In this general member blog, Cindy Knebel, a senior public relations student, reflects on her experience at this year’s PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
When I first thought about going to national conference, I figured I might as well go to a great city and listen to professionals who could teach me a thing or two. Now that it’s over, I can honestly say I learned more about being successful in public relations than I probably ever have before.
I can honestly say that with every session I attended, I leaned a lot from. One that stuck with me was a session with Scott Williamson, Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications for Coca Cola. It was very empowering to listen to what he had to say; he has accomplished so much, but made it all seem attainable as long as you “Never settle, and hold out for the outcome.” One thing he focused on is something that will stay with me forever; the fact that no matter how successful someone is, they should still ‘shine their own shoes and iron their own shirt’. It doesn’t matter if you’re the president of a company, or an entry-level associate; never act as if you’re above anyone else.
Sometimes, in PR we feel like little specs in an ocean of possibilities. We’re constantly surrounded by both people who may not really care enough, and people that are always doing something cooler or better than you. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lost in all the chatter. Leaving national conference, I felt more content and refreshed than I have in a while. It was a break from the world we are told is PR; and a look into the life we will live as professionals.