This semester, the Public Relations Student Society of America chapter at California Lutheran University will debut podcasts featuring professional sports communication directors from the Los Angeles area.
“In previous years, [PRSSA] was a lot about going and touring different facilities and talking with PR professionals there,” senior Vanessa Cardenas, president of PRSSA said in a Zoom interview. “For a while we’ve been talking about doing a podcast but it just never really was an option for us… [this year] is actually the perfect time to do it.”
PRSSA will interview communication professionals from teams including the Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Rams during their regular chapter meetings. Then PRSSA will use audio recordings from the Zoom meetings in their podcast series.
“We’re planning on [releasing the first podcast] on November twelfth and that’s with Jeff Moeller and he’s the PR director for the LA Kings and we first talked with him earlier in September,” Cardenas said.
Jean Sandlin, associate dean and professor in the Communication Department and adviser for PRSSA said in a Zoom interview that the podcast may continue even after in-person activities resume.
“They may have started something that PRSSA just continues to do because this way we can reach more people,” Sandlin said. “A lot of times if we have an event on campus on a Wednesday night or something, somebody’s got class and can’t make it, but with the podcast, [listeners] can go, they can play it on their own time and really it can be really beneficial to a lot of people.”
Cardenas said the way the industry is moving digitally has been a main point of discussion.
“I think this year has made PR [encounter] a lot of new challenges which has been kind of cool to watch and just talking to [the professional sports communication directors]. Some of the people we’ve talked to in the past, like Artis Twyman, who is the Rams’ [senior director of communications],” Cardenas said. “Just seeing how his job has changed from past years [to] when I talked to him to this year is really interesting.”
In a Zoom interview, senior Malia Rorabaugh, vice president of PRSSA at Cal Lutheran said PRSSA members have access to professionals within the industry to discuss everything from crisis management and how they work, to how public relations professionals communicate with different departments within their workplace.
“We obviously will have more different type[s] of PR directors; for example, we want to go into the entertainment and cosmetic industry as well, but specifically for the sports directors, we started with them because Los Angeles is a very sports-heavy city,” Rorabaugh said.
Cardenas said students can follow the CLU PRSSA Instagram to keep up with all things PRSSA-related at Cal Lutheran.