ExPeRt advice

The PRSSA gang at their 2015 conference

The PRSSA gang at their 2015 conference

At the Hofstra Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) annual conference yesterday, there was no shortage of expert perspectives from presenters. Approximately 75 students heard from 16 professionals, delivering their valuable experience and wisdom through six workshops and a networking luncheon.

Here are just some samples of the sound advice from our students’ guests. Their expertise speaks for itself:

Jake Mendlinger of Zimmerman/Edelson“I like to read resumes from the bottom, up. I want to know you can do the job, and that you’ll be able to do more jobs later. I want to see where you were at the beginning and how you came up to where you are now.”

Hilary Topper of HJMT Public Relations“Use free tools such as Google Alerts! I want to know what people are saying about my clients–and about me.”

Professor Peter Goodman, formerly of Newsday, now at Hofstra “Make sure the reporter has the beat for the story you are pitching and that you’re pitching to the right person.”

David North of WALK-FM“You need to answer the five W’s and the H. But also ask yourself and answer the W.C. and the S.W.: Who cares, and so what?”

Allison Nichols of“From a reporter’s point of view, the worst thing a PR person can do is promise something and not follow through.”

David Chauvin of Zimmerman/Edelson“Never stop being a student. Technology changes and there are new platforms all the time. You have to stay on top of it.”

Lisa Jablon of Hunter PR“You always have to be on your toes about the world around you. You should be consuming news on a daily basis.”

Kerstyn Dioulo of Glow Connection“People are always watching you and what you do. I pride myself on hard work and putting the clients first.”

If I could add a thousand words, I’d still be unable to include all the terrific advice from the PR and journalism experts at the conference. It’s always worth the time–even on a sunny Saturday–to listen and learn from smart, experienced people. Your thoughts?

41 thoughts on “ExPeRt advice

  1. Vanessa Major

    Having the opportunity to pick the brain of industry professionals is quite beneficial to student s planning a successful career. Networking is always a good thing and connects you to great information you would not have a chance to receive.

  2. Jazmin Quinci

    I’m sorry I missed it. Meeting different professionals is an incredible experience, especially in a field that is unknown to a new student, like myself. Such professionals offer key points for landing jobs and compliment the advice and lessons professors give during classes. I once landed an internship at a job fair at Pace University. I was interviewed on the spot. Next year I plan to join more activities. I’m looking forward to helping the PRSSA graduate committee. As I’m learning more, I’m feeling more confident about participating upfront and not from a hidden corner in a room.

  3. Michele Colletti

    I really enjoyed this conference. It was so exciting and exhilarating to hear from different PR and journalism professionals. Everything they were saying was important information for PR professionals and i was really happy i was able to make it. I really enjoyed Jake’s presentation on building your own brand, he also taught us a lot about how to succeed in the interview process which i find very helpful.

  4. Rock(Shi Yan)

    I didn’t go this event.but I thought the event was great! I went to some events before. It was really helpful, people talked about really important and professional things were very interesting. I will keep to attend this type of events.

  5. carsoncuevas

    I very much enjoyed the conference and the pouring out of wisdom from so many professionals involved in unique stages of the industry. Re-reading these words from the conference is a great refresher of what each person person had to say. I think it is so cool that there was a variety of professionals involved with PR. People from an agency and people doing in-house work. I am thankful that I was able to attend this event and learn about the range of opportunities that are available in the field of PR.

  6. keyanamichelle13

    Having events like this really motivates students to push further in there career. Seeing people who were just in our shoes not to long ago shows us that it’s possible to make it somewhere and we won’t always be stuck with the entry level/intern job. With the proper work ethic and skills set you can move up the industry ladder rather quickly. I also especially like the quote from Allison Nichols of

  7. Nicholas Taddeo

    This was a huge opportunity for students so firstly, I thank everyone who had a part in setting up this event.

    In class I’ve learned a lot about PR, whether it be listening to you during class or reading the textbook. This event was great because me and dozens of other Hofstra students had the chance to listen to entirely new professionals and their involvement with PR. It was a fresh learning experience where I received great advice and made many new connections. Thanks again!

  8. Cheyenne Padgett

    I thought the event was great! I really enjoyed the networking dinner a lot more than I thought. I could really personalize any questions I had to working people in the field.

  9. gabriellefurman

    I went to this conference this past Saturday and found it was a good experience to go to. I heard many different perspectives as well as heard very good advice from all the panel. Moving forward into the PR industry i will definitely keep their advice in my head.

  10. Nicole Garcia

    What resonated with me most from the quotes you provided were David North’s words of answering the 5 W’s and the H, but equally answering the “… Who cares, and so what.” I think it is pivotal to write for your audience because if not, content will be unappealing and will inevitably become buried online material.

  11. Grace Finlayson

    I am glad that I attended this conference because it was very eye opening on what employers are looking for when hiring PR students. What resinated with me the most was Jake Mendlinger’s panel on building your brand. He had great advise on what employers are looking for. He gave good advise about applying for jobs online and how you basically are sending a pitch letter and once you do that you have to follow up because employers generally see that a know that you would do well in a PR firm because you are just basically following up on your pitch letter. Following up is what PR professionals do when they pitch the media and employers love the effort that comes with following up.

    I took this advise and followed up with the internships that I applied for this summer. It will be interesting to see if they respond. After this panel I also took the time to research the employers and I tried to look them up on Linked In so they know that I am serious about the job and that I would be able to connect with people when working the internship.

  12. Chris Hoffman

    This event actually turned out to be a lot of fun- I learned so much from so many great people and I feel like everyone brought a fresh perspective depending on the work they’ve done and what field they’re in. Strangely enough, one of my favorite parts of the conference was when Jake Mendlinger decided that his Powerpoint wasn’t serving him a purpose anymore and completely changed his approach to his presentation. I saw this as very indicative of the kind of flexibility that a PR professional needs to have. If all of a sudden, something isn’t working anymore, one must change course and start on something that DOES work. I also really liked David Chauvin’s advice about staying a student for life. This is really important because the second that we rest on our laurels, things change and we’re behind the curve. It’s also important to stay a student because it allows a more natural and genuine flow of ideas from source to source.

  13. Jennifer Im

    I’m glad I went to this event. I picked up great pieces of advice, a few of which are listed here, and received refreshers on old ones. It was great to know that much of what the professionals emphasized resonated with what I’ve been learning in my classes.

  14. Kimberly Minto

    I really enjoyed the conference. I learned so much and received various pieces of advice from different professionals. I think the best advice I received was from David Chauvin, he told us to never stop being students and technology is always changing. Although I am graduating this spring, I plan on returning to Hofstra for the 2016 conference.

  15. Andrew Manning

    This was a fantastic event, and if nothing else was just an opportunity to hear some fascinating stories of how some professionals started their careers. What struck me was how excited each panelist was to talk about their work, as if every day truly brings new experiences for them, and they never run out of opportunities to be fulfilled by what they do. Even a job as intensive as working on a political campaign seems doable when you don’t lose the enthusiasm you start out with, and I aspire to have the same drive as these guest-speakers.

  16. Marissa Slattery

    Terrific event and a great way to close out the semester. As a bookworm, it delighted my ears to hear almost every speaker comment on the value of reading…reading every day and everything that you can.

  17. dmeccariello

    Being a Hofstra employee I can relate to “never stop being a student.” I am very privileged to be able to take so many graduate courses to enrich myself as I grow as an employee.

  18. Cass Lang

    Professor Morosoff, you and PRSSA did an amazing job putting this conference together this year. Every panel offered an interesting point of view and each professional was inspirational and helpful. I only wish I didn’t have to choose one panel over the other! Thank you for telling us about this opportunity… I can’t wait for next year’s conference!

  19. Heather Lanci

    The event was very informative and I learned a lot about how PR works, from people who were very knowledgeable. I think my favorite presentation was Lisa Jablon’s. I learned a lot about the environment in a mid-size PR firm and her presentation was really well put together. Her job seems like one I’d enjoy having in the future.

  20. Taylla Smith

    I found that the event was insight for all major not just PR majors because the professionals offered insight that would be great for the working industry as a whole. I know for me, I felt like I learned a lot about networking but also work ethnic. There seems to be a lot one can do when you are working hard and being yourself.

  21. jheiden1

    I thought the event was great and I’ve looked up to David Chauvin since last year’s conference. I think he’s a great example of what to aim for as an aspiring professional and he never fails to bring an abundance of helpful tips and advice. He brings so much passion and care to the profession and really gives it a fresh and exciting view.

  22. Rachel Tyler

    Even though I was hesitant about attending the event it was definitely worthwhile. Every panel I attended I heard wonderful advice from the experts. The most important thing I took from the conference was to be yourself. Your resume and cover letter can speak for itself but when going to an interview the interviewer wants to know who you are away from your cover letter.

  23. Katherine Hammer

    I enjoyed the PRSSA conference and I found it extremely beneficial. The amount of advice we all received was very much appreciated, and it’s always great to hear how important someone’s job is to them and how much they enjoy it. I think the best advice I received from the professionals was to always be a student. The world does continue to change everyday, and you have to be able to learn how to adapt and overcome new challenges. I also enjoyed the fact that there was a panel of journalists answering questions on how a public relations professional should contact reporters. I liked hearing first hand from people who have had incredible journalistic experience tell us how they respect what public relations professionals do, and also what not to do to keep a relationship for the future. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to all of the professionals, and I was grateful that they were all there to give advice for our future in public relations.

  24. Jen OM

    Sounds like a I missed a great event! I wish I could have been there and will definitely plan on being at the next networking event. I love the quote you posted from David Chauvin that says “never stop being a student.” That is very important advice. One should never feel that knowledge is unnecessary. No matter how many degrees you have and how many positions you have held, there is always more information worth knowing and more experiences to have. Like Lisa Jablon of Hunter PR said, we should be “consuming news on a daily basis.” There is always more to know!

  25. geow1

    I was disappointed that I could not join the event due to personal reasons. Nevertheless, its agreeable that we have to be alert on what goes on within our environment including social media.

  26. Ashley Fazio

    This conference was definitely a learning experience for me. Being only a freshman and unsure of what area of PR I want to work in this conference had a lot to offer. I found that every professional I listened to had something different to say. I love getting multiple peoples advice. It was a great day overall and I am now sure after hearing all these successful people speak that public relations is the right major for me.

  27. Tamara Russo

    I think it’s wonderful that Hofstra allows students to meet with professionals first hand. Networking with, listening to, and learning from the people you aspire to be is an opportunity most people don’t have.

  28. Ariana Queenan

    It is almost always the events that occur outside of the classroom that are the most memorable. What I found most interesting about the Career Options Panel and Building Your Own Brand talk is that none of the featured speakers studied public relations while in college. I really enjoyed Jake Mendlinger’s talk about building your own brand. He suggested that prior to a job interview we look at the interviewer’s LinkedIn and learn as much as we can about that individual so that we could connect with them on a personal level during the interview. He also suggested that we check out He encouraged us to cultivate our tangible skills so that the process of onboarding would be less painful for the company. I have already begun implementing his advice. I am happy that I was able to attend!

  29. emilyrwalsh

    I found the PRSSA Spring conference very beneficial. Every session I went to was full of amazing advice and information that is good for any PR person to know. I especially liked the session about the different sectors of public relations. I learned how about the different avenues of PR and what they entail. I also enjoyed Jake’s session because he really emphasized that in an interview we should be ourselves while showing that we are qualified for the job and that we will always learn and grow. He made interviews seem less intimidating and I really liked that. Overall, it was an amazing day and I know a lot more than I did before about building my own brand and making myself stand out in the PR world.

  30. gluisi

    I really enjoyed the conference and underestimated what i could learn from going there. It was so inspiring to hear from people who are actually working in the field. My favorite presenter was Lisa Jablon of Hunter PR. She was young and I saw myself in her. She made me want to look into what she does. She was a graduate of Hofstra not to long ago so it was easy for her to connect with people of our age groups which helped her get her message across.

  31. Nicole Romeo

    I found that this conference really wonderful! Getting to know other professionals and what they do was quite interesting. This conference definitely took off some of the weight I had on my shoulders due to the fact that I really don’t have an idea as to what I want to do in PR. I loved the fact that the speakers were relatively young so it made connecting with them that much easier.

  32. edelafraz

    I also learned so much from this wonderful event! It’s experiences like these that have inspired me to start up my career in public relations! This industry is challenging yet rewarding. I have to say my favorite speaker was Lisa, she really captured her audience in a positive way because her information was raw and strait foward! I was also glad to see Jake and David from ZimmEd, they always put positive energy into everything that they do!

  33. Taylor Lawrence

    Even though I am not a PR major the experts’ advice was still very helpful. Their experience in the field is something to be admired, how they have moved up and made a name for themselves. No matter what field you want to go in to their advice can still be applied to any smart business. I am glad I was able to participate and broaden my horizons.

  34. Abby Drapeau

    Although I was unable to attend it sounds like it was a very useful event. Hearing from professionals can help you learn things that you can’t always learn in the classroom. Plus, it’s always beneficial to network yourself.

  35. Jess Hershman

    I really enjoyed the event yesterday, especially Kerstyn Dioulo’s session. I think that it was really interesting how she started a public relations firm without even having a PR degree. I also liked the session on the different paths one can take with a PR degree because it explained how the possibilities are endless, and you can really work in any field you’d like to.

  36. Nicholas Mazzarella

    Professor Morosoff:

    Hearing from so many experts at yesterday’s PRSSA annual spring conference was extremely valuable. I really like how each session covered different topics, all of which are important to learn about for someone who wants to succeed in PR.

    Jake Mendlinger provided useful insight into the interview process and how young people should brand themselves to potential employers. He brought up a great point in saying that students are often in a difficult position – we don’t have enough experience to get a job, and it’s tough to get that experience without having a job. Thankfully, there are ways around that. For example, Mendlinger said how students can gain experience pitching the media through and then speak about that during an interview.

    As a journalism major, I especially enjoyed hearing from the media relations panel. I applaud PRSSA for organizing this session. For the most part, PR students are learning about the relationship between PR and journalism only from a PR perspective (their professors). However, this session allowed them to get three journalists’ points of view on the subject. Working with PR practitioners is something that I’ll often have to do in the future, and listening to Peter Goodman, David North, and Allison Nichols talk about their experiences taught me a lot.

    You were right to say that attending the conference – even on a Saturday – would be worthwhile. The advice that we received from the professionals is invaluable, and the luncheon provided a great opportunity for students to make connections with those pros. Thank you to PRSSA for setting everything up!

    -Nick Mazzarella

  37. Jenn Pizzurro

    Although I unfortunately was unable to attend this event, I feel that is is very important for students to network within their professional groups. Networking events and conferences are such valuable tools in which you can learn more about the profession that you are studying or even find a mentor or internship opportunities. Hopefully next time I will be able to attend!

  38. Maria Emlano

    I really enjoyed Hilary Topper’s workshop on PR Tools and learned about many useful online resources such as HARO, Google Trends, and SEO Yoast. The web is an essential tool when working in PR and it’s great to have so many free websites to network or enhance your brand. I found Hilary to be an inspiration as a woman who started her own business in the PR industry, and am eager to follow her work!

  39. rebeccaanncosta

    The best advice I took out of the conference was that the best way to make yourself stand out is to ask good questions. Hearing from professionals is one of the best ways of learning about PR and especially as a sophomore looking for an internship, hearing about personal branding and standing out in a group. I really enjoyed the conference overall and found helpful advice I could use in each session I attended!

  40. pjze618

    I think the event was definitely worthwhile. It opened strong with David’s remarks and continued to be informative. I really enjoyed Hillary Topper’s PR Tools session since I haven’t taken the course yet.

  41. Sarah Holzberg

    I felt that the event was a wonderful networking and information session. I loved Jake’s presentation on building your own brand, it wasn’t about making sure your resume and cover letter match it was about being yourself!


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