All posts by Mariana

About Mariana

Hello my name is Mariana Rivera. I am a senior at UCA majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Marketing graduating in May 2016. I currently am the member of UCA's Catholic Campus Ministry leadership team. I also am a bilingual small bible study group leader for CCM. I hold position as a historian for the Latino Student Association for the school year of 2014-2015. I am also the historian for UCA's Public Relations Student Society of America. I am interested in working in a non- profit organization. I would really enjoy working for a non- profit that does the work of the Lord.

Applying What You Learned


In writing for public relations we had five major assignments where learned about writing then applied what we learned into the assignment given to us. Our professor made the assignments interesting by letting us use an organization we were part for the assignments.  I enjoyed being able to actually get to use these assignments for my organization. I am part several organizations which is great for this class because it adds variety to your work and it makes your work interesting. All of our five major assignments are very important because they are the main task public relations  professionals do daily.

Here are the major writing assignments we did in class:

Public relations professionals must do media kits which include: The Fact sheet/ media advisory/ media alert/and media pitch. These are all informative writing to the public. This assignment is pretty big and it was very overwhelming. I think what would have been best for the class when we turned this assignment in was instead of turning in it in all at once we should’ve broken this down into parts. For example, the fact sheet could’ve been done first and then we should’ve turned it in and then do the same for the rest of the parts of the media kit. I think would have been able to do everything better. It was a good experience of working under pressure for my future career as a public relations professional.

The News release provides information that will interest your audience. In my writing for public relations class we did several news releases which provided us with good practice on how to write an effective news release. New Releases are not that easy to write and this is where the AP style book is your best friend in order to have well written AP style press release.

The brochure

The brochure was a fun assignment for me mainly because I got to use one of the organizations I am in and feature two of my friends in the brochure. This assignment will be enjoyable if you like to design and be creative. For the brochure assignment make sure you have enough information from your organization and then be able to put it in a creative and brief format for your audience.

The diversity news release

This assignment was very interesting to me because  I am minority it feels good to see that minorities must be represented well in new releases or any professional writing. During this assignment I learned a lot of new things like how to refer to races, gender, and sexual orientation in AP format. I truly like that AP style book respects all people by having rules on how to refer to people properly without offending them in professional writing.


The E-newsletter assignment was not my favorite although I did write about one of the organization’s I was in I was lost on what exactly to write in the content section of the news release. We should’ve concentrated more on what exactly to write on the newsletter.


You Can’t Over Prepare

Here’s a cool meme I did for you guys!

As this Writing for Public Relations class comes to an end I wish I would’ve prepared more for this class. I didn’t have anyone to tell me what to prepare myself for. Luckily, I’ve made a list for you of the top 7 things you will need to prepare yourself for.

1. Deadlines are CRUCIAL

Deadlines are your top priority in this class unless there is an emergency with you or the professor deadlines will be moved other than that you have turn in everything at the set time. Be prepared for a big deduction or a zero on the assignment for being turned in late. Our professor emphasizes on the importance of deadlines on the real world by being hard on due times with our assignments.

2. Learn Fast

This course is full of material you need to learn and it is all cramped into a semester. This is a fast paced class it is not for slackers or those who do not plan on attending class. If you miss one day in this class you are officially behind and it will be hard to catch up. In this class we go over the material then apply what was taught on real-world assignments. For example one day in class we may learn about what a press release is the next day in class we are already preparing to make a press release to turn in the by the next class.

3.Be prepared for lots of work.

Writing for Public Relations has a lot of work you must get done. Our professor will assign you at least two assignments per week to turn in. You have to be able to balancing your the amount of time you will spend on each assignment in order to move on to the next assignment. Having an agenda can help you balance when to do what.

4. Grammar & Punctuation 

Your best friend will be your AP style book. The AP style book will help guide you on how to write correctly for this class. Revise your work a million times so it will be flawless.

5. Meet or Email your professor

If you need help do not hesitate to visit your professor during office hours.That is what they are there for. If you have any doubts about how to do something ask your professor to help you go through the assignment step by step. You can also email your professor to clarify things in an email .

6.Make your classmates your friends.

Make your classmates your friends. They will help you if you can’t reach your professor. I’ve had nights where I emailed a friend with a question about the class and they helped me. Sometimes you will forget you had an assignment or a quiz due, but when you have a friend in the class they will remind you of it.

7. Have Tech Skills

Be prepared to have some form of tech skills because most of what is done in this class is done online. You will be making brochures, newsletters, blogs, and several other things where you have to use an online platform to make these things. Being good with tech will help you work smoothly when doing these assignments.


LikedIn The New Tool For Networking


PRSSA Facebook

University of Arkansas Public Relations Student Society of America had Allison Nicholas, College Recruiter for Acxiom Corporation host LinkedIn Workshop on Nov. 5, 2015. Here are some great tips on using LinkedIn.

What ever is posted on social media should be kept at a professional standard.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform.
Use a professional image for profile photo on Linkedin
Upload your resume in a summary
3 to 4 references
Skills & Endorsement
Constantly update your LinkedIn
Provide contact information
Groups on LinkedIn are very active
Put sample work on your LinkedIn
Put something on your resume that makes you stand out
Be on LinkedIn at least once a day12189989_1084624731568459_2963533815722039027_n

My LikedIn

What is LikedIn? I asked myself this question because I heard about it, but I really did not know what it was. LikedIn is a platform for professionals to get connected to each other. I did not realize how useful LikedIn could be to network. These are all great LikedIn beginner tips to become a great networking because I just got an LikedIn account and without these tips I would not know where to begin.  These are some of the tips that stood out to me as a future public relations professional.

It is important for everyone to be careful to keep all their social media at a professional standard.We do have freedom of speech, as PR professionals and any good employee we loose that once we work for an organization. Employers want people who be keeping a nice image on social media. As employee of an organization whatever we say on social media can connect back to the organization and make the organization look bad. Things to avoid from posting on social media are being opinionated about controversies, drinking and drugs, and sharing appropriated articles.

A resume is essential to all professionals. So, of course it needs to be on your LikedIn profile so employers can see it. Your full resume should not be on LikedIn because you want employers to just get an overview so when they do contact you they can get your full resume. Your official resume should have things that make you stand out from everyone else.

Showing your skills on LikedIn is another good key thing to have. You can show your skills on LikedIn by showing a sample of your work. A Sample of your work shows you have experience and the knowledge in that area. By showing a sample of your work on LikedIn you will get employers interested and they will contact you.

PRSSA held a very great LikedIn workshop because it was very beneficial for all future public relations professionals and for all future professionals. To Find out more about UCA PRSSA events, speakers, and workshops you can like them on Facebook.You can also gain more knowledge of LikedIn in this article that also gives some similar tips on being an excellent LikedIn user.

Do’s & Dont’s



#ItsJustACup Vs #MerryChristmasStarbucks

On November 5, 2015 Joshua Feuerstein an evangelist accused Starbucks of removing Christmas off their cups on a Facebook video he posted. Starbucks recently came out with their new holiday cups. Starbucks removed their usual holiday decor. Starbucks has changed the cup into a simpler cup that changes from red to ambre.

red cup

Facebook Red Cup

“Do you realize that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups?” Feuerstein asked. “That’s why they’re just plain red.” said, Feuerstein.


His Facebook video has hit over 16,000 views. Feuerstein has started the #MerryChristmasStarbucks trend. While others have responded with the #ItsJustACup. Starbucks red cup is all over social media.

On the #MerryChristmasStarbucks “Donald Trump, Republican presidential candidate, has suggested that a boycott against the company (USA Today. Durando and Jansen, 2015).”

Many people on the side of #ItsJustACup have responded with comments like there are other more important things to be concerned about than a cup. Many Christians do not feel offended. Several funny memes about #ItsJustACup have been made.


Through all this red cup controversy Starbucks has gained so much publicity without even trying. “If you believe Google, there are now 9.2 million news stories on the “Starbucks red cup controversy.” That’s a lot of free publicity (cnbc. Macias, 2015).” This red cup could’ve been an idea for Public Relations to stir the public up to get publicity, but it was not. According to Macias from CNBC,

“In the world of PR, I tell potential clients there is always a PR machine behind the biggest publicity campaigns that get into our subconscious. However, in this situation, I seriously doubt Starbucks had the vision, conviction or courage to take on Christmas. I suspect no one in corporate saw this coming. I doubt the red-cup controversy was born in a PR room. So what should Starbucks do now that the world is on fire over a red cup? Absolutely nothing.”

End the Starbucks gets a lot of FREE publicity whether you were on the #MerryChristmasStarbucks side or on the #ItsJustACup side.

UCA Homecoming 2015

UCA Homecoming 2015 story is seen is different media outlets.
Media Outlet Newspaper: The Echo

The target audience was more for UCA students and future UCA students. It targets UCA students because they are the main readers of The Echo newspaper, but it also target UCA students by featuring the homecoming story on one UCA student, Courtney Barrentine where mostly UCA students would be able to relate to. This news feature on homecoming is able to target future students by having the homecoming queen state why she thinks UCA is a great college. For example she says, “I picked UCA because of how at home I felt when visiting,” she said. “Faculty and even students were very welcoming and inviting.” As a PR director I would put this out as a news story because it captures peoples’ attention through emotion. This story of the homecoming queen gives UCA an image that UCA is a home. Students want to feel at home so this story is great example of a good PR image for UCA.

Media Outlet Television: KARK 4

This UCA Homecoming story focus more on UCA’S football stadium then on the actual homecoming game. The target audience for this story is future UCA students. This story target future UCA students by stating how UCA is so unique from all the colleges in the country because of its stadium. “The University of Central Arkansas has one of the most unique football fields in the country.” Future colleges students want to know what makes every college unique in order to choose to go there. The Athletic Director, Brad Teague, said  “Really when it boils down to it, it’s for student athletes, it’s for potential student athletes who may want to come and play at UCA.” This story is targeting potential UCA students. This story does a great job of making UCA sound unique and how in end it is all for the future students who attend UCA. I would think as a PR director this would help recruitment.

Media Outlet

Saving the World’s Communication

The University of Central Arkansas Communication Department hosted their 3rd annual Communication Week on October 12-15, 2015. The theme for the week was “Communication is My Superpower”. Monday at noon was the launching day of the communication week with a super hero themed photo booth along with a super hero costume contest.

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Many students and faculty came out to take pictures in the super hero themed photo booth. Students who dressed as communication superheroes were judged to choose a winner of the contest. The winner of the communication super hero costume contest was Wonder Woman. It was a fun experience seeing Mario and Lugi, Rubix Cube, Red Ninja Dragon, and Wonder Woman all together trying to save UCA student’s communication.

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I enjoyed seeing all Communication professors participate in the event by dressing up as heroes themselves. Professors attracted students with their costumes and the professors took the opportunity to tell of them about the majors the Communication department has to offer.


Two of the main majors that the communication department was informing students was Communication and Public Relations. These majors can sometimes get overlooked and many people are misinformed. So, this event was a good event to attract freshman and undecided students so they could learn more about these majors and hopefully decide to major in them.

For more information you can visit UCA Communication Week

It’s More Than information When a PR gives it


This is a PSA aimed towards teenagers who text and drive. It gives both sides to a tragic car incident; it gives the perspective from the person that is the victim and the person driving. What they could do to this PSA is add something personal. They could maybe interview a victim of a tragic car accident from texting and driving that way the PSA would move people’s emotions. By moving people’s emotions the PSQA could persuade the audience to stop texting and driving.