PRSSA National Conference Key Takeaways

As you may have read from a previous blog recapping PRSSA National Conference, written by Maura Anderson, 18 members of Scripps PRSSA experienced an event unrivaled in the world of pre-professional PR. Participants got to experience breakout sessions from brands like Vera Bradley and Warner Bros., as well as listen to legendary keynotes given by Derreck Kayango, CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights and founder of the Global Soap Project, and Scott Kelly, a NASA Astronaut who just returned from his year in space. These are just a few of the amazing speakers that attendees got to experience.


Now that the semester is winding down and it has been just over a month since the conclusion of PRSSA National Conference in Indianapolis, I asked this year’s attendees from Scripps PRSSA and ImPRessions, Ohio University’s student run PR firm, what they would consider their biggest takeaway from the weekend long event. Here is what I found out:

Gentry Bennett, Scripps PRSSA President, Senior

“When you transition from an intern to a full time employee, the hardest part is convincing yourself that you are more than an intern. The company hired you full time, so that’s how they will treat you!”

Emily Barber, VP of External Relations for Scripps PRSSA, Senior

“National Conference made me feel one hundred times more prepared for post-grad life. Between resume critiques, learning about awesome companies, networking and growing closer with my PRSSA family, I could not be more excited to put my PR knowledge to use!” 

Annie Robinson, Director of Cultural Engagement for ImPRessions, Junior

“The PRSSANC session on becoming an authentic leader by David Grossman gave me a new outlook on my future career and the way I see myself. He taught us the power of becoming true to yourself through his own personal life trials. It not only taught me a new way to become an effective leader but affirmed my belief in the power of authentic story telling.” 

Austin Ambrose, CEO of ImPRessions, Senior

“Conference reminded me just how diverse the field of public relations truly is, but that we are an evolving field that needs to work every day to stay with the times and breakthrough the noise. There are so many talented and innovative people in our industry, and they are the future of communications.”

Rosie Haren, VP of Social Affairs for Scripps PRSSA, Senior

“My key takeaway is to take advantage of all the opportunities you have! I had the opportunity of going to national conference because I chose to become a dues paying member of PRSSA and I got to engage with a lot of industry professionals and get my resume critiqued because I went to national conference! And I got to see the amazing city of Indianapolis!”

Brigitte Meisse, Dues-Paying Member of Scripps PRSSA, Sophomore

“The main thing that I got out of national conference would have been the confidence/reassurance that I can connect with anyone whether it be other PRSSA members from across the nation, or even some of the professionals I admire the most. Everyone in this field is beyond ready to serve as a resource and join your network.”

Alyssa Murtagh, Account Executive for ImPRessions, Sophomore

“National Conference taught me that I am going to grow in this field just as I have grown in life. This was my second year attending; and I noticed that I was less nervous, more willing to network with others and even more enthusiastic about public relations. And, of course, I was reminded that Scripps PRSSA really is the best Chapter!”

Emily O’Flynn, Account Executive for ImPRessions, Sophomore

“PRSSA National Conference gave me the opportunity to learn about so many different aspects of public relations, as well as becoming closer with other students in my Chapter. The best thing I learned was the importance of networking and how it can influence your future in the field.”

Sara Defibaugh, Dues-Paying Member of Scripps PRSSA, Junior

“The 2016 PRSSA National Conference taught me that the skills you have to offer can be sharpened and then used towards whatever your passions are. Each professional, no matter what their passions are, instilled motivation in me to continue pursing my passions and to do better and be better. 10/10 I will definitely be going again.

Natalie Butko, Account Executive for ImPRessions, Sophomore

“National conference showed me how competitive the PR field is. This was great to see because I now know how hard I must work to be successful! The conference was full of information and inspiration on how to make a successful PR career.”

Maura Anderson, Dues-Paying Member of Scripps PRSSA, Sophomore

“My key takeaway from national conference is to keep an open mind. You never know what will end up working, what you’ll enjoy, or whose ideas would improve your own if you don’t give everything a chance.”

Elise Mills, VP of Visual Communication for Scripps PRSSA, Senior

“You get out of public relations what you put into it. Having connections can land you your first job, but it is up to you to keep it!”

Sammie Fisher, VP of Finance for PRSSA and VP of Consulting for ImPRessions, Junior

“The biggest thing I learned from PRSSANC is that data driven decisions are key, and the way we prove our worth is by changing. I’m on a quest to make sure that I’m an accurate measurer and provide innovative data for all my future projects and clients.”

Taylor Dilley, VP of Social Media for Scripps PRSSA, Junior

“Always be authentic. It can be so easy in our line of work to get caught up in making the most of everything. Don’t be afraid to just be you. Also, network in every corner. I met a great contact just by reaching out to talk on the escalator. Always be outgoing!”

Schuyler Morris, Dues-Paying Member of Scripps PRSSA, Sophomore

“PRSSA National Conference was extremely inspiring. I came away with a better idea of what PR encompasses and I know this is a career for me.”

Jennica Lurie, VP of Public Relations for Scripps PRSSA, Senior

“There is no feeling like attending a conference where so many people have the same drive and passions as you do. It was intimidating no doubt, but my biggest takeaway was that by attending this conference we had the opportunity to learn and grow as soon-to-be PR professionals and that on its own will carry us so far as an industry.”

Sadie Newman, Dues-Paying Member of Scripps PRSSA and ImPRessions, Sophomore

“PRSSA National Conference was my favorite part of my first semester this year. I had the opportunity to network with both my fellow bobcats as well as students from around the country. I was able to listen to speakers discuss their professional careers and encourage us, as students, to work hard so we can also be successful. My greatest take away, however, would have to be my new opinion on passion in one’s career. Those who succeed professionally succeed because of their extreme passion for what they do. Now, after conference, I have taken that passion and let it fuel what I do and who I want to become. I am so thankful to have been able to attend PRSSA national conference.”
Allison Arnold, Junior Executive VP of ImPRessions, Junior
 “National conference is where I have learned the most about public relations. No class is able to give students such vast knowledge on the industry. It’s so beneficial for students to hear current professionals’ experiences and learn from them before going into the real world.”
If this doesn’t show you how great national conference is or convince you to attend next year, you might be interested in attending a smaller scale convention. Scripps PRSSA will be attending Regional Conference in Chapel Hill on Feb 24-25. Feel free to reach out to any of the National Conference attendees and ask them about anything regarding either conference!

We’re thankful to have amazing members here at Scripps PRSSA and we know the future is bright for all of our members!



Jennica Lurie is a senior strategic communications major. She is also the VP or Public Relations for Scripps PRSSA. If you any questions about blogging, National Conference or Regional Conference feel free to email her at and follow her on Twitter @jennicalurie!

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