Spring Quarter 2014 – Meeting One Minutes

Cover Letter Workshop

Upcoming Dates:

  • Thursday, April 10th – Headshot Day from 11-12pm
  • Thursday, April 10th – Open House Booth at Farmers Market
  • Saturday, April 12th – Open House Club Showcase
  • Thursday, April 24th – Next PRSSA Meeting, guest speaker President Armstrong
  • May – E-board Elections


  • Connor Paquin – ASI Presidential Candidate

Cover Letter Workshop: By Emily Branson and Molly Hitchings

Design –

  • Consistent with resume
  • White space
  • Font

Content -

  • Google “ASI Cover Letter Sample”

First paragraph -

  • Introduction
  • One interesting fact about company/what you love
  • Position you are applying for

Second paragraph -

  • Why you are qualified
  • What is not on your resume
  • Anecdotal
  • Qualities/characteristics

Final paragraph -

  • Reiterate why you are qualified
  • Resume explains a great deal, but would love to meet in person
  • Thank for time
  • Look forward to seeing/meeting soon

Winter Quarter 2014 – Meeting Three Minutes

Upcoming PRSSA Events:

  • Monday, March 3, 2014: Clothing sale - email Leila to schedule drop off, sign up sheet will be going out soon to select time slots to volunteer
  • Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014: Next PRSSA Meeting – shirts, member certificates, mentor/mentee pairing

Guest Speaker:

Maureen Kasper – Senior Director Global Marketing Communications Cisco Systems


  • Santa Clara University to study combined science, sophomore year took a journalism class and discovered she loved it
  • Graduated as an English major with a writing emphasis
  • Held a variety of communication positions – made herself a generalist
  • Been with Cisco System for 19 years

Working in High Tech:

  • Must have aspirations
  • Do a lot of branding around spokes people
  • Trying to sell ideas
  • Be comfortable working in the grey area, not everything is black and white


  • Biggest change: good communication used to be about getting your message out, today it is about instilling a topic in the marketplace and making sure it lives on (driving conversation)
  • Cisco employees and spokespeople work together will three levels of communication: dedicated services, shared services and self-services
  • Full circle of communication is key

Communication Disciplines and Roles (Job Characteristics):

  • Analysts: often associated with a think-tank, leading edge thinker, influence marketplace by writing about it.
  • Media: public relations is about creating a message for the media. You don’t control your outcome in public relations. The best PR is what doesn’t get written.
  • Investors: have a data driven mind. Talk to Wall Street and shareholders. Must know the numbers and stick to the facts of the company/really know the business.
  • Executive Communications: communicate through all levels of communication.
  • Customer Communications: work very closely with customers and marketplace.

Winter Quarter 2014 – Resume Workshop

Molly Hitchings, the design and marketing intern for Novo Restaurant as well as Luna Red – mollyhitch@sbcglobal.net


Resume Organization

  • Leave adequate white space
  • Only use 2-3 fonts
  • Don’t list an objective or your high school
  • Place important facts about you on top (achievements)
  • List relevant work/internships then customer service jobs
  • Use a splash of color but keep it simple
  • Adding your own logo can help you stand out
  • Keep format uniform among all mediums: webpage, cover letter, references and resume

Resume Examples:

  • Classes.grc.calpoly.edu
  • Behance.net
  • Jobmob.com

Resume Writing

  • Sequence of contents
  • Relevant titles at top
  • Use effective titles and include duties
  • Include achievements and leadership roles
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread!
  • Let another set of eyes look over it
  • Update regularly
  • Use a human voice
  • Avoid any negative words
  • No jargon or slang

Cover Letters

  • ASI cover letter example
  • Make an outline with bullet points first
  • Keep it short, to one page, three paragraphs
  • Add something about the company


Our next meeting is Feb. 13th!

Winter Quarter 2014 – Meeting Two Minutes

Whitney Diaz, Digital Brand Strategist from Verdin Marketing

Personal Branding on Social Media
  • Personal Branding: the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. Brand = identity
  • No. 1 rule is think before you act! What’s on social media stays there forever.
  • Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your potential employer to see (including tagged photos)
  • Avoid any comments that could be interpreted as racist, sexist, or discriminatory in any way (even if you’re joking…. there is no sarcasm font)
  • Look at your timeline. Is this really how you want to identify yourself?
  • Develop a brand strategy. Start from the inside out. What are your personal core values? What are your passions? What are your goals? Combine these with personal strengths.
  • Find your voice, and be consistent. Create a blog and start writing. Create content and curate content.
  • Be authentic, but not ridiculous. Dare to do something different.
  • Use your real name. (YourName@gmail.com)
  • Keep your integrity. Be genuinely interested in other peoples’ opinions.
  • Facebook: 1) Create a branded timeline. (Cover photo, profile pictures, milestones, etc.) 2) Get a vanity URL (www.facebook.com/NameHere) 3) Separate your friends into lists. 4) Set your privacy settings (embrace lists) 5) Fill out your profile 6) Update your status regularly with a good mix of content
  • Twitter: 1) Read content in links before you retweet 2) Don’t use sarcasm (there’s no way of knowing what’s sarcastic or not, there’s no sarcasm font) 3) Keep your language professional, and don’t be rude or overreact 4) Use relevant hashtags to join conversations (don’t just talk AT people, talk with people) 5) Have a relevant Twitter handle, and share rich content (photos, videos)
  • You are what you tweet, context is everything, be careful when going for shock value.
  • Linkedin: LinkedIn has more than 259 million members, professionals are signing up for LinkedIn at a rate of more than 2 members per second, college students are the fastest growing demographic on LinkedIn
  • 10 Most Overused Buzzed Word in 2013: Responsible, Strategic, Creative, Effective, Patient, Expert, Organizational, Driven, Innovative, Analytical
  • Write a professional headline, include a professional, face-forward headshot, create a custom public, profile URL, write a professional summary that also showcases your personality and writing skills, add sections such as honors, projects, and volunteer experience
  • Fill in your experience as you would professional resume, write two or three sentences with visual enhancements (include presentations, website links, etc)
  • Highlight skills and areas of expertise that your LinkedIn connections can endorse later on.
  • Adjust your profile and privacy settings.
  • Be active, share updates, accomplishments

Winter Quarter 2014 – Meeting One Minutes

Announcements -

  • Next Meeting will be Jan. 23rd at 11am in building 26 room 106.
  • Mentor/Mentee Sign-ups are due Jan. 25th, a sign-up sheet was emailed out to all members and a hard copy was passed around at the meeting.
  • PRSSA Clothing Sale Fundraiser will be in late February, start collecting clothes now!

Icebreaker - Volleyball with questions and introductions

Time Management PRSSA presentation -


-Tips and Tricks:

  • Without a need there is rarely a will: be proactive.
  • Take your homework with you: there are always gaps of time during the day to get things done.
  • Zero out your email inbox
  • Make a to-do list
  • Make a to-DON’T list
  • “Eat the frogs”: do the things you do want to do first
  • Use a physical planner
  • Set triggers: leave notes around the house to remind you to do things
  • Say yes to saying “no”
  • look back: review your planner after the week is over to see what you did well and how you can improve next week
  • Two-Week Planner: available on the Facebook page
  • Get fit: your body works like your brain
  • Use apps on your phone: Todoist, Any Do and Evernote are helpful planning apps
  • Use your computer: Momentum is a Google Chrome extension that provides lists and reminders
  • Don’t check your phone and email at random, set aside time.
  • Don’t always be online: take time away from the internet to get things done
  • Block your classes

-Dr. Eller’s Tips:

  • Make a plan: put all your assignments in your calendar
  • Go to all of your classes
  • Figure out when you’re most productive, day or night?
  • Clock how long it takes you to get things done
  • Do homework on time
  • Prioritize class work
  • Do each task once
  • Divide and concur your tasks
  • Don’t take a 10 day holiday
  • Tell people no
  • Focus

2 Week Calendar PRSSA

Fall Quarter 2013 – Meeting Four Minutes

Guest Speaker: Megan Maloney – Senior Marketing Director for Dignity Health

- a degree in journalism and mass communications from Colorado
- she was the morning anchor for NBC affiliate North Dakota
- she covered the crime and court beat
- TV broadcast changed, one man band, doing everything by yourself. Ethically things changed, became more of an ambulance chaser than a story teller. 
- Received a Press Release at Marion from Santa Maria, transitioned from TV to public relations 
- open position at French Hospital in Arroyo Grande
- Liked the not-for profit aspect and strong values 
- serving needs of people who have language, financial barriers, and don’t have access to medicine. Never turn anyone away.  
-Media relations, press releases, newsletters, posters, events, internal communications, brochures, etc. 
- Ad campaigns and strategies, what types of cutting edge medical procedures can be promoted?
- TV, radio, direct mail, digital, print media are all used
- Evaluating how many people are seeing the message and then responding. Can do this more efficiently through digital media channels. 
- Ex: Weight Loss campaign, 137,000 impressions. 600 visits came through to the website. Conversion rate, of those people that clicked on the add how many actually came to the seminar. 54 phone calls came through wanting more information about the seminar. $17,000 per weight less surgery. If you have just 5 people undergo that surgery, there is an income of $85,000 for only $3,000 worth of ads. 
- Use a designer to create the actual ads, everything else is done in-house
- Branding campaign, created a new name from Catholic Healthcare West. Brand Stream helped them (examples of their work include Starbucks and the Nike “Just do it” campaign). Focus branding on Humankindess platform (sacrifices from nurses and doctors in small gestures like holding a door open, smile, helping someone across the street, etc.) Nothing to do with doctor’s sacrifice, but small gestures from everyone (asks for examples from audience, social movement)
- Physical expressions of brand: Banner that says “human kindness” made up of already stamped postcards with nice sayings in bus terminals in Las Vegas, Sanitary station that says “share happiness not germs”
- manage all of the websites, search engine analytics 
- balance between using social media and patient privacy
- Undocumented with no insurance or family, 23 year old with no family members that needed a heart transplant. Because they were a not-for-profit, they were able to give him a life-saving treatment for free with donations from the community. Contacted the Taiwanese embassy to reach his family who was able to give him a ticket to Taiwan and a plane ticket for a nurse to assist him on the journey. Doing something bigger than simply turning a profit. 
- “I am not a caregiver or healing anyone, but in a small way I get to be a part of that” 

Fall Quarter 2013 – Meeting Two Minutes


Meeting Minutes:

  • Meeting Two was held on Oct. 17th, 2013 from 11-12pm in building 26, room 106.
  • Speaker: Melissa Jenna Godsey – Writer, Digital Content, and Brand Strategist at Rosetta
Melissa’s tips and tricks from her own experience in finding Public Relations:
- If you show an aptitude for something, your boss will give you special projects
- Be prepared for complete and total changes to your plans when it comes to campaigns and projects
- Working at a start-up teaches you how to be resourceful because no one has time to answer your questions
- Random jobs that you have during college aren’t a waste, use them to explore what you like and don’t like
- It’s okay if you don’t have your whole career life planned out, it might take some time to find your passion
- You have to ask yourself how you fit into the digital space, what can you offer that isn’t already there
- When starting a new internship or job that might not fit in perfectly to your future career goals think about what opportunities there are for you to grow, who you might meet, and what projects or experiences that you could have that might fit with your future career
- Keep side projects of you to do on the side, create opportunities for yourself
- A lot of recruiting is done on LinkedIn, many jobs don’t even post listings online anymore. It is worth investing in your LinkedIn Profile.
- Personal branding is not all about you, but what people perceive your value as being. What can you add to their lives?
- Your personal brand should be inspirational, it should not be based 100% in reality. It is the best version of you, the “not yet but soon” you.
- Own what you want to be, even if people aren’t necessarily paying you to do that right now.
- Step one in developing your personal brand is figuring out what you can bring to the table.
- Produce content and work that back up you future goals and aspirations and then worry about personal branding
- Your internet footprint should be consistent and clear. An employer should be able to get a good sense of who you are by looking at your online presence. Make sure that is a positive image that you are portraying.
- Ways to figure out what you can bring to the table and what your strengths and weaknesses are:
  • Meyer Briggs Personality Test (assesses how you naturally think and how you interact with others)
  • archetypes.com
- It helps to have a third party confirm your strengths. Ask family and friends for honest feedback on your strengths.
- When working, connect with people that are likeminded and can help you in the future
- The 80/20 rule in social media: 20% should be self promotion and 80% should be informational
- Everyone is expected to be proficient in social media, practice using your social media sites to market yourself
- Add personal touches to your professional profile so that you don’t come off as a corporate robot
- When following blogs and other media, use an aggregator like feedly to keep with all the news

- Offer to collaborate with fellow bloggers and media sites for free, those relationships can help you down the road. Perhaps more than the relationships you make professionally.

Additional Meeting Highlights:

  • The Annual Cal Poly PRSSA Hearst Castle trip is scheduled for Nov. 16th at 8:15am.
  • If you haven’t already turned in your application and/or dues for this year, you can turn them into the PRSSA box in the journalism office or at the next meeting.
  • The next Cal Poly PRSSA meeting will be Oct. 31st, 2013 at 11am in building 26, room 106.

Fall Quarter 2013 – Meeting One Mintues

Meeting Minutes:

  • Meeting Two was held on Oct. 3th, 2013 from 11-12pm in building 26, room 106.
  • President – Leila Durmez
  • Presentations: What is the Cal Poly PRSSA followed by introductions by the 2013 Executive Board.

Back-To-School Buzz


  • The 2013 WOW Club Showcase
  • Cal Poly PRSSA plans this year
  • Staying connected with the Cal Poly PRSSA


Leila Durmaz, Cal Poly PRSSA President (right), showing off her love for public relations with a showcase participant.

2013 WOW Club Showcase

The Cal Poly PRSSA caught the eyes of the incoming fall 2013 freshman class at the Week of Welcome (WOW) Club Showcase on Sunday, September 22, 2013. Creating a buzz with our comedic side, we were able to share our passion for the field of public relations and express the importance of the club to those inside and out of the journalism department.

“PRSSA helps you enhance your education, broaden your network and launch your career in public relations,” explains the National PRSSA website.

Wow 2

Cal Poly PRSSA executive board members ready to share their favorite aspects of the club with new students. From left to right: Emily Branson, Taylor Clarke, Kelly Trom and Kaitlyn Henry.

Future Cal Poly PRSSA Events

The Cal Poly PRSSA chapter is excited to gain a wide variety of new members as a result from the WOW Club Showcase. Headed by Leila Durmaz, 2013-2014 Cal Poly PRSSA President, the chapter has something for everyone planned this year, including:

  • Alumni guest speakers first hand accounts of how public relations has played a role in their careers.
  • Workshops including: perfecting your resume and interview skills, branding yourself, and communication in the workplace.
  • Presentations from speakers in multiple industries including: public relations, technology and government.
  • Annual Christmas tour of Heart Castle.

Staying Connected

To keep up-to-date with the Cal Poly PRSSA and receive helpful public relations tips be sure like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter! Cal Poly PRSSA meetings with be held bi-monthly in Building 26 (the Graphic Arts building) in room 106 from 11:00am-12:00pm starting Thursday, October 3, 2013.

Exec Board 2013-142013-2014 Cal Poly PRSSA Board Members. From left to right: Emma Patterson, Digital Media Director, Emily Branson, Vice President, Kelly Trom, Communications Director, Kaitlyn Henry, Finance Director, Leila Durmaz, President, and Taylor Clarke, Outreach Director.

Spring Quarter Meeting 3 Minutes

Guest Speaker: Shannon Downing, Marketing Manager at Sierra Vista Hospital

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  • Shannon graduated Cal Poly with a degree in Journalism.
  • She helped start Cal Poly’s PRSSA chapter.
  • Shannon is currently the Marketing Manager at Sierra Vista Hospital.
  • Her responsibilities:
    • Community outreach and event planning
    • Website and social media
      • Manages the Sierra Vista Hospital and the Birth Center Facebook page
      • Posting interesting articles is not as effective when reaching audiences on Facebook; people like a human touch, so posting pictures of the staff or activities at the hospital is more effective.
    • Internal communication
    • Writing
      • Writing skills are key!
    • External Communication and Media Relations
      • Flyers, posters, community outreach
      • Make sure to build relationships with reporters
  • Challenges with health care marketing
    • Reaching younger audiences
    • It is important to understand who is your customer. This can be tricky in health care marketing because this includes both the patients and physicians.
    • Developing relationships with other companies
    • Small budget
    • 700 employees at Sierra Vista Hospital
      • It can be difficult to keep control of the message and the brand with so many employees.
      • Shannon keeps the directors of each department informed. The directors then talk to their departments to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
  • Campaign examples
    • Emergency room campaign
      • “In Quicker” app.
      • Exclusive service that allows patients to make an appointment in the emergency room so they don’t have to spend time in the waiting room
    • Safe drinking campaign
      • Worked with the Greek council to start the “Safe Zone” in emergency rooms in SLO
  • Summer internship Opportunity
    • Must be an upperclassman
    • Flexible hours
    • Unpaid
    • Must be a good writer
    • Will be updating Facebook posts, developing website content, and writing press releases
    • Will work directly with Shannon
    • Email Shannon your resume at shannon.downing@tenethealth.com

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