By Wendy Davila
This pandemic has been around for almost a year now and we have had to adapt in more ways than one. Some of us couldn’t go out to get our essentials or go to our favorite restaurants anymore. But, thankfully, apps like Postmates and Uber Eats exist so we can indulge from time to time. The downside to delivery is that we have been using so much plastic utensils and disposable packaging, yet our recycling ways have been thrown out the window. I mean, not only are we overly using plastic in our day-to-day lives, but even our disposable masks pose a threat to our environment. It is time we keep both our environment and ourselves safe. Here are five ways to be more sustainable during COVID.
1. Ditch the Disposable
It’s time to get away from our disposable masks and find your way to a store that has reusable masks. I get it, disposable masks make you feel safe, but our streets are tired of being littered with masks. Masks have become the new plastic grocery bags, always being thrown out thinking there are no repercussions. There are many masks that have a place to fit in filters so you can ensure your protection. When you’ve used it all day just throw it in the wash, and you are good to go.
2. Reusable Bags Are Still In
Reusable bags have somehow been a controversy since 2016; either you hate them or you love them. At the start of the pandemic many stores did not allow reusable bags to be used and introduced plastic bags back into their systems. Now, as COVID cases decline, stores are becoming more lenient about allowing reusable bags again. But, if the grocery store still isn’t accepting reusable bags, go for the paper bag instead of plastic. Paper bags can later be used as gift wrapping paper, a grocery bag, a book cover or even compost. We really do not need more plastic bags in our streets and oceans, especially with masks making their grand introduction to ocean pollution in 2020.
3. Spend Time in Your Kitchen
Trust me, I am no stranger to ordering takeout. But the amount of plastic that is used makes my heart cringe a little. Ordering food is more accessible than ever, but during these times it is best to audit ourselves and limit our consumption. If you are like me and have a Pinterest board dedicated to cooking, take this as a sign to try those recipes out. They may not be perfect, but it can be an activity that your whole family can enjoy. And you can relax at night knowing that you did not add to that day’s pollution.
4. Bulk is Best
Most of us have our essentials that we grab every grocery trip such as rice, beans, granola and even peanut butter. We accumulate so much waste during these trips just to gather our essential needs. Instead, gather your favorite mason jars and head over to your local grocery store with a bulk section. By doing so you eliminate all plastic and extend your time from having to go once again. If you ask me, that is a win.
5. Composting is For Everyone
You may be sitting in your apartment wondering how it could be possible, but it is. Composting can be done by everyone and anyone, whether you have a garden or a one-bedroom apartment. Some have a designated trash can in their yard in which they throw all their waste like fruits and veggies and later transfer it to their garden and grass. If you have a small space, you can find a small composting bin that you can throw into any corner. Waste like orange and banana peels, coffee grounds, tea leaves and any fruits and veggies will be broken down and all the nutrients will go back into the soil. There are many great resources you can find on TikTok that not only show you how to compost but teach you about the differences. Look up eco-friendly content creators like @Lydiakia, @Lottiedalziel and @goingzerowaste.
You really cannot become sustainable overnight. It takes a lot of research and the desire to change your habits and products. Every day we fall into the trap of ordering out coffee from our local Starbucks that does not offer biodegradable cups and later throw our masks into our garbage where they end up in either the ocean or a random street miles away from you. Patience is key when trying to become more sustainable; but remember that every step you take is one towards positive change.
By Travis Ramsdell
Over the past few years, podcasts and their audiences have grown exponentially. With a wide variety of topics available, podcasts listeners are able to identify with a certain niche, gain valuable insights and or grow attached to the conversations. Furthermore, with a number of influencers, such as Nadeshot, starting their own podcasts and being able to utilize them for marketing strategies, the possibilities are endless for podcasters. In this post, we’ll explain how to start your own podcast as a college student, specifically emphasizing how little equipment you need and how it can be used as a potential source of income over time.
Most may be unaware of exactly what podcasting is and the possibilities that are available for those who create their own. To put it simply, a podcast is like a radio show that is centered around specific topics. These podcasts are able to be produced in a variety of different fashions, whether it’s a daily or weekly podcast, one person or interview style, or any other setup that you prefer. Most importantly, those listening to podcasts are able to enjoy them on the go, whether they are doing chores, driving or completing homework. With many individuals being exposed to podcasts, due to an increase in time available because of the pandemic, it is important to understand the potential that podcasts have to offer both from the listener perspective and those who may potentially use podcasting as a way to generate income.
Here are five easy steps to help college students create their own podcast.
Although this step may not actively produce any content, it is still as important as it provides the foundation for your podcast and makes it easier for you to structure yourself and your audience. Certain decisions that will be made here are centered around who and what your podcast is for. Although you have free range to talk about anything you want on your podcast, you want to make sure that it is centered around a specific theme or topic. It would be very hard to maintain an audience who one week expects to hear about sports and the next week starts to listen about homework tips. Furthermore, you want to be able to identify potential audiences that may listen to you and target them. If you’re creating a podcast focused on school tips, you wouldn’t necessarily put much emphasis on an audience who graduated from school 10 years ago. Additionally, come up with a name for your podcast. Once again, you want to choose a name so that those who are listening for the first time are able to identify exactly what your podcast is about.
2. Crafting out your episodes.
Now that you have figured out what your entire podcast is going to be centered around, you need to figure out how to conduct each episode. You should figure out how long each episode will be, how often you will release new episodes, how each episode will be formatted, and how they will be titled. Do you want to create weekly hour-long episodes that are monologues? Or do you want your podcast to be 30 minutes long, interview style, and released twice a week? These are the decisions that need to be made prior to starting your podcast to ensure that you follow a set structure and that your audience knows what to expect. Furthermore, you want your episode titles to be tailored to your topic and clear so that listeners will be able to identify what the episode is about.
3. Recording, editing, and producing your podcast
Although some podcasts are recorded in elaborate sound studios with the best equipment, as a college student it may be difficult to have all those resources available. Fortunately, the bare minimum that you need to get started is a microphone and recording/editing software. Simple USB microphones are capable of giving good results, such as the Samson Q2U. However, if you want to step up the equipment just a bit, the Rode Procaster is another solid option. For software, Audacity is free of charge and offers good quality, but Alitu offers the easiest possible experience, as it can automate audio cleanup, edit and process your podcast, add music and publish to your host.
4. Publishing Your Podcast
Once your podcast is recorded and edited, it’s time to publish. You want to create a cover art image, one that is easily identifiable with your theme and that stands out as well. Then, you want to choose where to host your podcast. This is where your audio will be stored and will allow listeners to listen to your podcast. Some top services would be Buzzsprout and Captivate.
5. Advertising your podcast
Your final step will be focused on getting the word out about your podcast! By posting on different social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram you can attract an audience as well as potential sponsorship opportunities from various companies who may wish to use your podcast to spread the word about their company. Over time, this could possibly generate a revenue stream for you.
Podcasts are quickly turning into a vital part of the entertainment industry. With the market still in its infancy, anyone has the opportunity to share their thoughts and create a potential revenue stream over time with their own podcast. The days where you have to utilize the most high-end equipment are gone. Now, with only a microphone and some software, you are able to turn nothing into something. Furthermore, with the ability to monetize your podcast through possibilities such as brand partnerships, the chances of becoming a full-time podcaster are attainable.
What are some topic ideas that you have for a podcast? Let us know in the comments below.
By Sonia Sharma
Why have a personal website?
A personal website is a great tool and way to market yourself, start networking and find an internship or job. A personal website allows for potential employers to see a consistent profile being presented and become familiar with the person's personality and aesthetics as well. In today's day and age, a website acts as a personal profile and can prove to be the determining factor in many employers' decisions. In other words, it is essential for college students to have a personal website to showcase their work. However, many college students struggle with creating a website that will stand out and attract attention. So how exactly can you enhance your website so it sticks out? Here are five tips that will definitely help!
1. Introduce the two W’s right away
Who are you and what do you do? A personal website should include details about you and what you do right off the bat. You want to catch people's attention so attach a few pictures of you, relaxed, in your element and natural looking that gives off your vibe and include a few words about yourself. However, do NOT write about your entire life. People are skimming through and trying to come to a general conclusion fast, so include details that describe you in the sense of a bigger picture, yet capture key points.
2. Include a color scheme that is pleasing to the eye
The power of color is often underestimated; it is a powerful tool. Now, no one knows your style, taste and aesthetic better than you, so take it and show everyone how you love your feed! Your website is your medium, utilize it and style it how you would imagine your office. What color palette would you like? How would you like the design? What about the contrast? Colors help humans visualize, associate and recognize. You want the color scheme and palettes to go hand in hand with your personal brand and not contradict it.
3. Showcase your best work
So you've introduced yourself and talked about your profession, but now you are just going to call it a day? Absolutely not! Remember, this website is your profile, how is one going to know if you can even get the job done if they have not seen any examples? This is the time to shine and include what you believe is your best work. This can be a paper, a project, a model, anything as long as it pertains to you and your talent and showcases your capability and abilities to the best. Your creative projects are what make you a good potential employee!
4. Include a blog
A blog is the perfect medium to showcase your in-depth knowledge and understanding of the creative industry/department you are looking to grow and branch into. It is also a place where you can showcase your writing skills, connect and grow with other people interested in what you offer and build your credibility. In addition to giving companies and organizations a look at your thoughts and taking on certain topics, a blog can help boost traffic to your website.
5. Include your social media handles
Your website is great, it gives a brief look at you and your brand. However your social media is another way to build your connections and reputation. When you include your social media handles on your website, not only does traffic grow on your social media accounts, it also provides a more intimate look into your life. With that being said, it is also important to make changes to your social media accounts if you think they might be a problem. Better yet, only include social media accounts you know companies and organizations will be okay viewing or create separate social media accounts for this purpose.
Now it’s time to get to work! Build your personal website and show the world what you’ve got to offer.
By Roger Flanders
Everyone needs a pause from the madness that the world has endured the past year, and video games have been that break from reality for most. Escaping to a fictional place, different time period or to new lands is an experience that can help people cope with the hard realities of pandemic and quarantine life. Attempting to avoid life problems and tough times has become a struggle as vacationing or leaving home has become a risk. This catalogue of popular games is here to help any university student or gamer who feels trapped in such a tense time, have a digital break by living a temporary different life. The following list includes the best open world games to escape to during quarantine.
1. Red Dead Redemption 2
When a game is awarded Best Performance, Best Audio Design, Best Narrative, and Best Score and Music, it shows that the developers have found a winning recipe. Starting the campaign over again for a second time, I can see why Red Dead Redemption 2 was heavily rewarded for its efforts. In the prequel to the 2010 installment, you play as Arthur Morgan in 1899. Outlaws in the Van der Linde gang find themselves fighting with the inevitable takeover of civilization and the law. In this grim tale, the times of gunslingers, bandits and cowboys are coming to an end in the wild west. While the story and characters are well written, what the game excels at is the world that has been built around them. Luckily for those who want to live out their cowboy fantasies, Red Dead Redemption 2 offers online play where you can stay connected with your friends. With its substantial replay value, the only bad part about this game is finishing the main story.
2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
A Nintendo exclusive, this was a casual gamers safe haven throughout quarantine. Don’t let its whimsical and seemingly innocent design choices fool you, this game was made for millennials and generation Z. Animal Crossing: New Horizons took the world by storm at a very convenient time. When Nintendo announced its delay from 2019 to March of 2020, fans grew a bit impatient, but the wait proved to be worth it. The never-ending vacation to an island paradise gives the gamer vast options on how to customize, build and style their new digital home. Leader of the talking animal island dwellers, racoon Tom Nook, is there every step of the way to welcome new villagers, help start up shops and guide you through the process of paying off your in-game home loans. With the online play ability of visiting your friends’ islands, it is the perfect way to stay safe and connected during quarantine.
3. Assassins Creed Franchise
Next on the list is a formula that has been working since 2007. Ubisoft really cracked the code with their Assassin's Creed franchise. With an installment every year or two, it is hard to pick just one. Depending on the gamer’s knowledge or love of history, there is a lot to choose from. The series has visited ancient Egypt, Renaissance Italy, The Holy Land of Jerusalem and many more places. Though not as tranquil as the other games on this list, it does give something the others do not. These games have the ability to reimagine older times and places that may never be visited again. Bringing important figures back to life like Leonardo Da Vinci, Socrates and Charles Dickens with such historical accuracy. The games attention to detail and design when reimagining their chosen location gives the user periods frozen in time that are able to be explored. When Ubisoft captures a new era, the gamer will not only be able to enjoy the open world but possibly learn a thing or two in the process.
4. GTA V
Rockstar makes the list again with Grand Theft Auto V. While Red Dead Redemption 2 may be the most realistic western game, GTA V may be the greatest modern day realism game of all time. Set in the fictional city of Los Santos, Angelenos may find the streets and layout a bit familiar to their hometown. The campaign jumps back and forth to Trevor Phillips, Franklin Clinton and Michael De Santa as they perform linear objectives such as heists, escaping the law or rescuing each other from danger. If the roughly 30-hour open world campaign is not enough, GTA V’s online play is vast and still growing. After eight years, the online gameplay still sees updates that keeps the game alive. Though cancel culture has attempted to take the games off shelves for its violent depictions, fans tend to enjoy the freedom of adventuring around a digital layout of a pseudo-Los Angeles. As people are advised to stay home during the current health crisis, GTA V seems to be the best way to experience getting out on the town.
Similar to the Nintendo exclusive, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Minecraft creates a world where you are allowed to build, design and make it your own. With no real goal or missions to accomplish, this never-ending journey, made by Mojang Studios, can be quite relaxing as you make your own objectives. Starting up a new world brings a refreshing feeling of new beginnings and possibilities. The simplicity of mining, crafting and adventuring in a blocky world seems to be almost therapeutic. As everything in the world can be interacted with, a gamer can easily get lost mining for diamonds, creating a farm or preparing to take on the Ender Dragon. The user can lose hours into the game without even realizing it.
With this list, staying at home does not need to mean being trapped. Gaming in an open world helps alleviate the stresses that the pandemic has brought. Whether it is finding diamonds, talking to your fellow islanders or performing a train robbery, video games are there as a mental escape. With all of these games having online play, being alone at home does not have to mean being completely alone. Video games can be more than just digital meaningless objectives. It can be a source of connecting and adventuring with your friends even if they aren’t in the same room as you. Use this as an excuse to take a break from school, ignore the news for a while and escape to a different world.
By Rachelle Duran
With the rise of social media and the online world of the Internet, curating your personal brand is more important than ever. Having a well-rounded online presence can make or break your application when applying for jobs in any industry. When looking specifically at the public relations world and its surrounding industries, your personal brand is as important as your writing style or your work experience.
Before potential employers click onto the content present on your portfolio website or your social media, they will first see the colors associated with your personal brand. This includes the color of your logo, the colors present in the layout of your website and any accent colors you may have on your social media accounts. In this post, we’ll explain how to choose the right colors for your personal brand, why colors are important for portraying your aesthetic and how showing your creative side can set a tone for your brand.
1. Deciding Your Personal Aesthetic
When deciding what colors to use, you first have to decide what your personal aesthetic is. Are your tastes more vintage or modern? Are you artsy or clean cut? Do you prefer bright colors or muted ones? Asking yourself these questions and more to figure out which color palette is the best for your personal brand is important. Matching your interests with colors that match your personality will make your layouts more personable and aesthetically pleasing. You are setting the tone for your personal brand with the colors you choose to represent it.
2. Deciding Your Professional Aesthetic
Once you have decided what your personal aesthetic is, now think about what your professional aesthetic is. What industries are you hoping to work for? Travel or beauty? Entertainment or fashion? Think about the industry you want to get into and use inspiration from your favorite brands. Having a professional website does not mean having a dull and colorless site. You can be professional while also showing your creative side.
3. Understanding Color Psychology
Color psychology is the study of colors in relation to human behavior. Different colors can affect our attitudes, feelings, behavior and other aspects of our daily lives. Colors invoke certain meanings and emotions when we look at them. These meanings can change depending on your cultural perspective, but usually, most colors mean the same thing universally.
Using color as a communication tool can change the tone of your brand and how others view it. By using cool colors such as blues, greens, and purples, you set a soothing atmosphere around your brand. These colors remind people of fresh air and nature and cause them to be more relaxed. By using warmer colors such as red, orange, and yellow, you are portraying strength and optimism. These colors remind people of fire and light, causing you to appear more confident and intelligent. Darker colors such as brown, black, and gray will make your brand appear more sophisticated and formal.
4. Use A Color Palette Generator
A great place to test out different color combinations is Canva’s Color Palette Generator. With this free tool, you are able to create a color palette based off of any photo you upload. Like the colors of a sunset photo you took? Upload it onto the generator and have your own sunset color palette in a matter of seconds. Canva even provides the color codes so that you always have the exact shade across all platforms.
They also have a variety of pre-made color combinations you can look through for inspiration. From shades of neon to more muted color palettes, Canva’s generator has the perfect combinations for any of your color needs.
5. Test Out Your New Color Palette
There’s a difference between seeing your color palette laid out versus it actually being applied to a website or on social media. Take the time to test your new color palette by creating a new logo with them, changing the color settings on your website, creating new headers for your social media profiles and anything else needed to cement your personal brand. Try it out on website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, Weebly or any other. Seeing the color combinations in action will help you see if you are satisfied or if a color needs to be changed.
Nothing is permanent. You may decide in a week or month or year that you no longer like the look of your website and social media. That’s the fun in growing and evolving. Continue testing out your color combinations until you are completely pleased and positive that those colors represent you.
We unconsciously judge everything we see. Unflattering color combinations can be a turn off for viewers and cause them to leave your site. Make yourself stand out the right way by choosing the right colors to represent your personal brand. Asking yourself who you are by connecting your interests with your personality will make your website and social media layouts more personable. As you grow, so will your tastes and interests. Show off your creativity by having fun with different color combinations that represent you.
By Patrick Lynch
Public Relations in Sports
Sports public relations are all about building relationships with teams, players and organizations. Athletes today work under a microscope held by the media, their fans and the general public. Professional sports need public relations specialists. For many people, sports are one of their passions and they love public relations, so why not combine the two? A career in this field may seem like a dream job, and for those in the field, they absolutely love what they get to do for a living. With that said, here are five tips that could help land you a career in sports public relations.
1. Personal Branding – Be Yourself
It’s important to stand out and show the world who you are. A great way to learn some useful strategies is to take JOUR 470 Digital Tools for Public Relations. In this class you will build your professional portfolio website. In the past, I’ve heard from students who have taken the class, and have told me that this is where they got started. This is a great way to showcase your work and show others what makes you special. Specifically, you can highlight your passion for sports and public relations skills with your personal branding. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, so don’t hesitate to look at the work of others to help brand yourself! Whether it be professionally or personally. In fact, Emily Mann, a public relations specialist for the Sacramento Kings, mentioned in a recent panel with PRSSA-LB, that she would look back at old press releases and use them as a guide when she would create her press releases for the Kings. Personal branding is key but don’t be afraid to get inspiration from others.
Networking is all about fostering relationships and building curiosity. The best place to start is on LinkedIn. This is the mecca of professional networking sites. Recently PRSSA-LB hosted a public relations in sports panel, featuring professionals from the NFL, Los Angeles Dodgers and Sacramento Kings. All three of them were initially reached out to via LinkedIn. When you take JOUR 470, you will learn how to build an all-star LinkedIn page. Pay close attention to the LinkedIn assignment and you might be able to find a mentor or two on LinkedIn.
3. Any Experience Matters!
According to HoopsHype, there are only 122 major professional sports teams in North America. Many people want to work for these teams, so it might seem nearly impossible to get the right internships. Don’t feel discouraged if it seems like it isn’t happening because there are ways around it. “There’s no ONE way into sports. People come from all different backgrounds. This is no ONE path,” said Emily Mann, public relations specialist with the Sacramento Kings. Internships matter, even the ones outside of sports. I would recommend joining PRSSA-LB. There is an exclusive internship board that members have access to. Plus, being able to add that you were in PRSSA to your resume carries more weight than it seems. Take advantage of the opportunity and join the chapter!
4. Be a Good Writer
Press releases. Media kits. Game notes. Media guides. Statistical records. At the end of the day, being an effective communicator is being a good writer. The JPR professors drill this into our head and it’s true. In order to succeed in any field in public relations, we need to be effective communicators. Classes such as JOUR 270, JOUR 374 and JOUR 375 have helped me touch up on my writing skills and have taught me how to write as a public relations practitioner. Although it sounds cliché, the AP stylebook will truly be your best friend too. If you want to take your writing to the next level, consider looking into joining the Daily 49er or DIG MAG. In fact, Andrew Howard, the communications manager for the NFL, started his PR path by joining the student-run newspaper during his time at UCLA. Everyone starts somewhere, so take advantage of the lessons learned in the aforementioned classes.
5. Navigating Social Media
When it comes to social media, public relations specialists in sports are refreshing their timelines all day. In an article on HoopsHype, the relationship with the media is key because it will dictate what they see on their timelines. A great way to learn about the importance of social media is by taking JOUR 104. Also, consider applying for the newly implemented ambassadorship with the director of social media on the PRSSA board. This is a great way to learn different social media channels and how to effectively navigate throughout them.
There may be times when it feels like landing a career in professional sports is nearly impossible because of how competitive the field is. However, these tips and strategies are here to help those, specifically CSULB students, who want to embark on this path. These are the steps I’m taking on my journey and will help me land my dream career. Whatever you plan to do, implement these strategies and reach your dreams too!
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