FPRA 84th Annual Conference: A Student’s Perspective
I was awarded a scholarship on behalf of the Capital Chapter to attend the 84th Annual FPRA Conference at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, Florida.
Before attending, I anticipated it to be a beneficial experience. But with the unique opportunity to network and learn from statewide leaders while meeting other students just like me, the conference far exceeded my expectations. Even though it was slightly intimidating walking into a room full of leading professionals in our industry, I was immediately welcomed into the FPRA community and felt there was a place for me. From breakout rooms to of course the incredible chocolate desserts, this experience unlocked the potential of what this organization can provide for me as a young professional.
One breakout session that captured my attention was Mark Rottensteiner’s “Beyond the Buzz: Unleashing the Power of Social Listening to Create Cultural Stickiness.” It taught me, through social listening, we can learn who is leading conversations and how these move across the internet. As Public Relations professionals, it is our job to discover unique moments so that a brand can have a lasting and memorable presence, making it “sticky.”
The valuable insights didn’t stop there. Jarryd Boyd’s breakout session, “How Brand Campaigns Can Authentically Reach and Support Diverse Audiences,” emphasized that people with different lived experiences around an issue improve a campaign, a key component to understanding the holistic nature of PR. He also highlighted the significance of sustained engagement when spotlighting communities, urging us to continue the conversation in meaningful ways. One particular idea that resonated with me was the idea of unexpected storytelling, one example being a focus on single parents during Valentine’s Day. By having an innovative strategy, we can engage specific communities in unconventional yet impactful ways.
Above all, my favorite experience was participating in the Golden Image Awards Gala. These awards celebrate imagination and innovation within the realm of Public R
elations, and it was inspiring to witness the presentation of more than 80 awards. I may be biased, but after my summer working as a Sachs Media Junior Account Coordinator, my favorite part was seeing my colleagues recognized for their hard work.
On the last day, I attended the student field trip tour of United Launch Alliance facilities at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. From the Strategic Communication teams presentation, I gained a deeper understanding of the importance of having a proactive crisis communication strategy. Along with walking on the third flattest floor in the world, our behind-the-scenes tour included seeing rocket hardware and their next-generation Vulcan rocket.
Thank you to everyone in the Capital Chapter for making this opportunity possible. As a first-time participant, I believe FPRA is an inclusive community. In the words of our former president Jay Morgan-Schluening, “You belong in FPRA.” Your support has been invaluable, and I am excited to contribute and thrive within this organization.
Savannah Partlow is a senior at Florida State University majoring in Public Relations with a minor in International Affairs.
Throughout her collegiate career Savannah continues to develop her knowledge and network through organizations such as FSU University Communications, Southeast Volusia Chamber of Commerce, FSU International Programs, Florida Public Relations Association: Student Capital Chapter and in an internship as a junior account coordinator with Sachs Media.
Savannah looks forward to creating meaningful experiences that will stimulate personal and professional development while allowing her to create positive societal and environmental change within communities around the world.