‘Wow, we did that’: Cal State Fullerton student PR agency delivers results for real-world clients

  • From left, Jordan Garrett, Christian Ocampo, Tyson Phillip and Lis Dye, along with Erik Aamodt, make up the team working with Univision Contigo. (Photo by Brian Erman)

    From left, Jordan Garrett, Christian Ocampo, Tyson Phillip as well as Lis Dye, in addition to Erik Aamodt, comprise the group dealing with Univision Contigo. (Picture by Brian Erman).

  • One of two flier designs a student team came up with to publicize a pitch contest by Univision Contigo.

    One of 2 flier develops a pupil team came up with to advertise a pitch competition by Univision Contigo.

  • SoundThe gallery will certainly resume insecs
  • One of two flier designs a student team came up with to publicize a pitch contest by Univision Contigo. This was the winning design.

    One of 2 flier designs a trainee group created to publicize a pitch contest by Univision Contigo. This was the winning style.

  • Cal State Fullerton student Nina Nasr was on a student team that promoted a senior smart house in Lake Forest for Cox Communications.  (Photo by Jamie Ruiz)

    Cal State Fullerton student Nina Nasr was on a trainee group that advertised a senior wise house in Lake Forest for Cox Communications. (Photo by Jamie Ruiz).

  • This CSUF student team helped promote a smart home for seniors showcased by Cox Communications in Lake Forest. Students are, from left, David Arriola, Jamie Ruiz, Amanda Deak, Nina Nasr and Joshua Anaya. (Photo by Jamie Ruiz)

    This CSUF pupil group assisted promote a wise house for seniors showcased by Cox Communications in Lake Forest. Trainees are, from left, David Arriola, Jamie Ruiz, Amanda Deak, Nina Nasr and Joshua Anaya. (Photo by Jamie Ruiz).

  • A Cal State Fullerton student team created a “save the date” flier to promote the Cox Communications brand and raise awareness of the company’s new Connected Independence technologies.

    A Cal State Fullerton pupil group created a “save the date” flier to advertise the Cox Communications brand name and also raise recognition of the firm’s new Connected Self-reliance modern technologies.

  • Children’s crafts were part of the Muckenthaler Cultural Center’s Silk Road Unity Festival, which was promoted by a Cal State Fullerton student team. (Photo by Grace Cho)

    Kid’s crafts were component of the Muckenthaler Cultural Center’s Silk Roadway Unity Festival, which was advertised by a Cal State Fullerton trainee group. (Image by Grace Cho).

  • A bazaar was part of the Muckenthaler Cultural Center’s Silk Road Unity Festival, which was promoted by a Cal State Fullerton student team. (Photo by Grace Cho)

    A bazaar belonged to the Muckenthaler Cultural Center’s Silk Road Unity Celebration, which was promoted by a Cal State Fullerton student group. (Picture by Elegance Cho).

  • A Cal State Fullerton student team increased Facebook and Instagram posts to promote the Fullerton Arboretum’s Green Scene event in April.

    A Cal State Fullerton pupil team enhanced Facebook and also Instagram blog posts to promote the Fullerton Arboretum’s Green Scene event in April.

  • One playhouse built for H.I.S. House in Placentia was painted to match the shelter itself. A Cal State Fullerton student team promoted the day of playhouse building, a partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

    One play house constructed for H.I.S. House in Placentia was painted to match the sanctuary itself. A Cal State Fullerton student team advertised the day of play house building, a partnership with Environment for Humanity.

  • Cal State Fullerton students, from left, Kate Stillman, Jazmine Gonzales, Josh Felix, Danielle Brown and Anna Cao make up the team promoting the PRactical ADvantage student-run agency. (Photo by Brian Erman)

    Cal State Fullerton trainees, from left, Kate Stillman, Jazmine Gonzales, Josh Felix, Danielle Brown and Anna Cao comprise the team advertising the Sensible Benefit student-run firm. (Picture by Brian Erman).



Unless they’re pitching beer or Daytona Beach, it’s something most big public relations companies don’t have to stress regarding:

Springtime break

However when you’re a team of Cal State Fullerton pupils entrusted with targeting fellow university student for a PR campaign, a little point like a week when the school will be without human life can be a glitch.

At Useful Benefit, a student-run public relationships as well as ad agency under the University of Communications, that’s the sort of glitch pupils experience– as well as benefit from.

” Points like that, we should have taken into consideration ahead of time, yet it’s a discovering experience,” stated Jordan Garrett, whose five-member group just recently wrapped up a task for Univision Contigo, a real-world customer.

The Univision Contigo project was one of several conducted this semester by pupil groups in PRAD as well as a class that does comparable benefit nonprofits. Various other paying clients included Cox Communications and the city of Anaheim, which has employed PRAD to craft campaigns for its personnels department for numerous semesters. Not-for-profit clients consisted of the Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Barks of Love and H.I.S. Home.

” Part of this program is that for many trainees being available in the door on the first day, they have actually never created a public relations intend; they have actually never planned an occasion. There’s a great deal of stuff they have not done or they have actually just done piecemeal and also never done a complete program,” said Ken Hagihara, lecturer in communications as well as among three PRAD consultants. “So there’s always those lessons discovered as well as the difficulties. Component of the strength of this program is that these trainees are discovering on the fly. So the professor is there to give support, to steer them. Yet it’s their job as a pupil group to pull this off.”

When they do their last presentations, “They tell us what difficulties they met, just what were their lessons found out, just what they ‘d do different following time, why do they assume specific points didn’t turn out the method they believed they would– in order to help them analyze points they’ve done so the next time around they have this experience in the rear of their head they can rely upon to earn the following occasion better or more efficient.”

The pupils appreciate the possibility to work as groups, which they understand is exactly how companies operate in the actual world, and also do projects that have a real impact for their customer or the neighborhood. It also provides something in their portfolio that will establish them in addition to various other job prospects.

” Belonging to PRAD offered me the possibility to collaborate with various other trainees every class,” stated student Anna Cao. “It shaped me personally to obtain utilized to the suggestion of becoming part of a team.”

” It’s more interesting since you’re doing work that you ‘d in fact carry out in the future,” stated trainee Jazmine Gonzales. “Most of us interact with each various other, with the teacher.”

” We improve each other,” claimed trainee Danielle Brown. “Someone will start the structure and afterwards another person will add, then it will develop right into something like, ‘Wow, I really did not understand we can that.’ ”

Added Cao: “There have been a great deal of wow moments this term– ‘Wow, we did that,’ ‘Wow, we thought about that.’ ”

Having access to cams, editing bays, software and other committed resources likewise prepares them for the operating globe. “It’s sort of trendy the way it’s established up,” claimed student Josh Felix.

” I inform them this isn’t really a course; this is an agency,” said Keith Kesler, an additional PRAD advisor.


Univision Contigo, which provides the Latino neighborhood with details on education and learning, health, wide range structure and civic involvement, acquired with PRAD to advertise a video-pitch competition for its “Rise Be Heard” social-impact initiative in partnership with Combination Media Team. It used scholarships of $500 to the winning pitch and $250 to the second- as well as third-place victors as well as mentorship and also resources to develop the winning pitch into a video clip that would work on its systems.

” Our job was to generate pitches as well as construct recognition,” stated group leader Garrett.

Pitches might be for a five-minute information sector or a feature-length docudrama. The team was told Univision desired social justice subjects that are regional however universal.

” We simply intend to listen to incredible suggestions that have substantial services,” claimed Jesus Ayala, a previous information manufacturer for ABC that now instructs broadcast journalism at Cal State Fullerton and also was a judge for the preliminary.

” We desire to provide individuals the opportunity to be creative, to express themselves and also to come at this from whatever angle they desire,” Garrett said.


The group established a key objective of gathering passion and involvement in the competitors from a culturally diverse group of students, and second goals of receiving pitches from at the very least 100 pupils, reaching 10,000 students and safeguarding marketing collaborations with Titan Radio, Titan TELEVISION, the Daily Titan, and the university’s social networks channels and clubs.


The five-member student group started by doing a “SWOT” evaluation, which they found out about in class, which examines the task’s staminas, weak points, chances and also dangers. Cal State Fullerton’s huge Latino neighborhood, as an example, was identified as a toughness; however the possibility that trainees not familiar with Spanish-language Univision could think the competition had not been for them was called a weakness.


To obtain the word out, the group targeted students learning criminal justice, communications, approach, human services, sociology as well as ethnic studies. Methods included uploading as well as handing out fliers on campus, checking out courses and student clubs to speak to trainees, and also emails from university officials.

Employee Lis Dye coordinated with assistant deans to do email blasts and also fulfilled with Michael Mahi, CSUF supervisor of online as well as social media interaction, to piggyback on the university’s social networks systems. Employee Tyson Phillip reached out to the fraternities as well as sororities and also ethnic and social teams on university.

Team member Christian Ocampo created 2 fliers– one severe and powerful, the various other spirited (featuring CSUF mascot Tuffy). The team selected the first one since it motivated pupils to make their voice heard to cause adjustment.

Erik Aamodt oversaw the group’s $500 advertising and marketing spending plan, extended with the students’ totally free labor and the capacity to develop the fliers complimentary at PRAD’s online at CSUF’s Irvine center.


3 CSUF professor– Ayala, Erualdo González and Inez González– advised the trainees and also, at the end, limited the entries to 11 pitches. Univision has been a sponsor of CSUF’s Latino Communications Institute as well as has a news bureau on campus. The business had come close to the professors concerning the campuswide competition, however as full-time faculty, such a project was more compared to they can do.

” So that’s where these people can be found in,” Ayala claimed of the students. “We’re very fortunate we have actually PRAD to make sure that they could take clients.” He is also grateful the Univision collaboration could profit non-Spanish-speaking trainees.


Meanwhile, a few Univision employees observed the trainee group’s presentation via Skype and offered responses.

Jacob Simas, program manager of social impact for Fusion TELEVISION, praised the team’s plan and expected it would certainly exceed its objectives in getting trainee involvement. He recommended adding Chicano research studies programs to the classes the group intended to see.

” I was actually thrilled regarding this project to start with, as well as currently I’m actually discharged up,” he informed them. “I can not wait to see what you do.”

He claimed the first poster was really on message. “Great on that particular.”

Likewise, Liliana Ranon, director of community empowerment for Univision, assumed the elephant poster was really charming– “I type of laughed a bit”– however that the material of the very first one far better aligned with the job’s objectives.

The pupils high-fived.


A few weeks later on, spirits were a little bit extra low-key. The group had actually obtained 42 entries, far listed below the 100 objective but sufficient to offer the judges some great candidates.

What worked? The team figured out that sees to classes and e-mail blasts from professors paid off one of the most. Outreach on social media– anticipated to be successful amongst college pupils? Not so much. The team didn’t have its own account to function from, and also hopping on school accounts involved a great deal of red tape. An idea to use Univision’s system really did not make sense due to the fact that the firm didn’t have a follower base upon campus.

The group had actually planned to buy an advertisement in the Daily Titan. However that’s when they ran up versus springtime break, as well as two weeks of midterms, when students’ focus was concentrated elsewhere.

It wound up working out, Garrett claimed. The team had the ability to push back the submission due date.

By mid-May the Univision judges chose 3 finalists, all CSUF broadcast reporters. Their names and also topics: Brenda Suite, transgender immigrants; Vania Patino Hernandez, road vending on public roads; as well as Regina Yurrita, juvenile homicide culprits.

Other projects

Cox Smart Residence

Task: Advertise the Cox Communications brand name and also elevate understanding of the company’s brand-new Connected Independence innovations. Cox partnered with elderly living professionals to display exactly how modern technology is assisting senior citizens continue to be safe and independent in their very own homes. An open house at a Cox Smart Residence in Lake Woodland revealed such items as a virtual reality platform so elders could “take a trip” to preferred locations; telemedicine solutions so medical professionals can detect and deal with elders in your home: and an user-friendly touch-screen application that sends out medicine reminders and also tracks water intake.

Techniques: Under the guidance of speaker Pete Evanow, PRAD co-adviser, the group developed a social media sites strategy to develop recognition concerning the innovation and also exactly how Cox broadband network supports all the advancements in smart house technology. The group made a “save the date” flier as well as investigated ethnic media to send a media advisory to.

Results: Just over 100 individuals showed up, consisting of city, region and state agents as well as team, regional chambers as well as services, senior service organizations, bloggers and also media (consisting of L.a TV wire service). The first feedback to the media advisory was less than expected, stated employee Nina Nasr, yet it instructed the team to connect to more individuals next time as well as send notification earlier.

Responses: “I’m satisfied with their creative thinking, focus and also drive,” said Joe Camero, Cox Communications spokesman for Orange Region. “This term’s team showcased a high level of professionalism and reliability and top quality of work.” The group made their stripes by finishing real-world PR as well as advertising and marketing tasks consisting of concept generation for the Save the Date invite, social media sites assistance as well as media relationships support, he stated.

Fullerton Arboretum’s Let’s Grow With each other

Job:Promote the Fullerton Arboretum’s Environment-friendly Scene to improve occasion presence as well as total membership sales. Environment-friendly Scene, held for 44 years, is the arboretum’s premier springtime fundraising occasion, when countless garden fanatics acquisition plants as well as accessories and also find out horticulture pointers.

Strategies: Under the support of teacher Ken Hagihara, the group created the “Let’s Grow With each other” campaign, carried out a media outreach as well as social media sites project, as well as organized offers and advantages for arboretum members. Before the project, the arboretum’s social media sites existence was low, clarified staff member Ari Johnson, that worked for the arboretum as an intern. The team targeted garden blogs and also mom blogs, posting more frequently and also uploading even more family-oriented content to draw more youthful attendees, such as households with young kids.

Results: Participation increased by 900 people in April’s two-day occasion compared with 2017, up 20 percent eventually and also 37 percent the next. The arboretum’s Facebook and Instagram accounts gained 100-200 followers. As well as there was a 24 percent increase in memberships. “Their social networks projects were so impactful that they obviously transformed some board participants’ point of views regarding exactly how they need to set about advertising and marketing,” Hagihara said.


Project: Publicize PRAD, the College of Communications’ student-run Public Relations and also advertising agency, to bring in potential clients and more trainees.

Techniques: The pupils established up tables on school during Comm Week, saw CSUF classes and also neighboring area colleges, and also spoke about the firm in online team chats. They developed pictures playing off the university’s mascot, using the creative concept of PRAD as the “elephant in the room,” however with a positive spin. These will certainly be included right into social networks articles to construct brand name recognition, in addition to video clip endorsements from teachers as well as previous students.

Muckenthaler Cultural Facility, Silk Roadway Unity Festival

Task: Advertise a festival in late April in Anaheim that urged individuals to find the food, background, arts and also confidences along the ancient trade course from Asia to Europe. The occasion included an exchange, film event, food vendors, live music, dancing performances and also crafts for youngsters.

Methods: The group connected to numerous ethnic clubs on campus face to face and utilized the Silk Roadway’s background of culture as well as art to link with people’s tales. “We found out that PR is not practically developing rather images or getting to out, yet connecting to the ideal people with true interest for your client truly makes a difference in encouraging individuals to do something about it,” stated team member Poise Cho.

Outcomes:The occasion attracted 510 guests. “The CSUF team did an exceptional job promoting the Silk Road Unity Event,” claimed Allison Community, Muckenthaler’s primary interactions police officer. “They canvassed North Orange County with fliers, created an informative social media sites campaign, as well as helped on the day of the occasion. I was impressed by their professionalism as well as valued their efforts. I locate it urging to see students associated with their area and ready to pitch in!”

Barks of Love, Bark Celebration

Job: Promote a fostering and fundraising occasion in late April for Barks of Love, an Orange Region dog rescue, in partnership with the Heritage Gallery of Orange County. The occasion included face paint, suppliers, food vehicles and also songs; access to the gallery’s Kellogg Home; and a totally free assisted nature stroll.

Strategies: The student group developed a social networks calendar as well as graphics, held a photo shoot with the canines available for adoption and pitched the occasion to regional media.

Results: The campaign produced over 5 million media impacts for the event. Collaborating with the students helped increase the nonprofit’s reach and also bring its cause to the neighborhood in a much broader method, said Katie Del Vecchio, director of advertising and marketing, occasions and social networks for Barks of Love. “We enjoy collaborating with students to use their knowledge and enthusiasm while we apply it into our day-to-day processes to grow and much better the rescue,” she claimed. “We’ve gotten employee, volunteers and also long-term fans thanks to this partnership and we expect more pupils to come.”

H.I.S. Residence, with Habitat for Humanity

Job: Advertise a mid-April occasion at which H.I.S House in Placentia, which offers transitional shelter to homeless family members, solitary adults and pairs, collaborated for the very first time with Environment for Humankind to construct 2 playhouses for the youngsters of H.I.S. Residence. The CSUF group additionally helped advertise the sources H.I.S. House needs to use, stated group member Gabby Hernandez.

Results: “These partnerships are a few of the only times we can get funds,” claimed Ruth Cho, outreach supervisor of H.I.S. Home. “This is just how we obtain a playhouse since we do not have funds to get one.”

Why trainees can teach professionals

While today’s trainees are wise concerning social media sites, there are gaps in their interactions abilities, claimed Doug Swanson, interim associate dean in communications, consisting of a doubt to choose up the phone to make a pitch.

He connected the moment one public connections pupil grumbled that a customer had not been responding for three weeks while the client complained it had not learnt through the group. It transformed out the trainee had been texting a landline number.

” Also the standard skills like that trainees have to recognize,” stated Swanson, who oversees the PRAD program. He pointed out research showing public connections trainees finish with excellent Public Relations abilities but not standard organisation abilities such as exactly what is credit history vs. debit, what’s a vendor, what’s an invoice. He wants such abilities built into the division’s capstone courses called for of finishing senior citizens.

” Absolutely nothing can make you really feel dumb faster than venturing out on a task as well as being asked an inquiry your client thinks you should recognize,” he said.

For the most parts, however, the pupils are in advance of their customers as well as instructors in recognizing how you can make use of social media sites to promote an event or organisation. They recognize just how individuals wish to get info, exactly how they involve with business over social networks as well as just how much a lot more effective a message is when it originates from somebody they know, claimed Hagihara, among the instructors in the PRAD program.

” A great deal of these clients, they do not obtain social networks yet,” Hagihara said. They may understand to establish a Facebook page, but that may be the degree of it. One PRAD group educated its client on exactly what students were posting as well as transformed the way the client uses its social media.

There’s always a new platform appearing, Hagihara included, and also he attempts to gain from his pupils just how they discover out regarding items as well as solutions so he could bring it right into the classroom. “The professors are gaining from their pupils.”

In addition to such abilities, the program also teaches:

1. Group building. In PR and much of today’s office, individuals function in teams to obtain tasks done.

2. Public talking. “Pupils need to stand up before course and also talk regarding what they have actually done– not review the PowerPoint or their notes,” Swanson claimed. “They have to be able to tell a story.”

3. The best ways to learn. No telling exactly what new modern technology is boiling down the road, he stated, so students should discover how to adapt to transform.

Trainees head out as well as discover most of the customers themselves and also pitch them on dealing with PRAD. They create a letter of arrangement pertaining to the issue the company needs addressed. They do all the necessary research study as well as strategizing, then create strategies and also devices. They find out ways to assess their job, and they track their hrs.

Industrial customers kick in a contribution of $500-$ 1,500, while benefit nonprofits is for the public good, something that real agencies consistently do.

” We are below preparing students for the labor force. That’s just what we do,” stated Swanson. “We’re additionally preparing them to be thoughtful people.”

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