Got an internship you have your eye on? Take these tips to make yourself a stronger candidate.
By: Sara Pena
We all know the feeling of constant competition in the field of journalism and PR. And as college students, the competition is just beginning. When it comes down to searching for an internship, it may be difficult to feel like YOU have this one in the bag. Check out these tips to make sure you stand out as a star applicant for your next application.
1) Make it clean and concise! Presenting a clean resume with minimal information will make your resume easy to read to future employers. A first impression is everything, so make your resume worth reading the first time they pick it up. If you have your own aesthetic, find a resume template that fits it and tailor your resume to it. At the end of the day, no one wants to read a busy resume with too much information. Narrow your information down to what’s most important so employers won’t have to read between the lines.
2) Use keywords With the information you choose to use in your resume after cleaning it up, include keywords that were posted in the job description. If the job description says “looking for a student who is skilled with multitasking” or “position includes raising social media impressions by 20%”, make sure to include “multitasking” in your skills section or sprinkle it into your experience. You should also add any social media impression statistics that you have completed. Employers will be looking for the same lingo and language that they included in the original job posting. Relating your personal information to what the employer is asking for makes it that much easier for you to be a candidate they find fitting.
3) Make use of your past experience Maybe you don’t have any specific experience related to the job description, but you still really want the position! (I’ve been there..) You may have only done work outside of your major. Take all the past experiences you have and tailor it to what the position needs. For example, you may have only had jobs working with children, but want to gain some experience in influencer marketing. Reconstruct a skill you learned at your job with the children, and apply it to the field of PR. How can that be useful? How can it further your career as a PR professional? Many of past jobs, or even volunteer work, although unrelated, can sometimes be more useful than we even know!
The next time you have an internship you have your eye on, take these tips and and make that resume one worth noticing. Always remember, the more effort you put into something you want, the more you get out of it. Good luck!
On-campus organizations are one way to make the most out of your college years, preparing you for your career and more.
We go to college to get a degree that will prepare us for a career, so why not go the extra mile to get that dream job? Student organizations add an oomph to your resume, develop your character and more. Whether it’s major-related or just for fun, there are many benefits to joining clubs. Here’s why:
1. You can put it on your resume.
Involvement in on-campus organizations can be just as valuable as work/internship experience. Student organizations provide a worthwhile experience you won’t get from just going to class. Clubs show employers you’re hard-working, committed and proactive in learning more about your field. Even for clubs unrelated to your major, they help develop your interpersonal skills (increasingly important to employers). Leadership positions can also make something seemingly unrelated to your career more relevant. For PR/journalism/communications majors, that includes event planning, social media, writing and more
2. You stand out as an applicant.
Imagine an employer with a stack of applications. Where do you want yours to be? The answer is obviously on the top (and on top of their mind)! Clubs provide insight into who you are, and they differentiate you from other applicants. For organizations with a long history and university counterparts like the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), and a parent organization like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), you’re part of a network. Chances are these employers were once in your shoes, so now you and the employer have a commonality. Club involvement is also something you can talk about during interviews, and often, employers expect you to be doing more than just going to class.
3. You network…and network...and network.
We often hear how it’s important to network, and in an increasingly competitive market, this is crucial. Clubs enable you to meet students in your field and these people may be your future coworkers. Student organizations create the perfect environment to develop meaningful connections. You can never network too much so take advantage of this opportunity because after you graduate, it’s more difficult (and more expensive).
4. You develop soft skills.
Students often focus on hard skills (e.g. writing press releases), but soft skills are just as, if not more, important. Soft skills are also major considerations for any employer and, in a nutshell, they are “people skills”—interpersonal communication, effective teamwork, adaptability, etc. Hard skills can be taught but soft skills are developed over time through experience. Clubs teach you how to effectively communicate with others, work with diverse people and manage your time.
5. You get endless opportunities.
Professional student organizations frequently bring guest speakers from various industries to share their experiences and insight. Clubs allow you to network with students and those in your desired industry, which can lead to potential internship/job opportunities. Clubs are also always trying to get members involved so they offer countless leadership opportunities! From committees to ambassador/assistant roles, clubs help you gain relevant hands-on experience.
6. You have fun!
The people you meet in clubs may be some of your lifelong friends. Especially in a place where you share common interests with other members, clubs are a great way to take a breather from your studies with people you can relate to.
As students, we’re busy juggling classes, work, family, and more, but joining clubs is something all students should take advantage of before they graduate.
How Harry Styles Used a Treasure Hunt Method to Pull the Most Viral Music-Marketing Campaign of 2019
Eroda: No Land Quite Like It
By: Ariana Richard
Picture Credit: Eroda
Harry Styles unique marketing and PR tactics have changed the way music artists can promote their albums. His sophomore album, Fine Line, was released on December 13, 2019, and debuted at number three on the UK Albums Charts, and number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. This is Styles’ second number one album in the U.S.
When Styles announced that he was coming out with his sophomore album in December, fans were ecstatic! His first single, Lights Up, was a hit and his fans were streaming it everywhere. However, Styles and his marketing team came up with a totally different way to promote his second single, Adore You. On a great many social media feeds, targeted ads of a mysterious place called Eroda started popping up. These ads were mainly targeted towards people who had visited his website previously or follow him on social media. When fans started seeing these ads on their feeds, there was immediate confusion, but also curiosity.
So, what is Eroda? Why has no one heard of this place before? Where is it located? Why is it all of a sudden popping up out of nowhere on the Internet? And what does it have to do with Harry Styles? Well, Eroda, is a peculiar, yet beautiful island between Ireland and the UK, better known as a fishermen’s town, with clouds that continue to cover the island, for as long as anyone living there seems to remember. Despite the yearlong cloud cover, the island, surprisingly, has beautiful green mountains and silver beaches that could take someone’s breath away.
Before you get too excited and book your flight, let it be known that Eroda, is a fictional island that Styles and his marketing team made up to promote his second single, Adore You. If you haven’t figured it out by now, Eroda is “Adore” spelled backwards. The marketing strategy of this treasure hunt method was a lot more elaborate than one might think. Styles’ team made an Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook page to promote this fictional island and all it has to offer.
Instead of just using social media as their marketing reach, Harry Styles and his marketing team created a website explaining everything Eroda has to offer. They have multiple living accommodations such as Martin’s Heaven Bed and Breakfast, or the Yuna Inn. There are many other attractions listed, that visitors can enjoy as well, such as a painting studio, hiking trails, multiple pubs, and more! They also created a map of Eroda, showing exactly where it is and the villages that make up this mysterious, yet wonderful island.
Picture Credit: Eroda
Eventually, posters started appearing in different parts of the world, announcing that the Adore You music video would be out on December 6th. Once the trailer for the music video came out, all of Harry’s fans understood what all of this was about. Overtime, they realized that this was all part of a clever marketing scheme made up by the one and only, Harry Styles.
The particular marketing strategy that Styles’ team used, was intricate and thought-out, and was definitely a success. Adore You became his first single to be ranked in the Top 10 hits on pop radio worldwide. This type of recognition has not happened since Harry Styles was in One Direction. Now that it is clear that Eroda was a marketing tactic for Styles’ second single, it is clear that this technique was very well done, with a very satisfying and successful ending. This marketing technique was the cleverest one yet employed by Styles, and is just the beginning for other artists to learn from.
My Experience with the Long Tail Theory and Music
By: Alex Dansereau
Being passionate about an extremely niche interest can sometimes seem disheartening. For a long time, my niche passion was the music I listened to. Specifically, around my junior year of high school (in 2012) I became hooked on a sub-genre of punk rock called post-hardcore. This genre hit a commercial peak in the early 2000s (about when I would’ve been in kindergarten), then pretty quickly fizzled out in the mainstream. If that wasn’t bad enough, I soon got into a further niche within post-hardcore music: a scene called “Swancore.” Basically, these bands made music that was too weird even for most post-hardcore fans.
Even though this music really spoke to me, I figured there was almost no chance I’d ever meet anyone in person who knew any of these bands, and certainly didn’t think it would change my life and help me find my career path. That’s because I didn’t understand what I do now: how the internet, and specifically the “long tail theory”, has made niche interests cool.
Chris Anderson coined the long tail theory in a best-selling book called The Long Tail. The simple version of the theory is basically that the internet enables targeted marketing to more niche interests than ever before. “For too long we've been suffering the tyranny of lowest-common-denominator fare, subjected to brain-dead summer blockbusters and manufactured pop,” Anderson wrote in Wired in 2004. “Why? Economics. Many of our assumptions about popular taste are actually artifacts of poor supply-and-demand matching—a market response to inefficient distribution.”
But the internet changed all of that. Now, fans of niche products or pieces of entertainment can easily connect with others from around the country — even around the world. And it has enabled a boom in marketing and content that targets even the smallest of niches.
Eventually, as I fell deeper into the Swancore rabbit hole, I found a Facebook group of likeminded fans. Eventually, myself and another fan in the group, named Trystan, realized there was a need for a podcast that covered some of the bands we both loved. “PlggdN Podcast” was born.
Since we were one of the only podcasts dedicated to covering some of the artists we loved, it wasn’t hard to get a foothold. All we asked of the artists we interviewed was that they promote our interviews on their own social media — which quickly pointed numerous fans our way.
I’m not saying we ever got big… our biggest draw, an interview with Andrew Wells (guitarist of Dance Gavin Dance and lead singer of Eidola), got maybe a couple thousand hits on podcast services. Yet the experience showed me that there really was an audience out there for niche music coverage — and that covering the kinds of bands and artists I loved was well within reach. Ever since, I’ve continued doing music coverage for various online music blogs — which led to my eventually switching my major to journalism. Now, I’m hoping to work in public relations within the music industry, and I have made connections with many of those same bands and artists.
The point of all of this is: if you have an obscure niche passion, and are in love with something other people in your life may think is “weird”… embrace it. Because of the long tail theory, you may have just found your greatest opportunity as a public relations professional or journalist.
How to Be an Ethical Travel Influencer
by Insha Khan
Scrolling through Instagram, one brightly filtered picture after another, it’s common to come across someone traveling to a fun destination on a #sponsored trip. Influencers often take up travel industry companies on the exciting offer to jet off to another country for the price of posting strategic social media content. However, there may be a greater price attached: ethical responsibility.
In 2019, many influencers were criticized for partnering with @visitsaudi, the official website for Saudi Arabia’s tourism office, and @MDLbeast, a major Riyadh music festival. Just a year earlier, Saudi Arabia had been in the news for the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The country is also notorious for its oppression of women’s rights and LGTBQ rights. These strategic Instagram sponsorships would help rebuild the image of Saudi Arabia as a destination for tourism and entertainment while covering up its human rights violations and social inequities.
In spite of the country’s track record, many influencers and celebrities such as Armie Hammer, Halima Aden, Sofia Richie, Alessandra Ambrosio, and others attended the MDL Beast music festival and posted sponsored content from there. Actress and model Emily Ratajkowski declined the invitation, stating, “It’s very important to me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, freedom of expression and the right to a free press.”
So how can you be a more ethical influencer and avoid this controversy? Here are some tips:
1. Do a quick Google search before you sign that contract.
Often times, one search is all it takes to find out what the headlines are saying about this place or company. If you haven’t been to the country before, it would be worth it to find out if they’re known for kidnapping foreigners or even just overcharging tourists.
2. Consider your values as an influencer brand.
As part of your overall branding, you need to decide what your values and tenets are. Do you post frequently about women’s rights? Would supporting tourism to this country contradict your core values or the image you have built for yourself? It might be in your own best interest to say no to the paycheck this time.
3. Look at the psychographics of your audience.
In order to build content for your target audience, you need to know how they make their decisions. Why do they follow you and would this trip cause them to unfollow? If this trip is supposed to grow your business as an influencer, you should be sure that it’s not costing you a large chunk of your audience.
These tips should help you steer clear of ethical dilemmas in sponsored travel and allow your content to build your brand, not break it down.
What is currently being done about mental health in the workplace and how to create a workplace that supports mental health?
By: Kristi Alarcon
In the past, the topic of mental health was a taboo subject, but the world is now gravitating toward a mental health-conscious community, unlike the way it was in the past. With family, friends and even celebrities opening about their mental health struggles, it has paved the way for others to share their own mental health journey.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Nearly one in five U.S. adults aged 18 or older (46.6 million people) reported that they have a mental illness in 2017.”
Unlike physical disabilities, having a mental illness isn't always visible to people around you, let alone the people that you work with every day. For those that suffer from a mental illness, this can be a double-edged sword in the workplace.
On one hand, it means discrimination is less likely to occur in comparison to someone with a more visible condition. On the other hand, when mental illness is taking a toll on your work ethic, outsiders can view the situation as if you're being lazy or not doing your job well.
Poor mental health can negatively affect an employee’s job performance, job productivity and communication with coworkers. Which leads to the question, “What do public relations students, who are going into a stressful profession, need to know about mental health in the workplace?”
So, what is currently being done about mental health in the workplace?
Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), you have the right to not reveal that you suffer from any mental illness if it doesn't affect your ability to do your job. However, if special accommodation is needed, you may need to disclose your condition.
Fundamental protection under the ADA is that your employer cannot discriminate against you based on your circumstance. While employers hold the right to not employ anyone that they believe cannot perform the duties a job entails, they are not allowed to use mental illness alone as a reason to discipline or terminate you.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a government agency, enforces that ADA accommodates any condition that can substantially limit your ability to do your job.
These accommodations include but aren't limited to: permission to work from home, time off, a flexible work schedule and a more accommodating work environment.
What can be done about mental health in the workplace?
Even for Long Beach State students who don't suffer from a mental impairment themselves, it's vital to be an ally for those who don't have a loud enough voice to speak up. Here are a few tips for how to do so in the workplace:
● Encourage employers to offer mental health and stress management education programs.
● Adopt behaviors that promote stress management and mental health.
● Be open-minded about the experiences and feelings of co-workers.
● Offer peer support and encourage others to seek help.
All in all, by being mindful of those who are mentally challenged, employers can expect to increase the quality of thinking, decision-making, relationship and workflow. Mental illness affects each person differently, that is why it’s important for all employers and employees in the workplace to be aware and supportive.
PRSA offers tools to acquaint seniors and recent college graduates into careers in the PR industry
Senior year can be the most stressful point of time throughout your college journey. PRSSA-LB allows students to attend helpful workshops, career tours, listen to guest speakers and build connections with PR professionals in the industries members are interested in. Then, graduation comes and goes and you might feel like you lost all your available resources for finding a job. What many people don’t know is that as a former PRSSA member, you have access to a discounted membership price for PRSA, the professional organization that oversees PRSSA, up to two years after graduation. So instead of paying $115-$325 for the other types of memberships, you would simply pay $60 annually! And according to the PRSA website, $60 could get you more than you ever expected. Here are five ways to maximize your PRSA membership:
1. PRSA Job Center
The job center has over 1,000 listings for available public relations jobs in various industries. It allows members to sort through listings based on location, job type, job function, organizational setting and industry. You can also upload your resume to the PRSA Jobcenter and apply to job listings directly from there. This is especially helpful when you need to narrow down what kind of jobs you would actually liketo apply for, rather than mindlessly scrolling through different job sites.
2. Resume & Cover Letter Assistance
Once you upload a copy of your resume and cover letter onto the Jobcenter, you will receive a free resume review from a PR professional. Under “Careers,” you are also able to create an updated resume using PRSA’s resume builder . Soon after the completion of your resume, it can be made public to be searched by employers or kept private to your profile.
3. Networking Events
PRSA hosts a multitude of exciting conferences and workshops aimed at educating and connecting members around the world. Most of these events do come with a registration fee, but it can definitely be a worthwhile investment in your future career and members receive a discounted price. Who knows? You might meet your next employer at one.
4. Webinars and Online Courses
If money is tight to travel or you have a conflicting schedule, PRSA also offers webinars, Case in Point online programs and online courses called “On-Demands.” These are geared toward strengthening your skill sets and developing new abilities. Case in Point is a program that gives members the opportunity to read case studies from a variety of industries and topics.
5. Career Articles
Finally, with a membership, you can divulge into the many newsletters and blogs on the PRSA website. Strategies & Tactics is PRSA’s very own newspaper that stays up-to-date with new trends and information about implementing the best PR strategies.The PRsay blog also has articles with relevant and modern topics that focus on career advice, leadership, and PR training.
So, the next time college stresses you out and you feel like you are failing... Remember that you have more resources available to you now than ever before. Now it’s up to you to take advantage of them.
By: Kassandra Dume
Understanding a company’s values and persona can help you find your perfect interview style. Some businesses pride themselves on being a more lax and non-traditional workplace, so wearing an elevated casual outfit could work to your advantage in an interview
Congratulations! Your hard work paid off and you’ve got an interview for your dream job. You have a fresh copy of your resume, you’ve prepared questions to ask your prospective employer, and you’ve anticipated questions they will ask you in return. Now you’re just missing a professional outfit that doesn’t look like you borrowed it from your parents closet or threw it together in a hurry. Here are four tips to help you look and feel great at your next interview, while looking like your bestprofessional self.
Don’t be afraid of color and prints
There are no rules that say you can’t wear color to an interview; so incorporate your favorite hue or one that boosts your confidence. Wearing a printed shirt under a blazer or statement earrings with a neutral outfit shows employers you are confident and have a playful side.
Find your fit
We don’t all have the luxury of having a tailored suit on hand for an interview, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look tailored with what you do have in your closet. Stay away from clothing that is noticeably too tight or too baggy; you want to look sharp. Find cuts and styles of shirts and pants that make you feel comfortable. Mix things up with a blouse with structured shoulders or flared pants.
Whether it’s a frat, sorority, PRSSA club, or any other CSULB activity you’re proud of, if you have a pin or similar accessory, incorporating it into your outfit is a great way to start a conversation with your employer. It also gives you an opportunity to share your interests and achievements.
Details, details, details
Once you have all the pieces of your outfit picked out, be sure to take the time to look everything over to ensure the quality and cleanliness before you head out the door. Make sure every item is wrinkle-free and crisp. Make sure your nails and hands are clean, and are ready to shake hands. Take extra care to not have makeup or sweat on the collar of your shirt or on the sleeves. Keep your breath fresh and keep cologne and perfume to a subtle minimum.
Dress for success isn’t just a cliché phrase we’re all told as young adults; it holds a lot of truth. If you are trying to enter into a particular field of work, you want to dress like you’re already part of it. Taking the time to look put together demonstrates that you are serious about your goals and understand a professional appearance is part of any job, especially one in public relations.
By: Gio Gonzalez
To you it all feels contrived; you don’t enjoy it in the slightest and you grit their teeth pretending you aren’t ready to scream inside. You’re an introvert at a networking event and your goal is simple: survive and make useful contacts. With any luck, this event will land you the job you’re looking for and you may make a professional connection or two. But first, you just need to get through it!
Social media crutches
Greeting someone in person is much easier after breaking the ice on social media. LinkedIn and Twitter are going to be your greatest allies in online networking. Public relations professionals essentially live for online networking.Additionally, you can look up your peers and get to know them. It is a lot easier to approach a fellow student than a professional already in the industry. You never know when one of your fellow PRSSA members will point you in the direction of a job.
Let’s face it, you aren’t charismatic, but that just means you’ll have to fake it. Anyone can do it, but it’s a conscious effort for introverts like us. Think of an extrovert you know. They’re all over the place! They’re quick to introduce themselves with a welcoming smile and a firm handshake. It’s time to mimic extroverts until introductions become a comfortable experience. Networking isn’t going anywhere and itis up to you to adapt, overcome, and survive that networking event to land that job you’re looking for. Faking charisma is an established strategy.
It’s not always an issue of simple introversion. For some itis social anxiety stemming from any number of reasons from low self-esteem to just being afraid of meeting new people. Socializing can feel like a game of chess and you don’t know the rules. I’m not qualified to give advice to help people overcome their social anxiety and tackling the baggage causing their issues, but I know of someone who is.
That someone is CSULB’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). If that anxiety has a source, it may be in your best interest to get to the root of the problem and get on your way to networking unobstructed by social anxiety. The cost is already covered by your tuition, so get on in there and overcome your barriers to the start of your career.
Not very many people actually like to network. Many of us groan at the thought of having to meet a myriad of strangers, but you’re not going to go far with a negative mindset. Your networking event should begin and end with an “I can do this” mentality.
You’re introverted and that’s okay! Plenty of introverts attend networking events and get by just fine. With the tips I gave you you’ll be able to survive and thrive in any networking event with just a little self-work. You’ll be indistinguishable from an extroverted networking champion.
My Top Three Ways of Staying Organized and Sane: Balancing PRSSA’s Bateman competition, a full CSULB class load, and a “real job”
By: Jonathan Rulison
Getting involved with different activities and jobs on and off-campus is a great way to learn public relations while expanding your professional horizons. But, as a developing public relations professional, you know how overwhelming life can get when you’re trying to balance everything. I’m the creative director of the 2020 PRSSA-LB Bateman team, I work two jobs and take a full 15 units. Here are 3 strategies I use to help me keep it all together.
1. Setting Reminders
If you have a phone, you probably have a reminders app. Use it! Whenever you’re given a task, get a homework assignment, need to remember a birthday or whatever else, set a reminder! You can set your app to remind you at whatever time or location you want and it takes a whole 15 seconds. Alternatively, you can use Google Calendar to input those same reminders and view everything you have to in a convenient calendar format. If you link it with your phone, Google Calendar can also send you time-based reminders to keep you on track. I’ve genuinely lost count of how many times these apps reminded me of something I had completely forgotten about, saving my life. Use them!
2. Department of Journalism & Public Relations resources
Odds are, if you’re in the JPR department, you’ve taken a lot of classes on the ground floor of the LA4 building. But you might not know what hidden gems lie upstairs. LA4-206 is the Lee Brown Study Room, it has a few sets of tables and chairs, some spare textbooks and a couple of Macs equipped with the Adobe Suite. Lee Brown is usually pretty empty, so it’s a great place to work independently or with a group, especially if you want to avoid the library crowds. Next door to Lee Brown is LA4-207, a computer lab that has enough Adobe-enabled Macs to keep a small class worth of people busy. With plenty of computers and printers, the computer lab is a convenient place to go whether you need to quickly use one of your free prints before class or spend a few hours creating the perfect edit for that video in Premiere.
3. Consistent communication
Communication is key! When you’re involved in a project with other people, you must stay in constant contact while working with them. Throughout your project, stuff is going to come up. Team members are going to get sick, software is going to glitch, life is going to happen, nobody can control that. But what you can control is how you respond to it. When things come up, let your teammates know! When you keep your teammates in the loop, they can budget time to help you out and keep things on track. When your team is informed and updated, your team is happy. When your team is happy, your team works well!
Remember, even amid your hectic schedule, try to take the time to do your future self a favor. You’ll thank me, and yourself, later.
Looking to get published on our blog?
Email your topics (or drafts) to firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. The publishing deadline for Spring 2019 is April 19.
DRAFTS must be submitted before this deadline.
Drafts submitted after the deadline will NOT be published.