4 PR Tips from NASA’s Lisa Malone


UF PRSSA was honored to have guest speaker Lisa Malone, the director of public affairs at NASA, speak about her experiences and share some of her wisdom. Malone spreads awareness across the country of NASA’s latest projects, launches, live shots and more through both traditional and social media. Malone was a journalism major and wrote for her university’s newspaper, started as an intern for NASA and got hired afterwards.

Here are 4 public relations tips that Malone suggested for college students entering the real world:

  1. Internships. Internships. Internships!

Launch your college career with an internship; it’s all about the real-life experiences you have rather than learning something in a classroom. Recruiters want to see that you can apply what you learned in a professional setting.

  1. Always come prepared.

Anytime you have a meeting during an internship or a job always come prepared! Be ready to deliver the right answers and ask the right questions.

  1. Be professional and don’t lose your cool.

When working with the media, everyone has some deadline whether it’s at noon or midnight. There are times when you will be asked the same question multiple times as well as questions that may be out of line. Having patience is crucial to working in such a fast paced environment like this as well as acting professionally.

  1. Establish a rapport with the media and develop a good list.

Get to know the fellow reporters, bloggers etc. Find out who they are and be sure to keep in touch with them by responding to their emails or phone calls. When they call up to ask to get an interview, interview THEM.

  • Who do they want to talk to?
  • What’s their angle?
  • Do they need any press release information or photos?

It’s always a good thing to establish solid relationships with professionals you’ll be working with in the future.

Be sure to check out NASA’s upcoming unmanned flight test for spacecraft Orion on December 4th 2014.

UF PRSSA does nonprofit PR with UF Donate Life

By Savanna Wood, UF PRSSA memberImage

UF Donate Life is a college branch of the statewide nonprofit organization Donate Life Florida, which aims to saving and enhancing lives through the promotion of organ and tissue donation. The main purpose of the UF organization is to encourage UF students and Gainesville residents to sign up for the online organ and tissue registry. UF PRSSA's University Service Committee provides UF Donate Life with its public relations and communications services.

ImageThe committee plans and executes a yearlong campaign with the organization in oder to achieve its purpose. Members who are a part of the committee draft press releases, compile media kits and launch grassroots marketing campaigns for UF Donate Life on campus.


According to Donate Life Florida, there are roughly 7 million registrants as of October 2013. More than 4,500 Florida residents need organ transplants. No one is ever too old to sign up to be a donor, and every registrant can make a difference. Someone loses a loved one every day because of the organ and tissue shortage, but the passing of an organ donor can bring a positive light by saving the life of someone in need of a transplant. UF PRSSA and UF Donate Life are helping to make a difference.


UF PRSSA University Service Directory Barbara Dimajo oversees the committee and works exclusively with UF Donate Life to help expand the organization. Her committee helps with branding and events around campus.

“This year we have set a goal of 100 organ donor sign-ups each semester,” said Dimajo.

This goal is higher than last year’s, but Dimajo is confident in her team’s abilities.  The committee also helps in the planning of UF Donate Life’s most important event at the end of the year.

The biggest event UF Donate Life puts on every year is Life-A-Palooza, which takes place in April during Organ Donor Awareness Month, is a night filled with food, giveaways and musical performances. Dimajo said the organization also brings in speakers ranging from organ recipients, to organ donors’ families and others who fight for the cause.


Being involved with UF Donate Life can be very beneficial. Dimajo said that working in public service public relations, like she does with UF Donate Life, is a great way to help prepare her to work in the government sector after graduation.

Visit Donate Life Florida to register as an organ donor. When asked how you learned of the organization, please make sure to choose “College Campaign” and then “UF” from the drop-down menu.

For more information on UF Donate Life and how to join the University Service Committee, please email Barbara Dimajo at

Warner Bros. & "The Dark Knight Rises" Shooting: A Lesson in Crisis Management

When a gunman opened fire on a movie theatre audience during an opening night screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colo., the tragic fate of the victims would overshadow the success of the summer blockbuster. Warner Bros., the studio behind the film, came to recognize the scope of the tragedy and make several bold decisions to manage the crisis including:

1. Weekend box office totals for the film's July 20 (Friday) release were not provided until July 23 (Monday) out of respect for the victims and their families.

2. The studio canceled the Paris premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" and all cast interviews on July 20, the day of the shooting.

3. The trailer for the film "Gangster Squad," which features a movie theater shooting scene, was removed from screenings of "The Dark Knight Rises." TV advertisements were also pulled for the Batman movie nationally.

Finally, early on Friday, July 20, Warner Bros. released this statement: "Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time."

How "social" is social media?

The managers of social media sites are trying to get people to become fans of their pages or follow their Twitter accounts. Once people start following Twitter and become fans of Facebook sites, the next goal is to get those users to read the content -- not just skim the content, but read and retain it.

That is a very difficult task. Some companies and organizations are using prizes to lure in users to "like" statuses or to comment on event pages. Other companies make competitions to see who can which users gain the most friends in the shortest time.

How "social" is social media though? Yes, everyone follows favorite people and looks at favorite pages, but how will companies get audiences to comment or respond, to get involved and feel attached to a company or organization.

The future of social media is unknown. Will there be regulation of social media or will social media continue to grow to be a bigger part of society?