Networking is one of the most important parts of building a career in communications, and PRSSA is giving students chances to do just that.
West Chester University’s Chapter of the national organization Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) offers many opportunities to network with professionals through trips to agencies, guest speakers, workshops, and even regional and national conferences. Public relations is defined as “a strategic communications process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics” by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and its functions include social media, content creation, crisis communications, brand journalism, marketing communications, events, media relations, and more!
Philadelphia Agency Tour
On November 14th, our PRSSA Chapter took our yearly trip to Philadelphia to tour public relations firms. We visited Devine+Partners and Tierney PR in Center City with twenty students, a majority from the Communications department. We learned about their roles, daily tasks, and the importance of showing curiosity and passion by joining a club like PRSSA for internships and job applications. Students shared that they came out of the event with enhanced knowledge of their future career options and had made new connections with organizations and each other.
Philadelphia Networking Event
On November 1st, several students from our Chapter attended the Philly PRSA Emerging Pros Brunch & Learn held at the Continental Midtown restaurant in Philadelphia. Our National Vice President of Career Services Melina O’Neal spoke to the group, and we listened to various public relations professionals in Greater Philadelphia speak about their roles and answer our questions, along with a great breakfast and lunch with other PRSSA students from Temple University and Drexel University.
Melina O’Neal, a graduate student and past WCU PRSSA leader, was chosen to join PRSSA’s competitive National Committee as the Vice President of Career Services at the 2023 Leadership Assembly in Scottsdale, Arizona last April. She is one of ten students elected for the 2023-2024 school year alongside students from Argentina, Poland, California, Boston, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Ohio. In this role, she promotes PRSSA’s career resources through speaking opportunities, blog posts, and communication efforts to over 6,000 members internationally.
In mid-October, she traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for the 2023 PRSA/PRSSA ICON (International Conference). In her role, she shared her progress with the PRSA Board of Directors, introduced a session host, led a Q&A session, hosted a stand at the Career Exhibition, and spoke to students from collegiate Chapters across the country. She also represented WCU as the Roll Call chant, attended sessions, and networked with fellow students and public relations professionals from PRSA. The Chapter plans to send several students to PRSSA’s next conference, the Leadership Assembly, hosted in Seattle, Washington in March 2024.
If public relations or any of these events interest you, be sure to join the Public Relations Student Society of America on Ramconnect and follow us on Instagram at @prssawcu! In Spring 2024, we will be having bi-weekly meetings with guest speakers and workshops, running a New York City agency tour, and attending regional and national conferences! As a PRSSA member, you also have access to write for our national blog Progressions, and have easy access to a network of public relations professionals.