Tuesday, March 6, 2012

PRSSA Regional Conference 2012

I've been on a bit of a blog hiatus for a while. February was a relatively quiet month,
but I'm back now. I'm sure you've all been dying with anticipation ha.
Like I mentioned, February was full of school and pretty much nothing else.
Which is busy, and I love it, but it doesn't leave much to blog about...
However, a couple weeks ago was the definite highlight of my month. 
February 23-25 BYU hosted the 2012 PRSSA Regional Conference.
PR students from all over the West came to Provo for the three-day event.
Photo Credit: BYUPRSSA Facebook Page
Thursday night started with a crisis challenge exercise
where we were broken up into 11 teams and
had to develop a public relations response to a fictional
corporate communications crisis.
It felt like something straight out of The Apprentice ha.
And the best news was that after four grueling rounds
including a mock press conference,
my team won!
After the challenge, we got to hear from
Chris Thomas, (pictured above), the CEO of
Intrepid PR in Salt Lake City.
Thomas is also the publicist for Elizabeth Smart
and handled all the media coverage during her
abduction nearly 10 years ago, through her rescue nine months later,
all the way to her wedding in Hawaii a few weeks ago.

Friday was an 11-hour day filled with so much that writing it
all down would take hours. We got to hear from so many amazing
professionals from all over the country, including:

Tom Goodman - President and CEO, Goodman Media Intl. - NYC, NY
Michael Smart - CEO, Michael Smart PR - Provo, UT
KC Brown - General Manager, Cision Global Analysts - Chicago, IL
Jonathan Munk - Director of Interactive, Skullcandy - Park City, UT
Kristi Knight - VP of Corporate Communications, Vivint - Provo, UT
Later that night, we were treated to a banquet at the BYU Skyroom
with a keynote speech from Mickey Nall, the 2012 PRSA chairman-elect and
managing director of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide in Atlanta. The food was delicious,
the company was great and Mr. Nall's presentation was inspiring, educational
and downright hilarious.
On a side note, I just have to say how I love all the people
I've met in the program so far. We've all become such good
friends and I'm so glad we get to take classes together for
the next two years. Also, contrary to the above picture, I promise
there are more guys in the program than just me...

Saturday was the last day.
It started in the morning with a panel on student-run PR agencies,
then another keynote speech with Dave Allred, who currently works for
C.R. England Global Transportation, but spent 15 years as vice president
of communications for the Utah Jazz.
Then the last activity was a luncheon - catered by J Dawgs! -
and a final keynote speech from Adam Denison,
who is the director of internal communications
at General Motors in Detroit,
and graduated from our program a few years ago.

By the end of the weekend, I was exhausted, but had learned SO
much and had the opportunity to meet so many incredible people.
The conference helped further validate to me that public relations
really is what I'm supposed to be studying.
Bring on the future, I can't wait.

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