Beyond the PR Stunt [National Conference Recap]

Courtesy of Shannon Jack, Ohio Northern University

Session: Beyond the PR Stunt: Creativity in PR Jobs You Didn’t Know Existed

Presenter: Michael DiSalvo, Vice President, Ogilvy

Recap: Michael DiSalvo challenged society’s and students’ view of public relations in his engaging session about finding creativity in unlikely and some of the most, in his words, “uncool” sectors of the industry. DiSalvo highlighted that some of the best public relations has nothing to do with red carpets and a glamorous lifestyle but everything to do with connecting people to ideas, citing NASA’s recent Silver Anvil Award for the Best Campaign Category as a prime example of this concept. Public relations is everywhere so if you like something, you can do PR for it, says DiSalvo.

He took students through the process of specialization and how to connect interests and passions to public relations careers. According to DiSalvo, specialization differs through the subject, skillset and audience of an industry or sector. While specialization is important, DiSalvo also encourages students to be integrated as well.

“You can do both,” said DiSalvo. “It’s all about finding your role in the world.” To get students started, he recommended students figure out what they like, see who is doing that and then pursue jobs, hobbies and philanthropies in those areas. DiSalvo did recognize, however, that “your career is not something you should choose from a pre-existing list” and encouraged students to put themselves out there by doing something different and by carving their own path to success and a career they embrace.

 Takeaways:

  • The best PR campaigns are actually making a difference
  • Understand the culture and the cultural tension to make a difference
  • It is all about expertise and expertise starts with your own knowledge
  • Know the rules of the industry
  • Your path can begin anywhere and there will be no replacement for years of experience

Amanda Troncone is a junior public relations major at Waynesburg University where she serves as the vice president for the Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter. Additionally, she acts as the firm director for the Nationally Affiliated Student-run Firm, Red Brick Communications. Follow her on Twitter @amandatroncone or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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