National Conference

PRSSA Nationals

By Shelley Gooder, Conference Director

“Perception is Reality: Inspring Effective Communications” PRSSA Nationals was held Friday, Oct. 14 through Tuesday, Oct. 18 in magical Orlando, Fla., which myself and PRSSA President Brittany Caplin had the opportunity to attend. It wasn’t until I was waiting to board the plane that my anxiety about getting on a plane for the first time in six years starting rising, and I started sweating profusely. But Brittany and I landed smoothly in Orlando International Airport Thursday night, and the adventures began.

Friday:
A keynote speaker on emotional intelligence and public relations opened up
National Conference. The day followed with chapter development sessions
and chapter presidents’ leadership workshops. This was our fun day… we were able to visit Universal Studios and Harry Potter World. What an unbelievable place! We had
butter beers at the Three Broomsticks and shopped at Honey Dukes. I brought
back chocolate frogs, even though they don’t jump out of the box on their own.
That night followed with a masquerade ball hosted by Walt Disney World.

Saturday:
Another keynote speaker and chapter roll call. Every school that attended was called on to do a cheer, sing a song, or make some sort of noise to let our colleagues know who we were. The song “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO was popular, six schools made up their own lyrics to the song. The day followed with breakout sessions and a resume critique session.

My favorite was the “Breaking into the Business of Sports” session. Other sessions included: The Case for Diversity in PR, Crisis Communication: Confronting Reality with
Strategy, Fashion: Know How to Work It, Social Media: Think Before You Tweet,
and many more.

Sunday:
I attended Regional Conference Workshop where all Conference Coordinators for
those schools chosen to host a Regional Conference were encouraged to attend.
I was able to meet  the coordinators of the nine other schools selected,
and I gave my 30-second pitch about our conference. I also met Haley Higgs, PRSSA National Committee member in charge of regional conferences. She gave me outstanding tips and said she was so excited that the James F. Fox chapter was  hosting a regional conference.

Monday:
A few more breakout sessions and awards banquet! We sat with students from University of Alabama, University of Dayton, University of Oklahoma, and University of Western Kentucky – incredibly great people who I am so lucky to have met. UNI swept the awards. We did not know their chapter was so dedicated and involved!

Tuesday:
On Tuesday morning we headed back to Iowa, ready to share our new found knowledge with our chapter and create an awesome regional conference!

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