Social media has had a significant impact on the PR world. It has eliminated the barrier between a firm and the public to address questions, comments and concerns. Not only has it been influential in maintaining a brand’s reputation, but also in dealing with crisis management in a swift way. These digital channels have brought new ways to build stronger and lasting relationships with clients. Here are three ways social media can be used effectively in public relations. 

AWARENESS: Through social media, companies have been able to enhance their brand’s awareness and stay in the spotlight. People are constantly sharing and reading information on social media platforms. This cost-effective method has led many companies to find new clients through social media tools like hashtags that correlate to a brand’s vision. Aspects of social media such as shares and retweets have also had a positive impact on SEOs (search engine optimization) and have helped gain the attention of influencers and people in general. 

INTERACTION: Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all allow companies to have a direct relationship with their clients. The first thing anyone does when they have an issue or question is to address it on social media. We’ve all been there. Through this, consumers can get their questions answered and find out more information in a quick and efficient way. This one on one type of interaction can majorly influence a brand’s credibility for the better. In addition, incentives offered by liking, sharing and commenting has created an interactive and loyal relationship between a brand and its target audience. 

CONTENT: The most important and effective part of social media in PR is the variety of content that can be created and distributed. Social media has allowed PR to reach a large audience through links, stories, threads and more. PR professionals get to see what followers like and dislike so they can create content based on feedback. Learning about preferences that attract people by posting all types of content, and then customizing it is great PR activity. With aesthetic posts and quick links, PR pros can also announce updates in more appealing ways, keeping their audience engaged and informed. 

Still not convinced about social media’s use in the P.R world?  Read on to find out more from PR Pro Valerie Christopherson, founder and CEO of Global Results Communications (GRC) on their take on P.R and social media!

What types of Social Media does your firm use? Which social media platform(s) has the

company found most effective? 

Being a global firm with global clients, we focus heavily on B2B (business to business) tapping into social media platforms across the board when appropriate. When it comes to tech clients, it depends on the product, solution or service, and which platform their target audience or market is likely to use for engagement. It is important to be active everywhere there is potential for interaction and conversation, so we will always include the most familiar platforms with the largest user base including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

How do you use each platform for PR? (Is there a target audience or content that differs from each platform…) Each platform definitely has a user profile, so to speak. Instagram users typically love an inside look at the culture of a business or the culture surrounding a brand—kind of like a “Day in the Life” snapshot. Twitter, on the other hand, is the perfect platform for us to share client coverage in real-time. We can push out constant content to stay relevant on our followers Twitter feed throughout the day. LinkedIn really tries to keep things business-focused, so our client posts are more informative and newsworthy.

As PR professionals, we understand that all messages don’t necessarily resonate in the same way

with different groups of people. By finding what works for our clients’ audiences and appealing

to them, we improve the impact of their marketing efforts.

What are some benefits of using Social Media for PR?

Social media has changed the way we communicate today. These platforms allow us to reach

audiences from all parts of the world. If people and brands spend time honing in on their

expertise and consistently manage their social channels—or hire a team to do it for them—they

have the potential to greatly increase visibility. Good content gets shared, so by consistently

posting quality content, more people will see it and share it.

Also, the fact that we can connect with anyone at any given time is a huge advantage. Social

media gives PR professionals and students the opportunity to connect before, during and after

networking events, a conference or a meeting. It’s a great way to get to know someone prior to

that first meeting and be better equipped to have a conversation in person.

How do you believe social media has impacted the PR world?

Social media has impacted nearly every industry, but it has had a tremendous impact on public

perception. Drastically changing the way people get their news, social media has forced PR pros and reporters to adapt along with it. And this is no easy task—but it is essential for all professional communicators to get on board.

Social media is such a highly effective tool for communicating breaking news, but it also

shortens the lifespan of a news story. This means that journalists are constantly searching for

the next big thing, and we as PR professionals must keep up. Its influence is simply too large to


Hi! Could you tell me a little about yourself? What positions do you hold in and out of CSUF?

I actually have three positions in and out of CSUF. I am a full time lecturer at CSUF, and the PRSSA faculty advisor. Besides this, I run a public relations firm called Integrity Public Relations. I am also a Navy Public Affairs Officer, a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy. I work for Third Fleet in San Diego.

How do you juggle all your positions?

That is a challenge. I have to juggle those things while giving time to family. Part of it is that I own my own business so I can work anywhere. That’s how I can work full time at CSUF and have a business going because I have that flexibility. A lot of times when I’m here in the office, sometimes I’m correcting papers and sometimes I’m working on client stuff, and I’m always working on Navy things because that can pop up whenever. The Navy is pretty much on the weekends and maybe a month out of my summer. School owns Monday through Friday of my time and sometimes on the weekends. My business owns Monday through Friday as well. The family gets the weekends and evenings. I don’t really see it as a burden because I love every single one of my responsibilities for different reasons. I love serving the country. I love my clients and building a PR Agency. I love teaching and spending time with my family. What I have found is that I can’t handle down time. I feel anxious when nothing is going on. Even when we’re on a cruise or in Hawaii, I’m working and I have my computers out. It’s just my personality.

What sparked your interest in PR?

Before I went back to school, and got my degree, I was working for the Air Force at the International Guard Station in Costa Mesa. We had an issue where we were surrounded by neighbors who hated us because they didn’t understand what we did. They thought that we were just a bunch of military guys and didn’t like us. So I decided that we had to have an open house and I created the first ever open house on the base. We brought in community partners such as the police and fire departments, and the California Highway Patrol. We had an event that helped change the perception of our military on that base in the Costa Mesa area, which sparked my interest in doing this for a living.

During college, what was your academic career like?

When I got right out of high school, I went to Saddleback College and after about a year and a half, I earned a GPA of 1.04. I decided that college was probably not for me, so I joined the Air Force. After about 10 years in the Air Force, my boss came to me and made me go back to school. He told me he wanted me to go back to Orange Coast College and get my AA degree. Turns out, I liked it and did well. It took me four years at Orange Coast to undo the bad grades at Saddleback. After getting my AA, I told my boss that I proudly got it and to leave me alone. He told me that I needed to get a four year degree. My grades were good enough that got me into UCI, but I stayed there for a year and hated it so I went to CSULB for a semester. I also hated it. Then I found CSUF where I thought everyone actually cared about me and I wasn’t just a number here. So I picked the PR communications major because it was 124 units and I just wanted to make my boss happy and get out of school as fast as I could. I ended up loving it and was recruited by UCI to be a public information representative while I was a junior at CSUF. I went back to school to get my masters in 2013 from USC Annenberg, just so I could teach here.

What made you want to teach at CSUF?

Running my firm, I found that students that came out of the program here were better than the ones I found coming out of any other schools including USC, Chapman and CSULB. I wanted to give back to the students and be part of a program that is held in such high regard, not only in Southern California but also across the west.

Did you have any internship or work during your academic career at CSUF? What did it teach you?

During my schooling, I did not have any internships because I was working full time for the International Guard until I was picked up by UCI  my junior year. At UCI, my job was a Senior Public Information Representative. I had never had a junior position job yet they hired me as a Senior PIR because I could type. The school waived my internship requirement because I was working in a communications job. My work taught me that the sky’s the limit. If you have a desire and a drive, you can pretty much do anything you want. The preparation I got at this school is worth millions of dollars to me. The reason I wanted to come back is to pass that along to the students that it’s not just school. If you take this seriously and apply yourself, you could be creating your career right now. Cal State Fullerton is a fantastic school. It is hands on teaching and much more than the theoretical things taught at other schools. That’s what employers want. I want to hire people that can come in the door and start working. They’ve done the capstone, they know how to write press releases and how to plan and execute PR campaigns. That is what you get from this school and that’s something I don’t think any other school offers as well as this one does.

What were some hardships you encountered in the professional or academic world?

I think an academic challenge for me was that since I didn’t go to college after high school, and took that break, going back to school as a young adult when I had a job as well was very difficult. You’re working a job, going to school, trying to get the best grades you can. My relationships suffered because I had to focus on school. Otherwise, it was just fun. I love the school and I love the people that work here. Like I said, I have gone to USC, Saddleback, Orange Coast, Long Beach, Irvine and Fullerton. By far, I felt the most comfortable at Fullerton as a student and still feel it as a faculty member.

Could you tell me about your PR Agency?

When I was at UCI, I went to a PRSA meeting and met someone who was a principal in a tech PR firm in Newport Beach. He knew I had a communications degree and said I should get into tech PR so I left UCI and joined their agency. Their agency had some ethical issues that I couldn’t get past, so I made a stand and quit. I told them I was going to start my own agency and compete against them. I was going to call my agency Integrity PR, a name I totally made up. It happened to be available for URLs and things like that, but it wasn’t supposed to be a real agency. I was still looking for a job but what happened was once I left that agency, the client I was servicing there, fired that agency and they came after me, asking me to continue to be their PR person. That was my first client and after that, I just started getting word of mouth referrals from people that knew me. All of a sudden, the agency was born and ever since then, I have not worked for any other agency. It was born out of the fact that I was trying to take a stand for ethics, so I named it Integrity PR.  We focus on tech PR but we have done a lot of nonprofits. We are the Make A Wish foundation’s agency record for about ten years, but primarily we are in the technology space. We are in the 20th year as a PR firm.

Any Career highlights or special moments you would like to share?

One of the highlights from my entire career is being placed on the alumni wall of fame at CSUF in 2004. That was about 5 years after I left the school. I had my agency and was getting awards so Fullerton put me on their wall of fame. Also, getting to teach here was huge. I didn’t need a master’s for PR, I needed one to teach. I went to USC and spent $75,000 on a master’s degree just to teach. That is what I did and what I only wanted to do. I got a job here in 2015 and started teaching part time before going full time in 2017. When I first stepped into the classroom, in the fall of 2015, it was a good day for me. I was CSUF faculty at that point. Being the faculty advisor for PRSSA has been incredible.. Getting to work with the students and the board is amazing. Another highlight would be that now I was inducted in the PRSA College of Fellows at The PRSA Convention. That is a big deal because there are only 350 active PR professionals in the world that are active in the College of Fellows. I was selected as one of eleven across the nation. The fact that I can share this with my CSUF family makes it more special.

What advice would you give students entering the PR world?

Participate in capstone. That’s why this school is special. They make you get out there and do the work. You get a more intense experience than you would in an internship because you’re actually going to work with clients, research their problems, and create and execute a campaign, all within one semester. That’s really the key to PR; if someone can do that, know how to research and identify a target audience and know how to get messages to them. I know that the inclination for a student is to look at graduation, but pay attention and apply yourself in these classes because it is going to make a difference. I’m an example of someone who was not a student. I was just terrible but I applied myself and so far, I have had a 20 year career in PR that has given me and my family a lot of flexibility and ability to do the things we want to do. My advice to students is that you’re only in school for a short amount of time, make the best of it, find good professors, take as much of their information and keep in touch with them because they can help you find jobs and write reference letters. Fullerton is a huge resource and I’m happy to be a part of it.

What is your age, name, and major?

My name is Jennifer Sierra, I’m 21, and my major is PR

How many years have you been at CSUF?

This is my fourth year. I came in as a freshman.

How did you hear about PRSSA?

I was walking around the campus and I saw their booth during Discoverfest and also one of my professors recommended it to me.

What sparked your interest in the PR field?

I went to a YouTube event called VidCon. When I went, I knew I wanted to do something in entertainment. I got to see everything and meet people, and I just knew I wanted to do something in communications. After, I did more research and found out about PR

What is your favorite class this semester and why?

I think it’d be my Comm 362 class because we are actually writing out pieces and learning the structure of it.

How has PRSSA enhanced your perception of the industry?

I think it’s just given me an in-depth look and actually pushed me to do a little bit more. I’ve gone to one of the volunteer services they had which was a fundraiser for cancer for children. That was really fun, I got to go out to the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel and worked with a lot of people. I also got to see a small group of people doing PR for that foundation and how they made that whole thing happen.

What are your goals for this year and how can PRSSA help achieve them?

I’m graduating next January, so I’m hoping to do internships through the ones they (PRSSA) provide and also go to more volunteer services and panels. 

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

I think it would be Twitter because of how interactive it is. It’s easy to tweet at a celebrity and sometimes get noticed, I’ve had people like Chance the Rapper like my tweets. I like how easy it is to connect with people that you wouldn’t be able to.

What is the best advice you’ve heard from one of the panels or one of your professors this semester?

Probably when tonight’s panelists (from Fashion and Beauty) were explaining to be kind and nice to everyone. When I studied abroad that was what was really emphasized, that and being trustworthy and dependent. 

Dream company you’d like to work for and why?

Right now, Lush just because I’m really focused on skincare right now, they do skin, hair, and body. For my PR class, Comm 362, we’re supposed to choose clients and write things for them, so right now my client is Lush.

There is a wide variety of skills that different professions require especially in the world of PR.  Hard skills are technical and teachable whereas soft skills are interpersonal and known as “people skills”. Presenting a balance of hard and soft skills appears to make you a more well-rounded applicant and grab attention to your resume. Here are some hard and soft skills that are needed now more than ever in the public relations industry.

1. Communication

Good communication skills seem like a pretty obvious trait to have considering public relations involves a great deal of it. Presenting a clear image of what you are trying to share and express to an audience is important in building a brand or company. The material you’re producing in the field needs to be easily understood by the reader through the medium. Your work must be engaging and intriguing to the reader. Communication skills are also valuable to have in the workplace when it comes to collaboration and teamwork. 

2. Social Media Knowledge

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Knowledge of social platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are especially important today with the growing use of social media. Understanding the different algorithms of these socials can help when deciding strategies on how to appeal to the brand’s audience. Being conscious of the type of content that followers or supporters respond well to and engage with can better help plan for future posts or inspire new ideas. Now that social media has taken over this generation, it is important that you are knowledgeable and have a basic understanding of how it works. 

3. Photoshop/Video Editing Skills

In the realm of PR, it is becoming more crucial to have knowledge in video or photo editing. Editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Final Cut Pro are used in a wide range of media today, from Instagram stories to ads on Twitter. Having the ability to create an image or video that is both interesting and captures the viewers’ attention is crucial for audience interaction. Experience with these programs can help you stand out.

4. Creative and Critical Thinking

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Being able to solve problems and think outside of the box is essential. When a problem arises, to have the skills to remain calm and find a solution to the situation at hand is a valuable skill to have. Creativity is also needed in PR to come up with different ideas on how to make the brand’s products or ideas stand out from competitors. Companies are looking for individuals to bring something new to the table. 

5. Relationship-building skills

Although some might not think relationship building is a measurable hard skill, it can be by the number of connections you make throughout your career. Building strong relationships and networking with coworkers, managers or employees from different companies can greatly benefit your work in PR. You will be able to bring in new ideas and opinions as well as build trust with other connections. Building these relationships in your profession can lead to new career opportunities or open new doors to other positions that you are interested in. It’s vital that you start building your network of people as early as you can. 

There are many ways to practice or learn these skills from college classes to YouTube videos. The more you are able to expand and practice on these skills, you’ll not only be prepared for a career in PR but also stand out amongst many other applicants.

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You bought your membership, you went to your first event and naturally, now you want to know how you can maximize your membership to be further involved in PRSSA. 

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But…how do you do that exactly? I had the same exact question when I first joined PRSSA about a year ago. Looking at my time at PRSSA, I have deduced that there are three excellent ways for first-time or long-time members to get further involved with the organization!

#1.) Join A Committee

Joining a committee is a great way to become further involved and learn about how PRSSA puts on events. There are so many different committees to join, you may even find an interest in something that completely surprises you! These are an excellent way to get to know other people within the organization, along with building up your resume and gaining experience in whatever you may choose. Interested in planning events, finance, digital communication or even pitching to potential sponsors? Committee members are able to help with all that! Simply reach out to any board member to inquire about their committee.

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#2.) Join Titan PR

Not only is Titan PR a great way to gain work experience, but it is also a way to become more involved in PRSSA. Titan PR is our student-run public relations firm and requires no past experience to apply. They host exclusive workshops and speakers for their members, in addition to helping you develop important workplace skills. Joining allows you to work on multiple facets such as social media, press releases, event planning and so much more! You must be a PRSSA member to apply, so this is a great opportunity to get to know and work with your fellow members. 

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#3.) Ask Any Board Member

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Not only is the board here to put on programming, but they are also here to help you in any way possible! Interested in a certain position? You can ask to shadow them through their duties! Interested in specific volunteering opportunities? Reach out to the board for more information! From looking over your resume with you to forming a study group, the board is an excellent resource for your academic advancement (and hey, they’re kinda fun too).

      Welcome back to the start of another academic year! The start of a new year can be overwhelming, especially for someone who has just started their college journey. We’ve all gone through it before: the uncertainty, excitement and curiosity that surrounds starting classes

     How do you get involved and get the most out of your college experience? What should you join? These questions aren’t exclusively for first year students, but for anyone that wants to enjoy and excel in their college career.

With that said, here are the top 5 reasons YOU should join PRSSA this upcoming year:

Reason #1: Making Worthwhile Connections

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PRSSA is a place where you can meet other people that are ready to start their career and taking the steps to do so. Chances are many of our members will be hitting similar milestones or will be able to offer each other advice. Getting to meet others with familiar end goals as you serves as a foundation for a strong friendship. Everything’s better with a friend!

Reason #2: Countless Career Opportunities

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It’s no secret that PRSSA is full of exclusive opportunities for its members! We host bi-weekly panels, agency tours and mixers for our members to take full advantage of. Additionally, PRSSA has an internship database that is always being updated for our members to find their next internship to boost their experience level. 

Reason #3: Volunteering Opportunities

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Did you know that PRSSA also links its members with volunteering opportunities in relevant industries? Many of our members have worked red carpets, starred in photoshoots for local companies, worked music events and so much more! Working these kinds of events can be your opening to gaining connections in the industries that you want to build a career in.

Reason #4: OC PRSA Discount for Graduating Seniors

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Being a PRSSA member means you are eligible for a discounted OC PRSA membership after graduation! The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the parent organization to PRSSA and home to a multitude of events, mixers and major opportunities to take your career to the next level. PRSSA members get a major discount for their OC PRSA membership their first year, so it is recommended you take full advantage of all the perks and benefits available!

Reason #5: The Certificate of PR

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     The Certificate of PR is a certificate that can be earned by taking an exam either 6 months before or after graduating that shows your determination and knowledge of all things PR. This certificate helps you stand out among other recent graduates going into the same job market and is only offered through a PRSSA membership. CSUF currently has a 100% pass rate since implementing the program which has been heavily vouched for by faculty and alumni that have taken it!

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.

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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:

  1. 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.

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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.

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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.

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:)

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:)

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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.

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.



Interested in the Certificate? For more information, email Kenneth Hagihara at or Brittany Nistler at