FORUM Winter 2016

ADVANCING THE PROFESSION AND THE FUTURE PROFESSIONAL WINTER 2016 VOL. 48, ISSUE 2 PRSA ICON, A Place to Strengthen My Career BY ANGEL MARTÍN RODRÍGUEZ DEL CASTILLO PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ANALYST, ALICORP Daniel Lubetzkey, founder and CEO of KIND Snacks, speaking at a PRSA ICON general session. Photo courtesy of the PRSA Flickr account. I first heard about PRSSA when my university received the Certification in Education for Public Relations in 2013. I realized at this time that a whole world of public relations opportunities existed through PRSSA. In 2014, I got involved in the process to start a PRSSA Chapter at the Universidad de San Martín de Porres because I saw this as an opportunity where public relations students can develop new skills in the public relations industry. This year, I decided to apply for the PRSA 2015 International Conference (PRSA ICON) grant. It was a very special gift for me because the winners were announced the same day as the Peruvian independence day, July 28. PRSA ICON is a detailed Conference where professionals attend to enhance their careers. It doesn’t matter if you are a new or senior professional, you will find the suitable sessions and networking spaces for you. All the sessions were led by specialized professionals from major companies and agencies. The sessions were divided into five categories: integration, tools and techniques, specialization, strategic planning and implementation, and leadership and management. These categories help attendees choose which session best fits their experience level. Personally, my “You will have all the tools to create powerful connections at PRSA ICON.” favorite session was “Redefining Engagement With Data Analytics,” lead by Priya Ramesh from IBM. Not only was the topic well developed according to the specialization track, but the speaker also gave me support and important tools. After the conclusion of the Conference, I made a great connection with the speaker. In addition, PRSA hosted lunches, dinners and many other events to get attendees involved with each other. This year, the FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK help — or at least they should. My aim is to be the mentor I wish I had as a freshman. If you think back to freshman year, what do you wish someone would have told you when it comes to public relations? Instead of taking that information with you across the stage at graduation, share it now. You show me one person who became successful on their own, and I’ll show you 100 that had help. The truth is, a good mentor is a treasure. Mentors can steer you in the right direction, help you learn industry lingo and give you an insider’s peek into the business. But if you have a good mentor — or even if you don’t — eventually you must learn to be a good mentor. How can I be a mentor? Why mentor underclassmen? The profession won’t flourish without your help. By the time you’re a junior or senior, you should know more about the profession and classes than the transfer students or freshmen. They need your help. They want your OPEN FORUM 2 Reach out to underclassmen that you meet at PRSSA meetings, or ask your Faculty or Professional Adviser if they have any suggestions of students who may need a little extra help getting adjusted to college life or the pace of your major. Then set aside time to meet with them. Whether it’s for a 30 minute coffee session or dinner on campus, that tiny blip of time can make a tremendous difference to someone who’s looking for their place to fit in on campus. I just met with a freshman public relations major from Albania at my school last week. You can GRAD SCHOOL Interested in graduate school? Read what professionals and educators have to say on when you should go back to school. bet I walked away from that conversation feeling just as inspired as she did. My mentoring style is less about having loads of life-changing advice to impart and more about providing a listening ear and some “tough love” as needed. Um, but what if I don’t have time? You do. I’m not going to argue on this one, because I know you’ve got at least a half hour to spare tucked in your week somewhere. Maybe it means giving up your weekly Netflix fix or waking up 30 minutes earlier than you’d like, but I’m sure it’s possible. Think about how quickly you’d clear your schedule if you heard that Taylor Swift was coming to campus and then give some of that extra time to a mentee. When it comes to mentorship, remember that you reap what you sow. And when you invest in others, it’s a win-win, so go ahead and seek out your next protege today. 6 As a new professional, you may be worried about how to take advantage of the Conference in the future. There are two important sessions you should attend — the newcomers session and the new professionals session. In the first one, you will learn the methodology and tips about PRSA ICON and meet other new Conference attendees. The new professionals session is where you SEE ICON, PAGE 3 Watching the Clock: How to Be the Mentor You Wish You Had BY LAURA DARONATSY PRSSA NATIONAL PRESIDENT PRSA ICON smartphone application allowed professionals to continue the conversation and share information, notes and photos. So don’t worry if you are a shy person, you will have all the tools to create powerful connections at PRSA ICON. When to Take Advantage of PRSSA Member Benefits BY ADAM PICCIN OTTERBEIN UNIVERSITY Whether it is happening in December or in May, many of us will soon be completing the seemingly impossible: graduating from college. As a senior public relations student, I’ve had the privilege and honor of being a member of PRSSA for several years now. I hav