By: Giselle Gallegos
So you took the classes, spruced up your resume, and finally perfected your elevator pitch. Now what? How can you take the skills you have learned and put them into practice? What else can you do to help you further your career?
The answer is simple: network.
By networking and socializing, you are putting your name and face out into the workforce and building connections that can help you get to where you want. You may be able to secure an interview or learn of an internship that you would not have previously known about. Not only that, but you can also help others in their own career endeavors.
However, some of us may not be completely comfortable with the idea of networking and socializing in a professional sense. This is entirely understandable, as it may be nerve wracking to talk to new people. This is why it is important to practice your socializing skills and truly make yourself comfortable with meeting and speaking to others. Some things you can do to make yourself feel more at home with networking are:
- Attending events that interest you
By attending events that are of interest to you, your chances of finding another individual with similar goals or helpful information are higher. You will be able to speak on topics that both of you can identify with, which can more easily contribute to building a relationship.
2. Network frequently
The best way to get better at anything is to practice. If your skills are a little rusty, it is important to socialize often in order to build upon them!
3. Have confidence in yourself
If you continually are second-guessing yourself and putting yourself down mentally, chances are that other people can see your lack of confidence. By practicing positive thinking, you can habitually change the way you approach socializing.
4. Don’t be afraid to have fun
Networking doesn’t have to be stiff and impersonal! It is perfectly fine to crack jokes and have fun with the people you are meeting. Allowing your personality to shine through is a great way to make yourself memorable.
Just as important as the socializing itself is the follow-up. Maintaining your relationships is crucial to having people remember you. This part doesn’t have to be intimidating either! Giving them your business card is a great start, but you can also follow-up with a friendly email every now and then to catch up. Social media sites such are Linkedin or Twitter are also a great way to connect and keep up with the people that you meet, as you can both easily view and share your accomplishments and endeavors.
With that, it should also be stated that networking goes both ways. A good networker offers their help to others and takes a genuine interest in their relationships. Your help to others may be a useful contact, advice on a project, or maybe even something pertaining to their personal life. As the Golden Rule says: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
With the right mindset, networking is not as intimidating as it might initially seem. You probably are already forming meaningful and impactful relationships in your personal life, now it is time to form them within your professional circles.
Hi, can I get your name, year, and major?
My name is Ialaina Burgos, and I am in my Junior year in college. I transferred from Cypress college and now I’m here at California State University in Fullerton! I’m a Communications major with a concentration in PR.
How long have you been in PRSSA and what made you decide to join?
Right now, this is my second semester in PRSSA. I heard about PRSSA when I first attended the orientation for transfers. They spoke about how it’s a good organization to join, especially if you want a career in PR and gain networking opportunities. It provides you with many opportunities in order to expand your horizons so that once you graduate you will have a stepping stone into your career. Especially since I’m a transfer student and only have two years left, I felt I needed to make the best of everything available.
What is one thing you look forward to in your career with PR?
Some things I look forward to is learning more about PR, getting hands-on experience, and getting to put my years of hard work and studying into good use, so that I can start a stable career for myself.
What is your favorite place to hang out on campus?
My favorite place to hang out would either be the library or the TSU. I really enjoy the TSU because there’s a lot of food and areas to hang out with friends or study.
What other clubs or organizations are you a part of?
I’m part of JCC, which is the Japanese Culture Club, and I am also a part of Circle K! Circle K is an international collegiate service club, with many opportunities to volunteer and help the community.
What are some of your hobbies?
I like to play video games! The one I’m playing right now is Persona 5, but it’s so hard to choose a favorite! I also like to watch anime, search the internet, and I really like to hang out with friends. I enjoy singing, dancing, eating, and traveling! I’m a social butterfly, so I also enjoy talking to other people.
What are three words that best describe you?
Three words would be: nerdy, extroverted, and fashionable!
Out of the panels that you have been to, which have you enjoyed the most?
My favorite one was Lifestyle PR, because they brought in a guest speaker from Blizzard Entertainment which is basically my dream job. I was really excited and happy to be a part of listening to everything Lindsay had to say and her transition from CSUF to where she is now. It made me so excited to realize I could be in that industry and field!
Do you have any mentors or someone you look up to?
I look up to my older sister, who is a really big inspiration in my life. She has accomplished so much after graduating from CSULB. She worked for Tiger, a Japanese rice cooking company, and eventually moved to Japan to teach English. She is a very strong and independent woman and has given me so much life advice over the years.
Do you have a motto or personal mantra that you like to follow?
Be yourself, follow your dreams and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise because in the end it is you that matters the most. Even though you build so many relationships and meet so many people, in the end you yourself need to pull yourself through and achieve what you believe in.
By: Mayla Lohnes
So, you want to work in Public Relations, after graduation? If you are interested in this type of industry, you will need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills, as well as be proficient in people skills. Public Relations is “the profession or practice of creating and maintaining goodwill of an organization’s various publics, usually through publicity and other unpaid forms of communication” (Business Dictionary). If you have often been left wondering what specific job you can obtain within this field, have no fear! The job opportunities are endless.
(Promotional Careers in Public Relations:) https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/public-relations-jobs
One area of PR worth considering is working in non-profit. Non-profit companies benefit from PR in the sense that they need the publicity to help raise awareness for an organization, share a cause, or help to promote an event of interest. While the downfall may be that they don’t pay as well as other areas of PR, they are great jobs to consider if you feel passionate about an organization that you want to get behind. As Brianna Whiting describes, from an online study group on Public Relations and the Non-Profit Sector, non-profit organizations “are those organizations that are tax exempt and rely heavily on donations to keep operating. They often use effective communication, stories, spokespersons, and social media as public relations methods to promote their cause.” The great thing about working for a non-profit is that it usually is a tight-knit organization focused on a larger area of value. Some examples include: The American Red Cross, Special Olympics, or various charities. If you feel strongly inclined to help other people and work for a company that speaks to you, you may want to look into working for a non-profit. Check out the link below to learn more about nonprofit PR.
(Different Types of Jobs in Public Relations:)
Another aspect of public relations is working within the digital field of social media, such as a social media coordinator or content creator. In this type of work, you would be responsible for planning, executing, and branding the social media for a company and increasing the company’s brand awareness for their media. Not only are you responsible for creating an appealing social media layout for the brand, but you would be responsible for making the media stand out, so as to increase a brand’s sales as well. It is also important that you have an understanding of how to use social media, such as: Facebook, Linkedin, Snapchat, and Instagram. While it pays to have a knack for social media, it is important to understand that so much more goes into being able to work in this type of field. You must have the passion and the drive, as well as organizational skills to help you stay on top of your work.
(Public Relations Specialists Jobs:)
Another avenue public relations is a part of is event planning management. One important thing to remember is that public relations is all about building relationships and creating a cohesive reputation for the client, and using those relationships to help create events for a group of people. While public relations within the event planning industry is a rewarding and tedious job, it is not the sole purpose of the job. If you are considering a job in event planning, you must be organized, detail-oriented, and create schedules and objectives. As an event planner in public relations, it is important that you understand the event as a whole (from beginning to end). You must be able to think creatively, as you will want to come up with ideas that are unique and that stand out. It is also important to remember that in event planning, the client is who you will report to the most. Building and maintaining a relationship with your client will keep them satisfied, and make sure you get the wages you deserve. While event planners and PR people sometimes collide, it is the PR people that need to make sure they are working alongside the event planners, so that they are able to give the media coverage on the event at hand.
(Public Relations Job Titles:)
While there are a wide variety of jobs in public relations, non-profit jobs, social media coordinator, and event planning are just a few of the many jobs you can get into. Ultimately, it is up to you and your passions that will allow to you narrow down the job that is right for you. Just remember, do something that intrigues you, keep practicing your writing and communication skills, and never give up on your dreams! Public relations can be a rewarding and fulfilling job at the end of the day.
If you want to know more about what public relations entails, don’t hesitate to come to a PRSSA panel. As a member, you will be able to network and build relationships with the panelists.
→ Make sure to follow @csufprssa on Instagram to learn more information about the organization, and to see what nights we will be having our panels. ←
Hi, could we get your name, age, and major?
My name is Crystal Arellano, I am 21, and my major is Communications with an emphasis in PR.
What is your favorite place to hang out on campus?
My favorite place to hang out is at the Chicano Resource Center, because I have a little family there in which I feel like I am a part of something. I feel comfortable doing homework there, or just relaxing and hanging out with friends.
How long have you been a part of PRSSA and what made you decide to join?
I have been in PRSSA for one semester. I wanted to join because it is definitely somewhere where you can network with any other PR majors and start to learn more about the field that you want to go into. So far I have really enjoyed the panels, because they are very informative and you get a more in-depth view of what it’s like to be in the business. Not only that, it’s been really helpful to receive tips on what you should be doing now to get to where you want to be.
Which of the panels have been your favorite so far and why?
The first panel, The ABCs of Lifestyle PR, has been my favorite so far. I think I enjoyed that one because we got to see four different speakers who were from completely different industries in PR, so I think it helped us decide what we were more interested in doing.
What is one thing you look forward to in your career?
I really enjoy writing, so I most look forward to exploring what my potential is within PR writing.
What has PRSSA taught you that you can use in the PR industry?
It had taught me that nothing that you are doing now is going to go to waste, because any work opportunity is going to be of value and help you in the future with whatever you decide to pursue.
What branch of PR do you see yourself working in, and why?
I am very interested in event planning, because it is one of the things I have had experience leading. I like being kept on my toes and working at a fast pace, along with being able to see the outcome of the work you put in.
What did you like about this last panel?
I liked that we got to see a different type of PR that we can pursue a career in. I feel like the guest speakers allowed us to see the worth in going into nonprofit work, and it was very inspiring to see the passion they have for their work. It opens up an interest for me within nonprofit PR.
What would you say are the top three words to best describe you?
Silly, organized, and loud!
Do you have a motto or personal mantra that you like to live by?
Live today to the fullest, because tomorrow is not promised.
By: Giselle Gallegos
Maybe you’ve heard the term before: Elevator Pitch. So, what is it exactly?
Put simply, an elevator pitch is a short speech on what a company, business, or individual does and inspires interest to those listening. It should be less than a minute long or around the time of an elevator ride, hence the clever name!
Elevator pitches are useful in getting your point across to somebody in a short amount of time, which prevents them from losing interest and gives them all the necessary information quickly. This is helpful to individuals who are trying to secure clients or meetings with investors. However, you can also use an elevator pitch to market yourself to potential employers.
Knowing what an elevator pitch is can be the first part in constructing your own elevator pitch; the next part is gathering the most important points to communicate during the speech.
To start off, make sure to tell the listener what your organization does. Do you sell paper? Rescue puppies? Making sure you start off with what your company/business does makes for less confusion and more comprehension on the listeners’ part. If you are using your pitch to market yourself, tell them if you are currently attending school or your current employment.
If you are marketing yourself, the middle of the speech should contain any specialties or gained skills that you have. For instance, making sure that a potential employer knows that you have past PR experience is a great jumping off point and could get you an interview. If you are pitching a company, it is important to add in anything that gives your business a unique approach. This is how you garner interest in what you are trying to promote.
Finally, your pitch should include either a question or a call to action. By asking a question that pertains to the topic at hand, you are involving the listener within your speech. The same is true for a call to action, such as asking for a one on one meeting to further explain your pitch. By taking a leap such as this one, you may find yourself succeeding with your pitch.
It should also be noted that sometimes you don’t succeed, and the listener is simply not looking to buy into what you are pitching. In such instances, it is essential to take the rejection with grace and learn from the experience. Every pitch is an opportunity for you to practice your speech, which will only get better with time.
As with most things, elevator pitches are all about the communication. Being able to quickly communicate what you are all about and looking for is a skill in itself, which is sure to help you within your career path.
Need PR experience? Join Titan Public Relations!
You’re finally in college and have no idea what to do first. How will you gain the experience needed to enter the workforce strong after graduation? Are you looking to enhance your portfolio with examples to showcase?
If you answered yes to both of these questions, then you should join Titan Public Relations!
Titan Public Relations is a student-run firm that provides hands-on experience working in public relations, that is provided exclusively for PRSSA members. The firm was created to alleviate one of the biggest stressors that come with being a college student. One of those stressors is not having enough experience to show on your resume when applying to jobs/internships. Through Titan Public Relations, members get experience with writing, creating content for social media, and working with real-world clients. Titan Public Relations has worked with clients like Walls That Unite, The Muckenthaler Cultural Center, and Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Titan Public Relations has provided members with experience in photography, content creation, event planning, and outreach. Through this experience, members have been able to secure internships and jobs after including Titan Public Relations on their resume.
Caitlin Lopez, Executive Director, was an Account Executive in Spring 2018. She says that Titan Public Relations has helped her to develop her knowledge of working in the public relations industry. “I learned to write a lot of media alerts and email pitches, which have helped me to be more confident in my writing assignments for my other classes,” said Caitlin. “Titan Public Relations has provided me with the skills that employers are looking for when I am applying for jobs.”
Tonjanae Watson, Executive Director, raves about how great of an experience she has had thus far. “This is the best low-risk experience a student can get,” said Tonjanae. “There is no grade nor paycheck attached. You are free to make mistakes without repercussion. Use the firm as your foundation for your career. Words cannot describe how invaluable being a part of Titan Public Relations is as an investment for your future.”
Titan Public Relations not only provides the valuable experience for members, but also opens up opportunities for members to network with clients and their peers. Don’t miss out on this experience that can help launch your career in the public relations industry. This is a great opportunity for students to shine and see where they can grow. We are now accepting applications for spring semester.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Titan Public Relations meets on campus Tuesdays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Campus Location TBA.
Written by Brittany Nistler
The PRSA Certificate in the Principles of Public Relations is quickly becoming a fundamental necessity on PR resumes. This Certificate helps to differentiate college graduates from the others, thereby giving you that extra boost to stand out.
The test is available only to students who are:
(a) within six months of graduation (before or after) from an accredited college or university whose degree is in public relations or a related area of study; AND
(b) members of the Public Relations Student Society of America or student member of another UAB Participating Organization, such as the Florida Public Relations Association or the Southern Public Relations Federation.
I’m sure you thinking, “That’s nice, but is it really worth it?”
The answer is: YES! But don’t just take my word for it, Grace Granados and Yvonne Luu have both studied hard and passed the test!
What was it about the Certificate that first appealed to you? What was it exactly that encouraged you to take the exam?
When Ken was talking about this exam in my capstone class, he frequently said, “This certificate will help you stand out from other PR students,” and that peaked my interest, as I was about to enter the sea of aspiring PR graduates looking for jobs. During my time at CSUF, I invested more time into my extra curriculars and my studies than I did in my career. I waited to find an internship until my senior year and once I saw other PRSSA students talking about how many internships they’d had through college, I already felt behind. So once Ken brought up this exam, I figured that although this wouldn’t make up for my lack of experience, it would boost my resume and give me more confidence when applying for jobs. And it lets me and employers know that I, in fact, know what it means to have a career in public relations.
I was honestly hesitating when I first heard about the certificate from Professor Hagihara, mostly because it was the first time CSUF was offering the program, and there weren’t many people to personally vouch for it. But to know that this certificate can genuinely help you stand out among the competition—especially considering how only a handful of California colleges or universities have participated so far, I wanted to take advantage of this limited opportunity. Although there was little information surrounding the process available, I knew it would be a worthy investment for my career now and in the long run. I wanted to take initiative of ensuring I was doing what I could to be prepared for the “real world” after graduation.
What are some of the benefits of having this Certificate?
In class, Ken kept pushing that it would make us [PR majors] more marketable to future employers. Feeling as behind as I did when I graduated, I now feel more confident applying to PR jobs, because I feel like this certificate validated that I actually know what I learned in school. I already added this certificate to my resume and applied to a handful of jobs at the end of last week, so we’ll see what kind of doors this opens for me.
Being able to add this certification to your resume and stand out among your peers, particularly while fresh out of college, is a big benefit of receiving the certification. But to me, the most rewarding benefit is the confidence you’ll find yourself having upon passing the exam, because it validates your knowledge of public relations principles not only to potential employers, but especially to yourself.
By: Mayla Lohnes
Major: Public Relations
First semester in PRSSA.
What did you like the most about the entertainment PR panel?
I never really thought about doing entertainment, before this panel, and never really thought it’s something I’d be interested in. But after tonight, the panel put the thought in the back of my head like ‘Why not?’ I just always thought that entertainment would be about more flashy stuff and glam. And, I mean, I don’t mind being in the limelight, but not 24/7. I felt like that’s what entertainment is all about. But after tonight, the panel gave me a different light on what it is all about and made me consider looking into it.
What is your favorite thing about PRSSA?
I would have to say the networking. I feel like the people who are PR majors, and not in PRSSA are missing out so much. But definitely, the networking. PRSSA gives me the supplies and the steps to get me into the field I want to. I want to be able to earn that.
What do you hope PRSSA is able to bring to the table, in the future?
The panels don’t speak to my level of interests, necessarily. I’m an avid backpacker. It’s really fun. Whereas some of the other panels, like makeup…. I like makeup, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not just something I want to do. I like Urban Decay. It’s just not something I want to get into. I would love to see panels involving more outdoor things. The panels [as of late] haven’t really interested me.
Where did you backpack last?
I went to Orchards McGee Creek in Inyo National Forest, with my dog. It was 2 nights and 3 days. I used to make fun of dogs on Instagram and now I’m here with my dog on Instagram. Follow my dog on Instagram: @OllieBlueBoy. He’s an Australian Shepard, and an ambassador for Kurgo Dog Products (currently sold in Petsmart).
What has been your favorite panel, so far?
The first one, with Urban decay and Blizzard. It was really interesting. It being the first panel, it opened my eyes up the most (to the industry). With other panels, I feel like I’ve heard some of the same topics addressed now. And this was the first panel, so it was all new. But the other panels give a different perspective on similar ideas, so that’s always nice to hear. But yeah, the first panel definitely set the tone.
One big takeaway from being in PRSSA?
Network more. It’s important to focus on networking. PRSSA isn’t focused on teaching, as much as it is about networking.
What are your hobbies?
I go backpacking with my dog and my boyfriend. I’ve been camping since I was little. I’ve learned that if you can master camping, and get that down, then you can move on to backpacking. It took me two years until I was ready. There is no one around you for miles. The first day we did 11 miles. And the backpack alone weighs about 20 to 30 pounds.
What branch of PR do you see yourself working in, and why?
I’m still figuring out if I want to get into nonprofit or not. My dream job is to work for Patagonia. Patagonia or REI. REI is in Washington, and Patagonia is in Ventura. I just want to work in something, involving the outdoors. With some of the other panels [in PRSSA] I’d have to do my research for some of those jobs. But with Patagonia, I already know about it and am passionate about it. I don’t have to fake it to make it.
What is your motto in life, that you’d like to leave us with?
“If it’s meant to be, it will be.”
Name: Summer Dominguez
Major: Public Relations and CTVA-Film
First semester in PRSSA.
What has been your favorite panel, so far?
I’m looking forward to the entertainment panel, the most, because of my interests in film. I’m also familiar with a lot of the people on the panel. I think knowing someone’s universal message and standards really helps with every single department. I like the topic of managing crisis communications, even if there are no major problems happening. The lady from House of Blues spoke about needing to be able to balance image management, as well, and what you represent when working with a company. I think with any company that translates well. Regardless if I work in PR and film or production and film, the work still has to be appropriate for a world audience, especially in this day and age that’s growing toward more world exposure. I’m glad I went to this panel, because of the teacher for the comm class. Just to see that he is a CEO and knowing what to expect from that class makes me want to take that course. Not very often do you get to work with the CEO so that has its connections and perks. There’s a lot to learn from that.
What do you look forward to most in your career, after graduation?
Before I studied for PR and CTVA, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. But being in college, you are studying something. And being in this club, you are learning how to network; which is especially good in PR. My goal is to get in the door. What door that may be, I don’t know. I would be happy to work in almost anything in PR. My goal is to get my foot in the door and keep my options open enough to realize there is a door there in the first place. I don’t know what I will be most successful at until I know what I am good at.
What do you hope PRSSA is able to bring to the table, in the future?
Sometimes I wish the panels were every Wednesday! The tours also seem to fill up really quickly. Early bird gets the worm. Sometimes if I miss a panel, or I don’t get to the opportunity to sign up for a tour quick enough, then I miss out on a cool tour. And, I think it’s great to be able to talk to the panelists, but it would also be awesome to be able to talk to my fellow PRSSA members, as well. Some of them are involved (in the industry already), so it would be nice to be able to talk to them and see their strengths and be able to connect with them as well.
What do you like the most about PRSSA?
I really do like the panels, and coming to all of them. I like that we get the opportunity to be able to talk with the panelists and network afterwards. I like how this club brings in professionals that currently work in the business. The communications industry encompasses so many jobs and departments that it can be overwhelming to get an idea about where I think I would fit in. The panels give me real-life insight as to what my job could be like. I hadn’t thought about taking Comm 497T (one of the communication classes being offered next semester), but after hearing the professor speak at the panel, it really encouraged me to enroll in it. And that’s just one of the many opportunities PRSSA has given me.
What are your hobbies?
I like to make films and shorts. It’s a huge process, so I don’t do it very often. I also do photography. I also like to draw and do a lot of art. I can do it at 2am, but it can also take hours. I’m also interested in dance and swim. And I like to dance. I’m a part of the Salsa Club, on campus, as well.
Written by Mayla Lohnes
Thank you to everyone who attended the Halloween Mixer last week! There were some great costumes. And if you didn’t attend, well there’s always next year.
This year the Halloween Mixer was held at the Grasslands Meat Market, in the GardenWalk District, located in Anaheim.
I dressed up as a cat, in a black velvet dress and black booties. I threw a little makeup on – whiskers on each side of my face – and was ready to go. My roommate, Taylor Magill, another member of PRSSA, came dressed up as a witch. She couldn’t get enough of the event:
“I met so many great people and was able to network and give out my number to a few members. I’ll definitely be back next year.”
Taylor loved being able to dress up and see other creative costumes. Being a transfer student, she was most excited for reaching out and meeting new people.
“I had a great time. I even got my fortune read, and it led to some insight into what the near future may bring.”
As a transfer student myself, I thought what better way to get involved and meet other PR members than by going to the mixer.
When we arrived outside the event, we were welcomed by a group of friendly, smiling faces on the board.
“Hello! Welcome to the Halloween mixer.”
Any fears I had about going to an event in which I knew no one went out the window. The people greeting us made me feel at ease.
We got our picture taken in front of a panel that said: “PRSSA”, and were handed a couple blue tickets.
“What is this?”
“Your free drink ticket!”
Food was provided by the restaurant, with delicious helpings of pork sliders, salad, and baked mac and cheese.
We even had a POP bar filled with popsicles, sponsored by the Global Results Communications, to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.
And yes, I eventually made my way over to the makeshift bar area, and used my free drink ticket on a refreshing margarita.
Inside, everything looked spooktacular. Halloween music played in the background, people danced to the beat, and others sat around and mingled with new and familiar faces.
I used the opportunity to network and meet new people. We ended up talking with someone who was working on his confidence-building skills to use at the job he just got offered. He was practicing his confidence, by talking to us.
If dancing isn’t your thing, there was also a fortune teller in the corner of the room. It definitely added to the ultra-spooky vibes, as he told you what your future held, based on the cards you picked.
I got my fortune read. End result? I have strong beliefs that I stick by, but something may be in my way that’s holding me back. However, rest assured, I will get through it and come out stronger on the other end. Not a bad fortune, if I must say.
Oh! And there were plenty of opportunities to win prizes: costume contests, mummy wraps, and raffles with some of the prizes being an Urban Decay palette, gift card to GardenWalk restaurants, Vans gift card and more.
Overall, I had a great experience at the mixer. Great job to the PRSSA team for helping put this together. To everyone who couldn’t make it this year, please try to make it out next year. I promise you won’t regret it!
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