A room full of uplifting, inspiring professionals greeted me upon arrival at the PRSSA National Assembly held in Portland, Oregon. Four days later, I flew back to Columbus, Ohio with dozens of contacts, new friends, an overflowing file of creative ideas and the knowledge that indeed, I’m in the right place and this is the right time. Student leaders from across the nation gathered over the four-day weekend to gain knowledge from keynote speakers, create lasting relationships and more importantly, to have an experience of a lifetime. And Portland delivered.
The best-of-the-best PR practitioners led discussions regarding the future of PR and the keys to being successful in the industry. Leadership Training Session Speaker, Ann Wylie, CEO of Wylie Communications, inspired delegates to take their writing to a new level. She encouraged all of us to embody the mindset of a reader, always having the reader’s interests in the forefront while providing beneficial information.
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) was also a main topic discussed at the assembly. Ben Duncan, Chief Diversity and Equity Officer of Oregon Public Health Institute, highlighted how D&I play an essential role in the PR industry. Duncan made delegates deeply analyze current and potential methods to make others feel included in their own PRSSA Chapters.
I now feel inspired to take my new knowledge and apply it to my PRSSA Chapter and my personal brand. As the closing speaker, Matt Prince, Senior Manager of Public Relations and Brand Experience at Taco Bell Corp., challenged us, the single most important client of our PR careers just might be our own brand. How ready are you?
Alexis Young is currently a sophomore at Ohio Dominican University located in Columbus, Ohio. She is majoring in Public Relations and Marketing Communications, minoring in Spanish. Along with being a full-time student, Alexis plays college volleyball for the Ohio Dominican Panthers.