By Dani Ganley, Member, Arizona State University PRSSA
PRSA-LA hosted the 5th annual PRSSA One-Day Conference on Saturday, February 25, at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). More than 55 students from 12 PRSSA chapters were represented at the event, most from California universities, with a few students from Arizona State University as well.
PRSSA students began the day with a light breakfast and the opportunity to chat with other chapter members. Todd Cooley, APR, kicked off the conference with a keynote discussion titled “Unleashing the Power of Your Imagination,” in which he discussed new techniques to help students boost creativity and brainstorming. Great tips from Todd included:
- Come up with as many ideas as possible; even if 97 out of 100 are bad (you’ll still wind up with three that are good).
- Take part in new and unusual experiences to boost your creativity.
- Overcome your self-consciousness.
- Always value and encourage creativity.
After the keynote, students had the option of attending one of two breakout sessions.
At ”Landing the Job: Tips for Better Resumes, Portfolios and Interviews,” students heard from moderator Philip Sokoloski, FilmL.A., Inc., and panelists Kent Barrett, The Hoyt Organization, Inc.; Adriana Castillo, Ketchum; and Ericka Iniguez, Whittier College. The panelists answered questions and provided valuable tips to help students succeed in interviews for internships and full-time positions.
At “Opportunities Abound! Exploring Corporate, Nonprofit and Entertainment Public Relations,” moderator Alissa Zitto, Step Up, led a panel including Shell Amega, California Science Center Foundation; Janine Cisneros, Shelter PR; and Negin Kamali, Princess Cruises. This presentation offered a chance for students to learn about the wide range of industries in which they can apply their skills.
After lunch, attendees were sorted randomly into groups for the afternoon PR campaign challenge called “Bringing PR Concepts to Life: Collaborating with Peers, Learning and Sharing Best Practices.” Scott Pansky, co-founder and senior partner of Allison + Partners was the facilitator, and members from PRSA-LA’s Young Professionals assisted the teams as mentors. The judges included Kerjon Lee, Los Angeles County Public Works; Dave Barthmuss, Advotocracy; Alan Caldwell, APR, The Lancaster Caldwell Group; and Philip Sokoloski, FilmL.A. Each group was tasked with creating a campaign to help the Los Angeles County Public Works Department reach their target audience and reduce water usage.
“I really enjoyed how hands-on and engaging the campaign challenge was,” said Nataly Naranjo, president of the California State University Long Beach PRSSA chapter. “Plus, it was great to work with PRSSA members from different universities and see what we all brought to the team.”
After the campaign challenge, students were invited to take part in a panel discussion with eight PRSA-LA Young Professionals to better understand what to expect during their first years in the industry.
Thanks to PRSA-LA, LMU, Allison + Partners, SoCalGas, Ketchum, Todd Cooley Company, California Science Center Foundation, The Hoyt Organization, Advotocracy, The Lancaster Caldwell Group, Whittier College, Princess Cruises, Los Angeles County Public Works, FilmL.A. and Step Up for inspiring and influencing our PRSSA chapter members.