PRSSA Spring Conference Provides Insight into Communication Field

March 21, 2010


Mount Union’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) held a spring conference on March 16 that brought back three Mount Union alumni whom provided valuable insight into the communication field and offered advice.

The conference, sponsored by Mount Union’s chapter of PRSSA and the Department of Communication, included a professional panel, networking and peer-to-peer speed dating resume review.

Celeste (Adduci ’02) Conklin, communications specialist and event specialist for Hospice of the Western Reserve; Laura (Klinger ’03) Doyle, volunteer program manager for the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland; and Kay (Moran ’84) Panovec, director of communications for the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church started off the morning by answering a variety of questions about their professional experience, the current market and industry trends.

  Celeste (Adduci ’02) Conklin Laura (Klinger ’03) Doyle Kay (Moran ’84) Panovec

Social media, the use of technology to facilitate interaction and the sharing of information, is ever increasing not only because individuals use it for social enjoyment, but because organizations also use it to communicate with audiences.

All three believed that students in this generation will have an advantage in the social media and technology realm when it comes time for internships or entry-level jobs.

“You will have an advantage. Your boss will be the one asking you ‘How does this work?’” said Conklin. She noted that businesses now are creating full-time jobs just for social media. “You can’t ignore it,” she added. “It’s relatively inexpensive and you can reach a large audience.”     

Along with providing insight into the communication field, the panelists also gave valuable advice to the students. They all agreed that they wish they had learned more in college about business practices and crisis communication.

“I wish I would have learned more about crisis communication,” said Panovec. She gave examples when crisis communication played a role in her professional career and gave some insight into what she has learned from those experiences. “I’ve learned it (crisis communication) in every job I’ve had,” said Panovec. “I’ve learned to only say what you need to say, don’t say too much and be comfortable with silence.”

Doyle expressed that when looking to hire an individual, she believes that a candidate that stands out is one that uses keywords and has a tailored resume. “Find a creative way to tailor your experience to the specific job you’re applying to,” said Doyle. Speaking from experience, Doyle kept her waitressing job on her resume because it taught her customer service skills.

The panelist also discussed digital reputation management, interview preparation and the importance of being a good writer.

Following the panel discussion, Mount Union professors, students and panelists networked and concluded the conference with a peer-to-peer resume review.

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