BYU’s well-recognized public relations program, ranked top five in the nation for the third year in a row by PRWeek, will host a regional conference for PR students from five other states this week.
BYU’s Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter conference is this Thursday-Saturday, and will teach students from 43 other PRSSA Chapters how to bridge the gap from the academic sphere to the working world with their theme, student to professional.
Director of Programming for Regional Conference Amy Merrill said BYU is looking to start strong in the Regional Conference record by having some experts in the industry speak to students about their inevitable necessary transition.
“The speakers BYU PRSSA has lined up for the conference are among the top professionals in their fields in the public relations industry,” Merrill said. “These speakers are paid a lot of money to give the presentations they do, and at regional conference, public relations students have the opportunity to hear from all of them in one setting.”
The speakers have experience working for corporations such as General Motors, C.R. England Global Transportation and Lockheed Martin. BYU’s own national news director, Michael Smart, will also speak. BYU’s PRSSA VP of Public Relations, Matt Hopkins, has been interning for Smart for eight months and said students will greatly benefit from listening to Smart.
“Michael Smart has the ability to explain things simply and clearly,” Hopkins said. “He has credibility because this is what he does every day, and he does it extremely well – he’s consistently placed BYU students and professors in the national news headlines year after year. He is one of the most professional people that I know. He’s personally taught me how to be a better writer, a better employee and to continually learn.”
In addition to the conference’s keynote and breakout session speakers, the conference will also feature a hands-on crisis challenge, question and answer sessions and a panel discussion.
BYU PRSSA Chapter President Steve Martin said the opportunity for BYU students to have such high quality training, quite literally at their feet, is something they should make sure to take advantage of.
“Any student who wants to make PR a successful career should attend the conference,” Martin said. “Students who actively participate will walk away with a national network of students and professionals, a broadened perspective of the application of PR in the business world, additional skills to aid them in the field and a lengthy list of industry best-practices.”
For more information about the conference and to register (various registration options are available) visit the site: studenttoprofessional.com/.
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