PRSSA Students Attend National Public Relations Conference in Texas

Laura Null

Staff Writer

The weekend of ESU’s Homecoming, the universities Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter sent two of its members to attend this years National Conference in Austin, Texas.

President Laura Jean Null and Secretary Hannah Legg represent ESU and were able to learn about “The Art of PR”, which was this year’s conference theme.

The conference was hosted at Hilton Austin hotel and offered a variety of sessions through Friday Oct. 5 through Tuesday Oct. 9.

Some of the more memorable events Null sat in included: a Student Run Firm Workshop, DePaul University- PR Eye and Drake University- Fundraising on Campus.

While, Legg attended a session about hosting a Regional Conference and learned the ins and outs of what they would entail and a session about having a more active PRSSA chapter on our campus and how Florida State University has manage to have and retain 167 members.

Additionally, the first night of the conference, PRSSA’s Nationals hosted an opening night celebration in the Governor’s Ballroom titled “Far Out in Austin”, with a 70’s styled theme.

Null and Legg were able to enjoy themselves connecting other members around the United States, as well as members from different countries.

“I always knew that PRSSA was a national society, but meeting students from all over the country really puts it into perspective that we are a force. From this conference, I made friends from all over the place and I even started making plans with this girl from Indiana State to visit each other over Thanksgiving break. I love that this conference allowed me to make that friendship.”, said Legg.

Saturday morning, they attended a welcoming with awards given to outstanding chapters.

This was followed by a chapter roll call, where chapters were able to cheer their universities slogan after hearing guest speaker, President of Public Relations for HomeAway, Kate Lowery.

Following that, Null was invited to a president’s luncheon that gave leadership recognition to all chapter presidents. The luncheon was sponsored by IBM and had awarded Communication Specialist, Global Business Partner Division at IBM, Micah Mingo.

“The best part about the conference for me was attending the president’s luncheon. For me it was an opportunity to gain insight about the struggles other chapter presidents deal with. Whether it be recruitment, keeping members focused and active, or client interest, it was a relief to know I wasn’t alone. More importantly, it was awesome bouncing off ideas with others on how to better each other’s chapters.”, said Null.

Saturday legg attended: CEO of You 2.0, about analyzing “Your Digital Brand for Future Success” with Jason Mollica and “Strategic Event Planning” with Gary McCormick.

Legg explained,”I learned so much from Mollica. Since the session that he gave about making your own brand, I’ve started going through all of my social media accounts and deleting things that I realized I should have never posted in the first place. He was one of the best speakers that I have ever listened to!”

After the luncheon, Null sat in on Ernest Duplessis discussion on “Art of PR meets Big Data and Neuroscience” and the Co-Founder of Nebo, Brian Easter’s lecture on “Who’s Writing your Story?” Null said, “Honestly, between these two ideas involving the science behind PR and the storytelling of your life, Duplessis and Easter’s discussion were the most rememberable to me. The information I took from their presentations were not only useful for my career, but for my development as an individual. They made me think about what I want to do, how I can help others, and how I can better myself to help my PR profession.”

This fall semester Null will be graduating, and Legg will be graduating in the spring semester.

ESU’s PRSSA chapter is currently recruiting members and plans to have new elections for their executive board the first week of December. If you are interested in joining, the club meets every Tuesday at 2 p.m. in Monroe 113.

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