By Jackson Booth, Reporter
The UNO chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) was awarded the F. H. Teahan Outstanding Overall Chapter for the second time in four years last week.
PRSSA holds a national conference every year to recognize those universities that have demonstrated excellence in the area of public relations. Ten students from UNO’s chapter went to the conference, which was held in San Francisco.
During the conference students went to various workshops, which dealt with topics like networking and professional development. Some of the sessions PRSSA students attended had guest speakers, including Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, and Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora radio, said Karen Weber, PRSSA faculty adviser.
At the end of the conference, UNO PRSSA received the award, beating 383 chapters from across the country.
“None of us were really expecting it.” said Megan Romero, UNO PRSSA chapter president.
Weber is grateful for the impact the School of Communication has been able to have in preparing students in the field of public relations.
“Our courses, internships and service learning opportunities offer students hands-on, professional experience in addition to traditional classroom learning,” Weber said.
In order to be considered for the award, UNO PRSSA had to submit a portfolio with all of their projects, Weber said.
“We had to submit a notebook that literally was busting at the seams that documented all of our service projects, client work in our student-run firm and participation in professional development such as conferences, workshops and Nebraska PRSSA meetings,” Weber said.
Some of the projects UNO PRSSA has been involved with this year have emphasized professional development, Weber said. Students are given an opportunity to attend monthly luncheons to hear various speakers discuss topics ranging from ethics to social media.
Aside from these luncheons, PRSSA has also been involved with various service projects.
“This fall we are holding a drive during the month of November to collect hygiene items, socks, underwear and mittens and non-perishable food to fill 100 backpacks for Youth Emergency Services,” Weber said.
Other PRSSA projects include “Drumsticks on Wheels” which is where UNO PRSSA members deliver turkeys to families at the Open Door Mission, on Nov. 17. They also hold an event called “Santa Paws” which is an effort to support Hearts United for Animals.
PRSSA is also very instrumental in branding, graphic design, and media relations with clients at UNO and throughout the community, Weber said.
“The work students do in chapter service and in our firm helps to land competitive internships and jobs after graduation,” Weber said.
On Oct. 19, UNO PRSSA held “La Notte Italiana,” a benefit dinner at St. Mary Margaret’s Catholic Church. The event is sponsored every year, which includes a dinner and silent auction to help raise money for PRSSA students to attend national conferences like the one in San Francisco. It also helps support various service projects.
Those who attended the dinner were able to taste food from over a dozen different Italian restaurants, Weber said.
“We had a lot of food and everything went really smoothly,” Romero said. “We had a lot of alumni there so it’s always fun to see them.”
Aside from winning the award, UNO PRSSA was given another surprise. They were selected to hold the 2013 regional PRSSA conference in April.
Given all of the recent excitement over the awards and events UNO PRSSA has been involved with, Weber is truly appreciative of how well the members have represented UNO.
“PRSSA has more than 10,000 members in more than 300 chapters across the United States and Argentina,” Weber said. “Students past and present have built a legacy of excellence at UNO that we take great pride in our accomplishments.”