Tag Archives: PRSSA

A Knowledge-Filled Saturday

As a young professional, I am always looking for ways to expand my knowledge and grow my industry expertise. This is occasionally challenging because I do not work within public relations. While I love my current job, I still want to maintain a breath of public relations knowledge and keep up-to-date on industry trends.

The schedule for the day!

The schedule for the day!

Luckily for me, I was invited back to Temple University this past weekend for the TU Invitational hosted by Temple PRSSA, one of my former student organizations. While the event was for students, I am so glad I attended. There were four speakers, each with a different PR specialty. Below are the “quick tips” I learned from each.

  • Cassandra Bailey from Slice Communications was the keynote speaker. You couldn’t have picked anyone better to kick-off an event! Cass was energetic, passionate and real. My biggest takeaway from her presentation was to break the process and be different. You shouldn’t change yourself to fit within a role or company. People want someone authentic, interesting and who challenges the norm. I adored her ideas and hearing that being different is a positive when hiring people.
  • I then went to Jessica Lawlor’s breakout session about personal branding and blogging. I read Jess’ blog religiously and worked with her during our PRSSA days at Temple, so I was really pumped for her session. Jess managed to pack so much info into her session without overwhelming us. She walked through various social media sites, outlining what essentials we should focus on to help build our personal brand. I was also beyond thrilled to hear the you don’t need to have a niche blog to be successful. I like to write about a lot of topics and according to Jess, that’s a good thing, as long as you are providing useful, fresh content. Overall, it was an awesome session and now I have a ton of ideas for my social media profiles and my blog!
  • After lunch, Steve Cameron from Air Products spoke to the group about a variety of topics. Steve has been in his role for several years so it was interesting to hear his perspective on how the industry has changed. Obviously, social media is the biggest advancement for PR professionals. Steve presented a social media decision tree for both personal and business use. This visual was so helpful in articulating the questions that need to be asked when figuring out how a company can utilize social media. The personal portion of the tree provided insights on the company’s social media policy; much easier to read than several convoluted paragraphs!
  • Our final speaker was Scott Tattar from LevLane, a PR agency in Philadelphia. Scott spoke about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and how it is now an essential for companies. CSR is the bottom line and should serve as a marketing tool. I found it interesting and refreshing to hear his insights because not all companies think like that. A good CSR program is focused, so even if you are a large corporation, you shouldn’t support a million charities. It also empowers the customer (or employee) to do something rather than to just write a check. Lastly, it should be in line with the company’s mission. For example, Coca Cola should not back a cause like childhood obesity since their product is soda. Scott’s session was my favorite of the day because it was a topic not addressed frequently.
All of the PRSSA alum with the chapter president.

All of the PRSSA alum with the chapter president.

We all went and celebrated a successful event after it was over. I was so proud of my former student organization for putting on a great event where I learned so much. My day reinforced the importance of continuing to learn even as a professional. Hopefully, I’ll get to go back to next year’s TU Invitational!

It Started With An Email

“The most memorable people in your life will be the friends who loved you

when you weren’t very lovable”

bd3About two years ago in April, I sent an email that would change the course of my life more than I ever could have imagined. This live-changing email was accepting an executive board position with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). I knew it would be a great resume booster and would be a position that challenged me. Little did I know what the next year and a half had in store for me.

I had been an active member of PRSSA for two years so I knew the members and the executive board. When I accepted the position as well as one with PRowl Public Relations, 95 percent of the rising EBOARD as well as the graduating seniors thought I was insane. They were probably right but one person knew I could handle it. And within the last year and a half, that person has become my person.

If you asked me to describe my friendship with Lauren, I honestly don’t think I could. We talk all day everyday, send the same message at the same time to each other at least once a week and have managed to see each other monthly despite working and living in two different cities. I guess it’s hard to put it into words because it just works. It started one day at Templefest and the rest is history. We’re on the same wavelength, we can anticipate each other’s reactions and value each other’s opinion no matter how honest they may be.

Ask anyone who knows us and they’ll tell you there’s no one quite like us. We’ve been known to call andIMG_0157 sing into the phone at all hours of the night, bicker over where to eat dinner and drop pretty much anything to watch Scandal. One day, Lauren will become Olivia Pope, I’m sure of it. More than anything, we keep it real. There’s no lying, no hiding emotions, no pretending everything is okay when it’s not. In the last year, this girl has seen me at my absolute worst and watched me take complete nervous breakdowns (ones that mostly weren’t necessary). Despite all of that, she still manages to be my friend and love me unconditionally. Same goes for her obviously, though her freakouts are fall less frequent.

It still amazes me to think one decision changed my life so dramatically. I often wonder what life would be like if I didn’t take that position and didn’t become such good friends with Lauren. Life would be a lot less entertaining, that is for sure. A part of me wishes this friendship was formed sooner. But I guess everything happens for a reason…maybe we just weren’t ready to leave our comfort zones yet. Whatever the reason, I am beyond grateful for this friendship and can’t wait to watch the rest unfold.

Sometimes the smallest decisions impact us in the biggest ways. 

In honor of Lauren’s birthday, allow me to introduce you to our theme song.

Getting “It” Right

panelYesterday, I was fortunate enough to be invited back to Temple University for the Public Relations Student Society of America’s (PRSSA) alumni panel. I was an active member of PRSSA for three years and served on their executive board during my senior year of college. So when their president reached out inviting me to attend, I knew I had to go.

I was 1 out of 5 young alumni who sat on the panel yesterday. We introduced ourselves, spoke about our time at Temple and then answered students’ questions. While the purpose of the panel was to share our knowledge and experiences with students, I know I learned a few things yesterday too.

Temple MadeWhen you first graduate, you are very much against being called an alumnus. It’s the denial phase: I did not graduate, I will be back here in the fall, etc. For probably the first time in nine months, I realized the importance of my alumni status. Not only are my opinions valued, but I have a huge network of other Temple alumni who are willing to help. The lightbulb absolutely went off in my head yesterday. Being an alumnus isn’t a bad thing, instead it’s something I’ve very proud of.

More than anything, yesterday was reassuring and gave me a much-needed boost in confidence. I finally feel like I am getting “it” aka adulthood right. I had students telling me how awesome I was, how well I speak in front of an audience and asking me all sorts of engaging questions. I was reminded that I am successful, that I have a job utilizing the skills I worked so hard to cultivate in college and that it is all coming together. Sometimes it’s nice to hear it from someone else.

Lastly, yesterday was a great example of how paying it forward is really important. I had mentors and help from PRSSA during college. So it was only natural for me to mentor younger members and speak at the panel. Never underestimate the impact you make on people’s lives and make sure to give back what you have received.

Thank you Temple PRSSA for inviting me back yesterday! It was truly a blast!

 

Date Night with Grandpa

I am beyond blessed to have both of my grandparents as a part of my life. Well into their eighties, both Grandma and Grandpa are active and enjoy life to the fullest. So when Grandpa didn’t want to go to his Sons of Italy meeting alone Tuesday night, I was completely willing to tag along and more importantly, drive at night.

I had no idea what to expect at this meeting. Grandpa is very much a jokester and didn’t provide any details other than there would be pizza. But, once everyone got settled, it was clear that their meeting resembled many meetings I sat in during college. During most of my college career, I was an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and sat on their executive board my senior year. Sitting in the Sons of Italy meeting quickly reminded me of my PRSSA e-board days. Here are some of the parallels I found between the two:

  • Organization: The president had an outline of what she wanted to discuss and tried very hard to stay on topic. She also handed out fliers with upcoming dates and information to all the members. Back in PRSSA, our president prepared agendas for us and kept us on topic (or tried to!). In both instances, being organized helped to get things accomplished.
  • The Importance of Fundraising & Recruitment: During Grandpa’s meeting, there was a lot of talk about how to fundraise and recruit new members. Their chapter was really struggling with both. I gave a few suggestions that PRSSA used however it proved to be harder since their members are older and not all about social media. But, it showed me that fundraising and recruitment are important to every organization and can be challenging at times regardless of the type of organization.
  • Having fun: We probably had too much fun at our PRSSA executive board meetings but so did the Sons of Italy. Grandpa cracked jokes the entire time, people responded with witty comments and everyone laughed. My personal favorite was two ladies arguing about how one saved a seat for the other and she completely walked past the seat and her friend who saved it. This was a weekly occurrence at PRSSA e-board meetings.  So was kicking each other under the table!

My experience at the Sons of Italy meeting was enlightening and fun. I was reminded that there are other organizations out there besides professional ones and they function the same way. Running a meeting, regardless of the topic, requires certain skills and ideas that must be discussed. I’m so glad I got to spend the night with Grandpa and plan on continuing date night in the future.

Grandpa & I at my birthday last year. He’s the best!

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