Five Ways to network yourself in the world of public relations after graduation

A photo of five hands fist bumping each other over a table of binders, notebooks, smartphones, and laptops.

When we graduate college, the feeling is bittersweet and surreal. The moment has finally come: walking across that stage, hearing your name be called to accept your degree and receiving all those great congrats from friends and family. After all of that is said and done, the question is this: what in the world do I next? Am I lined up for a job or paid internship? Do I go to grad school and further my education? Should I take a break and travel the world? All these questions are normal for recently graduated alumni. The world is a scary place but we’ve worked so hard to take it on. We’ve acquired the tools and resources as public relations practitioners to enter virtually any industry we desire. Reality sets in and now must merge ourselves into the real world. Here are tips and tools to land yourself a job pertaining to public relations.

 

Tip 1: Make yourself known on social media

Part of what we learned in public relations is that social media platforms are a big leverage in our field. Be active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Make sure you have a solid following and follow a good chunk of people. Post things outside of your life and get in touch with social media influencers, businesses, clients etc. It also wouldn’t hurt to create a blog that focuses on your passions. Use hashtags and good images to get an employer’s attention when he or she browses your socials. The more you grasp this, the better chance you have at landing a job.

 

Tip 2: Talk to alumni and fellow public relations practitioners

Being social and making friends in our field of work is a must. Rub elbows with anyone you come in contact with that’s in public relations. Ask questions, get contact information and even check if they have any openings in the near future. Also, while in school, make sure to make these connections while interning, making site visits, listening to guest speakers, etc. Make it a goal to have a long list of phone numbers, emails and business cards by the time you graduate to look back on and refer to.

 

Tip 3: Build up your resume and get more experience

In order to land a solid job, sometimes you have to work from the ground up. If it means getting into internships that are unpaid, freelancing, or even being an assistant to someone, give it a shot. You never know where those opportunities will land you someday. The more experience you have on your resume, the more impressed firms and agencies will be at your line of work. Also, don’t be afraid to explore your horizons and trying new things you’re not used to.

 

Tip 4: Apply, apply apply!

At least six months before graduation, make sure you get ahead of the game and start applying to job postings. Check every single day and make it a goal to apply to a couple a day. Being on a daily hunt will add up and someone will eventually will get back to you. Always check emails, posts from socials on who’s looking and staying active on LinkedIn.

 

Remember, it’s always best to stay on tasks and remaining optimistic. We’re all destined to greatness and taking on the public relations world. With these helpful tricks, you can network your way to a steady job that you love doing.

Building your personal brand

people brainstorming, about to write on a notebook with supplies around them.

To be successful in any industry, it’s essential to look the part. Workplace culture is evolving and many places may be a little more casual when it comes to work attire. Although freedom of expression is definitely shown through the clothes we wear, it’s critical to remember that what you wear represents your brand.

 

In the PR world, we strive to present the best possible strategies and ideas to our clients. Public relation practitioners are quite the masters at the art of persuading. Just like you wouldn’t showcase your lowest quality of work, you shouldn’t sell yourself short either.

 

Brand management is critical and building your brand is probably the most important. All the skills you possess will get you far, but how you look and how you present yourself will definitely add on those points with employers. There are many things you’re taught to become aware of when entering the professional world. Here are three ways to really strengthen your brand.

 

  1. Dress for success

 

You want to make sure that how you dress both relate to the culture of your workplace and represent what’s important to you. Discover what your style is and get creative when relating it to your workplace culture. Some places will probably require you to dress more business professional, while others might be more casual and informal. Whatever the culture is, make sure you style yourself up so you give off the impression that you are passionate about where you work.

 

  1. Clean up your social media

 

Keeping your social media pages clean will help avoid awkward conversations from your employer. Even if your page is private, those inappropriate pictures can still make their way into the public eye. How you present yourself on social media can reflect greatly on your company. Employers will sometimes take a look at your social media pages to get a glimpse of who you are and what you represent. Therefore, make sure to only present your best self on social media.

 

  1. Amp up your network

 

What a better way of exhibiting your best self than by having a few professional individuals backing up all of your strong qualities. Having some respectable connections can truly make your brand look credible and open up more opportunities for you. However, these connections aren’t going to come to you. Branch out to other people who work in the positions or industries you want to work in to gain some knowledge of what to expect and build that relationship as well.

Among all other things, displaying your best brand requires endless effort, since it’s a lifetime job and always remember to keep it consistent. Showcasing your utmost personal brand will open many professional doors for you in the workforce.

 

By: Grace Gonzalez

Color Theory in Business

A collection of brushes and paints on a desk.

Many people aren’t aware that certain colors can actually make the viewer feel a certain emotion. Colors can even trigger things in the human mind. An example of this are the colors yellow and red, which can make someone hungry. This is why these colors are used in many fast food logos, for example: McDonalds, In-n-Out, Wendys and several more. Blue and green are often seen as emotions of being safe and reliable.

Once someone decides to use a certain color on their logo or business design, its important to make it aesthetically pleasing. This comes down to knowing the color schemes and whats appropriate for your brand. The three main color schemes are complementary, analogous and triadic. Complementary are colors directly across from each other on the color wheel. The benefits of using a complementary color scheme are having more contrast and making things pop in your design. Analogous are colors directly next to each other on the color scheme. This type of color scheme can embody more of a calming and pulled together kind of feel and design. Lastly, triadic is three colors equally spaced away from each other on the color wheel. This is a great color scheme because it is more dynamic than analogous and not as bold as complementary.

Other color ideas to keep in mind are listed below.

Mood and color relation diagram.

Image by 99designs

 

Example of complementary, analogous and triadic color schemes.

Example of complementary, analogous and triadic color schemes.

Image by HelpScout

By: Megan Mulvey

Coffee Alternatives for that Morning Rush

A person drinking a cup of coffee.

Coffee seems like such an important part of everyone’s morning routine. It’s an essential part of life for a lot of people. I mean, during the day, there are countless times where I hear, “OMG I literally cannot talk to anyone until I’ve had my coffee.” While there are those who simply cannot function until they have taken a sip of their iced caramel macchiato, or whatever coffee flavor is in style, there are also those, such as myself, who dislike coffee. Not everyone is a huge coffee fan, I know I’m not. For those people that are looking to cut back on coffee or that don’t like it, but still want and need that boost of energy to get through the day, there are so many alternatives that can help. Here are a few:

Tea is one of the most popular alternatives to coffee. Not only is it healthier, but it also has the caffeine that so many people crave in the mornings. For those looking to cut back on caffeine, tea also comes in non caffeinated packs. There are so many choices, each with a different health benefit to it. It can even be sweetened with honey, my personal favorite, or sugar. The choice is all yours.

Another alternative drink, or drinks, that help get the most energy out of your mind and body is making infused water. For those that don’t know, infused water is taking fruit slices and putting them inside of your water bottle, about 16 ounces to start . Place your water (the fruit slices should already be inside) in the refrigerator overnight and the next morning you will have delicious energy water to drink. Some of my favorites include cucumber, strawberries and mint. There are also apple slices and cinnamon or lemon and lime with some some mint. The combinations are endless and there are so many more ideas you can find online. Not only will infused water bring you energy, but it will also detoxify your system. In order to add an extra dose of energy, add chia seeds to your drink.  

Smoothies are one of my favorite alternatives. Although preparing and making a smoothie can become time consuming, especially if you’re in a rush, preparing fruits and vegetables in a bag and sticking them in the freezer until the time comes to use them is a great way to prepare your smoothie when time is slim. Another tip is to prepare your smoothie the night before and place it in the refrigerator overnight. This can become tedious when the days are long and you just want to get to bed, but it saves time in the morning and you’ll be rewarded with a delicious, healthy drink. You can also add chia seeds to your smoothie for that extra boost. My personal favorite morning smoothie recipe is a peanut butter and banana smoothie, there are so many great recipes out there to try.

The alternatives for coffee are endless. While to some, coffee is the reason the world functions everyday, to others it’s not. Don’t be confined by coffee and go out and live your best life from your newfound morning energy By.

 By: Katya Villegas

Why PR?

Two kids coloring on a table

Ever since I was a kid, I struggled in school. My whole life I grew up thinking I was stupid because I couldn’t keep up with the kids in my class. In elementary school, I always needed special help, and got taken out of fun classroom activities to review the material to make sure I understood. This made me extremely discouraged and resent school.

At a very young age, I couldn’t do math to save my life. This is still true. However, that’s when I knew I didn’t want anything to do with math in my future, except the necessary aspects of course. Writing was my strength, and I loved not having any rules or regulations.

English and writing finally gave me the confidence I needed in school and when it came down to picking a major, I of course picked one that involved minimal math. My dad was a journalist and I loved all of his work, so he was an inspiration to me.

I’ve always been a social butterfly, so the thought of applying writing with socialization got me excited. Public relations is all about staying relevant, so naturally, as a millennial, that came easy to me. I loved the thought of making a company or product relevant and helping people expand their business. This is a profession that both parties end up happy, for the most part. Tying in research and creativity is exciting. To me, the best part about public relations is watching your work come to life. It’s motivating and makes all the hard work worth it!

I have learned so much more than I could even imagine throughout my time at Chico State. The more I learn about public relations with hands on experience, the more I fall in love with it! I couldn’t be happier with choosing public relations as my major.

By: Madi Schneer

5 Things Being in a Long Distance Relationship Taught Me About Communication

me visiting Joe in Baltimore, Maryland

My boyfriend and I met when we were sixteen and have been, figuratively, inseparable ever since. But when college decisions came along our senior year of high school, we realized our educations would be taking us to opposite sides of the country. His to Baltimore, Maryland, to play lacrosse and study biology, and mine to Chico, California, to study public relations. We knew we had two options, throw away what we knew was too special to waste or make the distance work. We said our goodbyes and we have been in a long distance relationship ever since.

Being in a relationship with someone across the country comes with a learning curve, especially when you’ve never done long distance before. When will we talk? How often do we video chat? When will we see each other again? To answer these questions, we figured out very quickly that communication is key. Through dating him, I have been able to take valuable communication lessons and apply them to public relations. Here are five things I learned about communication through navigating love from 2,000 miles away.

  1.    Never let a problem get swept under the rug

If a problem emerges while completing work for a client, be open and transparent. Hiding even the smallest of issues can cause distrust and could even cause the issue to get worse. Communicate with your client so you can brainstorm a solution together.

  1.    Always reply to texts and emails within 24 hours

Don’t leave your client waiting on your reply. Check email and voicemail one to two times a day to make sure all messages and questions are answered.

  1.    If you’re busy, communicate that, but make sure they know they’re still a priority

It’s important to communicate to your client when you are busy or unable to talk. However, when doing this, always make sure that they know they are still a priority to you, and you will get back to them as soon as you can.

  1.    Be attentive

Make sure to check in on your client often to make sure they are feeling okay about the work you are creating for them and see if there is anything else you are able to do for them.

  1.    Meet as often as you can

Try to meet with your client as often as you are able, ideally once a week or biweekly. If it’s harder for them to meet that often, then consider Skype or Google Hangouts is a viable meeting option.

By:Arianna Silvestri

                                     

5 Tips on How to Be a Productive Team Member

Picture of a man making a presentation around a table.

Public relations is all about knowing how to work effectively on a team. Knowing how to communicate and collaborate with other people is a critical life skill that every great PR professional has mastered.

As a fourth-year marketing and public relations student at Chico State, I’ve had my fair share of group projects. Every business class I’m taking this semester is centered around executing a group presentation. I’m on four different teams for my various classes and I feel like I’m getting really valuable experience that I can use in the workforce after I graduate. After a few years of group work, I have a pretty good understanding of what characteristics make a great team member. I’ve come up with a few tips that I found are essential to being a team member that everybody enjoys working with.

1.Be flexible

When working on a team, especially in a class setting, it’s usually necessary to meet outside of class in order to prepare for a presentation or work on content. There will be times where you’ll need to work around your team members’ schedules in order to make things work.
2. Stay Positive

Staying positive in group settings is crucial, especially in situations that become challenging. Positive teams are more productive and positive team members inspire others to do their best.

3. Be reliable

If you say you’re going to do something, follow through with it. You want people to be able to count on you to do your work on time and to the best of your ability.

4. Communicate effectively

Communication is everything when it comes to teamwork. It’s so important to be transparent with your group members and the only way that you can execute and idea is through proper communication.

5. Be respectful

Nobody wants to work with somebody that shuts down ideas or is disrespectful. When working on a team, make sure that you’re self-aware and also be supportive to other team members.

 

In marketing and public relations, the work that is done is almost always produced and edited by a multitude of different people. Collaboration and communication are key when it comes to being successful in these two fields. Knowing how to work effectively and efficiently on a team is imperative for anybody wanting to work in the public relations world.

By: Adriana Sikiric

photo provided by Pexels

 

Managing time/stress as a college student

Picture of tgc laptop, planner and notebook.

I know this is easier said than done, but I have four key tips to managing time that will help you out! I am a busy person and these tips have helped me succeed. To give a bit of  background about myself, I take 18 units, work part time with the Oakland Raiders (so I commute to Oakland) , have a cat and I am apart of a sorority. My weeks usually consist of school 24/7 and then added activities from my sorority, internship, pet or work. That being said, I am very aware that life can be stressful and time management is key.

My four tips to reducing stress and managing time are:

  1. Weekly Planner
  2. To-do list DAILY
  3. Mental health days
  4. Food food food

I know stress doesn’t just disappear and it is inevitable as a student, but these steps can make life a little easier for you and help you with managing your time.

Using a weekly planner and a daily to-do list saved my life. If I didn’t write things down, I would be a disaster. I have two planners, one for TGC and one for school work and weekly events. If you write your things down, it keeps you accountable and organized.

Mental health days and food (my two favorite things to talk about ). I always give myself a mental health day. Mental health is so important for your body and sometimes when you’re in school you’re so busy you forget that. Take a few days for yourself or even a few hours. When I feel overwhelmed I will take some time to relax, get my nails done, hangout with my cat, or anything to reduce stress. And for food, it is important to eat healthy foods that help your brain and energy levels. Putting junk in your body might make you feel good that second, but ultimately it hurts you.

Your mental health is so key during this time period. You can’t be the best version of yourself if you aren’t feeling your best. Take the time to do these four steps and it can make your time management and mind.

By: Sage Piccolotti

Photo by Sage Piccolotti

Five Tips to a Better LinkedIn Profile Picture Using a DSLR Camera

Professional portrait of a student with an environmental background. Attribution: Portrait taken by Jasmine Garcia.

 

Making a good first impression is important, especially through a platform where your profile picture is the first thing recruiters look at.

Taking a great professional picture takes more than simply looking the part; it’s the photography techniques that improve your picture and can make you stand out amongst others. Learn how to upgrade your LinkedIn profile picture with these five simple tips:


By Jasmine Garcia