PRSSA Bake Sale, a Success

April 15, 2009

UH PRSSA held its bake sale on Tuesday, April 7 on the grassy lawn between Crawford and Hawai`i Hall.  The bake sale had an Easter theme.  Items that were sold at the bake sale included white chocolate-macadamia nut cookies, cookie brownies, rice krispie treats, spam musubi, butter mochi, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, cranberry chocolate chip cookies, and water.  UH PRSSA made a total of $456.

A photographer from the school’s newspaper, Ka Leo dropped by and snapped a photo.  The photo was posted in the paper the next day.

The sun was hot, but everyone was in high spirits!  Professors bought some treats for their children and colleagues, while students dropped by for a snack on the way to their next class.

The money that was raised from the bake sale will be used for the national assembly, coming up soon.  UH PRSSA is planning to send several members and assist with some of the expenses.

Thanks to all that supported the bake sale.  We hope to see you at our bake sale!


PRSSA Participates in Relay for Life

April 15, 2009

Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature activity, held annually.  It is an overnight event, where teams of people camp out on school grounds or parks with tam members taking turns walking or running around the track.  Each team is asked to have a representative on the track during the event.  Teams from all walks of life raise funds to fight cancer and raise awareness of cancer prevention and treatment.  The 24 hour cycle is significant in that it represents the stages that patients go through, while battling cancer.

This year, Relay for Life was held March 7-8, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at University of Hawai`i at Manoa’s Clarence T. C. Ching Athletics Complex.  An estimate of 15 UH PRSSA members, along with some friends participated in the event.  The team exceeded the goal of raising $500, by accumulating a total of $675.  Beads were handed out to teams for every lap they walked.

The event also served as the team’s social bash.  The team had a pajama theme with members wearing pajama pants.  There were also lots of food brought by the members to share with the whole team.  Although, it rained in the beginning and towards the end of the event, everyone had a good time.  The members got the chance to interact, bond and got to know one another a little more.

This was the second time PRSSA participated in Relay for Life and it was a great experience for everyone.  Besides, bonding and getting to know one another, the team was able to help through fund raising.  It is always nice to participate in events for a good cause, especially in an event like Relay for Life, where everyone knows someone that is or was stricken with cancer.

UH PRSSA Kick-off Meeting

February 4, 2009

The University of Hawai‘i’s Public Relations Student Society of America-Mānoa Chapter will be having its first meeting to kick-start the spring semester. The meeting is open to all University of Hawaii students interested in public relations. There will be a raffle drawing for prize giveaways. Winners will be announced at the end of the meeting.

Who: PRSSA UH-Mānoa Chapter

What: Spring Kick-off Meeting

When: Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Where: Campus Center, Room 307

The Public Relations Student Society of America is the world’s preeminent pre professional organization for students interested in public relations. Founded in 1968 by its parent society, the Public Relations Society of America, the organization has grown to include more than 9,600 members at 284 colleges and universities.

For more information, visit the UH Mānoa PRSSA website at or contact PRSSA via email at




Congratulations to the Spring 2009 Executive Board!

December 12, 2008

UH Manoa PRSSA will have a new executive board coming Spring 2009. Congratulations to the new executive board members and many thanks for the outgoing board for all of the work that you’ve done – Kimberly Seko (Vice-President), Arlen McCluskey (PR Director), David Kamida (PR Director), Sarah Reeves (Special Events Director) and Chrystin Stalter (Community Services Director)! 

President: Ellie Jackson
Vice-President: Erik Teramoto
Public Relations Director: Bryant Cabrera
Professional Development Director: Wathsala Jayawickrama
Community Services Director: Kristi Akiona
Fundraising Director: Chaslee Ikawa

Kreighton (treasurer), Lora (secretary) and Candi (historian) will still be on the board.

Congrats again!

Your Immediate Past President, 
Marichris Diga

Travel and Tourism Panel

December 3, 2008

On November 18, University of Hawaii’s Public Relations Student Society of America Manoa Chapter hosted a panel of PR professionals from the travel and tourism industry. Nancy Daniels, of Outrigger Enterprises Group, Melissa Malahoff-Kamei of McNeil Wilson Communications, and Rebecca Pang of Stryker Weiner & Yokota spoke to students about their experiences working in public relations within the travel and tourism industry.

Nancy Daniels, APR, talked about in-house public relations. Daniels is the Corporate PR Director for Outrigger Enterprises. She is in charge of executive positioning and brand management. Daniels mentioned that as a PR director, she must have a crisis communications plan ready in case someone is arrested, dies, or there is a fire at one of the properties. Besides hotels, Outrigger also has a retail component, which consists of leased stores and restaurants. Working in an internal agency, Daniels likes to picture everyone within the enterprise as clients and help them with their PR needs. Since the PR department only consists of Daniels and her assistant, they work with different agencies for assistance. Working in-house, in the travel and tourism industry requires the ability to turn corners very quickly and attend back to back meetings. When asked about her job, Daniels said, “It can be stressful, but it’s fun.”

Rebecca Pang of Stryker Weiner & Yokota, focused on Destination PR. Being involved with the Oahu Visitors Bureau and Destinaton PR, Pang needs to know about the special quirks about a hotel or group of people in Oahu. Pang needs to brand Oahu as an island that is special and like no other. She is required to set individual media visits and assist the media, coordinate press trips called, “destination day,” fly to other cities, and run a new bureau, which she is to respond to within 24 hours. When asked about what she likes about her job, Pang replied, “The job is never the same. Everything is different. Agency PR allows you to try something new, different.”

Melissa Malahoff-Kamei from McNeil Wilson Communications talked about Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, the Hawaii Visitors Bureau, and PR in general. Malahoff-Kamei always considers target audiences. You need to consider the economy, what’s going on, and how situations change. In corporate PR, you have to be aware of everything, even if you’re not interested. You also need to get a creative angle to get people to convey what you’re talking about. Malahoff-Kamei advised students that once a news release is drafted, they should have a supervisor, someone in an even higher position, and the client look at it before making revisions.

The panel ended by leaving the floor open for questions. The panel were asked how they were being affected by the current economic crisis, to which they replied, “Budgets are cut, but more is expected (of them).” They also advised students to research and know the clients they will be working with. They mentioned PR not being the typical 9-5 job, but it’s fun.  “If you like working with various people, you’ll never get bored.”

Press Release Writing Workshop

December 3, 2008

Amy Hennessey of McNeil Wilson Communications held a press release writing workshop on November 10 hosted by UH PRSSA. Hennessey went over the basic structure of a press release such as the inverted pyramid and its components.

Those in attendance also learned about media alerts/advisories, calendar listings, and pitch e-mails, which are variations of press releases. Hennessey also gave those that were present some tips and simple rules to follow when writing a press release. First, the press release must start strong with an attention grabber that will automatically grab the reporter’s attention in a matter of seconds. A press release must be written professionally, concise, and proofread multiple times before it is sent out. A press release should have an angle that ties in with current events, studies, or trends to give it social relevance or importance.

In addition, the workshop went over social media optimization. Other than print or news media, press releases can also be sent through e-mail, posted on blogs, sent as links to websites, and as RSS feeds. When social media is used, search engine optimization must be kept in mind. Keywords must be mentioned in the press release at least 3 times to ensure the appearance of the press release on the first page of a search engine. Additionally, videos with links and photos with links should be embedded to avoid the possibility of the contents being stuck in the recipients’ servers.

Hennessey ended with sharing her experiences and advice, reminding everyone to push out press releases throughout the year as a single press release per year won’t do much.


November 13, 2008

HONOLULU – The University of Hawaii’s Public Relations Student Society of America Manoa Chapter will be hosting a panel of PR professionals from the travel and tourism industry. Nancy Daniels, APR, from Outrigger Enterprises Group, Melissa Malahoff-Kamei, from McNeil Wilson Communications, Rebecca Pang, from Stryker Weiner & Yokota, and Matt Derby, from Ala Moana Shopping Center, will be speaking to students on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, in the Campus Center Executive Dining Room.

The speakers will cover a range of issues that PR professionals face in the travel and tourism industry, including the challenges with the economy and typical workday. A 15-minute question-and-answer session will follow the presentation. The event is free of charge to PRSSA members and a fee of $5 for non-PRSSA members.       

For more information, visit the UH Manoa PRSSA website at or contact