By: Anett Rodriguez, PRSSA member
Having the opportunity to shadow public relations professional Mr. Mario Ochoa, owner of Sammis & Ochoa PR, re-confirmed and cleared all doubts about what I want for my future and my career. This shadow day opportunity gave me a chance to look beyond the scope of textbooks and go into the real workplace environment. Mr. Ochoa not only showed me the ins and outs of the business, but he also showed me the internal structure of the company and how to use time in your favor.
Throughout the day I learned how to manage my emotions to the audience, and the importance of controlling my personal thoughts towards the situation. Something I learned is extremely important in this industry is the way you address people and how you respond to their concerns. Any little insignificant mistake can make the difference, by this I refer to any company’s reputation a public relations professional is representing. Anything whether it is grammar error, attitude, attention, and tone can be misinterpreted.
One strategy that Mr. Ochoa’s agency implements, is constantly editing papers. Any papers that will be released have to be approved and edited by several public relation co-workers; they have to be approved three times. If the paper has editing problems it goes back to the writer, is corrected and subject to approval again. This is an amazing tactic to prevent any grammatical discrepancies that might occur.
In addition, Mr. Ochoa explained how being constantly involved in media resources, could attract more clients, and people’s attention. He mentioned clients want to be promoted as much possible and that being involved in media resources and social network could significantly help the situation. Furthermore, he showed me how to use time wisely, and how having an organized agenda would help complete the tasks on time.
I really enjoyed this experience because I feel that I gained valuable hands-on experience. Today showed me the real “deal” behind the public relations industry. Shadow days are definitely eye-openers; they prepare you for the real business culture of a public relations career.