PR Career Week challenges students, links members to professionals
By Kerry Tuttle
ATHENS, Ohio (March 13, 2014)—The Scripps Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) introduced some innovative new programming this year focused on professional development and progressing one’s career. The first ever PR Career Week was held February 23-27 and included events both on the Ohio University campus and virtually. These events were tailored specifically to fit the needs and answer the questions of communications students.
PR Career Week kicked off with a panel of professionals representing corporate, agency and healthcare marketing or public relations jobs. The panel was moderated by Scripps PRSSA’s faculty advisor, Dan Farkas, and panelists included:
- Zach Wright – Social Media Strategist at Razorfish
- Lexi Messenger – Account Coordinator at Geben Communication
- Jason Lazor – Senior Regional Marketing Manager at Kroger Corporate Communication
- Sydney Weber – Marketing Department at O’Bleness Hospital
The panel’s theme was “PRogress Your Career” and panelists answered questions regarding the internship hunt, job search process, how to continue learning as a post-graduate, and how to evaluate different job and internship opportunities.
Tuesday night’s virtual event came in the form of a Twitter chat hosted by Matt Prince, the social media manager of Walt Disney Company. Using the hash tag #ScrippsPRCW, participants from Ohio University and schools as far away as Boise State, Utah Valley University and University of the Pacific in California chatted with one another about personal branding strategies. See the Twitter chat recap on Scripps PRSSA’s blog.
Rather than simply conversing about public relations, Wednesday night’s event put PR Career Week participants’ skills to the test in a Day-of Competition. Fluff Bakery presented members with a marketing challenge and the six participating teams then had 90 minutes to come up with an entire campaign including a slogan, supporting research, a social media strategy and promotional events. Teams then pitched their challenge to Jessica Kopelwitz, owner of Fluff; Renea Morris, executive director of University Communications and Marketing; and Dan Farkas, Scripps PRSSA’s faculty advisor.
“I loved the opportunity to put the PR skills I've learned to the test in such a challenging event,” said sophomore Scripps PRSSA member Sarah Rachul. “I was lucky enough to have an awesome team to work with and it was a great feeling when we won.”
Rachul and her four fellow team members pitched a campaign titled “Locally Fueled, Locally Fluffed” and were chosen by the judges as the winners based on high scores of creativity, supporting research and overall presentation. The awards were presented at a luncheon concluding an event that Scripps PRSSA hopes to make an annual occurrence.