What PRSSA Means to Me

By Alannah McDermott

One of the greatest decisions I’ve made for my academic and professional journey is joining PRSSA.  The field of public relations is constantly adapting, changing and growing. To go about a career in PR without a group of students and professionals to support you would be like a wearing a blindfold during a race.  My mind has opened up to so many experiences and perspectives in the field of PR that wouldn’t have been available to me without joining PRSSA.

So, I want to share a bit about what PRSSA means to me by highlighting three pillars of success that PRSSA has empowered me with:

1. Knowledge

It’s one thing to learn about something in the classroom, or through a textbook.  It’s another thing entirely to take a step further through hands on workshops, leadership opportunities and volunteerism.  Excellence isn’t just built in the work we do in our PR classes. PRSSA has allowed me to practice what I learn in case studies so that I’m better prepared when I graduate.  For example, I’ve read tons on the do’s and don’ts of media relations in public relations classes. But, it wasn’t until we had a pitching workshop earlier this semester that I was able to see my weaknesses and strengths. Being a member has made me a better skilled PR student—hands down!

2. Connection

Connecting with others is at the core of this organization. Within the first few months of joining PRSSA, I had already made over 50 connections with professionals in the fields of business, PR, events, finance, marketing and much more.  And this is still growing! Through agency tours, a regional conference and panels, I was able to gain perspectives from communicators fresh in the industry and those who have been pros for years. In PRSSA, we build relationships.  Every member is not only passionate about the ins and outs of PR, but we also take the time to support and empower each other.

3. Diversity

PRSSA SJSU is made up of people from different cultures, ethnicities, genders, personalities and ideologies.  For me, this is absolutely necessary in any organization I find myself to be a part of and my chapter set the bar pretty high!  PRSSA shows its dedication for diversity by welcoming anyone and everyone with open arms and taking the time to support and connect with them.  Naturally, I’m not a super outgoing person. The members have helped me break out of my shell and it’s been a passion of mine since to do the same for new members.  PRSSA continued to uplift its value on diversity by creating an opening role of Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the club, which also creates more opportunities for members.  

Opportunity Awaits

Knowledge, connection and diversity are three of the foundational characteristics of PRSSA and its members.  That’s why our crowdfunding campaign for the International Conference is paramount to the success of all our members. Support received from this fundraising initiative will support our talented and budding professionals with financial assistance. We want them to take advantage of this opportunity to make meaningful connections on and off-campus. Our mission is to have PRSSA thrive in our community.I truly believe everyone is only one connection away from changing the trajectory of their lives!

Please consider donating to the PRSSA International Conference fund and share the link http://power.sjsu.edu/PRSSA with your network to help our campaign reach a higher visibility.