Meet the Staff: Laura Krantz – University Star Director and SJMC Faculty Member

_DSC0978Lecturer Laura Krantz is the new director at the University Star, the Texas State University student newspaper. Originally from Houston, Laura moved to Albuquerque as a junior in high school, and then attended The University of New Mexico where she had been a junior college student media adviser for 10 years.

She is excited to be part of the pivotal time in a person’s life — the college years — and encourage them to do their best work and usher them out into the “real world.” At Texas State University, Laura loves teaching MC 1313 and seeing students learn the purpose and mechanics of media writing.

Laura likes to watch students who love journalism come onto a college campus and find their “tribe.” Laura’s office at the University Star is always open for students to get advice, so be sure to meet Laura and welcome her to Texas State!

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#AlumniSpotlight: Tiffany Young

Tiffany young is a recent 2016 graduate from our Public Relations sequence in the SJMC. While at Texas State, Young served in multiple student organizations, including Student Government, Student Organizations Council, Cat Camp, and Student Foundation. Young is now a Deputy Account Associate at ROSS Communications in Austin. Congrats, Tiffany!

JMC Living-Learning Community Meets with Professionals

Twice during the spring semester, the Journalism and Mass Communication Living-Learning Community traveled to media-related companies for tours and real-world advice from media professionals. The field trips catered to each realm of mass communication: public relations, advertising, electronic media, digital media innovation, and journalism.

First, students toured the Edelman PR firm in downtown Austin where employees discussed different accounts and showed examples of their work for clients like Kentucky Fried Chicken and REI. At Edelman, the Learning Community students had the opportunity to ask interns, newly-hired and experienced PR professionals questions concerning the field and the requirements for working at the firm.

Next, they were immersed into the world of advertising at McGarrah Jessee. The advertising company provided extensive interviews with members of each department to emphasize unique responsibilities and opportunities within the company and industry.

Students learned more about the broadcasting and journalism aspects of the media industry when they traveled to San Antonio to tour KABB Fox 29 and San Antonio Express-News. While at the television station, the aspiring storytellers went behind the scenes to watch a live broadcast of Daytime at Nine from the set. They received a tour of the building from the Lifestyle Associate Producer, Carlos Hernandez. Hernandez, a Texas State alumnus, offered advice on beneficial classes and landing internships in the field.

The last stop at San Antonio Express-News proved the changing industry has much to offer prospective journalists and photographers. After a tour of the newsroom, pressroom, and photography department, the students had a broad understanding of the daily routines at a newspaper. Those interested in sports had the opportunity to meet with the sports editor and receive specific advice.

Each career field trip offered relevant and tangible opportunities of insight and networking that will prepare students for the media professions. We are thankful to have proud alumni and professionals who are willing to spend time with our students!

Story by Lily Reeves, pre-electronic media major

SJMC’s 2017 Awards Ceremony

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication honored its brightest and best students at the 2017 Awards Ceremony in Old Main on Tuesday. Proud parents, family members, faculty and staff joined in celebrating the scholars’ achievements. Check out the photo slideshow below for a visual recap of the event, and learn about our outstanding student honors!

Mass Media & Society Cyber Club

Dr. Susan Weill is launching a new TRACS-based club for SJMC students! The club has no dues or fees and focuses on how the mass media interprets the world, especially through movies, television programs and documentaries.

Here’s how the Mass Media & Society Cyber Club will function:

  • A movie, television program or documentary will be posted monthly for members to watch. (Members will receive a notification email.)
  • After members watch the movie, television program or documentary, they will then post an observation and reply to other members’ observations.  Observations should focus on how the movie, television program or documentary might impact society.

Interested students should email Dr. Weill at weill@txstate.edu to be added to the Mass Media & Society Cyber Club membership.

PRSSA members visit Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers and Dallas Mavericks’ communication teams

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PRSSA members and faculty on the Texas Rangers field.

On Friday, March 24, Texas State Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) members traveled to Dallas to gain sports public relations (PR) knowledge through speaking with the Dallas Cowboys, the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Mavericks’ communication teams.

PRSSA Faculty Adviser Paul Villagran coordinated the trip to give members the opportunity to network and learn from PR professionals, with hopes to begin traveling to different places every spring semester.

“I really want to grow PRSSA and begin taking the members on trips every year,” Villagran said. “As a test-run, I could not think of a better place to go than Dallas. But I hope in the future we can maybe even do San Francisco or somewhere further.”

The group of 15 members and two faculty advisers, Villagran and Prisca Ngondo, arrived in Arlington, Texas, Thursday evening, where they stayed in a near hotel and woke up at 7 a.m.  for our first visit to the AT&T Stadium, also referred to as Jerry’s World or Cowboys Stadium.

Joe Trahan, Dallas Cowboys’ media relations and corporate communications coordinator, gave an exclusive tour of the 100,000-plus seat and 300 suite stadium. Trahan pointed out works of art that Jerry Jones’ wife, Eugenia Jones, put throughout the stadium, along with bringing the group to ground level to the VIP access area where the players run to the field. While Trahan showed off the million dollar suites and the 300-seat capacity press box, he explained how the industry is very demanding and rewarding.

“I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving or Christmas since I started 10 years ago,” Trahan said. “But, I mean I love what I do. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Trahan also said that his job is to bridge the gap between his players and the media and that the most important thing to do is to build his player’s trust. Ways that he can build their trust is reaching out to fellow sports PR professionals, such as Sarah Melton, director of communications for the Dallas Mavericks, and getting her to provide tickets to Dak Prescott, quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, when he asks for five courtside Mavericks tickets the day of. Trahan also goes to mention that the network of professionals is very small and one of the many perks is free games when he travels to the Cowboys’ away games.

Next, the group traveled down the street to Global Life Park, which is home to the Texas Rangers. There they were toured the press conference room and the dugout, then spoke with the directors of marketing and advertising, PR and social media. It was a great opportunity for the members to get a well-rounded view of all sides of communications, especially since the Texas Rangers are one of the few MLB teams that do all their marketing and PR in-house.

The group agreed that it was interesting to see how the Rangers communication team handled different issues and delegated tasks. For example, director of social media Kaylan Estepp mentioned that the Rangers are on 10 social media platforms, however they give access to MLB staff to live-tweet on game days.

The last part of the trip, the group visited the Dallas Mavericks’ PR team at their office – the American Airlines Center. they met with Sarah Melton, director of communications, and two others: the communications manager Scott Tomlin and the communications coordinator Alan Rakowski. All three professionals had a few things in common:

  • They gained their most valuable experience in their universities’ sports information office
  • They were willing to move wherever the job took them
  • They worked hard to be known in the industry.
  • Their connections are what landed them a job

The PR professionals mentioned that sports PR world is a niche market, which makes networking important to get into the field.

“I was obsessed with Indiana basketball,” Melton said. “But once my former boss came to Texas and offered me this job, I could not pass it up.”

Melton also went on to say that being in sports PR, the fan in you must die.

“You’re there for work and you have to be professional,” Melton said. “Much of our job is media relations, so when one of the players have a bad game and they’re too upset to talk with the media, it is up to us to be the example and not let an emotional loss or a bad call get in the way of holding a press conference.”

The demand of 82 basketball games keep life for the communication team very busy, to the point where most days of the season they’re working from 7 a.m. until midnight; then up at work again the next morning. However, much like what Trahan said, all three of them said that it’s all worth it when you love your job.

Katie Stone, sophomore PRSSA member, has been to a few PRSSA events and said that this was by far her favorite and looks forward what other opportunities PRSSA will bring her in the future.

Story by Kristen Lavone Torrez

Big Apple offers Bobcat Promotions a reality check

By Mark A. Alvarez II

NEW YORK — Seeking to make a mark in the world capital of media, Bobcat Promotions, Texas State University’s student-run public relations firm, took its fourth annual trip to New York City this past January.

Twelve young practitioners were given the opportunity to broaden their PR perspectives by engaging in numerous professionals at top PR firms, museums and the United Nations.

BPR Executive Director Kristen Torrez, a senior, explained that visiting the Big Apple was both a personal milestone and a professional development opportunity.

The Jan. 10-14 trip was Torrez’s first New York visit. She was surprised that it was not as overwhelming as she anticipated. “I thought visiting firms in New York would be intimidating, but actually it gave me more confidence once I got there,” Torrez said. “There was a lot going on, of course, but it was exhilarating. It made me want to jump in and tackle challenges alongside leading PR professionals.”

For Vanessa Mora, public relations senior and a BPR account executive, this trip to New York, not her first, would provide an opportunity for professional growth.

“I have been to New York before,” Mora said. “Quite a few times in fact, but this was the first time I could experience New York with the capacity as a young PR professional. I have always had a firm grasp on the types of firms I would want to work for, but this was a world I never could have imagined. This trip completely raised my expectations and redefined the professional goals I had for myself.”

In its fourth year, the New York trip, created and organized by adviser Chuck Kaufman, continued the tradition of attending a mixer of Texas State mass communication alumni at the host Park Central Hotel, where they welcomed 10 alumni, including Christopher Henry of Edelman and Maira Garcia of The New York Times.

The students got to dig into a variety of subjects from their professional development to simply surviving the hustle and high cost of living in New York City.

The leap from the cozy college life of San Marcos to the bright lights of New York is quite a transition.

Mondy Hobbs, former BPR Account Executive, is now working for Weber Shandwick in New York. “She’s been living in New York City for six months now,” said Danielle Martinez, PR senior and Bobcat Promotions Website Manager. “So, seeing her there made me feel like making the big move is possible.”

Edelman’s Henry advised fellow Bobcats on ways that he believes helped him land a job in the big city. He cleverly sought out a temporary phone with a New York area code so that employers would think he was from New York, he told Torrez.

Actually, Henry is from New York but moved to Houston with his family at an early age. “He thought if he had a New York area code he would be more likely to get hired, and he did. He thinks that was a big part of it,” she said. Of course, Henry was a huge talent for BPR and as an Honors College graduate as well at Texas State.

Apart from getting to network with Texas State alumni, the Bobcat Promotions team got the opportunity to speak with the communications director of the 911 Memorial and Museum, attend a media briefing at the United Nations and visit some of the world’s largest and most prestigious public relations firms.

“I still can’t believe that we had the privilege to sit it on a media briefing led by Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the secretary general at the UN headquarters,” Martinez said. “We got to listen in on real life situations during a live teleconference with a UN official in Mosul. I wouldn’t have been able to read or know about such events until it was carried by international media the very next day. I mean, how crazy is that?”

“Along with the briefing, we had the privilege of touring the magnificent and historic headquarters, from the general assembly hall to the security council. The institution is so full of history, diversity and human rights. It was truly a remarkable experience.”

These Bobcats experienced an unforgettable experience that not only provided insight into the professional world beyond college, but also an experience that would inspire them to follow their own vision within an ever-changing world of mass communication.

Taylor Carfield, a senior and PRSSA social media coordinator, said, “Visiting the 911 Memorial and Museum was by far one of the most somber experiences of my life. We spoke with the communications director and my biggest take away was that in representing the museum and memorial, people’s lives and families were very hurt and torn apart by these events, and the director explained that as a communicator we need to practice doing our job with the utmost sensitivity when dealing with such a tragedy.”

These kinds of insights gave the students a redefined sense of understanding of media and media relations and their place in it.

“After the trip, I felt more motivated to reach for the stars in all aspects of my life, including Bobcat Promotions,” Carfield said. “This trip really taught me to be confident and that if I want something, I can work hard enough to get it.”

After meetings, the students explored the full menu of the exciting opportunities and hustle of the city — the museums, restaurants, theater, Times Square, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, the subway system and shopping.  By all accounts, there were no shortages of lifetime memories.

“The trip never fails to achieve its mission of developing students professionally,” Kaufman, BPR adviser, said. “Students return to Texas fully charged to take on the world. They are more than simply motivated; they’re inspired. And that’s very gratifying not only for them but for me as a faculty member.”

Ad Club in San Francisco! Career Exploration: Discover America

The Ad Club at Texas State visited San Francisco for its annual agency tour the week of January 8 – 14. Faculty Advisor Emmeline Aguirre Olson accompanied 21 members on the trip. The unusually rainy weather made the trip to the City by the Bay longer than expected with an extended layover in Denver an unplanned stop in Orange County.

The Club visited a variety of big, global agencies and small, tight-knit companies, including Goodby Silverstein & Partners, BBDO San Francisco, Duncan Channon, Grey San Francisco, Pereira & O’Dell, and AKQA San Francisco. The group went on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, where they met with members of the sponsorship department who provided insight into sports marketing and branding. The trip also included a visit to the Academy of Arts University where students were provided information about the graduate program and online undergraduate courses available to enhance and continue their education.

What made this experience worthwhile was the availability of these agencies. Each agency had its own unique personality and culture. Students met with CEOs, creative directors, account heads, interns, human resources, and office administrators. The group was also able to meet up with Texas State alumna Courtney Horrigan (2015), whose second day at BBDO coincided with the tour. By meeting with such a variety of personnel, the Ad Club was able get a better understanding of all components of an advertising agency.

Story by Victoria Salinas

Texas State announces new NSAC team

Texas State NSAC Advertising teamTexas State is excited to announce the student members of its National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) Team. NSAC is the premier college advertising competition that provides more than 2,000 college students the real-world experience of creating a strategic advertising/marketing/media campaign for a corporate client.

This year’s client is frozen food manufacturer, Tai Pei. Students from the Advertising, Communications Design and Marketing Sequences will work through the spring semester to create and present a marketing and advertising plan for Tai Pei. Their work will be judged by a panel of advertising professionals at the district, semi-final and national levels.  In 2016, the Texas State NSAC team brought home the District title.  The 2017 team hopes to go all the way to New Orleans for the National Competition in June.

Account Management
Adam Raiford
Vanessa Villescas

Account Planning
Dinesse Dominguez
Katelyn Neu

Media Planning
Ashlee Bilbo
Adriana Bueno
Kalyne Leger
Chelsey Rosine

Copy Direction
Philip Bridges
Kiersta Hoover
Kiley Jones
Zachary Reed

Art Direction
Beau Carnes
Pedro Moreno
Angela Rhys
Christina Rodriguez
Albert Suarez

Production
Tara Dotson
Tyler Weems

Experiential
Breonna Ruffin

Plans Book
Samantha Byrd

Faculty Advisors
Jenny Buschhorn, MA, Assistant Professor of Practice, Advertising
Dr. Rick Wilson, Assistant Professor, Marketing

 

Join us for “Cash Cab” on News Engagement Day!

image2.PNGHelp SJMC’s Dr. Kelly Kaufhold celebrate News Engagement Day on Tuesday, Oct. 4 with a “Cash Cab” from 12-1 p.m. outside the LBJ Student Center. Students who answer his current events questions correctly can have a chance to win some fabulous prizes. This special day was created by the AEJMC to encourage students to “read, watch, like, tweet, post, text, email, listen to, or comment on news.”

Started out from a national academic conference AEJMC in 2014, News Engagement Day has become a global event. Every year, exactly one month before the election day, people in all 50 states and dozens of countries encourage young people to explore news and raise awareness about the importance of being informed citizens.

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In preparation for the big day, Dr. Kaufhold has been tweeting his heart out on Twitter at @kkaufhold with question hints for students. When the event is done, Dr. Kaufhold plans to measure this as a research project. Research has shown that the Millennial generation tends to ignore and get less involved in the news. However, through efforts like News Engagement Day, we hope to pique students’ curiosity about the news and get students involved. For more information, follow #newsengagementday or visit the official News Engagement Day website at newsengagement.org.