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Multiple workshops were offered; attendees chose from topics in corporate communications, branding, political public relations and landing a job in the industry. Dixon went to a workshop about improving the chapter’s online presence. She also

Juddy Smith, the real-life Olivia Pope (for all the “Scandal” fans). All of the speakers gave incredible advice and taught students how to cultivate their own personal brand, forge meaningful relationships when networking, and succeed in the workplace. PR is constantly evolving, and it is important to remember that “just because you might be young and new to the field, that doesn’t mean you don’t have the chance to make a difference,” Dixon commented.

heard “Tips From New Professionals,” a panel where recent graduates shared tips for transitioning from college to the “real world.” Her favorite workshop was “Community From Tragedy: The Story of the Boston Marathon Bombing.” During that workshop, she heard from the team who coordinated crisis communications following the Boston Marathon bombing. “It was extremely humbling to hear the stories of real people who were actually on the ground during that horrific event and helping people out the best they could. They taught us the meaning of #BostonStrong and explained how the community grew and came so much closer together after the event.” The conference also featured multiple speakers who shared their career paths and insights. Dixon’s favorite speaker was

ach year, chapters of the Public Relations Student Society of America from around the country gather together at the PRSSA National Conference. This is the largest gathering of PRSSA students and an excellent learning and networking event. This year, our Digital Media Director Stephanie Dixon and our Director of Internal Communications Allie Vlk had the opportunity to attend this year’s National Conference in Boston. Dixon, a senior Public Relations major with a Public Affairs Communication Certificate, shared her experience. Throughout the conference, attendees were able to experience different workshops, hear keynote speakers, engage in networking events and learn more about the public relations industry. For Dixon, the conference was an amazing experience filled with an electric atmosphere where “everyone wanted to soak up as much information as they could.”

Just because you might be young and new to the field, that doesn’t mean you don’t have the chance to make a difference. - Stephanie Dixon

“The guest speakers were incredible, and I learned so many helpful insights from them and their stories of how they got to where they are today,” said Dixon. “However, what I enjoyed most about the conference was truly the camaraderie between every chapter that was there. I had never met these people in my life, but everyone immediately became friends. Each new person you met was genuinely interested in your personal career goals, your chapter and you as a person. It was so cool to instantly have so many likeminded friends from all across the nation that I probably would not have ever met if I hadn’t gone to conference.”



ntertainment PR is a full-time job. You’re on the clock 24/7. You have to be ready and responsive to any and every national and local crisis, even if it doesn’t directly affect your client. Some professional paths in entertainment PR include being a celebrity publicist, a fashion industry publicist, a book publicist, a sports publicist or a political PR professional. Creative Artists Agency (CAA) is one of the best talent agencies specializing in entertainment, sports and media in the world. Almost all of the agency departments require knowledge of many specialties associated with PR including branding, strategy, strategic partnerships, communications planning, event planning, content development, and crisis relations. I had the opportunity to hear representatives from CAA speak at UGA’s Terry College of Business on October 23. When I saw Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s photo among their clients, I wondered if they helped her tell the world she has breast cancer. I asked, “In terms of your client’s significant life events or even scandals, does CAA outsource PR or do you handle it internally?” One

of the agents from L.A. chuckled as he explained that all the agents are aware of almost anything happening with their clients because of the company’s collaborative internal communication. A job in entertainment PR is not simply a job but a lifestyle; their clients can and will reach them seven days a week.


My PRSSA experiences help me stand out among my peers. How I handle myself professionally is a distinguishing factor and helps leadership take me more seriously. In turn, that kind of credibility helps me gain the trust I need to take on more responsibilities in the future. - Heather West


Heather West, founder of West Levy PR in Manhattan, gave me some top insight into the everchanging world of fashion, media and entertainment PR. Launched in 2010, West Levy PR has evolved into a global brand with clients in Europe, Africa, Russia and Australia. West says that, “In any given day [she] would be contacting five to seven clients about their press releases, social media statistics, Google analytics, press releases, EPKs, graphic design, photo shoots, or upcoming engagements that they are attending.” West maintains a selective clientele and signs people for only three months initially to give her team time to identify any high-risk behavior. West emphasizes how building the client’s brand is the first step. I asked West if she had any advice for college students seeking a job in entertainment PR. She stressed the

necessity of having strong writing skills, including knowledge of the AP Stylebook guidelines, “in order to pitch effectively to journalists, contributors, editors, publishers and producers.” Secondly, she stated that, “Relationships are everything in the world of Public Relations so build them early (now, if you can). Nurture them, grow them, and retain their trust early on, and you will have a solid network to reach out to throughout your years as a publicist.” In all of these PR professions, you will represent clients. Whether clients are celebrities, designers, or professional sports players, your work will depend on the relationships you cultivate with both the client and the news networks necessary to assist the

client. That being said, this industry is not for the faint of heart. Many people enter the industry to be close to the fame and glamour but lack the patience and stamina to reach that level of expertise. However, if you thrive in fast-paced, challenging environments, entertainment PR may be for you. As Heather West said, “There is no typical day in this industry.”




Samantha Glover

he best teams have players with different alents and specialties. The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication attracts students with unique skills, and there is beautiful diversity even within individual majors and student organizations. UGA’s PRSSA Drewry chapter is no exception. The organization is prideful of its talented students who possess various passions, and one team player that contributes beautifully is Samantha Glover. Sam is a senior from Atlanta majoring in Advertising. After transferring from the University of Miami during her sophomore year, she joined PRSSA at the suggestion of PRSSA’s Vice President Claire Taylor. She was looking for opportunities to get involved within Grady and had heard positive things about this organization. She quickly dove headfirst into contributing to PRSSA’s success by serving on both the recruitment and ADPR Connection committees. She said, “I really like seeing a different side of the communication industry and getting to know Grady students outside of my advertising classes. I love the sense of community that PRSSA fosters; I think it really helps you grow within your comfort zone.” Sam is now head of the Publications Committee where she works directly with our Publications Editor to perfect each issue of the Precedent,

Executive Board

PRSSA’s monthly publication. She is a talented graphic designer, and her InDesign experience has made her an invaluable asset to the Publications Committee through her graphics contributions. She has stepped into this leadership role flawlessly, mentoring committee members on graphic design and performing her assignments quickly and thoroughly. Sam’s passions have driven her college experience. She said, “I went into college as a film major and realized that the camera wasn’t for me, and that same semester I began to really become interested in advertising. I gradually sunk into communications form there. Grady has been very impactful and definitely one of my best college decisions. I also studied abroad in Cannes with Grady after my sophomore year, and that’s when I really fell in love with the advertising industry.” PRSSA has prepared Sam for her future professional endeavors. “I think that I have a greater sense of the industry and how to connect with people within it. The exposure PRSSA has given me has been really helpful.” Sam plans to work in New York City upon graduation from the University of Georgia. In the meantime, she will continue to serve PRSSA and enjoy extreme sports and cooking in her free time. She has been an asset to UGA’s chapter of PRSSA, and we are excited to see where her skills and passions lead her.






Invested or not, the tech industry and Silicon Valley has changed the way that people live their daily lives in an unprecedentedly short amount of time. -Gustavo Cervantes

On the average morning commute, all it takes is one glance up, and nine times out of 10 you can see people scrolling through the morning news, responding to texts, or peering at various social media apps on their ever-so-iconic iPhone devices. Invested or not, the tech industry and


Silicon Valley has changed the way that people live their daily lives in an unprecedentedly short amount of time. This rapid growth in the technology industry has lead to an equally rapid increase in the need of effective communications, and that calls for, as it always must, a strong development in PR specifically catered to the technology industry.

By this point, practicing public relations in the technology industry has developed its own norms and quirks that set it apart from other industries. For one, tech PR requires that practitioners learn a large amount of highly specialized vocabulary that is often not understood by a general audience. This challenge is twofold because practitioners in the tech PR scene must then convert the highly specialized jargon and lingo used by the industry into terms that a less technology informed industry can understand. For example, an A11

he co-founder of Apple may have been a problematic genius, but there is no doubt that his products and the way he presented them have changed the face of the world forever. Upon the announcement of the iPhone X, some went back and watched the keynote speech that was given by Steve Jobs 10 years ago to reveal the original iPhone. The iconic revelation of the first popular cell phone with a touch screen instead of dedicated buttons and the way that Jobs slowly eased the crowd into the idea was truly incredible at the time. While that keynote speech may have only been watched by tech industry media and those invested in the industry, the impact of Job’s vision is fully realized, long after his death.

bionic chip with true-depth camera integration becomes “Face ID.” In the particular case of Apple’s new iPhone X, the company has taken a risk by putting out a product at a premium price. However, the pricing of the iPhone X actually has been received well by analysts, if not entirely by the public, which had a field day with memes based on the iPhone X’s extraordinarily high cost. Thanks largely to Apple’s healthy brand ecosystem, which owes much to the way the company has expressed itself to the public over time with its controlled keynotes and iconic, recognizable design choices, industry competitors such as Huawei, Samsung, and most recently Google with the launch of the Pixel 2 have braced themselves or gone after the company for a piece of their proverbial market-share pie. Thus, although the tech market has its own pitfalls and challenges, PR plays just as crucial a role as it does in any other industry keeping Silicon Valley well-liked and influential in the public sphere.

I want to put a ding in the universe. -Steve Jobs




tudents of public relations are inherently creative. Situated at the precipice of creativity, PR careers require intelligence, constant curiosity, and passion for materializing ideas into tangible outcomes. The fashion industry shares these characteristics, and the merger of these two popular fields is something both glamorous and more challenging than some might think. Think glitz and gloriousness, add in some ridiculously tight timelines and competitive hierarchies, and you have fashion PR. Finding a career in PR is both a challenge and an incredible opportunity because there are endless niches to complement your strengths and passions. If you love both fashion and public relations and are seeking a career in this unique blend of professions, there are a few things you need to know before diving head first into the chaotic, crazy world that is fashion PR. First and foremost, learn about the industry. Fashion is fast-paced and cut-throat, and having an under-

standing of the specific jobs available for public relations practitioners is a solid starting point. Subscribe to fashion publications, get an internship to test the waters, and gain experience through volunteer work. Sign up to assist with local fashion shows, attend meet and greets for networking purposes, reach out to a fashion blogger or influencer on social media, and absorb as much information as you can. Having an understanding of your potential job description can help you decide whether or not this industry is right for you. Know thyself and round out your skillset. To be competitive, PR fashion practitioners must excel in a variety of areas. Taking a graphic design or photography course can equip you for success, and having the ability to perform PR tasks such as writing press releases, organizing events and pitching ideas is a given. Building your personal brand through perfecting your own style and fashion identity can also set you in the right direction.

Being comfortable in your clothing decisions might sound obvious, but being fashionable is a prerequisite. Have confidence and get ready. Fashion PR is predominantly behindthe-scenes. The spotlight often misses the ones organizing fashion shows, creating promotional materials and drafting press releases and feature stories. If you had visions of wearing couture designs next to celebrities on runways at New York Fashion Week, you might be a bit disappointed in the beginning. However, having fierce confidence in your abilities and tough skin is essential to being successful. You need to be “on” all the time, and you must be flexible in a job that forces you to wear many hats, both literally and figuratively. The hours are insane, you get to take risks daily, and the results are rewarding and limitless.Visualize yourself in the job you want, and go for it. There’s a learning curve associated with beginning any career, but with the right fashion instincts and dedication, anything’s possible.




tudying public relations is both a blessing and a curse. Our field is diverse, and the opportunities are endless. There are positions in every industry imaginable because our field is situated in a way that allows us to creatively blend PR with other fields, but most young professionals pinpoint their search to working in-house for a business or joining a public relations firm. This decision can be the cornerstone for building a career. The first step to springing into the PR world is to decide which work environment is going to complement your personality and working style as well as develop you professionally. It is impossible to throw both areas into separate boxes and ignore similar characteristics; there are incredible benefits and potential drawbacks for both. It is important to consider all of the facts and do some serious digging before plunging into any organization, particularly a PR agency. For a recent graduate or someone new to the field, working for a public relations agency gives you plenty of opportunities to learn the ropes in multiple areas in a shockingly short amount of time.



After only a year of work, your portfolio will reveal experience with a diverse clientele. This immediately opens doors for other job opportunities and equips you for future positions. It also can reveal your strongest skills, allowing you to pinpoint your career path more strategically. Clients require dedicated support so the chance to dig in and deal with their unique problems is an incredible learning opportunity to discover your own passions. In addition, with more abilities and experiences under your belt, it makes you more attractive to potential future employers and provides you with substantial advancement opportunities. The possibilities for building exposure and connections in an agency are endless. There are also several negative aspects to consider. A huge one is that public relations agencies are fast paced. The intense nature of this area can cause burnout over the years. The sheer amount of information and organization is another drawback. Meeting client expectations is made increasingly difficult when you have other clients and campaigns that

coincide. Each client has different needs and expects their expectations to be met. Organizing work according to multiple deadlines creates an ebb and flow of projects that some see as unpredictable and disorganized. The varying requirements and the fact that you might be working with clients who don’t share your values and interests complicates prioritization. In contrast, working in-house for a company provides structure, defined job functions and depth of knowledge within that business. For those who thrive by staying busy even in an unstructured environment, this could be a great fit. However, if you prefer structure and predictability, this might not be the path for you. Success is not guaranteed within an agency, but agency experience equips employees with a diverse skillset and industry knowledge that prepares you for the rest of your career. Personality differences, work environment preferences and dedication all impact your performance and happiness in a PR agency, but there are possibilities no matter where you set off onto your professional journey.



ublic relations is considered a fast-growing and versatile industry with practitioners often working in various other fields such as fashion, entertainment, business, technology and even research. However, one of the most prominent fields that has shown an increasing need for public relations practitioners is politics. Events like the presidential election of 2016 and the gubernatorial election coming up in November 2018 are evidence of the importance of finding people who have the unique skill set that only comes from a background in public relations. Basic public relations tactics such as preparing news releases, writing speeches and planning personal appearances are all essential aspects of running a successful campaign. Most practitioners agree that in order to convince people to vote for a candidate or an issue, people first have to know who or what they are. “Creating a clear brand and a compelling message for your candidate to run on allows the rest of the campaign to fall into place,” says Derrick Dickey, Chief of Staff for Senator Perdue. The key to winning campaigns, however, is to remember grassroots supporters. As a result, e-mail campaigns have become increasingly important. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008 was largely regarded as revolutionary for his effective use of social media and his ability to mobilize grassroots supporters. Flash forward eight years later; President Trump’s campaign paralleled Obama’s strategies and resulted in success. Both campaigns masterfully used the

Internet and social media in ways that had not been seen before, and the results were truly unprecedented. Obama’s campaign in 2008 created a large database of likely voters who were predisposed to supporting him and reached out to them via email. Then, the campaign requested small donations that helped him out-raise Senator John McCain and ultimately got him the job as president. Email campaigns have become increasingly common. Madison French, a former intern for Congresswoman Handel, shares, “Keeping lists of media contacts, donors and volunteers updated on what you are doing and what you need creates a reliable base for any political campaign or nonprofit organization.” In many ways, President Trump’s use of Twitter to connect with his supporters and release unfiltered messages to his base was also considered revolutionary. By reaching out to everyday Americans through a medium most have access to, he was able to keep them engaged, make them feel heard, and get them to the polls. This led to his decisive victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Although press releases, speech writing and appearances are still integral PR tasks in any campaign, more and more campaigns are focusing their efforts on crafting messages for the digital age. The interactivity of social media makes this a unique trend that shows no signs of slowing down, and it will be interesting to see how gubernatorial candidates use the tactics mentioned above to launch their campaigns in 2018.




love of travel is a prerequisite to working in the travel industry, even in a public relations position. Being inspired by exotic locations and amazing cultures might lead you to pursue a career in the tourism industry, and having a passion for inspiring others to explore the world around them is a must. Even if you have travelled the world, sailed the seas and flown to see the Northern Lights, and even if you have subscribed to travel magazines and enjoy planning vacations, there are other factors to consider that characterize the roles of public relations personnel in the travel industry. This niche of public relations is an exciting, glitzy and glamorous one. However, it is important to remain true to the travel company’s core mission and goals and to implement them effectively. Reaching the brand’s target audience in a meaningful way is the central task of a PR practitioner in a travel company. Listed below are several tips and tricks to adequately perform roles you are likely to have in the travel industry as a PR professional.

generalized ads promoting popular locations without making an effort to tailor searches to a customer’s specific needs, and they mass distribute repetitive information. Include health tips, beauty suggestions, child-friendly travel spots or parenting hacks for specific locations. For example, through a simple customer profile, you can determine that a vacation to Las Vegas wouldn’t be the right choice for a family with three young children. Going on a Disney Cruise might be a better alternative. Personalized tourism is the way to go, and teaming up with industry influences on social media can also help you reach your target audience.



Think beyond destinations and dining. Every tourism promotion business has

communications is crucial. If customers and clients are forced to dig through lines of text and legalities to find the full price, they will be extremely frustrated. However, they will be angry if they discover hidden costs at the time of payment. Nothing turns off customers more than the failure to divulge necessary information, and price is part of this. Travel can be pricy, but hiding information can amount to more for both the customer and your company’s reputation.

CREATE BUZZ Product placement creates buzz. For example, a trip to Atlantic City on ABC’s “The Bachelor” led to increased interest for the adventurous destination. Atlantic City continued to play on that excitement on various tourism platforms. In return, travel industries can capitalize on this placement and catch the eyes of fun seekers. Insert your voice into the exciting conversation.

Include it all: taxes, fuel surcharges, and resort fees. Transparency in


DECEMBER 7-13 Final exams

NOVEMBER 28 PRSSA Holiday social

January 4 2018 Spring semester class begin

DECEMBER 5 Classes end

January 9 First PRSSA meeting of spring semseter

PLAN AHEAD Unpredictable weather, mechanical failures and delays are unavoidable. Always have a plan B for your customers. Brainstorm potential crises, even extreme ones such as volcanic eruptions, and create an emergency response plan for your clients. No one knows when a crisis will occur, but you should always be prepared for one.