This past Friday, Feb. 23, Scripps PRSSA had over 20 students travel to Columbus for a networking trip. Among the agencies and companies visited by the two groups of students were the Columbus Zoo, MediaSource, Nationwide Insurance, Experience Columbus, Fahlgren Mortine, and Mindstream Interactive. Being able to meet with these many PR professionals on networking trips is one of the biggest perks of being a PRSSA dues-paying member.
My group’s first stop was at the Columbus Zoo. While at the zoo, we learned many insights on crisis communication and social media. Although the information was valuable, everyone’s favorite part of the visit was meeting the penguin, Trout! Then, our next stop was at MediaSource. During our time at MediaSource, our group enjoyed an engaging presentation on storytelling and content marketing, and we even received gift bags with a MediaSource notebook and water bottle inside. After eating lunch, both groups met at Nationwide in downtown Columbus. During this visit, some of Nationwide’s PR team explained the ins-and-outs of corporate public relations and how working for an insurance agency does not always have to be boring. Lastly, my group visited Experience Columbus where we learned about tourism public relations. At Experience Columbus, it was very encouraging to see four Bobcat alumni work there. Whether you are a student interested in agency, corporate, or non-profit public relations, this networking trip had something for everyone!
This was my first networking trip with Scripps PRSSA, and I feel that I learned a lot about myself and public relations from this experience. Before this trip, I thought an agency setting would be the perfect for me, but after the visit to Nationwide, I have a new-found passion for corporate PR. Nationwide’s employees and company culture really captivated me and I feel that I could have the most professional growth working for a corporation.
Thank you to Brigitte Meisse and Sadie Newman for planning the trip. Also, thank you to all the agencies and companies for being so welcoming and informative. This networking trip would not have been a success without their cooperation. In the future, I’m looking forward to attending more networking trips with PRSSA to Columbus and other cities. You can never make too many connections in the PR industry!
Kate Ryan is a sophomore strategic communication major. Follow her PR journey on Twitter @katem_ryan44.