Digital Career Fair Recap

On March 23, students and professionals across the country participated in PRSSA’s first digital career fair. So many participated, the event transcript totaled 303 pages! Here are some highlights from the chat:

Question 1: What are the pros and cons: large vs. small agencies?

Pros and cons depend on what you plan to learn from the position. But in general, participants agreed that large agencies often provide opportunities for:

  • Big client projects
  • Top public relations mentors
  • High-end tools
  • Learning opportunities in a variety of sectors

Mid-sized agencies may provide parts of both worlds:

  • Big name clients
  • Small agency feel so you get to know everyone

Small agencies can offer:

  • Less team members so more opportunities for greater responsibilities
  • More opportunities to make your voice heard
  • Increased spotlight (good and bad) on your contributions

Cons for big agencies include:

  • Competition
  • Potential complex corporate politics and structure
  • Sometimes increased pressure for billable hours

Cons for smaller firms:

  • Tend to pay less
  • Sometimes have fewer resources
  • Compete against bigger firms for clients

Question 2: What is the one life or work skill you find most students lack, that if fixed, could help them better succeed?

  • Listening
  • Better interpersonal communication and using the phone – not just email
  • Writing skills
  • Knowing how to handle constructive criticism
  • Look at the overall picture versus the short-term result
  • Don’t be overly familiar when first meeting someone via social media – do not assume you are instant friends
  • Pay attention to how others respond to you
  • Business implications and strategic thinking
  • Organization and time management skills
  • It’s OK not to know the answer
  • Learn how to evaluate and report
  • Behaviors online and off can impact your professional image
  • Patience is key
  • Speak up – your opinion is valuable, too
  • Take a general mix of business courses

Question 3: What can students do to potentially advance faster?

  • Make connections
  • Work hard
  • Secure results
  • Learn to do the job above you and the job below you
  • Be a team player
  • Worry more about the skills you’re learning and how you’re growing – not your title
  • Focus your energy on the job, not the promotion
  • Become an expert on a much-needed skill
  • Work every day like you’re leaving for a two-week vacation

Question 4: What are some important publications and journals (online and print) public relations students should read?


  • Newspapers
  • PR Week
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Trade publications for your career interests
  • PRSA Tactics
  • New York Times


  • Set up alerts for various topics, not just publications
  • Mashable
  • PR Breakfast Club
  • Mediabistro
  • Bulldog Reporter
  • Holmes Report
  • O’Dwyer’s
  • Culpwrit
  • CNN
  • BBC
  • Social Media Explorer
  • Wall Street Journal blogs

Question 5: What are some computer software/programs employers want interns and entry-level candidates to know? Bonus programs?

  • Microsoft Office  (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Macs and PCs
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Publication design programs
  • Cision
  • Radian 6
  • WordPress

Question 6: What makes a candidate stand out when sifting through a stack of resumes?

View the entire transcript here. If you’re interested in participating in our next Twitter chat, join us tonight, April 27, at 9 p.m. EDT. We’ll be chatting about transitioning from student to professional under the hashtag #prssa.

What was missed? What else would you add?

This is a guest post from Vice President of Chapter Services Kimberly Ciesla.

1 thought on “Digital Career Fair Recap

    • Author gravatar

      Great recap for those who couldn’t be there in person. I see a large amount of industry jobs that actually list knowing our platform as a bonus skill to have.

      Thanks for mentioning us!
      Trish (@Dayngr)
      Community Manager | Radian6

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *