Posts tagged PRSSA
I attended a PRSA Puget Sound focus group last Thursday intended to unearth ways to increase Chapter participation among public relations professionals with zero to five years of experience. I have been a hardcore PRSSA/PRSA fan for four years now, but I agree that this is an experience level that our local Chapter needs to better address.
Hopefully we’ll see concrete additions to programming and communications as a result of what seemed like an enlightening meeting. A handful of board members including the programming director and Chapter President attended, which to me shows dedication to this topic and promise of change. Unfortunately, the only employers represented among the early career professionals were Edelman (the host) and Weber Shandwick, with special guest Brian Seitz from Microsoft, whom Karianne Stinson recruited because he’s passionate about the focus group topic. At least my opinion was heard, right?
Here are some of the highlights of what we discussed in regard to programming for early career professionals:
- Programming topics are more of a draw than prestigious speakers or exclusive venues.
- In terms of topics, we want to see more that appeal specifically to our career level, such as how to get your boss to trust you during a public relations crisis as opposed to how to create a crisis communications plan yourself. We see a programming gap between what’s useful for students and what’s useful for professionals who are years and years into their careers.
- Preference for in-person programming over webinars, even if it means a less famous speaker
- Events that simulate tweetups or Cold Pavement in that they are interactive and networking focused and have a low cost or registration barrier
- Events starting at 7 p.m. or later, but not late evening unless it’s Thursday. We like events with “happy hour” in the name, and everyone in the focus group raised our hands when asked “How many of you go to happy hour?”
Here are the highlights of our event publicity improvement suggestions:
- Overall, we think the Chapter could greatly improve its online presence, including the Chapter site and its social media use.
- Revitalize the blog, cultivate relationships with Twitter advocates/ambassadors who will spread the word about Chapter events, and encourage event Twitter hashtags for live tweeting.
- Best case scenario would be something like a Chapter phone app integrated with the Chapter website.
- Create a point-person for event publicity at each Seattle agency because people are much more likely to attend an event that they find out about from a coworker.
Is there anything you would add to these lists? Do you think these desires are specific to the Seattle area or to early career public relations professionals nationwide?
Image courtesy of Kathleen Baxter
My favorite public relations event I went to in college was Public Relations Career Jumpstart, hosted in Seattle every year by the Puget Sound PRSA Chapter. PR Jumpstart 2010 is coming up soon, and if you’re a student or recent graduate looking to work in public relations and within driving distance of Seattle, you should definitely go. It’s on Saturday, April 3, at Seattle University.
Jessica Lomelin interviewed me on my experience working in China for a blog post, which was mentioned to a large lecture full of International Communication students at the University of Oregon. Jessica and I got to know each other last year from working in the same groups in two of our public relations classes and serving on the Executive Board of the University of Oregon Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter together. She’s now a team assistant at the Seattle office of Weber Shandwick. You can read the post on her blog here. For those of you behind the Great Firewall of China, I’ve copied and pasted the full text below:
I’ve heard repeatedly from business gods that Mandarin Chinese is the language to know. Moving to Beijing immediately after graduation and witnessing the tremendous economic growth around me has driven the point home. For those of you who aren’t convinced, check this out: Mandarin has more native speakers in the world than English, Spanish, and Japanese combined.
By the way, Japanese and Spanish were the two other languages, along with Mandarin, that Richard Edelman recommended in the PRSSA National Conference 2006 keynote that audience members become proficient in. There’s also about 20 times as many students studying them than Mandarin at the University of Oregon. I know this because one of the biggest marketing mistakes of my life, which I made while I was U of O’s International Week and Night’s Publicity Committee Head, was to e-mail every language professor at the university targeted messages. U of O is a microcosmic example for the rest of the universities in the United States.
In addition to the sheer population numbers, native Mandarin speakers are part of the BRIC acronym that represents the world’s fastest developing economies: Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
Long story short:
Already huge and exponentially growing demand for Mandarin-speaking workers
Nobody studying it
Why I’m staying here until I’m fluent enough to run a business meeting