Over a week ago, CPRS Ottawa-Gatineau held their conference “Take a leap from good to great.” Many Ottawa public relations practitioners took the time off work to learn from the experiences of their peers about the ongoing changes within their profession. Having worked on the planning committee since November, it felt good to see all our hard work so well received. Everyone was very impressed by the speakers, the atmosphere, the volunteers, and the overall day.
Given the responsibility of volunteer coordinator excited me, but also scared me. I knew I could handle it, but my work was still dependent on others. I was very happy that my volunteers pull through and were completely on point. I believe I have told them over and over, but they really made me proud. I was very happy to see volunteers from all three academic institutions, Carleton University, University of Ottawa and Algonquin College.
Although I was running around a lot, I did get to enjoy some sessions. Many speakers were dealing with the devil that is social media and how they as PR practitioners handled it and what worked. But also, many speakers emphasized that other media should not be ignored, given that the average Canadian is not using these tools as much as TV, or the newspaper. I think before investigating social media, you need to really understand if you target audience is using it, and what is the best way to reach them. Also, what are you trying to gain out of it.
Moreover, this conference helped me realized my potential. Getting told by senior level practitioners that I am awesome and driven, really meant a lot. It shows me that the messages I am trying to communicate to them are being received.
If you are a student wanting to get involved, try to discover what you would like to do in public relations, then try your best to show potential employers that you are capable of doing it. Never take no for an answer, just find another way to get where you want to be.
All and All, it was time well spent.