My Experience at South Beach Food & Wine Festival

I recently had the pleasure of working at the 2012 South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF) here in Miami! I was a press and media associate thanks to my school, Florida International University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. 
I had always wanted to participate at a South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF) ever since I’d heard of the exciting demonstrations and chefs that attended this event. When I found out the FIU School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) would be hiring students this year to help with the festival, I was ecstatic to sign up and participate in this year’s festivities.

I worked as a press and media associate for two events: “Flavors of Flay with Bobby Flay” and “Trucks on The Beach, the Official Festival Closing Party hosted by Andrew Zimmern.” Being that I am a foodie and I always have the Food Network ch
Not only would I work with fellow foodies but I would also be able to use my public relations skills to gain experience and network with other professionals in a field that I hope to enter in the near future. I made numerous contacts with account executives from Brustman Carrino Public Relations and I was able to learn more about PR and how these individuals were successful throughout their careers. I enjoyed networking with these executives and influential people and I am looking forward to keeping in touch with them.annel on, I instantly recognized these celebrity chefs and couldn’t wait to work these events. 

All in all, my experience at the SOBEWFF was unforgettable and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Without the help and the dedication of FIU’s SJMC, this opportunity wouldn’t have been possible so I sincerely appreciate their efforts and dedication to their students.

— Mariangela Imbrenda


PRSSA Members Awarded Esteemed Ev Clay/PRSA Miami Scholarship

Prestige and passion will cross paths at Jungle Island this October when two FIU PRSSA members accept the Ev Clay/PRSA Miami Chapter Scholarship. This year PRSSA executive board members Christian Williams, National Liaison, and Jillian Goltzman, Director of Fundraising, will be presented an award of $1,500 at the annual Endowment Fund Luncheon.


Chair Tim Dodson and PRSA Miami have invited all award recipients from FIU, Florida Memorial College, Miami Dade College and the University of Miami to speak about their career aspirations at the event.


 The Ev Clay/PRSA Miami Chapter Endowment Fund is the largest scholarship fund operated by a PRSA chapter in the nation. The endowment fund, which was established in 1985, serves as a memory of Miami public relations innovator Everett A . Clay.


For 24 years, PRSA Miami has awarded 87 students studying public relations in South Florida with more than $117,000. The award was open exclusively to PRSSA students and sought to find a level of ethics, education, leadership and commitment to the public relations field.


“Some call it giving back; I call it leading the way to the youth to get to where they want to be,” said Gretel Perez, last year’s recipient and former FIU PRSSA president. Both Perez and former PRSSA vice president, Sabrina Gomez, were honored to be awarded the scholarship in 2011.


As a single mother who works a full-time job and has successfully owned her own business, Cresco Communications, Gomez “felt a great sense of accomplishment.” While trying to maintain high grades and make an impact on campus, the scholarship had made all of Gomez’ hard work “up to that point well worth it.”


Similarly to Gomez, PRSA holds a significant spot in Perez’ life. “As students, we go to school with the motivation to know more about the public relations field. However, not all the learning is gathered from books but also from the individuals that take time to share their experiences and advice,” she said.


Annabel Beyra, former PRSA Miami President, and Perez both crossed paths through the organization. The networking match opened doors for Perez and granted Beyra an enthusiastic intern. “I always admired her professionalism and work ethics, which is why I was delighted when she allowed me the opportunity to join her team as an intern at Fusion,” said Perez.


Both Williams and Goltzman join the ranks of thankful past recipients and plan to fuel their PR future and education with the distinction of the Ev Clay/PRSA Miami Chapter Scholarship. FIU PRSSA is PRoud of their fellow members’ accomplishments.


For information on upcoming scholarship opportunities become a fan of FIU PRSSA on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @fiuprssa. 

Fashion PR: What does it take?

We can’t ignore that most of us who are looking into a career in Fashion PR, were first introduced to this world with the likes of Whitney, LC, Samantha from Sex and the City and of course Ms. Kelly Cutrone. I, for one, can say this is the case for me. At first, I could not wrap my head around exactly what fashion public relations entailed. Was it pitching clothes to magazines? Providing clothes for magazine editorials and fashion shoots? Do you get to attend fashion shows and sit front row? The answer is NO (Atleast not as an intern) On MTV’s “The City”, Whitney’s first internship after moving to New York was at DVF. I mean really, is it that easy? The answer is again, NO.

(Office photo courtesy of

So what is fashion PR?

A career in fashion public relations entails building brands. As a fashion publicist you thrive to gain exposure for the brands you work for. You communicate sometimes daily and build relationships with editors, stylists, photographers and last but definitely not least, the press. Basically, you are the facilitator of publicity for fashions brands, shops, and designers. You can represent a variety of companies or work for one specific company. Managing and organizing events is also a big part of fashion pr. Within these events it is important to provide free products to editors, journalists, bloggers, and celebrities hoping they will use and write about your product. You must also of course, write and follow up on press releases as you would do in any industry in the public relations field.


To be able to gain the knowledge and skills to handle all these responsibilities and to execute them effectively, we must first start at the bottom.

Like anything in life, the key to true success in fashion PR is moving your way up the ladder. Yes, while you are climbing this ladder you are expected to be on your best fashion behavior. By this I mean, show the fashion world what you’ve got. How well you can put together an outfit and most importantly, how well you wear it. This of course, is the first requirement because if you are not stylishly talented then you’re in the wrong industry, at least that’s what I believe.


(Runway photo courtesy of

The second requirement is equally as important as the first, its hard work. And by hard work I mean dedication, patience, long hours, charisma and drive. On my quest for an internship this summer, I have realized what most, if not all, companies are looking for is experience. They don’t necessarily ask for previous internships or experience working at a public relations firm but knowledge in social media, working with people, and most significantly experience persevering in some aspect of your life through hard work. If they see you have experience in the basic foundations that a career in public relations entails, then you have a foot in the door. Equally, the more internships you can land, events you can volunteer for, and experience you can gain from being involved in anything fashion or public relations related, will get you that much closer to landing your dream job.


So is it possible to intern at DVF in New York City and to sit front row at the Mara Hoffman show at Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week? Yes. With the condition that you’ve built a hefty resume that oozes hard work, experience and fashion credibility.

-Luciana Padula (