How to photograph for an interview

By Thalia Avila

Great news! You just finished an interview, but now you need to add a photo to complete the story. Snapping a great photograph of a subject can seem intimidating at first, but fear no more. I hope that after reading this blog, your confidence will boost and intimidation will no longer be a factor.

Before you begin the photo session, start out with an email. Remember, email etiquette is important and needs to have a professional tone, clear wording with direct questions. The next step will be to set a date for the interview. After finishing up the interview, make sure to spend five minutes at the end to set a time and location for the photo session. 

If the subject is being photographed outside, the element of time is your best friend! Make sure to schedule the session in the early morning or evening to get the best lighting possible. As the subject is being photographed, make sure to keep the conversation comfortable and flowing. Ask your subject about their hobbies and interests. If their kids are brought up in the conversation and they smile, keep them talking! Observe how your subject reacts when asked how they feel about coming home to their dog or cat later. Always be mindful of the subject of the story. Integrate humor if it is appropriate, and always create a welcoming environment for your subject. 

Be mindful of your subject’s time and schedule. Photo sessions should only last about 30 minutes. Within the 30 minute window, you will want to capture as many different angles and positions possible. Do not hesitate to ask your subject to move to another bench or place in order to get the best landscape in the background or lighting. To wrap things up, make sure to thank them for their time.

Always follow up immediately after your session.  Start to sort through the photos right away to immediately eliminate the bad ones. Narrow it down to 10 photos and then five.  Once you have five great photos, make sure to send them to your subject. Sometimes the subject will pick two or three photos they are stuck with and will let you decide from those. Lightly edit the photo of their choosing if they have any concerns, and then share the final product to confirm.

Lastly, remember photographs are an important part of the story. Getting a great photo of the subject can help the story speak louder. What is an interview without a great photograph?

Overview of key tactics:

  • Email etiquette with professional tone, clear wording, and direct questions
  • Set a date for the interview
  • Lighting is everything
  • Create a comfortable and fun environment
  • Be mindful of their time and schedule
  • Keep it to 30 minutes
  • Play around with different angles and positions
  • Pick 5-10 photos
  • Follow up after the session
  • Narrow it down to five photos
  • Share final product for confirmation

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.

Adobe Illustrator: My 5 Essential Adobe Illustrator Tools


By Miguel Villalobos

Adobe Illustrator is a popular software application that designers and artists use to create different variations of artwork. This program specializes in creating vector graphics and offers many different design tools that are great for creating things such as icons, logos and illustrations. The program can seem overwhelming for people who are just starting out, however, it does get easier over time. Throughout this piece, I will walk you through a few of my favorite tools in Illustrator that have helped me improve my workflow and skills. 

The Blend Tool

The first tool I want to talk about is the Blend Tool. This tool can be found by going to Object > Blend. This tool can help you create unique and interesting blends between multiple objects, and has different settings that allow you to customize your blends as you work. 

Below is an example of using Object > Blend > Make, while using the Smooth Color option. As you can see, it blends the shapes together and creates a gradient.

Here is an example of using the Blend Tool with letters, while changing the options from Smooth Color to Specified Steps. You can clarify how many steps you want between each shape. You can find this by going to Blend > Blend Options.

Smooth Tool

The next tool I want to talk about is the Smooth Tool. The Smooth Tool really lives up to its name. It helps you smooth out paths that may be a little more rough or wonky than you would prefer. It is great for helping sharpen up your attention to detail on different vector shapes. 

In this example, I created a shape with a few rough edges. By selecting the Smooth Tool, and just running it over the anchor points a few times, it will smoothen out the edges for you. 

Type on A Path Tool

The Type on a Path Tool is without a doubt one of my favorite tools in Illustrator. It allows for you to make text write along different paths that aren’t just horizontal or vertical. You can use it for any path that you create, whether it is by using just a plain shape or by creating a path with the Pen Tool.

Here is an example of how the Type on a Path Tool works. You can create a path using any form. For this example, I just used a circle. Using the Type on a Path Tool, you simply click on the path and it will turn your path into a guide for your text. From here, you can manipulate the text and the beginning/end of the path. 

Here is an example of the tool being used on a different path that was created using the Pen Tool. 

The Knife Tool

The next tool I want to focus on is the Knife Tool. The tool is extremely simple, yet extremely effective. It really does exactly what you would expect. It allows you to slice through paths, giving you more precision with your vector shape building. 

As you can see, you can take any vectorized shape, and simply slice through the shape and it will create a new path. You can move or remove the new sliced part of your vector to fast track your process. 

Paintbrush + Brush Library

The Paintbrush Tool is a tool that allows you to hand draw strokes onto your artboard. You can find the Paintbrush Tool on the side panel or by using its shortcut, B on the keyboard. The tool lets you give your projects more of a hands-on aesthetic to them. 

Along with the Paintbrush tool, there is a whole library of different brush strokes you can utilize. You can find the Brush Library by going to Window > Brush Libraries. The Brush Library holds strokes such as watercolor brushes, calligraphic brushes, and even different types of borders that you can expand and vectorize. 

Here is an example of the different types of brush strokes being applied. 

Wrapping up!

Illustrator can be fun and with a little time and effort, it can become easy to use. All the different tools and icons can be intimidating at first, but instead of being afraid, just jump in and play around with them. I mean, what is the worst that can happen?  When you finally learn how to use one, it can feel extremely gratifying. Add that feeling of gratification alongside gaining more overall skills as a designer, and it’s a win-win! Thank you for reading and I hope that you learned something new along the way!

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.

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.

Creating a Well-Rounded Linkedin Profile

By Mattie Orloff

With only a few months left in my final semester of college, the job hunt is on. The employment service Linkedin is an important professional networking resource as an unemployed student. It can be difficult to build your profile in a way that sets you apart from your peers. Through searching countless job offers and business profiles, I have become well versed in Linkedin profiles and offer some tips for creating yours:

Profile Image

Your profile image on your Linkedin profile acts as your first impression. It is important to have a current headshot that represents your professional personality . When taking a headshot here are a few tips:

  • Look approachable and friendly.
  • Look directly at the camera.
  • No selfies. No filters.
  • Dress business professional or what you would normally wear to the office. 
  • File types: PNG, JPG and GIF.

Background Image

Photo by Marc Mueller

The background image on your profile should be used to elevate your profile. There are many options for what to use as your background image. If you are a student, take an image somewhere on campus. If you are a professional, use an image that represents your company or industry, for example, a picture of yourself and your coworkers or the tools of your trade. Another option is to use a picture of an award or accomplishment. Linkedin’s standard file size for background images is 1,584 x 396 pixels. 

Headline

A headline is one of the first things someone will read when they view your profile. Don’t just use keywords, but add your own personal spin to set you apart from other profiles. Here are some tips for your headline:

  • Keep it under 115 characters.
  • If you are a student, include your major or graduation year.
  • Include the most recent and relevant position you’ve held. 
  • Rather than stating you’re unemployed, try expressing what you are looking for. 
    • Ex: Public Relations Student | Account Executive at Tehama Group Communications | Seeking paid internship opportunities

Summary

When crafting your summary, remember this is an overview of both your professional and personal life. Linkedin limits summaries to 2,000 characters. Here are some of the main components to include in your summary:

  • An eye-catching introduction
  • What drives you
  • Something personal that humanizes you
  • Give context to your career
  • Keywords
  • Lessons you’ve learned
  • Your accomplishments

Network

Networking is one of your most important assets while using Linkedin. 

  • Start by connecting with your peers and include a personalized note. You can find more connections in the “People you may know” section. Connect with people from your university, similar job positions, and friends of friends.
  • Filter your searches with your specific city and industry. 
  • Engage with your connections. Reconnect with people by linking your contacts with your Linkedin account. Build relationships by asking for help from your network and joining linkedin groups.

Skills

This section is a place for you to feature your strengths. It is important to post the more in-demand skills for your industry. If you have at least five skills listed on your LinkedIn profile you will may receive up to 17x more profile views!

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.

Building Coffee Connections: Corporate vs. Local Business

A white background with black words the say "Tender Loving

It’s hard to imagine getting through a busy weekday morning without a cup (or two) of freshly brewed coffee. Whether it’s made at home, a chain or your local cafe of choice, coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the U.S., generating $5.18 billion annually. While this industry is booming, it hasn’t always been so successful and good public relations and marketing have had a big hand in its popularity.

When I got a job as a barista at the coffee behemoth Starbucks four years ago to support myself through college, I never imagined the impact that coffee has had on both my personal and professional lives.

Tender Loving Coffee is now my client this semester. They are a small batch specialty coffee roasting company located and served locally in Chico. It has been a huge learning experience to be able to implement my own PR strategies into both of these companies.

Starbucks didn’t become a household name solely by serving up tasty coffee and friendly service. A whole lot of PR and marketing campaigns help them stay relevant. I’ve begun to pay much closer attention to the promotional materials we are sent, the company’s social media posts and how they handle crises. (Red cup situation anyone?)

I’ve seen how the corporation takes responsibility for its actions and addresses controversy when needed. They make sure to send messages out to the company’s employees or “partners” to address major changes or problems in the company.

Tender Loving Coffee is a more intimate experience, which makes the PR pretty fun. So far, there’s been a giveaway on the TLC social channels. Winners picked up their prizes at the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market, where the company sells their coffee in a mobile coffee cart. Being so connected to TLC customers and the Chico community as a whole is a very different experience in comparison to Starbucks.

With the rise of social media, many Starbucks stores have begun to create their own social media presence through Instagram. This helps to create connections with customers and give a more intimate look and feel to your local Starbucks.

I am the closest thing my store has to an in-house PR professional. After establishing the account, I’ve helped create content on the downtown Chico Starbucks Instagram. More recently, I have been documenting the store’s remodel, upcoming specials and developing a more recognizable aesthetic.

While the idea is to connect more with other Starbucks partners and the Chico community, there is a noticeable difference in posting for Tender Loving and Starbucks — even if they are both small accounts.

That’s a no brainer though, right? A small coffee company with less than 300 followers on Instagram versus posting for Starbucks, the multi-billion dollar coffee giant.

Posting on social media for a small, local coffee company is a more interactive experience. The customers are wholeheartedly supportive of TLC. They send direct messages to check on and communicate with Anna, the brains behind the roasting.

I think the idea behind having stores run their own Instagram is to make that connection with their customers like Tender Loving Coffee already has. Through maintaining their social media, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t for that warm, welcoming feeling Tender Loving gives off effortlessly.

Making connections with PR and coffee is about engagement, having empathy and being a part of a community. Implementing these has already made the downtown Starbucks Instagram and Tender Loving Coffee more successful and gives the companies their own personable identities.

Incorporating my passion for food into my future

A photo of an assortment of fruit and other food on a plate with a bottled drink to accompany it

With graduation six months away, my mind is being pulled in so many different directions of where I could see myself. On one end, I see myself living the glamorous city life in San Francisco. On the other end I see myself moving across the country to North Carolina living a humble life on the lake with extended family members.

Both these situations are completely different, but I want to be immersed in something I am passionate about while utilizing the skills I learned in Tehama Group Communications.

I have been surrounded by cooking and baking my whole life. My dad has always had a passion for cooking. After his career as a golf pro ended he decided to start a catering business, Fuget About It Catering, out of our tiny suburban home kitchen.

Since then it has developed into an incredible business that spread throughout our community by word of mouth. He now has a commercial kitchen and multiple catering jobs a day to prove his success. We started working for him right away as a way to make some quick cash but it soon turned into an amazing learning experience in the kitchen. Cooking is a means to express my creativity and come up with meals using ingredients I would have not thought would be good together.

So, how do I incorporate these passions into my future?

According to an article in Economy Watch, “the food industry comprises a complex network of activities pertaining to the supply, consumption, and catering of food products and services across the world.” This includes the marketing, distribution and advertising of products. That’s where I am most interested within the food industry.

Human’s basic needs will always include food and water therefore the food industry has nothing but room for growth and a profitable future. The food industry is a trillion dollar industry with is wide variety of networks.

O’Dwyer’s released a ranking of the top food and beverage public relations firms and amongst the top three are Edelman ($116,626,00),  Hunter PR ($16,500,000) and APCO Worldwide ($16,283,000). These are just three of a list of 48 agencies that work with the food and beverage industry. These growing numbers prove to me that I can work to incorporate my passion for food with my personal professional goals.

So, what’s next?

Network, network, network! That is the number one word I hear when I do site visits and it’s the way I plan to weasel my way into employers minds. I hope to stand out within these lucrative companies by incorporating my passion for food into my application process and researching their projects that involve food in some way.

Hopefully, in ten years when I am looking through old files I read this blog and have a smile on my face. The smile will be a result of incorporating my professional goals with my passions for cooking and baking.

By: Miranda Carpenello