Category Archives: PRSA

#PRinGR: Generation Grand Friday recap

By: Hope Salyer

You hear it all the time, “You need to network.” As college students juggling about one million and two things at a time, networking isn’t always at the top of our list. We think we’re “too busy” or we just don’t know where to start. Well, I’m here to let you know that your PRSSA Regional Conference is a great place to start.

I attended the Grand Rapids PRSSA Regional Conference this year with two of my fellow EMU PRSSA E-board members. We’ve decided to do a three-part series as a recap of the event, and I’m here to share my experience at the conference on Friday.

Hope and Nicole

Courtesy Photo

Friday morning started out with a road trip to Grand Rapids with Nicole. PRSSA conferences are a great way to connect with your fellow PRSSA members, and it all starts with the traveling experience. Just another reason to join your local PRSSA Chapter.

Once we arrived at the DeVos Center, we headed straight to our first stop on our tour of Grand Rapids: Wolverine Worldwide. When we got to Wolverine, we were greeted by friendly staff members, and taken to a large conference room where we had the chance to hear from Corporate Communications Manager Ainslee Neitzel.

Speaker 1

Courtesy Photo

Neitzel talked to the group about her perspective on corporate communications. One of the biggest questions PR majors have to face as they near graduation is what type of PR they want to go into. Typically, the top three choices are agency, corporate or nonprofit. Most PR students, however, focus on the differences between agency and corporate and this group was no different.

After Neitzel gave a brief background on herself and what her day-to-day job looks like (hint: no two days are the same), Neitzel offered to do a question and answer session. It’s no surprise then that most of the questions focused on what corporate communication is like.

Most students typically go on agency tours and learn a lot about what agency life is like, but the corporate side is kind of like that shadowy area in the Lion King: it’s just unknown and off limits.

Lion King Meme

Created using IMGflip

Following the Q&A at Wolverine Worldwide, the group traveled down the street to Seyforth PR. The agency gave us an interactive tour of the facility and allowed us to see the projects the teams are working on. There was also a brief presentation on the team’s work with McDonald’s, which of course included some free T-shirts and coupons!

The night ended with a networking mixer at Lambert Edwards & Associate’s Grand Rapids office.

For more information on Saturday’s events and sessions, check out Nicole and Abby’s posts on our blog!

Hope Salyer is a junior public relations major and journalism and communication double minor. Hope is serving as the Chief Financial Officer of EMU PRSSA. This is Hope’s first semester serving for the PRSSA E-Board. A Michigan native, she hopes to start her career working for an agency in the Detroit area. Her dream is to become the public relations coordinator for the Detroit Tigers. Contact Hope on Twitter @hsalyer01 or by email


Relationships in public relations: why it’s important to start now

By: Leah Rodriguez

October is Relationship Month for PRSSA, and while professors constantly drill into us the importance of establishing relationships with peers, professionals, journalists, and the media it is important to understand why we should be establishing these relationships early on.

According to the PRSSA Relationship Manual, “The relationships you form as a Chapter but also the ones that you form individually with PRSA members will be vital to your professional development. Creating a professional, mentoring relationship between yourself and a PRSA member is one of the best ways you can utilize the connection between PRSSA and PRSA. Even beyond PRSSA, mentorship is an invaluable tool to expand your network, continue learning and maintain accountability and credibility as a professional” (source).

This statement can also be true for the relationships we carry as we grow into our careers and leave universities behind. I have been fortunate enough to establish multiple mentoring relationships with my peers and professors. I’ve learned that not only am I able to learn from those who teach me, but I am able to teach others.

The earlier we form professional relationships the better. Upon graduating, it is our connections that we will reach out to for finding employment opportunities; we will seek advice on how to improve our writing; and use the connections we currently have to create new ones. According to “relationships are in the DNA of PR – in fact, the name itself indicates the function manages relations with publics” (source). We can take the lessons our professors teach us about relationship management, and use them to gain the mentoring relationships that shape our careers.

So how do we, as students, go about establishing important relationships? In my experience I’ve found most PR practitioners are willing to offer their knowledge to the new generations on professionals. Just as they’re anxious to learn from us!

  • Attend PRSSA networking events such as workshops, conferences, meetings, networking events, etc.
  • Search companies and agencies online and reach out to their HR managers about setting up an informational interview with an account manager.
  • Take to LinkedIn: message someone in the niche you might be interested in and ask them to coffee.
  • Reach out to your professors and program coordinators.

There are so many ways to meet people and gain mutually beneficial relationships. Just as it is important to establish these connections, it’s also important to maintain them. Try to keep in touch with anyone and everyone that might have helped you along the way. Advice is never limited and we can always learn more from one another.

Leah Rodriguez is a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing. This is her second year on EMU PRSSA’s executive board, having served as VP of PR and VP of Special Events and Programs in 2014-2015. She is the social media intern for EMU’s College of Arts & Sciences, where she manages their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

PRSSA/PRSA Relationship Month!

After you graduate, and you’re done with PRSSA, what do you do? Join the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), of course!

PRSA(the Detroit Chapter, to be specific!) is our parent organization and they help provide PRSSA members with a ton of professional development activities, internships, scholarships, and much more!

To find out more about PRSA and PRSA-Detroit, make sure you attend our meeting tonight at 5:30 p.m. in SC 304. Our guest speaker is Andrea  Pecoraro is a social media strategist for Identity PR, focusing on integrating social media strategy with traditional communications efforts to help companies build brand awareness, create new customer relationships and grow their business.

Andrea Pecoraro

Prior to joining Identity, Andrea spent five years at Kresge Eye Institute, specializing in event planning, project management and strategic marketing.

Andrea is the program committee co-chair for PRSA-Detroit and organizes and promotes local professional development events for the Detroit PR community (and us students, of course!)

For more information on Andrea, please visit her biography page at Identity PR. You can also follow her on Twitter and connect with her via LinkedIn.

PRetty Awesome PR Resources

Photo Courtesy of

For students starting out in PR, it can be kind of overwhelming when it comes to finding internships, meeting professionals, learning about the field and just getting into it in general. To help you get started, here is a list of some of my favorite PR websites, blogs and people to follow on twitter.

MediaBistro: Offers courses in media training (from writing to public relations to social media), resources to find jobs and internships and a blog with a lot of great information!

Mashable: the best online resource for social media and technology news and information!

One Guys Journey: Jason Mollica’s website gives a lot of great PR tips…and you get to learn from his experiences as well. Check out his twitter, too!

DKNY PR Girl: Love fashion? Love DKNY? This is one of my absolute favorite blogs from a PR girl in NYC. Besides offering killer fashion advice, she is pretty knowledgeable in PR and on the media as well. Check out her website and on twitter!

PR Sarah Evans: Sarah is one of the coolest PR pros I have come across on twitter! She has an awesome website and knows a lot about PR and social media.

NYC PR Girls: No joke, these girls are who I want to be when I grow up. They live, work and play in the City that never sleeps and along the way, they share their experiences and a lot great public relations advice. Check out their blog and their twitter.

The Intern Queen: Need an internship somewhere besides Michigan (or even in Michigan!)? Check out the Intern Queen! Her site offers a blog and a huge listing of internships in any industry EVER!

Oscar PR Girl: Another amazing fashion PR pro with an awesome blog – only this time, her fashion weapon is Oscar de la Renta. I’ve only recently discovered her on twitter and I’m already in love with her site and advice!

PR Daily: Need some quick PR advice? Ragan’s PR Daily is the place to go. It is outrageous the number of times I tweet their articles!

The PR Closet: Interested in fashion, beauty or entertainment PR? Alexis is the girl to follow. Her blog gives amazing insight on the PR industry – she answers questions, gives advice and even shares her own experiences. What could be better?

PR Breakfast Club: Again, lots of great articles with advice and tips. The PR Breakfast Club is great with a morning cup of coffee – or at anytime of the day, because as we all know, PR pros (and students!) love our coffee!

These links are great resources for anyone interested in PR and I hope you’ll check them out!

Emily Vontom
Vice President of Events & Programs