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PRSA-LA Features PRSSA Pepperdine in Newsletter

November 28, 2009

Check out this excerpt featuring me and the  PRSSA Pepperdine chapter!

Direct link to article: PRSA-LA Newsletter Nov/Dec 09

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Take Control of Your Membership Experiences!

November 21, 2009

Joining a national professional organization reaps rewards beyond impressing employers and local chapter events. Explore all your options! As president of PRSSA Pepperdine Chapter, I strive to take advantage of every event outside of my chapter that I can afford (in terms of money and time). Some of my favorite events this year include:

Each experience was enriching and fantastic in its own right! Here is an overview of benefits:

  • Gain a sense of a national profession/organization- you are not alone!
  • Network with industry pros and future leaders- it’s all about relationships!
  • Learn best practices, new media, and innovative ideas
  • Practice your elevator pitch and 30 second commercial- you will gain confidence and clarify your message!

I encourage you to take an active role in you associations- take control of your member experience and milk it for all it is worth! To learn more about the events that I attended just click on the highlighted text above!

Here is a photo collage of some of my PRSSA memories this year:

Mosaic of my experiences at 2009 National PRSSA events

1. A good time in new orleans na09, 2. me & Sarah New Orleans NA09, 3. Ernesto from UCF at leadership rally, 4. Fellow presidents and roomies!, 5. Fantastic architechture in new orleans, 6. Soo much food!, 7. NC09 conference committee, 8. NC09 PRSA National President, 9. nc09- 90210 celebrity with kion&Mary-Rose nc09, 10. Ocelot from SDzoo PRSA nc09, 11. PRSSA delegates NA09, 12. PRSSA national committee nc09, 13. The men of National Committee & comm director NC09

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Arianna Huffington: Meeting with A Legend

November 14, 2009

Arianna Huffington at NC09

Over 3,000 public relations and marketing professionals and students piled into the Marriot hotel last Saturday for the 2009 PRSA International Conference.  Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, gave an outsider’s perspective on public relations. Her striking confidence and frankness made her keynote address feel more like an intimate conversation than a formal speech.

Huffington stressed the importance of cultivating relationships with publics by opening up a dialogue instead of traditional one-way communication. Here are some bits of advice from Arianna:

  • “Promiscuity may not be great in relationships, but it is very good online,” she joked while discussing the benefits of using multiple social media outlets.
  • “The great thing about the current state of communication is that things can be course corrected almost as fast as they are disseminated.”
  • “We are all so used to massive streams of information there now must be drama for something to stand out (she used ‘Balloon Boy’ as a light-hearted example). All information must be framed in a dramatic way to draw attention to the core issue you are communicating.”
  • “We all have the capacity for empathy… touching people’s hearts is so much more important than touching people’s minds. It’s the most powerful way to get people to act.”- My favorite quote of the day.

Arianna concluded the keynote with a candid interview with Wendell Potter, senior fellow at the Health Care Center for Media and Democracy, to discuss ethical practices in public relations and relflect on his courage as a whistle blower.

Rachel & Arianna Huffington at PRSA NC09

After the event I purchased her book just for an autograph and photo opp! The book looks interesting- and biased but honest and passionate. So I walked away with a book I may never read and a blurry picture to boot! However it was completely worth it to meet such an inspiring woman and pioneer.

FYI- Book title: Right is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe (What a mouthful!)

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Going Against the Waves: Insight behind the Success of Mona Pasquil

November 7, 2009

Mona Pasquil keynote PRSSA NC09

Inspirational. Engaging. Fearless. These are just a few words that students used to describe the stirring keynote address by Mona Pasquil at the 2009 PRSSA National Conference. Her experience in the political sector of public relations provided valuable insight to conference attendees.

Mona Pasquil, Vice President of MSHC Partners, Inc., shared her experiences as a minority woman in the male-dominated and highly competitive political world. Pasquil has an impressive resume in politics and public affairs including serving as western political director for the White House Officer of Political Affairs during the Clinton administration. She was recently named as California’s interim Lt. Governor until a successor is chosen, and she serves on the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws committee.

During her keynote address, Pasquil shared “The Mona Rules,” her personal principles to success. “Always be prepared and have a plan,” she advised. “Think about all the potential scenarios out there and work out your response before a situation occurs.”

In a world driven by new media, immediacy is imperative in response to a crisis. Knowing your plan enables you to give an immediate yet thoughtful response. “Timing is everything,” she said, “It is the difference between winning and losing. You must get your information out there to combat what others say. Don’t wait!”

Pasquil addressed difficulties faced by public relations practitioners. “Never make a joke out of a tough situation,” she advised. When faced with a crisis, “Don’t try to spin things. People do not like it and you’re going to lose…There’s that moment when you have a chance to make your mark on history. You get the opportunity to tell the story the right way. Take it!”

Pasquil stressed the importance of knowing who you are as a person and professional. “Don’t let others define you,” she encouraged. “Be true to yourself. Remember who you are, remember your journey, and remember the lessons you’ve learned.”

As leaders, we have the responsibility to foster leadership in others and help them reach their full potential. “I’ve learned for a mentor that you have to serve people,” said Pasquil. “When you have the opportunity to serve people, you have the responsibility to bring others along.”

In her concluding remarks, Pasquil emphasized the rewards of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. “Working for the public is tough, but when you see your work out there, there isn’t anything like it,” she held. She left students with a call to action. “There are people that don’t need you to save the world, but do that one thing, that one simple thing,” she said. “You will be the answer to the struggles today.”

After her moving keynote address, I interviewed Mona to give our members an inside peek at her history and motivation.

FRIEDMAN WRITER: What was your vision of your future when you were in college?

PASQUIL: I planned on teaching Dante and Chaucer! Honestly, as the oldest of five in a Filipino family I wanted to see and learn everything. I dabbled in banking, worked as a translator, and dedicated my extracurricular time to public service in the senator’s office. The choice for my career path came down to a need for stability.

FRIEDMAN WRITER: How do you overcome the obstacles of being a minority woman in a male-dominated world?

PASQUIL: I had great mentors to help me along the way. My mentors had a broadening vision that guided me in the right direction and connected me with the right people.

FRIEDMAN WRITER:What do you do in your free time?

PASQUIL: I work at a safe haven for victims of domestic violence. My father was a social worker so helping others has always been important to me. I also love landscape photography and hiking.

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Leadership Lessons from Lincoln: Come Down From Your Ivory Tower

November 1, 2009

I am taking a fantastic class called “Leadership and Rhetoric” at Pepperdine University with Dr. Johny Garner. Our most recent assignment required us to analyze a book about leadership using the theories and materials from class. My group chose The Centurion Principles by Jeff O’Leary, a book that uses a diversity of leaders throughout history from Joan of Arc to Ulysses S. Grant as examples of strong and successful leadership. I will highlight one particular chapter featuring Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the U.S., faced a war-torn country on the brink of collapse. Lincoln was a man that was by the people, for the people, and with the people. He spent more than half of the month in the trenches and among his followers. He left his “ivory tower”- an action with several benefits to himself, his followers, and ultimately his government. Leaders must know their followers beyond their functions. Transformational leaders satisfy more than their followers basic needs; they help followers reach their full potential and gain a sense of self fulfillment. You can only do this if you get out there and communicate with your followers.

Benefits of Leaving the Ivory Tower

  1. You will gain trust and respect from your followers if they know you understand what they do
  2. You will gain new perspectives and invite creative solutions when you enable open communication
  3. You can spread and strengthen your vision through story-telling and interaction with followers
  4. You can address dissent before it grows if you are available and empower your followers with a voice

Leaving Your Ivory Tower: The Plan

Here are several steps to become a transformational leader who knows and cares for his or her followers taken from the life of Abraham Lincoln:

First, schedule time out of the office every day. Find different lower-level employees and supervisors and visit them in their workspace. Find out about what kinds of challenges they face and what their job entails. Work your way along until you’ve met and spent time with every member of your organization. Spending a small amount of time will give you a lot of information and help you spread your vision.

Second, get reports from the source whenever possible. If that means taking a trip, walking up the stairs, or having them come to you, then do that. You gain clarity when you speak face-to-face with someone.

Third, invite people to question your ideas and directions during the formulation stage. If you find that you cannot respond with clear and convincing answers, then take a step back and rethink your position. “An idea that can’t stand the light of an argument is not one that should see the light of day.”

Fourth, take the high road even if it is the long route. Create a vision that supports followers and considers the future of an organization. Centurion and transformational leaders set the ethical standard for their followers and earn loyalty and trust.

Above all, be patient with yourself. It takes time, effort, and practice to become a great leader. Watch others who possess charisma, creativity, innovation, and honor and learn from them. Never stop watching and learning from those who are more successful than yourself.

“It’s not a weakness to admit your limitations; it is a weakness not to improve them.”

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The Graphic features PRSSA Pepperdine

October 9, 2009

Check out this article in The Graphic from Pepperdine! This is the first time our chapter has been recognized in any publication outside of our own! The article highlights our chapter’s participation in the national CW marketing competition last month.

The CW competition team for Pepperdine, led by Maia Knudsen-Schule, had just a few short weeks to create and implement a campus-wide PR and marketing campaign to promote 90210 and Melrose Place primetime tv dramas. The students successfully hosted a campus wide screening of the shows accompanied by free food and a local band. They implemented a social media strategy to promote the event using Facebook, Twitter, and Ning in conjunction with traditional marketing such as posters and fliers. The feedback from attendees echoed excitement and fond memories! Great work to the PRSSA team.

See the original article at The Graphic Online. Click here for more information about the CW competition.

3 Stages of Knowledge (and their benefits!)

August 21, 2009

Ever heard the old cliche, “Knowledge is Power?” While the saying is tired, the advice is not. The life cycle of knowledge provides us with invaluable life tools manifested in what I have divided into three stages: getting it, using it, and passing it on. Each stage provides us with hidden benefits that reach far beyond the surface value of learning a subject.

Learning is the process of acquiring knowledge. Learning empowers us with critical thinking skills necessary in all decision-making, big or small. Learning requires taking an active role in your development of a broad and in-depth body of knowledge. Go beyond life’s lessons and educate yourself. Never stop learning; go back to school and finish that degree, check out graduate school, or join a local professional organization that offers development training. Take a cooking class or learn a new language. On a budget with your time or money? Read a book or white paper. Interview people who inspire you or ask your elderly neighbor about their youth. Opportunities to learn abound. Remember, your brain is a muscle that must be exercised! Use it or lose it.

Knowledge gives us the tools to make sense of our experiences and to think logically. The more we know, the better equipped we are to weigh out the possibilities in front of us, and with that comes confidence in decision-making. Knowledge keeps us relevant and helps us communicate with different people. Diversity prevails in this post-modern world, placing importance on learning a wide range subjects. Seek out new and interesting opportunities. If anything intimidates you, you should try it once. We fear that which we do not know. Plunge and explore the unknown.

Knowledge kept is knowledge incomplete. The life cycle of knowledge is incomplete if it remains in the mind of the knower. Pass on what you learn! There is no world limitation on the amount of knowledge to go around. Don’t try to give yourself the upper hand and hoard what you know. Let others benefit from your experience and inspire them to explore the world. The greatest personal growth is often experienced when assisting in the growth of another. Engaging in the exchange of knowledge opens us to learning more.

Learning gives us the power of critical thinking. Knowledge gives us the p Read more…