A Day of Networking for PR Students at Connection Day

left to right: Christopher Scheben, Alexa Sibilio, Lauren Katz, Vania Andre (Professor Morosoff’s grad-assistant)

The Fair Media Council (FMC) is a not-for-profit media watch organization that encourages quality local news. Thirty years ago, a group of concerned business and community leaders created FMC to educate local consumers on how to decipher important news. Jaci Clement is the Executive Director of this organization and has a notable background in journalism and media, which is why she is such a strong advocate for quality local news coverage.

The Fair Media Council hosts various events to educate organizations on how to be a part of the news ecology. Connection Day is an event the FMC hosts where communicators and leaders are invited for a day of networking and education. The event features workshops and panel discussions regarding news media, social media, story-pitching, presentation skills, crisis management tips, ways to establish media relations, how to create video messages, and more. It is also a great way for local businesses to meet with local media professionals and/or pitch stories.

On October 27, 2011, myself along with two other students attended the Fair Media Council’s Connection day at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, NY, as research assistants for Hofstra’s very own, Professor Jeff Morosoff. As students of his, Professor Morosoff offered a unique opportunity to Lauren Katz, Christopher Scheben, and myself. We were asked to help him with his research project pertaining to how not-for-profit organizations do PR. We went to Connection Day to help Professor Morosoff hand out surveys to not-for-profit communicators in order to achieve his objective.

I met professional communicators from various different fields and organizations, including both for and not-for-profits. What I thought was going to be “just another thing to put on my resume,” turned out to be the experience of a lifetime, and one I will never forget. There were representatives from FOX5, CW, CBS, ABC, Newsday, and other local news stations along with colleges such as St. Josephs and of course Hofstra. This was my first experience networking and I was very intimidated at first, but gained comfort as I realized how approachable the professionals in the room were.

In between handing out surveys, Professor Morosoff encouraged us to sit in on some of the panel discussions and workshops. Chris and myself sat in on a very interested panel discussion called, Social Media for Small Business. I enjoyed listening and learning from the panel members, but my favorite part of the day was getting to network with the people that I will hopefully one day work with.

Taking advantage of Professor Morosoff’s opportunity was one of the best decisions. Not only did it lead to internships for other students, but also it increased my knowledge of public relations in general as well as adding some experience to my resume. Hofstra students do not always realize the vast amount of opportunities offered here at Hofstra. In my experiences over the past four years, I have come to learn that the teachers here are very able and willing to help us in either getting internships, jobs, or other experiences associated with our desired department of study. If I did not open my email and reply to Professor Morosoff’s unique opportunity, I would not have met Jaci Clement and other professional communicators, Lauren may not have snagged her internship from CW11, and most importantly- I would not have obtained networking experience. Hofstra professors can offer a lot more than grades, but experience and mentoring too.

The Fair Media’s platform to bring local communities and news outlets together is a great message for students studying PR because it is important that we stay up-to-date with current events. To learn more about the Fair Media Council and Jaci Clement’s goals for the future of our local media, you can check out http://fairmediacouncil.totalcomputersusa.com/. FMC is a patron of Hofstra and has even offered internships to Hofstra students in the past. Whether you are majoring in Journalism or PR, the Fair Media Council can teach you. I learned a lot from Connection Day and cannot wait for more networking/learning experiences like this in the future!

Alexa Sibilio
Hofstra Public Relations Student

Advertisements

STF Hofstra To Sponsor Education for Two Girls in Nepal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SHE’S THE FIRST*{Hofstra} TO SPONSOR EDUCATION FOR TWO GIRLS IN NEPAL

NEW YORK, Nov. 7, 2011 — She’s the First*{Hofstra}, the third national chapter of She’s the First, raised $644 dollars, enough money to sponsor the education of two girls in Nepal, after three days of selling tie-dye cupcakes on campus.

The Hofstra University chapter sold tie-dye cupcakes at the Hofstra Student Center atrium tables on Tuesday, Nov. 1. The chapter also sold cupcakes around different campus buildings and events on Wednesday, Nov. 2 and Thursday, Nov. 3.

“Originally we had planned to make $300, which would be enough to sponsor one girl,” stated Chelsea Tirrell, President of She’s the First*{Hofstra}. “After one day we had raised $300 so we decided to set the bar higher and try and raise $600, enough to sponsor two girls. A $50 donation on Friday, Nov. 4 put us over $600.”

She’s the First is a not-for-profit that sponsors girls’ education in the developing world, helping them be the first in their families to graduate. In order to send one girl to school, it costs approximately $300. For more information please visit www.shesthefirst.org.

For more information please feel free to contact Chelsea Tirrell, President of She’s the First*{Hofstra}, at ctirre1@pride.hofstra.edu.

###

She’s the First is a not-for-profit that sponsors girls’ education in the developing world. We encourage young people to creatively fundraise for girls’ sponsorships with their online and offline social networks. For sponsors, She’s the First provides community, leadership opportunities, and a sense of global citizenship. For underprivileged girls, the impact of a sponsorship is life-changing: Most will be the first in their families to graduate.

PRestige All-Star: Gabriella Miranda

Learn more about Gabriella, one of our committed members within PRestige Agency.

Where are you from?
Patchogue, NY (East end of Long Island)

Major?
I am a public relations major with a minor in American studies.

What made you interested in your major?

I first became interested in public relations when I started working at Good Samaritan Hospital in their public and external affairs department three years ago. I learned the many different aspects of PR in a healthcare setting. I then transferred to Hofstra because of their excellent communications program. I was eager to learn more about what a career in public relations had to offer.

What are you involved in on/off campus?
On campus I am involved with PRSSA and PRestige Agency.

What are you involved with within PRestige?
This past year I joined both Ashton (on campus) and Hilary’s (off campus) teams.  Right now for on-campus we are working with an amazing client, Courtney Hickey, senior Hofstra student who created her own retro-inspired apparel known as Chickey Designs.  For off-campus, we are continuing to work with The Safe Place, currently organizing a flash mob and a media night.

Please describe any past/current internships.
At the end of high school I applied for a summer internship at Good Samaritan Hospital. Luckily that internship turned into my current job, which is extremely rewarding. I currently help out a lot with the marketing, special events, and community relations of the hospital. I have begun applying for internships this summer, and I am so excited to get further experience in the PR industry!

Where do you see yourself after Hofstra?
After Hofstra, I would love to live and work in NYC doing any sort of PR work. I haven’t quite found my niche yet, so I’m keeping my options open!

What advice do you have for anyone else who wants to be an all-star?
The best advice I can give is to get involved with both PRSSA and PRestige Agency. Hofstra offers so many great opportunities within the school of communication so take advantage. If you want hands-on learning experience PRestige is the place to go. You will be able to apply what you have learned in your PR and JRNL classes to the exciting clients they work with. (Plus you will get to meet some great people!)

Enjoy the time you have at Hofstra, apply yourself and pursue your passions!

PRestige All-Star: Lauren Taylor

Lauren Taylor

Lauren hopes to make it big someday in the film industry. Find out more below!

Where are you from?

I’m originally from California, but I’ve lived most of my life in Austin, Texas.

Major?

I’m a Film Production major with a Mathematics minor.

What is your concentration within your major?

Within film production, I’m concentrating in being an editor (post production). My main responsibilities include piecing together film and working with  sound.

What are you involved in on/off campus?

On campus, I’m an e-board member of HFC, an Resident Assistant in Estabrook hall and I’m a teacher’s assistant for RTVF 27 a beginning level film course. Nothing off campus right now, but I used to volunteer at the Hempstead Boys and Girls Club.

Please describe your past/current internship.

I just finished up an internship at Red Car Productions, a post-house in the city that edited commercials for Gatorade, Lexus and Febreeze. For next semester, I’m applying to IFC, the Daily Show with John Stewert, and Focus Features.

Where do you see yourself after Hofstra?

After Hofstra, my goal is to get a job in the city, at a post house or editing feature films, and be able to live in New York.

What advice do you have for anyone else who wants to be an all-star?

Never accept no as an answer. If you don’t hear back from an internship you really want, don’t be afraid to call or email someone again. Persistence can lead to getting a job or internship you really want. As long as you stay polite, no one will think of it as rude.

Networking Tips and Etiquette

Hofstra’s chapter of PRSSA will be hosting its 4th annual Networking Dinner on

Thursday, Nov. 18 at 7:00 p.m.

Networking Dinner is an excellent opportunity for Hofstra students to connect to PR professionals on a more personal level. Professionals attending the dinner will include: Jessica Bellucci from Pix 11, Stephanie Golden from The Lippin Group, Erin Maestas from The Knot, Michelle Betrock from the Food Network, Jill Weiskopf from New York Magazine, and many more. All professionals will be invited to share a few words about what they do and will then be able to mingle with students.

For any PR student looking for an internship, or just more information about a particular branch of PR, this event is a must!

It is essential to not only be able to network but be able to walk into any situation and confidently begin a conversation with anyone in the room. As the saying goes, it’s not always what you know but who you know.

Andrew Weich, a PR and Social Media Coordinator, provides some good tips on the Comet Branding Blog http://cometbranding.com/blog/.

1. Hang up and Live.

First of all, put your phone away. “Hang up and Live.” My good friend Vince always preaches this to me when we are together in social settings. I know,  sounds hypocritical for me to tell people to put their phone away when I catch myself disobeying this rule. I often find that my phone can be a crutch at a networking event. Instead of forcing myself to talk with someone, I’ll just whip out the ol’ Droid from my pocket and check my email, Twitter and Facebook. Then I think to myself, “How can I expect to engage with other attendees if I’m glued to my phone the whole time?”

The phone doesn’t have be turned off or left in the car, but be conscious of how other guests perceive you. I’m less likely to walk up to someone and spark up a conversation if all they are doing is staring at their phone. Even in this TweetUp/MeetUp/Web2.0 world we live in, we still need to be aware of our surroundings and make the right impression.

Prepare your Elevator Pitch

Typically the first question someone asks you after finding out your name is “what do you do?” It’s a pretty basic question, but sometimes can cause a lot of people to trip up.  Before you enter a networking event, quickly practice your elevator speech to yourself. How do you want these potential professional contacts to see you? Make sure it’s not too long — just some quick facts about who you are and what you do, which will hopefully open up into more conversations.

The eyes are the windows to the soul

My high school theater director told me this quote in terms of engaging with the audience, but the same concept can be applied to a networking setting. Non-verbal communication cues are very important in a social atmosphere and I believe the eyes take the cake. We can say so much with our eyes alone, so maintain eye contact with the person you are talking to, smile, be engaged in the conversation and see where you can contribute.

Speak up!

This is one tip I usually have the hardest time with. Being a young professional in a networking setting, I often just try to blend in the background and listen, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but shouldn’t always be the case. When in a discussion, feel free to speak up. Show your smarts and contribute to the conversation. During my college career, I had a professor with an outstanding business record that would always say teaching had opened his eyes to so many possibilities. Although young professionals might not have all the experience, we still have some pretty cool ideas so don’t be afraid to share and contribute.

Melissa has read several articles about networking etiquette from various business professionals and websites. Each article she’s read more or less said the same thing. Here’s the consensus:

Pay attention to social cues

Although you may have intentions of discussing business, your prospective contact may have been looking forward to some down time. If you infringe on certain topics the other person is not interested in talking about, you are risking losing what may be a valuable contact to you in your future. Be sure to gauge what mood the person is in, or perhaps warm up with basic topics of interest so you may eventually ease the conversation into what you intended to talk to the person about.

Dress to impress

Networking isn’t always at a ready set time and place. You could find potential contacts at a bar, restaurant, or even in line for popcorn at the movie theaters. Therefore, make sure you are always in clothes that flatters you in a composed way. But don’t feel inhibited if you aren’t dressed your best when you run into a potential contact; your best outfit is a genuine smile and confidence. Basically, you want to make sure “your visual message matches your verbal message” as Aviva Shiff says in her article on Sideroad, a website that gives “Practical Advice Straight from the Experts”.

Set a goal

Why are you networking? Is it because you’d like to learn from people involved with certain industries? Is it because you think you’ve designed the next form of social media?  Be sure to mingle genuinely with everyone, but setting a goal such as “I’d like to walk out tonight with 5 business cards” will not only give you more drive, it will help you avoid sitting at the bar or table where you may not meet as many people compared to if you were up and about.

Master small talk

Easiest way to do this? Research, research, research!!! Read newspapers, books, listen to different kinds of music. Basically, you want to have a well-rounded basis of information. You never know what sort of interests people will have. Challenge yourself to be able to find common ground with everyone you meet.

Follow-through

Networking is all about building relationships. It goes beyond a conversation. Be sure to shoot a follow-up e-mail or call, either about meeting up at another event, congratulating he or she on a latest accomplishment, or even sending information on topics that you were discussing.


The bottom line is that networking is self-promoting and personal branding. Look and talk the way that you want to be seen and heard. Show interest while others are speaking and actually try to develop relationships.

Alissa Crist, Freshman, Public Relations Major

Melissa Louis-Jacques, Junior, Music Merchandising Major with Public Relations Minor

PRSSA and PRestige take a Road Trip to the NYSCA Conference

PRSSA and PRestige at NYSCA Conference

The 68th Annual New York State Communications Association Conference (NYSCA) kicked off on October 22, 2010, at the Honors Haven Resort and Spa in Ellenville, NY.  The weekend was filled with informative communication discussions and interactive panels. The conference concentrated on a broad range of current issues facing the communications field today.

Both Prestige Agency and Hofstra PRSSA members were in attendence to represent Hofstra University at the PRSSA Regional Chapters Round Up that took place on Saturday night. The hour-long discussion featured PRSSA members from Hofstra University, California University of Pennsylvania (CalU) and Slippery Rock University. The discussion allowed us to inspire one another as we exchanged ideas and strategies for fundraising, recruitment and social events. It was a great way to network with future PR professionals, exchange contact information and even take some great group pictures, all while building a sense of community with our regional peers.

I gained valuable knowledge about how other chapters are structured and we all had the opportunity to compare success stories. The summit was followed by a cocktail/social hour and keynote address.

The conference was definitely a success and the regional round-up was certainly worth the four-hour drive and bumper to bumper traffic on the George Washington Bridge! Prestige Agency’s very own Hilary Franklin and PRSSA’s Alexander Petrucelli are running a committee of Hofstra PRSSA members who are helping to organize the 2011 Annual NYSCA Conference. I have no doubt it will be just as informative and successful as this year’s conference.

Aqlesia Sahle VP of Development and Recruitment