(PRSSA) recently attended the PRSSA International Conference in San Diego, California. The organization is under the leadership of the Public Relations Society of America. Temple PRSSA also received recognition for the longevity and impact of its work.
Emma McClain, a senior communication and social influence student and president of Temple PRSSA, was excited to take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the world of public relations and explore how professionals navigate the state of public relations today.
"The conference is very innovative and talks a lot about what the new trends are in PR and what we should be focusing on as students about to enter the public relations field," she says. "So it gave me some topics to look at: for example, digital analytics is something that's [going to be] really big. Even just learning how to work with professionals and talking to them about social media and technology."
Some of the most popular events at the conference were the speakers and seminars. A favorite among Temple PRSSA attendees was a seminar on emotional intelligence as applied to communications.
"We definitely want to take the skills that we learned from that session back to our members,
and I hope to use those skills in my future career as well," says Caitlin Gemmi, a senior strategic communication student with a concentration in public relations and vice president of Temple PRSSA. "I think emotional intelligence is really important and it's something that isn't really always considered."
One of the new focus areas for Temple PRSSA is diversity and inclusion. Haniya Shariff, a senior public relations student and one of the chapter's directors of diversity and inclusion, exchanged information and ideas with diversity and inclusion directors from other chapters. This helped her think about what measures she can take to make students feel more comfortable when joining the organization. Through her experience at the conference, she realized that making diversity and inclusion a standard practice is a "must-do."
"I've always loved celebrating diversity and inclusion," she says. "And being able to do it at a public relations conference was so significant because finally, the PR industry is recognizing that there needs to be more diversity and inclusion in this field. The fact that I got to go to San Diego and experience a celebration of diversity and inclusion is just...a phenomenal, unforgettable experience."
As the oldest chapter in the Philadelphia region, Temple PRSSA was acknowledged at the conference for celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. This was coupled with the announcement that Temple PRSSA will host the PRSSA Mid-Atlantic District Conference for the second year in a row, one of eight chapters to host a 2020 district conference. The chapter also earned a Star Chapter Award, which highlights chapters that take initiative in chapter and community programming and engagement, and Temple PRSSA member Will Careri was awarded the national Axia Public Relations scholarship. But the highest praise toward the chapter came from other chapters.
"Everyone we talked to just raved about how much they love our social media presence or that they base their chapter off of things we do," says Gemmi. "I just really enjoyed the energy everyone brought to the conference and how excited everyone was to learn about what we do and what other chapters do as well. For 50 years, it was extra special."
For more information on Temple PRSSA, please visit their page.