Breaking Barriers and Making Connections: Regional Conference Recap

Attendees of the PRSSA PR Advanced: Breaking Barriers Regional Conference on Saturday, February 21st, were advised to “be as hungry as you can”, “stay consistent to be iconic”, and to not feel the pressure that “[they] are going to be the voice of some of the biggest brands in the world” by a variety of public relations, marketing, and journalism professionals.

The all-day event began with coffee and conversation at 8:00am while approximately 130 student filed into the Boston University Photonic Building. From 9:00am to 5:00pm participants heard stories from inspiring speakers, gained knowledge and advice from some of the leading professionals in the communications field today, and asked important questions to probe deeper into the relationship between public relations, marketing, and journalism. Each presentation, breakout session, and panel was unique. Here’s what some of the speakers had to say to the young public relations professionals at the PRSSA Regional Conference:

“Make your content snack-able.” – Graham Karh, Director of Social Strategy at Digial Royalty and keynote speaker at Breaking Barriers

“The two most important component of a good brand story are authenticity and great content.” – Nate Hubbell, Vice President of Technology and Analysis at FleishmanHillard

“Brand value trumps viral-ity.” – Vice President and Strategy Director at Jack Moron Worldwide on viral marketing

“The only two things you do every day more than check your smartphone is breathe and pump blood through your body.” – Tom Chirico, Vice President of Digital and Social Engagement at VH1, on social fandom and engagement

“Relationships come first when securing media placements.” – from the Integrated Marketing Communications panel

After sitting in on all of the presentations throughout the day, attendees had the opportunity to attend a career fair where more than a dozen communication firms and organizations had representatives willing to talk further about their work as public relations professionals, as well as potential internship and job opportunities.

The Conference was organized and planned with the creativity and hard work of the PR Advanced committee since the beginning of the academic year. Barbara Alfonso, Regional Conference Coordinator, spearheaded the effort, and the conference would not have been possible without her incredible dedication and leadership.

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