Public Relations Service to North State
By Jennifer Wright
Chico State public relations students have been helping campus and community organizations since the program’s start in the 1980s and serve more than 2,600 combined hours per semester to meet their clients’ needs.
On average, between 25 and 35 students have public relations internships each semester, with each intern required to work a minimum of 104 hours over a 16-week period. These internships are done either at an on-site location in the Chico community or through TGC, the university’s student-run public relations agency, which is the only public relations agency north of Sacramento.
Before the students are ready for these internships they must complete “Public Relations Strategy,” a course that teaches students to conduct primary research and develop strategic communications plans for a client. Students in this course have worked with clients such as the Chico Air Museum and Chico Green Campus, educating the clients about the importance of media pitching and public awareness throughout the community.
Public relations interns work to increase their clients’ presence in the community through tactics such as media pitching and the creation of media materials, and make sure to respond to the specific needs of each client using the skills learned through their education at Chico State.
The clients and the interns have a reciprocally beneficial relationship, as the clients give the interns hands-on experience they will need after graduation, and the interns provide the clients with a dedication to the communication challenges presented to them. These interns also give the client professional results at a very low cost. On-site interns work for course credit, while TGC charges $500 to $1,000 for the entire semester, or waives the fee in special circumstances. Any fees the clients are charged go straight into the running of the internship program and into scholarships for PR students.
Chico State’s public relations interns not only help their clients with their media relations, but teach them to be stronger communicators with their target publics and in some cases help them define themselves as an organization.
Click on the links below to view examples of some of the many clients Chico State public relations students have worked with: