Two Easy Career Tips for College Students

Tess Meyers, Account Manager


Stepping into the working world can feel like a daunting task for students, but it doesn’t have to be. Being a student, you have many opportunities to take positive first steps in towards your career goals. Here are two ways to stand out when trying to get your foot in the door:

  1. Use Social Media Positively

Social Network Social Media People Meeting Teamwork Concept Your social media presence can make or break a job opportunity – especially in the media field. An employer won’t want you to speak for their brand if you can’t  present yourself in a positive light. Be sure to post any potentially scandalous ideas on private – or better yet – don’t post at all. A tweet may only take a second to send, but everything lasts forever on the internet. However, especially in PR, social media is a necessity.  Instead of neglecting it, use it to show off your interests and accomplishments. Sending out lighthearted tweets, links to blog posts, or even retweeting industry influencers are all great ways to show your personality to those recruiters who do sneak a peek.

  1. Make connections

Your time as a student at USC, or any university, is invaluable. Not only are you surrounded by leaders in your respective fields, but you’re surrounded by future colleagues. Who says informational interviews are only for potential employers? If you meet a fellow Trojan who had an awesome internship or is interested in following a similar career track, as them to coffee or lunch. At the very least, you’ll learn something new about them, or about a potential opportunity. Who knows – you may meet your future business partner or mentor. Joining professional organizations, like TriSight, is a great way to make connections and gain experience as a student, too!

Taking ownership of where you are now and doing “little” things like managing your social media presence and building relationships with professors, peers and colleagues won’t just help you in your initial internship and job search, but will benefit you through out your career.

Looking Beyond Trends: Considerations When Formulating A Social Media Strategy

– Stephany Rodas, Collective Avenue Account Manager


onesizefitsall

In this currently evolving digital age, it is very easy for us to jump to the immediate conclusion of incorporating a social media strategy for all campaigns. But the truth of the matter is, a social media strategy is not effective for every campaign.

There are numerous things to consider when developing a social media strategy, or any kind of strategy for that matter. Below are a few:

  • Target audience (i.e. Millennials 18-34, children 7-12 years old, adults 35-50)
  • Habits of your target audience (i.e. Millennials are avid consumers of content digitally while older audiences tend to rely on traditional methods such as television or print for information)
  • Range of your campaign (is it a national campaign with a goal to attract as many Millennials as possible, or is it a local campaign designed to get particular groups of people within a certain district involved)

While there are many other factors to take into consideration, one thing is for sure, you cannot make a generalized assumption based off what you hear in the media or in your current surroundings, without doing the proper research. By implementing a social media strategy without research or evidence to verify that your audience engages with social media, you are making an assumption that all individuals within that population have access to technology with digital capabilities. Many folks tend to forget that many communities across the United States and, even more so, globally do not have equal access to technology. While urban areas are in the era of smartphones, laptops and tablets, many other countries and communities within the United States are still utilizing flip phones and relying on traditional media such as print, radio and broadcast to receive information. This disparity in access to technology can result from a number of things including socioeconomic status or location.

This does not, however, mean that communities with lower socioeconomic status or who live in urban/rural areas do not utilize social media or lack access to it entirely. The complete opposite could be true. Ultimately, there is only one way to find out and that is through research. Moral of the story: never make assumptions and pursue a trend because it’s popular. One size does not fit all.

The Importance of Words in Public Relations

– Caroline Galbreath, Director of Outreach


keywords-digital-marketing-hospital-marketing            Often times I sit and twirl my fingers for hours thinking about what to write and how to start a writing assignment—we call this “writer’s block.” Writer’s block is every writer’s worst enemy. But what is it that makes it so difficult to start writing? We are too focused on trying to use sophisticated vocabulary in our writing to make it sound more intelligent, powerful and mature. Instead, we need to avoid unnecessary jargon and concentrate on using simple, basic words that will appeal to the target audience. After Donald Trump’s inauguration, there were hundreds of thousands of individuals who marched across cities to share a common message of woman empowerment. However, many of the posters failed to spread this intended message because of a difficulty to understand the words scribed on the posters. Words such as “Intersectionality” and “xenophobia”. Since the goal of Public Relations writing is to garner as much publicity as possible and amplify a message to a particular audience, in this case, it would be significantly more effective to use words that are known and used by all ages of the general public.

It is important to concentrate on using words that are applicable to your entire target audience. If you look at Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogans, you may be able to recognize a potential reason for why Trump’s slogan stuck with so many more people than Clinton’s did by evaluating the choice of words in each slogan: #ImWithHer and #MakeAmericaGreatAgain. Hillary Clinton’s slogan only applies to the candidate; some might say that they couldn’t agree with or associate with the slogan “#ImWithHer” because they were on the fence, and therefore they weren’t entirely “With Her”. On the other hand, Trump’s slogan applies to a general belief that Americans hold to make their country great again. Choosing the right words matters. To find better words, ask yourself if the words you are using are understandable to your target audience, if they create some sort of emotional bond to your message, and if they can apply to the entire target audience.

The Importance of Social Media Sites in Public Relations – Hinde Kast, Director of Events


Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 11.07.05 AMThe public relations industry is constantly changing. In this changing world, it is important that as communicators we are always on the lookout for the next great thing that will take the world by storm.  Did you know, according to a study done by the Pew Research Center in 2015, that 65 percent of American adults use social networking sites?

With such a large part of the American population, as well as the global population, being active on social networking sites, as a company is unbelievably important for communication practitioners to reach out to various organizations through these mediums. Back in 2004, there was no such thing as Facebook. Our population was entranced by Myspace and its insane customization skills and businesses never utilized it for advertisement. Now, no one knows what MySpace is, Facebook is worth $387 billion and social networking sites are tools that are expected to be used by businesses. As our technology advances, so will the platforms that can be used on them. Adaptation is so important in our field. Yes, we need to understand what technological platforms are popular amongst the population now, but it is crucial that we stay updated regarding up and coming platforms as well. In public relations, lack of adaptation is truly dangerous.

However, it is also important to understand when certain social networking sites are trending and when they are failing. Based off the status of a social media site or technological platform, more or less time should be focused towards that medium. For example, look at Twitter. Twitter used to be one of the biggest social media platforms that not only the public used, but businesses did as well. Now Twitters stocks is plummeting, and less and less people are engaged on the platform. Yet, so many businesses and organizations are paying money to advertise its products and businesses on this platform. Sadly, this effort may lead to disappointing results. It is important to learn to tell what platforms are worth spending time on and the ones that are not. Learn. Adapt. Think outside of the box.

So, what’s going to be the next thing big thing and will you recognize and utilize its power?

What the Heck is PR? – Lisa Curiel Parker, Deputy Managing Director

pr-quote-bill-gates


This is going to upset some people but public relations is the art of b*** s***. Time and time again people ask: What is public relations? What is communication? Well, it’s almost everything you see, listen and hear. Unless you live under a rock you’re surrounded by mass amounts of information being consistently spewed at you.

Receiving a Bachelor’s in Communication and eventually a Master’s in Strategic Public Relations I grasp the importance of both fields. To break it down simply, communication is apprehending the art of seeing, listening and hearing everything around you. Fathoming how individuals communicate, why they do and its affect on others. Say, if you go on a date with someone who shifts their eyes everywhere but yours, communication theory helps one understand why the date is so horrendous – there is a lack of proper communication occurring between the two of you. In a professional setting, it’s studied by observing leaders and work environments. What’s the proper lighting for highest productivity of employees? What proper tone of voice should I speak to a co-worker? What ways can I relate to a customer to sell a product? Studying communication assists individuals understand these key factors in everyday life.

Public relations on the other hand, uses these theories and creates something out of them. Implementing marketing campaigns, writing press releases and creating websites is just a small fraction of PR’s totality. Every successful company uses PR to explain to their customers why they are the best choice, a political campaign uses it to convince constituents why their candidate should win and individuals use it to put their best face forward in everyday life. PR practitioners are jacks(or janes)-of-all-trades. To be effective, we must have a creative eye to create beautiful things, a business skill set to speak to future partners and a strategic mind to out-think competitors.

So, the next time someone asks you what public relations is you can tell them exactly what it is.

Framing Failure – Janine Grey, Managing Director


failureissuccessinprogress-1403631233gk84n

As the new year and semester begins and we get back into our workflow, it seems as if everyone is feeling the glorified light of resolutions and #NewYearNewMe. Maybe you’re going to be more outgoing or lose a bunch of weight. Perhaps you resolved to give up a vice like smoking. If you have one of those, I sincerely wish you the best of success with whatever you aim to do. But don’t get upset if you fail.

In our society, failure has a negative stigma. Some people become so ashamed of their failures it becomes a dark secret that brings heat to their cheeks whenever a topic remotely similar is brought up. But why?

Failure is a part of life, and a great part of life. It means you put yourself out there and tried something. It means you took a risk, however big or small, and it means you’ve just been handed an opportunity to grow. It also tests your tenacity, your resiliency and your limits. One of my biggest failures of my life was simultaneously one of my greatest successes thus far. Of course, at the time, I couldn’t see the forest for the trees and felt that my life was over and I’d never have another opportunity like that again. But it simply wasn’t true.

Because of this failure, I was unemployed for six months, had to move back in with my parents after being on my own for nearly 8 years and barely had enough money to survive. But because of that failure I also decided to start taking more risks. I asked for jobs I wasn’t remotely qualified for and substantially over-qualified for. I opened my ear to advice from people I had once never considered. I focused on what I wanted long term while simultaneously working on what I needed short term. I reached out and networked with people both in and outside of my comfort zone. I decided to start bartending just so I could get comfortable talking with people I didn’t know. In fact, it was during this period of failure that I applied to USC – and when I was accepted, it became my opportunity.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to fail. I put blood, sweat and tears into everything I do and I’m devastated when I miss the mark. But it’s not about the miss-step. It’s about the redirection.

In PR we talk about framing your message quite often. We try to convey particular feelings to a specific audience for the greatest outcome. Failing, and how you react to it, is no different. You are the target audience. Is the message going to be “I failed” or is it going to be “I have an opportunity”? What will be the outcome?

The point is, everyone fails. The moral is, don’t be afraid or discouraged when you do. Perhaps you didn’t get that internship you had your eye on or you got a lower score than you expected on that test. Don’t focus on the failure, focus on how to improve. Door A didn’t open. Go check door B and C. Sometimes, even better things await.

 

TriSight 2017 Executive Board

The TriSight Communications Executive Board for 2017 has been selected and it is with great pleasure that we introduce this new team to you!

Manager Director
Janine Grey

Janine Grey is a first-year graduate student working towards her Master’s of Strategic Public Relations at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. While she is originally from Riverside, California, she earned her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Photography and Graphic Design at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. After graduating from undergrad she served in Armenia as a Peace Corps Volunteer where she sat as Co-Chair of the Public Relations Committee and worked as the Public Relations/Marketing Director for the project Border2Border, in which a group of volunteers backpacked across the country to teach under-served youths healthy living habits. Janine has been with TriSight since her first semester at USC, working on the Dream Team Directors account. Beginning in spring 2017, she will work with Operation Surf as the account manager, as well as heading the agency as a whole.

“There’s so much great talent in TriSight and I’m so glad to be apart of the work we’re doing here,” Janine said. “It teaches everyone involved what it’s like to work with real-world clients and build connections and skills that are going to last. Being a part of the E-board will allow me to further develop my leadership skills while building upon previous years efforts to grow and make TriSight the best student-run agency it can be.

Deputy Managing Director

Lisa

Lisa Curiel Parker is a first-year graduate student pursuing a Master’s of Strategic Public Relations and received her Bachelor’s of Communication from Annenberg as well. During this past fall semester, she worked with TriSight and closely with a virtual reality start-up called BiPolar ID. While working with them she learned the immense power virtual reality has and the amazing work many start-ups are doing in this realm.

Lisa joined the Executive Board to help rebrand TriSight into an even more amazing organization. This year she will be focusing on transforming TriSight and her ultimate goal is to focus on gaining real-world experience through her three job opportunities next semester.

When Lisa graduates, she wants to work with a company focused on technology and television – her two passions.

Outreach Director

unnamed-4

Caroline Galbreath is a sophomore undergraduate student pursuing her Bachelor’s of Public Relations at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She is majoring in Public Relations and double minoring in Marketing and the Music Industry.

During Caroline’s first semester with TriSight, she worked on TriSight’s newest account, “BiPolar ID,” a Virtual Reality production company. After a successful first semester on Southern California’s highly competitive student-run PR firm, she recognized TriSight’s small client base and wanted to use her sincere passion and self-drive to personally contribute and oversee tremendous growth within the organization. Caroline will focus on establishing a well-known social media presence for TriSight. Her ultimate goal for the time she holds this position is to gain clients from various industries including music, education, energy and many others in order to expose TriSight members to diverse backgrounds that may appeal to members as potential career paths.

“I have learned more about TriSight in the past semester than I have with any other internship I have had. TriSight pushes you and teaches you to be proactive and always get ahead of the plan to produce the best final products for your client. While TriSight’s commitment is another thing to balance on your plate, I found that I have gained invaluable real-world experience that I can use in my day-to-day life both inside and outside of the classrooms.”

After graduating, Caroline plans to stay Los Angeles to pursue a career in the Music Industry.

Director of Events

Hinde KastHinde Kast is a first-year graduate student pursuing a Master’s of Strategic Public Relations. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication (Public Relations Emphasis) from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2015 and is expecting to graduate from USC in 2018. She has been apart of TriSight for one semester working on the HATS Account.

“TriSight has taught me how to work with real-life clients, an opportunity that I think can be rare when in school. We make a difference for these companies and it feels great to know that we are helping them reach their goals.”

She wanted to become more involved in TriSight and help it grow as an organization in order to see it reach its full potential. She will be focusing on coordinating events related to TriSight and managing the HATS account. Her ultimate goal for the semester is to successfully achieve juggling grad school and her positions with TriSight with grace and success.

After she graduates, she would love to work with a non-profit organization or for the corporate social responsibility department of a corporation. “I want to change the world and make this world a better place and I hope to work with organizations that give back and help others. I want to leave this world better than it was when I came in. I want to do good.”

Fall 2016 Welcome Message

Fall 2016 Welcome!

Hey Everyone,

Welcome to a new and exciting semester at USC! We hope you are all enjoying the first two weeks of school. On behalf of TriSight Communications, we are proud to announce that TriSight is implementing a new application process this semester in order to take our PR firm to the next level. We want active members who have special skills or expertise in either writing, pitching, social media, event planning or leadership. Please fill out the new application form attached here. We will carefully review each application and notify you if you’ve made it to the interview stage. Please submit the application by September 7th . We can’t wait to start working with you!

Irene & Amy
Co-Presidents

Five Pieces of Advice for Your Next Internship

Internship Advice

 

Now that Spring Break is in the rear-view mirror, it feels like the end of the semester is quickly barreling toward us. While the chief concern for most students is preparing for finals as they start to cast their ominous shadow, many are also beginning to apply for those summer internships. Now, perhaps you already have several of these under your belt. Regardless of your experience, here are five things to keep in mind during your next internship that are you sure to help you be successful.

 

1. Stay hungry

What we mean by this is to always want more to do. As an intern it can be tempting to settle for the small amounts of work that you inevitably start off with. After all, who wouldn’t prefer to just do the minimum and deal with as little stress as possible? This mentality, however, will put you on the fast track to nowhere. Internships are often designed to test the skills and attitudes of a young professional. Needless to say, there are few employers out there who would be impressed with or willing to keep an intern who isn’t motivated and doesn’t seek more work on their own. Adopting a go-getter mentality is one of the first things you should do in your new internship, and it’s one that will definitely net some positive attention.

2. Ask the right questions

Just like it’s important to always be on the lookout for more to do, it’s equally important to ask the right questions before and during every assignment. Of course you shouldn’t aim to incessantly bother you supervisor, but a good leader is usually happy to be approached with intelligent questions. Asking good questions will show your employer that you’re thinking critically about your assignment and aren’t just sleepwalking through the work. A good question will not only help you create better work, it will also signal to your employer that you’re a smart and strategic thinker. To avoid looking like a novice and making unintelligent queries, a good rule to follow is to always Google your questions before asking them. If the answer can be easily found there, then you can bet it’s not a good question to ask your boss. If no trace of an answer can be found, then odds are you’ve stumbled across a great question.

3. Make yourself known

As an intern, it can be easy to go unnoticed in a busy workplace. While the prevailing mentality is that interns are the unseen and unheard backbone of the office, it doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be this way. To avoid getting lost in the shuffle, try to make yourself well known with everybody in the office. Of course people are busy and it might be hard to get a few minutes on their calendar, but even the busiest of people have time for a quick cup of coffee. Use these small moments to connect with your coworkers. Not only is it good to expand your own personal network, but by connecting with everyone and making them aware of the caliber of your work, they will be far more likely to think of you when looking for support on their next project.

4. Bring something to the table

Because interns, in terms of office hierarchy, are the lowest position in the structure, many of them believe that it’s not their place to speak up in meetings or brainstorming sessions. While it’s true that you have to be sensitive to the situation and cognizant of office culture, it’s important that you speak your opinions and bring valuable insights to the table. An intern who never contributes intelligent pieces of information or well-founded opinions diminishes their own personal reputation. Like we said before; many internships are developed for the purpose of finding full-time team members. Employers want people who not only think intelligently, but who can bring that to the table to advance the overall value of the organization. Of course, none of this can ever happen if you don’t say what’s on your mind.

5. Be true to yourself

As much as internships are an opportunity for employers to find the best talent for their companies, the greater opportunity belongs to the intern. Not only is this your chance to discover more about who you are what type of work you want to be doing, it’s also a great way to weed out what you don’t like. If your internship makes you unhappy, at least it’s temporary. If you hate the industry you’re in, it’s one step closer to finding the industry you belong in. Don’t settle for the type of work that you are doing if it doesn’t make challenge you or get you excited once in a while. This is a process of discovery, and being true to yourself will allow you to make the right choices and eventually find work you can be passionate about.

Five Tips for Telling Your Brand’s Story

Five Tips for Telling Your Brand's Story

 

All too often in the world of PR and communications, we get so consumed by the idea of putting out the right message, that we forget that the story itself is just as important as the actual points we’re trying to make. After all, brand loyalty is largely earned through an interesting, relatable and entertaining narrative. Despite all the technology that is constantly coming to market and the bevy of platforms available to us, humans will always be story driven. The art of storytelling is a part of our collective human history and as long as humans are around, this will always remain important. With that in mind, here are five tips to keep in mind when telling your brand’s story:

Be Relatable

There’s nothing worse than reading a story that fails to connect with you. When this happens, the “story” becomes just an assortment of words and the capacity for a message to be successfully transmitted flies out the window. Think about it, you’ve most likely never read something to completion that didn’t have at least one thing you could relate to. Even in academic writing, if at some point nothing sparks your interest, your ability to absorb any knowledge from the text becomes diminished. It’s why this type of literature relies so heavily on anecdote. They are simply trying to make that crucial connection with you. So for this reason, you should always strive to make your story relatable. Appeal to those moments that are culturally universal, to themes that everyone can understand, and to conversational tones that you all share. All it takes are a few small moments of connection with your reader to make sure that they remain engaged.

Be Dramatic

And this is meant in the most technical way possible. Before setting out to tell your story, spend some time learning about the themes, patterns and archetypes that have made for great stories. Although there are thousands of tales out there, they tend to follow arcs that have worked for other writers in the past. The most famous of these is the hero’s journey, which was the topic of Joseph Campbell’s book, “The Hero With a Thousand Faces.” In his book, Campbell explains that throughout mythology heroes have always embarked on the same trajectory. At its most basic, this involves the call to action, facing some sort of struggle, becoming lost on the way back home, and finally finding atonement. Although you probably won’t be tasked with creating an epic when writing for a brand, you can definitely use some of these widely accepted storytelling devices to make a better narrative.

Mind your Platform

Although storytelling will always be important, the constant emergence of new platforms means that brand writers will need to develop tactics for each one. The way you engage with audiences on Facebook, for example, is totally different than the way you would do so on Snapchat or Instagram. What this means is that in order to tell your story in the most engaging way possible, you need to understand your vehicle, including the details of how it operates and the demographic makeup of the people who use it most. Knowing all of this will make it easier to target your message and it will allow you to modify your stories to best fit that medium.

Make it Personal

If you think that this is the same as being relatable, you’re almost right, but there are a few distinctions. Being relatable means that you capture moments that are culturally relevant, meaning that even though the reader may have never lived through that moment, it’s still engrained into his/her psyche by virtue of where and when they are living. When you’re making your story personal, however, you are appealing to actual shared experiences. When you have a conversation with old friends, for example, part of what you’re doing is recollecting moments that you were both in. When you laugh at inside joke, you are able to do so because you were able to experience that moment and can draw on the memory of it. This is what making it personal means. Making it personal means incorporating the little details of a time and a place that bring you closer to your reader and allow you to connect on a deeper level.

Be the Hero of Your Story

Once you are able to bring dramatic elements into your story, to establish tension, climax and resolution, make sure to position yourself as the hero of your story. After all, no one wants to buy from a brand that they consider to be evil. No matter what your brand is, the products you make, or the reputation that you’ve had in the past, always work to position yourself as the protagonist. Create a problem early on, and make sure that by the end of the story you become the solution. That way, once it’s all said and done, you come out looking like the good guy.