The Dark Side of PR

By Jacqueline Garcia

This past week PRSSA hosted guest speaker Herbert Orellana from Neo Media World who spoke with us about digital marketing. In his words: “the dark side of PR.” Herbert explained what digital marketing consists of and what he does in his field with a great sense of humor and a lot of detailed, valuable information. Herbert is a digital affiliate marketing professional whose company specializes in digital marketing worldwide. Neo has many clients, for example, American Airlines, PayPal, Chase and many more. Herbert’s work tends to their clients such as Apple. He creates and maintains partnerships with brands that promote Apple products in exchange for a commission. One of his many campaigns was a successful Valentine’s Day campaign promoting apple watches.

His day to day is answering calls, looking through or drafting emails, and writing press releases. He also has to do a lot of research and reporting. In a room full of Public Relations students, he let us know that there are some skills we can tie into the marketing world that will require some PR skills. In marketing you will have to do a lot of writing, relationship building, and press releases. These PR tools, as well as a hint of creativity, will be useful in the digital marketing field. One skill Herbert mentioned frequently throughout his entire presentation is the ability to use Microsoft Excel. He said Excel is your best friend in marketing. Therefore, one better learn Excel if they are to enter the marketing world. Some valuable resources that can help someone learn Excel are courses through college campuses, online YouTube and Linkedin tutorials, or even a friend, if they are willing and able .

Herbert also went through the many different sub-fields and types of jobs out in the marketing world. For example you can work in programmatic, paid social media planning and media buying, affiliate (the field Herbert works in), search (SEO & SEM), social media marketing, influencer marketing and email marketing. This variety ensures anyone interested in marketing will be able to find their niche. He also told us there are things you will not learn in school. So have self-discipline and go out there! Learn certain tools online using LinkedIn (which is host to many free learning courses for college students) and make sure you like what you are doing. The biggest takeaways from Herbert’s talk were to put yourself out there, learn soft skills, network with a lot of people and of course do not forget his number one rule: learn Excel!


 Wed - 7 p.m. 




Established in 1978, the California State University Northridge PRSSA provides students with workshops, networking events, internship opportunities and exclusive agency tours which help further advance their careers.


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