Monday, November 23, 2009

Meeting Reminder!

Just a reminder that we're having a meeting this evening at 6 p.m. in Stubbs 244! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Back to Monroe this morning! My flight leaves at 11:55, but after my time here in San Diego, I think I just want to stay here! It's been a really great experience and I'm thankful that I was able to have it.

I'll see all of you soon after my long day of flying!

Monday, November 9, 2009


It's really amazing to me that this conference is almost finished! I've had so much fun and learned so much these past few days and I'll be sad to see it all over with tomorrow when I fly back home.

This morning was the Career Development Exhibition where employers from all over the country came and set up tables to get an opportunity to meet students. Representatives from several places including agencies like Burson-Marsteller, Edelman and Fleishman-Hillard were there, as well as some rather unexpected places like the CW Network and T-Mobile. I found it really interesting to get to speak to some of the representatives about their jobs and got a really good idea of what options there are out in the professional world for a PR person.

This afternoon I attended the last professional development session of the conference.
Resumes, Portfolios and Social Media
This was hosted by the very famous Walter Bateman (for whom the annual Bateman competition is named) and he spoke about what employers look for in a resume, especially as social media has changed the landscape of the profession. He recommended tailoring your resume to fit each job you apply for, and using social media to get your name out there (for example, I have a Facebook and LinkedIn profile that I use to supplement my resume).

This evening was our farewell "Academy of PRSSA Awards Ceremony" (think the Academy Awards, complete with a red carpet and paparazzi) where outstanding chapters and scholarship winners were honored. My roommate for the conference, the chapter president at the University of North Florida, received an award as one of the outstanding chapter presidents.

I've had such an awesome time here and it's really been both educational and practical. I've gotten to meet so many new people and I can't wait to return home to share all of this with my chapter.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I had this morning off since the sessions this morning were for student-run firms, which we don't have, and schools hosting regional activities, which we aren't. After lunch, the majority of us went to the PRSA Conference at a nearby hotel to listen to Arianna Huffington (editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post and arguably one of the most important media figures of the last few years). She discussed the health care debate and talked about the importance of new media.

I attended one of the professional development sessions this afternoon:
Corporate vs. Agency
This one was essentially about the differences between working in corporate communications and working for an agency. Since I've spent time working in a corporate communications environment for CenturyLink, I wanted to get an idea on what agency life was like. They talked about how some people find it difficult to handle more than one client at a time (in the agency world, it's not uncommon to have several), but that they find the experience more exciting than only working for one person (i.e. corporate communications).

In a few hours we're having a "Pier Party," which should be fun. I'm enjoying these social events as well because it's really given me an opportunity to meet a lot of people from across the country who share my interest in the field of public relations.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


This morning was the Keynote Address from Mona Pasquil and Chapter Roll Call. Pasquil, for those that don't know her, served in President Clinton's White House as deputy director of political affairs and worked as a deputy campaign manager for Gore/Lieberman 2000. I was actually really excited to see her speak, as she's one of my personal favorites. She talked about some of the communications crises she faced during her political career, as well as her personal role as an Asian-American woman in politics.

Following her address, the chapters were invited to give a roll call, but much to my dismay, ULM wasn't called (we following the University of Louisiana at Lafayette alphabetically, so I'm sure to the person calling roll there appeared to be a typo on the list). Fortunately, having been "adopted" by ULL, they helped me with a spirited roll call after I announced that I was left off the list.

The professional development sessions this afternoon were incredibly informative and enlightening. I attended the following:
Media Relations
This was presented by Dr. Joseph Trahan, president and CEO of Trahan & Associates. He's a former Lt. Colonel and did public affairs for the Pentagon. He introduced us to his "3 C's" of media relations: Control (never lose your cool with a reporter), Competence (don't try to pretend you know something you don't--always "stay in your lane") and Concern (your face and tone have to convey your interest and concern about the topic at hand).

Public Affairs and Community Engagement
April Bolduc gave this presentation. She's PR Manager for Sempra Energy, a large, diverse energy provider in California. She spoke about the many ways her company has to engage in public affairs every day, such as recent wildfires in Southern California which threatened to cut off power to all of San Diego.

Nonprofit PR
This session was presented by Debbie Mason and Del Galloway from the United Way of America, who each have significant PR responsibilities for the UW and came up with their iconic "Live United" campaign. They talked about creating and implementing campaigns for nonprofits, giving us these few crucial tips: let people "own" the campaign (let local chapters decide how they'll embody the campaign), manage the message through inspiration, and simply "be, do, say" (meaning that a campaign should be about embodying an idea, doing something with that idea, and then simply telling people about it).

Tomorrow, the professional development sessions continue, so I'll report again then.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wow! San Diego is amazingly beautiful and really quite temperate.

After spending most of the day flying in, I attended a few sessions this afternoon on chapter and professional development. One of the things I thought was interesting was the presentation on using themes to build excitement for your chapter. UT Austin talked about how they use themes to help determine who their speakers will be and how they go about professional development (this semester's theme, for example, was "Be Recession-Proof"). I also went to a presentation on using e-portfolios to supplement traditional resumes, and making sure to include things like your personal code of ethics.
Tonight is the "Bring us Something PRSSA" party where we're encouraged to bring gifts from our chapters/schools. Thanks to a generous donation from my office on campus, I was able to bring such fun items as ULM hand sanitizer and ULM toothpaste (strange, I know).

It begins!

The first part of the trip (the drive to Jackson) is complete! I'm currently waiting to board my flight to Memphis then it's on to San Diego! So far, it's been an incredibly painless process (except getting up at 1 a.m. so I could leave Monroe by 2) and I'm sincerely hoping that it stays that way.

I encourage everyone again to use this forum to interact with me while I'm at Conference!

I'll report again soon, as my layover in Memphis is about two hours so I'll have lots of time on my hands!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hi, everyone! Before I leave for conference on Friday, I wanted to make sure that everyone is able to leave comments on here so that I can answer your questions and interact with you throughout my time in San Diego! I also wanted to provide a link to the conference program so that you can have an idea of what I'm doing while I'm there.

Also, as much as I can without being rude, I'm going to try to Tweet about what's going on as well. You can follow me on Twitter if you'd like. I probably won't have time to blog until the end of the day, but it's certainly possible.

I'm very excited about my trip and I hope that you guys can benefit from my attempts to stay in touch while I'm there!


Monday, October 19, 2009

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