Annual Asian Festival Blog Review

My first time going to the Annual Asian Festival I had no idea what to expect from the day, but seeing a blending of cultures from various regions of Asia was an exciting experience for me! The doors opened at UTSA’s Institute of Texan Culture, and the building became flooded with people who had been waiting to take part in the various festivities. Once we were all handed access to the social media accounts to help promote the festival, the eventful day began. I had my phone with me throughout the whole day taking pictures, asking questions and learning more about the different cultures. It was exciting to take part in all the events, but overall I would have to say my favorite event was the fashion show. I had the best seat in the room with a front row, center stage view! I found it fascinating to see the different fashion styles throughout history from India, Indonesia, and China. It was definitely something I had never experienced before! I filmed and took pictures of the models in their outfits to post on social media to share my experience with others. Of course, I couldn’t leave the festival without having a taste of many traditional Asian meals. It was astonishing to see how excited everyone was about sampling the food as well, and I couldn’t help but try it out myself. The food was simply amazing!  You can’t go wrong with anything you try there! The food and events were exciting ways to teach everyone a little about the different cultures. Throughout the day I experienced multiple performances from the different regions of Asia, and also spent some time posting about the different cultural products that were being sold to the people visiting the festival. I had a lot of fun becoming immersed with a different culture, and learning about the responsibility of promoting and representing a celebration. I’m glad I was able to learn from this experience alongside my peers from PRSSA.

Written by Kristina Guevara

Thank-You From PRSSA

We wanted to start the week off right and thank everyone who came out to show their support with our back to school social at The Block. The food from Big Guido’s was delicious. We can’t wait to see everyone at our meeting this week on Wednesday September 17, 2014 in the Pecan Room on main campus. (UC 2.01.26)

Don’t forget to tag yourself on our photo album on Facebook.

Passion for PR

Since my journey began at The University of Texas at San Antonio, I have always known that public relations is the perfect field for me. However, it wasn’t until I attended a Personal Branding seminar given by Bob “Pritch” Pritchard, APR, on March 19 that I was able to find my calling…Public Affairs!

This was a day filled with learning not only about branding, but also on who I am. I learned that branding is NOT a name, a logo, a slogan or a PR campaign. Branding is a PROMISE! If you make good on this promise, then you are sure to have loyal stakeholders. Why is it important to define your brand you might ask? If YOU do not define your brand, it will be defined for you!

At the daylong seminar, I learned steps to creating my “Micro-Swoosh,” which is “the powerful, clear, positive idea that comes to mind whenever other people think of you.” Your Micro-Swoosh stems from your values, passions and strengths.

Not only did I have a chance to learn about personal branding, but I also had the privilege to shadow PR pro Gretchen Roufs, who put together this beneficial and inspirational seminar.

From Gretchen, I learned tips on coordinating an event and the benefits of having contingency plans. Every moment that she had, she was sharing her knowledge with me.

I must say that students and professionals who did not attend this seminar missed out on some profound knowledge. Thank you so much to Pritch and Gretchen for guiding me down the right path. I know through the knowledge they shared with me, I have a successful future ahead! I also know that everyone at the seminar discovered or rediscovered their “Passion for PR” or in the Twitter world, Pritch says #PassionForPR.

-Michelle Jaramillo

Follow Your Whispers

Day 1 of the PRSSA Red River Conference was one that no one who attended will forget any time soon. During a delicious meal (a relief to all the college students who eat more fast food than they’d like to admit), PRSSA’s National President took to the stage to discuss some of the many reasons why PRSSA is the “it” organization for PR majors. Aspiring PR professionals were then in for a treat when Glenn Morshower was introduced as the keynote speaker for the night. An actor in the Hollywood business for years with appearances in shows like Full House and Law & Order SVU, as well as in movies with Brad Pitt and Steve Martin, Glenn had a special message for everyone. It all started with a fish.

He told the story of a small goldfish he met during a hotel stay. Rather than view the tiny creature as decoration, he considered him-or what he assumed to be a “him”-his roommate. Glenn noticed that the fish swam in a small circle, the size of his fish bowl over and over again. He thought of how different their lives were, Glenn traveling all over the country and this fish, never swimming past the small glass bowl. So, he took matters into his own hands and took the fish swimming in the bathtub the next night. At first, the little fish was still, not knowing where he was or what to do. After some time though, he began to swim…he swam in a circle the exact same size of his fish bowl over and over again. Glenn wanted the fish to explore new horizons so with a flick of his wrist, he nudged the little fish a little further out. The goldfish, frightened and confused began swimming again only this time, he knew there was more.

For the rest of Glenn’s almost two week stay, he took the little fish swimming every night. The fish grew bolder and bolder, swimming further each time. On their last night together, Glenn was saddened at the thought of the little goldfish never swimming further than his glass bowl again. He was sure the fish would never have another roommate like him…so he took the fish with him. He now lives in an aquarium even larger than the bathtub.

Aren’t we an awful lot like that fish? We are afraid of leaving our comfort zone. The thought of swimming out further than the size of our bowl scares us. Why? If we only took a leap of faith, we’d see that there is so much more out there to experience than we allow ourselves to enjoy. In order to reach our full potential though, there’s one thing we have to do…follow our whispers.

Glenn was really big on this one and with good reason.

“Have you ever walked into a room and just got this feeling?” he asked. “A feeling that said ‘I don’t belong here’?” A few people in the audience slowly nodded or sheepishly raised their hands. “That’s a whisper.”

A whisper is that inner voice that tells you when something is wrong or that you should walk a different way. Whispers give you good ideas and put you in contact with the right people. It’s important to listen to them. If you don’t you’ll get so off track, you won’t know how to recognize them anymore. Whether you believe that these whispers are God, fate speaking to you, or just coincidental gut feelings, they’re there for a reason. All you have to do is listen. They’ll take you out of your fishbowl.

Not one person left that night not feeling inspired and determined. It was the perfect start to what was a wonderful conference.

It didn’t hurt of course that Glenn is the voice actor for Call of Duty. I’d never seen men squeal in as much excitement as when he began addressing the crowd in his Call of Duty voice. That however, is another story for another day.

 

-Victoria Reyna

PRSSA Volunteers For Asian Festival Communication Team

When I initially heard about the 27th Annual Asian Festival from Mr. James Benavides at PRSSA’s first meeting of the semester, I felt a bit nervous. After a semester of getting used to the organization, I knew that it was time to start getting involved and this would be the perfect opportunity to do so. However, the idea of working alongside the highly professional people in our chapter without any experience of my own was daunting. I was afraid of seeming unprofessional, of not being useful enough in comparison. I didn’t even have a camera, or any public social media accounts to promote the festival like everyone else. After some reassurance from Mr. Benavides, however, I signed on.

My worries were unnecessary. Both my fellow students and Mr. Benavides were very welcoming, and gave me everything I needed to feel comfortable and productive. When I needed a ride to the event, a single email got me into a carpool. When I was sent with three other PRSSA volunteers to promote the festival at a separate event, the four of us traded tips on how to get out all of our fliers.

Afterwards, when everyone else went off to promote the event on Twitter and Facebook, I recorded the details of pictures as Mr. Benavides took them, and helped him keep track of events. This last task in particular gave me the advantage of working directly with a professional to offer helpful advice on event coverage. It didn’t hurt to have an excuse to watch the cultural displays either.

Volunteering through PRSSA has been comfortable, educational, and available. Furthermore, the relevance of these volunteer opportunities puts students in contact with helpful professionals as potential future contacts in the field and sources of guidance.

For a student without experience, PRSSA provides a great first step into the world of professional Communications.

-Kelsey Hart