Attending a Regional Conference

The “Taste of Chicago PR” regional activity was a great learning experience for our chapter as a whole. This kind of exposure allows our members to grow and refine key skills needed to be successful. So first of all, Congrats to everyone who attended! I hope you had an amazing time, as I know I did!

The very first thing I noticed upon arrival was how organized this event was. It is always a great feeling to walk into an unknown environment and have a good handle on what your day will consist of. Throughout the day we listened to speakers and got to do some hands on networking. In public relations networking is the most important skill to have! You most learn how to promote yourself before you will be successful at promoting others! This can be done through face-to-face interactions, as we experienced through a networking game and from the career and internship fair, or through social medias, as with Twitter. Just remember to get your name out there!

We also participated in three workshops that featured interviewing skills, resume refining and how to put together a great portfolio. These are all very important in order to get your foot in the door for that one perfect job! I think the best advice to give would be to put in it as much as you want out of it. Time and preparation really show!

Overall this was a very beneficial experience! Hopefully I have inspired others to get involved and participate in a regional conference also. I really can’t stress enough how fun and helpful this activity was!

Megan McIntyre

Exploring your passions in PR

When beginning your job or internship search in the field of public relations, the amount of options may seem to be extremely overwhelming. There are so many different types of companies and organizations that specialize in PR, including corporations, agencies, and nonprofits. With the endless amount of possibilities in PR, it may be difficult to figure out which direction you want to take when it comes to your career. However, Cheryl Procter-Rogers of A Step Ahead PR spoke to members at the PRSSA Regional Conference in Chicago this past weekend, and we came away with some great advice.

According to Procter-Rogers, when starting a career in PR it is important to think about what you are passionate about, and then apply it to your career. For example, if you truly enjoy meeting new people, then you should look into a career in PR where you can plan social opportunities. It is also important to learn about different organizations within the industry that cater to your specific passion(s), and ultimately seek out an organization that is a good fit for your personality.

In addition, Procter-Rogers advised us to seek out a mentor who will set a positive example. A mentor does not have to be someone involved with PR; just someone whom we admire and look up to and can help us develop qualities that will help us succeed in the workplace. The final words of advice we learned from this noteworthy woman: In the field of public relations, there are no limits. Just remember: it is up to YOU to make the most out of new opportunities.

Stephanie Block

Personality Characteristics needed in Public Relations

By Shannon Kane

The Regional PRSSA Conference held in Chicago this year was a great success.  They called it, “Taste of Chicago PR.” Ot was held in the heart of the city at the DePaul campus.  This event was hosted by both Valparaiso University and DePaul University.

The day started off with a greeting and keynote speaker.  The woman who spoke entered the room with an air of confidence and experience making everyone pay full attention.  Her name is Cheryl Procter-Rogers, and she has an impressive history within the PR field.  Currently she owns her own PR firm, A Step Ahead Public Relations.  With more than 29 years experience within the field, she also served as the president of PRSA in 2006.

After briefly telling us about her history, she thought it was most important to help shape our future.  This is where she went into the personality characteristics someone would need when working in the public relations field.  She was honest, up front, and dead on in the things she considers important in future PR professionals.

1)  Make good judgements

2) Have strong written and verbal communication skills

3) Have strong negotiation skills

4) Enhance your listening skills

5) Exude personal confidence

6) Work well under pressure

7) Have the ability to embrace diversity and be sensitive to it

8)  Have a commitment to lifelong learning

Practicing and improving upon each of these skills makes her confident that we will grow into experienced and professional PR experts in the future.  Her story and tips were truely inspiring to the conference participants, knowing that with hard work and dedication, we can all achieve many successes in our future. She left us with a quote to not only live by but to work by, “one is limited only by ones imagination.”