September 15, 2010

Message from the President

Look who’s sitting next to you Sept. 30 at our exciting Professional Development Conference. It just might be a student of public relations from one of our area colleges. Which just might be an opportunity for you to switch places.

Not literally, of course, but by moving into learning mode, you may discover what these top students are thinking and doing as they prepare to leap into our career field. Then you might want to borrow some of these ideas back at your own office.

Students majoring in public relations bring a certain energy to the table, no doubt. And it’s not just because they’re out there on rim, trying out the newest trends and applications. Students, particularly those involved with campus chapters of PRSA, can teach us much about what next steps we should be taking with our own strategic public relations plans.

In planning our always-stellar Professional Development Conference, we made sure to provide a breakout session for students only with Josh Stoffregen, a social media pioneer now working in New York City for Prudential Financial but who only a few years ago was sitting in PR classes at Missouri State University.

Also at the conference, you’ll meet Jaclyn Cantrell, 2010 recipient of our chapter’s Dr. Joe McAdoo Memorial Scholarship. Jaclyn is a junior at Drury University.

In Washington, DC next month, the national conference of the student organization PRSSA will be meeting concurrently with PRSA’s international conference. There’s a session bringing professionals and students together and you can be sure the brightest new ideas will be shared. I’ll let you know what I learned from these stellar students.

On Oct. 26, our monthly meeting will feature students from area colleges presenting projects and portfolios developed in their public relations courses. The tables will be turned as the professionals learn from the students.

Finally, consider how a strong relationship with our student chapters can also be a way to find interns, recruit entry-level employees and cultivate future leaders for our chapter.

Maybe this is the fabled fountain of youth: When we tap sources like these, we bring to life new creativity and talents to share with the world.

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