BY LEHUA LASH (Outrigger PR Intern) — In my last semester at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, I was given the opportunity to intern and experience many aspects of Outrigger’s Public Relations department, from writing press releases to attending special events to meeting various PR professionals. This internship has presented many fascinating experiences, one of them being the privilege of listening to Donna Leong guest lecture in my Public Relations class.
Recently, my Communications 421: Public Relations Strategies class welcomed an engaging presentation by Donna Leong, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, and the ideal person to discuss public relations and the law. Donna focused on her experiences at Outrigger and also as an Attorney for former clients during her previous private law firm practice and the issues arising as a result of the controversial discoveries of iwi kūpuna, or ancestral remains, during construction. This culturally sensitive issue piqued the interest of some students who stayed behind after class to chat with Donna and find out a little more about her background and what steps she took to get where she is today.
Her knowledge and skill in the field of law made for lots of interesting stories, one of them being the registered service mark for Outrigger. She discussed Outrigger’s petition to cancel the use of the Outrigger logo by a textile company in China. China has faced challenges with trademark enforcements and regulations, and years later, the case still hasn’t been resolved. Our class had been learning about trademarks, copyright infringements and the importance of photo releases, so her testimonies were right on target.
As my internship at Outrigger comes to an end, I am excited for what opportunities my post-graduate life will bring and would like to say mahalo to each of you that has been a part of my Outrigger experience, and especially to Kathy Hansberry and Nancy Daniels. It was a great learning experience; I would highly recommend other students to intern in Outrigger’s Public Relations department.