Never Stop Learning: Another Lesson at the MSU 2014 PRSSA Regional Conference

The Michigan State University Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter kicked off Electing Excellence: Public Relations in Government and Politics, a Regional Conference hosted at the MSU Union on Saturday, Feb. 8. MSU PRSSA welcomed public relations professionals and PRSSA Chapters from Wayne State, Eastern Michigan University, and Illinois State University. While attending my first breakout session with representatives from the corporate communications department of Chrysler Group, LLC, I learned from their presentation that we cannot control everything but reacting effectively and quickly in order to reach your audience with the proper message. This is especially important to remember for anyone especially interested in crisis communications and wanting to be experts in damage control.

As aspiring public relations professionals, we have heard time and time again that networking is key. I used to think only about building networks to get a job. After completing my internships and starting the job hunt, I figured I was all set. After attending the MSU’s Regional Conference, I learned that networking never stops. You never know who could give you an interview or provide you with quotes for a news release.

The conference consisted of three 50-minute breakout sessions; keynote speaker Sara Wurfel, press secretary for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder; and an infographics workshop with MSU professor Karl Gude. I crowded my followers’ Twitter feed as I live-tweeted tips and tricks about developing your brand and network, building a communications plan, finding internships and more.

Some key points Wurfel shared with attendees included researching thoroughly and being a reactive and proactive planner. Even as a professional, the “learning never stops,” she said.

I have attended my fair share of networking events and presentations, but my Saturday spent learning from some great public relations role models made me realize I have a lot of support and resources as I work toward building my professional career. As a member of PRSSA, I have learned that with the public relations industry constantly changing tactics and trends, you always need to be ready to learn if you want to be successful.

MSU PRSSA members mix and mingle over breakfast before the sessions begin. Photo by Danielle O’Brien.
MSU PRSSA members mix and mingle over breakfast before the sessions begin. Photo by Danielle O’Brien.

Kelsey Crawford is a senior communication major at Michigan State University. She has enjoyed working as an account associate for the student-run public relations agency, Hubbell Connections, and aspires to work in the ski and outdoor industry after graduation. Follow her on Twitter @crawf_kelsey

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