Five days of networking with professionals, non-stop tweeting and an abundance of coffee, what more could a public relations student need? The Illinois State University (ISU) Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) attended the PRSSA 2014 National Conference in Washington from Oct. 10 to 14, where we gained the experience of a lifetime.
The Conference opened with a social event titled, "An Evening at the Embassies." This opportunity was the first for Chapters to connect, eat and dance the night away. Saturday morning started bright and early with the keynote speaker, Pam Jenkins, president of Powell Tate. Her insight and words of wisdom grasped everyone’s attention, but her final statement in the conclusion of her speech, “Millennials are ready to lead; I've seen it,” earned herself a standing ovation.
This enthusiasm was the perfect entrance for a Conference tradition, Chapter roll call. Each Chapter creates a chant to show their school spirit. ISU PRSSA created a remix to Eminem's "Just Lose It" that instantly became a crowd favorite.
Throughout the remainder of the Conference, our Chapter had the chance to attend sessions on different aspects of public relations. When we weren't filling ourselves with new knowledge, we went out to sightsee in Washington. Sightseeing included a trip to the National Mall, which included the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and other war memorials. It was truly a sight! Other places visited by Chapter members were some of the Smithsonian museums, the Smithsonian National Zoo and Georgetown.
As our time in Washington came to a close, we spent time with our ISU PRSSA Faculty Adviser, Dr. Smudde. At lunch we reflected on our favorite sessions, the best thing we had seen and our overall experience. Needless to say, our Chapter had an amazing time in Washington and learned about the direction of our future profession. Everyone should take advantage of the opportunity to attend PRSSA National Conference as a member. It is an unforgettable experience that benefits all who attend.
By Cindy Kirchner
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.