By Maddie Petschow
PRpalooza was a great start to my first quarter at DePaul. As a transfer student I know how important it is to put myself out there, try to soak up every experience and meet new people. I was nervous at first but I learned that when other PR students surround me, I feel right at home.
PRpalooza was a SOLD OUT 2-day regional conference, with the theme of music and entertainment PR. The DePaul PRSSA executive board planned this event and I have to say, I was very impressed. Day one included varying site visits and a reception and show at The Second City. Day two was spent in breakout sessions on all things music, theater, entertainment and television PR. And of course with it being a PR event, it included meeting lots of new people and networking.
The CBS Chicago visit ended up being my favorite part. I could write you an essay on all the things I learned but I’ll just keep it to three key points I found most important.
- Social media is a vital way to showcase your brand identity. CBS finds it extremely important to have the same voice across all platforms. If you showcase different voices, people will find your posts disingenuous and unauthentic.
- When you pitch a story, it needs to grab their attention immediately. CBS reads 300+ pitches via email a day. Keep it clear, concise & unique!
- “Your content must represent the community that you serve,” said Wendy Widom (@wendywidom), CBS’s social media editor. Diversity is key and you must represent that in everything that you put out.
The highlight of day two was the first of three breakout sessions, and I felt this one really represented the entertainment PR theme of this conference. Jacqui Owens from United Entertainment Group (an Edelman subsidiary) spoke in depth about her day to day in an area of PR that some people may think is the only part of PR: Event planning.
She began the session talking about how she helps her clients with finding the perfect celebrity or influencer to represent their brand. I loved learning about that process, how social media influencers have become a huge option for brands as opposed to celebrities & specifically the KFC Georgia Gold at the Golden Globes event she was an integral part of.
The most enjoyable part of my PRpalooza weekend was the people I met. This event really motivated me and affirmed that I have absolutely picked the right major, which for me was a long and hard process. It makes me look forward to my future, whether it’s in music and entertainment PR or not. I can’t wait to see what my future holds and to continue working hard to get there. Watch out PR world, I’m coming for you!
Maddie Petschow is a sophomore at DePaul University studying Public Relations & Advertising and a member of PRSSA. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter @Maddie_Petschow. See highlights of the conference on Twitter via #PRpalooza.