class (Comm 361). It’s very related to what I want to do and very career-orientated. It’s very informational, I enjoy what I’m learning, and my teacher is awesome.

How has PRSSA enhanced your perception of the industry?

It’s definitely enhanced my perception because I’ve gotten to talk to so many people. I’ve talked to people in the industry and striving to be in the industry. It’s just given me a different perspective on each side and more exposure.

What are your goals for the year and how can PRSSA help achieve them?

My goal is to meet as many people as I can regardless if we stay in contact or not. Just being able to meet people from different walks of life, especially related to the industry that can help me get closer to what I want to do. Growing relationships, growing academically and hopefully finding work that is related to my field.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

That’s hard. I’d say Instagram just because it’s very blog-like and you get to post all different photos, videos and creative content. Along with the fact that it’s easy to contact different people because so many people have the app and use it.

What is the best advice you’ve heard from one of the panels?

The best advice is consistency, be consistent on what you want to do and focusing on that. Consistency is key. 

Dream company you’d like to work for and why?

That’s a really hard question. It depends on where I end up going or want to go since there are so many aspects of the business. I definitely think Disney is one of those companies that I’d definitely like to work at one point in time.

Can I start with your name, year, and major?

My name is Theo Pologeorgis. I am a first year  communications major.

What sparked your interest in the field of Public Relations?

For a very long time, it has really intrigued me how brands represent themselves in an everyday way, like packaging, and also online through media. There are brands that I agree with and brands I don’t agree with. I found that really interesting, and when I saw the difference aspects of what you can do with PR, it became something that I wanted to pursue. It really just came from a casual interest, to thinking, “Oh, I can actually do something with this.”

How has the PRSSA enhanced your perception of the industry?

I’ve only had limited exposure to the PRSSA. In terms of the panels that I attended, it’s been really interesting to see people describe their job descriptions and how they came to be in the position that they hold. In addition to the fact that they are looking for people like– maybe me, but with a little more experience. Just the fact that someone like me can gain experience and actually work for large companies or even have opportunities that I didn’t think I could have.

Which panel have you enjoyed the most?

Thus far, there was a branding and online representation one with Taco Bell, Complex, and a couple other brands. I’ve only been to two panels so far, this will be my third, but I really enjoyed each of the perspectives the candidates brought to the table.

Have you been able to make connections with any industry professionals through the panels?

I was not a paid member at the time. This will be my first panel as a paid member, so I wasn’t able to network, but it was good just to see the names of these professionals.

What are your goals for this year, and how can the PRSSA help you in achieving them?

I really would like to learn more about the organization. I know there is an actual PR firm side of PRSSA that was hiring, but I wasn’t able to take on a position when it was offered. Either next semester or next year, I would like to explore opportunities for actually working with PRSSA and learning about how it works. PRSSA can help me achieve this by me asking questions and talking to members to find out more.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

It’s ironic because I want to go into a field that involves social media, but personally I don’t use it a lot. I would say Instagram is my favorite because it’s pretty simple, you get your point across with pictures and a couple of words, but it’s not super complex. It does have moving parts, but it’s not like Facebook where you’re constantly being inundated with stuff, it’s very simple and you get to choose who you get your content from.

How did you hear about the PRSSA?

I live on the CTVA floor, and we were encouraged to look at all the comm clubs. PRSSA was listed under the communications umbrella, and since I am a PR major they said it was my designated club and that I should go check it out.

When not in class where do you like to spend your time on campus?

The arboretum. It’s really peaceful and it’s a taste of home, since I come from a more rural area as opposed to a suburban area.

What is your favorite class this semester?

This semester I’m doing all GE courses so… my art history class is still really interesting. I’ve learned a lot about different mediums of art and creative ideas in general. It’s been interesting to learn about, and so I would say it’s my favorite class.

What is your dream company or firm that you would like to work for one day?

I mean, shooting for the stars, it would be Walt Disney or even just the Disney Resorts,specifically that would be a huge deal for me.

There will be a couple representatives from Disney at this panel, will you take advantage of the networking opportunities? 

Absolutely! Especially now that I have networking as an option.

What is the best advice that you’ve heard from one of these panels?

Bring your resume everywhere. Again, I’m a first year, so I’m very green. Just learning the basics, the go-to things you need to have, it’s really important to have those resources with you when you go network.

One of the amazing perks of being a member of PRSSA is the ability to take part in the career agency tours offered. On November 6th, our Chapter had the amazing opportunity of visiting one of the top makeup brands, Urban Decay. 

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Urban Decay was launched in 2006 in Newport Beach, California by co-founders Pat Holmes, Sandy Lerner, Wende Zomnir and David Soward. Now over 10 years since the launch of the company, it has continued to grow into one of the top global beauty brands. Urban Decay is constantly recognized in the makeup world, earning countless praise and awards over the years. Some of their top-hit products include their lipsticks, setting sprays, and the holy grail of palettes, the Naked palettes. 

On the tour, we explored the main office space and the purple studio. The purple studio is hidden from the main street and serves the function of where meetings, parties, and photoshoots take place. One of the things our tour guide and influencer relations manager, Monica, pointed out was that Urban Decay isn’t a brand that takes themselves too seriously. Their office space surely shows, encased in the open space is colorful purple walls filled with art, past collaborations, and of course, makeup. The company even allows employees to bring their own dogs to work!  As Urban Decay continued to grow, more space was needed. Over the last couple of years, the expansion has led to the purchasing of nearby buildings around the main office. 

After the tour, we headed toward the Q&A panel where employees of the communications and public relations departments joined us. Janice, VP for Urban Decay’s Global Communications and guest speaker at the PRSSA Beauty and Fashion panel a few weeks back, moderated the panel. The ladies shared their career upbringings, day-to-day on the job, and how PR has changed over the years. The ladies also highlighted the importance of networking and how kindness can go a long way in your career. 

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Before wrapping up the panel, Janice wanted to leave us with some final thoughts. She emphasized that one of the tools for being successful in any career is to “be open-minded to your path” and to “not be afraid to be a temp”. She pointed out that many of the Urban Decay team members’ careers did not start at Urban Decay. Much of the current staff started as temps in local agencies or even in careers not related to public relations. Nonetheless, they were recruited to Urban Decay for their work ethic, kindness and willingness to step outside the box. 

We thank Urban Decay for letting us tour their headquarters and meet with their amazing team of women who play a valuable role in the company. If you are interested in learning more about different companies and tours, sign up today to be a member of PRSSA!

So you’re looking to apply what you’ve learned in class to the professional world. Often, all that stands between you and your dream job or internship is a resume. So what exactly should a resume look like? What will increase the likelihood of being selected? Here are some helpful suggestions to keep in mind.

Information gathered from recruiters reveals that a majority of employers prefer a resume to be limited to one page.  It may seem difficult at first to compress all your information down to a page, so here are some helpful guidelines to maximize your space. 

Resume Structure: 

  1. Half-inch margins are acceptable and preferred (Any narrower and it may not print properly)
  2. Font size can be brought down to 11 if necessary
  3. Consider removing the objective (Employers on average only spend six seconds looking at a resume, and you want this time to be spent on your accomplishments rather than an objective statement.)
  4. Be conservative with indentations
  5. Bullet points are easier to read and are more aesthetically pleasing than paragraphs

There is a general formula when it comes to constructing bullet point statements. Each point should begin with an action verb, followed by the purpose, and concluded with a result.

  • For example: “Communicated with customers all promotions and specials to provide excellent customer service.”

Now that you have a basic format set up, it’s time to fill it with information.

Resume Content:

  1. Contact Information
  2. Education
    1. Provide information such as your GPA, graduation (or expected graduation) date, as well as the name of the academic institution you are attending
    2. Specify any degrees you have earned or are in the process of earning
  3. Experience in reverse chronological order (most recent experience first)
    1. Professional, internship, volunteering, leadership, projects
  4. Skills
    1. Technical (e.g., Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, etc.)
    2. Known languages
    3. If you’ve taken any courses relevant to the position you are applying for, disclose them here
  5. Awards (scholarships, dean’s list, special recognition received)

Some things to note when filling out your resume:

  • The Cal State Fullerton Career Center recommends not providing your full address. It is often unnecessary and could potentially compromise your safety. The city and state of residence should suffice.
  • Be sure your email address is professional
  • Make sure there is consistency in your format (Don’t have random periods at the end of certain bullet points, either every point gets a period, or none do)
  • Instead of writing something like, “attention to detail,” on your resume, demonstrate that skill by having a clean and polished resume

Another tip: keep a master resume that grows as your experience and education expands. Continue adding skills and projects, and don’t worry about the one-page limit. You will rarely use this resume when applying for a position. Still, you will use it to tailor your resume for different recipients. 

Consider the position you are applying for and take only the relevant information from your master resume to submit. This way, you keep a record of all your experience/projects ready to be sent out to employers.

Finally, be aware of the resources available to you. The CSUF Career Center website offers 24/7 online virtual resume feedback. The process is free and available to all students. Simply navigate to VMock – Instant Resume Feedback from the Career Center’s website and upload your resume.

Drive-Thru hours are also available for quick in-person resume & cover letter reviews in the career center office.

Mon & Thu 10:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Tue & Wed 10:00 a.m. – 6:45 p.m.

Fri 10:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Hi! Could you tell me a little about yourself? What positions do you hold in and out of CSUF?

I actually have three positions in and out of CSUF. I am a full time lecturer at CSUF, and the PRSSA faculty advisor. Besides this, I run a public relations firm called Integrity Public Relations. I am also a Navy Public Affairs Officer, a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy. I work for Third Fleet in San Diego.

How do you juggle all your positions?

That is a challenge. I have to juggle those things while giving time to family. Part of it is that I own my own business so I can work anywhere. That’s how I can work full time at CSUF and have a business going because I have that flexibility. A lot of times when I’m here in the office, sometimes I’m correcting papers and sometimes I’m working on client stuff, and I’m always working on Navy things because that can pop up whenever. The Navy is pretty much on the weekends and maybe a month out of my summer. School owns Monday through Friday of my time and sometimes on the weekends. My business owns Monday through Friday as well. The family gets the weekends and evenings. I don’t really see it as a burden because I love every single one of my responsibilities for different reasons. I love serving the country. I love my clients and building a PR Agency. I love teaching and spending time with my family. What I have found is that I can’t handle down time. I feel anxious when nothing is going on. Even when we’re on a cruise or in Hawaii, I’m working and I have my computers out. It’s just my personality.

What sparked your interest in PR?

Before I went back to school, and got my degree, I was working for the Air Force at the International Guard Station in Costa Mesa. We had an issue where we were surrounded by neighbors who hated us because they didn’t understand what we did. They thought that we were just a bunch of military guys and didn’t like us. So I decided that we had to have an open house and I created the first ever open house on the base. We brought in community partners such as the police and fire departments, and the California Highway Patrol. We had an event that helped change the perception of our military on that base in the Costa Mesa area, which sparked my interest in doing this for a living.

During college, what was your academic career like?

When I got right out of high school, I went to Saddleback College and after about a year and a half, I earned a GPA of 1.04. I decided that college was probably not for me, so I joined the Air Force. After about 10 years in the Air Force, my boss came to me and made me go back to school. He told me he wanted me to go back to Orange Coast College and get my AA degree. Turns out, I liked it and did well. It took me four years at Orange Coast to undo the bad grades at Saddleback. After getting my AA, I told my boss that I proudly got it and to leave me alone. He told me that I needed to get a four year degree. My grades were good enough that got me into UCI, but I stayed there for a year and hated it so I went to CSULB for a semester. I also hated it. Then I found CSUF where I thought everyone actually cared about me and I wasn’t just a number here. So I picked the PR communications major because it was 124 units and I just wanted to make my boss happy and get out of school as fast as I could. I ended up loving it and was recruited by UCI to be a public information representative while I was a junior at CSUF. I went back to school to get my masters in 2013 from USC Annenberg, just so I could teach here.

What made you want to teach at CSUF?

Running my firm, I found that students that came out of the program here were better than the ones I found coming out of any other schools including USC, Chapman and CSULB. I wanted to give back to the students and be part of a program that is held in such high regard, not only in Southern California but also across the west.

Did you have any internship or work during your academic career at CSUF? What did it teach you?

During my schooling, I did not have any internships because I was working full time for the International Guard until I was picked up by UCI  my junior year. At UCI, my job was a Senior Public Information Representative. I had never had a junior position job yet they hired me as a Senior PIR because I could type. The school waived my internship requirement because I was working in a communications job. My work taught me that the sky’s the limit. If you have a desire and a drive, you can pretty much do anything you want. The preparation I got at this school is worth millions of dollars to me. The reason I wanted to come back is to pass that along to the students that it’s not just school. If you take this seriously and apply yourself, you could be creating your career right now. Cal State Fullerton is a fantastic school. It is hands on teaching and much more than the theoretical things taught at other schools. That’s what employers want. I want to hire people that can come in the door and start working. They’ve done the capstone, they know how to write press releases and how to plan and execute PR campaigns. That is what you get from this school and that’s something I don’t think any other school offers as well as this one does.

What were some hardships you encountered in the professional or academic world?

I think an academic challenge for me was that since I didn’t go to college after high school, and took that break, going back to school as a young adult when I had a job as well was very difficult. You’re working a job, going to school, trying to get the best grades you can. My relationships suffered because I had to focus on school. Otherwise, it was just fun. I love the school and I love the people that work here. Like I said, I have gone to USC, Saddleback, Orange Coast, Long Beach, Irvine and Fullerton. By far, I felt the most comfortable at Fullerton as a student and still feel it as a faculty member.

Could you tell me about your PR Agency?

When I was at UCI, I went to a PRSA meeting and met someone who was a principal in a tech PR firm in Newport Beach. He knew I had a communications degree and said I should get into tech PR so I left UCI and joined their agency. Their agency had some ethical issues that I couldn’t get past, so I made a stand and quit. I told them I was going to start my own agency and compete against them. I was going to call my agency Integrity PR, a name I totally made up. It happened to be available for URLs and things like that, but it wasn’t supposed to be a real agency. I was still looking for a job but what happened was once I left that agency, the client I was servicing there, fired that agency and they came after me, asking me to continue to be their PR person. That was my first client and after that, I just started getting word of mouth referrals from people that knew me. All of a sudden, the agency was born and ever since then, I have not worked for any other agency. It was born out of the fact that I was trying to take a stand for ethics, so I named it Integrity PR.  We focus on tech PR but we have done a lot of nonprofits. We are the Make A Wish foundation’s agency record for about ten years, but primarily we are in the technology space. We are in the 20th year as a PR firm.

Any Career highlights or special moments you would like to share?

One of the highlights from my entire career is being placed on the alumni wall of fame at CSUF in 2004. That was about 5 years after I left the school. I had my agency and was getting awards so Fullerton put me on their wall of fame. Also, getting to teach here was huge. I didn’t need a master’s for PR, I needed one to teach. I went to USC and spent $75,000 on a master’s degree just to teach. That is what I did and what I only wanted to do. I got a job here in 2015 and started teaching part time before going full time in 2017. When I first stepped into the classroom, in the fall of 2015, it was a good day for me. I was CSUF faculty at that point. Being the faculty advisor for PRSSA has been incredible.. Getting to work with the students and the board is amazing. Another highlight would be that now I was inducted in the PRSA College of Fellows at The PRSA Convention. That is a big deal because there are only 350 active PR professionals in the world that are active in the College of Fellows. I was selected as one of eleven across the nation. The fact that I can share this with my CSUF family makes it more special.

What advice would you give students entering the PR world?

Participate in capstone. That’s why this school is special. They make you get out there and do the work. You get a more intense experience than you would in an internship because you’re actually going to work with clients, research their problems, and create and execute a campaign, all within one semester. That’s really the key to PR; if someone can do that, know how to research and identify a target audience and know how to get messages to them. I know that the inclination for a student is to look at graduation, but pay attention and apply yourself in these classes because it is going to make a difference. I’m an example of someone who was not a student. I was just terrible but I applied myself and so far, I have had a 20 year career in PR that has given me and my family a lot of flexibility and ability to do the things we want to do. My advice to students is that you’re only in school for a short amount of time, make the best of it, find good professors, take as much of their information and keep in touch with them because they can help you find jobs and write reference letters. Fullerton is a huge resource and I’m happy to be a part of it.

What is your age, name, and major?

My name is Jennifer Sierra, I’m 21, and my major is PR

How many years have you been at CSUF?

This is my fourth year. I came in as a freshman.

How did you hear about PRSSA?

I was walking around the campus and I saw their booth during Discoverfest and also one of my professors recommended it to me.

What sparked your interest in the PR field?

I went to a YouTube event called VidCon. When I went, I knew I wanted to do something in entertainment. I got to see everything and meet people, and I just knew I wanted to do something in communications. After, I did more research and found out about PR

What is your favorite class this semester and why?

I think it’d be my Comm 362 class because we are actually writing out pieces and learning the structure of it.

How has PRSSA enhanced your perception of the industry?

I think it’s just given me an in-depth look and actually pushed me to do a little bit more. I’ve gone to one of the volunteer services they had which was a fundraiser for cancer for children. That was really fun, I got to go out to the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel and worked with a lot of people. I also got to see a small group of people doing PR for that foundation and how they made that whole thing happen.

What are your goals for this year and how can PRSSA help achieve them?

I’m graduating next January, so I’m hoping to do internships through the ones they (PRSSA) provide and also go to more volunteer services and panels. 

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

I think it would be Twitter because of how interactive it is. It’s easy to tweet at a celebrity and sometimes get noticed, I’ve had people like Chance the Rapper like my tweets. I like how easy it is to connect with people that you wouldn’t be able to.

What is the best advice you’ve heard from one of the panels or one of your professors this semester?

Probably when tonight’s panelists (from Fashion and Beauty) were explaining to be kind and nice to everyone. When I studied abroad that was what was really emphasized, that and being trustworthy and dependent. 

Dream company you’d like to work for and why?

Right now, Lush just because I’m really focused on skincare right now, they do skin, hair, and body. For my PR class, Comm 362, we’re supposed to choose clients and write things for them, so right now my client is Lush.

What is your name, year, and major?

My name is Kaitlin Martinez, and I am a Communications graduate student– first year.

What sparked your interest in the field of PR?

I originally have a background in Journalism. While getting my undergraduate degree, I worked at the campus newspaper for three years, and I also worked a semester at the Daily Titan– so you know, go Titans! 

It was a really great experience, I enjoy writing and editing, but I just realized the pacing didn’t really fit me as a person. I wanted more structure in my workday, and I thought: okay, I’m willing to write for businesses that I care about and that I think are important for people to know about, so I thought that’s how marketing and public relations would be a good fit. 

I am currently taking professor Hagihara’s PR Writing II course, and I’m really enjoying it. We’re learning not just the format of writing for PR, but also applicable life skills in the field. He also recommended that we join PRSSA to gain access to all the different benefits provided and to do the Public Relations Certificate Program. So since that was something I really wanted to do to help build my professional knowledge of public relations, I became a member.

I also started with a focus on Journalism and made the switch to Public Relations. What inspired you to change?

I still appreciate and respect all that Journalists do. I just realized that I didn’t want to be entrenched in the industry. I feel like it’s the kind of industry where you don’t have the best work + life balance, and that’s something that I personally treasure. So I wanted a career that accommodated for that.

What are your goals for this year, and how can the PRSSA help you achieve them?

If we’re talking about the 2019-2020 academic year, my goal is to get an internship in PR, land a job in PR if possible, build my portfolio in terms of press releases and whatnot, and to take those next professional steps to solidify my career in PR.

I’m going to achieve that by getting more active in PRSSA in the spring. I’m also taking a PR for nonprofits class in the spring and doing different research projects to add to my portfolio. I’m trying to do all these things to get involved professionally in Public Relations and with PRSSA.

What is your favorite social media platform, and why?

Okay, I really love Facebook, and you’ll kind of hear why. So I joined this dog-spotting society kind of group on Facebook. It just has pictures of dogs you know people’s dogs, and then stories behind it. So I love it for the visual and the story component. For me, Instagram is mostly photos. So I like the balance that Facebook has as well as the variety of content.

How many years have you been at Cal State Fullerton?

This is my second semester, so my first year. Though I only have two more semesters left.

Where did you go for your undergraduate degree?

Whittier College, it’s a private liberal arts college.

How did you hear about the PRSSA?

I know for sure I heard about from Hagihara, but I also saw it in a booth and online. There was also a class presentation from a PRSSA member.

When not in class, where do you like to spend your time on campus?

I’m kind of a foodie, so I like going to Cafe Rio and Coffee Bean. Other than that, I think the library is a good spot. There are a lot of computers and charging stations, and because I’m doing research right now for my thesis, I’m spending a lot of time in the library.

What is your favorite class this semester?

This semester, I really like the PR class I’m taking with Hagihara because I like the variety of assignments we have with very real applicability for a professional career. I can say, “I did this,” and I can put this in my portfolio. I also appreciate my Communications Technologies class because it goes into tech and its social impact on us. It even talks about the politics of tech which is a really cool concept, and I appreciate that.

There is a wide variety of skills that different professions require especially in the world of PR.  Hard skills are technical and teachable whereas soft skills are interpersonal and known as “people skills”. Presenting a balance of hard and soft skills appears to make you a more well-rounded applicant and grab attention to your resume. Here are some hard and soft skills that are needed now more than ever in the public relations industry.

1. Communication

Good communication skills seem like a pretty obvious trait to have considering public relations involves a great deal of it. Presenting a clear image of what you are trying to share and express to an audience is important in building a brand or company. The material you’re producing in the field needs to be easily understood by the reader through the medium. Your work must be engaging and intriguing to the reader. Communication skills are also valuable to have in the workplace when it comes to collaboration and teamwork. 

2. Social Media Knowledge

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Knowledge of social platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are especially important today with the growing use of social media. Understanding the different algorithms of these socials can help when deciding strategies on how to appeal to the brand’s audience. Being conscious of the type of content that followers or supporters respond well to and engage with can better help plan for future posts or inspire new ideas. Now that social media has taken over this generation, it is important that you are knowledgeable and have a basic understanding of how it works. 

3. Photoshop/Video Editing Skills

In the realm of PR, it is becoming more crucial to have knowledge in video or photo editing. Editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Final Cut Pro are used in a wide range of media today, from Instagram stories to ads on Twitter. Having the ability to create an image or video that is both interesting and captures the viewers’ attention is crucial for audience interaction. Experience with these programs can help you stand out.

4. Creative and Critical Thinking

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Being able to solve problems and think outside of the box is essential. When a problem arises, to have the skills to remain calm and find a solution to the situation at hand is a valuable skill to have. Creativity is also needed in PR to come up with different ideas on how to make the brand’s products or ideas stand out from competitors. Companies are looking for individuals to bring something new to the table. 

5. Relationship-building skills

Although some might not think relationship building is a measurable hard skill, it can be by the number of connections you make throughout your career. Building strong relationships and networking with coworkers, managers or employees from different companies can greatly benefit your work in PR. You will be able to bring in new ideas and opinions as well as build trust with other connections. Building these relationships in your profession can lead to new career opportunities or open new doors to other positions that you are interested in. It’s vital that you start building your network of people as early as you can. 

There are many ways to practice or learn these skills from college classes to YouTube videos. The more you are able to expand and practice on these skills, you’ll not only be prepared for a career in PR but also stand out amongst many other applicants.

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What is your name, age, and major?

My name is Amanda Arreguin, I’m 21, and I’m majoring in Communications with an emphasis in P.R.

What sparked your interest in the P.R industry?

I was originally a film major and took a communications class that was a requirement for film. The professor was really pitching for communications and said how versatile it is and how there are lots of opportunities for jobs. After my advisor showed me different syllabi for advertising and P.R., I was attracted more towards P.R. 

How did you hear about PRSSA?

I learned about PRSSA through my professor, Ken Hagihara. He talks about it a lot and he offered extra credit to go to the meetings. Even though, I was planning on attending now I get extra credit and am able to be a part of the organization.

What are your goals this year and how can PRSSA help to achieve them?

My goal for this year is to finalize what I am going to emphasize on which is probably going to be P.R. PRSSA is already helping me more, even my mom is surprised with what kind of jobs you can get with P.R, and I’m being introduced to more people through tours which is helpful.

What is your favorite class this semester? Least favorite?

My favorite class is a tie- I really like my P.R class, but I also really like my Cinema 103, where you watch movies and highlight Q&As. My least favorite class would probably be my cinema studies class, in general, it’s okay just a lot of work. 

What is your dream company or firm that you would like to work for?

It’s a new one because I came to the PRSSA panel, I would really want to work for Taco Bell. I really like Alec Treffers, who was on the panel, and it seems like a cool company to work for.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Instagram is probably my favorite, it’s more visually appealing and is also good at showcasing humor.

How has PRSSA enhanced your perception of the industry?

It’s made it a lot broader. When people think of P.R., they usually think of press releases, and it’s really not that. You can work with so many different companies and work in different types of P.R. It’s given me so much knowledge already that I didn’t know before. 

What’s the best advice you have heard from one of your P.R professors or from the panels?

My P.R professor, Ken, brought in a speaker today who said that “you need to be willing to fail to grow”.