On Oct. 14, 2011, communication division PR seniors, Nicole Chromey, Kate Rush, Tiah Andrews, and Hannah Towler, flew to Orlando, Fla. to represent IWU’s Chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). The event was hosted by the PRSSA National Committee and this year’s conference followed a theme of “Perception is Reality: Inspiring Effective Communicators.” The conference ran through October 18th, and gave students an opportunity to explore PR fields from not-for-profits to fashion marketing. Professionals from all over the U.S. attended the event to teach students how to better run their home PRSSA organizations as well as how to be successful in the work field.
PRSSA President Nicole Chromey attended a Chapter President’s Workshop the very first evening. The speaker was Mary Henige of General Motors who also was once a PRSA Chapter President. “I took more away from this one session than the whole conference,” Chromey said. “She gave such practical advice that could be used as President’s of PRSSA and in every other career or situation in life.” Some of the main points that Henige shared with the group of students was to get a Master’s degree a few years after graduation. “You will value your education more later,” Henige stated. She also explained that it’s not that a Bachelor’s degree won’t get you a job it’s just that a Master’s is what will help you advance.
Henige also shared that when it comes to relationships not to burn bridges. She encouraged everyone to work harder than others, help others be successful and shine, keep first person pronouns out of your vocabulary, and when there are disagreements, remember they are situational not personal.
On Saturday, Chromey was then able to attend a President’s lunch with other Chapter president’s from all over the country. “I was able to sit with the National PRSSA FORUM Editor-in-Chief Amy Bishop from Indiana University,” Chromey said. “She has been IWU’s national contact this year, we are very fortunate to have a national committee member so close to home.”
Other sessions that the leaders attended included presentations from Disney Destinations, Major League Soccer, Liz Claiborne, Target, and Juicy Couture, FOX News, and more.
Chromey felt that Marguax Caniato from Liz Claiborne summed up all the greatest points of the weekend during her presentation on “Fashion & Beauty: Know How to Work it.”
- Be authentic to yourself and your brands.
- Know your audience.
- Know your medium.
- Listen to the voice of your consumer.
- Presentation is everything.
- Perception is reality.
- Build on momentum.
- Don’t burn any bridges large or small.
- Remember it’s all connected.
- Say thank you.
Andrews, Rush, Chromey and Towler, all pursuing different avenues of management and public relations, were able to take away career focused and even life changing advice from each of the speakers.
Full conference program can be found here: http://www.prssa.org/events/Conference/Program/