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  • Writer's pictureTemple PRSSA

TU Invitational Event Recap

On Saturday, April 7, 2018, Temple PRSSA held its 5th annual TU Invitational in the Liacouras Center. From 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., students engaged in a professional development conference where they had the opportunity to learn from and network with public relation and communication professionals from the Greater Philadelphia and surrounding areas. Throughout the day, there were educational sessions from nineteen communications figures who exemplify the conference’s theme: INvolved, INtune, INspired.

As an attendee, maneuvering through a conference with so many successful people seemed a bit intimidating to me. However, my experience was seamless, informative, and enjoyable due to the impressive planning of the day. The first hour of Invitational was dedicated to registration and breakfast. At 10:00 a.m., we received a brief schedule for the day.

The first session was from 10:20 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. and we had the option of attending three panels. I went to “Not for Profit” in the Courtside Club. Cari Feiler Bender, President and Founder of Relief Communications, and Shila Ulrich, Executive Director at The Caring Cupboard, were the featured speakers. They both shared their stories of how they ended up in PR, what they do for their organizations, the challenges they have faced by working in nonprofit and the most rewarding parts of their careers. Attending this session was an interesting change of pace for me because I did not know much about nonprofit PR beforehand. Hearing Bender and Ulrich discuss how they help people every day made me appreciate a whole side of PR I never considered.

Session two ran from 11:35 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. and was comprised of three new panels of speakers. I attended “The Convergence” in Fox and Gittis which included Tom Conti, CEO of Punch Performance Marketing; David Brown, Assistant Professor of Instruction here at Temple University; Pamela Hiddemen, Director of Social Media at W2O Group; and Steve Ryan, Head of Internal Communications at XL Catlin. The four of them discussed the importance of using PR, advertising and other forms of communications interchangeably and their perspectives on the matter. I was fascinated by how four people with very different careers and skill-sets could open up such a clear dialogue and express how the world of PR is adapting.

Following a delicious lunch, the last session, “PRactical Advice from the Pros”, was from 1:50 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. The speakers included Pete Powell, Talent Acquisition Manager at Comcast Spectacor; Paige Knapp, Assistant Account Executive at Divine and Partners; and Cheldin Rumer, CEO of i-g creative. I listened to Paige Knapp, a Temple University Class of 2016 graduate, speak about her transition from college to the workplace. After sharing a brief summary of her job, Knapp gave us insightful advice on networking, interviewing and managing projects while on the job. She also discussed what it’s like to be working in this field as a millenial and how it can be used as a tool. This session was particularly informative and relatable because Knapp is a Temple alum who just recently entered the professional phase. She has a unique perspective on this career field and was able to talk about issues that directly affect college students or recent graduates.

TU Invitational came to an end with the final speaker, Jennifer Robinson, CEO of Purposeful Networking. Robinson covered the ins and outs of networking: how one should approach it, coming up with elevator pitches, how long conversations should be, and much more. She went into greater detail on how more introverted people or people with little experience in networking can get more practiced and comfortable with it.

This blog post was written by Paige Kunkel, General Body Member.

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