New Pros Panel a Hit at PRSSA 2012 National Conference

The PRSSA 2012 National Conference was held in San Francisco from Oct. 12-16. Over the upcoming weeks, Progressions will provide summaries of select sessions and insights from the presenters. Want to write your own recap of a session? Contact Vice President of Advocacy Zane Riley.

A highlight for students attending the PRSSA 2012 National Conference was Sunday’s “Navigating Your Life as a New Pro” panel discussion. PRSSA members gathered to listen to Brandi Boatner (Digital Experience Manager, IBM Global Technology Services), Christa Keizer (Account Executive, Edelman) and Sarah Siewert (Senior Account Executive, Public Communications Inc.) share their journey to starting in the profession and adjusting to life as a professional in a casual, but informative question and answer session.

The advice from the three women included:

  • Get as much experience as possible
  • No matter what someone tells you, everyone needs a communicator
  • Your job search is not about you – it’s about the company’s needs
  • Do your homework and know what you’re worth before your interview
  • If you really want a career in public relations, work hard
  • Show initiative, be proactive and don’t let things fall through the cracks
  • Keep in mind that public relations is not about you, but about how you can move business forward
  • Make yourself indispensible so a company can’t imagine life without you
  • Don’t act like an intern, act like a team member
  • Ask smart questions – you can ask too many questions, and you can ask stupid questions
  • Take the extra step – just joining PRSSA and showing up to Chapter meetings without putting forth any extra effort may not magically secure you a job
  • It’s not all about social media – social media knowledge is expected but so are other basic public relations skills
  • Don’t move without a job if you can’t afford it
  • Reach out to your network and PRSA

Are you a new professional with advice for PRSSA members? How can they prepare for the daunting job hunt?
Reganie Smith-Love is a senior at California State University, Fresno. She currently serves as the executive director of Fresno State’s student-run firm, TALK Strategic Promotion Solutions, and the director of public relations for the Paul D. Adams Chapter of PRSSA. You can follow her on Twitter @rsmithlove.

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