During this year’s spring break, I was fortunate enough to further my knowledge in public relations by attending the Georgia Southern University Regional Activity “PR Where U R” in Statesboro, Ga. Students from Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, Alabama and Kentucky attended the event.
“PR Where U R” was a weekend full of cutting-edge information about the latest digital media platforms, as well as how to use social and digital media in public relations. The managing partner of CityTrex LLC, Burton Sauls, stressed the importance of QR codes. QR codes are barcodes containing addresses and URLs that may appear on any object providing information, such as a magazine, business card or sign. Smartphones can scan QR codes and the information will be displayed. Sauls also discussed “geocaching” — an outdoor activity in which participants use a GPS receiver to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches,” or “caches,” anywhere in the world.
“Winning: 9 Lessons for Social Media Domination Courtesy of Bat-Sh*t Crazy Charlie Sheen,” was an amazing session. The speaker, Bonnie Upright, APR, chief of strategic partnerships for Duval County Public Schools, used Charlie Sheen to explain the importance of good clients. Tips she gave during her session included: be transparent, establish good credibility, listen to clients, use social media to research competition, think like a reporter and be authentic. She also suggested we check out information from Help a PR Pro Out (@HAPPO), a community-based effort to help those seeking jobs in the public relations industry.
Danny Devriendt, executive vice president digital and social media strategist for Porter Novelli, joined us via Skype and provided tips about being adaptable to change, creating lasting relationships using digital media and being efficient.
The final session, “An ‘Extreme’ Lesson in Public Relations,” by Neilie Dunn, director of marketing for J.T. Turner Construction, stressed that persistence is key.
Peter Shankman, founder of HARO and founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., gave the keynote address. Shankman shared his four rules of social media: transparency, relevance, brevity and top of mind. He also introduced us to Poken, which utilizes a proprietary Near Field Communication technology to allow the exchange of online social networking data between two keychain accessories.
“PR Where U R” was an invaluable experience that I will never forget.
Erica Ludwig is a student at Georgia State University.
Did you attend Georgia Southern University’s event? What information interested you? What new information did you learn that benefits you as a pre-professional public relations student?