PRSSA National Conference provides the opportunity for members to develop public relations skills, network with professionals, and learn how to succeed in a competitive industry.
From Friday, Oct. 25 to Monday, Oct. 28, UO PRSSA stayed in Philadelphia for the 2013 PRSSA National Conference, where we learned a lot from the industry’s top professionals. Here are 6 things we’d like to share with you:
What tips do you have for pre-professionals?
Kathleen Nguyen, finance director for the 2013-2013 school year, is a senior at the University of Oregon studying public relations. You can reach Kathleen at email@example.com.
As membership dues quickly approach, students frequently ask about the benefits of becoming a PRSSA member. While students don’t need to be dues-paying members to participate in PRSSA meetings or activities, there are a number of benefits to paying dues! According to PRSSA National, here are a few reasons why you should become a member:
Once you become a member, you have access to:
In addition to these benefits, you are eligible to join PRSA as an associate member for $60 – compared to $225 for non-members – up to five months before or two years after you graduate.
Membership dues are $80 per student annually and are due Monday, Oct. 21 by 5 p.m. in the UO PRSSA mailbox on the second floor of Allen Hall. You are welcome to pay with cash or check – please make checks out to ‘University of Oregon PRSSA.’
If you have any questions, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Kathleen Nguyen, finance director for the 2013-2013 school year, is a senior at the University of Oregon studying public relations. You can reach Kathleen at email@example.com.
UO PRSSA kicked off the school year with a full house for the first meeting of the term! More than 120 students filled and poured out the doors of Allen 141. If you were unable to snag a seat, don’t fret! We’ll fill you in on what you missed.
Here are six things we learned at six:
1. The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is a nationwide pre-professional organization for students interested in public relations and communications. At UO PRSSA you’ll have the opportunity to network with students and professionals, develop the necessary skills for internships and careers, gain event-planning experience, tour renowned agencies and more!
2. There are endless ways to get involved with UO PRSSA:
3. The benefits of joining UO PRSSA:
4. The events that are planned this year:
We’ll need your help to make each event memorable and successful through planning, design, promotion, budgeting and more – our goal is to give each member hands-on experience!
5. A few of the agencies we’ll be visiting this year:
6. The amazing guest speakers we will hear from this fall! Many find it beneficial to simply hear from someone who has turned their education into a successful career. Our guest speakers provide wisdom and insight into their company and the industry. And after each presentation is a great opportunity for members to network with professionals! This fall, we’ll be hearing from Liz Cawood of CAWOOD Marketing Services in Eugene and Amy Wood of Harvest PR in Portland.
Thank you to everyone who attended and shared enthusiasm for UO PRSSA’s upcoming year!
Kylee Plummer is the 2013-2014 University of Oregon PRSSA Events Director. She is currently a senior in the SOJC pursuing a major in public relations. Follow her on Twitter at @KyleePlummer.
To our current members, alumni and friends, welcome back to another school year with University of Oregon PRSSA! I am honored and excited to serve as president this year, and help UO PRSSA continue to grow. Over the summer, I’ve watched our executive board build plans for one amazing year complete with opportunities to connect with industry professionals, develop your professional skills, expand your resume, and get involved with a nationally recognized network of PR professionals. Here are just a few ways to take advantage of all PRSSA has to offer this year:
Get involved by joining a committee. Chapter committees assist in all areas of UO PRSSA, from planning events, promotion and fundraising. It’s an awesome way to connect with other members and expand your resume. This year, we’re excited to introduce committee leadership positions and a new Campus Collaboration for even more opportunities to get involved. Learn more about Chapter committees at our first Chapter meeting this year!
Join us for agency tours and networking events. Each term UO PRSSA hosts tours with some of the biggest PR agencies in the nation. This year, we’re heading to Portland, Seattle, and other major cities to get a taste of life in the industry. If you prefer to stick closer to home, we also host regular networking events and mixers with Oregon’s PRSA chapters and other local professionals.
Take advantage of job listings and scholarships. Your PRSSA membership earns you access to an amazing database of jobs and internships (http://www.prssa.org/career/prsa_jobcenter/). Only PRSSA and PRSA members have access to these listings, so it’s a great way to uncover opportunities! PRSSA also offers scholarships and awards each year exclusively for members (http://www.prssa.org/career/prsa_jobcenter/).
Learn from guest speakers and workshops. Our bi-weekly Chapter meetings aren’t just routine announcements. We host a variety of PR industry professionals throughout the year! Come get your questions answered and make a connection! We’re also excited to continue our annual PRofessional Development Workshop series this year to help tune up your resume, prefect your cover letter and build your portfolio.
If you’ve ever thought about joining PRSSA, this is the time to do so. I’d like to invite everyone to attend our first Chapter meeting on October 9 at 6 PM in Allen 141! We hope to see you there and show you all that PRSSA has to offer. Questions? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Callie Gisler is the 2013-2014 University of Oregon PRSSA chapter president. She is currently a senior in the SOJC, pursuing a double major in public relations and magazine journalism. Follow her on Twitter at @CallieGisler.
Say hello to a new “generation” of PRSSA leadership. The 2013 PRSSA National Assembly was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from April 4 to April 7. The event marks an important time for the organization, as delegates vote on bylaws and leadership for the coming school year. Current UO PRSSA chapter president Ellie Boggs was elected to serve as the National Vice President of Career Services for the 2013-2014 term. UO PRSSA is incredibly excited and proud for Boggs as she moves forward into her new role! Here is what she had to say about her new position and her thoughts on leadership:
Q: What inspired you to apply for a position with the National Committee?
A: I first started thinking about applying to the National Committee during the National Assembly last year where I was the UO PRSSA delegate. The National Committee is a group of students who are so passionate about the PRSSA organization and the overarching ideas and plans that make the society run; I wanted to be a part of implementing those big plans. Leadership is also something that I enjoy immensely, so the decision to take the next step and apply for a national leadership position was an easy one.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish as the vice president of career services?
A: My No. 1 goal is to increase the number of PRSSA students who are given the opportunity to complete an internship. Every student deserves the chance to practice and improve their learned skills through internships, and serving as vice president of career services puts me in the position to help more PRSSA students get that practical experience.
Q: What is your definition of a successful leader?
A: I think a good leader is someone who knows how to listen, as well as act. Balancing these two qualities is essential but quite difficult. If the team you’re leading knows that you will listen and care about their concerns, they are more likely to work hard on your behalf. On the other hand, a good leader also should know when to take action and get things done.
Q: How do you think this experience will shape your future as a professional?
A: This is a really exciting position, because I get to interact with chapters and students, as well as businesses and professionals. Essentially this position is all about making connections in order to expand the PRSSA Internship Center, so it will help me develop the skills to interact on a professional level, instead of just a student level.
Q: Why is it important for students to seek out and apply for leadership positions while in college?
A: Leadership pushed me outside my comfort zone, and I’d venture to say it does that for most students. Learning to lead effectively takes practice and hard work. In your professional career, you most likely won’t have the opportunity to lead and manage people for several years, so learning to lead while in college will put you a step ahead.
Q: What advice do you have for other PRSSA members who might be interested in applying for a similar leadership position?
A: Start leading on a small level. Like I said before, learning how to lead effectively takes time and practice; it doesn’t happen overnight. Try seeking out a leadership position in your university or local PRSSA chapter. Then, once you’ve taken on several smaller leadership roles, you can begin researching leadership positions that allow you to take on larger responsibilities, such as the PRSSA National Committee. Be sure to do thorough research when applying to these positions. I prepared my application for several months before submitting it, and the time spent preparing was definitely paid off.
On Thursday, Feb. 21, thirteen University of Oregon PRSSA chapter members and I had the exciting opportunity to visit a few of Portland’s most intriguing PR agencies. With an urban, colorful setting like Portland, our visit was anything but ordinary!
We began our day with a warm welcome from AM:PM PR (with scones courtesy of their friendly neighbors at the Compote Café & Bakery). The small, yet deep-rooted agency in southeast Portland, invited all of our questions to the table to discuss their mission and our interests.
We discovered that this agency is serious about relationships, and they value each of their clients in tailored-to-fit ways. The passion AM:PM holds is clear to see. They see their clients as their partners and strive to focus on the small picture in big ways in order to produce the best work possible. Overall, our visit with AM:PM PR was refreshing, laid back and got our creative juices flowing for the remainder of the day!
After a delicious (and very Portlandesque) pizza date at Sizzle Pie, our next stop was R/West. Located in the midst of the industrial district, this all-creative agency resulted in 14 jaws dropping as we stood behind opening elevator doors. The agency was immaculate to say the least. We were led on a tour by former UO PRSSA alum, Ashley Aronson, as we marveled at the work they’ve produced.
The PR, marketing, multimedia, planning-savvy crew at R/West (needless to say, they’re just about good at everything), proved to be a hit with our group. Upon leaving, the biggest question on my mind was, “When can I apply?”
As the day grew longer, the journalism student coffee aficionados in us emerged (as if it ever went away). We did what one must do while in Portland and went on a quick coffee run before making our last stop at one eye-opening agency: CMD Portland. The integrated marketing services agency was much larger than our last two visits and it had a lot to show!
Once again, we were greeted by another UO PRSSA alum, Jesse Davis, and were taken on a tour of the highly modernized building. There we feasted our eyes on the great work that they produce. With mega-clients like Microsoft and Intel, the power held at CMD was unique and inspiring. We had the opportunity to ask questions and hear advice from relatable individuals who understand what it’s like to freshly enter the PR field. Our visit to CMD was definitely valuable!
It didn’t take me long to soak everything in and think about all of the information I took away from our tours. After the trip, I found that learning to think of each case, client and project as a clean slate is key. As AM:PM PR demonstrated so well, the importance of taking the time to build and maintain customized, tailored-to-fit relationships with clients is the path to success.
After all, having that bug to network and seek relationships is what makes the PR major so appealing! Going on the agency tours trip gave me a glimpse of my career path in a “real world” setting, and it has given me even more motivation to keep working toward an exciting, versatile, and fast paced future in PR!
Post by Sofia Webster, University of Oregon PRSSA member. Photo by Callie Gisler.
Love is in the air! UO PRSSA had a festive Valentine’s Day on Feb. 13 and 14 at the Erb Memorial Union and Duckstore respectively. UO PRSSA members sold flowers – both beautiful carnations and red roses – for pick-up and delivery to students on campus. For an additional fee, customers wrote a time and classroom for the flowers to be delivered.
These lovely bouquets came from Rhythm and Blooms, a popular local Eugene florist. Profits from the flower sales benefit the UO PRSSA chapter.
Our chapter also partnered with the Oregon Daily Emerald to host in a spirited Valentine’s Day themed photo booth for students to enjoy. Surrounded by friends and red balloons, students were able to get their pictures taken at the Emerald’s special photo booth on Feb. 13 at the student union.
Participants had a series of artsy props at their disposal, including gold glittery mustaches, red suspenders and a giant picture frame. Pictures were then uploaded onto the newspaper’s Facebook page. The picture with the most likes won two free tickets to Passion Pit’s concert in Eugene on March 4.
A fun holiday for everybody involved, UO PRSSA and the Daily Emerald successfully celebrated Valentine’s Day all while raising funds for the chapter. Thank you to everyone to helped make the event a huge success!
This post was originally published May 3, 2012 on Bianca Bernath’s personal blog, Public Relations Savvy. The 2013 Portland Paddle event will be held in Portland, Ore. during spring term. Please stay tuned for event details.
On Friday, April 27, I had the opportunity to participate in the Portland Paddle with 16 public relations students. When I told people what I was doing that Friday they thought I was crazy for wanting to go boating at this time of the season.
The Portland Paddle is an annual event organized by the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) and Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
Each year the Portland Paddle provides the opportunity to meet with public relations professionals. During the short practice interview, students receive tips on how to present their portfolios, how to give an effective interview, and how to write resumes and cover letters that stand out.
Public relations professionals from Edelman Worldwide, Lane PR, AM: PM PR, Public Relations Institute Inc., CFM Strategic Communications, DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital, MacKenzie Marketing, Nokes Communications Inc., and Kimball Brand Marketing were all present at the event.
Along with the insights I have gained from speaking with Pat McCormic and Deston Nokes, I learned four essential tips for success in the public relations industry.
1. Have an online platform, whether it is a blog, portfolio or both.
“Keeping a blog is important; it is an exercise of writing for value.” – Pat McCormic.
A blog allows the reader to have a digital relationship with someone on a human level. It serves as a good tool that captures an audience and allows the blogger to receive feedback.
Maintaining a blog and online portfolio gives employers a sense of who a person is. These online platforms also effectively measure passion by showing online involvement through participating in discussions and engaging in current topics.
2. Have strong writing skills.
People who write well are assets to the public relations world because they know how to write strategically. The ability to sort subjects from the most significant to the least is a valuable skill to develop as a public relations professional.
3. Use the cover letter as a way to tell a story.
Cover letters should be written in a way that escapes what is conventional. The cover letter should emphasize why you should be considered and should show what makes you different.
Be sure to mention skills that increase your return on investment (ROI), but don’t restate everything on your resume. The cover letter is a piece of information that makes the employer want to read your resume.
4. Employers have values that they expect you to follow through with.
After you are hired for a company, you are expected to meet the standards of your employer. Some values that companies may have are
It’s that time of year again: PRSSA registration and dues time. In the spirit of the season, I’d like to take a moment to remind current and potential members about the wealth of benefits that PRSSA membership has to offer. PRSSA membership will allow you to develop professional skills, learn from current public relations professionals and create industry contacts while you’re still in college.
But don’t just take it from me. Learn from current account supervisors and public relations specialists from around the country what PRSSA did for them and what it can do for you.
“Without a doubt, PRSSA was the most valuable networking opportunity for me in college and the connections I made with professionals and fellow students remain to this day, ultimately leading to my first job in the field. This didn’t happen on its own, but rather through active involvement and a consistent presence at local, regional and national events throughout my collegiate career. Anyone studying public relations without joining PRSSA is doing themselves a disservice, and they may wind up answering questions from interviewers like me who really value what the organization does for students.”
– Kevin Saghy, Public Relations & Marketing Specialist, Chicago Cubs.
“My PRSSA membership without a doubt is the most impactful decision I’ve made in my life. It has determined the city I live in, the friends I keep up with, the job I go to every day and even the woman I am going to marry. Professional development that PRSSA offers helps separate members from their peers. Most importantly, networking opportunities with industry practitioners, educators and other members will provide members with a mosaic of best practices to utilize and job leads to explore.”
– Ryan McShane, Senior Account Executive, Taylor.
“PRSSA was the key to unlocking many doors for me during my time studying PR in school and onto the first few years on the job. PRSSA helped me to identify mentors, expand my network as well as land my first few internships, which eventually turned into a full time job at a PR agency. I strongly encourage students who are interested in working in the PR field to join PRSSA to get a head start on the competition and level the playing field when it comes to job searching. When I interview potential intern candidates and I see that they actively participated in PRSSA, they jump to the top of the list.”
– Joseph Tateoka, Account Supervisor, Corporate Technology, Edelman (Chicago).
“When you’re in college, the one thing you work toward is getting a job. PRSSA prepares you in college to get a job through personal and professional development at conferences, workshops, meetings and other fun activities. When you graduate college as a PRSSA member, you can transition in to PRSA anywhere you choose — this is the network you want to join to meet people in any area and the network you want to join to help get you a job.”
– Lauren K. Gray, National President, PRSSA, 2012-2013
“Being an active member of PRSSA is the your gateway of opportunity to pursuing a career and landing a job in public relations. Given my participation on the Chapter and national level of PRSSA, I was able to secure my first job post-graduation through relationships I made with professionals while being a PRSSA member. My PRSSA membership, activities, involvement and accomplishments within the Society gave me a competitive advantage allowing me to stand out from other candidates. Paying your monthly dues is simply not enough to leverage all the benefits PRSSA membership offers. Taking advantage of every leadership opportunity within your Chapter and PRSSA national, attending local, regional and national events and staying engaged in your Chapter is the key to effectively landing your first job after graduation.”
– Brandi Boatner, Digital Experience Manager, IBM.
“PRSSA has ensured me that this is the career I need to be in. With all of the opportunities i have come about through events, workshops, networking with industry leaders, etc., I was able to grasp specific knowledge and guidance within the specific path I wanted to take in the industry. PRSSA serves as a full service organization and always produces nothing but the best.”
– Hilary Jurinak, National Vice President of Internships and Job Services, PRSSA.
Want to become a dues-paying PRSSA member? Shoot me an email (email@example.com) to get the details.
Special thanks Kevin Saghy for inspiring me to write this post, and a big thank you to all those who shared their PRSSA experiences with me so that I could create the post.
On Nov. 16th, UO PRSSA ventured to Portland, Ore. to tour the local offices of Edelman Portland and Liaison PR. The city of Portland is home to several well-known PR agencies – Edelman, Liaison, and Waggener Edstrom included. The day was full of insightful information and inspiration, helping to establish a clear idea of the life of a PR professional after graduation.
The day began with a tour and information session with Edelman Portland, one of many company offices throughout the world. Edelman Portland is home to approximately 50 employees and overlooks Pioneer Courthouse Square from the 8th floor of a spacious, modern office. Members discussed life at a PR agency with five current professionals of the Edelman team, followed by an office tour and look into daily life there.
After, UO PRSSA visited Liaison PR in the Portland Pearl District for a tour of their urban office. Liaison is home to a small staff and a specialized focus on technology and consumer PR. An informational session with Liaison’s talented team offered insight to working in a niche agency. Part of the presentation included hearing from Liaison’s founder Heidi Lowell, who was visiting the office from her home in London.
So why should you consider touring a local PR agency before graduation?
UO PRSSA would like to thank Edelman Portland and Liaison PR for the insightful, inspiring day of tours! Our Chapter plans multiple PR agency tour opportunities each year. Stay tuned for more information on the trips planned for winter and spring 2013 at upcoming Chapter meetings. Have you ever toured a local PR agency? What was your favorite part of the experience?
Post by Callie Gisler, public relations director for the 2012-2013 school year. She is a junior at the UO, studying public relations and magazine journalism. You can reach Callie at firstname.lastname@example.org!