by Donna Hayes
5 TIPS TO HELP YOU THRIVE AS A STUDENT PARENT
Life as a college student is no walk in the park. It consists of countless hours studying, lots of rigorous coursework, ongoing networking, group interaction, internships, critical thinking and a lot of sacrifices and commitment. In a nutshell, being a student is hard. What’s even harder, though, is being a student parent. Taking on two major responsibilities such as college and parenting simultaneously can be overwhelming and discouraging so it’s important that you mentally and physically prepare yourself before committing to the student parent life. Here are some tips to help you succeed as a student parent:
1. Utilize Resources
For many parents, childcare arrangements can be the obstacle keeping them from accomplishing their goal of obtaining a degree. Some people have family and friends that can assist with childcare but for those that don’t, don’t be discouraged, there are other options. One option available to students is The Isabel Patterson Child Development Center which offers affordable childcare for students with young children attending California State University, Long Beach. Their staff is made up of highly trained and qualified teachers. For more information visit their website.
2. Create a Schedule
With what seems like a million and one things on your plate, it is critical that you stay organized and prepare for your day to day activities in advance. Utilize a calendar, a planner, your phone or whatever works for you to create a weekly schedule that incorporates daily activities for you and your child.
3. Incorporate Parent Child Study Time
When creating a weekly schedule, make sure to incorporate time to complete activities with your child. With such a hectic schedule, there may not be much time to go out so having study time together is a great way to check two things off of your to do list at once.
4. Stay Focused
It’s easy to lose sight of the ultimate goal with so many responsibilities on a daily basis. Many student parents get to a point where they feel like the task of trying to maintain good grades and raise a child is unbearable and they consider giving up. Whatever you do, don’t give up! A good way to stay motivated and focused is to write out your goals and look at them often to remind yourself of what you’re working hard for. Also make a list of assignments and tasks and check them off as you complete them so that you have a visual of your progress.
Lastly, relax. Step away from all the chaos every now and then and just breathe. Engage in fun activities like a fun day in the sun at your favorite beach or catch a matinee to see the latest Disney movie with your child. It’s refreshing and will help maintain your sanity.
by Michelle Matos
I obtained my first internship this past summer, starting in June and expecting to end in August. As the end of summer approached, my boss told me she was very pleased with my work and offered to extend my internship as a part-time job during fall semester! Now, as this semester comes to an end, she offered to extend my internship once again for the spring!
From working in the corporate world, I’ve learned a few things about how to make yourself stand out, so that you might be offered a job or extension after the end of your internship, if you so desire.
1. Make yourself valuable
If you are a valuable – better yet, irreplaceable – asset to a company’s team, they will want you to continue working there. We millennials come in with a fresh eagerness to work, new points of view, and a set of skills that some older employees haven’t had the chance to learn. Utilize your skills to their fullest, and take every opportunity to do what you do best. Deliver excellent work and go above and beyond in whatever ways you find possible. My next three tips all ultimately draw back to this one: show that you are valuable.
2. Bring up innovative ideas and suggestions
Maybe something you’ve learned in class or elsewhere, like a certain strategy or a new theory or method, could be beneficial to your work. Don’t get me wrong; you’re not there to completely revamp their work processes. But if you do happen to know of a technique that can make your work more efficient, bring it up as a suggestion! Just be aware that they might have already considered it, or might have a specific reason as to why they do things they way they do. Still, it couldn’t hurt to bring up something you think could really help.
3. Be proactive and seek new projects
Seek new projects and ask if there’s anything new you can help with immediately after you’ve completed your last task. Even with ongoing duties, if you know you can handle another project while keeping up with your normal workload, go for it! Take on something different that interests you, if you can. Your boss and coworkers will be impressed by your proactive and enthusiastic attitude.
4. Offer to help others whenever you can
You never know when a coworker might be so stressed that they secretly wish they had a little extra help, or just a small part of their workload lifted off their shoulders. This will generate goodwill between you and your coworkers, and show that you are truly dedicated to benefitting the company overall. (It also gives you an opportunity to take part in a project or type of work that interests you!)
If you maintain professionalism and a good work ethic, while following these tips, you’re sure to be liked and desired to stay at your workplace. If the opportunity arises, they might just hire you part or full-time!
Fender’s Manager of Communications Shares Her Tips for Upcoming PR Pros
by Amber Batchelor
A guest speaker in a public relations class is a treat but it's even more exciting when it's a prestigious, PR professional that happens to be a CSULB alumni. Heather Youmans is an award-winning, multi-talented, dynamic PR expert that truly embodies a variety of qualities that she's developed while working in public relations and marketing.
Heather currently is the in-house Manager of PR and communications at Fender. Over the course of her 14-year professional career, Heather has accomplished greatness at the young age of 25.
I couldn’t be more intrigued learning about Heather’s road to success and these are the three takeaways I felt most valuable for upcoming PR professionals.
1. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
Before Heather’s current position at Fender, she was an Account Executive at Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K), one of the largest PR agencies in the world. At the time, Heather was working on the account team for Fox Home Entertainment and they were preparing to release a DVD Blu-Ray of the movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel. It was Heather’s team’s responsibility to come up with an unique marketing idea.
Thinking outside the box, Heather presented the idea to build the Grand Budapest Hotel out of Legos as a marketing strategy. The Lego idea sparked because Heather worked at LEGOLAND in the past and was reminded of the life-like replicas of buildings, built out of Legos. Even though her creative idea was not chosen right away, she always brought up the Lego idea for every potential strategy until finally Heather’s idea was chosen. With the help of Heather’s past colleagues and connections, H+K built a Lego version of The Grand Budapest Hotel that was made out of 50,000 Lego pieces, weighed 150 pounds and stood seven feet tall and 6.5 feet wide.
This campaign earned Heather’s team a PRSSA Prism Award, ranking in the top-3 best-selling Blu-ray during release week and features in Ad Week, PR Week, Yahoo, Forbes, and Reuters. If it wasn’t for Heather’s confidence and creative plan, The Grand Budapest Hotel Lego replica might not have happened at all. Heather’s goal behind her strategy was to engage the existing Wes Anderson fans, create new fans and to stand out from the competition. She did exactly that; with her out-of-the-box idea.
2. If you can, work at an agency before working in-house
When a peer asked the question, “In-house PR department vs. PR agency?” Heather proclaimed that working in an agency has given her a breadth of experience, which has led to all opportunities she has today.
Crediting her curated skills and leadership to her diverse PR experience working with multiple accounts, Heather says this is the best way to learn the industry. She advocates that working in an agency has motivated her to feel she can accomplish almost anything. Heather’s past work experience includes working with multiple high profile clients and Fortune 500 brands at H+K Strategies.
3. Be passionate about what you do
Throughout Heather’s entire presentation, you could feel the passion she has for all the work she’s accomplished in public relations and marketing. Heather might have had some adversities but she’d make it evident that these too helped her in a positive way. Her excitement about different campaigns, consumer marketing and media placements exemplified what it looks like to love your job.
Heather is a perfect representation of a passionate PR professional. Her enthusiastic conversations about her rich PR experiences electrified my peers and I, to be passionate about our future careers. Heather Youmans’ road to success and passion for this profession is what every PR professional hopes to achieve.
Why Are Internships Important?
by Kimberly Alvarado
Every Journalism and PR student at Long Beach State University it is required to take an internship class.
So what is an Internship? And why is it beneficial to me?
An internship is a position a student take to work at a job site in order to gain experience or fulfill requirements for qualifications. At CSULB it is a genius idea to require students to work at an internship because it brings in with several benefits to students, and the school.
At internships you gain valuable work experience, in some fields, it is now required to have at least one internship before applying. Internships give students a taste what the real workforce is like while you're still a student. Working at an internship is a great resume builder. You will be able to create samples that can be added to your student portfolio to showcase accomplishments you have done. In addition, internships help you gain exposure to real work that school cannot always offer. It also helps students understand and build professionalism prior to completing their bachelors degree.
Internships can also help you decide whether you want to pursue the path you have always planned to or revert from the field you were once interested. It is a good idea to start internships early as possible to really know if you are interested in your current field major or not.
At internships, you build and learn new skills that can be extremely beneficial once you join the workforce after graduation. Internships are a great way to be meet new people with similar interest as you and the capability to network with them.
Ultimately CSULB care about their students and want to see their students grow into professionals by preparing them to get their feet wet. Internships open so many doors, so get prepared and look for your future internship!
Public Relations Versus Marketing
Here's the difference
by Michelle Matos
As someone studying both marketing and public relations, I often hear people refer to these subjects as “basically the same thing.” It’s very true that many aspects of each of these subjects are similar or overlap. Marketing and public relations (PR) both attempt to reach the public, position a brand, and communicate a persuasive message. So, what’s the difference between the two?
First, here are the official definitions of public relations and marketing:
The Public Relations Society of America defines public relations as “an activity that helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other” (PRSA, 2017).
The American Marketing Association Board of Directors defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large” (AMA, 2017). Both definitions involve communicating with the public. However marketing covers a broader range of activities and includes an exchange of value, or a sale.
Despite the many similarities, it is important to remember the differences between these subjects, so that you may pursue the one that will most help you reach the exact type of career that you want. Keep on reading for four ways that public relations differs from marketing.
1. The Purpose.
The purpose of marketing is to generate revenue. Marketing initiatives are driven by sales goals, and focuses on promoting products and service to achieve those goals. The purpose of PR is to promote and maintain a company’s image. Public relations initiatives are driven by goals for public perception of an organization, and focuses on relationships between the organization and its publics.
2. The Scope.
Marketing is the overall mix of activities that you undertake to generate awareness, trial, and purchase of your product/service among your target market. This can be accomplished through many different tactics, and public relations is one of them. Good PR can allow a business to keep attracting consumers and therefore drive sales. Integrated marketing campaigns often include a public relations plan in addition to other marketing strategies. Marketing wants consumers to take action, while public relations is a step for consumers to get there.
3. The Target Audience.
Marketing primarily targets the consumer and potential customer. Public relations attempts to reach all stakeholders of an organization in addition to the target market, including employees, investors, suppliers, the media, the community, and the government.
4. The Communication Approach.
Marketing delivers information to the consumer, while public relations tries to control the flow of that information. Marketing is a one-way communication approach, while public relations is more of a two-way approach, which builds bridges of communication between an organization and its stakeholders. Marketing is proactive, while PR can be reactive. For example, in a crisis situation, public relations can be used when an organization may have to react to a problem that might damage to a company’s reputation as a whole.
Tips for Sending a Successful Pitch
by Samantha Vargas
1. Start Small
Your client will not typically get their first feature in a huge media outlet. Start off by pitching to your local publications. Be on the look out for school, city and other niche newspapers and magazines.
2. Do Your Homework
Don’t send a blind pitch. Find the exact editors and writers who cover the topics related to your client.
Once you’ve found the perfect outlets and writers to pitch, take an even deeper dive. You should become familiar with the interests, jargon and any repeat features the writer has.
4. Develop a Relationship
After you find a writer whose work you enjoy and feel will be a good fit for your client, take it to the next step. Follow their blog, social media, comment on their articles and become a familiar face. Knowing you are genuinely interested in what they have to say will make them more eager to work with you.
5. Be Personal
When you finally sit down to write out the pitch, make sure to use all of your research to personalize it! Nobody wants to receive a generalized copied and pasted message. You can reference articles of theirs you enjoyed reading, a specific feature you’d love your client to be considered for or any other information you came across in your research.
PR Lessons from Waitressing
by Bianca Granado
For six years I’ve worked in a restaurant. There are many times I think to myself “Why am I still here? I was made for something better.” When I leave every shift with cash in my pocket I am reminded why I still serve. But the lessons I’ve learned are far more valuable than the dollar bills in my pocket. As I reflect on my time serving tables I realized how much PR lessons I have actually gained.
1. Crisis Communication
Love it or hate it crisis always happen. Many times we are able to think of the worst circumstances and prepare for them but sometimes you can’t. Working in a restaurant I have experienced a number of crisis from food taking too long, coming out incorrect or the dreaded hair in food. Though I can anticipate what may happen, each shift comes with its own surprise. During these crisis I am forced to think quickly and respond in a way that will assure my guest I care and make sure I am representing my restaurant in a well manner.
If you plan on working for a PR agency instead of in house it’s highly important to make sure each client is getting treated equally and that time is spent evenly on each. Working in a restaurant I’ve realized that it’s important to check on each guest and spend time catering to each of them. At the end of the day they are all paying guests and deserve to be treated so. There are instances where one table will ask me for a fry refill and another asks for a dessert, it’s my responsibility that I do both in a timely manner and not ignore one table because someone else needs something. In PR agencies you will deal with different clients and you can’t neglect working on a certain client because the other needs something.
I don't think we will ever be told to stop networking. It is such an important skill to have and will get you further in your career. As a waitress I am challenged each shift to have conversations with my guests that I serve. Although not everyone wants to chat there are usually a few who want to, there have been occasions where guests have given me their business card and have been really interested in my career goals. Serving tables has really strengthened my communication skills and pushed me out of my comfort zone to strike up conversations with those around me.
Although I won’t stay in the restaurant business forever I do hope to hold these lessons with me forever.
Don't Stop Applying
by Bianca Granado
As if preparing for finals wasn’t already enough to do I know many students have been searching for that perfect internship for spring.
It almost seems as if it is impossible to land your dream internship. Like many of you I was recently on the hunt for a spring internship. I applied to dozens of places that all seemed to spark my interest.
I had seen that my dream PR boutique was hiring interns, I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me and as if it were meant to be. Prior to them posting that they were looking for interns I had already contacted them and sent in my resume. They seemed super friendly and asked me to fill out a separate form.
In the midst of all this I was still searching and applying. I didn’t want to stop applying in hopes of landing a position at my dream place. I had a few rounds of interviews with another boutique that I’d be so glad to intern for. Things went really well with this specific boutique, and I was offered a position.
I still hadn’t heard anything from my dream place. Finally the day I was offered a position elsewhere, I received an email from them the first thing they asked was where I live, because they prefer interns to live close by. I explained that I was prepared to commute, but they denied me the position based on where I live. I was so bummed.
As cliché as this may sound I learned that when one door closes another opens. With that being said, I want to encourage you all to keep searching and keep applying. Don’t give up even when it seems like your dreams are crushed. There is a perfect place for you to intern!
Five Gems of Wisdom
PR Lessons from Kris Ruby
by Hetty La
I’ve heard from many fellow JPR students that public relations is a hard field to study academically. And this is true; public relations is very much a hands-on industry, one that’s ever-evolving and difficult to capture in a classroom setting. Despite this challenge, PR professors find innovative ways to help students learn the wisdom necessary to excel in their careers.
This semester in JOUR 470: Digital PR Toolbox, students got to hear from Kris Ruby, a well-known public relations professional and entrepreneur!
Kris Ruby founded Ruby Media Group, a public relations and social media agency, where she currently serves as CEO. She is a social media specialist and publicist who has appeared on networks such as FOX Business, NBC, ABC, BRAVO! as an on-air contributor.
Ruby found her niche in PR after graduating from Boston University’s College of Communications and completing a whopping 13 internships in different industries. Safe to say, her treasure trove of wisdom is great and plentiful!
She hosted a Q&A session over Facebook Live with students in Journalism 470, where students got their questions about PR answered in real time!
Here are five gems of wisdom Ruby offered to students hoping to build a career in public relations.
1. When pursuing internships, make sure to be careful and concise.
Following directions is of utmost importance; if a potential employer asks that you send certain components (i.e., resume, writing sample, etc.), make sure you send exactly what he or she requests. No more and no less. Also, don’t be careless with your writing. Double check for any typos or grammatical errors.
Ruby also emphasized the importance of consistency to stand out in a sea of competitors.
“I think at the end of the day, people innately want to help other people,” Ruby said. “Consistency is key and passion trumps everything else.”
2. Surround yourself with people you can learn from.
Be open to collaborating with as many people as you can, even those you might not expect to work with. You never know what you might be able to learn from others and likewise, you never know what you may be able to teach them!
“Learning is a two way street,” Ruby said. “As millennials you inherently bring so much value to the table as to what you could be showing someone.”
3. Get your written work published as much as possible.
Having a good-sized collection of published work impresses potential employers because it shows that you’re driven and committed to your work. Focus on honing your writing skills and pitching skills to get your work out there!
“I once received a portfolio with a lot of published work from an intern, and I thought ‘Wow, is this a student or a freelancer?’” Ruby said.
4. Know how to tell a story.
Even as the field of public relations rapidly evolves, the importance of good writing will never diminish. As PR professionals, we often will have to work with journalists to achieve our goals. Journalists are inherently storytellers, and it’s essential to know what they’re looking for to successfully pitch your ideas. Remember to create content that tells a story rather than content that just markets a product or service.
“How can you be a PR professional if you don’t understand what happens on the other side?” Ruby said. “You have to understand what journalists want. This will never change whether you’re dealing with print or digital.”
5. Be kind to everybody.
While treating everyone respectfully is important in every age and setting, it is more pertinent today than ever. At one point or another in your career, you will likely work with somebody you don’t get along with. It’s important to handle every situation with grace and respect, even if things get rocky.
“We are in an age where you will get blasted for your bad behavior,” Ruby said.
And she’s right! In today’s age of social media, even one snarky remark can land you in hot water with your constituents. Your reputation lies not only in your professional work but in your ability to work well with others.
As an established professional in the industry, Kris Ruby’s gems of wisdom don’t end here. She is generous in sharing her knowledge online. You can visit her website, follow her on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn or like the Ruby Media Group page on Facebook!
by Dulce Carrillo
Everyone goes through stressful events in their life, but many don’t know how to deal with it. It’s important to understand that when we have been under severe stress for too long, our minds, bodies and relationships can become overwhelmed.
Sometimes stress can lead to what can be thought of as an injured mind, and can even lead to anxiety, depression and relationship problems. (If you or a CSULB peer is experiencing depression, visit CAPS, CSULB Student Counseling and Psychological Services.)
Here are seven ways to decrease and control the stress before it rises up:
One- Distract your mind for a few hours: Go for a walk around the neighborhood or play classical music. It is important to take a time out of your daily routine and do something that relaxes you. It will give your brain a breather too.
Two- Talk to a friend or family member: Sometimes we can feel alone and lead for increasement of stress. Reach out to someone close to you and vent. Being able to vent, releases the toxic inside your body that you held inside.
Three- Exercise or play sports: It’s important to keep the body active. Go to the gym or join a team at the recreational center here at school. Work out for 30 minutes of moderate activity three times per week. Usually when I go to the gym, I try workouts classes like cycling. I will admit, it’s difficult to participate in new things but at the end, it’s an accomplishment. It’s a motivation not only to continuous work out activity but getting away from your comfort zone.
Four- Engage in a hobby: From sewing to collecting bottle caps or even going on hikes, giving yourself some “me time” is important. You get to meet people with the same interest and create memorable stories for yourself.
Five- Think of a plan to solve a problem: Nobody knows you better than yourself. Find solutions about the problems you are facing. Work around them. For example, create a calendar. If you don't want to miss an episode on Netflix, balance the time of the show with essays, projects and studying. Fit one episode when you're tired of typing on the computer. It feels much better when things are done and less worries on your shoulder as you enjoy your show.
Six- Maintain a healthy diet: Nobody wants to leave out the caffeine and the sugary foods, especially since it looks good on a busy day at school. You can drink your coffee but limit the use of sugars. It takes more than one day to be able to set the mind with all the delicious food and snacks that surround us. But it will take one step to make a change. Begin with adding vegetables to your meals and carrying to go snacks ( to avoid the dollar with change hot cheetos). The change of eating healthy will keep more money on your pocket.
And lucky number seven- Be grateful for another day of life. Appreciate for the people that exist in your life, for working (even if it’s a job you don't like), having food on the table and for being able to provide for yourself. Remember to take the time to say thank you. Include telling a coworker, your family members, a friend and those people that you meet how you feel. Even your classmates that you ask questions about the assignments you forgot to write down. It’s important to say what you feel at the moment than to wait for the “perfect time”. It can be hard, but it is possible.
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