On Thursday, February 2, the Public Relations Student Society of America’s Montclair State Chapter celebrated the official launch of the school’s first ever student run public relations/communication agency – Hawk Communications. The new agency members were introduced to an audience comprised of faculty, PRSSA members, clients, public relations alumni, and SCM students. The event took place in the Presentation Hall of the new SCM facility.
The evening’s hosts were agency co-directors, Sabrina Araullo and Jessica Ortega, both of whom are senior Public Relations majors. Well wishes began with the keynote and kickoff speaker, the school’s new director, Dr. Keith Strudler, who was then followed by the agency’s outside adviser, Irene Maslowski, APR, Fellow PRSA. A presentation about the agency’s mission and organizational structure was presented by sophomore Katelyn Woebse, the firm’s account supervisor. Araullo introduced former public relations students, 2006 alumnus Tom Pompei, now a vice-president for Fleischman-Hilliard; 2017 graduate Cynthia Huasipoma, who is currently a junior associate with Weber Shandwick; and former MSU PRSSA president, 2016 graduate Rachael Swider, now working in marketing.
While students comprise the agency and will perform the work for their clients, they will be guided by a highly acclaimed advisory board, consisting of SCM faculty and staff which include its overall adviser, Larry Weiner, APR, fellow PRSA; Dr. Yi Luo, who will advise the agency on fulfilling clients’ research needs; Professor Mark Effron will advise on content; Steve McCarthy will guide the agency on clients’ production needs; and Michael Lyden will provide digital and social media marketing expertise.
The agency’s current client roster includes audio producer Radio Repertory Company of America, Sherpa Learning, a publisher of advanced placement high school textbooks, the Montclair Art Museum, Chelsea Square, and SCM’s Film Institute.
Coordinator of Public Relations at the School of Communication and Media, Larry Weiner said that the desire to create the agency had been around for a couple of years. “We were determined it was time to stop talking and make the leap,” Weiner said. “This is huge since most entry level public relations jobs require one to two years of experience. When our students graduate, they will have that.”
Araullo spoke for the agency, “The agency is an incredible addition to the School of Communication and Media because of the exposure to the public relations industry it provides, which has never been offered before at this level.” She added, “Students comprise each role in the agency, are client-facing, and have such hands-on experience that will greatly benefit them in beginning their careers.”
Hawk Communications will offer a full range of public relations and communication services that include traditional public relations services and products, as well as social media marketing, a full range of research services, video and audio production, and content marketing/brand journalism. A website, HawkCommunication.net, is currently under construction, but if you would like to reach them, the email is: MSUHawkCommunications@gmail.com.