5 Things you MUST PACK for Next Generation PR

By Rachel Mayhew

 

Congratulations! You’re on your way to Next Generation PR at California State University, Fullerton! Now comes the hard part; packing.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll need a solid list of things to pack before you travel. Here are 5 things you must pack for your California weekend getaway!

 

Daily Use Items / Essentials

 

The first things I always make sure to pack are the essentials. The absolute worst thing is to show up and realize you’ve forgotten deodorant. First things that go in are any toiletries, medicine, phone/laptop chargers, contact solution, etc. SoCal is expecting lovely weather over this weekend, mid 70’s and sunny!

 

Portable Charger

 

Let’s be honest, a PRSSA Conference means live Twitter updates! You don’t want to leave your followers without knowing about the awesome lunch you just had, so don’t forget a portable charger! Google maps is also a battery drainer, and if you want to #ExploreSoCal with us, you’ll need that bad boy. If you don’t have a portable charger, I highly recommend this one. #NotSpons, I just really love this charger. It saved my life at National Conference in Boston!

 

Business Cards

 

We’re here to network! Business cards are the perfect way to stay in touch with other PRSSA members and professionals that you meet. Make sure you’ve got plenty to spare; it’s better to have extras than to run out early on!

 

Your Sharpest Business Casual Looks

 

As many professionals will tell you, first impressions are key. Part of that first impression is what you are wearing! Make sure you look the part, both for tours on Friday and a full day of panels on Saturday. Make sure you are prepared for a good amount of walking as well, so comfortable and cute shoes are a must.

 

Your Favorite Sunnies and a Hat

 

Here in Southern California, we rarely go out without grabbing our sunglasses or a hat. If you’re heading to the beach, the city, or just to In-N-Out, you want to make sure to protect your eyes and head. It’s going to be rather warm when you get here, so bring your own shade and pack a trendy dad hat. You’ll need them if you’re joining us for Disney Day! Plus, you’ll be ready for that SoCal aesthetic for all your Instagram posts!

With these 5 things, you’re ready to go! Time to get packed and ready to fly to California. We can’t wait to see you at Next Generation PR!

Global Results Communications Boot Camp

by Amanda Barajas

 

As a senior set to graduate in the spring, I have been seizing every opportunity PRSSA has been offering. When I received the email about the Global Results Communications Agency Boot Camp last Fall, I knew I HAD to go.

 

Not just because it would be good experience, but because it made me uncomfortable.

 

Global Results Communications is a leading international tech firm, with clients such as Verizon, Nuance, and Epson (yes, the projectors we all remember from class). Their clients are huge, groundbreaking, and all over the world. My eyes practically bulged when I learned that we would be crafting a PR campaign for one of GRC’s current clients, and we would present the plan to be evaluated by the staff. I knew nothing about technology, and all my PR campaigns have been pitched in the comfort of student groups. To have a real PR pro evaluate the ideas I’ve come up with in less than an hour? The thought terrified me.

 

Which is exactly why it took me 0.2 seconds to register for the boot camp.

 

On a Friday morning I drove to Santa Ana, mildly-sleepy, mildly-anxious, and mildly hoping that no one noticed my shirt crease that happened during the car ride. A group of about 20 CSUF PRSSA members met outside the building, and we all crammed into an elevator to take us to the suite.

 

We sat at a long table and Global Results Managing Director Lora Wilson greeted us. Lora has had a long career in PR, who excels in media relations, strategies, social media, and all aspects of public relations. She was the very definition of a pro, and every few minutes my mind kept wandering back to that PR plan that would soon be happening.

 

After being provided a background on the agency, their services, and clients,  Lora brought in 5 entry-level account associates, with one of the associates a recent CSUF graduate, who was brought in for an internship position and hired on as full-time a month later.

 

It was refreshing to see these young faces, people just like us who can remember the stresses of school in the modern age, offering their advice and insight.  For a full-hour hands were continuously raised as they took our questions, with each associate pitching in and building off each other’s comments and stories. These were the real questions we wanted answered, and there was not that usual hesitancy from students that can be evident around long-time industry pros. We unabashedly, and maybe even a little desperately, asked them what we wanted to know.

 

“Is a professional headshot important to apply for a job?”

“How can I make myself stand out?”

“What’s it like to have an internship abroad?”

 

They talked about the application process, internships, transitioning from school to career, and their day-to-day responsibilities. These were speakers that I wasn’t thinking “Well, okay, I guess hopefully me in 15 years”, but instead “this can be me in one year, maybe even less”. They made life after college seem possible and doable. To hear from young PR pros that it will get better, that you can land a job, eased a massive weight the size of Jupiter off my shoulders.

 

We broke for lunch and then came back to the PR campaign, in which we would be crafting a year-long campaign for Wahoo’s Fish Tacos 30th anniversary. Wahoo’s has a variety of esteemed connections, such as Tony Hawk and Ryan Sheckler at our disposal. We were provided Wahoo’s key messages, objectives, resources, and challenges. We had one hour to work within our team of 5, with the threat of having to present in front of the staff looming over us.

 

The clock was ticking, and we were scribbling down, drawing arrows to connect previous thoughts, and frantically adding in last minute ideas. It was finally time for the groups to present, and I was excited and nervous to show the group what we came up.

 

All of the teams had similar ideas, playing off the same themes and we all brought something a little different to the table. I was half expecting a Miranda Priestly like tear-down of our plan, but instead Lora and the other VP’s were incredibly kind, praising our creativity and offering advice in the most constructive way possible. They brought up that all of our ideas intertwined with each other, and that it shows that when we come together we can put together a stellar campaign.

 

The entire workshop not only gave me hands-on experience of working in a team to prepare a plan, but it gave me the confidence that this career was something I can do. PR is working in a team, adding and tossing ideas, adapting and molding, and giving it your best shot. Standing in that room in front of my peers, teammates, and the GRC team was one of the most exhilarating and fulfilling parts of my school career thus far.

 

The Global Results Communications team was phenomenal, and next time a workshop comes along, if you’re feeling a little hesitant and nervous, trust me, sign up. You’ll surprise yourself with what you’re capable of.

 

3 Things To Do Before You Get To Next Generation PR

by Rachel Mayhew

 

Going to a professional conference, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie, can be a bit nerve-wracking. Here are some quick tips and tricks to make sure you’re prepared!

 

1..Look up the speakers beforehand

 

It is extremely important to research speakers before you attend a conference. Not only will it help you choose what panels you want to go to, but it will help you when it comes to networking and asking important questions. You don’t want to be the person who asks something that can be easily found online. Do your homework, know who is attending. To give you a place to start, you can find bios for all of our guests here. (https://nextgenpr.org/conference-speakers/)

 

2. Have your elevator pitch ready to go

 

 

You’ll be meeting a lot of people this weekend, including leading industry professionals. To make the most of this opportunity, be able to pitch yourself in under a minute. You should be able to explain who you are, what you want to do, and what you’ve done. The whole point is to make someone interested, and ask more questions! The best way to craft the perfect elevator pitch? Practice, practice, and more practice.

3. Update/Make a LinkedIn

 

 

Last, but definitely not least, update your LinkedIn! If you don’t have one, stop what you are doing and make one now. If you’re successful networking, people will want to connect with you. LinkedIn is a valuable resource for any young professional. Make sure it is updated with all of your recent work, even if it’s just school related. Upload a resume, some work samples, anything that will showcase your skills. Make sure your picture is updated as well, and not a selfie! An updated LinkedIn may be your final key to networking success.

With that settled, you’re ready for Next Generation PR. With these three tips, you’ll be sure to ask smart questions, network like a pro, and make lasting connections with other PRSSA students and industry professionals.

How to Survive Disney Day with PRSSA

By Emma Bramer, Vice President

 

Welcome to the Happiest Place on Earth – Next Generation PR Regional Conference! What can make our Regional Conference even happier? Our Disneyland day on April 8!

        For those of you interested in joining us, I have created an FAQ on logistics for the day. As a Disney fanatic, I’ll be your tour guide Barbie for the day!

  1.  What ticket should I buy?

The Disneyland Resort has A LOT of ticket options. Here is the breakdown for a ticket on April 8:

  • One Day Peak Ticket with Admission to ONE Park – $135
    (Choice of Disneyland or Disney California Adventure)
  • One Day Peak Park Hopper Ticket – $185
    (Allows entrance to both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure)

Our recommendation is purchasing the one day peak ticket option to save money. Most our day will be spent in Disneyland, so it’s the best deal!

  1.   Do I have to stay with you all day?

You are free to explore the park however you would like! We would love to meet at park opening at 8 a.m. for a group picture in front of the train station before we split off. Our Executive Board will also be eating breakfast at Plaza Inn at 10:30 a.m., so if you would like to join us please RSVP with me by April 1!

  1. How do I get a Fastpass?

Fastpasses are “virtual spot holders” for attractions with longer wait times – like Space Mountain! Fastpasses are free for everyone who has purchased a park ticket. The process is easy:

  • Approach the attraction you want to get a Fastpass from
  • Ask for their Fastpass distribution location
  • Put your park ticket into the Fastpass kiosk
  • It will print you a return time reminder telling you when you can use your pass
  • When it is your time, go to the Fastpass entrance
  • Scan your park ticket to redeem the Fastpass
  • Wait less than 10 minutes to board the ride!

Note: you can only have one Fastpass at a time. You can make a new one every two hours.

The best attractions to get a Fastpass for are Space Mountain, Matterhorn Bobsleds, and Indiana Jones Adventure. These book out fast, so get one first thing in the morning!

  1. But what’s a Maxpass?

Purchasing a Maxpass in addition to your park ticket gives you the ability to reserve Fastpass times on your phone using the Disneyland App. It also gives you unlimited free photo downloads for the whole day!

  • Maxpass price: $10

Warning: you must reserve times like a normal Fastpass! Some book out fast, so do it first thing when you enter the park.

  1. What should I eat?

Disneyland is a foodie’s paradise! From snacks to gourmet meals, you can find the best option for you! Here are my favorites:

  • Churro: $4.75
  • The Grey Stuff Gateau (It’s Delicious!) from Red Rose Tavern: $5.49
  • Mickey Mouse Pretzel with Cheese: $6.00
  • Pizza slice from Redd Rocket’s Pizza Port: ~$8.00
  • Mozzarella cheese sticks from Stage Door Café: $8.75
  • Corn dog from the Little Red Wagon on Main Street U.S.A: $9.50
  • Bread bowl with Steak or Vegetarian Gumbo from Royal Street Veranda: $10.99
  • Pasta from Plaza Inn: $14.49
  • Monte Cristo Sandwich from Café Orleans: $21.00

There are plenty of options for affordable meals at Disneyland! You can download the Disneyland App for a full map of all the restaurants with menus.

  1. What rides should I go on?

My favorite attractions at Disneyland are:

  • The Haunted Mansion
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Space Mountain
  • Star Tours – The Adventure Continues
  • The Disneyland Railroad

Note: most of these attractions offer Fastpass and Maxpass

  1. What should I bring?

Walking around the parks can be tiring. Here’s what you should bring/wear:

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Light clothing (Southern California is hot in April!)
  • A jacket for night time
  • A backpack or purse to store personal belongings
  • A water bottle!!! (we don’t want you to get dehydrated!)
  • Money for food and souvenirs
  • An extra pair of socks (for after water rides; there are few things worse than wet socks)
  • Snacks like granola bars to save money and keep your energy
  • A smile – you’re at the happiest place on earth!

What not to bring:

  • Selfie-sticks – they are banned from the park and will be confiscated by security
  • Drugs of any kind – Disneyland is a private property and can ban any substance
  • Alcohol – if you’d like to grab a drink, I recommend Trader Sam’s in the Disneyland Hotel!
  • Weapons – this can be a threat to the safety of others and can result in serious consequences

I am very excited to be spending the weekend with you! If you have any additional questions, please email me at eabramer@csu.fullerton.edu. Have a magical day!

 

I’ve been there too.

I became an active member the Robert E. Rayfield Chapter of PRSSA just last semester and I had no idea where to begin. After attending multiple PRSSA events like the National Conference in Boston, Global Results Communications Bootcamp and every industry panel hosted at CSUF I was eager to gain some experience in the field.

So… I joined a committee.

I first joined the University Relations Committee in October. In my time there I was able to learn more about CICC, and I quickly realized the importance of facilitating relationships with other organizations on campus. While serving on the committee, we communicated with the other clubs on campus and prepared for our Conference, Next Generation PR.

There are many skills that I’ve learned as a committee member. To put it nicely, my email skills were lacking before I joined the University Relations Committee. I checked my emails maybe three times a week, and I had no clue how to use Google Drive to its full potential.

 

 

Once I joined a committee, Google Drive immediately became my best friend. My email competency and response time improved dramatically within the first few weeks alone.

After some time with the University Relations Committee, I decided to expand my skill set through new tasks by joining the Outreach Committee.

 

 

Though it is challenging at times, the experience of being part of the Outreach team is equally as exciting. I’ve had opportunities to network and connect with my fellow PRSSA members in new ways. From tabling at Homecoming and DiscoverFest, pitching our Chapter to communications classes around campus and preparing for Regional Conference, it’s been a wonderful learning opportunity (not to mention a great resume booster).

If you want to get the most out of your PRSSA experience, get involved. Join a committee. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see you running for the executive board in April.

 

Holly Baird of Sitrick & Co. Sponsors CSUF PRSSA Student  Membership

 

Fullerton, CA, January 31, 2018 – California State University, Fullerton’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) hosted “Launch Your Career: PRSSA 101” on January 31, 2018 to kick-start its spring semester. For the first time ever, a student’s membership dues will be sponsored by a CSUF Alumni through a social media contest.

 

“I’m honored to be able to provide this experience to the Public Relations students of CSUF,” said Member of the Firm, Holly Baird.  “When I met with the CSUF PRSSA group this past winter, not only was I impressed with the questions and engagement of the panel, I was even prouder to be a part of the Titan alumni family.”

 

Holly Baird joined Sitrick & Company in November 2005. Over the past 13 years, she has worked her way up the ladder earning a position as Member of the Firm.  Baird hosted CSUF PRSSA’s extremely exclusive and raved about the event, Fight or Flight: Crisis Communications event last November.

 

The sponsorship was announced during CSUF PRSSA’s kickoff event and is open to all students regardless of major.  The contest requires students to participate on Twitter by answering three questions from the CSUF PRSSA twitter page using the hashtag #csufprssaXholly between Feb. 5 and Feb. 7.  Applicants will need to submit a copy of their resume and a short answer of no more than 600 words on why they are the most deserving candidate and what their career aspirations are after graduation.

 

“My collegiate experience at CSUF provided me the background and foundation I needed to thrive in my career and I believe it’s an invaluable experience for the CSUF students to be able to participate in the public relations programs available to them,” said Baird. “I vow to do everything I can to ensure that any of the students in the PRSSA at CSUF are able to access the resources I have in my network.”

 

The deadline to apply is Friday, Feb. 9.  Applications are to be submitted by email to csufprssa@gmail.com with the subject line “csufprssaXholly” by midnight.

 

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

 

About The Public Relations Student Society of America at CSUF

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

 

###

 

Media Contact: Andrew Vo at csufprssa@gmail.com

 

Writer: Daniel Trandell-Smoke and Nicole Freeman

Vice President of Sponsorships

by Indria Thijssen

 

You have to have a network…or be really good at networking.

Networking is a skill that most Communications majors work on and are good at. To put in perspective, the people in your network can offer a sponsorship in one way or another. Having a large network, or building a network, makes it easy to contact different people and open opportunities for you and them.

Be the traveling salesman.

You are selling your organization’s message and beliefs to potential buyers.  You need to be the traveling salesman that is knowledgeable about the organization and ready to answer any questions potential sponsors will throw at you. Think of ways to “sell” the message to potential sponsors and get them to become sponsors. Know your audience and work with their likes and dislikes.

 

You’ll learn the value of rejection.

Also being a traveling salesman, embrace rejection. A lot of people you approach will tell you “no”, and you will quickly learn the value of rejection. With rejection, you learn how to mold your message to different people with each attempt. I’ve learned that with every ten people saying “no”, there will be at least one person interested. The people that said they are not interested before, might turn around. Persistence is key!

 

Being a people person and a nice, genuine person

You are talking to a person. Be genuinely be interested and invested in the happenings of your sponsors and potential sponsors. Be that friend that always texts first and is willing to catch up. People and businesses are more likely to help out, or sponsor, friends and nice people. People are not all bad.

 

The role of Vice President of Sponsorships isn’t for everyone.

Sponsorships is not a role for everyone. You can learn the different people skills needed for the job. If you are planning on pursuing nonprofit PR or opening your own firm, being Vice President of Sponsorships can help prepare you. It is a difficult job that does demand a lot from a person. If you’re interested in this position, I recommend having a committee to help you out, being organized down to a calendar, and having a personality that is willing to roll with the punches. It is a rewarding position and I appreciate the things that I have learned being the Vice President of Sponsorships.

Vice President of Finance 

by Allison Thuang

I’ll admit, as the VP of Finance, I don’t get a ton of people lining up wanting to take over my position next year. As the previous VP of Finance before me said, “I’m lucky to have at least one member interested.” Of course, maybe the idea of handling all of the Chapter’s funds and working with spreadsheets scares a lot of PR students who are stereotypically great at writing and… not so great with numbers.

Here are some common myths about the VP of Finance position, and my rebuttal through my personal experience this past semester:

Myth #1: You need to be good at math to be the next VP of Finance.

Are you able to use a calculator correctly? If yes, then that makes you qualified to be PRSSA’s next money manager! Essentially, all you have to do is add and subtract from the total budget whenever money is deposited or withdrawn. The math is very simple- you won’t be needing any advanced calculus courses to do this job well!

Myth #2: Excel is scary. Numbers are scary. Everything about being the VP of Finance is scary.

Although I do admit I don’t necessarily think this is true because of my business background, nothing about this position is scary. It can be challenging, but I would argue that any job out there will have its challenges. If you know how to stay organized and are willing to learn specific analytical skills required for this role, like Excel, nothing will be scary.

 

Myth #3: This position is a huge snooze.

 

Yes, finance may not seem as exciting as the other positions on the Executive Board, but it will definitely keep you on your toes. You’ll be required to allocate funds to each board member at the beginning of each year when you establish the Chapter budget, so you’ll need to know a little bit about how each position operates. You’ll be getting visits from board members for help with anything money-related, and it is your job to consult them on what to do financially. This position is anything but boring! People will value your input, so expect to be involved in a lot of the logistics within PRSSA.

Bottom line, being the next VP of Finance has a lot of growth potential, especially in your ability to think logically. After all, you are the backbone of the whole organization. If there’s no money, there’s no PRSSA! You’ll call the shots on how much money we should spend and what items to cut, so it does come with a little bit of power.

You don’t need to have a lot of financial experience; you just need to be interested in finances.

By the end of the year, you’ll be a pro at budgeting, which you can apply to your resume and even your personal life. You’ll be able to say that you were fiscally responsible for a nationally recognized organization that consisted of over 200 members.

Also, the joy you give someone after giving them their $300 reimbursement is priceless. How many other Executive Board members have that opportunity?

Vice President of Administration

by Samantha Panganiban

Picture this: You arrive at the venue and open your laptop.  On the screen, you see five organized columns on your spreadsheet, ready to check in all the excited attendees for this event.  The time is 6:45 p.m., and you look up to call the first person in line.  They head inside and you look back up, but suddenly, the line has tripled.  You are now frazzled dazzled and they get hungrier as the line moves in, but with a smile on your face, you ask each person in the quickest way possible, “Hi, are you a member or non-member?  Can I get your name, email, and graduation term?  Thank you!  There’s food when you get inside and enjoy the event!”  The time is now 7:00 p.m., everyone’s seated and you are left with yet another full spreadsheet and a plate of cold leftovers. And you LOVE it – another successful night.

As the VP of Administration, this is the kind of rush you experience and feel at each PRSSA event!  You collect and manage all membership information, and while it seems easy, your organization skills (and patience) will definitely be put to the test when you’re in charge of over 200 names.

Along with the memberships, you are also the designated record keeper for the chapter.  During each board meeting, the VP of Administration takes notes on any recaps, position reports, and ideas that the Executive Board discusses and votes on.  Don’t forget, every PR person should have the receipts, so make sure your phone is on Do Not Disturb, each Executive Board member has your undivided attention and you’re ready to type because you don’t want to miss a thing!

Another plus is that you’ll be an excel pro by the end of your term (not the math functions though)!  The VP of Administration handles all the lists and databases.  Whether it’s making an email list for outreaching to other members or creating a social media database with every nationally affiliated PRSSA Chapter for the Chapter’s internal use, always make sure you do your research and double, triple check your information because one misplaced line can throw off everything.

 

Lastly, you act as the assistant to all other Executive Board members, just in case they need you to cross-reference any member information or need additional help in their role, so it’s important that you’re flexible, have a good attitude when you work with your team and willing to give them a hand.

All and all, staying organized and having a sharp eye for small details are the #1 keys to being a successful VP of Administration, especially when you have to keep track of over 200 memberships, take minutes, and update and maintain databases and documents for the chapter.  While this position may not seem like the most rigorous job on the Executive Board, you aid to keep the internal flow for CSUF PRSSA run as smoothly as possible, no matter how tedious it can become.

Vice President of University Relations

by Kristen Cuaresma

 

I’m not saying being the Vice President of University Relations is the equivalent to being Wonder Woman, but it’s kind of the equivalent to being Wonder Woman. Not that I do anything particularly amazing, but I like to think of it as a diplomatic position.

As the Vice President of University Relations, I get to interact with a variety of people in the College of Communications. I spend my Mondays with an excellent group of individuals from CICC, the Communications Inter-Club Council, and other organizations in the College of Communications including ETC, FMAA, LPH, NSSLHA, Titan Radio, STANCE, LJ, SPJ, and Ad Club. We discuss and try to allocate money to our specific organizations. Working together, the council tries to make each organizations’ events possible.

There are some difficulties to the job. The VP of University Relations has to decide what food to bring to events and work it into their schedule to pick it up. Additionally, it can be difficult managing the needs of your organization with the needs of others, but council members each learn that there is a balance. We learn to work together as a team. The busiest time is the beginning of the year considering that the Vice President of University Relations helps out with National Conference. However, arguably, this is not the hardest part of the job. The real battle is that meetings are at nine in the morning on Monday’s. Bummer. But it’s rewarding in the fact that I help make PRSSA events memorable.

I love this job. It allows me to meet other people who I usually wouldn’t meet otherwise. The structure of the meetings is also appealing as it’s a protocol not often used. Also despite having to commit to Monday morning meetings and Wednesday afternoons to pick up food, this position is flexible enough as long as the work is finished by the deadlines. With this position, I am able to offer up my services to help others in PRSSA.

If you love people and want a job in which you can also offer up your time to other positions and activities, I highly recommend applying for this job.