“Public Relations is so complicated,” junior Kirra Bento said. “I usually just explain it to people as the communication between a business and a client.”

Bento is the president of the Public Relations (PR) club at APU, called Righteous Velocities.

“We’re called Righteous Velocities because we’re called to be righteous lights in the workplace and to move forward at a rapid pace,” Bento said. “We chose that name because we wanted to represent God in our work and because PR does have a bad stigma. We chose righteous because we didn’t want that.”

Although Righteous Velocities only started last fall, it has grown rapidly and now has 36 members.

Bento said the club was created to help forge connections between under and upperclassmen in the PR major, which itself is just three years old at APU.

“We created the PR club out of a lack of connections between incoming PR students and current PR students. Last semester was our first semester as a club officially,” Bento said. “After sitting down with our advisor, Ismael Medel, and our vice president, Dominique, we started to create a constitution and bylaws for what we wanted the club to look like. Once we had that set out, we started with a mini campaign for the club. The focus was primarily in getting PR students to join.”

One of the students that joined last semester is junior PR major Ally Dodd. Dodd transferred to APU in the fall.

“It’s been really fun to meet other people in my major. People that I don’t have in class, I meet through the club. It’s been really helpful, especially as a transfer,” Dodd said.

Although Righteous Velocities only has one official meeting a semester, they have a few activities during the semester outside of that. One of those activities will be a photoshoot next month for professional LinkedIn pictures.

Dodd said she’s excited for the photoshoot, which is one of the first steps in branding herself.

“I’m learning to network. We talked about branding ourselves at the last meeting, and learning to network outside versus in the classroom,” Dodd said.

Justine Brown is also a junior transfer student who joined the club last semester. She said they talked about going to an actual PR agency and touring it as one of their next activities. For right now though, Brown is focused on making connections.

“I think it will be really helpful to build connections with people who have similar interests. I think we’ll grow together in our knowledge of PR and branding ourselves,” Brown said. “It’s a fun group of people. We don’t have meetings all the time, so it’s not a burden. It’s laid back and beneficial to everyone in the club.”

Although Righteous Velocities has grown to 36 members, Bento wants to continue to see it grow with more freshmen next year.

“I would love to be able to pass this down to someone else next year for them to work on it. My goals are to get new people in with fresh ideas and have them help us with new content,” Bento said. “We’d really like to bring the freshmen in and connect them with the upperclassmen.”

The PR major was started three years ago by assistant professor Ismael Medel. It now has over 70 students in the major. It falls under the department of Communication Studies.

“Because the PR program is so new, there’s so much we don’t know about it yet,” Bento said. “Many people view that as a negative thing, but I view it as a place where your input is heard. There’s space for you to tell the advisors what you want out of the program.”

Righteous Velocities was designed for PR students, but it is open to all majors.

“We try to recommend that people within the communication studies department join because PR is such a niche thing,” Bento said. “With that said, you don’t know if you’re a PR person until you try.”

If you are interested in the PR club, contact Kirra Bento: kbento15@apu.edu