Attending “So You Want to be a PR Pro?” was very exciting for me as a California State University at Fullerton student. Having had such an incredible experience at our previous activities, my expectations were high.
Sink or Swim -– Pitching Like a Pro
The first segment, “Sink or Swim” offered several incredible options, making it hard for many of us to decide which session to attend. I attended “Pitching Like a Pro” from Dennis Foley, the reader engagement editor at The Orange County Register. Foley explained what journalists are looking for, how to present our pitches to them and how to thank them without challenging their ethical obligations.
He pointed out that public relations professionals should always keep in mind that journalists are writing for the purpose of reporting facts in their stories. He explained different tactics to gain media coverage, such as pitching two to three angles of a story, keeping journalists up-to-date on developments, and being knowledgeable about publications and what type of stories they cover.
California Roll – A Speed Networking Session with SoCal PR Pros
After a lunch break, session two: “California Roll – A Speed Networking Session with SoCal PR Pros” took place. I was lucky enough to meet Ashton Maxfield of Sole Technology, Adam Aisner of the PRSSA National Committee, Cindy Ronzoni of Social Spread and Lisa Kanazawa of the Disneyland Resort. Maxfield discussed the importance of a solid public relations plan, innovative thinking and the willingness to try new things in the workplace. Aisner talked to my group about the functions of PRSSA and how to get more involved. Ronzoni, previously a public relations specialist at NBC, talked to us about the importance of diversifying our resumes, gaining experience and maintaining our online presence. Kanazawa talked to us about internal communications, which was very interesting as not many of us had considered a career in that field.
Rising to New Peaks – Hank Blank
Hank Blank spoke to us on personal branding in the digital age. Blank was incredibly energetic and full of great points. He was kind enough to give a few lucky attendees his DVD and imparted great amounts of wisdom regarding networking. One point Blank made that really stood out is how important face-to-face interaction is. It is essential to have online presence, know people by name and face, and make a connection.
Overall the Regional Activity was great! I walked away with nearly a dozen pages of notes, including ideas of my own and names of companies that I am interested in pursuing internship opportunities.
Lynae Cook is a student at California State University at Fullerton.
Did you attend CSUF’s event? What information interested you? What new information did you learn that benefits you as a pre-professional public relations student?