The minor in Asian American Studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines the cultures, histories, experiences, concerns and contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. It focuses on the American experience of persons from Asian countries of the Pacific Rim and the Pacific Islands while maintaining relationships with the Asian American community and broader society. TGC worked to increase minors while building the visibility of the program.
What we did:
Our team collaborated to be successful in bringing awareness to this minor. From creating social media pages to working with The Orion to earn a feature story, we drafted core messaging and collateral for AAST. We used Canva, InDesign, Photoshop, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Zoom to execute all our projects.
The AAST team grew the minor’s branding through logo creation, tabling materials, media relations and website copy.
Butte College’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Anti-Racism and Accessibility was in need of social media updates and new content to raise awareness of the impactful work they do. Our goal was to centralize around the main resources that are provided on Butte’s campus. The client’s goals were highlighted through social media posts and articles drafted for their U in Butte newsletter.
Projects Worked On
Building and enhancing their social media presence
Creating merchandise such as stickers and buttons
Developing a new logo
Writing six stories for their digital and print U in Butte newsletter
Creating a design for the new print newsletter
Updating web content
Our energy was centralized to enhance BC IDEAA’s visibility by promoting their goals of diversity, inclusion and equity. One of the ways we achieved this was to provide a solid social media presence. We began with a solid social media strategy that incorporated important events and historical holidays to educate our audiences. Social media management is key to staying in touch with target audiences. We created a content calendar that provided the exact graphics and captions for any given post date.
Creating a website strategy was equally important as it serves as the gateway to learn more about DEI for the Butte College community. The strategy included redesigning the logo and writing newsletter stories that educate readers about poignant topics including intersectionality and the significance of the multicultural centers on Butte’s campus.The newsletter stories fall into three categories designed to make students feel included on campus: raising awareness, encouraging acceptance and inviting action.
What is Krōōd? Krōōd is a luxurious product line that offers healthy, safe and free from parabens, sulfates and phthalates candles. Every product is thoughtfully created to provide a pleasurable, sensorial experience of guilt-free indulgence.
Our mission for this semester was to build visibility for Krōōd. Our top goal was to increase social media engagement and consistency. We were able to have multiple social media influencers receive our PR package that they posted on their instagram stories.
What We Did:
Our client wanted assistance with social media. We created strategies planning future content in a social media calendar and trained our client on how to use websites such as Canva and Mailchimp for graphics and email marketing. The Krōōd team worked to produce original content such as “filler posts,” Instagram reels and posts and TikToks. The Krōōd team also worked on influencer and small boutique outreach projects.
Krōōd had an established social media and digital presence, so the TGC team created strategies to increase audience engagement and expand the brand’s reach and resources. The team used materials such as photographs, videos and graphic design elements to post frequently to Instagram and Facebook. They also connected Krōōd’s online shop to Pinterest and launched a successful TikTok account.
Aside from social media, the campaigns for two new product launches consisted of email marketing, brand packing research and content creation. Team members reached out to influencers and boutiques for earned media and wholesale opportunities. Merchandise design was created to further connect Krōōd customers with the brand. Overall, TGC assisted the client with social media, marketing, content creation and campaign planning.
Social Media (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok)
There are many skills needed to be successful in public relations. You need to be creative, flexible, resourceful, and able to manage your time. But the most important skill required is the ability to build and maintain a working relationship with your clients.
In public relations, we rely on clients to help us understand their brand. Without our clients, we would have no work. Creating a strong professional relationship with your client will help make your work better. Here are ways you can cultivate this relationship:
Communication is key
Clear communication is a must when working with clients. Whether it’s via email, text, zoom, or face-to-face meetings, you want to let your client know that you are there for them and their company. Be professional in your communication and be readily available for any feedback, requests, or changes coming in.
As a PR professional, it is important to respond to your client within your office hours as well as outside of them if it is expected with your work. Complete projects and express goals with your client so they have a clear understanding of your timeline. Make sure to add extra time between deliverables so there is time for feedback and revisions.
Invite them into the process
Let your client be involved in the strategy and creative processes. Allow clients to express their visions as they have unique needs and inside knowledge of their product/image. Let them know that you are there to listen to their perspective of their product/image. This will then allow you to implement these brand goals in your work.
“We all want to go above and beyond for our clients but sometimes, we just do not have the time or resources to complete all of their visions.”
We all want to go above and beyond for our clients, but sometimes, we just do not have the time or resources to complete all of their visions. Set expectations with your client early on in your professional relationship so you don’t disappoint them and seem unprofessional when you promise something that you are not able to complete. Expectations can also give you a starting point on what content you can create first and what you can look at in the future.
Having fun may be a cheesy thing to say, but public relations can be a fun and exciting field! Although there may be stressful days, working for clients means creating new ways to promote brands. Be creative and let your client know that you are there and excited to help them show further their impact on their industry.
Check out the inspiration and resources for this blog, as well as get more information on maintaining and building client relationships with these links.
Feeling like you belong somewhere is an essential thing to look for when considering a position as an employee. One of the most important things a PR Professional should value and incorporate into their job is equity, diversity and inclusion. DEI is continuously thrown around these days, but what does it really mean?
For many, distinguishing between these three words can be difficult. Diversity refers to the ways in which people differ from one another in how they identify themselves, equity is the fair treatment and opportunities for all people while trying to eliminate barriers that prevent everyone from being able to participate and inclusion is creating an environment that is welcoming and supportive. I heard someone once define it and it stuck: diversity is where everyone is invited to your party, equity is allowing everyone to contribute to the party playlist and inclusion is everyone having the opportunity to experience or dance to the music. DEI is important in the PR field because we communicate with and represent people of all backgrounds.
Though you may not think you are biased, everyone has implicit biases. Implicit biases occur unintentionally but affect one’s behavior toward others.
DEI is not only valuable to incorporate in your work life, but in your daily life. Here are three ways to promote DEI in these spaces:
To begin implementing DEI you have to understand what each of these stand for.
Diversity is all the characteristics that compose one’s identity. This is often only thought of in reference to race, ethnicity and gender but diversity also includes age, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, ideas and values.
Equity is the fair treatment, access and opportunity for all while recognizing and eliminating the barriers one may experience.
Inclusion is creating an environment that’s welcoming, respectful and supportive for all people to feel like they can fully participate in the community.
Educating yourself on these terms is a great start but it’s important to also educate yourself on important topics and backgrounds. These topics include racial equity, micro-aggressions, intersectionality, and others.
Put DEI at the forefront.
PR Professionals should refer to the Diversity and Inclusion wheel which shows unconscious biases or blind spots PR Professionals could have. This allows you to think about all kinds of people and consider whether different groups are represented in your campaigns. Your goal should be to work with DEI already incorporated into your message strategy or planning, not working to have “add-in’s” for DEI. These “add-in’s” could refer to adding in forced workshops or trainings, but it should just be something we refer to and acknowledge in our daily lives.
Recognizing your implicit bias.
Though you may not think you are biased, everyone has implicit biases. Implicit biases occur unintentionally but affect one’s behavior toward others. This includes race and ethnicity bias, age bias, gender bias, sexual orientation bias and ability bias. Instead of feeling ashamed of this normal occurrence, use it to further educate yourself and others in an effort to reduce them. Recognizing one’s implicit biases can be done simply by taking the Implicit Bias Test. The Implicit Bias test is meant to show you biases that you never thought of or simply just thought you didn’t have. The results help indicate whether you may have an implicit preference for one group over the other in terms of biases one might hold against a group or stereotypes.
It goes further than that though, as Carmen Acton wrote in her article “Are You Aware of Your Biases?”, “The key is to slow down and investigate your beliefs and assumptions so that you can see the other person for who they truly are. As a leader, it’s easy to think that you don’t have time to pause. But taking a few minutes to question yourself can make all the difference to you and your team.”
Overall, it’s vital to keep an open mind when considering topics in DEI areas. Allow others to challenge you and your beliefs, encouraging your curiosity and education for the future.
Check out these resources used in this article for more information on DEI and more:
A jolting sound is sent through my system, causing my eyes to wire open at 7:00 a.m. – it’s time to start the school and work day. I sluggishly get out of my bed and start to get ready, dissociating and waiting for my system to wake up.
Looking at my reflection, my system is awake now and my mind seems to start to think about all the stressors in my life; my living situation, my health, what’s gonna happen if… I allow my anxiety to drive me up a wall.
I pick out my favorite sweater, one that will give me security and comfort as I throw together avocado toast with pepper and Sriracha. I rush out the door to make my 9:30 a.m. lecture and try to forget my stress. Just keep pushing.
I continuously ignore the tension in my body, hoping for the moment I can unlock the red front door to my home, my comfort place. I get to my safety box of a room and plop down onto my office chair. My body feels heavy and my head leans forward as my eyes become watery from feeling stuck, frustrated and tired in life and school.
I look up at my yellow post note on my clipboard that says, ‘remember impermanence.’
As a newer TGC member, there have been moments when I’ve felt worried and overwhelmed with the responsibility of working with real-world clients. I felt stuck with dealing with the heat, however, I tried to remind myself that feelings come and go.
I nurture myself to the idea that if I feel stuck, that’s okay, it’s new and I will get the hang of it.
Reminding yourself that you will feel differently soon is the theme of impermanence.
Impermanence in the workspace environment has been a key outlet for me to remind myself that things can be new and scary but they could eventually turn into something beautiful and beneficial.
The things that don’t change in life become secure, giving you that sense of familiarity and belonging. Yet that security body feels can bring the feeling of permanence; everlasting, however, that personally leads me into a deep, dark spiral.
On the flip side of permanent things, Buddhism interprets impermanence as events in the environment in our physical, internal and emotional skeletons that will continuously change, evolve and grow.
Buddhism ideologically, whether (Annica or Anitya,) defines impernance as being a theme of
Rather than continuously dwelling on what causes me discomfort in life, I feel the discomfort and hope that when I open my eyes for the next day, I might feel better and if I don’t, I will feel differently soon.
Within the past few months, I realized the not-so-positive effects of never being satisfied or letting your body feel emotions. I have a hard time telling my inner self that it’s okay to feel my worries.
To not dwell on what I don’t have or let myself get carried away with how bad things are since my feelings could change within a week or the next day.
Impermanence has worked its way into my emotional life, too. Rather than stuffing down my challenging feelings, I let myself feel that emotion, hoping it passes so I learn what to do next time. I feel stuck or want to feel differently.
Acknowledging my inner feelings will genuinely allow me to grow in my career endeavors and find peace of mind in young adulthood.
Whether in my workspace or school life, when I’m starting to feel my body get tense and scared of what if, I challenge myself to the idea that everything changes; reminding myself that my feelings will shed and I’ll have new skin.
I remember when I switched my studies from concrete industry management (CIM) to interior architecture my freshman year. Even the architecture advisor questioned why I wanted to switch programs considering how successful CIM is.
That was the reason why I chose CIM for my academic career at Chico State. At that point in my life, I was driven by the expectations others set for me, with hopes of leaping over the poverty line. It only took the introductory course to push myself to look into other avenues– if this was going to be my full-time career I needed something more;
I was on a line: “to be a concrete man, or to know that I can [succeed without sacrificing]”.
With a minor in theatre arts, I looked forward to pursuing a program that included media arts. I came across the Media, Art, Design and Technology department, researched the major advisors, and I got in touch with Jennifer Meadows.
I hoped that she would be able to tell that I was lost and this was where I belonged, but my path continued to change and after that meeting, I kept looking. I was honestly intimidated by something new.
I thought, “if I’m worried about learning new skills/software in this academic path, then why not look for something that already encompasses my own skills and knowledge?”
Then I found interior architecture, so I figured, I know how to draw, I love design, and this will also satisfy two important areas of my life: family expectations and financial goals. There was much to love about this major, and to this day, I look back and wonder what life would have been like.
Int. Architecture sketches by Marc
Fall was turning into winter. I was burning up and freezing at the same time; during this time my mental health was declining so during break, I flew to Mexico. Being outside of the country where I studied and worked felt incredibly liberating, I was surrounded by the beautiful Michoacán coast, the most blue skies and the greenest plants. This place is a sanctuary to me, it’s where I spent most of my childhood.
A month turned into one more night and then I was in the sky, flying back “home”. There was still a lot of healing to be done, I hadn’t spent time thinking about the things I was still dealing with, but at least had a new academic plan.
It’s Junior Year, the first semester is a breeze, I joined AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) and felt comfort knowing I was part of a design community. I forgot to mention that every time I went to academic advising for my major changes, I had to do all the “figuring it out” and show up with a plan. The absolute best advice I got was from a friend, Luciana, who encouraged me to pursue this graphic design path.
The second semester was unexpected. My confidence level in this new program was low, but I knew I was still learning. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough “graphic design” and was still figuring out how I could find passion in this form of art and design. During this semester there were many new professors in the department and talks about how some would say “ you should’ve learned X in Jane Doe’s class”. The unveiling of Chico State’s rebrand happened during the same time students in our program were being told they wouldn’t be able to graduate on time due to class shortages and the entirety of at least two classes emailed the department with concerns about a discourteous professor.
With all this going on, I wasn’t sure of my place here at Chico State. The more I fell in love with graphic design, and learned about how to use it to communicate, to express and to create art, the more I saw how unimportant I was to my university. I turned my cheek and saw the Academy of Arts in San Francisco. Immediately, I began planning; I reached out and began the application process.
I was on the phone with Chico State but they kept me on hold. The Academy was ringing but the minutes were too expensive. I felt like I needed better guidance, I needed professors that cared, a campus that recognized my passion. I was going to end up paying more out of pocket than I ever did at Chico and could tell that my ambition was too much for my family, for our bank accounts. It was only going to be an online program anyway.
A letter was sent to my address, from the Academy. I got in, it all came down to the story I wanted to tell:
Work with what I’m given and persevere? Or succumb to a for-profit school and find myself in a worse financial situation?
Clearly, I chose the former option. It’s like this mantra I heard some years back about how a good artist can work under any circumstance.
It’s about that time. The school year is wrapping up and college seniors are receiving their tickets to go find real-world jobs. Those tickets are also known as their college diplomas. As we begin to see the slow decline in COVID-19 cases and the increased distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is becoming time to bring employees back to the office or to their field, and get things back to normal again. Below I have listed some tips and tricks that will help you ace those intense job interviews, and give you the competitive edge to get that job you have always dreamed of.
Do Your Homework
While finding the right job title is important, finding the right company to have that title under is even more important. Researching the company that you are interviewing will not only get you to understand what you are walking into, but it will also set you apart from anyone else who might be wanting that job. Taking the time to gather information and figure out what ways specifically you can help them sets a wonderful impression on employers or hiring managers.
Interviews are a two-way street
During a job interview, you are trying to learn about the company just as much as they are trying to learn about you. Employers want to see that you are taking the interview seriously and that you are thinking about what the aspects of working there look like. This article on The Balance Careers offers some thoughtful questions that one might ask during an interview:
What are some of the challenges facing the company?
Where do you see the company in 5 to 10 years?
What does success mean to you and this company?
What have previous employees in this position gone on to do?
I believe I’m a great fit for this company. Is there anything else I can do to dispel any doubts?
These are just a few of the questions that can set you apart from other candidates.
Practice for the cliche questions
At almost any interview that you go to, employers will ask you some of the basic interview questions that help just about anybody get a basic understanding of yourself. These questions include (but are not limited to) asking about your strengths/weaknesses, describing your work style or work ethic, if you work well with others, what sets you apart from the competition, or even the famous “tell me a little about yourself.” Preparing yourself to respond to these questions with talking points that you might have is a good way to boost your confidence before and even during the interview. The key is to not sound rehearsed but to sound confident.
The end of an interview is just as important as during the interview
Following up after the interview is very important to leave things on a good note. When the interview is over, asking your interviewer or hiring manager about the next steps or what to expect will allow you to be prepared for anything you might have to do on your end, such as setting up for a future interview. Another good thing to do is to send follow-up emails to those who interviewed you thanking them for their time while reviewing specific points from the interview. This sets a good work ethic example and shows that you were taking it seriously. Asking for business cards at the end is a good way to get that contact information.
As the world and everyone in it begins to adjust to this “new normal,” brands need to remember exactly who their audience is, and how they can stay true to not only themselves as a company, but to their loyal customers. A brand that they have without a doubt worked tirelessly on to build from the beginning.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, audiences alike have seen brands stray from their key messages, oftentimes to stay up on current issues, and continue to be relevant. An example of this would be a clothing brand posting an article or a blog post about new technological advances concerning the pandemic. Not only does this brand have no business discussing this topic, but their audience also is not there to hear their opinion on technology; they’re there to hear about the latest fashions.
“When people are presented with a reduced choice of service, previous experience comes into play and we tend to stay loyal to brands that gave us value in the past,” Alun Davies said.
During these unprecedented times, it is understandable that some companies may be struggling with how they can help or get involved. Here are some tips as to how your brand can use the right voice and messaging to keep their audiences engaged and safe through the pandemic.
1. Create a relationship with your consumers
I bet we can all relate to coming in contact with a robot when your intention was to talk to a live human being, and this hasn’t changed during COVID 19. Consumers want to feel like they can have a relationship with customer service, a human voice, that they relate to and be friendly with.
By doing this, this cuts out the anxiety a customer might be feeling regarding the pandemic. More often than not, your consumers will notice that your brand values their business more than another company who simply dealt with them at their convenience.
2. Stay true to yourself and your brand
It’s no shock that this pandemic has lasted much longer than anyone had originally anticipated, and therefore, brands will need to stick to what they know, because it’s worked so far!
Obviously moving marketing and everything else online was stressful, however, you shouldn’t have to change what your brand represents or who it is tailored towards just to stay relevant. You want your customers to really feel like they know what your brand is about, and that through thick and thin, you will be the one thing in their life that stays consistent.
A perfect example of straying from your core message and confusing your audience is the commercial for Progressive Insurance that was released during the beginning of the pandemic. The ad featured all the well-known Progressive characters, but the brand had strayed from their core message. If you were unaware who Flo and Jamie were, you would have no idea that they were trying to sell you car insurance. This is a perfect example because Progressive simply wanted to catch the trend before everyone else.
My advice is, don’t change who you are just because of this “new normal.” Eventually, this time we have spent cooped up in our homes will have ended, and at the end of the day, do you want to change your marketing strategy AGAIN to fit back into the normal (post-COVID) world?
3. Learn together with your customers
Finally, and most importantly, come together with your audience to hear what they have to say. You could think a campaign you put together was the best you’ve ever made, when some of your consumers could feel as if you missed the mark. I believe that in this predominantly digital age it is normal to get feedback, and adjust your strategy like that. You can let your audience have a say while still upholding your beliefs and values.
What we did: The Center for Entrepreneurship was recently taken over by Dr. Colleen Robb. Essentially, the full scope of work for the center fell into her hands alone. In that regard, Dr. Robb’s needs were extremely open ended. These needs included, event planning, brand analysis, outreach and web content. The center’s social media needed to find it’s core voice so we created core messaging and tone guides in an effort to aid future social efforts by the center.
Our main goal this semester was to provide a comprehensive brand guide, content to use in a fundraising campaign, content for their online presence and a calendar to effectively roll out the content created. These efforts were all focused on one sole purpose, helping the center find it’s unique voice, while effectively campaigning for funding through Giving Day. Though Giving Day was delayed due to an extremely unexpected fire which numbed the community, we were able to provide the center with all the assets they would need to execute the event at a later date. Working through an iterative process, our team kept direct communication with the client at all times. This ensured cooperative communication and accurate project completion. We learned a great deal, helped more and walked away proud of the work completed.
Brand Manual – Kimberly Volkov (Art Director 2019)
Photography – Jasmine Garcia (Creative 2018)
Facebook Post Example – Dr. Robb via Team Recommendations