March 30, 2022 dausa1
Kevin Joel Lizama

What to expect when joining a student-led agency that focuses on strategic communication

By: Kevin Joel Lizama

First, I want to thank Professor Keith Green for the platform he has given us to showcase our public relations work and preparing us for the real world. As a senior, I understand that not knowing what to do after college is scary, especially when you don’t know where to start or how to find a job. But here is why you need to be involved with Hawk Communications, and how you can make the most out of it. 

To enjoy the fruit of one’s labor, you must understand that hard work does not go unnoticed and will eventually pay off. Coming into this course you must have an open mind, get to know your classmates, and ask them what they are passionate about. This way you’ll know their strengths and once you are assigned to a group, you will have a better understanding of your group dynamic. That said, be genuine because you will never know who you’re going to meet and how you can help each other. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

After my first week of taking this course, deep down I knew that this was going to be the place where I belonged. My foundation was set when I was assigned to two groups and had to represent their brand. 

The Monarchs is an ice skating and hockey organization that is dedicated to serving those with special needs. I chose to work with The Monarchs because I have a little brother who is in the autism spectrum, so the work they do resonated with me. As for the structure of my group, it was the largest, but we all got on the same page and executed our work when assigned. We were meeting on a weekly basis, sending out agendas days before the meeting, pitching new ideas, attending their ice hockey practices, capturing photos and videos for content, and other strategic communication tactics. 

I also worked for the Red Hawk Sports Network to help run its social media accounts. My classmates and I were able to provide content that promoted student involvement and the Montclair State University athletic programs durng the fall semester. All my classmates that were assigned to this group were passionate about sports, some played for the university, grew up watching the sport, or played in high school or their early years. What I really enjoyed most about it was how we got to cover Homecoming. It was intense with so many games, activities and a special “Game Day Live” show, but we had fun and learned a lot. 

Had I not taken this course, I would have never met the amazing people that I worked with, made meaningful connections, or built my resume strong enough to help me land an internship for the spring. 

However, there were some weeks that were challenging. For instance, sometimes client reject what you think are great ideas, there might be miscommunication, a goal or deadline was missed, or your teammate might be unresponsive. In life, you can’t prepare for everything, and this class reinforced that things don’t always go as planned. 

What I also learned from Professor Green and being involved with Hawk Communications is that if someone is determined to do something, they will find a way to accomplish it regardless of the obstacles. In the world of PR, creative and proactivity are key. This course taught me how to write an effective press release, conduct market research, create social media content across different platforms and most importantly, it made me more knowledgeable in my profession. It also helped with leadership, teamwork and problem solving. 

Finally, there will be guest speakers who may visit Hawk Communications and provide key insights about working for a public relations or strategic communications firm. Be sure to have questions prepared and connect with these excellent speakers on LinkedIn. Doing these things helped me land an internship at Thatcher+Co. If you’re still doubting whether you should take this course or not, I highly recommend you join. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this opportunity. Feel free to reach out anytime and connect with me on LinkedIn, I’d love to always have a chat and pay it forward. Montclair State University is my home!