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PRSSA Attends 2018 National Conference in Texas

October 12, 2018

On Thursday, Oct. 4, Assistant Professor of Media and Communication, Arien Rozelle, and seven students representing Fisher’s Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) traveled to Austin, Texas for the 2018 PRSSA National Conference.

Members of Fisher's PRSSA chapter attended the organization's national conference in Austin, Texas.

Fisher’s chapter strives to help communication students network with industry professionals, participate in mock interviews, review resumes and portfolios, learn about securing internships, and develop other skills to begin their professional careers with confidence.

The annual conference provides students with the opportunity to network with peers and public relations experts through a series of panels, sessions, and activities. Students are exposed to the various branches of public relations and new industry innovations and techniques. Fisher alumna Sharon Napier ’81, chief executive officer of Partners + Napier, sponsored this trip through a generous donation of $9,000 given last spring.

 “The PRSSA National Conference gives students an opportunity to learn from and meet with PR professionals from national corporations, organizations, and agencies, exposing them to the wide variety of careers available to them in the communication field,” said Rozelle. “The conference also provides students a chance to meet their PR peers from colleges and universities across the country, which helps them build their network while they’re still in school. This is our fourth trip to the national conference, and each year students report that it was a hugely impactful experience, and one that helped jumpstart their career in PR.”

To start off the four-day trip in Austin, the group took a ten mile bike trip around the city to explore its tourist sites historical features. From then on, students attended career tours with other PRSSA members from around the country to organizations such as Cohn & Wolfe, Elizabeth Christian Public Relations, Hahn PR, HomeAway, and Snackbox.

The following two days were spent hearing from notable speakers on new industry ideas, their life lessons, and best career advice. Members attended diverse sessions regarding big data, strategic event planning, coding for communication, non-profit communications, and crisis communications.

Alyssa Whitley ’19, a media management major and chapter president, left the conference feeling inspired and eager to share her knowledge with the rest of the Fisher chapter.

“Attending my first National Conference as chapter president was an amazing experience! As an aspiring PR professional and senior, the opportunity to travel across the country to expand my network and learn about emerging industry trends was so valuable,” she said. “My favorite part is the shared sense of community and passion for the profession with other chapters from around the country. I can’t wait to implement everything we learned into our chapter at Fisher!”

Grace Peter ’19, a double major in business management and media and communication, said the conference opened her eyes to the vital role of public relations.

“The PRSSA National Conference showed me the full scope of jobs and the overwhelming number of opportunities that can come from public relations. My biggest takeaway is that public relations is the opportunity for organizations and individuals to tell their story,” she added.

Caroline Seaberg ’19, studying media and communication, valued the professional conference as an excellent learning experience outside the classroom.

“Attending the conference was such a unique experience because I learned from other passionate students and about their chapters from all over the nation. We found out there are over 360 chapters nationwide, so it was great to see the bigger picture of being involved in PRSSA,” she said. “Also, listening to professionals practicing public relations in diverse ways exposed me to opportunities and innovations in the field.”