Monthly Archives: June 2010

Make Yourself More Marketable with Continuing Education Courses

In a job environment where young PR pros could use any advantage they can get, we give you… summer PR courses from UCLA Extension!

Whether you’re new to the PR game and would like to get some coursework under your belt or if you’re an old pro looking to polish some new skills, there are courses to meet your needs. And even better – if you’re a PRSA-LA member, there’s a discount!

Classes start soon, so check out what’s being offered during the Summer Quarter:

Public Speaking for PR Professionals
Description: The ability to speak with power and persuasive authority is a key tool for a practicing publicist on a daily basis. This course is designed to provide both concepts and practical instruction in preparing and delivering powerful brief presentations–with and without PowerPoint and other visual aids.
: Wednesday, 7-10 p.m.
: July 7 – September 1

Advanced Public Relations Writing
Description: This six-week, advanced writing course is designed to catapult the public relations professional past everyday PR writing needs. Participants master the art of strategic writing, key message formulation, and targeted delivery through focused writing projects dealing with high-profile communications, such as speeches and presentations, position papers, or opinion pieces in influential publications.
: Thursday, 7-10pm
Term: July 8 – August 12

Writing for Public Relations (Online)
Description: It is difficult, if not impossible, to succeed in the public relations profession without a solid proficiency in writing effective, persuasive and informative documents. This advanced course covers a variety of PR writing styles and forms that include news releases, pitch letters, biographies, speeches, power memos and crisis communications statements.
Date/Time: Tuesday
Term: July 29 – August 24

To register for courses online, visit

Thanks to Caitlin Mattias for putting this post together…even though the fact that these classes are at UCLA pains us both  🙂

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Event Recap: Diving into Digital

Last week, the next generation of local PR practitioners gathered at Edelman for PRSA-LA YP’s third panel discussion of the year, which focused on the timely and topical issue of digital.  Speakers Siobhan O’Neill of our host agency and Heather McConnell of Hill & Knowlton discussed the various digital tools available to PR professionals today and made recommendations on how we, the young professional demographic, can leverage them not only to be the best advocates possible for our clients but also to advance our careers.

Appropriately, @angelcityblues began her introduction by asking us all to smile as she took a Twitpic before giving us a brief background on how she got into the PR field–specifically as a result of having no previous experience in PR.  She is currently an account supervisor in the digital practice at Edelman.

@HMcConnell introduced herself with a story of working at network giant Cisco Systems convincing executives that this “blogging thing” may catch on and they should look into it.  From her experience there, she nailed down an account supervisor position at Hill & Knowlton, handling digital.

Both speakers covered a broad range of topics and emphasized a number of best practices for social media and integration of digital tools into PR plans.

Some takeaways:

  • Clients will not always cooperate, and while you may be the expert, they are ultimately paying the bills, so you may need to travel a path you don’t necessarily agree with.  Give them a baseline of what they want…and then start preparing what will work.
  • The people who bubble up to the top in social media are really good at talking about…themselves.  In PR this game is about being effective and strategic–not about mindlessly loading up on followers.
  • PR is poised to own the social media space in a few years, but for now, it’s a shared endeavor with other entities.  Play nice, but have the mindset that you are a leader.
  • Assume that everything you do online is public.  Everything!
  • Facebook and Twitter still reach two different audiences.  Most Tweeters are on Facebook, but the reverse is not true.  At all.
  • You don’t control your message with social media.  The public does.  Don’t try to bring the people to you.  Go to where they are.
  • If you represent a brand, make friends with bloggers and folks via social media.  If they like you, they will defend your brand.
  • At the end of the day, what people are really looking for is for companies to be human.  They want people to be real with them.  Authenticity goes a long way.

These are just a few of the takeaways from the discussion last Wednesday night.  For more info on the event, log into Twitter, follow @LAPR and search the #prsaypevent hash tag for all the live tweets.

How are we doing?  This blog and the @LAPR Twitter feed are available as resources for you.  What can we do to make the experience better?  Please leave comments, tweet us or hit my personal page with a DM.  We love feedback!

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Event Info: Diving into Digital

We are pleased to announce our June YP panel discussion—digital. 

Joining us will be experts Heather McConnell of Hill & Knowlton and Siobhan O’Neill of Edelman.

Date: June 16, 2010

Time: Networking: 6:30 p.m.
Program: 7-8:30 p.m.

Location: Edelman
5900 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Parking: Free parking is available on 8th street, directly behind the building.  There are also meters along Spaulding (on the East side of the building) and Genessee (the street that runs directly from the back of the building).

$10 for PRSA/PRSSA members and $20 for non-members/guests. (Please note new cost for non-members.)

Make plans to join us tomorrow night for some insights into the digital world and how you can leverage emerging technology to drive your messaging and your client agendas!

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YP Board Profile: Dillon Bianchi – Collegiate Outreach Chair

Dillon Bianchi is your YP Collegiate Outreach Chairman for the PRSA-LA Chapter. Contact him @dillonbianchi or at for any information on obtaining or posting an internship.

He was born and raised in San Francisco and Sonoma County, Calif. He attended San Diego State University, and California State University Los Angeles majoring in Communications (emphasis in Public Relations and Organizational Communication), and a minor in Spanish.

Mr. Bianchi currently works as an Account Executive with VMS, an industry leading media intelligence firm. At VMS, he has developed and managed client relationships with Harrah’s Entertainment, The Phoenix Suns, U-Haul, ASU, Verizon, Cox Communication, Weight Watchers and also major PR and Advertising agencies, such as Rogers & Cowan.

He recently spearheaded a Social Media campaign by developing a strategic plan, and proposal, which was adopted and is currently being used by VMS. In turn, he was awarded a committee team member position, which leads innovative dialogue necessary to remain an industry leader in media relations.

In his free time when he is not revelry touring Los Angeles with his friends, he enjoys creating art, reading, writing, and music. He also loves outdoor ventures, and sports.

Connect with him on Twitter!

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