Wow, what an amazing first day at PRSSA! The energy and enthusiasm my fellow PR students have for the profession and their fellow practitioners is absolutely contagious.
The first session I attended was the kickoff keynote address by Mary Henige. Henige has held various communication positions within General Motors in her 27-year career with the company. Heinge gave excellent perspective into the world of digital media, social media, and choosing the corporate career path.
I loved the way in which the address was given. Heinge answered twitter questions from the audience instead of a traditional presentation followed by a live question and answer. I felt that this approach gave us students the opportunity to ask for the exact information we were looking for.
The most valuable lessons I learned from this session had to do with the different channels of social media. Each platform is unique, as is the audience that it reaches. As a PR professional we need to evaluate our message and which channel would best reach our target audience and then craft the message so it will be as effective as possible on that site. Henige also stated the importance of nurturing your creative self. In the public relations field, and in our society as a whole, we have a tendency to be in front of screens and electronics most of the day. While the Internet is a crucial and amazing resource for communication, creative thinking thrives from being in the real world. Henige affirmed that it’s good to take a break every once and a while and go get inspired. The RMU group did just that on our trip to the Philadelphia Museum. I saw so many amazing pieces of art that opened me creatively!
The second half of the opening keynote session was roll call for all the attending chapters. If PRSSA and Pitch Perfect had a mash up, that mash up would without a doubt be this roll call. Each chapter had their own chant varying from school sports chants, epically crafted parody songs, choreographed songs, and simple “woos”. Hearing all the witty and well-practiced chants made me want to do one for my school, although I am a senior and this will be my one and only trip to PRSSA. With the implementation of the new professionals section of PRSA hopefully I will get to preform a chant one day.
Follow me on Twitter @_hannaramma to check my live tweets from each session at the conference!