December 15, 2011


Differentiate, brand, and build trust were some key takeaways from the PRSSA National Conference.

Picture this. You’re standing in a room with a thousand aspiring young public relations professionals. On your left, there are students eagerly tweeting away. On your right, there are students impatiently waiting to hear from the keynote speaker of the day. You move from room to room to hear more amazing speakers educate you on any type of PR — nonprofit, agency, healthcare, global, etc. Top that off with some sessions on media training, social media and crisis communications, and you are officially in PR heaven.

This is just a glimpse of the atmosphere and events at the PRSSA National Conference held in October. I was honored with the opportunity to attend National Conference and gain a great amount of insight into the public relations industry. I was surrounded by amazing talent, enthusiasm and knowledge.

Although my notepad contains 12-plus pages of notes, here are my top three takeaways as an optimistic PR professional:

Differentiate yourself. Everyone is looking for something different, and the better you understand this, the more successful you will be. Set yourself apart as a job applicant and show an employer what makes you unique.

Understand your “brand,” then let passion rule. People can truly tell when you are committed to your organization. It is critical that you work in an industry that you can full-heartedly invest yourself in. Love and be passionate about what you do!

Be a “champion of trust.” Public relations is not just about making a sale; rather it is about building trust. Build trust with everyone around you, whether it is your coworkers or your key public. It all starts and ends with trust.

I’m looking forward to applying these tips in my own professional career! What are your best tips and tricks of the trade?