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!