During the 2011 fall semester, our PRSSA chapter had the honor of Skyping with Lauren K. Gray, the vice president of public relations for the PRSSA National Committee.
Lauren started her PRSSA chapter at Western Carolina University in 2009 after an advisor at her school urged her to revive it (their chapter remained dormant for 30 years).
Through a visit to the organization’s conference in Washington DC, Gray learned about an opportunity to become the vice president of PR for the national chapter. After 45 minutes of intense Q & A, she got the position.
Lauren spends about two hours each day working on social media management for PRSSA. She handles their Facebook page, Twitter, as well as occasionally working on the national website. One tool that helps her out with social media management is TweetDeck.
Besides being the vice president of PR for PRSSA, Lauren is a student who is double majoring with PR and marketing. She also has a virtual internship for Social Fresh and works for her school’s newspaper. Despite being a member in multiple activities, Lauren still has time to enjoy hanging out with her boyfriend, taking naps and reading books while sipping on some Starbucks.
Lauren believes that if you have a passion for something it will show and people will want to hire you because of it. She cites this as one of the reasons why she was appointed to her PRSSA position.
In five years, she plans on living in Boston or DC and working for a PR firm helping a client with their social media and marketing needs.
Here are some helpful tips from Lauren:
• During interviews with companies, always present the numbers. You always need results to show them – including proof that you can make improvements on projects you will work on.
• WordPress is a great blogging tool. It’s simplistic and personal.
• Three things PRSSA wants to teach the incoming freshman – professional development, personal development and network professionalism.
• Companies sometimes post PR positions on the PRSSA sight before they put it out on their own websites.
• One way PRSSA can grow on campuses is by having professors offer extra credit to students who attend PRSSA events.
• Twitter Tip – Post Links and try to get people engaged.
• Additional Twitter Tips – Use hashtags, talk to as many people as possible, engage with professionals in your field and set yourself apart from others in your desired field of work.
• Look out for the #PRSSA Chat – it’s once a month.
• You can build a resume on the PRSSA’s website via the Internship Center.
• Google Calendar can help you stay on task.
• Visit the upcoming Spring National Conference in Charlotte.
• Be enthusiastic.
• Lauren’s top 3 tools = any Apple Product, Google Tools (like Google Docs and Google Analytics) and TweetDeck.
• Put yourself out there. The more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities you will get.
• YOU CONTROL YOUR OWN DESTINY!!!