By Chapter Member Lorraine Corbelli
As many of you know, a few weeks ago a groups of students from the SSU PRSSA chapter went to Washington DC for a PRSSA national conference. We spent six days attending various sessions and listening to various speakers. Pam Jenkins, the keynote speaker, talked about how she started her career in PR and where she is today. There was also a keynote address; during this session the living legends of PR, Marilyn Gage MacDonald and Thomas W. Hoog, talked about what qualities they look for in an up and coming PR professional.
Even though I wasn’t able to attend all the sessions, I was still aware of what was going on during them. By using the hashtag #PRSSANC we were all involved in what was going on in other sessions. People would quote what the speakers were saying and that made us get the gist of what was going on.
Among all of the 14 sessions and 2 workshops, I would have to say my favorite session was the last one I attended. The session was dedicated to “Choosing Your Path: Agency or In-House PR” with speakers Brandi Boatner (IBM) and Ryan McShane (Taylor). They not only talked about the differences between agency and In-house PR, but they also told their stories in a way that made me relate to them. They focused on three major topics, agency vs. in-house, location and personality type.
Brandi explained how she had a big personality with big dreams. She saw herself living out her big dream in a kind of a city like New York, therefore, in-house PR fit her perfectly. Brandi suggested that when looking for an in-house agency we should look at the company’s annual report, their global awareness/presence, and their inner brand loyalty. She said that one of her passions was traveling, so working for a corporate company, which had a global presence, meant she would have the chance to travel.
Ryan, on the other hand, was advocating for agency public relations. He said that he wanted to be a big fish in a small pond. Ryan suggested that when looking for an agency we should look at the diversity of clients, work and colleagues. He pointed out that an agency could be big or small. Ultimately, we have to choose what fits our personality type better.
As a student and a future PR professional I would love to work for a big PR agency in Boston. I like being able to have a diverse number of clients with a wide variety of work. And although I like to travel, like Brandi, I don’t see myself leaving the city of Boston. I would rather travel for pleasure than for business. Towards the end of the session, Brandi and Ryan gave us some great advice. They suggested that we each make a professional wish list of companies we see ourselves working for. When I got home, that’s exactly what I did. I’ve finally narrowed down what I want to do. Now all I have to do is go out there and chase my dreams.
Their twitter handles @Ryanmcshane @ThinkBluePR
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