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!

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 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 

What is your name, age, and major?

My name is Melika Karimzadeh and I am a Communications major with an emphasis in Public Relations!

How many years have you been at CSUF?

I have been at CSUF for 4 semesters now, so 2 years! I actually am set to graduate this Spring 2021.

How long have you been part of PRSSA?

I have been a part of PRSSA since Fall 2020 and I am so thankful I finally decided to join!

How did you hear about the organization?

I heard about PRSSA at my first ever class taken at CSUF, Principles of Public Relations with Ken Hagihara. He spoke about it quite a bit and I was hesitant to join so I decided to think about it for a little bit and ask around. After hearing about the amazing opportunities, I finally just took the leap and joined!

What is your favorite part about PRSSA?

My favorite part about PRSSA is that you get to network and connect with so many amazing professionals in the industry. I would’ve never met half of the people I have met or went to any of the panels if it wasn’t for PRSSA. They really just throw you in there and get you started on your career path.

How has PRSSA helped you achieve your academic or professional goals?

PRSSA has helped me tremendously in achieving my academic and professional goals. Without PRSSA I wouldn’t have been able to join Titan Public Relations, which is the student-run public relations firm that connects you with real life clients in order to gain experience. Being able to put something like TPR on my resume has really given me an upper hand when searching for jobs and internships!

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

My favorite social media platform is a three-way tie between Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn. Instagram is just a great resource to connect with the world and I do find a lot of information about what’s happening around me on there. TikTok is what’s new and trending so it’s always a great resource for those looking to get into the social media industry. Lastly, I love LinkedIn! After all, where would I be without all the amazing connections and professional mentors that I’ve met on there?

Where do you see your career taking you after graduation?

After graduation, I really hope to pursue a career in the video game or tech industry. I really enjoy the atmosphere and those two things have always played a big role in my life. I hope to work with top companies like Blizzard, Riot, or Kingston Technology. Regardless of where I’m going, I am so thankful for the friends and mentors I was able to meet at CSUF and so happy I decided to go here!

March 12, 2021 ︱By: Cesario Mora

As aspiring PR professionals, we understand that networking is everything. Connections are the ingredients needed for having a successful career. But you can’t just wait for connections to fall on your lap – you must be on the hunt!  So, what is the best way to do this? You have to put yourself out there and get involved – and the sooner the better. Not only does getting involved allow you to create professional relationships, you can also utilize the skills you learned about the PR field in a real-world setting.

For example, you can employ your sweet PR skills by joining one of PRSSA’s committees or Titan Public Relations! Involving yourself will allow you to gain experience, network with others, and apply your PR knowledge in the field. It is so important and refreshing to surround yourself with individuals who are passionate and goal-oriented because it will keep you focused and motivated.

But hey, perhaps you are currently involved in one of CSUF’s many other organizations that do not seem to have a direct relation to PR. Well, you would be surprised how you can still employ those PR skills into practice.

For instance, last year when I transferred to CSUF, I did not know exactly what I wanted to do or which one of the hundreds of clubs to join. I just knew that I wanted to find a place where I could enjoy myself and be a part of something that would help propel my career path. That’s when I found Titan Radio, CSUF’s radio station, at Discoverfest. They pitched to me all the reasons why I should join, but I was hesitant and unsure how this would even coincide with my PR goals. But after being with them for over a year, I am glad I joined because it sharpened the skills I need to thrive in PR.

 Let me tell you the 3 ways how:

 1. Emails! Emails! Emails!

As a current Titan Radio intern, I am constantly sending email pitches to different organizations on campus for possible collaborative events.  And as students of PR, we know that constructing the perfect email that can hold the recipient’s attention is, dare I say, an art form we are constantly trying to perfect.

2. Personal Brand

I took advantage of Titan Radio’s powerful platform by using it to establish my personal brand. Every week for one hour, not only did I play hits that were absolute fire, I used it to showcase my Adobe editing skills. Additionally, I crafted a specific narrative about myself that would appeal to a wide range of audiences.

3. Networking

Through Titan Radio I have met so many passionate people from different backgrounds and majors. I value every professional relationship created, because like I said, we are hungry to make connections in a field where knowing the right people can make all the difference.

In closing, I stress again the importance of getting involved! There are so many opportunities for you to grow and hone your skills, you do not want to let a semester go by without getting involved in anything. Even if you feel like there is no direct PR relation, believe me when I tell you that all roads lead to Rome. And by Rome, I mean PR. Because no matter where you find yourself involved in, you could write social media posts to promote your organization, or network with individuals who are actively involved within it. And you know what that is? That’s PR, baby!

What is your name, age, and major?

My name is Analleli Penaloza, I’m 21 years old, and my major is Business- Marketing.

How many years have you been at CSUF?

Three and a half years.

How long have you been part of PRSSA?

Since Fall 2020.

How did you hear about the organization?

From a friend who was on the Executive Board who encouraged me to join!

What is your favorite part about PRSSA?

The Committees! I’ve learned and developed my personal and professional skills, while also making amazing friendships being part of committees.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

Instagram- I love exploring, sharing, and seeing unique and funny content on the platform!

Where do you see your career taking you after graduation?

I see myself working as a Senior Marketing Manager at Spotify!

February 1, 2021 ︱By: Elizabeth Williams 

Welcome to Spring 2021! I know right now things can be nerve wracking, especially for our seniors about to graduate, but PRSSA is here for you! We have resources that will help you expand your network, gain hands on experience, and jumpstart your career in PR.

To get started, let’s name a few:

1. Virtual Panels

Each semester PRSSA brings in guest speakers from different relevant industries who share their insights and experiences about PR with our members. After each panel discussion you are able to reach out to the panelists. This is a great way to network and expand your connections within the industry. 

This year, nine PRSSA chapters joined together to form the SoCal Coalition, a partnership where they would share panels and collaborate on networking events with one another.  This means that as a member of CSUF PRSSA, your network is larger than ever before.  You have access to panels from chapters including CSULB, CSULA, Cal Poly Pomona, Biola University, CSU Northridge, San Diego State University, USC and CSUDH

2. Committees

If you are trying to get more involved, committees are a great place to start. They help you network, gain experience, and give you a better understanding of what it takes to be an effective member of the executive board.  

The Digital Communications Committee will help you gain experience in social media, marketing, and website design. Each member dedicates at least one hour per week to learning how to increase content engagement across social media platforms. This committee focuses on content creation, graphic design, photography, and social media engagement. 

The Outreach Committee gives you the opportunity to learn how to pitch and network with different target audiences. This committee focuses on creating blogs, making email pitches, video pitches, and classroom pitches. You will gain experience in public speaking, time management, and networking.

If you love to plan, you can join the Events Committee where you will gain organizational skills and knowledge in using Excel. Since we are currently virtual, you will mainly work on social media campaigns for various platforms like Instagram and Facebook. 

Join the Professional Development Committee if you want to improve on your networking skills, which are essential to every PR practitioner As a member, you will be helping the VP of Professional Development research future panelists and help come up with questions to ask them. 

The Sponsorship & Fundraising Committee will give you a chance to create and execute a professional campaign to gain more donors for PRSSA. This is a perfect opportunity to gain real world experience in dealing with professionals, local businesses, and major companies. 

3. PR Certificate 

By joining PRSSA you have the chance to take a test for the Certificate in Principles in Public Relations. You can take it either 6 months before you graduate or 6 months after you graduate. The certification exhibits your proficiency in social media management, crisis communications, media relations and more.  Additionally, once you have this certificate, you are able to join PRSA, our parent organization,  immediately after graduating. Passing the test means OCPRSA will sponsor your one-year membership into their chapter!

4. Exclusive Internships

Internships are competitive these days, especially during the pandemic.  For California University Fullerton PR students, you need an internship to graduate. To help out, PRSSA has an exclusive internship database that will give you opportunities to apply for internships and some might even be paid. In addition, becoming a member gives you access to PRSSA Nationals Internship & Job Center, which has opportunities from all over and in all fields! 

When you join PRSSA, you get hands on experience and networking opportunities with PR professionals. If you aren’t already a member, don’t let these opportunities pass you by! Take charge of your future and sign up here: https://csufprssa.org/become-a-member/

What company did you receive an internship for?  What are they known for?

Grocery Outlet, they are known for their opportunistic buying practices and low prices.

What was your favorite part of the job?

I was in the Marketing department and through my project I got to interact with many different departments like Distribution, Planning and Logistics. The person in HR overseeing the interns set up many group zoom meetings so all of the interns could talk with the executive teams.  She also set up fun games and trivia nights.

Did you feel as though your experience with PRSSA helped prepare you for this internship?  If so, in what way?

Yes, because even though I didn’t do much PR work I was still included in all of the PR meetings with Grocery Outlet. I think being in PRSSA helped prepare me for what PR work is like in the working world.

Would you recommend this internship to other people? Why or why not?

Yes, Grocery Outlet was an amazing place to have an internship. Everyone I interacted with was nice and would answer any and all questions I had. I never had a bad experience working there over my ten weeks. They had many educational meetings to learn all about their business.

How has this internship impacted the trajectory of your future?  Career-wise, where are you headed next?

I’m not sure what is next for me career wise. The internship was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone. It has given me a good look at what a career in marketing or PR would be like and it was a valuable experience.

What company did you receive an internship for?  What are they known for?

The company I received an internship for is called ProMazo.  It is a college student consulting technology platform that gets students out in the field to learn more than they would  with a traditional internship. It’s a recruitment company that gets college students the experience they need to get hired.

What was your favorite part of the job?

I am still in my role at ProMazo, but my favorite part is setting up meetings with professionals such as reporters and journalists. We learn from them how we can improve, hear about their experiences and how they got to where they are. I also enjoy applying the skills I’ve learned in my PR courses to my job. I’ve written pitch letters, press kits and well-thought-out, professional email sequences.

Did you face any challenges that you didn’t expect?  If so, how did you handle them?

I didn’t expect to be the head of our PR Media team. It was a lot to grasp at first and I felt pressure, but it was worth it to be uncomfortable for a bit in order to push myself and apply what I’ve learned to my job. Every day I just do more research and go back through my school notes if I need help. Communication is also key in my role, so if I need help my teammates are there for me. I can do a lot more than I thought I could.

Did you feel as though your experience with PRSSA helped prepare you for this internship?  If so, in what way?

Yes, most definitely. Learning how to speak and ask questions to professionals is so important. PRSSA has made me feel more confident and get outside of my shell. PRSSA makes me feel involved, motivated, and connected to the PR world. It has opened my eyes to where I want to go in my career and ways to get there. Networking is one of the most important things anyone can do in college.  It’s just as, if not more important than, your actual coursework.

Would you recommend this internship to other people? Why or why not?

Yes, although I’m not sure if my employer is just having interns for this specific project we’re working on. I’m not sure if he usually takes on interns every semester or not, but if he does, I would definitely recommend it for PR.

What was the biggest takeaway/lesson-learned you got from your experience?

I have learned how to professionally construct a meeting, communicate effectively, use spreadsheets, make media contact lists, and do extensive research to find journalist contact information. Also, I’ve realized how important it is to read people’s articles and know what they do before asking them to cover your story or give advice on pitching angles to the media. It creates that initial relationship before the ask.

How has this internship impacted the trajectory of your future?  Career-wise, where are you headed next?

This internship has made me feel confident that being in PR is right for me and makes me want to apply to PR agencies and careers during my final semester of college. I love to write and make meaningful connections, so this is what I was meant to do.

What company did you receive an internship for?  What are they known for?

The company I interned with over summer 2020 was Integrity Public Relations Inc. They are a public relations agency known for working with tech companies. IPR helps clients reach their sales and marketing objectives by offering professional help from their senior account team who each have around 20 years of experience in the field. 

What was your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of working with Integrity Public Relations Inc. was getting the opportunity to have my first experience in the public relation world while being surrounded by a team with amazing insight on the career field I will shortly be diving into Doing research, making media lists and contacting potential collaborators was all exciting for me as this was the first time I got to take part in anything PR related, apart from PRSSA. 

Did you face any challenges that you didn’t expect?  If so, how did you handle them?

I did not face any challenges thankfully, but little bumps in the road. When contacting those on our media list, there was more denial than acceptance when it came to working with any company. Learning how to handle a “no” or simply no response is something that is completely normal and I learned that it just may not be the right time to work with everyone. 

Did you feel as though your experience with PRSSA helped prepare you for this internship?  If so, in what way?

Yes, my experience with PRSSA 100% helped prepare me for my internship with IPR. I was on CSUF’s PRSSA 2019-2020 board as VP of Administration and because of that I was able to get my internship with IPR. Also, being VP of Admin. helped me greatly because I was able to transfer what I learned in my position to adapt quickly to what was needed of me at my internship. 

Would you recommend this internship to other people? Why or why not?

I would definitely recommend this internship to other people if the position became available again. PR is not always glitz and glam, there is hard work that needs to be done to get a company to where it is, the way Ken Hagihara has. He built IPR and continues to work with clients and keep the company running with an amazing work ethic from him and his colleague. Working for an agency gives you the opportunity to work with multiple clients without having to be an independent contractor. 

How has this internship impacted the trajectory of your future?  Career-wise, where are you headed next?

This internship has impacted me because I now know that an agency could be something to consider when I graduate and begin looking for a job. Having my internship with an agency was exciting, there was always something to do for one company or another and it kept me on my toes. As for where I am headed next, I will be graduating in Fall 2020 and will possibly take a small break to enjoy the road and then begin looking for a job.