Join the 2015-2016 Executive Board

Interested in joining the CSUN PRSSA executive board? We’re looking forward to receiving your candidacy form. Below are links to the executive board job descriptions and candidacy forms. Please review carefully and email the completed form to Candidacy forms are due April 10 by 5 p.m. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

2015 Executive Board Candidacy Form

CSUN PRSSA Executive Board Job Descriptions

Election day will be held on Tuesday, April 14 at 7 p.m. in the Flintridge Room. Each candidate will have three minutes to discuss their platform for the position they are running for. Following the speech, there will be a five minute Q&A session open to official Chapter members and the current officer holding the position. All questions must be directed in such a way that all candidates can answer.

The official candidacy form and short essay will be available for official Chapter members to review before the voting session begins. There is absolutely no campaigning before or during the election process.

We’re excited to select the new team of student leaders with you.

CSUN PRSSA Fundraiser

Bring this flyer with you to Pizza Rev Tuesday, March 24 to help us raise some dough.




Meeting recap: a PR reality check

By Georgia Levy

CSUN PRSSA made a mark in fashion history this past Tuesday. Four fierce fashion and event planning PR professionals came in for one evening to be the centerpiece of a panel discussion in front of club members and other students. Jane Owen and Alegra Kastens of Jane Owen PR and Kelley Weaver and Lexie Olson of Melrose PR came to give students advice on how to get in/stay in a PR work environment as well as giving students a “reality check” on what it’s like working in a boutique PR firm.

“Fashion is a glamorous thing,” said Lexie Olson, account director of Melrose PR firm in Santa Monica.

Sharing a little bit of her story, she told us how she had to take some big risks at the beginning to finally get the attention of her top prospects in public relations. This is one thing all four had in common, their passion for their careers. They made it very clear that if you didn’t have a drive for what you were doing, then you wouldn’t survive in this industry.

“This is a hard job. If you don’t want to work hard, don’t do PR,” said Jane Owen, owner of Jane Owen PR, a boutique PR firm in West Hollywood. This statement may intimidate most but take this, chew it up and swallow it. Our generation must realize all of the best results come from hard work.

“I get great joy out of bringing our client’s exposure,” said Kelley Weaver, owner of Melrose PR. “I think that’s what keeps me doing it.”

The four of them spoke highly about the perks of working in an industry that allows them to work on a creative level with many influential people.

“That moment of intimacy that you get to share with people who are so massive around the world,” said Jane Owen, referring to the glamorous side of her job.

At this point of the meeting I was about to fall off of my seat in excitement.

“When you see something start to finish, it’s really cool,” said Alegra Kastens of Jane Owen PR. Alegra started as Jane’s intern and was recently promoted to her executive assistant. Jane Owen gave tips on how to stand out: not to be weak, to learn from the mistakes you make, never complain and to keep a smile on your face.

Whoa, stupendous advice. So, let’s all remember to be “fearless” as we pursue our current and future goals. These four women are proof that with quite a bit of perseverance and focus you can accomplish just about anything you put your mind to. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who left CSUN PRSSA’s Fashion Night Out discussion eager and enthusiastic about my next move in life.

Topping the Charts 2015 Regional Conference Recap

By Shannon Crosby, director of finance


Photo Courtesy of Shannon Crosby

On Saturday Feb. 21 I attended the PRSSA “Topping the Charts” 2015 Western Regional Conference at Biola University in La Mirada, Ca. About 50 PRSSA members came from all over including University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Arizona State University, San Diego State University, California Poly, San Luis Obispo, CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU Sacramento, CSU Fullerton and CSU Northridge to attend the conference.

The conference’s Saturday session started out with a wonderful opening speaker, Hongmei Shen Ph.D., APR. Dr. Shen is a professor at San Diego State University and has published 16-refereed journal articles, four book chapters, 25 conference papers and been on seven conference panels. She has a professional background in media relations, marketing and journalism in both China and the United States. Dr. Shen did a presentation called “The Ying and Yang of Work and Life.” Dr. Shen discussed work-life conflict and how to manage your time, strain and behavior. Dr. Shen also discussed the inequality of pay concerning male and females in the public relations industry. She stated that men make approximately $8,000 more than women in the public relations industry. If you would like to know more about Dr. Shen I recommend following her on twitter @profshen.

After the first presentation we started 20-minute workshops, which were called breakouts. The first breakout was called “Seal the Deal with an Effective Interview,” with Angela Burrell, APR. Burrell is the public relations manager for Universal Services, the fifth largest security solutions and janitorial services company in the United States. Burrell gave excellent tips on acing an interview such as doing your research on the company, exuding confidence, using a strong voice and tone, making eye contact, listen carefully to each question and prep yourself. The second break out was called “Winning Resumes and Interviews” with Mark Strom. Strom is the lead management consulter in the United States for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Storm discussed the importance of cover letters and the proper format for writing them. He also stated his top resume killers, which include typos, lazy and juvenile writing, sloppy or “cute” formatting, hyperboles, jargon in the wrong place and disconnecting your life’s “e-trail.” He also stated that his pet peeve is millennials using casual language during interviews and he feels that it is more professional to use proper language. After the breakouts there was a career fair that included Burson-Marsteller and Porter Novelli. There was also an opportunity to get professional headshots done.

After the career fair everyone got together for lunch and a really fun speaker panel “Setting Yourself Apart” Topping the Charts in Your First Five Years. The speakers included Jessica Airey, an assistant account executive at Edelman, Jade A. Stevens, a special products manager at the California Wellness Foundation and Community Health Center, Daniel E. Jackson, a programing coordinator at E! Entertainment and Ruben Ochoa, digital strategist at Burson-Marsteller. The speakers gave excellent advice for new professions such as remaining teachable and visible, working with senior leadership, ask a lot of questions, ask for feedback and take ownership of your mistakes. They also recommended getting to know reporters, publications and their beats.

Following the speaker panel we dispersed for the second round of breakouts. I attended “Nonprofit PR” with Emilie Perkins, the communications director for Girl Scouts of Orange County. I also attended “Think Like a Journalist” with Rachanee Srisavasdi, the senior media manager at Golin. Srisavasdi gave a wonderful presentation on how to pitch effectively to journalists.

After the second round of breakouts, everyone got together for a cute happy hour, which gave attendees a chance to network and discuss what we learned at the conference. An elegant dinner and a final inspirational presentation with Jenny Wedge followed the happy hour.

I enjoyed this conference and met so many new friends and connections. I am excited to keep in touch with all the amazing people that I met and recommend that everyone check out at least one conference while they are members of PRSSA.

How to Be More: Burson-Marsteller Agency Tour

By Ligia Castro, Chapter Historian

Being a member of CSUN PRSSA, there are always a number of opportunities to get involved throughout the Southern California region. One of the first events the Chapter was able to participate in was the Burson-Marsteller agency tour. Being a global public relations and communications firm, it was exciting being able to get a closer glance at a stabilized firm that holds such strong importance on their purpose of “Being More.”

Though a great opportunity to network with members of the staff and students visiting from other schools, the agency offered much more than just business cards in their presentation. Sometimes it seems like everyone is just looking to see what will give them that “edge” on their resume, or what is okay and not okay to do during interviews. While the agency tour did give us a few pointers on those matters, one of the most prominent suggestions I took away from the tour is that it is all about balance.

Photo from

Photo from

Burson-Marsteller makes it clear that good ethics along with the idea of “Being More” is what ultimately has led to their success. You have to work hard in order to be able to play hard.

During their presentation there were six key points that help with the success of your mission:


1. Stand out

2. Tell your story

3. Be visual

4. Be entrepreneurial

5. Be social

6. Understand the business

These six points become interchangeable when thinking about your personal brand and a client’s brand. We are all still students, so we may not have any other clients, but being able to brand ourselves is something we are always trying to work on. Whether applying for an internship or a new job, those six steps help us with our road to success.

We do not have to lose our personality in order to find success. The combination of our personality and professionalism is what helps us stand out and be more. The combination between yourself and your client is what leads to a long-lasting and flourishing relationship. The work does not come easy, but Burson-Marsteller is proof that the work is beyond worth it.

Leave Your Legacy – CSUN PRSSA

By Shaili Ahl, Chapter President

With the dawn of a new semester in motion, there is no better time to gear yourself up for the start of great things. Summer time is only a few short months away, which for some of us means it’s time to prepare for applying to internships and entry-level positions. While at first this reality might seem scary, there is so much to be excited for and get involved with as a member of CSUN PRSSA.

Chapter Meetings

This semester’s Chapter meetings will be held every other week on Tuesday nights at 7:00 p.m. Be more than just a member of the audience during our guest speaker sessions and workshops. Our guest speakers are invited to not only share their insights of the industry, but most importantly to be resources to our members. Every connection you make is a door you are opening to your bright future. Aside from our guest speakers and interactive workshops planned for this semester, our Chapter’s executive board is here to help you with any questions you may have about your professional development: whether you have already immersed yourself into the industry or just trying to get started.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Events and Volunteering

Beyond attending meetings and networking with our students and professionals, being a member of CSUN PRSSA gives you ample opportunities to participate with our parent Chapter, PRSA-LA. The events organized by PRSA-LA give you insight to the different industries within public relations and what route each specialty can take you. An added bonus is, you get to meet several other Chapters within the Southern California region (getting the hint that networking is super important). Being in the nexus of public relations and communications, CSUN PRSSA receives a number of volunteering and internship opportunities in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Finding Your Passion

While networking, events, volunteering and internships will give you the edge and sense of purpose you need to start, the most important thing CSUN PRSSA can do for you is help you find your passion. Purpose and passion are very different, and without passion it is often times difficult to have a grip on your purpose. Whatever your passion may be, we’re here to help you take it somewhere. It is only fitting that finding your passion will be the subject of our first Chapter meeting on Tues., Feb. 10 with former CSUN instructor and continuous CSUN PRSSA champion, Lori Baker-Schena. We’re looking forward to seeing you then!

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) Career & Professional Development Workshop

Axis Agency cpdw flyer LA-2

The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) and Burson-Marstellar HBSI Program and Recruitment Event

HBSI LA recruitment event-2

Apply for Executive Board

PRSSA Executive Board Job Descriptions Spring 2015

2015 Executive Board Candidacy Form

Travel and Tourism PR – the 21st Century World in a Nutshell

The world is shrinking and changing at a dizzying pace, and both public relations and editorial communicators in the arena of travel and tourism reflect the profound, global changes which have taken place in the last several years. From new technologies and the current digital landscape, to highly charged geo-political regions around the world, today’s PR and media pros alike must stay on the cusp of this changing landscape, and create content both compelling and relevant to their audiences around the world.

Join PRSA-LA on Oct. 22 for this thought-provoking and wide-ranging moderated panel discussion with industry-leading experts representing highly diverse areas of practice within the travel and tourism industry offering unique insights which will be valuable for PR pros in any field. Click here for more information.


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