As students entered the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication’s student lounge Monday morning, they were greeted by the smiling face and warm spirit of senior public relations student Oriana Plummer.
Lining the tables of the lounge were protein bars, bottles of orange juice, an assortment of bagels, and soft spread cream cheese for the students to enjoy; orange and green balloons lightly twirled against the wall next to a sign that boldly stated “Public Relations Student Society of America.”
The FAMU chapter of PRSSA is hosting PRSSA Week, a five-day lineup of events looking to engage the student body and teach them about the world of public relations. From 9 to 11 a.m., Plummer, president of the chapter, invited students to partake in the breakfast and inform them about what the coming week will offer.
The week will include a crisis management workshop with local arts gallery 621 Gallery, a college readiness seminar with junior and senior students at FAMU Developmental Research School, and participation in FAMU’s Relay for Life festivities.
Looking at the schedule, three of the remaining four events are either community-centered or will take place within the community. For Plummer, the importance of community involvement is both strategic and necessary.
“When people think of PR they think of the glamor of it – you got entertainment PR, sports PR, corporate PR, political PR,” Plummer said. “We just don’t want to lose the interest of community, because PR is needed within a community. We wanted to show students that it’s something we value in our organization.”
The road to putting PRSSA Week together has been a bit arduous. For PRSSA PR coordinator Marquel Bowen, standing out and staying on top of everything has been the organization’s biggest foe.
“It’s always a challenge to find ways for students to be interested in your event, when there’s so many other student organizations,” Bowen said. “There are so many moving parts and busy schedules, so it’s been a process trying to get everything together.”
In the spirit of problem solving, Bowen mentioned that a solution has already been found: assigning each of the five PRSSA executive board members to one event, which insures that each event is properly supervised and, ultimately, taken care of.
Although the week just began, PRSSA’s work is already paying off. Junior public relations student Zarkia Williams’ interest was piqued when she walked into the student lounge Monday morning.
“This was my first time hearing about (PRSSA), so I really wish I was more involved,” Williams said. “If I was more involved, I could meet more people and be able to network better, which is beneficial to me.”
PRSSA Week will continue with a general body meeting at 6 p.m. today in SJGC Room 2037; the meeting will include a writing workshop, open to all, featuring Valerie White, a longtime professor in SJGC.
For more information about PRSSA Week, visit the organization’s Instagram page @famuprssa.