How Public Relations Contributes to my Side Business

Nick DJaying in at a nightclub in Chico

When I am not speaking in front of the agency, writing press releases or taking trips to the coffee machine, I can be found with two turntables and a microphone making crowds of anywhere from 100 to over 1000 people put their hands in the air.

 

I am incredibly lucky to make a profit on the weekends doing what I love. My range of clientele as a disc jockey ranges from weddings, nightclubs and private events. I am able to do this every weekend due to my knowledge in public relations. When the lights turn off, the crowd is silent and the record stops spinning, I am locked away creating media lists, pitching to local venues and strategizing my next big night. Promotion is a huge part of the DJ business and knowing social media strategy is vital if you want to have any chance at succeeding.

 

Branding yourself is also just as important. Your voice on your social media must appeal to the right demographic in order to get a response. Also, you must keep your clients happy because they are the ones that pay you. In PR the same concept applies when working for a company. You can only hit the right demographic with the right voice, branding and social media. Only then will your client’s profits begin to advance.

 

Signing contracts with a client for a wedding or an event is very similar to working with clients in Tehama Group Communications. The first meeting consists of getting to know the client and learning about their vision for their event. Just like being an account executive, as a DJ it is my job to make that vision become a reality.

 

This hobby is an opportunity that not many people have and has taught me how to read and respond to an audience.

Nick Djaying at The Beach Nightclub in Chico

By: Nick Rizzo

Both photos provided by: Emily Hilbers

How my love of storytelling evolved into a passion for PR

Writing on notebook and books spread on the table

The frost is melting, the flowers are blooming and birds are singing. This can only mean one thing, spring is just around the corner. For many people this means it’s time for picnicking, kite flying and the annual closet cleaning. But for many graduating seniors, like myself, it is time to start thinking about your future and take some time to reflect on the past.

 

Four years ago when I was desperately trying to figure which major was the right one for me. I had already decided that Chico State was the perfect fit for my school but I struggled with committing to one field of study. I did what any stressed and confused seventeen year old would do, I made a list.

 

On this list I wrote down things I was good at, things I liked doing and useful skills I thought could be applied to a career.

 

My most prominent strength has always been writing. I started telling fictional stories before I could even write the alphabet. As a toddler I employed my mom as my own personal scribe to write these stories for me. As I grew older I realized how incredible the power of storytelling truly is. It can create worlds, birth characters and shape the intellectual minds of society.

 

I knew that storytelling needed to be a major part of my future. I was also good at organizing, juggling multiple commitments and rallying groups of people together. But what else was I good at? I could talk to people with ease and loved to help those in need. Could these attributes really be applied to a major? Apparently, yes.

 

To my surprise and delight, I found public relations, a field of study that perfectly combined all of my strengths.

 

PR uses unique methods to produce a story worthy of attention. It helps companies who have something important to say find their voice. After graduating in May, I hope to work for an organization that is dedicated to changing the world for the better. This is the ideal way I wish to exercise my love of helping others and use the skill set I have developed through Tehama Group Communications.

 

It can be difficult to focus on writing when life gets busy. Whether it be school assignments, shifts at work or your pesky Calico kitty using your notebook as a bed, make time to indulge your creative side.

By choosing a major in Journalism with a focus in public relations and a minor in creative writing I have been fortunate enough to be able to combine my education with my passion.

 

I feel lucky to have found a career path that has allowed me to interact with people daily, organize events, brainstorm ideas and of course, tell stories.

By: Alisa Thorsen

Both images provided by Alisa Thorsen

Why are Photographers so Expensive?

Camera in hand with golden light at the beginning of a walkway

I am writing this as a photographer and a public relations executive. I have seen how photographers can make a huge impact in PR campaigns, but I also know that good quality photos don’t come at a low cost.

 

Public relations firms use photographers in order to enhance company image. Unfortunately, this is not always affordable. Hiring a photographer can be a huge investment. Many people think, “What?! But they’re just taking photos with a nice camera! I could do that.”

 

Photographers are expensive for many reasons. They are business owners and owning a business does not come at a low price. As business owners, photographers must obtain the necessary licenses that are purchased and renewed once a year.

 

The most important thing that a photographer could do is to get their name out there and doing so can be costly. This can be done using a variety of mediums: Google Ads, business cards, a website, etc.,and all of which cost money at one time or another.

 

Photographers must also have many official documents, for they are essential in order to communicate clear messages to clients in a professional way. Creating these documents is very time consuming, yet important because photographers need both customized and personalized contracts, receipts, timelines, etc., which represent how they want to do business. Creating these documents allows photographers to use and send them to their clients, depending on the need of the client.

 

In order for photographers to be successful, they must stay sharp and up to date on their knowledge of the business. It is important to take classes in order to learn about both photography and being a business owner. This is very time consuming, but it is important to be prepared for all situations.

 

Photographers have to obtain quality camera equipment such as camera bodies, lenses, storage for the equipment, storage for all memory and props for indoor and outdoor sessions.

All good things must come to an end. Technology does fail, so costly replacements or repairs may be necessary.

 

Photographers must know how to make their clients feel comfortable while also remembering every pose to give them. Good photographers tend to give constant compliments and affirmations that their clients are doing great. They must do this while also making sure their camera settings create the best amount of background blur while making sure the subject is still sharp. The settings must be tweaked every time the photographer moves in order to match the light that is entering the camera. The photographer must also make sure that the photo does not look too warm or too cold. Then, the photographer must make sure that they are getting a variety of shots. This entails wide, medium and close shots of subject(s).

 

Many people think that photographers are paid for the amount of hours that they are on-site taking photos. They do not see the outside hours that go into the beautiful photos selected. Editing entails four main steps:

 

  1. Backing up photos. This involves putting photos on different storage devices to ensure that they can not disappear.
  2. Culling. Culling is the process of picking the best photos. This can take some time comparing and contrasting different parts of the photo that make it good versus great.
  3. Editing collectively. This means that the photographer adds as edit style to place on all of the photos to make sure they have the same look.
  4. Editing individually. This entails going through each photo and adjusting settings specifically to flatter that photo. (cropping, straightening, brightening, etc)

Christa Boynton holding camera to her eye in orchard

Although, photographers spend a lot of time taking photos and editing, they spend a large chunk of their time:

  • Learning about technique
  • Updating their online portfolio
  • Updating their social media presence
  • Conducting client meetings
  • Replying to inquiries
  • Creating documents
  • Developing their brand
  • Creating packages

In reality, photographers earn a lot less than the dollar sign that they charge due to the amount of investments and hours they put in.

By: Christa Boynton

Featured image provided by Maider Izeta on The Adventure Junkies

Second image provided by Christa Boynton, taken by Tiffany Rivas

Study Abroad and Public Relations

A picture of a beautiful European building with words edited onto the picture that reads "Study Abroad and Public Relations"

The passport to public relations and communications is global. In a career that involves understanding everyone’s point of view and background, it is crucial to immerse ourselves well outside of our comfort zones.

Growing up with a Latin heritage in California gave me a general idea of a few cultural differences between two neighboring countries. However, it wasn’t until I visited Europe for the first time in the summer of 2017 that I received some of the biggest culture shock of my life. I found that the things that helped me most on my first solo journey were my willingness to adapt and ability to understand the environment.

Whether I was sitting on the sidewalk with my favorite tapas in Barcelona or watching well-dressed people bustle up and down the Underground in London, I couldn’t help but appreciate the different ways of life I would see in each city. Their unique lifestyles taught me the importance of understanding your audience in public relations. This reflects on how to choose your social media content, and understand your target audience, but most importantly, in my discovery for a passion in learning all about how the citizens of the world function, I found my calling. Travel public relations. I want to help people break down their own borders and come away with a life changing experience that is all their own.

My father got me a passport when I was five years old, and made the effort to take us somewhere new every year. I was lucky enough to travel across Mexico and Canada, but now I’m ready to be global citizen and public relations professional.

By:Roxanna Necoechea

Break the Block

A blonde woman with her hair in a bun looking down in distress with an open laptop, notebooks and other supplies on a desk with her hand on her forehead

Writer’s block… more like a writer’s nightmare. Try these tricks to break the block.

Staring at a blank page for hours, days or even weeks can be terrible. Your brain hurts and your vision becomes blurry. Every writer’s’ worst nightmare is having writer’s block.  Try these tricks to get past your block.  

  1. Free write  

Write about anything on your mind, even write about how you don’t know what to write.  Write about your day or a dream you had. The goal of a free write is to get your mind thinking about anything and hopefully it will spark an idea.

     1. Take a break

Stop staring at the blank page. It will only make you go crazy and fall deeper into your writer’s block. Go for a walk or watch your favorite show on Netflix. Take a few hours or days off from writing. When you get back to it try to forget how difficult it was before and have an open mind.

     2. Brainstorm

Make a list of ideas. Start with broad topics and narrow it down to more specific ideas. The list should be from your stream of consciousness, so just bullet point what comes to your mind.

     3. Say “see you later” to all the distractions

That means turning off that cell phone and hiding it in a different room. Try to limit all technology unless it’s the laptop or computer you are using to write. Don’t have your favorite television show on in the background while you work. Stay focused on writing all your ideas.

     4. Get your body moving

The worst feeling is being frustrated with yourself for not having any idea on what to write. Go outside and get some fresh air or do your favorite activity to get your body moving. Exercise is a great escape for a lot of people, give it a try and clear your mind.

Lastly, when you finally get back to writing, forget about all the frustrations you had before because it will only hold you back. Best of luck!

By: Angelina Castillo

 

 

5 Tips to Ace Your Interview

A planner with a pink stick note of helpful tips for an interview and a flashcard on top that reads "Interview"
  1. Be confident

The saying “fake it until you make it” holds a high level of truth to it, especially for interviews. It is okay to not be confident internally. As long as you portray confidence externally you are set.

Giving off the illusion of confidence is all about body language. A strong handshake, a smile and good posture are three things that create the image of confidence. Also, be mindful of your body language. Make sure that you are not fiddling with your hair or playing with your clothes because this makes you come across as nervous.

If you want to be confident both on the inside and outside, give positive thinking a chance. Remind yourself of the successes in your life, this will help you feel more confident on the inside and that will show on the outside.

  1. Dress professional

I always wondered what to wear to interviews. Should I dress business professional, business casual or simply casual? There are two answers to this question.

First, dressing business professional is the safest bet. Looking your best can also increase your confidence level, while showing professionalism. Dressing up may also set you apart from other applicants.

Second, the dress code depends on the company and type of job. When I was applying for a retail position, I dressed in a white T-shirt, jeans and Converse. I knew the company’s brand which was keeping things casual and fun. I arrived at the interview dressed casual because I researched the company and what they were looking for in their employees. Note, this only applies to a slim number of companies and positions. For instance, if you were to apply for a public relations job, it is better to dress business professional.

  1. Prepare

(Image of planner and checklist for upcoming interview)

Being prepared for interviews shows the interviewer you care. Some ways you can prepare for interviews is to: practice answering typical questions, bring extra copies of your résumé and do your research. Before the interview, research the industry, company and position. This will help you answer any unexpected questions. For example, if I were to apply for a video game company as a public relations professional, I’d research the companies past public relations campaigns for their popular games.

  1. Ask questions

Try to ask at least two questions at the end of the interview. This will show the interviewer you were attentive and focused during the interview. If you don’t ask questions, it will be a missed opportunity to impress your interviewer.

  1. Practice

To ensure that your interviewer clearly understands your talking points, practice your lines beforehand. Read through your résumé and practice expanding on the points in your résumé. A lot of the time, interviewers tend to ask questions relating to your résumé. For instance, if you put that you had experience in a collegiate speech and debate team, the interviewer might ask about speech and debate. When you answer such questions, try to incorporate the skills you’ve learned from the experience.

At the end of the day, relax. As long as you’re prepared and confident, your chances of making a good impression are high. I hope you find these five tips as helpful as I did. Good luck.

 

By: Kim Cuong Nguyen

Time Management: It’s Not Just a Skill… It’s a Lifestyle

An organized, color coded planner with granola and coffee beside it with a note pad

BEEP BEEP BEEP…It’s 7 a.m. when your alarm goes off and the first thought is, “How am I going to do today.” As the day progresses, you begin to realize your list of to-do’s is growing and you are losing daylight to complete everything. By the end of the day, you struggle to finally find a peaceful night’s rest. The ever growing list of very important things you need to complete by a looming deadline never seems to go away.

As a student working to pay my way through college and completing an internship with Tehama Group Communications, my day to day life makes time management a must. Time management can have different meanings for each individual. For me, it feels as though I am achieving my highest level productivity. Below are the five ways that I make time management part of my life style.

How to beat your busy PR schedule:

  1. Write it down:

Write down everything that needs to be done for the day. This helps by making sure that you aren’t forgetting anything important by trying to memorize it all in your head.

  1. Prioritize:

Put the things that need to be completed first at the top. By doing this, you will be able to make sure that even if you don’t complete everything on your list you at least finished the most pressing and important!

  1. Schedule in breaks:

It is easy to try to push through the day without taking time for yourself; give your body and brain a rest. When you come back from your breaks, you will feel more refreshed and ready to get down to business.

  1. Cross it off:

As the day goes on and you are able to complete a task, cross it off. The act of crossing off an item can help alleviate stress of looming deadlines.

  1. Find a routine:

Staying with a consistent routine will help you make sure that you are taking care of yourself and the little things that become after thoughts on the busiest of days.

How you spend your day and the amount of work that you feel like you are completing can be a huge factor in the amount of stress that you feel every day. So the next time you hear BEEP BEEP BEEP, you will know that with a little time management the day is yours!

By: Taylor Pickle

5 Ways My Blended Family Helped Prepare Me for the PR World

Taylor Pickle's family photo outside by a pool

PR agencies can easily become the people you spend the most time with and, in many ways, become your pseudo family. For me coming from an unconventional family background, I have been able to take those experiences and use them in a PR setting. PR life can be fast paced, hectic and unpredictable and so can families. I didn’t realize how well my family prepared me for the ups and downs of being a part of an agency until midway through the semester when there were deadlines looming and various projects needing to be completed.

  1.              Always expect the unexpected

Just when you think you have a plan you can always count on, the truth is that someone or something will come in and change everything. Being prepared for the unpredictable can save you from many late nights and your bank account from suffering those caffeine cravings.

  1.              Adaptability is your best friend

There comes a time when you have everything completed and put all your time and effort into completing a task. And, at a moment’s notice, things change. Being able to adapt to last minute or major changes will have a huge impact on how successful and smooth your life in PR will go.

  1.              Communication is key

We spend a majority of the day communicating with all different kinds of people and in order to get quality work done efficiently, having a solid foundation of communication will change your life.

  1.              There’s always a positive

In many cases taking away a positive can be hard to do, especially knee deep in edits and last minute client changes. But taking away at least one positive thing from the situation you find yourself in will help alleviate negative attitudes and unwanted stress.

  1.              Keep calm in a crisis

There are times when you can’t avoid a crisis. But, how you handle the crisis initially can set the tone for how you and your team will overcome it. Having the ability to stay calm when faced with a dilemma will help you in producing the best content possible for your client.

By Taylor Pickle

Three Steps Employers Can Take to Shrink the Gender Wage Gap in PR

A zoomed in picture of hundreds of coins

Even though 70.9 percent of public relations professionals are women, women are still getting cheated in the workplace. On average, male PR executives earn $125,000 a year while women make $80,000. The average yearly salary for gender nonconforming individuals and minority women is even lower.
Why are women making less?

Some believe that women choose to work less hours, prefer working jobs that turn out to have lower pay or have docile personalities that make it tough to succeed in higher paying jobs. These beliefs imply that women could shrink the pay gap if they worked harder. While working harder might help some women, it’s unlikely to help others.  Not all women have the time and resources to work harder, longer hours.

What can employers do to shrink the gap?

  1. Offer both parents paid family leave

The US is the only industrialized country in the world that does not provide paid family leave to new parents. Currently, women who cannot afford to take unpaid time off, have to choose between their children and their careers. It’s no surprise that women’s wages decrease by about 4 percent with every child they have. Providing paid parental leave to both parents makes it possible for both parents to share caregiver responsibilities. Mothers who share parental responsibilities equally with their partners have a much easier time balancing their careers with their home life.

  1. Flexible work schedules

Another workplace policy that holds women back is inflexible work schedules. Studies show that fields that offer the most flexibility with work schedules have the smallest gender wage gaps. This is likely because women typically take on more parental responsibilities. Mothers who struggle to balance their caregiver roles with their work schedules typically need more flexible hours. Unfortunately, those flexible positions tend to pay less.

 

For example, a mother might not be able to stay late at the office in attempts to balance her full-time job with her parenting responsibilities. This could require her to take a job that allows her to work from home, even if it pays less. A father with less parental responsibilities might have more time to spare, giving him the freedom to work overtime to make more money and possibly get promoted. Both partners work in PR, but the man has more opportunities to make a higher salary and gain a higher position.

 

PR firms have the opportunity to allow for greater job flexibility by giving employees the opportunity to work from home. This could prevent working mothers from having to quit higher paying jobs to take lower paying positions for more flexible hours. If companies want to help close the gender wage gap, allowing more flexible schedules to accommodate employees with busy home lives could be a solution.

  1. Hold diversity trainings

Employers can organize agency-wide, mandatory diversity trainings to show employees that the organization is committed to an inclusive work atmosphere. Studies show that organizational climates for diversity and sexual harassment are linked to whether or not organizations hold diversity trainings.

 

Diversity trainings can help by increasing individual’s awareness of their biases. This ultimately creates a more inclusive work environment by helping employees be more understanding and supportive of each other’s different backgrounds and home lives.

 

How long will this take?

These three steps won’t solve the problem of unequal pay overnight, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

Written By: Hannah Stevens

Social Media Best Practices

Collage of smaller pictures that contain coffee, the back of a woman's blue curled hair photos and the road

Social media is invaluable to organizations these days. Posting on Instagram and Facebook are ways to reach audiences of all ages. People are frequently visiting social media platforms on their phones and this gives organizations an opportunity to advertise. It is an excellent opportunity for organizations to stay relevant to their publics. Constantly posting updates, information and photos is a way to reinforce your presence.

 

Here are a few steps to a great social media feed:

Step 1: Be entertaining but not over the top.

Step 2: Inspire your audience to talk, engage and converse.

Step 3: Provide your audience with information that is useful to them.

 

How to accomplish those tasks:

 

  1. Choose a theme and stick with it. Many companies center their content around certain colors or styles of posts. Try to keep your photo quality, colors, styles and content consistent. This allows followers to recognize your brand easily.

 

  1. Use relevant hashtags to make your content discoverable.

 

  • #MotivationMondays #MeetmeMonday
  • #TransformationTuesday #TipTuesday
  • #WisdomWednesday #WellnessWednesday
  • #ThrowbackThursday #ThankfulThursday
  • #FridayFunday #FeelGoodFriday #FlashbackFriday
  • #SaturdayShenanigans #ShoutoutSaturday
  • #SundayFunday #SelfieSunday

Use day-of-the-week hashtags because it gives the company a reason or excuse to post a photo. This draws attention to your company or your cause.

 

  1. Show followers behind-the-scenes footage of the company work atmosphere. This allows followers to feel as though they are close to the company because they get an inside scoop.

 

  1. Keep captions short. Posting interactive captions will engage the audience and get them involved, getting them to feel like they know the company. This can bring people into the cause. Keeping captions short also makes it easier for people to read the whole thing.

 

  1. Post highly visual images. Highly visual photos gain the most traction. Look for photos that are appealing to look and attention grabbing. These types of photos encourage viewers to stop scrolling and check out your posts.
  2. Engage with followers by liking, commenting and responding! This benefits both followers and the company because it is a way to partner and get the brand or name out there, thus expanding the audience.

 

  1. Avoid:
  • Trendy Slang (Bae, On fleek): Trendy slang is unprofessional and makes it appear like you are trying too hard to be cool. Additionally, not everyone will know what it means, ultimately minimizing your reach.
  • Posting too often. Aim to post two to three times a week. Posting too often can cause users to grow weary of the overflow of content.

 

Written by Christa Boyton