PRSSA: networking and hands-on experience in public relations

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Story by Elizabeth Wood, for The Muleskinner—
As the realization hits that you have to start preparing for the next stage in your life, one organization will prepare you with information about internships, improving your portfolios and real life experiences to set you on your way.
The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is one of UCM’s pre-professional organizations. The largest communication department organization, PRSSA has worked to organize useful activities for individuals looking to further their professional experience.
The organization is comprised of public relations majors and minors, but is open to anyone. Membership is $60 and covers local and national dues for a year.
Members of PRSSA can benefit from events featuring individuals who are already members of the public relations field.
The organization hosts PR Pro Day each fall and brings in public relations professionals for an afternoon and asks questions of how they got into their position or other experiences in the PR field.
“I believe PRSSA’s greatest achievement is Pro Day,” said historian Ambria Paul. “This program presented valuable insight and I truly benefitted from it”
Following the panel of questions and answers, students had the opportunity to connect and network with the professionals one-on-one.
“Some people get internships because they met these professionals at Pro Day,” said PRSSA president Nicole Cooke.
PRSSA also participates in giving back to the community by working at the concession stand at football games, scaring at the  Worlds of Fun haunted houses, and painting pumpkins for the veterans home. This year, PRSSA made a large effort to be involved on campus with its Movember philanthropy event to grow mustaches for awareness and funds to help health issues for men.
“For me, the opportunity to build connections with people in the public relations field really made me get involved,” said first year member Deann Warren.
This semester, members can look forward to an AP style crash course March 5, and the regional conference in April, as well as a visit from Bob Moore, historian for the Chiefs, April 23.
Students interested in marketing, business, communications or sports can attend. These events offer individuals opportunities to meet others in the public relations department, as well as specialists in the field.
“Public relations is about who you know,” Cooke said. “A lot about who you know.”
The club has 10 officer positions: president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, promotions, philanthropy, fundraising, social media, internship/career coordinator and historian. Many of the current officers will be graduating in May, creating opportunities for new students to take leadership roles.
Students interested in learning more than what the classroom has to offer can attend PRSSA’s meetings every other Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in Wood 205.
The next meeting will be Tuesday where elections for new officers will take place, and there will be two guests speaking about the agency sector of PR.
Students seeking more information can find PRSSA on Facebook, Twitter, or email [email protected]