Lots of Love for PRSA Pro-Am Day!

I am so excited to tell you about my experiences yesterday at PRSA Pro-Am Day! The day consisted of a luncheon at the Cincinnatian hotel, an afternoon of job shadowing and finally a cocktail hour back at the Cincinnatian’s Cricket Lounge.

Aside from the amazing food and gorgeous atmosphere, my favorite part of the luncheon was definitely the panel discussion by three PR pros. Maureen Richmond, Director of Media Relations at FirstGroup America, Christine Demeropolis, Senior Account Executive at Wordsworth Communications, and Mike Boehmer, Media Manager at Catholic Health Partners shared insights on their personal career paths and advice for young professionals looking to enter the PR field. All three pros stressed the importance of work life balance, and avoiding burnout in a high stress industry. They are also proponents of continuing education in a field that is constantly evolving. This doesn’t necessarily mean going back to school for an advanced degree, but even small steps such as reading books, articles and blogs can work wonders on your ability to keep up with trends and industry news to keep you on top of your game.

After the luncheon, I went on to shadow with Maureen and get an inside look into her daily life at FirstGroup. Maureen was so accomodating and I really enjoyed excellent conversations about her current job, past experiences and advice for networking and preparing for a career in PR. There was lots of excitement at the office, and it was great to experience a day in the life of corporate PR to get a new perspective. Maureen is a highly respected pro in Cincinnati and I am honored to have had the opportunity to share the day with her!

At the cocktail hour I talked with more PR pros like Andrew Shipp & Lauren Doyle, two active members of PRSA that did a fantastic job of putting on the whole event! The number one takeaway I got from these conversations, and also the day in its entirety, was the importance of networking. Not only is this an essential skill as an upcoming college grad on the job hunt, but also for a PR professional in the long run. Even though the thought of asking a professional out for coffee still makes my stomach churn like a 13 year old girl talking to her crush, it’s something I’m going to have to just take the leap one day and do. All of the pros I spoke with at Pro-Am day gave me more confidence about networking, and were great in assuring me that the best thing I can do is just put myself out there and start opening doors!

Another plus of Pro-Am day was finding out about an exciting opportunity for this summer to get more experience with marketing and event promotion at the World Choir Games. Mike Perry, Director of Marketing & Promotions for the choir games and Counselor at Vehr Communications, was on hand to get the word out for a wonderful internship or volunteer opportunity for eager PR pros. He is currently in search of volunteers to work as press, content and social media managers for the various sites of the World Choir Games (The Aronoff Center for example).  I am definitely going to be signing up to volunteer for a few days at the games and am excited about the opportunity to get more experience with social media and content management! Any college students or recent grads that will be in the Cincinnati area this summer should definitely check out this opportunity!

On a final note, for any college students or PRSSA members reading this, I HIGHLY encourage getting involved in events like Pro-Am day or any similar event that gets you active in the community you want to work in. I am so happy I attended Pro-Am day and I hope my lessons can help some of you and encourage you to get involved in the future!

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