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Real world lessons learned through PR panel

Kat Simonelli
Metro Editor

The Public Relations Student Society of America, or PRSSA, hosted a speaker’s panel titled “The Ins and Outs of the PR Industry: An Inside Look into the PR World and What It’s Really Like.”

The event was created to give students the opportunity to interact with senior PR professionals who have been successful in their industry.

Panelists included Chris Perez, a board member for the Inland Empire Public Relations Society of America, PRSA; Young Yu, senior vice president at Saeshe, Inc. and Aaron Norris, president of the Inland Empire chapter of PRSA and director of communications for the Norris Group.

“I think we had a pretty diverse panel,” Diego Chavez, junior public relations major and vice president of La Verne’s PRSSA, said.

“They had a lot of titles under their belts, so I thought that they gave us a good insight of what really does happen in the PR industry.”

Panelists offered tips such as using non-profit experience to gain an advantage, how to stand out in an interview process, following news sites on Twitter and weeding out the pictures that are posted on Facebook and other social media.

“It’s always nice to take what you’ve learned in the classroom and actually bring it to life through a real experience,” said Stephen Chavez, adjunct professor and faculty advisor for PRSSA.

Sometimes the best lessons are learned through real world experiences, such as how to react and keep your composure when situations are not going as planned.

“We hope that everything we plan goes smoothly, but it really doesn’t go that way,” Diego Chavez said.

“There was a speaker that canceled last minute so there was a little bit of crisis management, but we stepped back and we were like, ‘Okay, let’s relax and breathe. Who can we invite that would be pretty good?’ And we ended up inviting a last minute speaker (Norris) who was the PRSA president from the Inland Empire, and he turned out to be a pretty good speaker,” Chavez said.

PRSSA plans to hold more speaker panels in the future.

Kat Simonelli can be reached at

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