3 Things I Learned From Tehama Group Communications

By Benjamin Goldberg

Stepping into an internship that I knew almost nothing about, I took it upon myself to become acclimated with the environment and learn the essentials of becoming a professional Account Executive. At first, it felt as if the stress never ended and the feeling of being uncomfortable in a new setting kept growing. As cliche as it sounds, I was able to slow time down, gather all of my thoughts and emotions, and put everything that I was taught to the test. 

Here are three things I learned from TGC:

Time Management

Heading into my second semester of junior year, soon after being awarded dean’s list for the year prior, I thought I understood everything that needed to be done in order to stay on task. TGC quickly made me realize that the tools under my belt needed some improvement. Weekly tasks including team and client agendas, slide decks, timesheets, reports, and team member evaluations are just the base of what needs to be completed. As an Account Executive, you take on the role of the middleman between your team and your client, which also means constant communication, delegation of tasks, and running professional meetings. To stay on top of all of this, TGC has taught me to prioritize tasks based on timeliness and importance to the client. Once I began to prioritize my assignments and tasks as such, the light at the end of the tunnel began to shine brighter. The work I was producing was more thorough and to the best of my ability, making for a more confident self and client. 

Etiquette

Being from sunny Southern California, I never dressed in anything but shorts and a t-shirt, unless for special occasions. Even in my first couple years of college, with GE classes and online school taking up most of my time during the pandemic, there wasn’t a need to dress up. TGC has helped me realize that dressing for success actually helps one feel more confident, present, and attentive. Not only does it allow me to feel this way, but it also allows for the quality and presentation of my work to be more effective and professional. 

Teamwork

Without my team(s), there is no telling where I would be at this point in the semester. As an Account Executive, the sense of feeling that everything you touch is your responsibility creeps up on you quite often. Stress and anxiety levels run high, resulting in a poor quality of work. It is important to remember that your team members are there to help you relieve that feeling. TGC has implemented the standard of “don’t be afraid to ask for help.” Getting help is nothing to be ashamed of, but something to be proud of. It shows that you care about what you do, that you want to get better at it, and in the end, be able to help someone else who was in your shoes at one point. 

As my time at TGC comes to an end, I take it upon myself to reflect on the experiences I had and the lessons I have learned. Not only will these lessons serve me throughout the rest of my college career at Chico State University, but  also travel with me throughout my career post-grad . Everyone has to start somewhere, and to be frank, TGC was the best place to start. 

How to Utilize Your Campus Resources

4 tips on how taking advantage of campus resources can accelerate your education

By Hannah Sarwar

Many college students overlook the importance of campus resources while they are available to them. Hundreds of helping hands that are tailored to benefiting students are right at their fingertips. Resources are there to help, and are designed specifically to make their lives easier. This blog will dive into four tips on how utilizing campus resources can accelerate an educational career as a college student. 

1. Exploring Academic Resources 

The possibilities are endless when it comes to the aid of academic resources on campus. From help ranging anywhere from skills workshops to writing centers, there is guaranteed to be a program that directly meets a student’s needs. More often than not, undergraduate school can feel overwhelming, especially with ongoing pressure of transitioning from online to in-person classes after the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking advantage of academic resources is something that can help ease the madness of getting a degree. For example, taking ten minutes out of your day to explore academic resources is a benefit that may surprise you in a good way! 

2. Take Advantage of Advising 

Many of us know the dreaded word “advising” from lugging our backpacks to our high school advisor while looking over future classes. Well guess what, college advising is not only different, but it is extremely helpful. Discussing future goals and pathways can be a large contributor to a student’s success. Whether it be academic, graduation, or even career advising, there is always someone on campus to help with personal needs. This can be extremely helpful for expected graduates to work on resumes and cover letters for future employers. Having a professional set of eyes on your resume is an advantage that will put a student ahead of their competition. 

3. Exploring Mental Health Services 

Self-care can often get overlooked by college students. Between the stress of passing classes, maintaining a social life, and allocating time for yourself, it can become intense. One way to combat this in order to find a balance between academics and personal life is to explore mental health resources that may be available on campus. Many schools acknowledge that students are stressed, and provide various resources that allow them to de-stress or even just talk about it. Some resources that are available on many campuses include free counseling, confidential support services, medical care services, de-stress centers and much more! With a tough transition back to campuses after the pandemic, many campuses are also offering virtual resources that students can access online. Self-care is an extremely important asset to take time for early on in life, especially when there are many resources that can help.

College can be overwhelming. Seeking help and taking advantage of the on campus resources that are available to students is a great way to combat stress and further prepare oneself for the real world.

– Hannah Sarwar

4. Attend Study Workshops

More often than not, various campuses will arrange study groups throughout the year for students in different majors to attend. This not only allows students to be exposed to various academic mindsets, but it allows them to connect with peers while getting adequate help in a subject they may be falling behind in. Study groups allow for student interaction while also helping improve academic performance. Looking into a calendar of upcoming study groups your school is hosting is a great way to kickstart a student’s performance in classes they may be feeling stressed in. 

College can be overwhelming. Seeking help and taking advantage of the on campus resources that are available to students is a great way to combat stress and further prepare oneself for the real world. For whatever reason, many students do not realize the impact that utilizing your resources can have on your academic career. By taking one step ahead and exploring what schools have to offer, one may be surprised with just how many resources they can find!

How to Tackle Unfamiliar Topics

By Victoria Hernández

In the world of Public Relations clients range from standard practices to niche fields such as government relations. Every business, organization, and public figure partake in PR one way or another. Take advantage of the flourishing field and find a career uniquely suited for your interests.

When working at an agency or job hunting, there may be clients in an uncommon industry. When you find yourself in a situation such as this, take a step back and assess the situation. The following features a guide of what to do when interacting with unfamiliar topics:

Gather what you know

Even if your prior knowledge is extremely limited, it is important to write down any and all information you do know about the topic. By doing this you’re able to get your brain thinking about the matter, while also creating basic points of reference for future information to latch onto.

Take advantage of Google

Although some resources may be unreliable, your primary search engine is a staple when attempting to acquire basic knowledge. Take a look at an online encyclopedia, articles, or industry news sites. By reading a bit about the topic, you are able to become familiar with industry terms and verbiage along with origin points. When obtaining base knowledge, Google can become your best friend.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

It is acceptable to admit that you don’t know something. Nobody knows everything about everything. It is important to put your ego aside and talk to someone knowledgeable about the topic. Asking an individual questions can create a better learning response for your brain. When actively engaging in a conversation with an individual you are more likely to absorb information and actually understand it. 

Fact-check before publishing

If you are unsure about a fact, make sure to obtain various sources conveying the same information. At times it can be confusing to know whether something is accurate when you do not know much about the topic to begin with.

All in all, it is important to show interest and motivation to learn. Don’t stress yourself out too much in attempting to learn everything about a specific industry. As you grow within your field, you will gain new experiences and knowledge as time passes.

You’re Graduating! Here are a few tips to kickstart your PR career

By Alexis Harvey

Congratulations! You’re graduating! You have the whole world ahead of you! But you are stressed! 

The months leading up to graduation are some of the most exciting times of your life, but they can seem daunting at the same time. After all of the excitement settles down, reality sets in, and you have some decision-making to do. Where do you go from here?

It can be difficult to choose what type of PR you want to pursue or where you want to go after graduation. Here are a few ways to make these next couple of months leading up to graduation smooth and headache-free: 

Finding your niche

The best thing about PR is that it is such a diverse industry. One of the most difficult decisions public relations students face is deciding what type of PR best suits their abilities. You should think about your personal interests and unique experiences to find your niche.

A niche is a combination of your professional skills, interests, and fields you want to work in. It can be a whole department of the industry or even a specialty, such as content creation in the realm of digital media. 

Begin by asking yourself a couple of questions: 

What are my greatest strengths? Weaknesses?

What do I love to do?

What do my peers say I am best at in the world of PR?

Some PR specialists thrive in content creation while others may excel in writing. It is important to immerse yourself in all departments of public relations during your time in college to better understand your strengths in the industry. 

Deciding what area of PR interests you the most

Along with finding your niche, it is also important to tap into your personal interests to figure out what area of PR you want to work in. As an intern or in an entry-level position it is important to take this time to expose yourself to all aspects of the industry to figure out what areas of focus you enjoy working on. 

You may consider entertainment PR if you have an interest in working in the world of television, fashion, music, or celebrity culture. Your role would be to represent and promote those within the entertainment world. 

Maybe you have an interest in healthcare but don’t want to become a healthcare provider. Healthcare PR would be a great match for you! Healthcare PR reps work with various health organizations, non-profits, pharmaceutical companies, and hospitals. They act as liaisons between these organizations and the mainstream media. 

Technology PR is also a great position for those who enjoy keeping up with the newest technological advancements and gadgets. 

There are an array of PR jobs in different industries so it is important to find the one that is best suited to you.

Remember to keep going and not feel discouraged

This is probably the best advice anyone can receive after graduating from college. Yes, change is quite difficult, especially when it comes to graduating, leaving the place you have called home for the last four years, and deciding what to do next.

After finding your niche and area of expertise it is time to start applying to different jobs in different cities. It can be overwhelming in the beginning but it is important to remember to not feel discouraged. We all know how anxiety-inducing it can be to begin the interview process but it is also such an exciting time. You want to take this time to truly understand what you want out of a career and just because one company turned you down, your dream job may be right around the corner.

As a PR professional you have so many different options, but that is also the beauty of public relations. Being so new to the industry it is the perfect time to try new things. Remember that no matter what path you choose to take, all experience is a valuable experience, so don’t be afraid to begin your journey in public relations. 

Daily Habits to Encourage Consistency as a College Student

Five simple daily habits to implement in college to establish a consistent and successful daily routine.

By Natalie Lewandowski

In college, it seems that every day is full of new opportunities, making it challenging to gauge what day-to-day life looks like. The lack of consistency makes maintaining a healthy school, work and social-life schedule extremely difficult. By establishing these five daily habits, your mind and body will find a consistent pace as you conquer your college career. 

1. Establish a Sleep Schedule

There are advantages to establishing a consistent sleep schedule and creating healthy sleep habits. According to Harvard University, “College students who prioritize sleep are likely to see improvement in their academic performance.” By being well rested, you will have the energy to complete your day, remain attentive during lectures and course work, and be less stressed. It is important to remember that most college students need 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

2. Make Time for Daily Movement

It can be easy to stay glued to a computer screen or notebook for hours at a time. Set yourself reminders to get up and get active throughout the day! A simple outdoor walk, guided yoga, or workout class can allow your mind to take a much needed break that will ultimately allow you to perform better! “Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and anxiety and help you sleep better,” noted the CDC.

3. Check-In with Yourself

Each morning take note of what you feel that YOU need that day. A simple mental check-in can diagnose a lot. Whether you feel that you need to make time to talk to a friend, have a self-care moment, or more time allotted in your day for studying. It is crucial to mentally, emotionally and physically check-in with yourself so that you are aware of how you are feeling and how to get help if necessary. Some questions you may ask yourself during this time are:

  • Do I feel overwhelmed with school? 
  • Am I feeling more stressed than usual?
  • What do I have to look forward to this weekend?
  • How have I been sleeping? 
  • What’s my energy level?
  • What has brought me joy recently? Who can I share this with?
  • Who can I lean on for support and encouragement?

By establishing your needs, “it can improve your mood, your energy, your relationships with others, and your productivity,” says Jordan Madison.

4. Clean Your Space

A lot can be accomplished in just 10 short minutes! Grab your phone and set a quick timer each day! This gives you the opportunity to focus on your personal space. Pick up laundry, wipe off your desk, rearrange your books, do whatever you need to free your mind and environment from the added stress of clutter. Having a clean environment can reduce anxiety, encourage organization and promote better time management skills. 

5. Plan Ahead
Before heading off to bed, reflect on what has been accomplished and prepare for the next day. Create a simple to-do list with tasks you need to complete, social engagements and course work along with its due date. By organizing your thoughts the night before, you will be mentally prepared for the next day and more strategic in your approach. Simply writing down a list encourages productivity and keeps a busy student organized.

Creativity in Five Stages

By Brooke Larsen

Every piece of art, whether it is a portrait drawing or a billboard, goes through a series of phases called the creative process. This structured process can be followed for any type of project that you work on. Every person has their own take on how they express their creativity, so the structure may vary and some steps may look different from individual to individual. The main steps in creating a finished project are preparation, incubation, illumination, evaluation, and verification (How to Improve Creativity).

1. Preparing

Preparing your work of art is defined as coming up with the ideas and researching the given subject (How to Improve Creativity). This can be simply drawing out  sketches, looking at Pinterest pictures, or putting together a mood board to get yourself going in the right direction. This stage of the creative process may take some trial and error, but that is normal. Maybe the first mood board you create does not fit the route your organization wants to take. You can go back to the drawing board and tweak your research. When Graphic Designers are coming up with ideas for a logo or a symbol in the preparation stage, hundreds of sketches are made. You may have fifty variations of the same concept to show to your client.

2. Incubation

The second stage of the creative process is incubation. Incubation is known as the breaks you take from your project and the creative process all together (How to Improve Creativity). This step is actually very important to take because artists tend to work better with a clear look on their work. When I am on hour three of creating a portrait for a client, my vision towards the given image seems to distort and I find myself hating the drawing. That is when incubation is the most important. After taking a break from the work, I am able to come back and see clearly what the piece needs and where I need to go with it.

3. Illumination

The next stage is illumination, also known as the “Eureka” stage (How to Improve Creativity). After taking a break from your work, coming back to it with a fresh mind allows the ideas to flow naturally. I see this stage coming into play when I start to make erase marks on charcoal drawings of animals. Before, the drawing is flat with simple shadows, but once the fur on the animal starts to pop, illumination begins. I find myself obsessed with the piece and I start to get into a rhythm of sorts. Creating the fine lines and textures of the portraits makes the image come to life and all of a sudden, I am in love with the drawing again.

4. Evaluation

The fourth step when creating a work of art is the evaluation stage. This is when your art is nearly finished or your idea is just about solidified (How to Improve Creativity). You take your piece or that idea and weigh it against others (How to Improve Creativity). You may show your work to peers and they can give you a different outlook on the project. When I am nearly done with a portrait, I like to show it to my friends and family and get feedback on what they see. I am then able to take their ideas to make my piece better than it was before.

“You have worked so hard preparing your ideas and getting feedback from your peers, and now you get to show it to the world.”

5. Verification

Last but not least, the verification stage. This is when your work comes to life. You have worked so hard preparing your ideas and getting feedback from your peers, and now you get to show it to the world. Your client is able to see the final product. This process may become tedious, but it all pays off when you receive that check.

The Application of Education After Graduation

By Gabby French

In the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, Prin Mayowa who had a job canceled on her due to the pandemic, instead of moping decided to be proactive in building her portfolio. Along this journey, she wrote and published a book to add to her success.

Prin, a 2016 graduate of Journalism and Public Relations at Chico State talks to us about her journey since leaving Tehama Group Communications. When the time finally came after graduation, Prin found her first job just by connections, she reached out to a fellow Tehama Group Communications alum from the previous semester and got a job working in an agency in Santa Monica.

She did not stay at the agency long but still had a great experience and got her first taste of working in the entertainment industry. The environment at the agency was great but there was not a wide range of diversity, which ended up being a huge part of Prin’s career. Entertainment and music was not what she had always envisioned for herself, she wanted to start in fashion when she was still in college.

She had interned at a small boutique firm called Reach the Masses, and from there, grew and realized that is not exactly where she wanted to land. In 2017 she worked as a publicist’s assistant for Jim Gaffigan and Judd Apatow. After working that job she said that she saw the very dark sides of the entertainment industry. 

After only working there for a short period of time, Prin decided to create her own PR firm. She partnered up with a past colleague from Reach the Masses who had a background in marketing, and together they formed Broken Clock Public Relations.

“School only gives you the tools, it is up to you to use them and adapt, what you learn in the classroom is just the foundation.”

– Prin Mayowa

It took them a little while to gain traction, but after reaching out to different establishments, they finally landed their first client! A winery in Burbank, it started out amazing but they ran into a very big problem. After working with this winery for about two months, they were fired and all their intellectual property was stolen by this winery.

They kept all reports and newsletters that Prin and her partner created for them and used them all after they were fired. Getting fired was a big hit for them and they had to pause and take a look at their company. They did a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis on themselves and decided to get back in the field after. 

From there, they landed one more client, Plunge, an ocean front restaurant in Long Beach, California. At this time, Prin’s partner decided that this was no longer a good fit for her and decided to leave the firm.

With her partner choosing to walk away, it now became Prin’s responsibility to work with their clients and focus on both PR and marketing. It was at this time in her career path where the music industry came into her view.

Prin was introduced to the industry while working with the winery in Burbank, when an artist who had performed at the location had reached out to her. The artist was impressed with the way Prin wrote, and was hoping that Prin would work with her for even a small rate. This was her first taste of the music industry. Prin decided that she wanted to just work with the artist Tamika, so she finished and closed out all her accounts.

“The way you exit any situation says more about your character,” Prin said.

Prin worked with Tamika for a while, and ended up becoming her head manager. Tamika was asked to audition on The Voice two times, and after some time Prin decided it was her time to move on to strictly PR or marketing jobs.

She found herself working for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which was a shock to her because she was not very familiar with that type of musical background. Prin worked closely in promotional efforts for them, including activism and social justice. This was important to her, so when the Los Angeles Philharmonic wanted to create a musical center in Inglewood, Prin spoke up and voiced her concerns with that. She thought that they first had to establish themselves in that community before just taking over a space. They created community outreach events so that people could get familiar with them before creating that space. 

You can now find Prin working with Hip Hop DX as a social media coordinator,  who is in line to be a social media manager. Her advice to upcoming graduates: 

“School only gives you the tools, it is up to you to use them and adapt, what you learn in the classroom is just the foundation,” Prin concludes.

How to Get the Most Out of Professional Relationships

By Emma Mitchell

Throughout life, we experience different types of relationships. Beginning at birth, we foster connections with our parents, siblings, and elementary school friends. The journey starts with sleepovers and playdates. Slowly, these interactions transition to trips to the mall, movies, and high school prom. All in all, our interactions with those around us play a huge role in our lives.

When beginning a job in a professional setting, sparking these connections can seem daunting and new. In reality, this is something we have been doing our entire lives, but here it feels different – and rightfully so. There are new trials and tribulations we experience in an office that we do not see in other parts of our lives.

Begin on a Positive Note

Begin with your best foot forward! Make sure to acknowledge those around you and enter the workplace with an open attitude. A first impression is often very lasting, and while you may be nervous, try your best to give your new coworkers your best self.

Improve Communication Skills

By now, you are probably an expert at texting and using social media. We live in a digital age, thus a majority of us have our phones at our fingertips 24/7. Using this to your advantage can be a strong way to improve relationships with those around you. Responding quickly when contacted by your coworkers is a great way to get ahead and establish your reliability. While it is also expected and understandable to set boundaries between work and personal life, responding swiftly when you have the opportunity can be helpful to those around you.

Foster Relationships Outside the Workplace

While it might be daunting to some to mix work and personal relationships, there is nothing wrong with spending time with your coworkers outside of the office – with boundaries. Going on a hike, getting coffee, or hosting a small event at your home with those you work with can strengthen relationships and help create more chemistry when working. In big groups or one on one, organizing some get-togethers on the weekend may help foster friendships in the workplace that otherwise would never flourish.

React Positively to Constructive Criticism

There may be some situations or tasks you do not handle to the best of your ability, which your coworkers may acknowledge. This is completely normal and all a part of producing the best work you can as a team. If a coworker offers some helpful pointers, advice or calls out a flaw in one of your projects, it is best to accept it gracefully. Overall, they are simply trying to help. Be open to constructive criticism. Always remember that many of your supervisors and co-workers started right where you are, and their goal is to help you flourish and grow in the roles you take on!

Be Empathetic

With remote work, sometimes it is hard to see those around you as real people, with lives and situations outside of the office. Try to put yourself in their shoes. If a report or piece of work comes in late or not to the best of their ability, a coworker may be going through something behind the scenes that you don’t know about. Try to think of yourself and be empathetic, especially if someone in the office reaches out to you with a personal situation.

How to use Social Media Networks for Personal Branding

By Mia Taxin

The pandemic has forever changed the way we view business, entrepreneurship, and the media. In a world that was virtual for so long, online communication was the only way to form an identity for many. Thousands of creators grew during the pandemic, sharing their workdays, life advice, business experience, and niche of expertise in their field. Now more than ever is the importance of being educated on social media, and how you can use these tools to push your business or personal brand to new heights. Knowing where to begin can be difficult. Learn how to get started by reading the following.

1.  Establishing your Brand

If you are passionate about growing your brand or creating a lasting identity for yourself through social media, finding your niche is key. Establishing your brand as an individual or company allows you to have a stronger social presence. Forbes explains this concept by saying, “Creating branded content helps connect your customers or future customers to your company’s message and the value of services or products offered.” Not only does it ground your social precedence, but also allows your online community to easily recognize you through what you share.

2. Networking

Networking is a key way of gathering a following for your social platforms. It can also be a new way to gain attention from different communities. The New York Times writes, “Smart, relevant, timely posts can help you raise your company’s profile, especially when you use hashtags in a professional manner,” it’s not only hashtags that can grow your individual or company’s platform. The article also advises the importance of, “Building lists of influencers by industry and topic (these lists can be public or private)… get ideas on how to reach out and connect to them.” 

3. Knowing Which Platforms to Use

With over two billion users and 65 million active businesses, it’s no surprise that Facebook takes the lead on popular social media platforms. However, in the year 2021, TikTok surpassed what many thought of as growth, “Going from 55 million global users in January 2018 to 689 million by July 2020, according to Reuters.” While these two apps are heavy in video and text, if you aim to grow your business or personal brand on the visual side, head to the app store to download Instagram. With far-reaching hashtags, blank canvases, and millions of online communities, there are endless possibilities of how to represent yourself on the app.

Why Self-Confidence is One of the Many Interpersonal Skills Needed in PR

woman peering upon own image to see reflection wearing cape

Photo by Shutterstock.com

By: Kaylie Lewis

Confidence in oneself is one of the many interpersonal skills needed to succeed in PR. In an industry predominantly comprised by women, it’s important to realize how to use your voice assuredly to get things accomplished, and be recognized as a leader. As a woman in this industry, I must realize that having a voice means I am contributing to the conversation by adding value and true perspective. Using my voice means thinking strategically about what, how and when to say something. Ultimately, I’ve learned that through self-confidence I can gain respect and authority.

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