Alumni Newsletter: October/November 2011

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We appreciate our alumni and rely on you as role models and mentors! We also truly value your continued support of and interest in the Chapter. We hope that you enjoy our newsletter, which should keep you up-to-date on all of our current activities and possibly bring back great memories of your own days in the ISU Chapter of PRSSA.



National Conference: Learning Professionalism Poolside


Alumni Spotlight

By: Bruce Kennedy

By: Hailey Lanier

When I first joined PRSSA in spring 2011, I heard all of the stories about how great that year’s National Conference had been; still, I remained skeptical heading into my junior year. I was not quite convinced that taking a weekend away from school to go to Orlando, Florida would be the best thing for my professional career. I could not have been more wrong. Right from the beginning of this year’s conference I experienced several of the guest speakers offering up advice and insight on various areas within PR. I attended sessions on everything from political to fashion PR. However, the session on crisis communication with Richard Levick, president and CEO of Levick Strategic Communications, was worth the ticket price of the entire conference on its own. Levick walked through several case studies in crisis communication, covering Netflix, BP, Taco Bell and Heartland Security. Levick also spoke in general about what it means to work in crisis communication and offered advice to students looking to impress potential employers. By the end of the session I found myself fascinated by an area of PR that I had previously given little thought to. Levick spoke passionately about crisis communication and why it is his field of choice. “I think it is more interesting to be a protagonist in history rather than a spectator,” Levick said. At the PRSA General Session, Chris Brogan, president of Human Business Works, spoke on the importance of social media in PR. He focused on social media as a tool to build conversational relationships with people rather than just amassing as many “likes” or “follows” as possible. Continued on page 2

Former PRSSA vice president and 2011 graduate, Jillian Collins, has recently achieved a goal she had been working towards throughout her college career. After interning at Edelman Chicago for over four months in both the Consumer Marketing and Digital departments, she recently received a job as an Assistant Account Executive in the New Business and Marketing Department. Her job involves handling the logistics of business pitches and representing Edelman’s sterling brand.

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VOLUME ONE …Continued from page 1 While Collins now has a great job, it didn’t come easy and she worked hard to get to where she is now. Touring Edelman through ISU PRSSA confirmed Collins suspicions that the agency would be the perfect place for her to begin her career in public relations.

…Continued from page 1 “Humankind’s greatest need is to feel wanted,” said Brogan, stressing the value of social media as a tool to help people become involved with a service or product. Another advantage to attending National Conference was the chance to meet representatives from different areas in PR who were looking to recruit interns or employees. One of my reservations about attending Conference this year was that I felt I did not have enough experience to attract potential employers. However, I found it surprisingly beneficial to attend these events. There were several companies I had never even heard of who were more than happy to walk me through what they do and what they look for in interns, so that I would be better prepared should I decide to apply in the future. It may seem a little like a bad attempt at re-branding to call spending time with fellow PRSSA members internal networking, but even the time we spent poolside in between speakers and career fairs was extremely valuable. Other members of our Chapter have many experiences to share based on the internships and other professional opportunities they have been given. The connections I made within our own Chapter have already opened up new doors to me professionally. This year’s National Conference was definitely an eye-opening experience. I made valuable connections, learned about several, varying fields of PR and gained a better understanding of what steps I need to be taking now in order to land a job when I postgraduation. Overall, National Conference was a great professional and personal experience and I cannot wait for next year’s conference in San Francisco!

“I knew it was the only way for me to go,” said Collins after touring the company. PRSSA also helped her in different ways, such as developing her networking and leadership skills, furthering professionalism and even getting a foot in the door for her current job. By staying in contact with a friend from PRSSA who worked at Edelman, she was able to make other connections at the company and eventually secure a position. “Students at ISU are extremely fortunate to have a PR major available and such a dedicated PRSSA Chapter,” Collins said, “Take advantage of your opportunities and stay in contact with peers who have graduated. We are in a unique field where we want to see one another succeed!”




Hey, You! Our alumni are an extremely valuable resource that we rely on for input and support. Monetary support is needed to keep our Chapter active and effective; any contributions are greatly appreciated by all of us here and are tax-deductible. Alumni support is put to the best use to further our goals in PRSSA. Any amount, small or not-so-small, is helpful to our Chapter. Please consider contributing to what you already know is an excellent educational cause. To donate, please visit and click on the “Make A Gift” button under the “Support” heading. If you would like to send a check, please address your donation to: School of Communication 430 Fell Hall Campus Box 4480 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790. If you are unable to give a monetary donation in any amount at this time, we would still love to hear from you! You may also donate some of your time to our Chapter by either coming to speak to us during one of our meetings or by offering a hand at some of our organization’s events. Support from our alumni would be extremely beneficial to all of us in PRSSA and will help guide our Chapter to follow in your foot-steps.

Stay tuned for our next newsletter!

ISU PRSSA would like to thank the following alumni for their recent contributions to our Chapter: § § §

Amanda McLaughlin Kristen Tuerk Kristen Kelley

Thanks for all of your support!

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