Sometimes the sighs and the eye rolling are palpable. It happens on the first day of class as I review the syllabus and reveal that my students will be required to attend a full-day conference–and on a Saturday! Heavens!
However, when we return to class after the conference, there’s usually praise for the experience and a “thank you” from students grateful that they were “forced” to go.
Our profession’s leading trade organization, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), was founded in 1947 to “provide professional development, set standards of excellence and uphold principles of ethics for its members.” In addition to representing 22,000 members, PRSA has 10,000 student members through the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Each year, PRSSA selects just nine chapters to host regional conferences, and this year the Hofstra University chapter of PRSSA was chosen.
The conference, titled “Start Spreading the News,” will focus on the professional advantages Hofstra students have because of the campus’ proximity to New York City, the media and PR capital of the world. On March 18-19, students from Hofstra and other schools in the region will join three dozen PR specialists, communicators, journalists, and educators who will serve as moderators and panelists in eight different workshops. Workshops will be comprised of New York-based professionals in industries including entertainment, travel, nonprofit, technology, international relations, fashion, corporate, and journalism. They’ll also have the chance to meet and network with these practitioners throughout the event.
The conference begins this Friday with a tour of the Museum of Public Relations at Baruch College in Manhattan and a networking reception with working professionals–most whom are Hofstra alumni–at the Heartland Brewery in the Empire State Building . The workshops all take place on campus on Saturday and includes a keynote address from Ashley Trager Chauvin of Edelman, one of the world’s largest PR firms, plus resume reviews, professional head shots, lunch, and more networking.
Students can register online or visit the Hofstra PRSSA table in the Student Center atrium. And on March 20, I believe the excitement, growth and learning from the experience will be palpable. Your thoughts?