by Kalil Bushala
It’s not often one gets the opportunity to display their own hard work on national television, but that’s exactly what happened to me in early October. Not only did I get to show my off-road truck that I’ve been building since I was 17 on KTLA news, but I got to see the other side of my major, public relations.
KTLA was at the Pomona Fairgrounds doing a demo for the Off-Road Expo. As a PR practitioner at Long Beach State, I was quickly able to notice that KTLA’s appearance was part of a PR campaign designed to garner media impressions and generate awareness for the expo.
I was given the opportunity to showcase my truck through a company called Dirt Alliance, who were asked to present a couple trucks for the news channel, due to Dirt Alliance’s large social media following.
As a team driver for Dirt Alliance, the CEO reached out to me and asking if I wanted to represent the team by driving my truck at the demo for KTLA. Although my truck was sitting in pieces and wasn’t anywhere near being ready, I told him yes, without hesitation.
With a few late nights ahead of me, my truck would be ready to drive on the dirt track. I knew
this was an opportunity of a lifetime, so I wasn’t going to miss the event. I was working on the truck till 12 a.m. the night before and had to be at the Pomona fairgrounds, where the expo is hosted, at 6 a.m..
During this demo, I learned a lot about TV news and what goes on behind the scenes. Prior to the event, I never really understood how news channels could make events look so perfect. However, after the event, I quickly learned how staged they can be.
News Anchor, Gayle Anderson, a fellow team driver and I drive the dirt track while they filmed us and talked about the Off-Road Expo, giving viewers a taste of what was going to happen if they attended the event.
We did a few practice laps to make sure we were ready to drive on live TV, which was a bit intimidating at first. But once the checkered flag dropped, all nerves went away.
We ended with an interview while I gave the cameraman a walk around the truck, explaining the
different components and what was modified and what were the original parts of the truck.
This once-in-a-lifetime experience made those long nights of getting the truck ready, worth it.
I would have never thought the truck I drove to my high school prom would put me on national television and give me real-life experience in my college studies.
by Helen Sandoval
Public Relations is a career that’s often forgotten about or overlooked. Many people do not know what PR is or forgets the impact it has upon a company, organization or any business in general. Regardless of the company’s success, it won’t have the same impact unless PR guides consumers to their brand using a variety of PR tactics. If done well, clients are given a bigger platform through public recognition, ultimately shaping the image of that brand.
The way public relation works
Public relations is all about giving a good reputation to people, businesses and companies. PR professionals work out of the public’s eye; creating press releases, campaigns, newsletters and studying public opinion to position their brand in a positive way. In PR, the public is the key to a client’s success. Public opinion has the power to help build a brand's image or destroy it. In order to have a deep understanding of the client’s needs, PR professionals must know how to effectively communicate with their target audience and understand their interests. PR professionals must create positive stories about their client while also developing a good relationship with the public. By using creative ideas, PR can grasp a large audience without the expensive cost of most marketing and advertising techniques. This career consumes a lot of time and labor to show the public that their clients are different from all the other businesses. With the help of PR professionals, a brand can become company bigger, better and ultimately more successful.
Building up relationships/opportunities
Having a PR practitioner on your side means more connections along with making your brand well-known. A skilled PR team can attract more investors, potential business partners and generate positive media exposure.
During a crisis
Every business may end up having a crisis. While crises can sometimes be unavoidable, knowledgeable PR practitioners can help rebuild their client's image. There are many kinds of potential PR crises. There are a wide variety of natural and man-made disasters that can ruin the reputation of a successful company. The main goal during a crisis is to reduce the damage by helping the company preserve its brand reputation and credibility. PR practitioners work intensively to help clients rebuild their image during a crisis. They quickly prepare a crisis management plan and work proactively to research and gather information about the situation.
Public relations is necessary for any company, no matter its industry. A career in public relations involves many different and difficult functions and key tasks that can improve the credibility of any brand. In order to succeed, a company must maintain a good image and recieve the recognition it deserves, and PR plays a key role in this making this happen.
by Carly Perriman
So you’ve picked your major and are ready to begin experiencing college as a public relations student. Now what? The process is exciting but also raises some questions, especially about the major. Allow me to begin by warning you that this is the major no one will fully understand. You’re definitely going to get tired of explaining to family and friends what you want to do for a living. You’ll get asked “Oh, public relations, so a publicist.” And you’ll have to reply, “No Aunt Sally, not a publicist: public relations professional” or whatever specific title you hope to attain in the future.
Let me give you a bit of a rundown as to why you picked a great major. Throughout your time here at Long Beach State, you will take courses that provide the foundation and real-life training for a career in public relations. You will also get the opportunity to work as staff writers, editors, designers, and photographers with different departments on campus. This means getting real time experience in the field.
At Long Beach, the public relations department gives you opportunities not offered by other universities or majors. Many of the classes offered to you will give you hands on experience with public relations. For example, when I was taking a 470 course, which teaches digital media tools, I had the opportunity to help rebrand our very own Journalism & Public Relations department by creating content and pitching ideas for the class. This was a project that not only allowed me to attain knowledge on how to use real time PR in class, but use those assignments as building blocks to my portfolio that I can show to potential employers in the future.
The courses you take also assist in getting internships. Most universities and majors do not help you to get as involved in a potential career, especially prior to graduation. Not only are all of the professors in the department helpful with mentoring and guiding you through the process of getting an internship, but there is actually an internship course requirement. This can help students get ahead, since, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 95% of employers said candidate experience is a large factor in hiring decisions.
Many LBSU alumni from the public relations department have gone on to become bloggers, creative directors, event planners and social media managers thanks to the real-time experience and mentorships they received throughout their time in college. The courses you will take here will provide you with the knowledge and tools to help you thrive in the career path of your choice.
2018 Bateman Case Study Competition is underway, with youth-led non-profit, With Purpose, as client
By Luis D. Marquez
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as CSULB students get ready to proudly
represent our school in PRSSA’s 2018 Bateman Case Study Competition. For those of
you who are not familiar with the Bateman Competition, it is PRSSA’s premier national
case study competition for public relations students and gives the competing students
an opportunity to apply their classroom education and internship experiences to create
and implement a full public relations campaign. In other words, it is basically Journalism
471 but with implementation, collegiate competition and a lot more recognition on the
line. Or, as I like to think of it, it’s like the Triwizard competition in Harry Potter and the
Goblet of Fire but less of having our students’ lives in danger.
The client that our CSULB team will be working hard to create a masterful and
compelling campaign for is the non-profit With Purpose, a youth-lead national charity
dedicated to conquering childhood cancer. With Purpose was created by loving parents
who had to go through something no parent should go through - losing a child to cancer.
Their son, Sam, had two rare diseases, one of which – a fatal brain cancer - took his
life. Because Sam was only 2 years old when he was diagnosed, the doctors told his
parents that Sam was not eligible for any drugs in clinical trials that could have
prolonged his life, improved its quality or even cured his cancer. This did not make
sense to Sam’s parents. They wanted to do more; so they started With Purpose.
With Purpose aims to increase awareness of the astounding lack of research and
funding there is for childhood cancer. They know that with the power of today’s youth,
grassroots activism and a targeted philanthropic mission they can help children that are
currently suffering. Their efforts are creating hope and working towards decreasing the
amount of children suffering by helping to push potential cures through to clinical trials.
With Purpose is a small organization now, but with the help of our CSULB Bateman
team that can truly grow.
Our champions, who have gone through a rigorous interview process, have volunteered
to take on the task of helping With Purpose reach its maximum potential and proving
that CSULB still has what it takes after 22 years of competition. CSULB has placed first,
second, third or honorable mention in 15 out of the last 22 competitions…no pressure.
The first-place team will receive $3,500 and a trophy, second place will receive $2,500
and a plaque, and third place will receive $1,500 and a plaque.
The 2018 PRSSA-LB Bateman Team is comprised of:
● Team Leader Bianca Granado, CSULB senior majoring in journalism with an
emphasis in public relations (anticipated graduation May 2018)
● Creative Director Diana Martinez, CSULB senior majoring in journalism with an
emphasis in public relations (anticipated graduation May 2018)
● Media Relations Manager Kevin Olivares, CSULB senior majoring in journalism with
an emphasis in public relations (anticipated graduation May 2018)
● Head Writer and Content Creator Hetty La, CSULB senior majoring in journalism with
an emphasis in public relations (anticipated graduation May 2018)
● Research Analyst and Assistant Writer Christian Barel, CSULB senior majoring in
journalism with an emphasis in public relations and minoring in marketing (anticipated
graduation May 2018)
“With Purpose is an organization we feel strongly about. We will do everything we can
to help them raise awareness about childhood cancer and get more youth involved in
the cause,” said Team Leader Bianca Granado. “We are excited to follow in the
footsteps of the past CSULB Bateman teams and are determined to win!”
The team will be co-coached by CSULB Journalism and Public Relations (JPR)
Professor Jennifer Newton and Public Relations Professional Allison Miller. Both
Newton and Miller are CSULB JPR alumni who were on the 2001 PRSSA-LB Bateman
Team, placing third in the national competition with their PR plan for Visa.
“We are so excited to help promote With Purpose through this year’s Bateman
Competition. Their mission mirrors our own in that we absolutely believe that with the
right resources, young people can do anything -- even cure cancer!” said Jennifer
Newton, CSULB 2018 Bateman co-coach. “We have a team comprised of bright and
passionate students who are excited to get started and make a difference in the Long
Beach community, on behalf of With Purpose.”
The Bateman Team’s work starts immediately. They will be conducting research and
planning November through February, then teams will implement their ideas February
through March, with final entries due to PRSSA Headquarters in April.
Let us applaud this set of individuals, our CSULB PRSSA-LB Bateman Team, and wish
them the best of luck.
by Autumn E. Skinner
I recently attended the PRSSA National Conference in Boston — which was three solid days of guest speakers, panels and workshops, and two days of lighter mixers and keynote addresses. The whole event was put on by students who run PRSSA nationally, and the committees formed to help just for the event, so the coordination logistics were impressive.
Before that, I attended an invitation-only LinkedIn event in downtown LA, mostly out of curiosity. It looked like a networking/career-building type of day, with free shuttle service there and back, breakfast and lunch and professional headshots, so I said, “why not!”
And before that, I was a celebrity handler for the night at the Maxim Hot 100 party in Hollywood for my marketing internship with the producers of the event, Karma International. It was the 100 hottest women ranked by Maxim, boatloads of celebrities including Jamie Foxx, DJ Khaled (headlining), Nick Cannon, Wiz Kalifa, Floyd Mayweather, Stevie Wonder and scores more.
Something will always go wrong at an event — well-planned or not, it’s acknowledged. But something I feel is lacking at all these events and others, is the most important component of planning anything, not just an event: Putting yourself in the attendee’s/consumer’s shoes! And I mean literally going through your event, product, etc. as if you were your consumer/audience. It’s easy to get caught up in planning logistics and never being on the ground-level of operations. A lot of big brands get that issue after being blinded by revenue; they don’t stop and realize their employees are being treated poorly and turnover is high, or they are continuously not selling “x” but sales for “y” are so high they don’t notice the losses.
You need to stop and go back to ground level, at stages of planning or prosperity. That’s why I think I will be extremely prepared for a job at Starbucks corporate—because I have been a barista for five years, and I am not going in as an executive that’s never been behind the counter. It’s why Starbucks stores with managers working behind the bar, and not solely behind a desk, run the best.
Walking through the Maxim party wearing tennis shoes, executives may not have noticed any issues. But most, if not all, the women attending were wearing high heels and the asphalt on the way into the venue was extremely cracked and rocky, and inside you had to walk over rubber mats with circular holes to get to the restrooms — where I tripped multiple times, my heel getting caught in the holes (water underneath was an added no-no). It’s little things like this someone would have caught if they walked through the place as if they were attending it: lights low, music blaring, crowded dance floor, high heels and long dresses, etc.
For these reasons I place extra importance on the evaluation step of a campaign/event/product. Mid-campaign, post-product launch, etc., there’s always a reason to evaluate. When you think everything’s going right and no one has any complaints — ask yourself: are you in your audience/consumer’s shoes?
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