How AP Style Changed My Writing

A person working on their laptop with the AP style book.

By: Natalie Matheny

Before being introduced to AP Style writing, I was unaware of all the mistakes I was making in my work. Taking a copy editing class and learning about editing marks and grammar rules has really changed the way I take my time to write a good quality piece. By learning the ways of the AP Style guide, I have gained more confidence in my professional writing.

Continue reading “How AP Style Changed My Writing”

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.

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

Personal Success in PR: The Importance of Self Concept

Hidden flower in France

In business, the way you perceive and present yourself correlates directly with how others perceive you. Self-concept relates to how an individual regards their identity.

Self-concept is developed by both internal and external factors. Personality and personal background play a huge role on building one’s self-concept.

Many individuals may have a positive view of themselves whereas others may have a more negative view. Building up confidence to reach a positive view of yourself is crucial for ultimate success in business and personal relationships.

How can you strengthen personal confidence?

Start with developing a positive opinion of yourself through frequent uplifting thoughts. Focus on positive self-talk and an understanding of the importance of being uniquely you.

  1. Verbal communication is key. Speak clearly and confidently.
  2. Nonverbal communication is as important as verbal communication. Make a habit of practicing positive body language tactics. Make eye contact with others, standup straight and keep your head up when walking in a crowd.
  3. Spread kindness to other people. Random acts of kindness towards strangers can have a direct correlation with how you view yourself.
  4. Analyze your social media presence. Post content related to your interests and stuff that you are passionate about sharing. Before publishing content, think about how it makes you feel and how it may make others feel.

Making a habit of these tactics can help you reach more opportunities in business. Your attitude and confidence levels will strengthen by empowering how you view yourself. With increased confidence will increase your networking opportunities.

In any personal and business endeavors always remember that there is no one exactly like you and that is your super power.

By Kailey Gaffikin

Photo by Kailey Gaffikin

My Journey to Public Relations

Picture of a teal typewriter on a wooden table with a cup of coffee, pens and stationary by it.

It was late June of 2003 when my life changed. I remember the day well. It was warm. The sun has just ascended to its zenith and my family was saying their goodbyes to old friends. Aside from the teary farewells, it felt like any other day. I certainly did not expect to part from the familiar vendors at local markets, the chaotic streets shared by motorcyclists and rickshaw drivers, the Mekong Delta that cuts through my little town, or my loved ones in Vietnam to travel across the Atlantic Ocean to an unknown world called America.

The first year in the states was rough. I didn’t know a single word, not even hello. I wanted to learn the foreign tongue to be able to tell the lunch lady I didn’t want the thawing peaches or gray grapes. I wanted to get a perfect score on spelling quizzes and reading assignments. I wanted to make good friends. I wanted to become a part of the new culture that I felt estranged to.

I remember spending every day forcing myself to read. I started with easy books like the “Junie B. Jones” series and Dr. Seuss. Eventually, I worked my way up to more difficult texts like “The Magic Treehouse” and “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” The drive that I developed from familiarizing myself with English led to my love of literature and rhetoric. I learned the value of language. It paved my way to majoring in journalism with an interest in public relations and minoring in creative writing.

I chose public relations because I loved to tell stories. An admiration for storytelling is crucial in the public relations and journalism field. Public relations practitioners must translate a client’s core message to a public, in other words, telling the client’s narrative. My background in learning a new language and the skill set I gathered from creative writing help me succeed in public relations and being an editor for Tehama Group Communications.

If you share this appreciation and deep-rooted interest for language and capturing a narrative, then give the field of public relations a consideration. Ever since I’ve been a part of the Tehama Group Communications team, my writing skills has improved and my love for language has grown to new heights.

By: Kim Nguyen

Image provided by Pexles

How Being a Student Athlete Makes Me a Quick Hitter in the PR World

Anna Baytosh hitting a volleyball over the net

The ball drops.

 

In a single moment, the curtain falls on my career as a collegiate athlete. As my teammates saunter onto the court to wish the opposing team a good game, a feeling of accomplishment and pride overwhelms me, despite my team’s loss in the conference championship.

 

In this moment, I suddenly realize that I have spent the last nine years of my life playing a sport that is essentially a glorified version of “don’t let the balloon touch the floor.”

 

Fear not!

 

I have avoided dwelling over this life-changing event by focusing my efforts on the exciting path ahead.

 

I proudly accepted a job as an account executive and editor for Tehama Group Communications. At first, I’m sure the staff was hesitant to let a Wildcat loose in the office, but I’m pretty confident that I’ve gained everyone’s trust by now.

 

So, in the burgeoning days of this new life direction, I have consolidated my learned experiences as a collegiate athlete into four main skills that have guided me as a public relations professional:

 

 

  • Time management

 

I invite anyone who claims it is impossible to balance a social life, sleep schedule and heavy course load to consider the extra stress of an athletic commitment. Picture juggling these essentials while also enduring a weekly 12 hours of practice, three hours of weightlifting, two hours of analyzing game film and extensive travel on the weekends. Knowing how to manage your time and prioritize your tasks is vital when tackling the fast-paced world of PR.

 

 

  • Communication

 

Whether it is telling a teammate to focus on the game or asking a writer to reword a sentence, effective communication is key. In order to communicate clearly and effectively, you must keep in mind the current situation, everyone involved and all potential outcomes. Understanding how patience, tone and empathy are required to be a good communicator helps me collaborate with clients and team members of various personality types and backgrounds.

 

 

  • Leadership

 

Take this gaggle of girls and help them transition into a dependable, organized and motivated team. Molding the future faces of any program is an unspoken task bestowed upon every senior in his or her final season. In order to be a good leader, you must vocalize group strengths and weaknesses in a direct and respectful way while simultaneously leading by example. This is crucial now that I lead my own team of writers and creatives toward multiple project goals.

 

 

  • Adaptability

 

It’s no secret that coaches appreciate adaptable players who are comfortable performing within a constantly changing landscape. If they tell you to run the darn play again, you do it with no hesitation. Quickly analyze the last play, figure out how to fix it, then execute immediately because another ball is coming your way now. Being adaptable in the world of PR is absolutely essential in an environment that moves furiously fast, where new problems arise by the minute. A happy client is synonymous to a happy coach, and both are integral to a successful and gratifying outcome.

By: Anna Baytosh

Photo provided by Chico State Sports Information Department

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

The Difference Between B2B vs. B2C Public Relations

Two people shaking hands over brown table, there is a woman taking notes and there are several other documents on the table. It seems like they are closing a deal and there is also a laptop on the table.

A public relations specialist is often referred to as a jack- of- all- trades because when it comes to PR there are a wide variety of skills you master in order to be successful. Just like there are many different skills you must have as a PR specialist, you must also be well versed in the different areas of the industry.

When you think of public relations, the first thing that comes to mind is B2C PR whether you realize it or not. Although B2C is more commonly thought of, B2B PR is just as important. There are many differences between the two ranging from their goals to their influencers, but these differences can be boiled down to who the audience is and how they are targeted.

Essentially all sectors in PR benefit from B2B and B2C PR whether its lifestyle, health, food or tech. So, what’s the difference?

Business to Business

  • Targets specific business audience
  • Emphasizes building trust & credibility within a brand
  • Focuses on selling products between two businesses
  • Sells the business

Business to Consumer

  • Targets general public
  • Promotes a product or service
  • Creates strong brand awareness
  • Sells a product

So why is B2B PR just as important as B2C, if not more? B2B is extremely relationship driven. It focuses on building your brand’s credibility and enhancing your company’s reputation with potential business partners and investors. B2B also aims to position your company uniquely and add value to your brand. Without it, it’s easy for your company to get lost in a sea of competitors.

B2C PR uses emotion to convince consumers they need a product. Consumers are driven by trends, price and desire. On the other hand, businesses are driven by profitability and decreasing costs. B2B PR focuses on providing substantial content and educating their audience to help them make an informed purchasing decision.

Regardless of their differences, their underlying need for PR is the same.

By Salma Hegab

Image provided by Pixabay.com