EMU PRSSA held its Student Development Conference on December 6th with guest speakers from different areas of PR and each contributed a unique perspective to the students, as well as staff who attended. With this being my first time attending an even outside of being a little apprehensive I was eager to learn from professionals. I can honestly say that I learned a lot and here are some of the most important things I learned.
- Curiosity does not kill the cat
In fact curiosity will keep you alive (your career anyway) and help you to prosper. Agency life is fast paced and professionals can go from working health-care officials who like the term spelled in a particular way like the one written, to working with a computer company. Your job as a PR professional is to ask questions and learn as you go. The answers aren’t going to be handed to you every single time. A professional who looks on their own will be a bigger benefit to their agency
- What can set you apart
As an undergrad I asked myself this question every day. What things can I do to make myself valuable to potential agencies and companies? Strong writing skills are the bread and butter of PR work and is requirement when applying. Getting published in a local school paper or in any publication is a great way to show this. Any work that you’ve done such as event planning, social media for a student group, etc, keep a record of these things because they show you have an understanding in that particular area.
I currently have an iPhone 5c and my friend has a Galaxy Note 4. Although I may not have the Galaxy Note I still need to understand how it works. For those asking how this relates to PR, you have to be able to understand different media channels as well as technology. Our companies will come to us first with inquires about different social media and technologies unfamiliar to them and it is our job to guide them through the dangerous cyber roads so that we all reach a destination safely.
- News is still news
My professor constantly tells us before we write a story that we need to answer the age old question “So what who cares?” News is still news no matter what form it takes and people want to read and hear about things that are interesting to them. No one wants to read a story about knitting when court cases and social issues are in everyday news. Tailor your message to your audience and make sure its relevant.
- Improve Daily
SDC was a great conference because as a PR student it opened my eyes to challenges in the industry and more immediately the things I do in class. Everything we do can make us better it just takes hard work and awareness.