By: Kelsey Crawford
The Michigan State University Public Relations Student Society of America kicked off Electing Excellence: Public Relations in Government and Politics, a regional conference hosted at the MSU Union on Saturday, February 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 gurus, we have heard time and time again that networking is key. I used to only think 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 Michigan State University PRSSA Regional Conference, I learned that networking never stops. You never know who could give you an interview or to acquire 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 you 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.