The Alabama PRSA Student Summit was recently held on February 12 at the Alabama Power headquarters in Birmingham. The summit brought together PR practitioners from throughout the state and PR students from colleges in Alabama and Mississippi. Events for the day included discussions on social media, resume building, and finding a job. Participants were also able to take a tour of the PR department at Alabama Power.
One of the most significant takeaways from my time at the summit was how prepared I felt during the sessions. For example, the first session on social media discussed the importance of using social media and looked at new and innovative techniques for reaching customers and audiences. All of these tips were extremely important, and almost all of these tips were previously discussed in my JMC classes. Throughout the day, the examples that were given and the ideas presented were all a part of my curriculum at Samford. I left the summit feeling more confident in the education I have received in the JMC department and at Samford.
The summit’s keynote speaker was Julia Hood, who works with Haymarket Media. Hood talked about the importance of seizing opportunities in the public relations field. More specifically, her advice for PR practitioners was to:
- Follow your passion. Whatever it is, there is a need for communications.
- Don’t fear the off-road, or the U-turn.
- Embrace your public life in communications.
- Mentor, and be mentored.
- Travel everywhere.
- Build relationships, not contacts.
Each of these pieces of advice was important in its own way, and Hood’s presentation was a beneficial part of the summit. She provided advice for real world public relations that is applicable both today and in the future.
Overall, the PRSA Student Summit was a day well spent. I had the opportunity to learn more about PR, meet professional PR practitioners, and meet other PR students from other colleges in the Southeast. The day provided a unique look into the life of real world PR.