New chapter and new beginnings for East Bay Chapter of PRSSA

2015 redesigned Pioneer logo.

Tam Duong Jr.

2015 redesigned Pioneer logo.

Sierra Perales,

In 2002, nine communications majors created the Public Relations Student Society at Cal State East Bay to help each other pursue careers in the public relations industry.

The organization started out strong numbers-wise, but over time they struggled to keep club enrollment up above the minimum of 10 members and the club disbanded in 2013. Last fall, however, communications faculty advisor Yung-I Liu suggested the organization should start fresh. California State University, East Bay’s Public Relations Student Society of America organization is now getting its newest chapter up and running.

Cal State East Bay student Jennifer Cao told The Pioneer, “I learned about this organization from one of my professors through random conversation, and when I sought out this organization on campus, I was saddened to learn there were no current members.”

Jennifer Cao is the chapter president and her duties involve networking with different company personnel to bring guest speakers to campus, or to organize tours where the members can network around the company. She is also focused on increasing and retaining involvement.

“I’m not sure what happened in previous chapters to know what to avoid and what not to avoid, said Cao, “but I’ve learned that an organization’s speed and culture starts with their leader.”

Cao also oversees the organization’s involvement in the Bateman Competition provided by the national PRSSA, where chapters must provide an effective PR campaign for an assigned nonprofit organization. There are about five students from East Bay’s chapter that will be participating.

“That’s something we’re really looking forward to and we’re hoping to excel in that this year,” said Olivia Pagano, a senior and the current public relations director.

Her job is to oversee recruiting and any information that goes out about PRSSA. She is aware of the past failures that prevented the chapters from running smoothly. Pagano wants to focus on student involvement.

Currently there are about 10 members, a majority of which are seniors. Pagano’s priority is to reach out to underclassmen, like sophomores and juniors in order to leave room for development in the upcoming chapters.

“I chose Public Relations because I like helping communicate other people’s stories,” said Pagano. “I think Public Relations is a way to help someone get their story or message out there. Whether it be awareness for a cause, apologies for regrettable actions, or just trying to get people to learn a story about a person or brand. I feel that PRSSA can really take you lengths and without it you’re just another grad student with a piece of paper, having the organization behind you to cement your footing in that sector helps a lot.”

Like Pagano, Chelsea Corby is also in her final year at East Bay and decided to join PRSSA with the hopes that it will benefit her future in Public Relations. She believes PRSSA will be a great way to make connections in the field and will look good on her resume. “This is a Good opportunity to explore PR while being in school and gain field experience,” Corby said.

To become a member of PRSSA there are membership dues that are collected twice a year. Students may pay their national dues in fall or spring which allows them to access to content on PRSSA site. Some content include job boards, emails with seminars, and newsletters articles.