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

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Hofstra PRSSA Introduces Students to Government PR

At Hofstra PRSSA’s common hour meeting, members had the opportunity to hear from David Chauvin, Director of Public Relations at Zimmerman Edelson, Inc.  David, a graduate of Hofstra himself, specializes in government PR and shared a wealth of knowledge and some great anecdotes with the students.

For several attendees, this was the first they had ever heard about the government sector of public relations, and although many may never have a hand in creating a political campaign (or even, unfortunately, set foot in a polling place) David’s advice was relevant and interesting for anyone looking to pursue a career in the public relations industry.

Tip #1: It is still essential to read print

This does not mean you should immediately delete your Twitter and deactivate your Facebook account (more on that in Tip #2).  On the other hand, you must balance your consumption of digital and traditional media.  David urged students to pick up a newspaper whenever they could get their hands on one.  He explained that print publications set the agenda for the day, so it is crucial that you read, understand, and have an opinion on what these outlets are reporting on.

Tip #2: You are expected to know social media

Thirty years ago, knowing how to type may have been a precious skill but today it is an ordinary prerequisite for most jobs.  Similarly, being a Gen-Yer who is proficient in all things social media is no longer impressive but rather, expected by job recruiters.  David informed us that employers expect students to be active on these platforms and to understand how they work.

Tip #3: Keep showing up, keeping asking for responsibility

This tip is especially pertinent for those of you who are currently interning, or who plan on interning ever (so all of you).  I am a firm believer that when it comes to an internship experience: you get out what you put in.  In David’s example, he was a volunteer who was not initially given much responsibility.  Once he began showing up on a regular basis, and continued to do so, he was given much more challenging and rewarding tasks.  As an intern, always ask for additional projects, and be specific.  If you want more experience writing press releases, just ask!  Your superiors will notice your eagerness and you will receive greater responsibility and a much more worthwhile learning experience.

Tip #4: The public wants information to find them

This piece of advice is applicable for students pursuing a career in any sector of the industry.  It is important to know your audience, and to reach them in places that they frequent.  They no longer want to have to search for information; they want it to find them.  This is where social media can play a huge role.  Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking and micro blogging sites allow companies to reach consumers and talk with them, rather than at them.  Don’t just spew out information and promote your brand (or yourself), join the conversation and become a reliable and trusted source of information.

Rebecca Wool
PRSSA 

Hofstra PRSSA Hosts Another Successful Networking Dinner

After weeks of planning and hard work, PRSSA is happy to report that our annual Networking Dinner was once again a success.

This event is held each year to help our driven PR students expand their network by providing a casual dinner to meet some of New York’s most successful PR professionals. Last week, seven different PR pros penciled PRSSA into their busy schedules and came out to talk to students over dinner donated from multiple local restaurants. Throughout the night students and professionals continuously engaged in exciting conversation, discussing topics ranging from how to get into the PR industry to how to be a successful intern.

Professionals included Sofia Alayon from ESPN, Kristen Prestano and Jessica Fuller from CJP Communications, Jessica Rice of the American Kennel Club, Micah Jesse founder of MicahJesse.com, Sujata Gidumal from Hunter PR, and Gary Lewi of Rubenstein Associates. Each professional provided helpful tips for the students throughout the night. During their introduction, when asked the question, “What advice would you give your college self?” the professionals emphasized the need for internships, hard work, and a love for public relations.  These three points, however, are just a glimpse into the advice offered by the professionals.

By the end of the dinner, each student had gained seven new contacts in the PR world, expanding their network and getting closer to becoming successful in the industry.

Daniele Natola
PRSSA VP of Fundraising for Special Events 

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.

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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.

12 Must-Have Networking Tips

Tomorrow is PRSSA’s Annual Networking Dinner and what better way is there to prepare for a networking event than to hear from an expert networker, Mindy Ferrentino Wolfe, President of Neptune Marketing LLC.

Mindy has won countless awards including, but not limited to Public Relations Professionals of Long Island Mentor of the Year award in 2009, was named one of the top 50 most influential women in business by Long Island Business News and presented the President’s Award from Soroptimist International of Nassau County both in 2008.

On Wednesday, November 2, 2011, PRSSA and PRestige members got the chance to learn tips and tricks to develop networking skills from Mindy. Don’t worry if you missed the meeting! Below is a recap of her twelve tips to networking:

  1. It’s all about relationship building. It’s not about giving out and collecting the greatest number of business cards.
  2. Follow up, follow up, follow up!
  3. Networking is not pitching- it is all about relationship building.
  4. Gravitate towards other “onezies” in the room.
  5. Effective networkers don’t wait for opportunities to come to them. Bo an introduction facilitator- be proactive.
  6. Volunteerism- altruism has it rewards.
  7. It’s about giving and not getting- payback will come!
  8. Hey, look at me when we’re talking! You can still work the room.
  9. Don’t sit with people you know.
  10. Effective networking requires investment time.
  11. Name tag on the right side.
  12. Never underestimate the value of a thank you.

Whether this is your first networking dinner, or your fourth, you can learn from Mindy’s tips. Make sure to build relationships with the professionals. You don’t need to talk to all of the professionals in the room; it is about the quality of the relationship not the quantity of professionals you speak with. When the dinner ends is when the relationship building can really begin. Email the professionals personalized thank you emails and connect with them on LinkedIn and/or twitter. The professionals attending the event understand the goal of student attendees is to obtain internships/jobs and make connections that can help them reach these goals so do not feel uncomfortable asking about internship programs or job opportunities- the professionals are attending to help you.

In addition to covering networking tips and tricks, Mindy shared with us what students can include on business cards: first and last name, phone number, email address, twitter, LinkedIn, and something to identify yourself (i.e.-PRSSA Member, PRestige Member). If you have networking cards, we encourage you to bring them to the dinner.

This year’s Networking Dinner is taking place today, November 6, 2011 at 8:00 PM. Professional guests include ESPN, Rubenstein, Hunter Public Relations, CJP Communications, Micah Jesse, and the American Kennel Club. I look forward to seeing all of you pro-networkers there!

Kim Caro
President, PRSSA