By Taylor Sinclair
Client meetings, team meetings, social media planning, task assigning, writing, editing and team bonding are all in a week’s work at Tehama Group Communications, Chico State’s student-run public relations agency.
Planners have been detailed and organized down to the hour, and coffee fuels the fire of the 17 students who staff TGC.
Of those 17, six work as account executives and lead teams to bring the best work to clients, while also building personal experiences and portfolios.
TGC interns hold frequent meetings with clients to ensure their work is on the right track.
Hope Lumbley, senior account executive for Girls on the Run, thinks the hardest part of being an AE is having a team that depends on you to deliver.
“You are in charge of making sure meetings are set, agendas are made, tasks get accomplished, being creative enough to put together the overall plan for your team’s semester,” she said.
Creating a team flow, agenda and strategic plan has, for some, been the hardest part of becoming an AE. With everyone’s different schedules, forming meeting times with clients and the team can be a struggle. Paige DeRuyter, senior account executive for Chico State’s Child Development Department, relies on her hour-to-hour Passion Planner to get through the week.
“My planner is on me 24/7 and is my new best friend,” DeRuyter said.
The day-to-day work is different for everyone, especially when an AE works on multiple accounts. Kasey Perez, senior account executive for Catalyst Domestic Violence Services, thinks it’s important to dedicate time to each account every day to make sure the team is on the right track.
“While some days require more time than others depending on deadlines, my daily work usually includes: checking to-do’s for myself and team members, checking Catalyst social media to stay up to date, creating agendas for upcoming meetings and reaching out to team members to inform them about any upcoming meetings or deadlines,” Perez said.
This year, all of TGC’s accounts and projects are drastically different. Whether it's social media, collateral work or creating online content, all team members are getting a well-rounded look at the kind of work they may be doing in their professional careers.
“You hold the standard for your team,” Lumbley said. “If you are unhappy with the results you have no one to blame but yourself. It makes me feel more prepared for after college.”
It’s hard to imagine that all 17 staff members have time for team-bonding activities, but all work and no play is not the TGC way. Almost every other week there is an opportunity for the TGC staff to get together outside the office to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
“My favorite part so far has been getting to know everyone in TGC,” Perez said. “I feel like I can go to anyone if I have a question or need help and I would be greeted with a smiling face.”
(From left) AE's Tina Riccio, Paige DeRuyter, Kasey Perez and Hope Lumbley.
TGC has lots to offer, especially when it comes to real-life work experience. The account executives get a chance to make their resumes shine with the experience of leading a team and producing a professional portfolio of work from each account.
“I want to feel comfortable working with clients and producing pieces of work like social media packages,” Lumbley said. “Already, I have learned so much in this internship that I can show future employers how serious I am about my work.”