The realization that changed everything
Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society’s PowerPR Conference
By Ajeenah Ross
On June 16, the Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society (PBPRS) held its “PowerPR: Strength in Excellence, the Power of Us” conference at The Liberty View at Independence Visitor Center. The inaugural annual conference was a wonderful way to network with public relations professionals and entrepreneurs from the region. It was also special because I was awarded a scholarship.
Many were in attendance from the region and beyond including as far as Syracuse, New York. There were many takeaways from the conference, especially on the ‘Social Media, Branding, Crisis’ panel. Some of the points emphasized were:
- You are a brand and you must protect it.
- It is easier to break your brand than it is to build it.
- Be aware of what you post on your social media and the audience you attract.
- If you have a business, you should create a business social media account. Do not combine your personal and business matters. It is unprofessional.
- Be cautious of how you treat people–you are your brand. You may work for a company, but you must keep a good reputation to keep your job with that company.
Attending the conference also made me realize the importance of having an internship. Interning is important because it helps to build your resume and gain experience in your future profession. Interning for the Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society helped me to build a network and connect with other professionals and entrepreneurs in a variety of fields. I met people such as Victoria Mason, President and Founder of Black Bloggers United, Inc. and Kenny Johnson, coordinator for the Philadelphia Phillies. I was really inspired by Victoria Mason because she is an African-American blogger and entrepreneur from Miami who started her business right after college.
Another highlight of the conference was being acknowledged as the recipient of the Society’s $500 scholarship. After spending about $700 on books last year, I didn’t know how I was going to pay for those expenses for my upcoming sophomore year. In addition, I am in the process of transferring to Hampton University from Virginia Union University. The scholarship came at a time when I desperately needed it.
Speaking to the importance of networking and internships, I also intern for the Philadelphia Sunday SUN which is how I met the organization’s President Monica Peters.
It is strongly recommended for college students to take advantage of networking and internships. Joining the Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society as a student and attending their annual conference will open doors for you.
For more information on the Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society visit www.bprsphilly.org