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Learning From PR Expert: City College Students Get Real World Experience
A spring course at City College helped students get on track for PR as they learned about the City of San Francisco's Back on Track Program, which helps first time offenders. Jackie Wright of Wright Enterprises was a guest lecturer.
City College of San Francisco’s Advanced Image Consulting (CCSF) class is the kind of class that offers lectures, field trips, individual projects that give hands-on-experience that introduces students to the world of Image Consulting. “Having industry experts as guest speakers is the greatest resource I can provide to my students. I don’t want them to just listen to me; I want them to hear it from other successful industry experts,” says Kelly Armstrong, Image Consulting Instructor. Writing a Press Release is one of the assignments the students had to learn and Jackie Wright, of Wright Enterprises was called in to conduct a 2 day guest lecture to teach them. Her lecture culminated with selecting two students that wrote the best press releases that will be submitted to the media, the Goodwill News Letter and to City College’s News Letter, City Current.
Click link to see the winning press releases:
The first meeting Wright led the students through a meaningful and detailed Power Point Presentation. The students were instructed in writing a press release step-by-step, working with the media, message development and message delivery. The students were then assigned to write a press release about the partnership with the Back On Track clients and highlight the program finale where the students will showcase their makeovers to Goodwill Staff and other invited guests. The presentations took place on May 7, 2012 at the Goodwill, 1500 Mission St. San Francisco at 6P.M. The second meeting was very interactive as Wright dissected their press releases and showed them how to improve upon them. The students were allowed to rewrite the press releases and were thrilled to do so. “I’m so glad, Ms. Wright went through the exercises with us because I knew immediately what changes I needed to make,” says Victoria Lau, one of the contest winners. When the other contest winner, Hallina Pohyar, was notified she had her short sound bite ready, “Wow, what a great honor.”
This semester the Advanced Image Consulting class is partnering with the Goodwill, the program is called “Creating a New Self-Image: A Worked Based Training Program. They are conducting image makeovers on 21 of Goodwill’s Back on Track clients to create a professional wardrobe that will enhance their job seeking skills plus boost their self-esteem. The month long project consists of before and after photos, body measurements, color analysis, body analysis and creating a basic wardrobe for business, causal and evening wear. Thanks to Ranon Ross, District Attorney and Supervisor of the Back On Track Program, the Goodwill donated $100 vouchers for each of the clients plus $25.00 certificates to Ross Dress for Less.
“I love giving back and I can’t thank Kelly enough for giving me the opportunity to teach and learn from such great fresh new minds,” said Jackie Wright of the experience. “It was a double blessing. I got to teach the class about the mechanics of press releases and also encourage them in their efforts to give back through the ‘Back on Track’ program at Goodwill!”
Back on Track was created in 2003 by San Francisco District Attorney, Kamala D. Harris (now California Attorney General) in partnership with Goodwill Industries. Back on Track is the first program in the nation to utilize a Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ) in place of a felony conviction for narcotic sales. The purpose of the program is to prevent young people from committing crimes by leading them to make life changing choices. Back on Track couples strict accountability and close supervision with education, employment support, mental health services and health care.
Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo, & Marin Counties is an autonomous nonprofit social enterprise dedicated to creating solutions to poverty through workforce creation and environmental stewardship. With 16 retails stores, a growing online store and extensive reuse and recycling operation, we help people over barriers to employment, build sustainable livelihoods, and transform their lives and communities.
Advanced Image Consulting (Fashion 45B) provides knowledge and skills in the preparation of becoming an Image Consultant either working independently or for a retailer. Emphasis is placed on techniques of wardrobe planning and consultation, public relations, marketing and business operations for starting an image consulting business.