PRSSA Kent won three national awards at the PRSSA National Conference in San Francisco.
PRSSA Kent won the Teahan Award, the most prestigious PRSSA award, for its website, and the Star Chapter Award for its achievement of Chapter and professional goals. PRSSA Kent was selected from more than 300 chapters across the country for the Star Chapter Award.
PRSSA President Christine Morgan won the National Gold Key Award, the highest individual honor for PRSSA students. Morgan was one of 27 students to win out of 10,000 PRSSA members nationwide.
JMC Associate Professor Michele Ewing serves as the Kent PRSSA Adviser and, says she encourages the Chapter’s officers to attend national conference in San Francisco because it gives students the opportunity expand their knowledge of public relations and sharpen their communications skills.
“Students have the opportunity to network with PR students and professionals from all over the country,” Ewing says. “They can develop connections to secure internships and jobs.”
She continues: “They learn about the latest trends in the PR industry and discover ways to improve the PRSSA Kent Chapter.”
Stefanie Moore, assistant journalism and mass communication professor, and Kent State alumna, Sasha Chinchar, 13’, developed the Chapter’s website.
Ryan Collins, senior public relations major, is the online media manager for PRSSA Kent. He says that the organization’s website stood out among other websites because of its design and content.
“Our website is a great resource for public relations students at Kent State University,” Collins says. “They can visit the site for meeting previews, meeting recaps, speaker bios, PR resources and more.”
Collins believes that the group won this award because its officers have been striving to make it an effective website that leads students to success in their professional endeavors.
Ewing says the time Moore and Chinchar invested in the research and the testing of the website “played a pivotal role in the winning entry.”
“Our faculty adviser, Chapter president and I all work together to ensure only the best work is displayed on the site,” Collins says. “It truly is the face of PRSSA Kent for prospective freshmen, and we have to blow them away.”
Morgan, senior public relations major, says she is proud to have won the Gold Key Award, and she attributes her success to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s public relations program.
“The PR sequence’s required classes are difficult, but my hard work paid off,” Morgan says. “The classes enabled me to sharpen my written skills, fine tune my interpersonal skills and improve my design capabilities. It’s a well-rounded program that teaches young PR professionals the skills necessary to succeed in the PR field.”
Morgan says that she had a “winning combination” of academic achievements that led to her receiving this prestigious award.
“I believe my GPA, experience; leadership and education set me apart from other candidates,” Morgan says. “I took advantage of the opportunities offered by PRSSA to gain essential leadership experience. Also, I’ve been a global communication intern at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company for one year and six months.”
This is the first time that Kent PRSSA won the Star Chapter Award for the chapter’s professional achievements. Kent State was among the less than 10 percent of Chapters recognized for this award.
Ewing says she is proud of the group’s efforts and pleased that it won three awards this year. She explains that with the help of local professionals, the group has been able to excel in its efforts, which helped PRSSA Kent stand out among other Chapters.
“Our PRKent alumni are huge supporters of our Chapter so the students have several resources, but it really comes down to the leadership of the PRSSA officers,” Ewing says. “They spend countless hours on PRSSA activities. Generations of PRSSA Kent student leaders have worked extremely hard to grow the Chapter and create one of the strongest PRSSA Chapters in the country.”
Ewing says the public relations department is striving to mold its students into successful professionals by guiding them to become exceptional communicators and strategic thinkers, who are ethical and portray professionalism.
“We strive to keep curriculum current and have done well with integrating social media and other Web content into the PR program,” Ewing says. “Our students are blessed with numerous resources to gain relevant experience – PRSSA Kent, student media, Flash Communications, The Tannery, internships and communication campus jobs. The continued success of our PRKent graduates has built a valuable brand for the PR major at Kent State.”
Adapted from the original story by Katie Fickle and Nicole Gennarelli.
Five PRSSA Kent officers attended the 2012 PRSSA National Conference in San Francisco, Calif. this year. Trenton Chavez (VP of Membership), Stephanie Black (VP of Public Relations), Christine Morgan (President), Hallie Pendergast (Secretary) and Ryan Collins (Online Media Manager). Learn more about the attendees and all of our officers here.
We'll be periodically posting key takeaways from our experience in San Francisco, and our fourth post is from Ryan Collins:
What’s not to love about San Francisco?
SF is teeming with energy. It’s a positive, diverse place, and PRSSA could not have picked a better place to host this year’s national conference! PRSSA Kent stood out nationally and made its mark by winning awards and live-tweeting the sessions we attended.
With five officers in the city for five days, we came back to Kent brimming with takeaways to pass along.
As PRSSA Kent’s online media manager, I’m in charge of our Web presence and making sure our Twitter account is a beneficial resource for all PRKent students. To that end, I made sure to attend the social media ethics session.
The industry experts taught the attendees to:
This conference was certainly a highlight of my time as a PRSSA officer and PRKent student. I hardly slept, but I learned so much and grew closer to the officers who traveled with me.
Thank you PRSSA and San Francisco!
Five PRSSA Kent officers attended the 2012 PRSSA National
Conference in San Francisco, Calif. this year. From left:
Christine Morgan (President), Ryan Collins (Online Media Manager), Stephanie Black (VP of Public Relations), Hallie Pendergast (Secretary) and Trenton Chavez (VP of Membership). Learn more about the attendees and all of our officers here.
We'll be periodically posting key takeaways from our experience in San Francisco, and our second post is from Trenton Chavez:
5 Tips for Breaking into the Professional World
Transitioning from a student to a full-time position in your industry can be daunting, but there are steps you can take to help make it easier, a Public Relations Student Society of America National Conference panel
Although these tips were from a public relations conference, they are applicable for all career paths.
1. Don’t “live in a box”
Students often go into the professional world with a fantasy of working in a specific sector, such as fashion. However, this limits the opportunities that they may find valuable, said Sarah Siewert, senior account executive, Public Communications Inc.
E. Ronald Culp, senior vice president and managing director, Ketchum Midwest, said young professionals should learn
all the tasks in public relations, not just the “glamour jobs.”
Although your local not-for-profit organizations may not be as “glamorous,” don’t discount them. These organizations usually offer awesome experiences for entry-levels.
2. Realize the job search is not about you
While starting their careers, students often apply aimlessly at many companies and organizations. However, you have to realize that the position that needs filled is about the companies’ needs, not yours. Also, make sure it’s a good mutual fit, or you won’t be happy.
Because the position is about the company, it may not be a good immediate fit. Therefore, get connected and stay connected. You can never have “too many contacts!”
“A public relations professional is only as good as his or her contacts—media, vendors, and peers. Sitting in an
office won’t get you where you need to be if you want to impact your business,” said Gary McCormick, APR, director of public relations, Scripps Emerging Networks. “Reach out, find a mentor and become a part of the community, the industry and the profession.”
3. Know your worth
Realizing your worth can help you dodge opportunities that won’t help you in the long run. During a
presentation during the 2012 PRSSA National Conference, a student asked when it was the right time to disregard unpaid positions and pursue paid positions.
“Know your worth. Know your characteristics that make you stand out. Don’t settle, and don’t sell yourself short,” said Brandi Boatner, digital experience manager, IBM Global Technology Services.
On the contrary, don’t be greedy, either. Remember, it’s not all about the money.
“Money isn’t everything. You have to love what you do,” said Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora.
4. Make effective goals
Making professional goals can help you stay on track and motivated, Boatner said.
For example, make a promotional goal. Boatner made a goal of becoming a manager within five years, and she did. She
said the goal helped her accomplish that.
5. Embrace change
Public relations, along with other industries, is a field that will rapidly change for years to come.
Keep up on the news of the industry to remain competitive. This will help you support the changes of your organization.
According to McCormick, the one leading the change will be the true public relations professional.
Also, don’t disregard positions in other cities. Although it may be scary to move, there will always be other
young professionals in the area to network with.
Do you have any tips for emerging professionals? How are you preparing for the working world?
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.