Welcome to PRSSA!

For those of you returning, welcome back!

So you’ve joined PRSSA, now you’re probably wondering what happens from here. Well that’s what we’re here to help you with!

When I joined PRSSA as a transfer student, I was lost, confused and slightly panicking. It’s hard to be a transfer student and suddenly feel like you’re behind everyone else.

I went to the Kick-Off event and made a single friend who later that night introduced me to some of the Executive Board members. I learned more about the types of committees and the benefits of joining one. This excited me and encouraged me to get involved!

So I joined the Outreach committee! This committee had challenged me in so many ways. I had to meet new people and learn how to maintain conversations with people I didn’t even know. Daily email checks, classroom pitching, and tabling events became second nature to me. It was hard work, but I loved every second of it.

If you’re a bit unsure about joining a committee, think of it this way. Being on a committee can eventually lead to you taking that position over one day. Your future employer is going to see this on your resume and might even choose you over that other person who didn’t get involved at all.

Another recommendation: go to every event/panel you can! Not only do you get to hear from the professionals, you get to connect with them and other members. Trust me on this – connect and build relationships with these members. You never know when you’ll need some advice or even a helping hand when it comes to job options.

So get involved as soon as possible; don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! And the most important advice I can give you: have fun!

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.

 

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.

 

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Media Contact: Andrew Vo at csufprssa@gmail.com

 

Writer: Daniel Trandell-Smoke and Nicole Freeman