PRSA New Pros 2016 ICON Recap

December 1, 2016

This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared on The Edge, the New Professionals Section blog.

The PRSA 2016 International Conference was held on Oct. 23–25 in Indianapolis. We’re thrilled that a number of New Professionals Section members were able to attend. Read on for our recap.

New Pros Breakfast

The Conference officially kicked off on Oct. 23, with New Pros gathering for a networking breakfast.

Thanks to all who joined our New Pros session at PRSA International Conference — it was great to meet some fellow new pros and hear from seasoned professionals from the College of Fellows. We covered tips, including first jobs and how to get involved in PRSA. If you’re interested in volunteering for the New Pros Section, reach out! —  Jessica Noonan, chair, PRSA New Pros

“Where Are They Now?” New Pros Panel

The New Pros Section also hosted a panel for students at the PRSSA National Conference. Top tips from New Pros leadership included:

My advice to my 21-year-old self would be to relax. Don’t worry so much about graduation and focus on making the most of your last classes, internships and time as a student. — Nick Lucido, immediate past chair

You can rely on your network for support and guidance for the job search. But if you’ve gone dark on a person for nine months and reappear asking for help, it may not be as helpful as if you kept the relationship strong over time, so stay in touch with your connections.

— Brian Price, chair-elect

I was once told: “The only person holding you back is yourself.” Don’t be a roadblock to your own success. Believe that you can achieve everything you dream of, be confident and don’t let fear keep you from trying. — Heather Harder, programming chair

Management Session Recap

On Oct. 25, the Section led a session for new professionals (and their supervisors) on how to manage your first intern/new hire, client, project and more. Top takeaways from the leadership included:

To effectively manage up or be managed from below, you must clarify and manage expectations and respect the boundaries and communication style preferences of the people who you work with on a daily basis. — Ruthann Campbell, programming chair

When it comes to first-time managers, you have to be flexible. Remember that you are combining someone with little experience in management with someone who has little experience in being managed. To support your new hires, remember the five S’s: set expectations, structure, share (time, knowledge and networks), support and self-growth (because New Pros managers learn too!). — Andrea Gils, PRSSA liaison

ICON Testimonials

Wondering if it’s worth going to PRSA ICON as a New Pro? Looking to convince your employer to help you attend next year? Simply want to learn more? We’d love to see you!

This was my first experience with a PRSA conference. Attending would not have been possible without my involvement with PRSA New Pros, as it was through volunteering for the National Committee that I was presented with the opportunity to speak. It was invigorating to be able to meet new people and hear about the similar struggles and challenges being faced by professionals in all stages of their careers and industries. Ruthann Campbell, programming chair

I think there’s a perception that PRSA New Pros is for those who just graduated from college or PRSSA — and it is — but it’s also for those who are seasoned pros and may be new to public relations. Our session showed me that there are a variety of New Pros who are all equally interested in our section and what it has to offer.
— Andrea Gils, PRSSA liaison

Hanna Porterfield

Hanna Porterfield is the immediate past chair of PRSA’s New Professionals Section. She works in health care public relations as a senior manager of social media at W2O Group in Chicago and is a graduate of Michigan State University. Connect with her on Twitter: @citygirlhanna.


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