By: Katherine Hernandez
Transferring from a city college to Cal State Long Beach is a little overwhelming. It almost feels like moving to a different high school your junior year. To help others transferring in to CSULB, here are my top 5 tips. I hope it will ease ~some~ of your stress during your time here!
It’s hard for transfer students to get accustomed to the new campus, there’s a different vibe. When I told my friends that, they asked, “What do you mean it feels different?” And I just didn’t know how to answer. It’s unexplainable. But as transfer students you know what I’m talking about.
Instagram’s Strength in Numbers, and How They Were An Important Tool in the Resurgence of Vinyl.
By: Justin White
Picture taken from Amazon.com, via Google.com/ Images
One of the most popular ways music has been presented is on vinyl. Invented by Peter Carl Goldmark in the 1930s while he worked for Columbia Records, vinyl was the top dog until, around the early 1980s, when CDs were born and stole the spotlight. Almost immediately, advancements in technology grew at alarmingly rapid rates and vinyl began to lose the appeal it once had. With this growth and all it’s advancements, music technology took on different forms like mp3s, and then on to streaming where songs live solely on the Internet and can be accessed at any time without the listener ever having to leave home.
Around the time of the mid-2000s, a new form of media called Instagram was born, a form of media that boasts 60% of users being between the ages of 18 and 29 (a.k.a. millennials) according to business.com. Instagram allowed its users to constantly post pictures of whatever it is they wanted, which in turn fostered the creation of profiles that were frequently visited and liked for their dedication to certain aspects of life. For example there are profiles for weightlifting, like Pat Mendes or Morghan King; and profiles for fashion, like Julia Engel or Chiarra Ferragni. Vinyl even has profiles on Instagram. Whether it’s for brick and mortar stores, DJs, or simply just fans, vinyl has been able to find its place within this new media.
Most importantly, Instagram has brought fans of vinyl closer together. And it gave a once dying medium a voice by way of being able to constantly post pictures that tell a story only in a way imagined by those who are involved. Amoeba Records in the U.S., Curated Records in Singapore, and Tiny Record Shop in Ontario all have Instagram pages where they post nearly everyday about the going-ons in the store, adding in sporadic pictures of customers enjoying the store, which are clearly meant to pull on the strings of nostalgia that every millennial seems to have. Although, it’s not just nostalgia, it is a feeling of not wanting to be constantly subjected to a sound that has been dubbed as being too “plastic,” where as the music from the years of vinyl gave off a more “real” sound that is highly desired by younger generations.
Undoubtedly, the power of being able to advertise constantly, and curate your image pretty much to a “t” of what your vision is, makes for compelling content that can bring almost anything back from the dead. And if it wasn’t for the popularity of media like Instagram and Twitter, vinyl might still be riding on the coat tails of some of the more popular artists of our time, like Ariana Grande, or Kendrick Lamar. Instead we have the RIAA reporting that vinyl brought in a revenue stream of $395 million in 2017 alone. Even more insane is the fact that these results did not take into account the physical sales from record stores, which were estimated to be in the range of 16 – 17 million units in 2017.
In conclusion, thanks to the efforts of the younger generations of today, vinyl has found it’s way back into the mainstream view. With innovations like Instagram, younger generations have been able to share their love of vinyl with each other, showing the true strength in numbers. Showing that what they yearn for is something more tangible, something that allows interaction with music in a world where that has been all but stripped away. Whether vinyl will ever surpass digital fully is unknown, but one thing is for sure, and that is that vinyl has once again been given the value it deserves.
By: Giulianna Rubi
Figuring out how to balance school along with other obligations can be both challenging and overwhelming. If you’re a first year student hopefully these tips save you some stress. However, even if you’re starting your last year at college it’s never too late to get organized!
1. Develop a Routine
Something that can really make a difference in not only your education but your personal life as well is creating a routine for yourself during the semester. As boring as a routine may sound, having one can maximize your productivity and give you more free time…that is if you stick to it. Look at your work schedule and obligations for the week and take note of the days and times you have free for schoolwork and studying. You might find that you already have somewhat of a routine but you’re just not using your time effectively.
2. Use a Planner
Start the semester off by reviewing all your syllabi and writing down key dates like exams and due dates. Get in the habit of checking your planner weekly and seeing if there’s an important paper or project due the following week that you should start working on. It might seem overwhelming planning for a semester, but there are many benefits and key steps you can follow that will make the planning process easier.
3. Don’t Procrastinate
This is the most obvious tip, but one that every college student tends to struggle with the most. If you have a planner you’re already one step ahead! Write down reminders to work on a paper/project a week or two weeks in advance before it’s due. This will give you enough time to finish and fix any errors that you might not have caught had you been working on it at 2 a.m. the night before it was due!
4. Learn to Say No
I’m sure most can remember a time they accepted an invitation when they actually should have been studying. Acknowledging when an assignment can or can’t wait will not only save you stress but will make a difference in your final grade.
5. Give Yourself a Break
As important as getting good grades is, so is your mental health. Balancing school, work, family, and a social life can get tough so give yourself time to recharge. If possible, plan for a day once a week where you don’t have to work on any schoolwork. This will leave you rested and motivated for the week ahead!
Remember, no one is perfect and slip ups are bound to happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely fall off track. While following these tips might take some getting used to, you’ll see just how much you can accomplish. Best of luck!
Got an internship you have your eye on? Take these tips to make yourself a stronger candidate.
By: Sara Pena
We all know the feeling of constant competition in the field of journalism and PR. And as college students, the competition is just beginning. When it comes down to searching for an internship, it may be difficult to feel like YOU have this one in the bag. Check out these tips to make sure you stand out as a star applicant for your next application.
1) Make it clean and concise! Presenting a clean resume with minimal information will make your resume easy to read to future employers. A first impression is everything, so make your resume worth reading the first time they pick it up. If you have your own aesthetic, find a resume template that fits it and tailor your resume to it. At the end of the day, no one wants to read a busy resume with too much information. Narrow your information down to what’s most important so employers won’t have to read between the lines.
2) Use keywords With the information you choose to use in your resume after cleaning it up, include keywords that were posted in the job description. If the job description says “looking for a student who is skilled with multitasking” or “position includes raising social media impressions by 20%”, make sure to include “multitasking” in your skills section or sprinkle it into your experience. You should also add any social media impression statistics that you have completed. Employers will be looking for the same lingo and language that they included in the original job posting. Relating your personal information to what the employer is asking for makes it that much easier for you to be a candidate they find fitting.
3) Make use of your past experience Maybe you don’t have any specific experience related to the job description, but you still really want the position! (I’ve been there..) You may have only done work outside of your major. Take all the past experiences you have and tailor it to what the position needs. For example, you may have only had jobs working with children, but want to gain some experience in influencer marketing. Reconstruct a skill you learned at your job with the children, and apply it to the field of PR. How can that be useful? How can it further your career as a PR professional? Many of past jobs, or even volunteer work, although unrelated, can sometimes be more useful than we even know!
The next time you have an internship you have your eye on, take these tips and and make that resume one worth noticing. Always remember, the more effort you put into something you want, the more you get out of it. Good luck!
On-campus organizations are one way to make the most out of your college years, preparing you for your career and more.
We go to college to get a degree that will prepare us for a career, so why not go the extra mile to get that dream job? Student organizations add an oomph to your resume, develop your character and more. Whether it’s major-related or just for fun, there are many benefits to joining clubs. Here’s why:
1. You can put it on your resume.
Involvement in on-campus organizations can be just as valuable as work/internship experience. Student organizations provide a worthwhile experience you won’t get from just going to class. Clubs show employers you’re hard-working, committed and proactive in learning more about your field. Even for clubs unrelated to your major, they help develop your interpersonal skills (increasingly important to employers). Leadership positions can also make something seemingly unrelated to your career more relevant. For PR/journalism/communications majors, that includes event planning, social media, writing and more
2. You stand out as an applicant.
Imagine an employer with a stack of applications. Where do you want yours to be? The answer is obviously on the top (and on top of their mind)! Clubs provide insight into who you are, and they differentiate you from other applicants. For organizations with a long history and university counterparts like the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), and a parent organization like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), you’re part of a network. Chances are these employers were once in your shoes, so now you and the employer have a commonality. Club involvement is also something you can talk about during interviews, and often, employers expect you to be doing more than just going to class.
3. You network…and network...and network.
We often hear how it’s important to network, and in an increasingly competitive market, this is crucial. Clubs enable you to meet students in your field and these people may be your future coworkers. Student organizations create the perfect environment to develop meaningful connections. You can never network too much so take advantage of this opportunity because after you graduate, it’s more difficult (and more expensive).
4. You develop soft skills.
Students often focus on hard skills (e.g. writing press releases), but soft skills are just as, if not more, important. Soft skills are also major considerations for any employer and, in a nutshell, they are “people skills”—interpersonal communication, effective teamwork, adaptability, etc. Hard skills can be taught but soft skills are developed over time through experience. Clubs teach you how to effectively communicate with others, work with diverse people and manage your time.
5. You get endless opportunities.
Professional student organizations frequently bring guest speakers from various industries to share their experiences and insight. Clubs allow you to network with students and those in your desired industry, which can lead to potential internship/job opportunities. Clubs are also always trying to get members involved so they offer countless leadership opportunities! From committees to ambassador/assistant roles, clubs help you gain relevant hands-on experience.
6. You have fun!
The people you meet in clubs may be some of your lifelong friends. Especially in a place where you share common interests with other members, clubs are a great way to take a breather from your studies with people you can relate to.
As students, we’re busy juggling classes, work, family, and more, but joining clubs is something all students should take advantage of before they graduate.
How Harry Styles Used a Treasure Hunt Method to Pull the Most Viral Music-Marketing Campaign of 2019
Eroda: No Land Quite Like It
By: Ariana Richard
Picture Credit: Eroda
Harry Styles unique marketing and PR tactics have changed the way music artists can promote their albums. His sophomore album, Fine Line, was released on December 13, 2019, and debuted at number three on the UK Albums Charts, and number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. This is Styles’ second number one album in the U.S.
When Styles announced that he was coming out with his sophomore album in December, fans were ecstatic! His first single, Lights Up, was a hit and his fans were streaming it everywhere. However, Styles and his marketing team came up with a totally different way to promote his second single, Adore You. On a great many social media feeds, targeted ads of a mysterious place called Eroda started popping up. These ads were mainly targeted towards people who had visited his website previously or follow him on social media. When fans started seeing these ads on their feeds, there was immediate confusion, but also curiosity.
So, what is Eroda? Why has no one heard of this place before? Where is it located? Why is it all of a sudden popping up out of nowhere on the Internet? And what does it have to do with Harry Styles? Well, Eroda, is a peculiar, yet beautiful island between Ireland and the UK, better known as a fishermen’s town, with clouds that continue to cover the island, for as long as anyone living there seems to remember. Despite the yearlong cloud cover, the island, surprisingly, has beautiful green mountains and silver beaches that could take someone’s breath away.
Before you get too excited and book your flight, let it be known that Eroda, is a fictional island that Styles and his marketing team made up to promote his second single, Adore You. If you haven’t figured it out by now, Eroda is “Adore” spelled backwards. The marketing strategy of this treasure hunt method was a lot more elaborate than one might think. Styles’ team made an Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook page to promote this fictional island and all it has to offer.
Instead of just using social media as their marketing reach, Harry Styles and his marketing team created a website explaining everything Eroda has to offer. They have multiple living accommodations such as Martin’s Heaven Bed and Breakfast, or the Yuna Inn. There are many other attractions listed, that visitors can enjoy as well, such as a painting studio, hiking trails, multiple pubs, and more! They also created a map of Eroda, showing exactly where it is and the villages that make up this mysterious, yet wonderful island.
Picture Credit: Eroda
Eventually, posters started appearing in different parts of the world, announcing that the Adore You music video would be out on December 6th. Once the trailer for the music video came out, all of Harry’s fans understood what all of this was about. Overtime, they realized that this was all part of a clever marketing scheme made up by the one and only, Harry Styles.
The particular marketing strategy that Styles’ team used, was intricate and thought-out, and was definitely a success. Adore You became his first single to be ranked in the Top 10 hits on pop radio worldwide. This type of recognition has not happened since Harry Styles was in One Direction. Now that it is clear that Eroda was a marketing tactic for Styles’ second single, it is clear that this technique was very well done, with a very satisfying and successful ending. This marketing technique was the cleverest one yet employed by Styles, and is just the beginning for other artists to learn from.
My Experience with the Long Tail Theory and Music
By: Alex Dansereau
Being passionate about an extremely niche interest can sometimes seem disheartening. For a long time, my niche passion was the music I listened to. Specifically, around my junior year of high school (in 2012) I became hooked on a sub-genre of punk rock called post-hardcore. This genre hit a commercial peak in the early 2000s (about when I would’ve been in kindergarten), then pretty quickly fizzled out in the mainstream. If that wasn’t bad enough, I soon got into a further niche within post-hardcore music: a scene called “Swancore.” Basically, these bands made music that was too weird even for most post-hardcore fans.
Even though this music really spoke to me, I figured there was almost no chance I’d ever meet anyone in person who knew any of these bands, and certainly didn’t think it would change my life and help me find my career path. That’s because I didn’t understand what I do now: how the internet, and specifically the “long tail theory”, has made niche interests cool.
Chris Anderson coined the long tail theory in a best-selling book called The Long Tail. The simple version of the theory is basically that the internet enables targeted marketing to more niche interests than ever before. “For too long we've been suffering the tyranny of lowest-common-denominator fare, subjected to brain-dead summer blockbusters and manufactured pop,” Anderson wrote in Wired in 2004. “Why? Economics. Many of our assumptions about popular taste are actually artifacts of poor supply-and-demand matching—a market response to inefficient distribution.”
But the internet changed all of that. Now, fans of niche products or pieces of entertainment can easily connect with others from around the country — even around the world. And it has enabled a boom in marketing and content that targets even the smallest of niches.
Eventually, as I fell deeper into the Swancore rabbit hole, I found a Facebook group of likeminded fans. Eventually, myself and another fan in the group, named Trystan, realized there was a need for a podcast that covered some of the bands we both loved. “PlggdN Podcast” was born.
Since we were one of the only podcasts dedicated to covering some of the artists we loved, it wasn’t hard to get a foothold. All we asked of the artists we interviewed was that they promote our interviews on their own social media — which quickly pointed numerous fans our way.
I’m not saying we ever got big… our biggest draw, an interview with Andrew Wells (guitarist of Dance Gavin Dance and lead singer of Eidola), got maybe a couple thousand hits on podcast services. Yet the experience showed me that there really was an audience out there for niche music coverage — and that covering the kinds of bands and artists I loved was well within reach. Ever since, I’ve continued doing music coverage for various online music blogs — which led to my eventually switching my major to journalism. Now, I’m hoping to work in public relations within the music industry, and I have made connections with many of those same bands and artists.
The point of all of this is: if you have an obscure niche passion, and are in love with something other people in your life may think is “weird”… embrace it. Because of the long tail theory, you may have just found your greatest opportunity as a public relations professional or journalist.
How to Be an Ethical Travel Influencer
by Insha Khan
Scrolling through Instagram, one brightly filtered picture after another, it’s common to come across someone traveling to a fun destination on a #sponsored trip. Influencers often take up travel industry companies on the exciting offer to jet off to another country for the price of posting strategic social media content. However, there may be a greater price attached: ethical responsibility.
In 2019, many influencers were criticized for partnering with @visitsaudi, the official website for Saudi Arabia’s tourism office, and @MDLbeast, a major Riyadh music festival. Just a year earlier, Saudi Arabia had been in the news for the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The country is also notorious for its oppression of women’s rights and LGTBQ rights. These strategic Instagram sponsorships would help rebuild the image of Saudi Arabia as a destination for tourism and entertainment while covering up its human rights violations and social inequities.
In spite of the country’s track record, many influencers and celebrities such as Armie Hammer, Halima Aden, Sofia Richie, Alessandra Ambrosio, and others attended the MDL Beast music festival and posted sponsored content from there. Actress and model Emily Ratajkowski declined the invitation, stating, “It’s very important to me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, freedom of expression and the right to a free press.”
So how can you be a more ethical influencer and avoid this controversy? Here are some tips:
1. Do a quick Google search before you sign that contract.
Often times, one search is all it takes to find out what the headlines are saying about this place or company. If you haven’t been to the country before, it would be worth it to find out if they’re known for kidnapping foreigners or even just overcharging tourists.
2. Consider your values as an influencer brand.
As part of your overall branding, you need to decide what your values and tenets are. Do you post frequently about women’s rights? Would supporting tourism to this country contradict your core values or the image you have built for yourself? It might be in your own best interest to say no to the paycheck this time.
3. Look at the psychographics of your audience.
In order to build content for your target audience, you need to know how they make their decisions. Why do they follow you and would this trip cause them to unfollow? If this trip is supposed to grow your business as an influencer, you should be sure that it’s not costing you a large chunk of your audience.
These tips should help you steer clear of ethical dilemmas in sponsored travel and allow your content to build your brand, not break it down.
What is currently being done about mental health in the workplace and how to create a workplace that supports mental health?
By: Kristi Alarcon
In the past, the topic of mental health was a taboo subject, but the world is now gravitating toward a mental health-conscious community, unlike the way it was in the past. With family, friends and even celebrities opening about their mental health struggles, it has paved the way for others to share their own mental health journey.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Nearly one in five U.S. adults aged 18 or older (46.6 million people) reported that they have a mental illness in 2017.”
Unlike physical disabilities, having a mental illness isn't always visible to people around you, let alone the people that you work with every day. For those that suffer from a mental illness, this can be a double-edged sword in the workplace.
On one hand, it means discrimination is less likely to occur in comparison to someone with a more visible condition. On the other hand, when mental illness is taking a toll on your work ethic, outsiders can view the situation as if you're being lazy or not doing your job well.
Poor mental health can negatively affect an employee’s job performance, job productivity and communication with coworkers. Which leads to the question, “What do public relations students, who are going into a stressful profession, need to know about mental health in the workplace?”
So, what is currently being done about mental health in the workplace?
Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), you have the right to not reveal that you suffer from any mental illness if it doesn't affect your ability to do your job. However, if special accommodation is needed, you may need to disclose your condition.
Fundamental protection under the ADA is that your employer cannot discriminate against you based on your circumstance. While employers hold the right to not employ anyone that they believe cannot perform the duties a job entails, they are not allowed to use mental illness alone as a reason to discipline or terminate you.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a government agency, enforces that ADA accommodates any condition that can substantially limit your ability to do your job.
These accommodations include but aren't limited to: permission to work from home, time off, a flexible work schedule and a more accommodating work environment.
What can be done about mental health in the workplace?
Even for Long Beach State students who don't suffer from a mental impairment themselves, it's vital to be an ally for those who don't have a loud enough voice to speak up. Here are a few tips for how to do so in the workplace:
● Encourage employers to offer mental health and stress management education programs.
● Adopt behaviors that promote stress management and mental health.
● Be open-minded about the experiences and feelings of co-workers.
● Offer peer support and encourage others to seek help.
All in all, by being mindful of those who are mentally challenged, employers can expect to increase the quality of thinking, decision-making, relationship and workflow. Mental illness affects each person differently, that is why it’s important for all employers and employees in the workplace to be aware and supportive.
PRSA offers tools to acquaint seniors and recent college graduates into careers in the PR industry
Senior year can be the most stressful point of time throughout your college journey. PRSSA-LB allows students to attend helpful workshops, career tours, listen to guest speakers and build connections with PR professionals in the industries members are interested in. Then, graduation comes and goes and you might feel like you lost all your available resources for finding a job. What many people don’t know is that as a former PRSSA member, you have access to a discounted membership price for PRSA, the professional organization that oversees PRSSA, up to two years after graduation. So instead of paying $115-$325 for the other types of memberships, you would simply pay $60 annually! And according to the PRSA website, $60 could get you more than you ever expected. Here are five ways to maximize your PRSA membership:
1. PRSA Job Center
The job center has over 1,000 listings for available public relations jobs in various industries. It allows members to sort through listings based on location, job type, job function, organizational setting and industry. You can also upload your resume to the PRSA Jobcenter and apply to job listings directly from there. This is especially helpful when you need to narrow down what kind of jobs you would actually liketo apply for, rather than mindlessly scrolling through different job sites.
2. Resume & Cover Letter Assistance
Once you upload a copy of your resume and cover letter onto the Jobcenter, you will receive a free resume review from a PR professional. Under “Careers,” you are also able to create an updated resume using PRSA’s resume builder . Soon after the completion of your resume, it can be made public to be searched by employers or kept private to your profile.
3. Networking Events
PRSA hosts a multitude of exciting conferences and workshops aimed at educating and connecting members around the world. Most of these events do come with a registration fee, but it can definitely be a worthwhile investment in your future career and members receive a discounted price. Who knows? You might meet your next employer at one.
4. Webinars and Online Courses
If money is tight to travel or you have a conflicting schedule, PRSA also offers webinars, Case in Point online programs and online courses called “On-Demands.” These are geared toward strengthening your skill sets and developing new abilities. Case in Point is a program that gives members the opportunity to read case studies from a variety of industries and topics.
5. Career Articles
Finally, with a membership, you can divulge into the many newsletters and blogs on the PRSA website. Strategies & Tactics is PRSA’s very own newspaper that stays up-to-date with new trends and information about implementing the best PR strategies.The PRsay blog also has articles with relevant and modern topics that focus on career advice, leadership, and PR training.
So, the next time college stresses you out and you feel like you are failing... Remember that you have more resources available to you now than ever before. Now it’s up to you to take advantage of them.
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