Plattsburgh State’s chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) hosted its annual Public Relations Day (PR Day) Wednesday. The day was filled with presentations, group discussions and networking opportunities for its public relations students.

The PRSSA is a nation-wide organization for students who are interested in public relations/communications. Its mission is to prepare its future professionals by acclimating them into the profession early on so that when they head into the next step, which is the PRSA, they are ready and know what to expect.

“We basically made the event from scratch,” senior public relations major and PR Day Coordinator Yesenia Reynoso said. “The theme of our events was that we wanted everyone to see how bombarded we are by information all the time.”

The presentations began at 9 a.m. and went on until 3 p.m., all were geared toward how the media and press portray controversy, as well as how to deal with controversy in the work field.

“We were discussing the relationship between the current administration and the press, and what that means to the public who is receiving all of this information,” Reynoso said. “Our biggest goal is to equip the students with the tools to successfully determine what news they should be paying attention to.”

With the amount of allegations that are thrown around of which is the best news source, or what is real news and what is fake, PRSSA focused on the importance of being open minded when evaluating a source to determine its credibility.

PRSSA decided to title the day, Cutting Through the Noise: PR Done Right, because in this day and age, anything can happen at any moment. They went over how it is important to handle controversy with care, and to be able to decipher credibility in media and news outlets.

PSUC’s chapter members of PRSSA wanted this day to be for every student and not to be exclusive for only public relations students. Vice president of PRSSA Jacob Tapio gears his motives to help students increase their professionalism before its time to graduate and step into the real world.

“We dedicate our time to increase professionalism in our students,” Tapio said. “We look to network a lot on campus, no matter what major you’re in.”

Tapio, who is a public relations major, realized that he needed to meet more people and to expand his network, which lead him to join PRSSA.

“I was learning slowly that in order to get anywhere in the field, you need to network and know people, and I wanted to be a part of that,” Tapio said. “I knew that once I joined the PR department and felt more comfortable with it, that I needed to meet more people in order to make my experience as a PR major the best that I could in order to help my future.”

PSUC’s public relations program has been steadily increasing over the years, and its advancements in the major have been increasingly noticeable as well.

“I’m really happy with the turnouts that we’ve had,” Reynoso said. “These events really put into perspective of what public relations really is about. After I first started, I realized actually how big PR is, and the many different fields you can go into surrounding PR.”

The day was capped off with an internship fair held in the Cardinal Lounge, which presented its students with numerous internship opportunities related to their field. Not only was it an opportunity to possibly land an internship right then and there, but it also allowed the students to network, ask questions and talk to professionals in the respective field of study.

“I think it was a great networking opportunity,” Reynoso said. “Real professionals were able to give their opinions on students’ résumé, which is something you don’t get if you’re just searching for a job online.”

PRSSA was kept busy on PR day, but staying busy is nothing new to the association. In order to succeed in this particular field, it is important to be able to have a level head while being able to perform multiple tasks at once.

“As we continue to grow, we know people want to get something out of it, which we definitely want to give to them,” Tapio said. “I hope more people join because it’s really worth it no matter your major. I think my overall message is to join PRSSA because it’s always related to whatever you end up doing after college.”

Email Ezra Kachaturian at news@cardinalpointsonline.com

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