Once a year, Public Relations Student Society of America hosts a national conference where students and professionals gather for a weekend filled with public relations, networking, and keynote speakers. Austin, Texas was home to the Art of PR: 2018 National Conference, and boy did we learn a lot.
From keynotes by Southwest’s communication team, to the event planner for HGTV, to the head of communications at HomeAway, there was something for everyone to take away.
Here’s a list, in no particular order, of what I learned in Austin, Texas (A lot of isn’t just public relations based):
Outside of the keynote sessions, we also learned a lot through networking events. I connected with many PRSA Colorado individuals, who explained the benefits of continuing on in PRSA after graduating college and PRSSA. They also told me about the many opportunities to get involved with our state’s chapter of PRSA.
I also connected with a lot of other students, such as a group of members from Hawaii, Illinois, Alabama, and California. From this, I gained connections and valuable insight to the ways in which their PRSSA chapters are run.
Lastly, the national conference taught me that there are a lot of different careers out there for me with my degree, and that I’m not just limited to writing press releases and calling news reporters with story pitches. Public Relations can encompass marketing, event planning, advertising, strategic communications, social media, branding, and campaign creation.
My experience at the 2018 PRSSA National Conference was one to remember, and has showed me that public relations is where I want to be when I graduate, and that there are many different directions I can choose to go. I made friends and learned valuable lessons that will stay with me for the rest of my college career, as well as my future career. I would encourage every PRSSA member to attend the national conference.