Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is the core national organization for public relations majors in the Department of Communication at ETSU. The larger and more valuable the chapter gets, the more PR students will benefit from its offerings. This month the National Conference for PRSSA members took place in Salt Lake City, Utah, for four days, between November 10 and 14. Three representatives of ETSU PRSSA went to the conference: Anna Ricciardi – President, Rory Mohon – Historian, and Monica Năstase – PRSA Liaison.
By going to the National Conference we planned not only to benefit personally from the insights of a summit with guest professionals, but also to bring the new ideas to our colleagues at ETSU PRSSA and to help further develop the chapter. We learned how to improve our agenda to facilitate both the members’ professional development and the chapter’s size and value among other national chapters.
This year’s motto invited students to “Make the Ascent” both in the competitive field of public relations as young professionals and also in the beautiful mountains surrounding Salt Lake City.
The opening ceremony included a speech from Richard Edelman from Edelman PR Worldwide, who talked with the students present about the new trends in the mass media and how this worldwide progress affects the PR industry. Andrew Heyward, former President of CBS News, also offered an impressive and entertaining speech to the audience, students and professionals, about the emerging digital era and how it affects the course of every industry, including mass media and public relations.
We were presented with a multitude of sessions held by nationwide professionals that gave us insights on different aspects of the PR business in various fields, such as entertainment, international arena, etiquette or high tech. We also got to benefit from special sessions of tips and strategies to enhance our creativity, resume writing and interview management. Professionals looked over our resumes and offered us tips on efficiently improving them and boost our employment chances alongside.
The meetings we had with our peers from different national chapters helped us network with them both at roundtables and workshops, exchanging ideas of professional development, and at night socials dressed sleek, mingling and having a good time.
The four-day National Conference did not entail only demanding professional sessions, but also opportunity for leisure time and sightseeing in the city at the feet of the Wasatch Mountains. We enjoyed the spectacular views of the snow covered tips of the Rockies while walking downtown and seeing famous sights like the 2002 Winter Olympics Monument, the Salt Lake Art Center or the largest Mormon temple in USA with its sumptuous Temple Square and suspended gardens with bird’s eye view of the city.
By Monica Năstase