This past March, California State University, Fullerton’s PRSSA Chapter collaborated with four other Chapters in Orange County, California to put on a crossover event for all our members. The event took place at Reveille headquarters and consisted of a short brunch, agency tour and presentation on Gen Z by the director of marketing at Taco Bell, Matt Prince.
The inspiration behind this collaboration started off as a mission to truly unite and showcase the PRSSA bond and its reach beyond a singular Chapter. The initial plan that developed between the CSUF and Vanguard PRSSA Chapters eventually turned into a county-wide event for all university-level PRSSA members. With the help of our parent Orange County PRSA Chapter, Vanguard PRSSA was able to connect with their sponsoring agency, Reveille, to bring this vision of cross-Chapter programming to life. Once the venue was secured, Vanguard PRSSA reached out to Matt Prince while CSUF PRSSA contacted Chapter presidents in the area to curate graphic messaging and a contact form to share with our members. In the past, CSUF PRSSA hosted agency tours throughout the year, which allowed our members to get an inside look into various company settings. With the pandemic, many companies halted operations on programming for students — tours such as this one included. When the opportunity to visit an agency re-surfaced, our Chapter jumped at the idea of having the first post-pandemic tour and implemented this idea into the cross-Chapter event. Reveille was fantastic in working with our ideas and weaving them into the programming.
On the day of the event, around 50 PRSSA members from Biola; CSUF; California State University, Long Beach; Chapman; and Vanguard gathered at Reveille headquarters to indulge in a spread of bagels, cream cheese and beverages. After brunch and some networking, the Reveille team took us in small groups around their aesthetic bohemian office to give us a glimpse into the agency life and environment. Following, our members were able to hear Matt Prince speak on Gen Z. Although the concept of the presentation was similar to what he gave at the PRSSA International Conference, our members got to hear about newly acquired data on how Gen Z is shaping the workforce, disrupting the public relations industry, and truly changing the communications landscape every day. Prince also provided the group with specific Taco Bell campaign examples relevant to the data such as their “Drag Brunch, Steal A Base, Steal A Taco” World Series offer and the return of the “Mexican Pizza.” Connected to these campaigns, Prince shared the concept of the “logo test,” where PR professionals review a piece of media and analyze whether or not the advertisement would make sense if it was another organization’s logo placed in the media instead of Taco Bell’s. The idea is that if the advertisement works for another organization, it is not the right fit for Taco Bell since it does not adequately show the public who Taco Bell is. The session ended with an extensive Q&A where our members got to engage with Prince and get their questions answered about all things related to communications. The opportunity was sealed with a chance to win Taco Bell gift cards.
The event was successful in bringing together various Chapters and strengthening our bond over the common ground of simply being a PRSSA member. It showcased that our PRSSA community goes beyond our individual college campuses. That being said, I hope that Chapters nationwide get inspired to collaborate with nearby Chapters to truly build the PRSSA family like we have here in Southern California.
Priyanka Jain is a senior at California State University, Fullerton, studying communications with an emphasis in public relations and double minors in French and digital media. She has been a member of PRSSA for the past four years and is the current CSUF Chapter president. Priyanka is also the current public relations intern at Taco Bell and hopes to pursue communications in the food and beverage or biotech industry.