By Kyle Do
Using social media as a professional tool? Sounds crazy, right?! Well in today’s day and age, social media sites, such as Instagram, might just land you that dream job one day. Likewise, the app could also do the complete opposite and steer future employers 100 miles per hour in the opposite direction of hiring you. In the end, their decision on whether or not you are deemed responsible enough for the job relies on you and the image your social media portrays. Maybe those drunk photos of yourself face-first on the sidewalk after a night of partying might not seem like a good look after all. Who knows? I guess it depends on the job you’re applying for.
In this blog, I will explain the do’s and don’ts of the beloved social media app Instagram as well as how to portray yourself in the best possible light as a talented and professional individual, ready to join the workforce. Here’s how to utilize Instagram as a professional portfolio.
What is Using Instagram as a Portfolio and Why Does it Matter?
Obviously future employers are not going to hire you solely on your social media presence. Other factors are taken into consideration such as your application, resume, personal references, etc. However, this blog explains how you can utilize Instagram as a professional tool. Instagram is a fantastic way to advertise, market and influence your audience.
Why is Instagram important? Well for one, the app has over 1 billion active users, thus allowing you to publish your creative work and share your thoughts and values with the world. With such a wide range of individuals and businesses that your portfolio could be exposed to, finding like-minded accounts and inspiration is as easy as a click or two. Second, according to oberlo.com, 71% of the 1 billion Instagram users are under age 35 (2019). With that being said, it’s evident that Instagram has taken over the younger generation by far. With more college graduates joining the tech and advertising scene, we’re seeing a growth in all types of social media usage. Another reason is that Instagram allows employers to get a better sense of who you are as an individual. Rather than just the awards, past jobs, or skills that your resume lists, Instagram is a visual app that allows employers to see your creative side. Finally, a professional and unique Instagram portfolio demonstrates that you are adequate with social media apps and that you know how to professionally manage and brand yourself.
How to Utilize Instagram as Your Portfolio
If You Don’t Want to Use Your Personal Account, Create a Public One
Often, employers implement background checks such as personal work history, credit history, criminal record, drug screenings, and even social media use. The one we will be focusing on today is the social media use. It is crucial that you create a separate account from your personal Instagram account so that employers don’t stumble onto something they wish they didn’t see. Likewise, make sure your personal account is private, otherwise that defeats the purpose.
Creating Your Username
Most of the time I would say stray away from numbers and symbols as it can look tacky and unprofessional, depending on what your profession is. For example, an efficient photographer username could be @nolansmithphotography. Simple enough, yet it’s not too complex where employers or future colleagues might forget your name. Furthermore, the username @nolansmith77photography doesn’t look as crisp and clean cut as @nolansmithphotography. It is also important to note that your username should be relevant to what you do. An aspiring dancer wouldn’t have their Instagram username as @bennycooks, right?
Your Instagram Bio is Your Cover Letter
First and foremost, you want to have your name in the bio. This allows for employers and users alike to put a name to the face. Second, you will want to include a link to your personal website or LinkedIn page. This will direct people to another source to learn more about you. Third, write a little bit about yourself and tell your overall story. Sharing how you came to be and what viewers can expect to see when stumbling upon your Instagram account is a great way to make quick connections. Finally, you might also want to include the location where you are currently based. This gives employers a quick and easy idea of where you are at the moment.
Follow the Right People
Much like LinkedIn, Instagram followers are your connections, so to speak. You may not necessarily know them, but expanding your connections (followers) allows you to widen your horizon and ultimately exposes your great work to thousands of people. Following people that have the same niche, profession, or interests as you allows for inspiration and growth as well. You never know when you might learn a thing or two!
Choosing the Right Content
When starting on this Instagram journey, it is absolutely necessary to make sure you are sharing the right content that exhibits what you and your work consists of. For example, if you are a young artist trying to get your name out there you would want to publish your best work. Publishing your best work allows you to be confident in yourself and also allows for feedback from fellow followers. As time progresses and you build up your “social media resume,” more and more people should take notice and employers will be impressed with what you have to offer. Posts of past and present artwork, creative food recipes, produced music, cinematography, are all great niches that can be uploaded via Instagram. An aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed is one of the best things to look at, especially when all the posts clearly have a set tone or vision.
Engage with Your Followers
Never be afraid to reply back to comments on your post or even comment back on others’. It shows that you value what they have to say and also gives them recognition. When employers see feedback and comments on your posts, it shows them that your work and talent is being recognized by others all over the world. Don’t be afraid to also reach out to strangers as they might have some tips and tricks regarding your profession.
That’s a Wrap!
Now that you know how to get started on building your professional Instagram portfolio, what are you waiting for? Get out there and showcase your talent for the world to see. With the ever-growing age of digitalization and social media, the world is your oyster. Future employers are bound to be impressed with your professional Instagram portfolio. All it takes is a few simple clicks, an upload here and there, and one day you might land that dream job you never thought you’d find.
By Kayla Johnson
As college students, we have a lot going on. From Zoom classes, papers, homework, internships, work, interpersonal relationships and more, it seems like there is not enough time in the day. We wish we could make duplicates of ourselves, so we did not have to feel like we have so much going on, but since technology has not advanced that far yet, we are drawn to caffeine so we can try and get through the day.
Most people’s caffeine of choice usually is coffee. It is easy to take on the go, you can have it hot or iced and even add fun flavors to it. But did you know that there are plenty of other alternatives for us to get a boost of energy, either from a healthier source of caffeine or even without caffeine? You see coffee is a good quick fix, but do you wonder why you are always crashing around 2:30 p.m. and want to reach for another cup? Or have you wondered why you get a massive migraine when you do not have any coffee for the day? Caffeine has addictive properties and creates a dependency so when you do not have it, your body goes through withdrawal symptoms.
Now, I have nothing against coffee or caffeine. But we can all admit some of the coffee we get from Starbucks, Dunkin, or even the ones we pick up from the gas station in the fridge section are not the healthiest options for us. The amount of extra sugar and calories that are in those drinks causes us to have these crashes in the middle of the day and is obviously not good for our health in the long run. Check out this list of “The Unhealthiest Coffee Drinks in America” because I have definitely ordered one… or four off that list, but who's counting.
To avoid the extra calories, mid-day crashes and caffeine withdraws, here’s how to boost your energy without drinking coffee.
Tea can be a great alternative to coffee. For starters, it lowers the risk of cancer and heart disease, as well as improves weight loss and your immune system. Tea is also just as accessible as coffee and just as easy to take on the go. There are also different kinds of tea like black tea, white tea, green tea, oolong tea, chamomile tea, the list goes on. Tea is a better alternative than coffee because it contains an antioxidant that slows the absorption of caffeine, which results in longer energy throughout the day with no crash. One of my favorite tea energy drinks is Yerba Mate. They have a bunch of different flavors and they only contain one to 14 grams of sugar.
Yeah, I know, I hate exercise too. Honestly, who has the time? Actually, we have nothing but time thanks to the pandemic. Exercising increases your endorphin levels, the hormone that can get us moving. When we increase our endorphin levels, we can get this sensation called a runner's high. I have experienced this before a few times and it honestly does feel amazing. But you do not really need to run to achieve this kind of high. 30 minutes to an hour of an activity that gets your heart rate up is all you need. You can dance, go for a walk, do some yoga, or a quick 10 minute High interval intensity training (HITT) workout. And since these do not take a lot of time, you can incorporate them in between your class meetings or when you just need to take a break from homework. You will come back to your computer refocused and reenergized. Exercising not only helps with energy, it also helps with sleep, which brings me to my next tip.
Exerting all that energy exercising is going to make it a lot easier for you to fall asleep and have a better night's rest. When you use exercise as a way to get your energy, it is not only beneficial to your overall health, but you will not have caffeine in your system to make it harder for you to fall asleep. And if you do not get a good night’s rest, you are just going to wake up the next morning tired and needing more caffeine. Don’t continue to repeat this cycle! A good night’s is good for your health, but it can also put you in a better mood for the day. No offense, but nobody wants to be around a grouch all day.
It is a no brainer that food gives us energy. But it is important to keep in mind what kind of food we should be eating to get healthy energy from. When our bodies are tired, we tend to crave high calorie, high carb foods such as bread, pasta and pizza. While those foods may give us a short boost of energy, it does not stay for long. Because our body needs to use a lot of energy to digest these types of food, soon after you feel sluggish. Foods that are a great energy-boosting alternative are items low in carbs and high in protein and some fats. Try a Greek yogurt with fruit, vegetables, trail mix or oatmeal. The list goes on for how many different foods you can eat for sustainable energy.
Lastly, and honestly my personal favorite, naps. Now I will say proceed with caution with this tip because you can either wake up feeling refreshed or wake up confused, sweaty, and feeling like you have traveled to another universe. There is no in-between. Sorry, I do not make the rules. But sometimes your body just needs to sleep. Taking naps during the day can seem like a waste of time, especially if you are a busy person. But you should never be too busy to put yourself and your health first. Naps improve your memory, which is great for studying, increase your alertness and boost your mood. Remember though it is important to make your naps short. It is said that 10 to 20 minute naps are the most effective and you will also decrease your chances of waking up feeling like you are on another planet.
I love coffee just as much as the next person, but I can feel the negative effects it has on me and my health. I am not saying go cold turkey, but cutting back on coffee is better than nothing at all. And, who knows, maybe you will find that one of these five tips will improve your energy more than coffee ever did. Give them a try!
If none of the tips that I listed are calling to you, or you have already tried these tips and they do not work, don’t worry! Click here to access more energy-boosting tips.
By Kate Pope
We all know how intimidating going to your interview is. You spent hours perfecting your resume, going over what you will say, rehearsing your best smile and acing pre-interview tests. You spend the days leading up to the interview frantically preparing as your stomach fills up with butterflies. You have a thousand things to worry about before you walk into your interview. Your outfit should not be one of them. Because many of your interviews may be Zoom-based, you most likely will only have to focus on the waist up. But it is important to start building your professional wardrobe as you enter the world of business attire life post-college. The office world of public relations often varies between business and business casual, so I have included some outfit variations depending on your company’s culture. Keep reading to find the five best places to get your next interview outfit.
1. H&M ($)
H&M has stepped up their game in the recent seasons. H&M specializes in a variety of more “professional” clothing than its competitor, Forever 21. I like to think of it as the adult version of Forever 21. Its quality is slightly better, in my opinion. Their color scheme and patterns resemble a more luxurious look. I would recommend their suit sets for both male and female, jewelry (their necklaces are my favorite), and the amazing staple t-shirts that are a versatile piece for your wardrobe. As a bonus, H&M also offers a rewards program so you save even more money on your purchase.
2. Zara ($$)
Zara is a fan favorite. You have seen it all over social media, and the obsession with Zara is all over from college kids to older adults. Zara offers the best on-trend styles, unique looking pieces, and quality basics at a good price. As far as fast-fashion goes, Zara continuously executes hundreds of styles with amazing quality. Some pieces range a little higher but still remain lower than some of its competitors. The men's section is superior to the other retailers as the fit and cut of their styles look very flattering on the body. If you like to stay on trend and have more unique and bold pieces, Zara is the place for you. One con with Zara is the inefficient item look-up. It can be difficult to find the product or style you are looking for, as they are labeled by product number instead of a style name. If you are looking to shop in-store, be sure to make an appointment at some locations such as South Coast Plaza or arrive early to avoid the line!
3. Target ($$)
The store we all know and love, Target. Target has stepped up its game to make it a one-stop-shop for food, beauty, clothing, home décor and more. Their clothing section has recently been top-notch, following current trends, featuring seasonal colors and offering a variety of different styles, all while staying low budget. Recently, TikTok has been exploding with viral videos of Target’s fashion makeover. I would recommend trying out their bags, work pants and checking out their shoe section. I spotted some cute loafers for both male and female that would be perfect. If you are looking for a quick trip, I would recommend ordering on the app at the Bellflower location for a quick drive-up delivery.
Everlane offers sustainability made pieces as a reasonable cost. Unlike the retailers above, Everlane sways away from fast-fashion production. This is the best choice for all my eco lovers out there. They offer less styles than the previous retailers due to their careful and environmentally-conscious production. Their pieces are high quality and durable without the guilt of fast-fashion.
5. Aritzia ($$$)
Surprise, an added bonus! Unfortunately for the men, this store only caters towards our female friends. Aritzia offers high-quality premium pieces that will last you years. While their prices are on the steeper side, you will be saving yourself having to continuously re-buy that Forever 21 shirt that rips after three washes. The store offers 6+ Aritzia created brands that cater to different tastes. For a more business-professional look, I would stick to Babaton. Babaton by Aritzia offers seamless basics, high quality blazers and pants and timeless colors. If you are looking to go a little girly, Wilfre offers beautiful light and girly pieces such as a linen blazer and pant sent. If you are willing to spend a little extra cash for quality, Aritzia is the perfect place for your next interview outfit. Not sure what to wear? Schedule a Personal Styling Appointment (with me) or another stylist at the South Coast Plaza location for free styling advice and access to a wide-range of pieces.
No matter what your style or budget, there are great options to help you make a good first impression. Where’s your favorite place to buy office attire? Tell us in the comments.
By Jacob Lafazio
Networking is a simple concept. Meet new people, put your best foot forward, and build your professional web of contacts for mutually beneficial relationships in the future. For some, the process is as natural as having a conversation and making a good first impression. For others, the extroverted nature of networking can be a bit daunting. But for all professions (and especially for public relations) having a diverse and reliable network of potential contacts is crucial to industry success. You can do it. I can do it. We can do it. Together. Literally together, that’s networking. But you already know that. The entire profession is about RELATING to others.
Networking for PR students is an interesting paradox. You’re always doing it. Much like high school, everything you say and do in college goes onto your permanent social record among your peers. Except now, it’s for real and it starts reflecting on you as a future professional as well. Especially with social media. Even when you think you aren’t networking, you are, and if you still think you aren’t it probably means you are doing it poorly.
“Shut up, Internet Guy,” you say, “you think you’re so smart because you’re old. I already know how to network, and I am ready to do it as soon as I graduate!”
That’s what you would sound like if you were coincidentally saying exactly what I needed you to say in order to segue into my next paragraph.
You’re already networking wrong. And here is how.
1. You are starting too late
Networking starts the moment you step foot on a college campus (physically or virtually). Not after you have your degree in hand. Not during your first internship. It starts during your general courses when the whole school is stuffed into a lecture hall. That was a thing in pre-COVID times.
Everything needs PR. That means you should be networking with the kinesiology students if you are interested in sports. Or keeping track of the theater kids if you want to work in entertainment. Or getting to know the art majors if you want to do PR for struggling artists with little disposable income. Just kidding. I can’t draw and I’m bitter. But waiting until the back half of your college career (or later) is two years too late.
2. You don’t view your instructors as professionals
“That’s not a person, that’s my professor”
-My friend after I gave him $5 for this exact quote, 2021
Teachers play such an important role in our lives. From early childhood, we see them as all-knowing authority figures, molding and shaping us into who we will become. But sometimes we forget to view them as people. That’s why when we see them at the store or find out that they have a first name, we get that “oomf” feeling in our stomachs. We also forget that a lot of them had professional careers before* becoming professional professors professing…prophecy. Okay, “prophecy” is a stretch, but they know their stuff. Get to class ten minutes early sometime. Try to get some one-on-one face time with these field experts. Again, they know their stuff. And what do we do with people who know their stuff? We trap them in our networking web, never to be released.
*and during, but that messed up my word play
3. Your Zoom camera is off
The pandemic has been hard on everyone and students are no exception. Some classes just don’t feel as effective or as engaging online as they do in person. Additionally, the social aspect of the classroom isn’t as strong which makes peer-networking that much harder. But there is a silver lining! Never have I been able to attend class without getting out of bed. And staying in my pajamas. And laying down while listening to lecture. With a White Claw Starbucks. You can’t get that kind of comfort in the schoolhouse.
But only if your camera is off.
If you take advantage of this “perk” class after class, you might be hurting your network. As discussed earlier, your PROfessors are PROfessional contacts. So, if you are sailing through an upper-level course and your professor, classmates, and guest speakers couldn’t pick you out of a lineup (or a job interview), you’re not maximizing your opportunities.
4. You aren’t keeping track of who is killing it in class
“Gosh,” you say, “If I had known Bill Gates in college I would be SET!”
We are the next generation of professionals. We may be learning the basics and following the syllabi right now but give it 1,000 days or so and we are going to be a legion on the PR world. So, who’s doing the best in class right now? Who is ahead of the curve? Who might be the next Bill Gates? Hopefully none of us, I think he dropped out of college, but that’s beside the point. While doing well in school and doing well in the professional world isn’t a 1:1 ratio, following directions and understanding concepts are fairly universal skills that will transcend the classroom and it’s likely that these are good contacts to keep in your professional phonebook.
5. You are letting opportunities to stand out pass you by
You know those awkward moments that seem to happen every class where the professor asks a question and then you all just…stare at each other? Actually, nobody really stares at each other, we all just look off in different directions and avoid eyesight with the instructor and stay really still hoping they won’t see us. Same strategy as a T-Rex. But that’s your time to shine! Flex that vocab! Break out that acronym! There’s a fine line between being an obnoxious know-it-all and rescuing your class (and professors) from that dark, silent void threatening to consume us all. Be a hero. I’m begging you.
Well, except for this last part. There are A LOT of networking tips out there on the World Wide Web, hopefully you found something unique, entertaining, and, most of all, educational in mine. It’s never too late to start networking, but it’s also never too early. So, chop chop! And if you’re interested in networking with me, check out my website, available later in 2021. And if you’re from the future and that’s not there, check for my OnlyFans, that’s the backup plan.
By Isabel Padilla
I know that networking can be nerve-racking, but forming relationships on the other side of the door is an advantage and opportunity to get into your dream career. There is no doubt that gaining connections at different corporations will bring you success in your future. In this blog, you will learn new tips and tricks on how to gain these connections that will help you with your future now or later on in life.
As said earlier, networking can be scary; however, there are ways to overcome that fear and conquer that networking floor. Practicing the below steps will have you feeling more confident than ever when you are speaking to new connections.
The easiest way to gain connections is through networking events, so try to go to as many as possible. Here are five easy steps that will help you gain connections and feel comfortable networking with others.
Step 1: Prepare
Do your research on every company that will be attending the networking event. Get to know what the company does and its background story. Research the person or people that will be representing the company at the event. Find out their title, what they do and possibly some interests. You can find most of this information through LinkedIn so, make sure to make an account if you have not done so. After researching the company and the representative, make sure to have some questions ready to ask them.
Step 2: Practice What You Preach
Sell yourself! The whole point of this networking event is to gain connections and tell them what you are capable of. Before attending the event, make sure to practice what you will be saying so that you feel and sound confident. When going over your experiences and what you are capable of doing, make sure to keep it short and straight to the point. They are looking for individuals with a great personality and, depending on your personality type, you may be a good fit for their work environment. Practice with someone or in front of your mirror but make sure to keep eye contact with them/your reflection so that you look confident.
Step 3: What You Will Need On The Day Of The Event
A new connection’s first impression of you will be how you are dressed, so make sure to dress to impress. Choose an outfit that fits well and make sure you feel comfortable and confident in it. Next, print out plenty of your resume and/or business card to hand out to each representative you speak to. I would also suggest taking a professional notepad to take any notes if necessary - nothing too fancy, just business attire appropriate.
Step 4: Network
Once the event has finally come, allow yourself to be prepared by getting to the event 15 minutes early. Look out for each company that you researched and go straight to the ones you are interested in. Do not be afraid to join a group that is already conversing with the representative; they are most likely to welcome you. Give the representative a good handshake and confidently introduce yourself. Try to speak to as many companies as you can. Get their business cards and connect with them through LinkedIn to build up your network. Don’t forget to hand them your resume and/or business card if they seem interested.
Step 5: Follow Up
Follow up the next day with the people you met. Remind them who you are and let them know that you are interested in holding a position at their company while attaching your resume to the email. There is a chance that you will be contacted back with an opportunity. If the company is not hiring at the moment, try somewhere else. But, at least you now have a connection with someone inside the company that can help you out in the future. Continue to follow up every once in a while, so they see that you are still very interested, but do not overdo it.
Gaining connections and building that relationship with someone who is inside a company you want to work for is a huge step closer to your dream career. Even if the company is not hiring at the moment, you will have a reference for the future as long as you follow up. If it does not work out at your first networking event, that is okay. Just keep attending them until it pays off. Practice makes perfect.
It is never too late to start networking and growing your connections; it is always beneficial to put yourself out there. Going to these networking events constantly will have you leaving confident because you mastered the way you introduce yourself and your abilities which is something company representatives are looking for.
If you do not know where to start, sign up with LinkedIn for free to begin building up your connections.
By Isabella Kinney
Sororities Aren’t Just About Partying and Cute Instagram Pictures
I am sure plenty of us have watched movies that have sororities in them and the sorority girls are usually portrayed as mean girls who just want to party with frat guys. And honestly, for a while, I believed that stereotype until I got into my third year of college. After a month of stalking all of the sororities on campus, I decided to go through Spring Recruitment. In Spring 2020, I joined Tri Delta here at Cal State Long Beach and it’s been such a great decision. Joining a sorority has given me so many opportunities, like becoming director of PR and marketing for my sorority, making connections in and out of sorority and much more!
Here are five reasons why sororities are more than all the stereotypes and why you should join one!
1. Long-Lasting Friendships
I used to think it was funny when I would see Instagram posts captioned, “Finally found my forever home!” I thought that saying just applied to a family adopting a new dog. But soon I learned that a lot of people use that quote when they join a sorority. When I first joined a sorority, I gained a lot of followers on social media and I immediately thought every girl was going to be my friend. And, in a sense, all of the girls who followed me are my friends, or should I say, “sisters.” But it wasn’t until a few months in that I really gained my best friends through the sorority. I met girls who really made me feel comfortable and wanted, and I gained a new sense of belonging that I never knew I needed.
2. Gaining Work Experience and Boosting your Resume
In sororities, there are positions a member can run for like chapter president, VP of administration, social events chair and a lot more! There are a lot of positions that can apply to your major or even your career. For me personally, I am currently director of PR and marketing for CSULB Tri Delta. This position has helped me further my knowledge of public relations and marketing. I am in charge of all PR and marketing aspects of the sorority, which can be a little intense, but it is giving me the experience I need if I want to have a career in PR. (Okay, sometimes it is about cute Instagram pics, but I swear that’s not the only thing I care about!) I am beyond grateful that I am able to have this opportunity and gain experience. This position is for three semesters and, let’s be honest, that looks pretty good on a resume.
3. Networking with Alumni
Another reason why you should join a sorority is because of the networking opportunities you are provided. You are able to meet girls who have internships, jobs and contacts that are similar to your career path. And you can also meet alumni! (There’s even a position for alumni relations.) You are given opportunities to be matched up with alumni who have a career in something you are also interested in. I was able to meet with two Tri Delta alumni who have careers that I am definitely interested in. They were able to give me insight into their jobs and the industry I want to join. There are so many members in a sorority, and everyone has a different major/minor, so you are able to connect with a lot of people!
4. Opportunities Outside of School
Other than career experience and alumni relations there are other opportunities provided to you when you join a sorority. For example, I am a campus manager for South by Sea, a custom apparel company that mostly focuses on Greek life. I learned about this position through another girl in my sorority who is also a campus manager. I was able to put her down as a reference when I applied which really helped me secure the position. A lot of girls have internships and jobs while in the sorority and are always letting others know when positions open up.
5. Finding Your Forever Home and Your Classmate
When it comes to joining a sorority, everyone is attending the same college which has a lot of pros to it. You meet girls who are in the same major as you, taking classes you’re going to take, and you may even be in the same classes as some of them! It’s especially important to make connections when it comes to the major you are taking. My major, which is public relations, is all about building relationships. When you have someone in the same sorority studying the same things as you, you can have a strong relationship that goes beyond just being friends on Facebook once you graduate.
It is important for students to get involved while in school, whether it be joining clubs or joining Greek life. Becoming part of a sorority has given my college experience so much more value, from networking opportunities, job opportunities and lifelong friendships. Sororities have a lot of stereotypes associated with them, and honestly sometimes it can be super cheesy and just like the movies. But joining a sorority has been one of the best decisions I have made in college. So, if you’re reading this, I hope I have given you a little bit more insight on sororities.
By Guadalupe Hernandez
Often it is hard to nail down what career path is right for you, but if you chose PR you are already one step ahead! Public relations can be defined as the strategic communication process that helps builds relationships between the organizations and their publics. In other words, PR is about influencing and engaging with the public to gain their loyalty and trust. A public relations professional's responsibility is to convey the organization's message in a way that draws in the media and audience. Once within the PR world, however, you may think, what now? There are many areas you can focus on within the PR world where you can refine your specific skill set. The infographic below contains five PR types and how you can determine what field is to your calling.
Media relations is about maintaining a good relationship with journalists to generate POSITIVE coverage for your organization. A major responsibility in this industry is tracking the news, identifying what trending, staying on top of the social media algorithms. It takes a sociable, extroverted personality to be comfortable in this area.
Community relations, on the other hand, is about engaging with the local community. A reason to do this is to gain local support for projects, have them associate with your organization, and sponsor events. One needs to be a community specialist and study the areas around your organization, not only physically but also in the digital world.
Corporate and social responsibility revolves around being socially and ethically conscious of what is going on in the environment and the culture. People are becoming more aware of the negative impact human beings and corporations can have on society, and it is an organizations responsibility to have humane practices. One must have a strong personality to speak up, even to the CEO, about what is right for the company.
Public affairs, in simple terms, can be described as political PR. It is an area that, like community relations, must lobby with local and national-level individuals that can enable your organization to do higher-level promotions.
Crisis management is found in every industry and is a task every PR professional must understand. However, it does take a particular skill set to know how to fix a situation quickly and authentically. Working in a group setting and being level-headed is important for the crisis professional because when in an emergency, it is all-hands-on-deck and there will be almost no time to discuss opinions.
Overall, public relations can be achieved by anyone who is communication driven and creative. You may think it is a career that is only for extroverted outgoing people. But with the industries and skill sets shown above, one can see that PR can be for anyone. If you want to hone a certain skill by your personality type, the infographic above may help!
By Gabriela Castro
Over the last couple of years, video games have become the fastest growing form of entertainment, thanks to the internet and a dedicated fanbase. While gaming has increased in popularity, there has been also been an increase in distrust of reviewers in the gaming world. To develop trust with gamers, you need to create consistent, authentic reviews. To start, here are five tips for writing a gaming review.
1. Be familiar with the franchise.
Before you start playing the game, familiarize yourself with the franchise. There are some reviewers out there that don’t understand the franchise or how beloved it can be. So, before you start playing the game, do some research. Research why this game is so beloved, become familiar with the story so you can get an idea while playing and understand the gameplay. A few ways to research the franchise are watching videos explaining the story, asking a familiar friend who knows about the franchise or experiencing it first hand by buying the games.
2. Play the Game But... Take Notes
You may think taking notes during play is silly, but it’s not. While playing the game, you need to take notes on how the game is presented, how you feel about the story and how the gaming mechanics are working. When playing the game, it’s important to note that it may take longer for you to finish than expected, depending on the gameplay. Games can be shorter and some can be very long. So before you start, make sure you get comfortable, get out your laptop, pen and notebook, and bring an open mind.
3. What to look for while playing
While playing a game, describe the features of the game, such as gameplay, game mechanics, graphics and the story or main plot. During the gameplay, you need to identify what type of video game you are playing and describe it to your audience. Describing the gaming mechanics is crucial because you need to tell the audience if the game works, why or why not, and what system you are playing the game on.
4. Be Careful with your Words
You may have heard the infamous quote “Too Much Water” from the IGN review on Pokemon Alpha Sapphire or the “exaggerated swagger of a black teen” from the GameSpot review of Spiderman Miles Molars. While writing your review, you need to be very careful with your wording and tone. The “Too Much Water” or “exaggerated swagger of a black teen,” may seem harmless on paper. Unfortunately, they went viral in a negative way, and both editors ended up removing the quotes, modifying the reviews and apologizing for being insensitive. So, if I were you, I would be careful with your wording and have your review looked over by editors or your colleagues before sending it out. It’s important to do so because if people find something cringy or insensitive, they can hold it against you and your publisher.
5. Review your Game Review
Before you sent in your review, you need to make sure that the point that you were trying to make does make sense. Have the review read by a few of your colleagues to make sure your points are valid and they make sense. Also, you may want to look over your notes and see if you were able to cover all your points.
What tips do you have for writing game reviews?
By Dolores Carrillo
In the past year, with virtual learning becoming the new normal, it has become harder not to procrastinate. Almost everyone is stuck at home and the distractions are endless. Many times getting our work done is not a priority because we would rather be binge-watching the new Netflix show or playing some video games. The truth is everyone procrastinates and it has become a big problem. It’s 2021 people and this is the year we leave procrastination behind! Here are seven ways to stop yourself from procrastinating and get a grip on your life.
1. Organize your class documents
This one is pretty obvious but sometimes overlooked. Having all your class documents and organizing them into different folders really helps. Not only will you know where everything is, now you won’t be panicking and downloading the same syllabus for the 17th time this semester. It is also helpful to download any documents, PowerPoints, notes, outlines or any other helpful information provided by your professor. These might come in handy in the future. Keep them in separate folders for each class and make sure you name them something easy to find.
2. Create a timeline
Set a goal for what you want to get done and by when. Giving yourself a deadline helps you achieve your goals quicker and gives you a sense of accomplishment. We all love that! An excellent way to keep yourself on track is to aim to finish an assignment one or two days before the due date. By adjusting your timeline to finish assignments early, you give yourself some wiggle room in case anything goes wrong. This also helps you with time management especially if you’re taking a lot of classes.
3. Keep a calendar with important dates.
You have to write down important dates. No matter how much you tell yourself you’ll remember, YOU WILL NOT remember. You can find great options for creating your own calendar on Canva. On your calendar, list out all assignments and their corresponding due dates. Having every assignment on your calendar gives you a visual of how much time you have to get it done. Also, the calendar allows you to see what other assignments are due at the same time. This way, if you see you have multiple assignments dues on one day, you’ll give yourself enough time for them both or perhaps work on them earlier.
4. Create a weekly to-do list or checklist.
This goes hand-in-hand with your calendar. Once all of your assignments are listed on your calendar you’ll want to create a weekly to-do list or checklist. Doing this extra step will be incredibly helpful. Also, you’ll get to cross things off or put a check next to them when they are completed, and that always feels great! Checklists allow you to allocate time to individual tasks in a certain timeframe and that’s exactly what you need. Have a list of things you need to get done weekly to ensure you don’t miss anything. You can find great checklists templates on Canva or create your own using the tools provided on the website. Another great way to keep all your assignments and tasks organized is to use a daily planner. Whichever one you decide to use make sure all the assignments, tasks, and errands are listed out properly to ensure you don’t miss anything.
5. Take breaks in between
After working on homework for a long time it becomes harder to concentrate. As a result, the work you’re producing starts getting worse in quality. We’ve all heard the voice inside our head say, “Just turn it in. Even if it’s not the best, at least it’ll be done.” DON’T DO THAT! This is the year we do better, remember? To avoid this burnout, you should take breaks in between. A great way to do this is using the Pomodoro Technique. In a nutshell, the Pomodoro Technique breaks down work in smaller intervals of time with breaks in between. Usually, you set a 25-minute timer to get work done and then take a 5-minute break. With this technique, you will be taking breaks throughout your study sessions and it will make the assignments a lot more digestible. If you feel like 25 minutes is too little to get any work done you can adjust the timer to fit your style.
6. Schedule downtime as a reward
If you meet your goals, reward yourself! Grab some snacks, and binge-watch some shows on Netflix. After meeting your goals for the day, schedule some downtime. Having a good balance helps you recharge and reenergize for the next day’s tasks. Sometimes all you need is a good relaxing evening to be ready to get some serious work done the next day. It is important to set aside some downtime to catch up on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or whatever social media platform you prefer. Allow yourself this time and don’t feel guilty about it.
7. Assign/designate certain days for homework and schoolwork
Usually, some days you have more time than others, and those are the days you want to get the most work done. If you know what days work for you, assign them as your “homework days.” Having one or two designated days to focus on homework will grant you more time on your busy days. If you can’t designate a day then set a time block on multiple days where you have a couple of free hours. The key is consistency, set a regular schedule, and stick to it.
Now you have seven ways to stop yourself from procrastinating. It is important to manage your time wisely and keep yourself sane. By implementing these things in your day-to-day life, you will see a positive change and boost in productivity. Remember this is the year you will stop procrastinating and get a grip on your life. What tips will you be implementing to stop yourself from procrastinating?
By Denise Ng
According to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, the commission received 2.1 million complaints of fraud, identity theft and problems involving lending institutions in 2020. Imposter scams were the most common type of fraud reported. Online shopping was the second most reported fraud.
In 2020, consumers reported losing $3.3 billion to fraud. From that amount reported, $1.2 billion was due to imposter scams and $246 million was due to online shopping fraud.
The FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network, a database that receives reports from consumers, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, the Better Business Bureau and non-profit organizations received 4.7 million reports of fraud in 2020. Additionally, this report stated that consumers reported 1.4 million identity theft cases to the FTC in 2020.
In addition to consumer fraud, romance scams are on the rise. The FTC reported consumers lost $201 million in romance scams for the year 2019. However, this number is predicted to be higher because many victims do not report being scammed out of fear or due to embarrassment. With romance scams, scammers attempt to gain access to your bank account, credit cards, and convince their victims to send money. Many victims have lost their life savings to romance scams.
In the public relations industry, social media is key to reaching your audience. To be effective, you need to practice two-way communication with your audience and provide a mechanism for feedback. Additionally, media advisories, press releases, announcements and event information posted on social media and websites will require your contact information. Your name, cellphone number, email address and place of employment are available for public viewing. Having your information on social media and the internet creates an opportunity for criminals to steal and use your identity to commit crimes.
Here are five tips to protect your identity on social media.
1. Use two separate social media accounts - one for work and the other for personal use. Whether you’re the owner, employee or consultant, you should keep your work and personal social media accounts separate. This can prevent criminals from gaining access to your personal information. Criminals constantly search for information on social media and sell it to other criminals. Personal information is used to apply for driver’s licenses, credit cards, government issued documents and loans.
2. To protect your identity and picture from being stolen, use a logo or something other than a picture of yourself as your profile picture. This will prevent someone from using your picture to create a fake social media account. A Diamond Bar Councilmember uses one account for his personal and city council use. Unfortunately for him, he has become a target of identity theft. Someone has taken his pictures from social media and repeatedly created fake Facebook and Instagram accounts to meet women online in an attempt to commit romance scams. Even though Chou reported these fake accounts to Facebook and Instagram, nothing has been done to address this fraud.
3. Use separate emails for work and personal use. Often criminals will get your email from a social media account, media advisory, press release or announcement. They will use your email in an attempt to log into your social media accounts and change your password, then send malware to everyone on your friend list.
4. Use separate cellphone numbers for work and personal use. I recommend downloading the app Google Voice to get a free phone number to use for work. This will allow you to use two phone numbers on one phone. Keep your personal number private and use it for personal use only. Criminals can hack your phone and get access to your bank account. Thieves look for bank account numbers and routing numbers, then create fake checks using your banking information or transfer funds to another account.
5. Make your personal social media accounts private. This will allow you to have control over who has access to your personal information. Criminals search social media accounts, LinkedIn accounts and the internet for your pictures and personal information. These thieves download pictures to create fake accounts on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and dating apps to commit romance scams. However, this doesn’t only apply to romance scams. Fake accounts are created to hide one’s identity. For several years, a Sacramento Assembly Member used another Assembly Member’s picture to meet women on a dating app. After a four year affair, a woman exposed him during a committee hearing.
In today’s digital climate, identity theft and fraud are at an all-time high. Working in the public relations industry requires public outreach, putting you at risk for identity theft. Fraud will continue to increase with social media growth.
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