Despite only coming together this semester, La Verne’s chapter of the Public Relations Students Society of America has taken the initiative to create opportunities for students interested in the public relations field.
Now off to a running start, the club began as an idea between ambitious best friends Alexa Atkinson and Jade Kelley during their freshman year.
“We have PR students that are interested in this type of thing. They just don’t know how to go about it. There’s PR students that don’t know how to network or make those connections,” said Kelley, now a senior and vice president of the club. “Okay. We’ll create a club where they can do all that and have something to put on their resume.”
A division of the Public Relations Society of America, PRSSA consists of nationally recognized chapters all over the country, providing students with a strong interconnected network of resources from which to draw. Since La Verne’s chapter only began this semester, they have not yet received national recognition from PRSA, but executives are confident the club will be recognized by the start of the coming semester.
Atkinson and Kelley were excited for the added benefits of national PRSSA recognition, particularly the added weight the club gives to members’ resumes.
“It just gives you that gold star that you’re looking for on your resume, because it is nationally recognized. It holds a lot of integrity and responsibility to be a part of it as it is,” Atkinson, the club’s president, said.
At the club’s core is the chance for students to network, an asset both Kelley and Atkinson believed was invaluable to a career in public relations.
“It’s not a measurement of your intelligence. You don’t take a test and get a license. It’s all networking,” Kelley said. “You start from the bottom and go all the way to the top based on who you know and who you talk to. It’s all communication.”
Club members recently put their PR savvy to the test when they were asked to design a publicity campaign for photographer David Burnett’s ULV lecture and showcase, “44 Days: The Iranian Revolution.” The campaign heavily utilized a number of social media platforms, as well as a newsletter promoting the event, Atkinson said.
“We’re doing all of this on top of our homework, assignments, and going to class. It just gives us that framework for what we’d be dealing with if we had multiple clients, and we can learn how to take on those different dynamics and still keep everything balanced,” Atkinson said.
The club’s next networking event welcomes all ULV students as internet marketing strategist Steve O’Sullivan discusses social media’s role in marketing and public relations at 5 p.m. Monday in the Campus Center Ballroom.
Next semester the club plans on coordinating more networking events, as well as holding contests through their social media.
Des Delgadillo can be reached at email@example.com.