FORUM Fall 2015

ADVANCING THE PROFESSION AND THE FUTURE PROFESSIONAL FALL 2015 VOL. 48, ISSUE 1 Partnership With Purpose BY GARY BRIDGENS PRSSA VICE PRESIDENT OF CHAPTER DEVELOPMENT The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has partnered with The Ron Clark Academy for the 2015 Community Service Initiative. The Community Service Initiative (CSI) is an established tradition of charitable exchange that stands to give back to the community hosting the PRSSA 2015 National Conference. This initiative is a wonderful example of PRSSA’s core principles: education, development, ethicality and community. The Ron Clark Academy was chosen as this year’s partner because of its devotion to these principles. Located in Southeast Atlanta, the Ron Clark Academy is a nonprofit middle school dedicated to delivering the highest quality educational experience to socio-economically diverse students through advanced rigor, engaging teaching methods and a passionate climate and culture. The Academy has received both national and international recognition for their work empowering Atlanta’s youth. To participate, National Conference attendees are encouraged to donate new or gently-used, middle school books. Books of all kinds will be accepted, but PRSSA requests that elementary level or graphic romance novels are not donated. No donation is too big or too small. “The Ron Clark Academy is honored to be a part of this partnership with PRSSA. This initiative will support our ongoing efforts to emphasize literacy and to inspire a love for literature with our students. It is also important to us to teach our students to give back to their communities, and we appreciate the members of PRSSA for demonstrating this so beautifully,” said Kim Bearden, executive director and co-founder of the Ron Clark Academy. By donating books to the school, the Society will help to further the Academy’s institutional vision and will provide young students with greater access to the benefits associated with a large collection of literature. “Our library contains many books that were donated when our school opened in 2007, but many books have become worn, and we also need updated titles that have been released over the past few years,” Bearden said. Bearden and Ron Clark founded the Ron Clark Academy in 2007 and have been wildly successful SEE PURPOSE, PAGE 3 l a n o i t a N e h e u T s s I e c n e r e f n o C 5 Reasons to Attend a National Event PG.2 Exploring Fundraising Options PG.3 Top Ten Atlanta Attractions PG.4 & 5 Q & A with Scott Williamson PG.8 OPEN FORUM 2 DIVERSITY AT WORK How The Firm at Universidad de San Martín de Porres embraces being an international Chapter 4 The 2015 graduating class of the Ron Clark Academy celebrating their accomplishments. Photo courtesy of The Ron Clark Academy. Lessons Learned From Being an Intern Fish in an Agency Pond BY LAURA DARONATSY PRSSA NATIONAL PRESIDENT Meetings. Pitching reporters. Strategy. Media lists. Research. Pursuing your first agency internship is thrilling. But agency life is truly unique from other public relations experiences. This summer, I had the privilege of interning at the New York City headquarters of Weber Shandwick, the second-largest public relations agency in the world. Although I’ve had other internships, this was my first time working at a public relations agency. So naturally I was a bit nervous to see if I measured up as a small fish in the big agency pond. In honor of the upcoming semester, I would like to share with you four of my summer’s takeaways: 1. Your coworkers won’t likely be strictly “PR people.” I expected to be working with all “classically-trained” public relations professionals. However, this was not the case at Weber. As the public relations profession becomes more appealing to a range of potential employees, I think we can expect to see more outsiders breaking into the industry. The diversity of the interns alone ranged from those studying international business to political ATLANTA ATTRACTIONS The top 10 Atlanta attractions you can’t miss at the PRSSA 2015 National Conference 8 FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK science, marketing, sociology, English and more. While there are pros and cons to this, it’s the reality I faced and quickly learned to adjust to. 2. Thank-you cards are a must. You never know when a thank-you card is going to come in handy. Did your coworker treat you to a coffee date? Were you able to snatch a few minutes chatting with the CEO? Did your supervisor provide you with an opportunity that went above and beyond your expectations? Call me traditional, but I believe these situations — and countless others — call for a handwritten thankyou note. I purchased a 50-pack upon my arrival and have a few blank cards in my purse at all times. I highly recommend this, as thank-you notes are a sincere way to show your appreciation for any occasion. Plus, these are SEE LESSONS, PAGE 2 MEASUREMENT Tips for a successful measurement plan and how measurement paves the way for success