Regional Conference Recap

By Jasmin Escher

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The Red River Regional Conference was hosted in Dallas this past weekend by The University of Oklahoma and The University of Texas at Austin’s local PRSSA chapters. This was the first regional conference to be held in Region Three in over ten years. One hundred and forty students came from schools as far as Michigan to join together for a weekend of learning and furthering their knowledge of the public relations field. Here are a few highlights of the unforgettable three-day conference!

Friday evening: Actor and Producer Glenn Morshower, who’s starred in 24, Transformers and Law and Order, kicked off the conference with an inspiring talk attributing how to hone in our natural tendency to be a winner by listening to “whispers”.

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Saturday: Break out sessions!

Blake Lewis, PRSA 2014 National Secretary and Senior Consultant of Lewis PR, spoke on the value of measurement, emphasizing that measurement must be central, focused on balancing both organization and audience priorities, and that the approach needs to be determined at the start of the program or year.

UT professor Dave Junker shared how storytelling is the cohesive component and core of all public relations.

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Jamaison Schuler of Dean Foods and Lisa Vasquez of Collin College gave tips on how to build and maintain your professional network. Finding a mentor, following up after interviews and connecting on LinkedIn are all ways to reach out and build your network. Just remember – upholding those connections after they’ve been made is just as important as establishing them, whether it be a monthly email or a retweet!

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A midday panel focusing on how to find your PR path towards wither agency or corporate included panelists Marley Goudge (Senior PR Manager of Digital and Social Media at AT&T), Linh Le (PR Specialist at Haynes and Boone), Jamaison Schuler and Blake Lewis. Each weighed in their experiences, all agreeing that leveraging and getting experience in college, knowing your industry and your goals, and getting yourself a cushion are necessary for graduates as they prepare to get a job.

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After lunch, Brittany Aguilar of Pulse Point Group discussed social listening and media strategies.

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Recent graduate Katie Chrisman taught us how to train the “dragons” in the PR industry.

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Closing speaker Korey McMahon of McMahon Marketing gave an inspiring interactive workshop teaching us how to get out of our “Southern Comfort Zone”, along with an unexpected surprise…

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Unlimited free Starbucks and heated case competition debates are a few among many eventful moments of this weekends conference. The best part? Spending time together as a UTPRSSA chapter doing what we do best – learning about something we love and having fun while doing so! Hook ’em.

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