In light of PRSA/PRSSA relationship month, last week’s meeting featured a Q&A session with PRSA Detroit’s program committee co-chair, Andrea Pecoraro. Pecoraro relayed many useful bits of advice to PR hopefuls and discussed the opportunities that PRSA affords to new graduates as well as seasoned PR pros.
When Pecoraro spoke about PRSA, the passion was almost palpable. As a former PRSSA member, it was only logical in her eyes that she join PRSA after graduation. She gave examples of the endless networking opportunities within PRSA and how extremely beneficial these relationships are. Connections from PRSA help many fresh graduates find that first job or internship, Pecoraro said. Pecoraro was also enthused about the professional development that PRSA provides. “Always keep learning,” she said. Professional development helps position one as a leader and helps people stay on top of trends according to Pecoraro.
The most frequent recurring theme our guest expressed was the importance of setting oneself apart from the crowd of other aspiring professionals. Pecoraro encouraged EMU PRSSA members to increase their unique value by getting as much experience as possible. “This is the time to be saying ‘yes’ to everything,” said Pecoraro. She stressed that students need to get involved with as many things as possible, even if doesn’t seem to directly relate to their ultimate dream job. One never knows how a set of experiences will relate a new situation. According to Pecoraro, you can’t have too many internships and she is particularly fond of PR agency internships. Interns at agencies work with a variety of clients, performing different tasks while gaining an array of new proficiencies.
The hot topic of social media was brought up by students throughout the night. Pecoraro made the point that it’s not the number of followers and friends a brand has that’s important. It’s the level of engagement that should be the focus. She also discussed her favorite online tools such as Google Alerts and how a company decides what its social media strategy should be.
Last week’s meeting was an informative night that left EMU PRSSA members armed with information they’ll be able to use in their careers. PRSSA members truly do have an edge and with PRSA, the benefits don’t stop once you get your degree. As Pecoraro stressed, it’s important to set one’s self apart and being involved in the professional organization PRSA is surely one superb way to do so.
VP of Community Relations