of Communications students traveled to New Orleans Oct.24-27 to
attend the Public Relations Student Society of America national
group was led by faculty member Jessica Gisclair.
The theme of
the New Orleans conference was "Where Opportunity Meets Excellence."
It included numerous workshops, networking opportunities and resume-
and portfolio-critique sessions. Elon students attended as many
sessions as possible in order to bring back information to share
with members of Elon's PRSSA chapter.
Among the offerings
was the Chapter Presidents' Leadership Workshop, which helped students
understand the responsibilities involved in heading up a PRSSA Chapter.
Brown, an executive at Fahlgren Mortine, a public relations agency
in Columbus, Ohio, focused on promoting and selling yourself in
his speech, "The Brand Called You." Brown explained how
"sneezers," small groups of people who will speak highly
of you to those in higher positions at a company, can make or break
your career and point you in the right direction. He also spoke
about ways to market yourself, naming creativity as one of the most
important aspects. "We will surround our clients with minds,
not titles," Brown said. "We don't want to think outside
the box; we want to recreate the box."
was not all work and no play; there were several opportunities to
discover the city's rich culture and traditions or experience the
mouth-watering food and smooth jazz found in historically located
restaurants. Students had time to explore the Riverwalk along the
Mississippi River; take a streetcar to the Garden District, where
Anne Rice resides; and visit Mardi Gras World, the warehouse where
all of the parade floats are made every year.
the crispy beignets (pronounced "ben-yays") - known as
a French Market doughnut and the symbol of New Orleans - were among
the favorite foods they tasted.
of Communications helped pay the expenses for the 10 "founding
members" of the PRSSA Chapter at Elon covering the $215 conference
registration fee for each. Elon's PRSSA chapter was approved in
mid-September thanks to the efforts of all School of Communications
professors, especially Gisclair who spearheaded this undertaking.
Elon's chapter now has 91 members.
A meeting will
be held sometime during the week of November 10th to elect officers
and discuss how to run the chapter.
PRSSA is the
premier pre-professional association for students interested in
careers in public relations. There are more than 8,100 members at
234 colleges and universities. Advantages of PRSSA membership include
access to scholarship and award programs, national programming and
professional development opportunities, such as conferences at the
local, regional and national level.
If you are
not a member, but would like to be, you will have the opportunity
to join PRSSA in the spring, as the last day to join for fall semester
was Nov. 1. You may still attend meetings if you are not a member,
but you will not be able to vote on certain issues.
For more information,
visit the Web site: www.prssa.org
or contact Gisclair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
submitted by School of Communications student Amy Jo Jenkins