By Carolyn Harpster, President
The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Conference is something members across the country look forward to every year. This year, our president, Carolyn Harpster, and our Director of Finance, Victoria Maseda, had the opportunity to travel to Philadelphia for the 2013 Conference titled Foundation for Innovation.
From October 25 – 29, Harpster and Maseda had the opportunity to attend multiple workshops and listen to many speakers to learn more about the communications industry, as well as ways to improve the Penn State PRSSA chapter. The workshops ranged from lectures on sports PR, entertainment PR, the health care industry, integrated marketing communications, life at an agency, creating your personal brand, event planning, public affairs, corporate social responsibility and many more.
Mary Henige from General Motors, one of the keynote speakers, gave a great talk on leading GM’s social media strategy, blogs, and community engagement. PRSSA chapters also had the opportunity to network with Champions for PRSSA – professionals who have a continued interest in PRSSA and public relations education.
The conference also hosted a professional career fair with companies such as Porter Novelli, Burson Marstellar, General Motors, FleishmanHillard, Ketchum, Tierney Communications, Stern + Associates, and many more.
To conclude the 2013 conference, there was an awards ceremony and dinner where members from a variety of schools received rewards and scholarships for their hard work in public relations and within their PRSSA chapters. It was a special night for Penn State as Maseda received the Marcia Silverman Minority Student Award, as well as the John D. Graham Scholarship. Also, our chapter’s advisor, Dr. Ann Marie Major, presented the Lawrence G. Foster Award For Excellence in Public Relations in honor of the late Foster, our Chapter’s namesake and distinguished alum of Penn State.
The PRSSA National Conference is an amazing opportunity for members everywhere to learn more about the PR field and network with some of the brightest and accomplished professionals. A huge thank you is owed to Drexel University, who not only hosted an amazing conference, but made everyone feel welcome in the heart of Philadelphia.