PRSSA PROVIDES STUDENTS TOOLS FOR THE INDUSTRY

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The University of South Florida’s Public Relations Student Society of America is hosting a mini conference called “Roads in PR” open to all students.

The conference is Sept. 21, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the 3rd floor of the Marshall Student Center. The four tracks discussed are professional, consumer goods pr, career readiness and social media. Students will learn how to get connected through networking, learn ways to strengthen their social media brand, will have an opportunity to gain experience in marketing and advertising through a possible paid internship for Cox Target Media and learn how to use electronic press releases. 

Guest speakers include Nancy Vaughn, owner and principal pr and marketing director of White Book Agency; Glenn Selig, CEO of Selig Multimedia Inc.; Antony Francis, president of Head of Lettuce Media; Marsha Strickhouser, public relations manager at Valpak and Cox Target Media; and Angela Walters, president of the Tampa Bay chapter of PRSA.

“This conference is an opportunity for students to fuel their passion and further their understanding and knowledge of the public relations industry,” Murewa Olubela, president of PRSSA, said. “The speakers include some of Tampa’s top public relations professionals, and the information and networking opportunities they will provide to the students should be extremely valuable.”

The event is free and includes lunch. Students can register at http://usprssaminiconference.eventbrite.com 

Since its founding, the Walter E. Griscti Chapter of PRSSA at the University of South Florida has developed into a top-tier chapter filled with talented students eager to enhance their knowledge about public relations. The chapter works closely with the Tampa Bay chapter of PRSA and the Tampa Bay chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) to provide numerous networking opportunities for our members. These strong relationships allow members to work face-to-face with those already in the industry.

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What is Public Relations?

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When people ask me what public relations is I always respond by saying, “public relations is the process of creating and maintaing a relationship with the public.” And let me tell you, whenever I say that people look at me like, “so… you don’t know what PR is.” Once I see that look I try and explain what I mean.

The thing is I understand what PR practitioners do, but I didn’t understand how to explain it. Until I took principles of public relations. This class clearly defined what public relations is and it solidified my desire to pursue a career in PR.

First the class learned the correct definition of public relations. I mean, there is no way you could talk about a subject without knowing and agreeing on what it really is

“Public relations is the management function that identifies, establishes, and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and the various publics on whom its success or failure depends.” From Effective Public Relations

But more importantly public relations is a process, RACE, which stands for research, action, communication, and evaluation. And that’s is what the class is learning about, the multiple steps to complete RACE.

Another thing that I have to explain to people is how important and realistic public relations jobs are. People think the only thing PR practitioners do are plan events, when it is so much more. Practitioners write news releases to spread information to the mass media, they put together media advisories, set up interviews and news conferences, manage social media, and so much more beside party planning. The career has come a really long way.

The more I learn about PR the more I want to work in the field, especially in social media. We had a guest speaker, Jordan Raynor from Engage, who spoke about how influential social media is in today’s society. He told us that after doing research he learned that the 2012 election was not just a race between Obama and a republican candidate, but a choice between Eminem and Johnny Cash. That just wow’d me for some reason. People can really be reduced to what their social media says about them.

Ok so this post went from me talking about my Principles class to talking about PR in general. (maybe I’ll edit it to fit the original idea… but probably not :D)

Back to  my class, I am really learning a lot. I really like the Powerpoint, and I think the text book is my favorite to date. We were assigned a campaign project, a personal brand project, and a volunteer project. I think these projects were perfect and were so much fun to complete, especially the personal brand project because it gave me the push I needed to start my blog. And my professor is so easy to learn from and talk to. It makes me have faith that I can succeed in public relations, and that I will have fun doing it.

So yea. That was me rambling about public relations.

Until next time,

Michaela