Thursday, July 31, 2014

Students network with PRSSA

PRSSA — Executive board members of PRSSA Kristen Gorstuch and Victoria Petrocelli pose at the club’s table. Photo provided

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) jump-started the new school year with a kickoff party Thursday, Sept. 6.

Guest speaker Carla Parks Wooley, head of public relations for B&W Nuclear Operations Group, spoke to the students about the importance of public relations and clarified misconceptions about the profession. Wooley explained just what a PR job is like.

“The beauty of the job is that no two days are alike. As a PR person, you really get to know your organization—what makes it tick,” Wooley said. “Our true mission—the greatest value that we provide—is helping our organization or clients use communications to reach their goals and accomplish their business objectives. We do that by helping people feel connected and get engaged,” Wooley said.

PRSSA is just getting started with events, PRSSA President Kristen Gorsuch said. The organization is planning on running three main events this semester and will be available to all communications majors. One of the events is the Homecoming Alumni Panel that Gorsuch said will give students the opportunity to hear advice and updates from Liberty alumni. Gorsuch also said that PRSSA plans to host an Etiquette Banquet, which will be Nov. 8.

According to Gorsuch, this banquet will provide students with an opportunity to “learn how to eat properly during a formal dinner, interview or event.” The last event is the Christmas Party Nov. 29. Gorsuch says the party gives students “a great opportunity to build connections with other PRSSA members and celebrate the end of the semester together.”

PRSSA’s mission is to bring in valuable hands-on professional experience and create connections between students and the world.

“Liberty PRSSA is one of over 300 chapters affiliated with the Public Relations Society of America, ‘the world’s largest and foremost organization of public relations professionals.’ Our chapter organizes professional development events and we are also a student-run firm. Our student-run firm, Innovations, has several clients within Liberty and in the community,” Gorsuch said.

“PRSSA does not only target public relations students. We are seeking diversity in majors so that our organization is well balanced,” Gorsuch said. “Since PRSSA offers several professional development activities, we are seeking to attract students who want to prepare for life after college.”

Innovations, the student-run firm of PRSSA, gives students great hands-on experience. Firm director for Innovations Olivia Witherite described Innovations as “the nationally-affiliated, student-run firm under PRSSA.”

“It provides professional public relations work, enhancing both Liberty University and the greater Lynchburg community,” Witherite said. “The firm is split up into various accounts, including Special Olympics Virginia and His Vision, which is a local campaign that works to provide eye care to underprivileged children.”

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