What is your name, age, and major?

Caleena, 21, communications (with an emphasis in public relations)

How long have you been at CSUF?

This is my second and last year at CSUF.

How long have you been a part of PRSSA?

Since I started going to CSUF (Fall 2020).

Why did you join PRSSA?

I transferred in the middle of the pandemic so I knew I had to make the most of my time here. Especially since everything was online and there was nothing else to do, I figured what excuse do I have not to join? It’s a great opportunity and I can make friends, so I joined.

What is your position in Titan Public Relations? What do you do?

I’m one of the Executive Directors of TPR–the other ED is Stephanie Rodriguez. Essentially, we run the agency. As ED’s we’re responsible for getting clients for each semester and reaching out to students to join. We meet with possible clients before the semester starts and make sure their goals will help our students. We also interview all the students who apply so we can understand what they hope to get out of TPR and make sure the account they’re on gives them the experience they can’t get in the classroom. Over the semester, we make sure every team is on route to achieving their goals and getting all the deliverables to their client. It may be student-run, but TPR is real-world experience.

How has PRSSA prepared you for that role in TPR?

It’s introduced me to so many brilliant people that inspire me to be the best person I can be. I’ve been so lucky to have connected with some of the most talented and amazing people because of PRSSA and TPR, and I’m so grateful I get to learn and work with them.

Why would you recommend PRSSA and TPR to other students?

Absolutely! I’ve never been anything else like it. All the students you meet in PRSSA and TPR are motivated, passionate and eager to learn.

What has been your fondest memory in PRSSA?

Meeting my client and part of my team for TPR in-person for the first time. I had met them all online before, but seeing them in-person was really exciting because they were the first people I had ever met since transferring to CSUF.

How has the pandemic impacted the way you have interacted with PRSSA benefits and meetings?

Honestly, if it weren’t for the pandemic I may not have been as active as I am in PRSSA. I was introduced to it during the pandemic and had only interacted through virtual means until this semester. Online can be hard, especially when Zoom Fatigue hits. But it definitely has its perks, like being able to connect with people from all over the world from the comfort of your own home and waking up five minutes before your online class. Personally, I was able to participate in online mentorships, including the DKC Mentorship last spring, which eventually led to an in-person internship opportunity I did over the summer.

What is one tip you would give an incoming freshman or transfer?

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. There are so many people who are scared of mistakes (and the letter F) and forget the entire point is to learn from mistakes. In my opinion, your time in college sets you up for the next chapter of your life. You’ll make tons of mistakes along the way and you may fail, but keep learning and keep going. Use this time to gain as much experience as you can and figure out what you’re really passionate about.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

I switch between TikTok and Instagram the most. I love TikTok just a little more only because of how small things like surprising your boyfriend or rushing for a sorority can turn into this huge inside joke everyone is in on (i.e. Couch Guy and Alabama RushTok). It kinda makes the world even smaller and for some weird reason I find that comforting. Bringing up a current TikTok trend is slowly becoming one of my favorite icebreakers.

Where do you see your career taking you after graduation?

I don’t mean to sound all hippie-dippy, but if the pandemic has taught me anything it’s to go with the flow. Whether I start out at an agency or in-house, I’ll be happy doing anything that allows me to continue to keep learning!

Here’s a couple of tips sourced from educational influencers and TikTok creators, that will help you stand out when applying to jobs!

First, let’s take a look at the style of resume that you chose and decide what’s best for your goals. On one hand, we have the traditional style that almost everyone starts with and uses. There’s nothing wrong with this style, in fact many jobs will prefer that you have as much detail, with the simplest layout in the resume as possible! On the other hand others may argue that a colorful, modern-styled resume will help you stand out from the bunch, especially when applying to more creative careers in the communications field. The most important part in your decision is to make sure that your resume reflects your professional vision! Once you have your main points solidified, you can always change your resume slightly to fit the job you’re going for. Remember to keep it organized, keep it clean, and highlight your skills!. You can find templates for different styled resumes on Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and you can even find some free ones on Canva.com.

The next step is to take a closer look at the content on your resume. Sometimes the vocabulary that’s used can be repetitive for the employer. Just imagine how they must feel reading the same phrases over and over again! So how can you differentiate yourself from other candidates by using just words? Elevate the language that you use to describe the skills you already have! For example, if you are looking to get your first entry-level position in your professional field of choice, but are worried about a lack of relevant experience, the best thing you can do is re-word your skillset! For example, according to @erinmcgoff these are some lines that can help you take your resume to the next level;:

  • Did you ‘work the cashier’, or did you master the POS (Point of Service) system to handle payments ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 per shift.
  • Did you ‘make food’ or have you prepared raw food materials to cook over 30 menu items to feed 1,000-3,000 customers per day.
  • Did you ‘follow covid protocol’ or did you uphold all local COVID-19 safety protocols including increased sanitization, enforcing mask policies and ensuring a limited capacity.

Although we may have started with  jobs not necessarily in our field of choice, that doesn’t mean that the work that we did should go unnoticed! All of these skills and more lend themselves to customer service, being front-facing and able to handle crisis’ under pressure, as well as showing strong leadership; all of which are important skills to have in the communications industry.

Finally,  let’s talk about the end of the interview. A lot of times an interview will end with the employer asking you if you have any questions for them – and YES, it’s always important to ask questions. Asking a question is a great way to gauge whether or not the interviewer is interested in you, and show your passion for the position. It can be about the interview itself, competitors, or company environment/requirements. One great question suggested from @allifromcorporate0 on Tik-Tok asks “How would you define success for this role within the first 30, 60 and 90 days?” Another question that can help pinpoint what the employer is looking for  in an interview round comes from @johnsfinancetips, ”Based on the conversation today – what hesitation do you have for me moving forward in the interview process?” 

Here’s a bonus tip on answering the infamous “Why should we hire you” question – to which you should respond with whatever their requirements were for the position. So if they were looking for someone with specific skill sets or experience in a certain area you can reiterate that information directly from your resume and add some of your own ambitions into the mix. 

Now that you have an idea of how to prepare and showcase your skills , it’s time to apply it to the real world and see if the job hunt ends a little earlier!

So you decided to get involved with PRSSA- but you’re skeptical on how we’re operating through  Covid-19 restrictions. You may be wondering, is it worth it?

Well, fret no more because I am here to tell you, YES! PRSSA is back and better than ever. We wanted to make sure that our members truly get a ‘bang for their buck’ when they purchase a membership, so we’ve taken the time to ensure that PRSSA is as beneficial as possible, and we have so many different opportunities planned for this year!  Being a part of PRSSA  will become one of the most valuable experiences you’ll have here at CSUF; it’s not only an investment in your education, but it’s an investment in your future. The “value” can be interpreted through the determination of our current members and the hard work of our alumni. Because of their dedication to our Chapter, we are recognized as the leading pre-professional organization for students to jump-start their careers in the public relations industry. Don’t believe me? Check out our awards section with our most recent award for Outstanding Chapter handed down from PRSSA National!

The quality of PRSSA remains the same as always, at the peak! We have amazing resources at your disposal, we just need one key ingredient, YOU. We still provide the same benefits as past years- although some may have slight modifications for the safety of our members. We incorporate Zoom sessions for accessibility and safety, but we also have in-person meetings for those that are willing to participate responsibly. By joining PRSSA you’ll still have the ability to get the same level of experience as we’ve always offered, and even more. Whether you plan on attending our panels or workshops, or if you’re hoping to get involved with our mentorship programs and conferences, we can’t wait to show you all that we have to offer this year.

And for those wondering about Titan Public Relations, our student-run firm- applications are now open, and we have lots of exciting clients for you to get to know. If you would like to see some of our past clients check out the TPR website, https://www.titanpublicrelations.com/ and consider applying while applications are open. We also had the opportunity to help some local businesses out in their time of need during the pandemic. If you need a refresher, check out our mention in the Daily Titan for our ‘Tuff It Out Campaign,’ to check out the work that some of our members did throughout the pandemic. Again please consider applying to TPR before applications close on 09/08/2021 at 11:59 PM. If you’re looking for a different way to get involved, consider joining a committee through our website or Instagram bio, @CSUFPRSSA. Through our committees, you’ll be able to work directly with our Executive Board, and aid them in creating content, launching campaigns and other programming, writing blogs, and more!

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May 21, 2021 | By: Analleli Penaloza

It’s been a whirlwind of a year amidst CSUF’s transition to virtual learning, but it’s finally coming to an end.  Over the course of this semester, we’ve come together as a chapter and adapted, developed and triumphed!  

To celebrate the semester coming to an end, I’ve provided a brief outline of CSUF PRSSA’s spring accomplishments.

Board Position Elections

As the school year ends, CSUF’s PRSSA chapter held executive board elections to select new members for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. People interested in obtaining a leadership position on the board were required to attend at least one of three open board meetings and read about  board member position requirements. After submitting an application, the executive board reviewed each application and members were required to be interviewed by the President, Incoming President and the board members of the position they were applying for. After the interview, the Executive Board created a nominating slate, detailing their recommended candidates for each position. On April 7th, applicants were then given 2 minutes to present a speech followed by a question and answer session open to the audience. PRSSA chapter members present at the Executive Board elections were able to exercise their right to vote for the  next executive board. On April 9th, the new executive board was announced to the chapter! 

Without further ado, here is the Executive Board for the 2021-2022 school year:

  • President: Emma Rowell
  • Vice President: Priyanka Jain
  • VP of Professional Development: Elyssa Ruiz
  • VP of Outreach: Cesar Villa
  • VP of Administration: Matena Jarjis
  • VP of External Digital Communications: Vianey Sanchez
  • VP of Internal Digital Communications: Tabby Rodriguez
  • VP of Sponsorships and Fundraising: Vicky Hernandez
  • VP of University Relations: Caleena Sugiharto
  • VP of Finance: Allison Ruiz

Congratulations to our new Executive Board!  We can’t wait to see what you have in store for next year!

The DKC x PRSSA Mentorship Program

The DKC x PRSSA Mentorship Program was established Spring 2021 and ran from February 5th to April 16th on a bi-weekly basis. DKC aimed the program towards connecting students with professional mentors in a highly interactive and engaging environment consisting of presentations and short assignments. Twelve PRSSA members were paired with mentors from DKC and learned about topics such as crisis communications and client management, and gained a greater perspective based on their mentors’ experiences. The program allowed members to network with industry professionals, their peers, and hone their public relations skills

I was among the 12 participants and can genuinely say that the program was unique and offered me new information and insight I never knew of beforehand. If you’re on the fence about joining a mentorship program, I would highly recommend that you do so!

Socal Coalition

This semester CSUF continued to participate alongside local PRSSA chapters from varying universities within Southern California in the SoCal Coalition, which was established during the Fall 2020 semester.  This spring, CSUF hosted their last PRSSA SoCal Coalition panel “Strategy and Storytelling” on April 14th, 2021. PRSSA members from chapters across the coalition attended to learn about PR efforts within the nonprofit and public sectors. 

Also, other chapters hosted their own panel events throughout the semester that coalition members were able to attend. One such panel  was CSUN’s PRSSA chapter, who hosted a tech panel and in attendance remained CSUF PRSSA members, joining in to take advantage of the virtual event.

Overall, the Socal Coalition was one of the most unique opportunities that came to fruition as a result of the pandemic and our resulting virtual semester.  It was a fantastic opportunity to strengthen bonds across chapters that might otherwise never have been formed.  


This year it was a challenge to adapt to a virtual setting, but CSUF’s PRSSA chapter proved once again its ability to rise and overcome adversity.  Our chapter continued to provide quality events, programs, and learning opportunities.   I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

May 10, 2021 | By: Cesario Mora

As aspiring PR practitioners, we have to embrace change with open arms. Admittedly, change can be scary. But to thrive in a competitive field that is constantly changing, we can’t be treading water. It’s sink or swim. Choose to swim! Adaptability is important when dealing with any unexpected change. Being able to adapt allows you to learn and develop new skills that you can apply to different areas of the field. You might be asking yourself: What are some changes I should expect to face in the PR industry? Here are a few examples how the skill of adaptability may come in handy:

1. Social Media 

Before there was Facebook, there was Myspace – an antiquated social media platform that was a national obsession in the mid 2000s. It was the only social media platform like it at the time that allowed people to stay connected and express themselves creatively via their profiles. Social media has evolved and expanded tremendously since then. Aspiring PR professionals should keep an eye out on the latest social media platforms and trends. Learning and adapting to different platforms will allow you to communicate with your target audiences more effectively, and perhaps even reach new ones.

2. Unexpected Crisis

Life can change at a moment’s notice. One day you are driving to CSUF and learning with a classroom full of people, and the next you are quarantined in your bedroom and learning over Zoom. In a crisis, PR pros have to be quick to adapt. Take the pandemic for example: the digitalization of the PR industry was something that every professional had to adapt to in response to this unexpected situation. While not all disruption may not be as grave as a pandemic, having the ability to adapt can help you overcome and mitigate a crisis. 

3. Social Change and Social Justice

America has a long history of systemic racism and inequality, and the fight for change is still long ahead of us. It is important for PR practitioners to be actively aware of the social injustices happening in the nation. Being well-informed on various social issues is critical if your client plans to show solidarity to those who are facing social inequity. An organization’s reputation is at stake if their attempt to show solidarity comes off inauthentic and/or tone deaf because they were misinformed. That is why experts in this field must be ready to adapt and grow alongside the nation.

These were just a couple of examples of how you should be ready to adapt in an industry that is constantly changing. Being able to adapt with whatever the industry throws your way will allow you to navigate through unfamiliar terrain and overcome any unforeseen disruptions. It will keep you sharp and fresh, which will make you stand out in a competitive field. 

What is your name, age, and major?

My name is Cesario Mora. I am 30 years old and I am majoring in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations.

How many years have you been at CSUF?

A year and a half! I transferred in the Spring of 2020, and I will graduate this Fall.

How long have you been part of PRSSA?

I have been a part of PRSSA since Fall 2020.

How did you hear about the organization?

I had heard about this organization from one of my friends who is involved in PRSSA. When I revealed to them that I had decided on a PR concentration, they had encouraged me to join. And I am so glad I did!

What is your favorite part about PRSSA?

My favorite part is the wide variety of panels PRSSA hosts. Hearing from different panelists about their experiences in the industry is so inspiring and the insight that they offer is incredible.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

My favorite social media platform is Instagram because I love spamming pictures of my dog for everyone to see. Also, I love how easy it is to spread awareness to different social issues via Instagram stories. It’s a great visual platform to stay connected and stay socially conscious.

Where do you see your career taking you after graduation?

I would love to work for a nonprofit organization. I want to ensure that my future is spent working on helping people, and I want to do whatever I can to better the world. Ideally, I would absolutely LOVE working for a nonprofit that helps LGBTQIA+ causes. As a member of the queer community myself, having the opportunity to work in an environment that strives in protecting LGBTQIA+ and their rights would be a dream.

April 26, 2021 | By: Lauren Mann

         When it comes to working in public relations, collaboration is huge! In everyday life, working in a group helps you get jobs done and gain better insight and knowledge from others. Collaboration in public relations is no different! In a field that relies heavily on communication and networking, collaboration is not only a result of these concepts, but it’s also a key part in building and maintaining the relationships we develop on the way to success. As aspiring practitioners, it’s important to understand the value in collaborating early on so we can utilize it throughout our careers.

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         Here are some ways collaboration is key in public relations:


         One of the most critical aspects of public relations and perhaps the most obvious example of when collaboration comes into play is with networking. When clients hire us, it’s with the trust that we have the resources already available to us and we know what to look for and who to call all at our fingertips. The expectation is that you have developed relationships in order to collaborate on a campaign that fits your client’s needs. This could bebe knowing the perfect journalist to pitch to when it comes to covering your client’s debut release, or a marketing specialist that could contribute to your organization’s campaign vision. In the world of public relations, contacts can become a lifeline. These connections become a source of our credibility that help ensure our clients that we are more than capable of bringing the best team together to fit their needs.

Adapting to a Changing Industry

         Collaboration is also a key for gaining further insight on a field that is evolving by the day. While working in public relations can be exciting for the constant change, it can also be overwhelming trying to keep up. In a field that is so socially demanding, collaborating with others who specialize in certain areas of the industry, whether it be event planning, digital media, speech writing, etc.,  is what helps us grow as professionals. We’re able to learn more about skills and social trends in our industry by working together. Collaborating with other individuals with trusted skill sets is how we learn in a hands-on way and makes the adaptability that much more seamless.

Doing What’s Best for Your Client

         Finally, collaboration is the best way to ensure that your clients expectations are not only met but exceeded by drawing the perspective of multiple people. No matter how great we are at our jobs, it’s just as important to realize we can’t always do everything alone. Even if we don’t think we need it, sometimes getting the opinions of others can mean all the difference when it comes to creating a great campaign that really resonates with our public.

Overall, being comfortable collaborating is a great skill when it comes to expanding your public relations tool belt. As they say, team work makes the dream work!

April 21, 2021 ︱Elizabeth Williams 

When pursuing a career in Public Relations you have to think about where you want to work. Do you want to start in an agency or do you want to do in-house PR? 

Here is what it would look like to have a job in Agency and In-House. 

1. Agency

It is more of a fast pacing environment working on multiple projects across different industries. Your agency is employed by another business or individual, so you will be expected to create campaigns for them. With agencies, it is very unlikely you will get a final say over projects. Be prepared to work long hours. Agencies usually have two teams. One team focuses on particular products and the other team focuses on campaigns. 

The work can be demanding in an agency because the workflow moves quickly. When working at an agency the projects and priorities constantly change, so you need to know how to juggle multiple tasks at once. Your co-workers will serve as a tool for help or advice on an issue. 

2. In-House

Usually, in-house, you are devoted to one specific company. Within this company, you are giving all your attention to the clients and products. You will work on multiple projects as an agency except it will be within one sector. This job is where you will be able to manage budgets, make decisions, and come up with strategies for the company. 

Keep in mind that in-house focused on one company, so you eat sleep, and breathe that brand. It gives you an opportunity to dive deep into the company and become more aligned with its goals, strategies, messages, and audiences.  

If you enjoy a fast and versatile environment, the agency is for you. If you like focusing on one thing and working with it for a long period of time, In-House may be a good fit for you. 

Work Cited

Which is for you? In-house vs agency. (n.d.). Retrieved March 22, 2021, from https://www.brightnetwork.co.uk/career-path-guides/marketing-pr/house-vs-agency-which-you/

April 19, 2021 | By: Christian Sutton 

As a Donate Life Ambassador for almost eight years, I still learned more than I expected from my internship at Sierra Donor Services, one of four organ procurement organizations under Donate Life California. 

Throughout the course of my public relations internship, I developed a greater and more nuanced appreciation for the public education goals and messaging of a nonprofit organization. 

For example, I had the opportunity to work with many other positions in the organization including other volunteers, our front office staff, Media Relations Manager and Executive Director. In team meetings for campaigns, I discussed strategic tactics and plans to pitch stories to audiences. I met with industry leaders, where I learned more about the business model of a nonprofit and how to better fulfil its mission.

My first project involved identifying reporters, crafting pitch letters and sending them out to local gatekeepers for #BetheGift day. The campaign raised awareness of the need for organ, eye and tissue donation. Ultimately, this messaging helps save lives by highlighting the #BeTheGift campaign, which encourages the public to register as donor heroes. 

I met with California legislators to discuss lobbying efforts, which relate to organ, eye and tissue donation. This event highlighted the power of a personal story. Before our meeting, I sent them photos on virtual postcards with stories from those whose lives have been touched by organ donation. The strategy behind this tool helped us to be remembered by and build relationships with leaders in the legislature.  

Throughout my internship, I assisted the public education staff to create a virtual postcard to send to our staff and hospital partners for National Thank A Healthcare Hero Day. I used a creative design that encompasses the Sierra Donor Services brand and Donate Life theme. When these postcards were shared with the healthcare community, they saw the life-saving, positive side of organ donation. This public education campaign serves to build relationships between Donate Life and hospital partners.

Similarly, I was able to craft a message and design for Donor Remembrance Day. This day recognizes donor heroes, ensures they are never forgotten by their family and community, and expresses the depth of gratitude felt by their recipients. – This celebration of life in our organization is a way to encourage our volunteers, many of whom have personal connections to organ donation, to honor their loved one and donor hero.  .

My Passion!

As a PRSSA member and a grateful heart recipient of more than 20 years, I know that organ donation saves lives! Since I received the gift of life as a two-year-old, I am now a senior CSUF, I lived my dream internship on the Disney College Program, and I finished a 10K RunDisney because of my organ donor.

But our work isn’t done yet! Nationwide, more than 100,000 people are waiting for a lifesaving organ, 23,000 of whom reside right here in California. Everyone needs to register as an organ donor to off-set the number of people who die waiting for an organ. Currently, nearly 17 people die each day from lack of available organs for transplant. Communication classes at CSUF have helped me pursue my passion because I learned about multiple professional communication tactics in my degree program. For example, video production and visual design in Digital Foundations, media research from PR Writing II and pitching to gatekeepers have helped me pursue my passion and ultimately, intern for Donate Life this semester. 

April is National Donate Life Month!

National Donate Life Month is a public education campaign from Donate Life America that focuses on inspiring and motivating Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. Through the strategic use of social media tactics, celebrations and engagements, community members can share their decision of registering to be a donor. 

When you register as an organ donor hero and have a conversation with your family about it, YOU save lives! You can be a part of this life-saving mission by getting involved with Blue & Green Spirit Week on April 10-16! Included is a calendar of celebrations in which you can participate to help spread Donate Life awareness in your community!

You can also share your blue and green spirit on social media to share your decision to register as a donor and encourage others to register. To register as an organ donor, sign up today at Registerme.org 

April 5, 2021 | By: Cesario Mora

Do you know how Luke Skywalker defeated the evil emperor, overthrew an empire, and saved the galaxy from being blown into pieces by the Death Star? Luke had a mentor. His mentor was the legendary Jedi Master Yoda. As aspiring industry professionals, we all need a Yoda in our lives to guide and keep us from straying into the darkside (i.e unemployment). The beginnings of a fast-paced industry can be intimidating, so having the guidance of someone who knows the nooks and crannies of the industry can give you the knowledge to thrive. That is why mentorship is so important for professional success! Here are 3 reasons why:

1. The Experience

PR pros weren’t born, they were made. Believe it or not, they were once nervous beginners just like us. They faced the same amount of rejection, stumbled over their words, and have had many awkward bumps on their journey to success. PR professionals have an arsenal of useful advice to share that would be valuable for anyone starting their PR journey. Finding a mentor who has successfully overcome obstacles would benefit you tremendously, as it will enlighten you with what career choices you should make and avoid. 

2. The Honesty

Henry David Thoreau once said, “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” And while most of us wouldn’t mind having tons of money and/or being internet famous, what we should really strive for in this industry is to have someone in our corner who can give us the honest truth. That is why it is so valuable to have a mentor. A mentor can provide constructive criticism and even call us out when we have misstepped. There is so much room for growth when our work is evaluated by an experienced pro.

3. The Guidance

Recently in my Entertainment PR class, we were blessed to have a guest speaker talk about her career path in the entertainment industry. We discussed how representation is not only important on-screen, but also behind the scenes as well. Curious about how diverse the industry was when she began in 2008, I asked if the field was inclusive or if it was “dominated by old straight white dudes.” Unsurprisingly, it was the latter. However, she drove home the point about how she found a mentor in someone who was also POC. This mentorship helped her find her voice and hone her skills which allowed her to navigate successfully in a white-dominated space. 

Would Luke have been able to defeat the Emperor without the guidance of Master Yoda? Well, yeah, eventually. But It would have been hard. Could you enter the PR field and end up having a successful career without having the guidance of a mentor? Well, yeah, eventually. But why make things harder for yourself? As we enter this field, we should actively seek out a mentor to help guide us to success. And hey, if you are unsure about how to start a professional relationship with a mentor, PRSA has you covered. Check out https://www.prsa.org/career/mentor-connect. PRSA will help connect you with a mentor who can help you with your PR career goals.