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PRSSA Preparing Students for the Future

Friday, November 30, 2007  
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By Alana Duffle

Public Relations Student Society of America, PRSSA, was established in 1968.  However, it wasn’t until last year that the society was represented on Oklahoma Christian University’s campus. With the help of Jeanetta Sims, Rachel Yeakley and some other students became the founding members of Oklahoma Christian’s branch.

“We laid a good foundation last year, and we tried to build off that strong foundation this year.  We hope to improve every year.  Jeanetta was a great advisor. She is really smart and thought it was important for us to take control of bringing PRSSA to Oklahoma Christian.  She wanted us to learn from experience,” Yeakley, PRSSA immediate past president, said.

PRSSA is a branch off of the Public Relations Society of America.  Its goal is to prepare students for many different careers including, but not limited to, public relations, advertising, marketing and business.  PRSSA gives students the opportunity to connect with professionals who could be valuable partners when breaking into the job market.

“One of the main advantages to being a member of PRSSA is being around professionals.  Seeing people working in the job environment that you want to work in someday is a very valuable experience.  It made me more excited to be a Public Relations Representative,” PRSSA Public Relations Officer Lori Woodfin said. 

One other advantage of being in PRSSA is having access to the PRSA job database.  This database informs professionals and students of upcoming jobs and internships across America. 

PRSSA tries to teach its members lessons that will be useful in their futures.  Members learn necessary qualities to function in the media.

“One of the main goals in PRSA and PRSSA is to teach members to be ethical.  In public relations, advertising and journalism, learning how to function ethically is crucial.  If you don’t work ethically, your job is on the line,” PRSSA President Alison Roberts said.

Students of all majors are welcomed into PRSSA, and a wide variety of people at Oklahoma Christian have been attracted to PRSSA, from a freshman in college to a former official spokesman for Multi-National Forces in Iraq.

“I think PRSSA will help everyone. It’s a good experience.  You learn how to work in a professional atmosphere by seeing people in the spotlight.  For most professional jobs, if you plan on being an upper management position, you’re going to have to know how to deal with media.  PRSSA gives you an insight that you might not otherwise see,” Jeremy Pitcher said.

The Oklahoma Christian PRSSA also strives to serve the community.  Currently, they are involved in a service project: 40 Hours for 40 Years.  Throughout the year, PRSSA members commit to 40 hours of community service.  PRSSA’s most recent project was helping with the Oklahoma Centennial Celebration.

“We volunteered at the media tent. We helped the Oklahoma Travel Agency with crowd control, and we gave directions to the media.  Not only did we serve the community, but we also learned a lot.  We realized how much planning goes into events like these,” Yeakley said. 

Overall, PRSSA helps prepare members for their futures by teaching them commitment to community, work ethic, basic knowledge needed for professional careers and giving them hands-on opportunities.
“PRSSA is a dedication to your future,” said Roberts.

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