Lauren Martin is a senior at the University of Iowa studying Journalism and Mass Communications. Lauren is president of Public Relations Student Society of America, PRSSA. The group consists of 44 members with the help of her executive board and professional advisors in giving the organization experience in the field of strategic communication.
Tell me about the PRSSA here at Iowa.
Public Relations Student Society of America is a national pre-professional organization. We meet about twice a month and have professional speakers come and talk to us. We also host workshops, a Media Crisis Competition and we tour PR agencies in cities around the Midwest. This year we are doing a company tour in Chicago.
How are you all making a difference on campus?
We are crafting future public relations professionals and providing valuable experiences and friendships for our members. Since there is not a specific public relations major, this allows students the chance to learn about the industry outside of the classroom.
What is something that most people don’t know about PRSSA?
Everyone is welcome, we are open to all majors!
What challenges have you faced in being a part of this organization/ getting your message across to the student body?
It is really hard to get students connected within the organization, especially when we have speakers talk the whole hour. Although it is a great feature of our organization, sometimes that creates a challenge for us to get to know each other. Fortunately, we are conscious of this and we have tried our best to improve the overall atmosphere by connecting with our members on LinkedIn and Facebook and hanging out through socials, fundraisers and volunteer projects.
What has your proudest moment been?
My proudest moment was planning and executing the Media Crisis Competition. That required a lot of time and effort from everyone to make sure it was a success. By the end of the day, the participants were talking and bonding with each other, the professional mentors enjoyed spending their Saturday with us and ultimately I felt that everyone who participated felt that they received valuable life skills from the competition. As a president, that is such a rewarding feeling to know that the event made a difference in people’s lives, they had fun and all the hard work paid off.
What have you learned or how have you grown since your involvement?
My involvement with PRSSA has been one of the best experiences of my college career. I have gained valuable leadership and organizational skills. I am now comfortable speaking in front of a large audience. Networking with professionals is not as scary anymore because we interact with them frequently. Finally, the friendships I have made and the knowledge I have gained about public relations is something I will value forever.
What do you hope your organization will accomplish in the future? Where do you see this student org in the next 10 years?
I see big things for PRSSA in the future. PR is a growing industry so that will hopefully increase the amount of members in our organization. I hope by the end of each year, the members will have built strong connections with one another, gain valuable knowledge about the PR industry and that we keep providing priceless experiences that someone can only get during their time in PRSSA.
How does your student org see themselves among other student orgs on the University of Iowa Campus?
We are a well-established student organization and for the most part, known on campus. Overall, we have a bright group of members this year and I am really excited to see where everyone ends up and what everyone accomplishes after they graduate.
'Like' PRSSA on Facebook to keep up on their events.