By Gary Bridgens
The Public Relations Student Society of America’s National Conference is an annual one-weekend affair that connects industry pre-professionals from PRSSA chapters across the United States. Each year, over 1,000 public relations students and professionals convene and engage in an educational discourse about the industry and its undoubtedly bright future.
A few weeks ago, eight representatives from Scripps PRSSA traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in the PRSSA 2014 National Conference: Intersections: The Meeting Place of Communications and Culture. As representatives we immersed ourselves in a professional atmosphere and gained a unique insight into the world of public relations.
Scripps PRSSA was chosen to present on Friday, the first day of the conference, in a session titled “It’s More Than Just a Meeting: Powerful PRrogramming and How to Plan It.” This was one of eight student-run chapter development sessions. The session reviewed the different events, workshops and resources that Scripps PRSSA uses to help advance the profession and the future professional.
The conference is structured in a way that allows students to attend various sessions throughout the day. Saturday’s opening event featured a keynote address from Pam Jenkins, President of Washington D.C. based Powell Tate Public Affairs and Strategic Communication Firm. She spoke with resolute passion about the need for millenniums to invest their talents in the future of healthcare, public affairs, and advocacy.
The professional development sessions that followed Jenkins’ keynote address covered a myriad of topics including non-profit PR, brand building, media relations, international PR, issues and crisis management, social marketing, health and science communication, entertainment PR, sports PR, hospitality PR and the exciting world of political PR. These sessions are catered to the students and conducted by professionals, all of whom are highly respected in their field of specialization.
PRSSA National Conference attendees are also given the opportunity to hear from and connect with professionals at the Public Relations Society of America National Conference, which occurs simultaneously and geographically adjacent. Speakers at the PRSA conference included Amy Robach from Good Morning America and Mike Buckley from Facebook.
All who attend the PRSSA National Conference meet for a formal dinner and awards ceremony at the end of event. Here the National Committee grants awards to outstanding chapters and individuals. Scripps PRSSA’s own Melaina Lewis was the winner of the Ron Culp Scholarship for Mentorship! Check out Melaina and her mentee, Jess, here: http://www.prssa.org/scholarships_competitions/individual/culp/
The following students attended the conference and represented Scripps PRSSA:
Briagenn Adams, Gary Bridgens, Jessica Carnprobst, Marisa Fiore, Melaina Lewis, Sam Miller, Sarah Rachul, and Cidnye Weimer
Attend the PRSSA 2015 National Conference next year in Atlanta, Georgia
Follow @PRSSANC on Twitter for more information!
Gary Bridgens is a senior majoring in strategic communication and specializing in political science. After graduation he wants to work with a focus in international politics or advocacy. Follow Gary on Twitter at @garingiscaring!