Director of Public Relations - Baskin

Director of Public Relations

Isaac Baskin

Class of 2013

Define the position you're running for and explain why you're running.

I am running for Director of Public Relations, and I’m running because I would like to spread more awareness on campus about what SA does. It’s been said that “information is the oxygen of the modern age,” and I totally agree with that. I think it’s really important that the people that are running our student organization, that are using our money, should be responsible and the only way to make sure that happens is to have the most amount of people in the process; to have the most amount of students involved, because every student is part of SA. I mean, if you go here you pay a mandatory student activity fee, but most people don’t know that. It’s interesting. I was in front of members at one of the forums and the current director of SA asked me to ask this, so I asked, like, “How many people here are in SA?” Three kids raised their hand, but everyone’s part of SA! So my goal, as the next person running, is to have everyone raise their hand.

What experience qualifies you for this position?

This might be a little long, but the most experience I’ve had with public relations—I have a lot—my senior year of high school I started with working for the Mangano campaign. He was running for county executive at the time, and I had to go from door to door, I had to make phone calls, I had to interact with people all day long, and convince people to vote for him. I had to know all the issues; I had to know what was going on. So it was an amazing internship. I had to know everything—from the top-level stuff to the bottom-level stuff—but everything was interacting with people. He ended up winning that election with two hundred fifty votes, so I would like to think that I made a difference—a clear difference there, I think. And when I came here, I brought that over, and what we did was we had the Republican Club. Now, I’m president of Republican Club, but my fall semester freshman year, we were six people, including alumni, in a board room upstairs (Union) just talking amongst ourselves. One day I just sat up and said enough, let’s get out there, lets advertise, and the next semester, after we advertised, we held events, and we had thirty people in the fireside lounge. So we went from six to thirty in the semester. And on top of that I hosted the event for Jane Corwin. She was running for Congress at the time and I got around forty to fifty people in the room at the time, which was a great event. So I know how to advertise; I know how to get out there. What else qualifies me about this is I don’t come from SA—I come from the clubs. Yesterday I was at Psych Club, weeks before I was at Women’s Action Coalition. They had dinner recently, which went really well. I’m in the Republican Club, I’m obviously president of that, and I’m actually on the state committee for that, so I’m heavily involved. On top of that I’ve attended multiple other clubs—Pre-Law Club I actually went to the other week. I’m involved in the student body; I’m not coming from SA; I’m not coming from the top down. I know what’s going on with these clubs; I know how to help them advertise. So one of the main goals about Director of Public Relations is that it’s not kind of a defined position—you make what you have of it. If I am going to advertise and spread awareness, I need to know what’s going on in the clubs, and you can’t get that knowledge unless you go to the clubs. You can go to these events, I believe we went to the Academic Affairs Committee and other committees, where they have clubs represented there, but that’s not being in the club, that’s not learning what the twenty, thirty people in that club have to say. This week I plan on going to a bunch of more clubs, for example the Gay-Straight Alliance. So I’ll be going there. I don’t plan on running a campaign that focuses on anything else but the clubs. That’s what it’s all about, and that’s where you get the most kids. The more participation we have in those clubs, the more participation we have on campus, the more participation we have in the process, which makes the process better. Experience wise, I’ve worked on multiple other campaigns too; I interact with people. I was just at an event meeting the townspeople here, so I’m involved, I know what’s going on, and I have a bunch of ideas to bring to the table.

Do you have any plans if you are elected?

I would like to continue with what the current [Director of Public Relations] Lindsey [Hebell] has started, which is to actually have a sub-committee for PR. One of the big things, I think, is that we don’t have enough personal interaction with our fellow students and we sort of sit up on our pedestals and don’t really ever come down. My experience! I totally forgot about this! Real quickly, is that I work for Kaplan. Kaplan is probably one of the best experiences I could have for this job because I have to go around with these big cards, getting people to sign up on our email list, so I have to interact with hundreds of students each week. And hundreds of new students, because I get commission, I don’t get paid on the students I already have, so it isn’t like I’m seeing the same people … and that’s exactly what PR needs to do. What I learned from that is that going around MJ, going around the Union, going around the ISC and Milne, places like that, and saying to kids, “Well hey, upcoming Psych Club they have child abuse awareness week, they’re having a movie, they’re having this, that.” You know, I’ll sit down with the clubs, I’ll help them advertise for their events—just being able to interact with the students one-on-one, and not being distant, being very personal. If you want things to be spread by word-of-mouth, you need to start people talking. You’ll get a lot more people talking by face-to-face rather than an email, which most people don’t even read. I also think that the sub-committee can help on this because you have a lot more people actually going around, rather than hearing it from just one person. So, those are just some of the ideas; just making a more efficacious campus overall is what I want to really do.