By Brandon Quach, Managing Editor
Hotlanta. Home of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center, the Georgia Aquarium and much more. Most importantly, however, the ATL is currently hosting both the PRSA and PRSSA national conferences, which we have 10 members from our chapter attending, including myself.
I’ve been to other conferences and assemblies for my fraternity (shameless plugin), and so far I’d have to say the experiences have been very similar. Meeting PRSSA members from across the nation makes the idea of being a part of something bigger than yourself a tangible reality. The lessons you learn from other students and industry pros help prepare you for the real world and improve your chapter once you’re back home. And most importantly, these conferences inspire something incredible; passion.
So far, at every session during the conference, there has been at least one presenter that talks about the importance of being passionate for PR. It falls in line with the old saying, “choose a job you love and you won’t work a day in your life.”
Passion is important. Having a strong drive to be the best and do your best leads to results. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or if you’re close to retirement. Earlier this weekend Ellen East of Time Warner Cable Inc. described how she’d rather have a passionate PR novice that knows nothing, than an apathetic industry genius. “I can teach them everything they need to know, but you can’t teach passion,” she said.
Having changed majors multiple times, I can attest to this fact. I was good at science, but didn’t care for engineering enough to stick with it. Taking time to discover what I wanted as an undeclared student with a lack of vision led nowhere. I always excelled in mathematics, but the only times I tried were when my choices were to drop out or pass, which isn’t much of a choice at all. Finally, there was public relations.
I’ve been studying PR for nearly two years now and in that time I’ve made leaps and bounds in the field, especially compared to my previous studies. Caring for, wanting and loving PR was the best academic choice I made in college because it led me to discover my own passion.
Perhaps just an ember before attending, I challenge anyone who’s serious about PR to tell me that their passion for the industry hasn’t turned into a raging inferno towards the tail-end of the conference. Listening to stories and advice from grizzled and experienced PR practitioners gives people hope. “I’m going to do that and then some,” students think to themselves, knowing that it’ll only be true if they continue to press forward with PR in their hearts. That’s passion relations.