Five PRSSA Kent officers attended the 2012 PRSSA National Conference in San Francisco, Calif. this year. From left: Ryan Collins (Online Media Manager), Hallie Pendergast (Secretary), Stephanie Black (VP of Public Relations), Trenton Chavez (VP of Membership) and Christine Morgan
We'll be periodically posting key takeaways from our experience in San Francisco, and our first post is from Christine Morgan:
Travel PR: A whirlwind industry filled with opportunities
To be honest, I’m not interested in travel PR, but this year’s conference definitely sparked my interest. Experts representing two of the country’s top 20 largest cities – Columbus, Ohio, and San Francisco, Calif. – delivered a compelling presentation on the trends and “how to’s” of navigating the PR travel and tourism industry.
Using narrative, photo and discussion, Angela Jackson, director of media relations for San Francisco Travel, and Scott
Peacock, public relations manager for Experience Columbus, explained how and why practitioners in the travel and tourism industry are constantly moving.
“Practitioners are always buzzing with the latest trends and the newest ‘hot spots’ that will keep visitors coming back
for more,” Peacock said. “Those interested in travel PR must be prepared to tackle challenges and have a lot of fun, too.”
How can I succeed in the travel and tourism industry?
What if I don’t live in the city I want to work?
According to both Jackson and Peacock, that’s OK. Your “outsider” perspective will breathe life into your work and open your eyes to all the beauties of your destination.
“Breaking into travel PR when you’re not a local is not a problem at all,” Jackson said. “You will have an outsider
perspective, which is better. As an outsider you will appreciate everything your destination has to offer–no matter how big or small.”
“As an outsider, you’re always up for anything,” Peacock. “That attitude and perspective will take you far in travel and tourism PR.”
Christine is a senior PR major and president of PRSSA Kent. Follow her on Twitter @christineprksu and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRSSA/PRSA Liaison Madalyn Etzel wrote a personal recap about the event and its benefits:
The PRSA Greater Cleveland Student Day 2012 was held Friday, Oct. 26. Thanks to the PRSSA members who made the trip: Alexandra Fagan, Brooke Tabaka, Cindy Deng, Crystal Zhang, Megan Confer, Michael Lopick and Sydney Baltrusaitis.
During the event, students heard from four different panels about
opportunities in Cleveland, choosing a career path, connecting the dots in an
integrated campaign, interviewing and networking. The panels consisted of
professionals from Dix & Eaton, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Metroparks,
Fahlgren Mortine, PR 20/20 and many more.
I gained useful information from each panel discussion. The final discussion was my favorite because they discussed interviewing and networking. As a senior, this was the most relevant information. The professionals were insightful and gave great advice. Laurie Mitchell, the president of Laurie Mitchell & Company, Inc. said our first responsibility during an interview is to answer precisely what is asked. She also said it’s important to ask questions, but only when it feels right. Lori Polca from Eaton Corporation, said to be open and honest on a resume, and to come across as
After the panel discussions, students had the opportunity to have their resume critiqued by professionals in
the industry. Following the critiques, students were assigned a table with two professionals aligned with a specific field of our choosing, such as agency or corporation. We ended the day with an interactive lunch with these professionals.
I started at Slippery Rock University thinking I was going to graduate in five
short years with a physical therapy degree. However, after taking Intro to
Chemistry my first semester, I quickly learned my brain doesn’t work that way. I
switched out of the physical therapy program and finally found my way into
public relations. I transferred to Kent State University, and here's what I've learned so far...
Register now for this year's PRSA Greater Cleveland Student Day event! This half-day program on Friday, October 26 includes networking, resume review and sessions about Cleveland opportunities, careers, interviewing and more. It's at downtown Cleveland's Hilton Garden Inn, with registration beginning at 7:15 a.m. and the last session ending at 2 p.m. Cost is $40 with breakfast and lunch provided.
Christine Morgan is a highly motivated senior public relations and business
student at Kent State University. Currently, she is a Global Communications
Intern at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Chapter President of PRSSA
Kent and Web Editor for KentWired.
So far as PRSSA Kent’s president, Morgan has helped win the National Teahan award for
Outstanding Chapter website, assisted in writing and editing content for the
Star Chapter Award, developed and defined the Chapter’s strategic direction and
Morgan strives to advance the reputation of the chapter, convey the benefits of membership to potential members and uphold the rules outlined in the Chapter bylaws.
She recently earned the National Gold Key Award – the highest individual honor bestowed upon PRSSA members. Although it is an individual award given to only select members each year, it assisted in elevating PRSSA Kent’s reputation nationally. The last time a PRSSA
Kent member received the award was 2002.
Morgan is also a Web Editor for KentWired and occasionally volunteers at the Northeast Ohio Pet Shelter SPCA in Cleveland. Outside of school, Morgan enjoys reading, doing yoga and walking her two dogs, Blackjack and Ace.
After graduation, Morgan plans to stay in Northeast Ohio with her friends and family. She hopes to receive a job offer
from her current employer, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, but she would also enjoy a PR job in London or Spain.