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Richard Stockton College of New Jersey PRSSA – New Chapter, New Conference Experience

Written by Stockton PRSSA members:
Siera Smith, president
Stacy Hanas
Brittany Tatum
Lindsay Barnes
Kristy Kenyatta
Lawrence Kern
Heather Costabile

Since establishing our chapter in May of this year, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey PRSSA identified goals and objectives, and discussed aspirations. In just these past few months, having a PRSSA chapter at our college has contributed significantly to our education. One of the best learning experiences for us has been the PRSSA 2013 National Conference: Foundation for Innovation in Philadelphia. This conference was life-changing. It gave us a true sense of the PR industry, of community and of belonging. The PRSSA and PRSA are certainly proud organizations to be a part of. From sitting before some of the most admirable PR icons in the industry to discovering individual PR interests after attending seminars, we found PRSSA International Conference benefitted us immensely.

We felt privileged to sit in the audience of some of our own personal PR icons, Dierde Breakenridge, Brian Solis, Jason Mollica, and Nicole Garner. During one seminar a member left the room with the quote from Shonali Burke, of Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc. 

“All PR pros should understand measurement, if not why are they in the field?” ringing through her mind. Solis’s presentation on maximizing social engagement and living in a digital lifestyle inspired us to think about how we can rewire how we work. We learned so much from the experienced speakers.

By the second day of the conference there was a bond forming among the Stockton chapter. We were no longer just members. We became friends. We went to the conference as seven members of Stockton’s Chapter and returned as seven friends who will stay connected for a long time, and who will all make a big impact in this field!

If any of us in our chapter had any doubts about whether PR was what we wanted to do, it is gone. Conference solidified each of our loves for this field. The value of building quality relationships and the fact that is okay to let your personality shine through your professionalism were key messages we experienced and will remember.

Getting to connect with people from other chapters, including students, professionals, and professors, helped us learn and network. That moment when you glanced down at a name tag, and saw someone was from somewhere across the country was always  thrilling. At some point, fellow PRSSA chapter members and the other 1,100 students who attended the conference will become professional associates. Building strong relationships with these individuals today can be beneficial in the future.  It’s amazing being surrounded by people who love the same thing you do, and it’s even better when you don’t have to explain what PR is to every other person you meet! We are a family, PRSSA and PRSA.

PRSSA National Conference provided our chapter with the opportunity to see in person those we admire in the PR world. As seniors stepping out into the PR industry in several months, we truly valued this experience more than we could have imagined. We left the conference with a re-ignited passion for public relations. We look forward to putting what we learned into practice, to growing our chapter, and to learning from PRSA members. We hope the PR world is ready for us!

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Richard Stockton College of New Jersey PRSSA – New Chapter, New Conference Experience

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