Public relations students gather for first club meeting

By Gregory Camillone – Contributing Writer

Members of the public relations club lean in to discuss their semester goals. Photo by Gregory Camillone.

On Thursday, Oct. 5, students gathered in the Donahue Center for Creative and Applied Arts for the first Public Relations Club meeting of the year.

Associate Professor Erin Vicente advised the club members, suggesting they brainstorm a mission statement, potential conferences and guest speakers and how to recruit more students to join. “I want to get this club up and running,” said Vicente. “Everyone who is a public relations major should be in this club. We have to come up with ideas and see where this club is going.”

Vicente’s goal is to provide opportunities and chances to develop connections within the industry for students in the club. “Public relations is everywhere. It’s the fastest growing communication field. Networking, socializing, getting your brand out there, that’s what public relations is all about,” said Vicente.

Members of the club understand how important public relations is and its increasing value. “I knew that I’ve wanted to be informed and understand what was going on, not just by listening to people, but by being able to do my own research,” said sophomore James Kappatos. “I like the idea of an image, whether it’d be for a company or a person. I also like the set up of a campaign manager or being ahead of public relations for a company. I want to be the voice or face of a company.”

“I’ve always found it interesting who wrote what and why professional athletes and politicians say certain things; the deeper meaning behind it,” said sophomore Carly Smith.

The students see the club becoming bigger than solely public relations. “We could have a Communications Club with a PR division,” said Kappatos. “It would provide a way for all communication majors to see what their future may look like.”

The Public Relations Club had previous trouble recruiting members in recent years. The group looks to expand by welcoming all students interested in communications. “I want to show students why public relations is important and why they should join,” said Kappatos. “This club is a professional outlet not just for public relations people but for all communication majors.”

“There’s not an event that doesn’t need PR,” said Vicente. “Advertising has really switched into full service PR agencies. My vision is to educate students on conferences and to bring in a speaker.”

“I think of the club being a professional outlet,” said Kappatos. “The hospitality club, they go to events, they go to conferences. I like that idea and want to implement that into our own philosophy.”

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