PRSSA Regional Conference: Q&A with Lauren Gray

In preparation for Beyond the Basics, we partnered with National PRSSA President Lauren Gray to learn about member benefits, live tweeting and more! Read on…

Question 1: How many PRSSA Regional Conferences have you attended over the years? Which will you be attending this year?

Lauren says: I have attended three Regional Conferences over the past years since my PRSSA membership began in 2009. They’ve all been really great Regional Conferences with good attendances where students learned about public relations, the communications industry, social media and career development. This year I will be attending Ohio University’s Regional Conference. The National Committee members are each assigned an RC and I am excited to be attending Ohio University’s this year!

Question 2: How do Regional Conferences benefit PRSSA members?

Lauren says: Regional Conferences are a great asset for PRSSA members because some PRSSA members may not be able to make the national events, like National Conference or National Assembly, and Regional Conferences are a closer, cheaper option for members. We do our best to assign one RC to each region so there are Chapters in close proximity. I also think it’s inspiring to see a full conference put on by students. Students know what other students want to know and I know our members take away a lot of insightful information.

Question 3: What is the key to hosting a successful Regional Conference?

Lauren says: Although I have never hosted a Regional Conference, I think the key is doing good prep beforehand and reaching out to Chapters in your region, making sure the conference topics and speakers really relate to students and attempting to measure anything from the conference whether it’s tweets, surveys or anything else. You want to make sure you have proven results and something to show from your RC. Having an outreach strategy from the beginning also ensures attendance with really makes a difference. 

Question 4: How can attendees prepare to make the most of their experience at a Regional Conference?

Lauren says: Come prepared to learn! Open your mind to new possibilities. Do not just attend sessions you are familiar with, but spread out to other topics you have not learned about. Branch out to other members too; do not just sit with your Chapter members, but meet others while you are there. Networking is your friend! I met two of my co-workers at Hunter through a Regional Conference.

Question 5: Are there any industry trends that you predict will become popular topics at Regional Conferences this Spring?

Lauren says: Social media is always a popular topic, but I think it will transform from “how-to use social media” to other uses for it beyond just the basics. I think topics about working with clients, networking, startups, campaigns and integrating marketing, public relations and advertising will be popular topics this year. More real-world related tactics, strategies and information for students will be great.

Question 6: Scripps PRSSA loves to live tweet our events, and we know that you share the habit! What are your tips for writing RT-worthy live tweets?

Lauren says: Don’t just RT what everyone else is saying; tweet your own thoughts about live events. You’re also 17% more likely to get retweeted if your tweets are 100 characters or less. The more you interact with others at an event, the more people will follow you and notice your tweets as well.

Now, ready to register for Beyond the Basics? We can’t wait to see you at Ohio University on March 16th! In the meantime, check out our awesome speakers and sessions and share your excitement by tweeting #BeyondTheBasics.



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