The PRSSA Regional Conference

I was a little nervous about attending the PRSSA Regional Conference. I had never been to a professional conference and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. To prepare myself I researched tips for attending a conference and I came across this article: http://www.businessknowhow.com/growth/conf10.htm

Attending the PRSSA Regional Conference was a wonderful and beneficial experience. It was a day filled with meeting new people and learning more about different tools I can use to be successful in pr. One of my favorite things about the conference was that it was put on by two students, which inspired me to want to look at the world around me and see in what big ways I can contribute to my profession.

The conference began with breakfast at the Mabee Center, which was delicious! While we were eating Jeremy Burton, the Tulsa Chapter’s PRSA President, spoke briefly as well as Dan Mahoney, the Vice President for Corporate Communications for the OKC Thunder. Mahoney spoke about the goals and challenges the Thunder faced when they first began and now. One of his most profound statements was about “being on top of things when it comes to communicating with your pubic.”

1. Know where your public is

2. How they get your information

3. What they’re interested in

4. The best way to get your news out to them.

He also urged us to try new ways to attract our audience. He used the example of when they conducted an online chat session with Rumble (the Thunder’s mascot).

The conference was set up like a typical high school schedule, with two learning sessions broken up by lunch. (To see the rest of the session speakers go to http://oru-prssaregional.webs.com)

All in all I learned so much at the conference and came in contact with so many wonderful people who shared my passion for pr. People who I may not have had the privilege to meet had it not been for this conference. I learned so much about conducting research, operating a web site and the ins and outs of corporate communication.

So my advice to everyone would be: If you have the opportunity to go to a conference related to your expertise GO! This will benefit you more than you could ever know.

The greatest learning experience came when I took part in the “Crisis Team Competition.” We were broken up into teams and given a scenario. We then had 45 minutes to analyze, come up with a crisis plan and present it to the judges. I know this doesn’t seem like it was such a big deal, but that 45 minutes seemed to fly by and might I mention that we only had three minutes to present to the judges and they then would ask us questions.

Now although I can be an effective public speaker it was hard for me to keep my cool and be confident about presenting something I didn’t have the time to really think through and prepare to a panel of professionals. When my team’s turn came to speak (of course I was chosen to be the speaker!) I was shaking in my pumps, but we made it through and effectively answered the judges questions. Although we didn’t win the competition, it was a wonderful learning experience.  I learned that although you don’t like it, being thrown out of your comfort zone forces you to grow and causes you to really see what you’re capable of. Although I’m still a bit nervous about entering the world of pr, I’m a little more confident in my abilities. Maybe I am ready to take this pr world by storm.

All the students who participated in the Crisis Competition and the judges.

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