Last weekend, the Duquesne University and Point Park University Regional Activity, “From Steel to Shine: PR careers for your future,” took place in downtown Pittsburgh — what an exciting event! The speakers were truly Pittsburgh’s finest in health care, sports, not-for-profit and other areas. Burt Lauten, the director of public relations for the Pittsburgh Steelers shared the public relations tactics he uses off the field. Attendees also heard from Ann Hohn, vice president of communications and director of operations at the Make A Wish Foundation, one of the biggest national nonprofit organizations.
We welcomed Steel to Shine’s attendees to Pittsburgh with the social event, “PRty Forward” on Friday night. This semi-formal made it easy to mingle and meet public relations students from seven different states. Janelle Huelsman, PRSSA national vice president of advocacy, served as Friday evening speaker.
A crisis communications activity brought the competitive side out of the best public relations students in hopes of winning a prize. Students had ample time for networking and directing questions to a professional development panel. The last thing on the agenda was an internship/career fair at which attendees were encouraged to use their business cards and resumes; a great opportunity to build rapport and connections in the exciting world of public relations.
Putting on an event of this caliber takes hours of research, funding and work. Our committees dedicated every hour of their spare time figuring out costs, considering details and planning to ensure event was one to remember.
We have all heard the phrase “you cannot have a rose without the thorns.” During the implementation and execution of our Regional Activity, we experienced several thorns. However, we also grew two roses — the actual event and the team we have become. Our PRSSA Chapters have never been this close, both professionally and personally. Some of us have learned to depend on our teammates, while others have learned how to “step up” and become valuable team leaders. Overall, this has been a great experience for both of our Chapters.
Through the committees’ hard work we secured significant sponsors to help make this event possible. Also, the committees have found several speakers who are a part of the PRSA Pittsburgh Chapter and have put in a lot of time preparing the program and activities for the event.
We are thrilled we had the opportunity to help attendees prepare for their careers and allow them to network with professionals and other PRSSA members.