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 19, 2021 | By: Lauren Mann

While social media is a great way to keep up with friends and classmates, it’s also a huge part of how we see public relations today. It’s a direct line of communication between an organization and their target audiences.  It’s a perfect tool to utilize in a field that benefits from public engagement and understanding. 

It’s crucial to utilize these social media platforms! When it comes to connecting with your public, this is one of the most efficient ways to do so and here’s why:

Accessibility

People have access to your organization’s brand and message in summary through social media. From these sites, they should be able to decide whether or not this organization is something they could see themselves supporting or engaging with. From your Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, people are able to make a quick assessment before deciding if they want to learn more.

Sharing Information

When it comes to spreading the word, and fast, social media’s your go-to. And we know that from experience, whether that be good or bad. The same goes for using social media in a  public relations practice. While we may not put out an entire news release on a social media outlet, we might link and share it across platforms. It’s how we get our Instagram audience and our Twitter audience to come together and find the same source. No matter how they found your client, they will all be directed to the same information quickly and efficiently.

Speed

Moreover, the speed of social media allows practitioners to stay in the loop and ahead of the curve. Social media helps practitioners look at what’s trending and find ways to be a part of that conversation while it’s relevant. Whether it be commenting on a trend that aligns with your public as it happens, or dispelling potential rumors before it becomes a crisis communication situation, social media is the perfect tool for instantaneous communication.

Engagement

Social media allows direct insight on what resonates with your public. Many forms of social media allow you to monitor how well your posts are performing through likes, shares, views, and other analytics. This helps practitioners understand how successful media campaigns are going.

Maintaining the Relationship with Your Audience

One of the most essential uses of social media is that it helps you build and maintain your audience.  Your socials allow you to be in constant communication with the people who follow your organization.  As your brand grows, so will your audience.  As we engage in these social media platforms, we’re able to get direct feedback from our publics and do our jobs efficiently.  It’s important to take advantage of these opportunities to understand and maintain the longevity of the relationship between your organization and their target audience.

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!

If you’re a member of PRSSA, you’re likely familiar with the Executive Board.  The head honchos of our student chapter.   Our fearless, flawless leaders.  Our brilliant, overqualified, super-human overachievers.  Or at least, that’s what we like  to tell ourselves.

In reality, every board member got their start with an ordinary membership.  We just knew we wanted to get more involved, felt like we were ready for the responsibility, and took the steps we needed to take to move forward with the election process.  

How Do You Start the Process?

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Running for the board might sound intimidating, but really all you do is choose the position or positions that you think you’d be best suited for, attend one of our open board meetings (the last one is on March 10, mark your calendar if interested), and submit your application and resume.  From there, you go through an interview process and give a speech to your chapter about why you think you’d be the best fit for your role of choice, and then the EB members are determined by popular vote.

But this begs the question: Why run for the Executive Board in the first place? To answer that question, I’ve outlined a couple of major benefits I’ve found from my experience on the board.

1. Resume-building Experience

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To say that a position on the e-board offers a breadth of experience would be an understatement.  Depending on the position you’re in, you might become proficient in social media management, writing, event planning, or networking with professionals. 

Regardless of what position you’re in, however, what remains consistent across the board is that you will learn how to work in a team and represent something bigger than yourself.  You have to learn to coordinate with and depend on your fellow members, while in many cases, also being the leader of your own committee.  

On your resume, a leadership position in PRSSA shows you’re dedicated to the industry.  It shows you’re ambitious and know how to thrive in a professional environment (plus the flashy “VP of ________”  title really catches the eye).

2. Long-lasting Friendships

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A great aspect of being a part of the board is the relationships you make along the way.  You work with your fellow board members to meet deadlines, advance PRSSA as an organization, and, through those tasks, bond with them on a regular basis.  Once everything’s said and done, you’ve likely made some meaningful friendships.  For example, I’m nearing the end of my experience with the board and can confidently say I’d recommend any of my fellow members to a future employer; if only because I would be ecstatic to have a chance to work with them again.

You’d think that what you’d miss most from your board position would be the professional perks or the opportunities that follow, but what you actually end up mourning the most is that you don’t have another biweekly board meeting scheduled where you get to catch up and work alongside your friends.

Conclusion

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Running for board can be intimidating, but the experience you receive from your position is more than worth it.  It puts you in a position to make professional connections, beef up your resume, and create lasting friendships with your fellow board members.

If I had one recommendation for anyone on the fence about applying for a board position, it would be: Just give it a shot!  You won’t regret it.

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 22, 2021 ︱By: Elizabeth Williams 

The management team is the foundation of a successful PR company. Without strong leadership and communication, most companies would fall under. As a college student, you should start learning how to become a better leader. 

Here are some tips on how to improve your leadership skills. 

1. Delegation

A person in a leadership position needs to know how to delegate. One person in a team can’t do all of the work on their own. It’s just inefficient and can result in burnout.  This is where your delegation comes in.  Determine what tasks need to be done, assign them to your members along with deadlines, and then make sure to check in with them along the way.  

You can start practicing this skill by volunteering to be the head of any group project. Then you can begin to practice delegating tasks to your group members.  Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t also be doing your share of the work.  Delegate some tasks, but not everything.  You also want to lead by example, but more on that later.

2. Get Involved

It might go without saying, but the best way to gain leadership skills is to get involved and volunteer yourself for leadership positions.  For example, you could apply to become an account executive in Titan Public Relations, CSUF PRSSA’s student-run PR firm, or run for a position on our Executive Board.  

However, if those kinds of positions sound intimidating, start smaller.  It doesn’t even have to be PR related.  Take charge by starting a study group with some of your classmates, or by creating a book club and designating meeting times on Discord.  The important thing is that you make progress!

3. Lead by example 

A great  leader has good ethics. They don’t just dictate all of the work to their team members.  When you’re in charge, you don’t want to assign any task that you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself.  This means you want to be reliable and consistent. When your team sees you working hard and doing your best, they will likely be compelled to do the same.  And remember, you’re supposed to be the backbone of your team, so if you aren’t being consistent, it’s likely that your team will follow suit.

To elaborate more on this concept, if you want someone to listen to you more, make sure you are a good listener. If you want your team to try their best, make sure you’re also giving it your all.  You can also try this at your work. If you ask a coworker to do something, make sure you can return the favor.  It earns respect and appreciation.

Conclusion

Being a leader is something that you’re going to have to get good at if you want to make it far in the PR industry.  If you ever want to be in charge of your own client or even your own agency one day, you need to put yourself out there and hone your ability to take charge.  To that end, it’s best that you sharpen those leadership skills now, while you’re still in college, rather than later, when your job depends on you.

Out of all of the benefits of becoming a member of PRSSA, the one I’m most grateful for was the opportunity to participate in Titan Public Relations, CSUF’s student-run PR firm.  It was an experience that taught and challenged me, whilst introducing me to colleagues that I now call my friends.  For that reason, if you’ve heard about TPR and are on the fence as to whether you should apply, I encourage you to join.  Take a leap of faith.  Give it a shot.  You won’t regret it.  

And if my word alone wasn’t enough to persuade you, I’ve outlined four reasons why you should join Titan Public Relations below.

1. Hands-On Experience

One of the hardest things about starting a career in any industry is getting your foot in the door.  Many entry-level PR jobs require that you have years of experience to qualify.  This can make your first job-search a nightmare, and it’s the reason why some of my colleagues had to spend over six months after college looking for a job before they got their big break.  This is also why TPR is so valuable: no experience is required to join.

For me, this was a game changer.  Prior to TPR, I had no experience other than learning about public relations theoretically in a classroom setting.  After I joined, however, I was dropped right into the PR industry, doing actual work for real clients that depended on our team.  Though it might sound like a lot of pressure, the experience that I got gave me confidence in myself and my resume moving forward.

2. Make Your Resume Stand Out

This point heavily relates to the last one.  That’s because I really wanted to hammer home the fact that: Employers want their employees to know what they’re doing.  The more experience you have prior to your first job search, the more competitive your resume will be.  The more competitive your resume, the quicker you can score a well-paying job and start paying off those pesky student loans. 

During my internship interviews, all hiring managers I talked to wanted to know the extent of my past experience.  Had it not been for TPR, I would have been stuck telling them solely about projects I completed in my classrooms.  Now, this isn’t necessarily the worst thing.  School projects are valid experiences, however, TPR is on another level.  It gave me experience in drafting PR proposals, crafting and sending out media pitches, and running full-blown social media campaigns for actual businesses.  These experiences are what made me stand out from the crowd and are the reason I have the internship I have today.

3. Networking

Sometimes, living in the virtual world can make it seem as though networking is impossible.  Though that isn’t the case, it sure is a lot more difficult to form those deep bonds with colleagues when you aren’t in person.  This is part of what makes TPR such a great opportunity: it’s an environment that facilitates the creation of personal and professional connections.

When you are working in a team of proactive students toward a common goal, it’s hard to not become friends by the time you finish.  The best part is, I’ve found the more rapport I build with my team, the more motivation I have to produce quality work, and the more fun I have doing so.

4. Leadership Skills

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, I recommend you apply to be an account executive.  This role requires that you head communication with your client, set deadlines for your team’s goals, and delegate tasks to the account coordinators working under you.

Prior to TPR, I had zero experience when it came to being a leader.  Becoming an Account Executive changed that.  I had to oversee everyone else’s tasks, keep them on track, and make decisions to pivot our goals when necessary.   For me, being in charge was a challenge, but it was also the most rewarding experience I received from the firm.  I highly recommend that any CSUF student interested in owning their own agency or freelance team one day starts by applying to be an account executive for TPR.

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/

By: Analleli Penaloza

After Cal State Fullerton transitioned to virtual instruction, many were uncertain about how life would unfold due to the impact of COVID- 19 and its subsequent. Although a virtual setting would entail challenges, CSUF PRSSA took measures early on to ensure their members would still receive a valuable experience. Here’s a run down of what they did to accommodate the virtual transition.


1. Continuing with Outreach Virtually

With it being announced that the Fall 2020 semester would be fully virtual, many clubs and organizations had to figure out quickly how to reach new members. 

CSUF’s club rush, known as DiscoverFest, exposes students to existing clubs and organizations on campus. This Fall 2020, Discoverfest was something entirely new for everyone under a virtual setting, but CSUF’s PRSSA took full advantage of the event. Executive Board members were on the Zoom call awaiting for students to enter their organization’s session, and were ready to share with students the benefits that PRSSA had  to offer. Many board members were unsure how things would go, but also thought that being able to speak to prospective members was a great experience. 

Outreach efforts also extended to doing PRSSA pitches within virtual class settings. PRSSA’s VP of Outreach, Rhett Rivera, stopped by virtual classes via Zoom and let CSUF students know about PRSSA and the possibilities it had to offer. 

I spoke to him to get his take and he stated, “Zoom pitching this year was something that was intimidating, but once I got used to it, it wasn’t so bad.  I know I was nervous at first because oftentimes almost no students have their cameras turned on so it can feel as though you are talking to yourself.  On the other hand, however, not having a ‘real’ audience in front of you kinda takes the pressure off.  After pitching in front of a couple of Zoom classrooms, it actually became fun to relate my experience with PRSSA to other students!” I couldn’t even imagine, but I commend him for his hard work and continuing outreach efforts as best he could.

I had actually attended virtual Discoverfest and stumbled across PRSSA’s Zoom Link and decided to join. For me, virtual Discoverfest was a new experience and I didn’t even know what to expect upon joining the call. Once I joined, I spoke with a few Executive Board members who informed me of what PRSSA was and the benefits it had to offer. I learned about their events and committees and from there, I decided to become a PRSSA member and get involved. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made. 


2. Hosting Virtual Events 

On September 16th, 2020 CSUF PRSSA hosted its event on Diversity & Inclusion. Being the first official virtual event to be hosted, there was a lot of uncertainty about how it would go, but the Executive Board remained optimistic. They had high hopes after they had a big turnout for their virtual Kickoff event. Even though they had expected a drop in memberships after the virtual transition, they ended the semester with over 130 members!

      The Diversity and Inclusion event also had a huge turnout and members were still able to engage with the panelists. The virtual event was held via Zoom, with the link being provided to attend. As someone who attended their virtual events, I can truthfully say it was great to still be able to attend virtually, listen to each speaker, and ask questions to the panelists. Virtual events are unique and wonderful experiences!  


3. Participating in PRSSA’s SoCal Coalition 

Due to the virtual transition, CSUF and other PRSSA chapters within Southern California united to provide students with more content by hosting virtual panels for one another. This proved to be a great way to stay connected and network with other PR individuals across SoCal. CSUF participated and hosted an event on October 14th about Personal Branding. There was a mixture of event attendees from variousPRSSA chapters. Also, other chapters, such as Biola’s PRSSA chapter, hosted an event and in attendance there were CSUF PRSSA members, taking advantage of the new opportunity offered and listening attentively to what the panel speakers at the event had to offer. The great thing about things being virtual was that it opens up new opportunities for people to take advantage of, otherwise not being possible as if events were in person. 

Overall, even though virtual transitions proved to be challenging, CSUF’s PRSSA chapter continued to excel in their efforts to provide students with great experience throughout this semester!

December 5, 2020 | By: Elizabeth Williams 

Content engagement is a type of measurement in public relations that justifies the impact of content that has been published. Most public relations companies measure the success of content by likes, shares and comments. 

While it can be challenging figuring out how to create engaging content, here are 4 ways to make your content more engaging with social media.

1. Figure Out Your Brand

If you want people to continue to like and follow your page, you need to give them a reason to do just that. You can start creating your brand by looking at your past content and seeing how well your audience engaged with it. Then figure out whether or not you can replicate similar content and if this is something you can do long term. It is really important to keep your page consistent. No one likes a messy page, so make sure all your posts connect with each other and your brand.  

For instance, if you look at Chloe Ting’s Instagram you can tell off the bat that she’s into fitness and it looks aesthetically pleasing. 

2. Know Your Audience 

Another way to increase your content engagement is by finding out who your target audience is. You can find your audience by doing your own personal research. If you are trying to sell workout clothes, look at some demographics and psychographics of who is buying workout clothes. Are women or men buying it? Are they a certain age?

You can also use your social media platforms to engage with your audience by replying to their comments. When you interact with your followers you will start to see what kinds of people like your page and can create content more relatable to them. 

Right now there’s a trend about body positivity and people are loving that influencers are opening up about their insecurities. 

3. Make Content More Interactive 

Let’s be real, no one wants to follow someone who is boring. You need to switch up the content of your posts. Make your content more interactive by coming up with polls, quizzes, slideshows or videos. With Instagram, influencers are incorporating Reels to engage with their audience. 

4. Create Content With a Purpose

When you write a caption for social media think about the meaning behind it. Is it telling a story? Does it relate to your brand? 

People like to see more real posts about you, so make your posts personal. For example, if you are talking about a fitness routine, keep it real. You can tell them that you were struggling with it.  It makes you more relatable. 

Make content that is well thought out and true to your brand. Remember you got to keep up with it, so make sure you are looking at it daily. Interact with your audience and keep the page consistent. 

Work Cited

DMI, Simon @. “10 Steps to Building Your Personal Brand on Social Media.” Digital Marketing Institute, Digital Marketing Institute, 15 Nov. 2019, digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/10-steps-to-building-your-personal-brand-on-social-media.

Henderson, Gary. “How to Create Engaging Content .” Digital Marketing.org,2020,www.digitalmarketing.org/blog/how-to-create-engaging-content. https://www.digitalmarketing.org/blog/how-to-create-engaging-content

Sutter, Brian. “6 Ways To Make Your Content More Engaging.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine,14 Sept. 2017, forbes.com/sites/briansutter/2017/09/14/6-ways-to-make-your-content-more-engaging/?sh=1bb7f4738f67