Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Thank you so much for reading our blog this past semester!

TGC will be closed until the end of January, but we hope you'll continue enjoying our blog when the spring semester starts. We'll be back with a new team and lots of great new posts.

See you in 2013!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Leading the Horse to an Empty Lake

Is “Student Athlete” the correct label, anymore?

By Joelle Cabasa, Photographer/Videographer

Fact: Student athletes fulfill their manifest destiny... as pull-cart mules.

Europe in the Georgian era (1700s – 1800s) is today’s college sports.  Before the calmer times of the Victorian era, Europe’s colonialism was rampant across Asian countries.

Colonialism, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “control by one power over a dependent area or people.”

Corralled into a pool of “opportunity,” student athletes lose their right in the recruitment process under the long-lost ideas of fair market value.  Instead, they are given scholarships based almost entirely on their athletic performance, while millions of dollars are raked in by the athletic department.  

Pretty low-key issue, right?

Remember Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley?  You heard right -- he and his coaching staff are awaiting a $9 million severance paycheck, even though there was still four years left on his contract and incoming athletic support was projected to be about $15 million.  

These big financial investments subsidize the coaches outrageous salary or contracts to boost the success of their sports program.  

Is this remotely fair?

Present day student athletes are exploited from the moment they commit to the sports program.  Expectations include, but are not limited to, good academic standing, individual athletic performance, exorbitant time commitment, noble character and accurate representation of university standards, as well as a willingness to maintain emotional and mental stability for the sake of program success.

Not too much to ask, right?

With so much at stake, a closer look at recent events is necessary to understand the huge investment these students make just to receive a decent education.  The time commitment required by student athletes can make them vulnerable. So, should these individuals be called “athletic students,” instead?  

Titles and responsibilities are skewed, money is passing through everyone except the “performer,” and it is the student athlete who is receiving the least protection.

The scuffle between a head coach and his player at Morehead State was a great example of the inconsistent, inverse relationship that raises so much discussion with the media and nationwide university officials. View the quick clip here.

Is this just the progression of an entertainment-driven society?  Or is it truly for the love of the game?

All of the above could be true, but we can recognize as a society that we might be pushing these student athletes too far just for the sake of selfish entertainment.  

How about fair treatment now?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

PR Stereotypes

By Heather Wilson, Assistant Account Executive

Considering we are at the final month of the year, I find myself only two weeks shy of graduating college and entering the real world.  With that said, I am constantly asked by my family and friends, “What are you going to do with your life?” or “Do you have a job?” 

When I tell them my answer, that I am entering the world of public relations, the most common response I hear is, “Oh, you’re a PR girl … ”

Public relations is an industry that appears to be bombarded with the most stereotypes. 
Due to the infamous HBO show “Sex and the City” and reality TV show “The Hills,” the media has portrayed public relations to be one of the most glamorous jobs ever.  These shows make public relations look like the daily duties of a practitioner consists of attending fashion shows, socializing at parties and receiving numerous amounts of free goods. 

However, the reality is, PR consists of dealing with multiple personalities on a daily basis, juggling multiple client accounts and constantly checking your inbox. 

Here are some common PR girl stereotypes:
·   They worship hashtags more than shoes
·   They have a great understanding of culture and current events
·   They always wear black
·   Their life is like Samantha Jones
·   They are workaholics

Monday, December 10, 2012

5 Helpful Job-Hunting Tips

By Molly Rose Livingston, Account Executive

I graduate from college in less than three weeks.

While that is exciting, it’s also pretty daunting.

My goal is to score a paid internship or entry-level job by the time I graduate on Dec. 21. To achieve this goal, besides paying close attention in my public relations job-hunting class at Chico State, I have also done online research and asked advice from teachers and family members.

The first thing I have learned is that landing your first job out of college is no easy task. It not only takes a lot of hard work and attention to detail, it also requires a large dose of patience.

Here are a few other important things I have learned:

Proofread: Your resume, cover letter and online identity should be free of grammar and spelling errors.

Social media: Employers are hiring you for a job in communications, and they want to see how you manage yourself online. Your online presence should be free of inappropriate content.

If you need to, clean up your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, blog and any other social networking tool you use.

Be sure these tools are an accurate representation of you. For example, I try to have a mix of tweets. Some are professional and directly related to my desired field of work, others are funny and about my daily life.

Interviews: The interview process can be intimidating, and your best bet is to be over-prepared. Even if you already know about the company, research them one more time. Check out their mission statement, read their blog and scan all of their social media. If you know who will be interviewing you, do some research on them as well.

Review possible interview questions and be sure you have prepared answers to them. Before a recent interview I reviewed this list of 100 potential interview questions.

In addition to basic questions, such as “tell me about yourself,” I have also been asked why I want to work for the company, how I dealt with a crisis situation and what was the last good book I read.

At the conclusion of your interview you will likely be asked if you have any questions. Now is your chance to learn a little bit more about the position, company or office atmosphere, so ask away. If you do not, they may feel like you are not engaged or interested in the company.

The leave-behind: Always bring extra copies of your resume to your interview. Additionally, it is wise to bring samples of a variety of your work.

Follow-up etiquette: Of course, say thank you! Ask for the interviewer’s card and within 24 hours be sure to send an email expressing appreciation for the chance to interview.

If you were interviewed by multiple people then send each person a separate email that is customized. Along with an email, sending a thoughtful, handwritten thank you note will demonstrate your desire to work with them.

These are the steps I have followed in my job-hunting journey so far. While I can’t guarantee they work, as I’m currently waiting to hear back from prospective employers, I do believe they will give you better odds of landing that dream job.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Crafts for Co-Workers

Social Media Assistant and Account Executive Stephanie Burke teaches us how to make a fun and easy Christmas craft.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Show More Appreciation, With Twitter

By Eli Gibbs, Photographer/Videographer

The odds are stacked in your favor if you are looking for any artist or journalist on Twitter. While some may not be as interactive as others, most will have an account for the networking opportunities it presents.

Twitter is a great way to circulate your media. For me, it is primarily a news source and therefore requires one main quality – timeliness.

In my seventh semester hosting a radio show, I have just become aware that the best way for me to reach out to the artists I feature is by live charting the music I am playing. The response has been great because as I would expect, people are generally very happy to hear their work is being appreciated. I also hashtag all songs charted with #NowPlaying, a popular music sharing hashtag for radio broadcasters.  

This new technique has opened my eyes to new ways of using Twitter. If I am sharing an article, I strive to include the author that wrote it.  If the article is about an organization or business, I will include the Twitter handle for it also.

The benefits go beyond getting more followers and recognition. It’s letting people know how much their work is being appreciated; something everyone strives to achieve in their career. Outreach like this tends to reciprocate itself among colleagues, with potential to reach out further.

While most Twitter handles should be quite easy to find, news outlets such as the New York Times have made it even more convenient by providing this page.

Among all the benefits, I urge everyone to take at least one piece of advice. If you cannot find the Twitter handle at first, please be careful of your spelling of names – one of a journalist’s primary concerns.

At least he had a good sense of humor about it!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Please Turn Your Attention to the Flight Attendant Nearest You For Our Safety Demonstration… Or Just Tune Out!

By Lauren Fusco, Account Executive

During the month of November I traveled a lot.

A total of six plane rides, equaling to 13 hours in-flight. If you were to add up the famous “safety talk” that the flight attendants gave, it would be equal to 30 minutes.

I understand that it is important to know where the closest emergency exit is, how to properly put on your oxygen mask and how to inflate your life vest, but who is really listening to this information?

Because I consider myself “flying pro” for the month, I will go out on a limb by saying this. No one wants to listen to what you have to say if you are monotone and boring. Even if the information is detrimental to your survival.

One’s tone and delivery can determine how effective your message is. 

My prime example is my plane ride from San Francisco to Sacramento, which took place at 7:15 a.m.

The 20-seater plane was ancient. When the pilot started the engine, I wasn’t sure if it stalled or if it was working properly. 

As the flight attendant began her spiel I was exhausted, yet ready to hear her out and give her a chance. I was surprised to hear an awkward, mumbled tone come out of her mouth. Instead of being completely turned off, I was baffled and continued to listen.

At this point I wasn’t tuning into the safety tips, I was comparing the feeling of being on a rollercoaster to the sound of her voice.

Long story short, her spiel failed.

One week later I found myself on a plane to Los Angeles. Ready to tune out and let the air-pressured cabins put me to sleep.

I heard, “If you don’t like our service you can exit at any time from any exit nearest you.” This wasn’t your typical flight attendant talk. This was humorous and enjoyable.

The chipper-toned flight attendant added in a couple of wisecracks and gained the attention of her audience.
I will gladly admit that for the first time I listened to the entire flight attendant lecture and it was wonderful.

From this experience I learned that no matter what your occupation is, your delivery and tone plays a big role in the effectiveness of your message!

Note: Not all flight attendants deliver boring safety spiels. Visit 7 Secret Flight Attendant Tricks for some real-life entertaining stories that take place above the clouds! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em Join ‘Em: Find What You Love To Do and Start Networking to Find Your Next Job

By Kelsey Hilton, Account Executive

December graduation is quickly approaching. As I begin to feel the stress of finals week, the pressure to find a job in the “real world” is also haunting me. My college days are sadly coming to an end along with the reality that in less than a month I will move back home with my parents and need to find a job.

Graduating college can be a very stressful time in a student’s life. It is a milestone that many of us have always dreamed of accomplishing, but also a stage in our lives that we may not be ready for. As classes come to an end, the quest for a profession is lurking around the corner.

Job-hunting is a difficult task, but in today’s economy it has become a vastly grueling process. Though it isn’t easy to find a job, there are ways to make the hunt less stressful than it has to be. The stress many of us face derives from the belief that our first profession out of college is going to be our last, and we adamantly search for our “dream job.”

But job hunting doesn’t need to be this stressful.  

Some helpful tips for recent graduates when looking for a job, according to an article in Forbes Magazine, are to first figure out two things: “What tickles your fancy?” and “What are you willing to pay? - Both in the figurative and literal sense in order to obtain that kind of work.”

But even with these tips, it can be discouraging reading real-life statistics stating that 50 percent of new college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. Even with many factors against us, today we have the luxury of technology at our fingertips. More importantly, because of these technologies, recent grads need to network, network and then network some more.

We have the opportunity to be linked to people from all over the world who can possibly help us connect with a future employer or lead us in the right direction. 

The possibilities are endless.

Networking is an essential part of job-hunting in today’s market and you need to be networking everyday. Whether it’s online or through face-to-face interactions--it’s crucial.  

By joining networking groups and associations in a field you wish to enter, or attending industry meetings and conferences, you are increasing your opportunities.

Though these tips do not necessarily ensure a future career, they improve your chances of landing your next job and will make the process significantly less stressful. 

Here are five steps to follow for smooth networking