While the public relations program is one of the most popular majors in the College of Media & Communication, until now there has been a noticeable lack of student organizations that offered any related professional development and networking opportunities. Missing? The PRSSA chapter at Texas Tech University.
The PRSSA, or the Public Relations Student Society of America, is the student chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the non-profit trade organization for industry professionals and educators with more than 30,000 members around the world.
However, PRSSA is not a completely new group to this campus. According to Mary Norman, Ph.D., assistant professor of practice of public relations and group adviser, the original student chapter was dissolved in 2008 when the region lost its local PRSA group.
Now established for several years, the West Texas PRSA Chapter continues to grow and, with tremendous support from Norman, other CoMC professionals and the student officers of the former TechPR group, the Texas Tech PRSSA chapter has found its new home in CoMC.
“The really amazing thing is that this means we are a part of a national organization,” Norman said. “We have access to training, leadership, advice; they've been really helpful with providing us with information on how to build up our membership, because that's something that we really want to do.”
One way that PRSSA plans to thrive is by merging with another student group, RaiderComm, the college-based PR firm run by students. According to Debbie Davis, Ph.D., assistant professor of practice of public relations and adviser of RaiderComm, the PRSSA student chapter is still working out how to officially attach RaiderComm to itself while further cementing their relationship.
“There are a wide range of examples across the country of how this works. Starting this Fall, RaiderComm is offered as an academic class, PR 4301,” Davis said. “All of the students in the class are required to be PRSSA members, so there will be interaction between the two.”
Matt Molinar, a senior communication studies major from Levelland and the Texas Tech PRSSA president, also wants to see the chapter grow and is excited to work with both TechPR and RaiderComm. He said the group has big plans for their future, and, as president, he wants to establish a solid foundation to provide support for future projects.
“And the way I'm going to do that is by bettering our social media, developing a blog, putting up posters,” said Molinar. “That's literally all it takes, but it's a lot of work.”
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