Students networking at Communication
Career Day 2005 were treated to breakfast, lunch, and a breathtaking
view from the 20th floor of the Pioneer Plaza. Organized every
year by the College of Communication, COM Career Day is an
event hosted by the communication clubs: the Public Relations
Student Society of America, the International Association of
Business Communicators, and Akamai Advertising.
Five presentations with guest speakers were
scheduled for the day: Media Training, with Chuck E. Little;
Media Progression, with Bill Brennan; Business Attire Fashion
Show, with Kehaulani Christian; How an Ad Agency Works, with
Michael Moody; and an alumni panel discussion featuring four
former HPU students. Earlene Dowell, founding president of
PRSSA, said the objectives of the workshops were to offer students
an opportunity to visit with alumni, faculty, and business
professionals in a business environment.
Chuck E. Little, the deputy director for Public Affairs for the
U.S. Marine Corps, talked to students about the importance of
maintaining a personal relationship with the news media when
working in public relations. He started with the value of honesty.
In 1989, the Exxon Valdez spilled oil over hundreds of miles
of Alaskan coast. PR executives remained honest about the company’s
involvement in the accident, and according to Little, the honesty
paid off. News media were not as critical of Exxon as they would
have been had Exxon lied.
Little was careful to warn students against playing favorites
when developing personal relationships with the news media, but
he joked that he did make an exception for his wife who is a
newscaster for KSSK radio. He made it clear that his PR job for
the Marines came first, and he never revealed classified information,
even to his wife.
Little said that the No. 1 rule when dealing with the news media
is that there is no off the record, and that before speaking
with a reporter one should always double check one’s answers.
Mainly, Little advised students that when preparing for a career
in media relations, they should be proactive with the news media.
The next presentation was a business attire fashion show hosted
by Miss Hawai‘i 2002, Kehaulani Christian, who brought
her Miss Hawai‘i friends to model women’s business
attire. HPU students, Loren Moreno and Philip Nufer, modeled
men’s business attire. All the clothes for the show were
donated by Guess and Tommy Bahama.
Christian said it is important to dress conservatively in the
business world, but people should still show their personality
in the way they dress. According to Christian, women should have
very basic hair and makeup, minimal jewelry, and always wear
pantyhose with a skirt. Christian, who works for Christian Dior
Perfumes as a makeup artist, also said the best makeup colors
to use are browns and neutrals: keep makeup simple.
During lunch, the alumni panel, which consisted of four former
HPU students, was introduced. Matt Bedard, who graduated last
year with a B.A. in public relations, shared his experiences
as the Public Relations and Marketing coordinator for Hitchhike
Records, the record label for Jake Shehihiefeiha, Hawai‘i’s
famous ukelele player.
Lisa Cripe graduated HPU with an MBA this year. She talked about
her current job as assistant vice president of Marketing and
Communications for Aloha United Way.
Malia Smith, who graduated in 2002 with an M.A. in communication,
is chief of staff for Senator Bob Hogue and was also an adjunct
professor at HPU. Smith brought an experienced perspective to
the panel. She talked about the hardships of going to graduate
school, holding a full-time job, and raising a family.
Patrick Parsons, the fourth member of the panel, graduated with
a B.A. in advertising and is currently enrolled in the MACOM
program at HPU. He is also an account executive for Milici Valenti
Ng Pack Advertising.
Other guest speakers included Bill Brennan, press secretary for
the Office of the Mayor and Michael Moody, account advisor at
Heinrich the agency.