Betsy A. Hays, APR, Fellow PRSA, is a sought-after keynote speaker and workshop presenter whose topics include personal and professional success, public relations excellence, effective communication, and landing your dream career.
She is co-author of three books: “Win & Wow: Public Relations Secrets for Everyday Success” — published in July 2014, “Land Your Dream Career: 11 Steps to Take in College,” which was listed in the American Library Association’s Bests of 2013, and “Life After College: 10 Steps to Build a Life You Love,” which was published in May 2014.
Betsy is the lead Public Relations Professor for the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at California State University, Fresno, where she has taught since 1999. In addition to managing the public relations option, Betsy runs the internship and scholarship programs for the department. She is also the faculty adviser for the Public Relations Student Society of America and the university’s student-run PR firm, TALK.
Betsy earned her B.A. in journalism with an emphasis in public relations and her M.A. in mass communication from California State University, Fresno. She is also an accredited public relations professional, having earned her “APR” designation from the Public Relations Society of America. (The APR process is similar to an accountant becoming a CPA.) The “Fellow PRSA” designation after her name is due to being inducted into the prestigious PRSA College of Fellows in 2013.
She has been involved in the public relations profession for more than 23 years, having worked in the field for eight years prior to beginning her university teaching career. Betsy has served on the Board of Directors of the Central California Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in all but two years since 1998 and was its President in 1998 and 2010. Betsy is now in her third year on the Board of Directors for PRSA’s North Pacific District.
Betsy was named PRSA’s Public Relations Professional of the Year in 2000 and has also been honored with the prestigious Provost’s Award for promising new tenure-track faculty at Fresno State. She was named “Outstanding Adviser” at Fresno State in 2010 and Outstanding Club/Organization Adviser in 2013. Also in 2010 Betsy was given the “Spirit of Service” Award for her exemplary commitment to community engagement.
She created what is believed to be the nation’s first undergraduate Public Relations Entrepreneurship courses in 2007 and is also the architect of fully integrating the pedagogy of service-learning into the university’s public relations program.
Prior to her service to Fresno State, Betsy worked for Deen & Black Public Relations (now Ogilvy PR Worldwide) and served as both media spokesperson and media trainer for clients throughout California and Arizona, mainly in the government sector. She has also coordinated a regional public education program with 62 cities in Central California, helping cities spread the word about the importance of solid waste reduction. In addition, Betsy spent two years working in both internal and external public relations for Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, Calif.