Club to Consider Starting Real PR Firm
The Board of Directors of the Public Relations Society of America has granted a charter to Belmont University to establish a chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. The charter caps an incredible first year for the Public Relations Program, which in its first year was one of the fastest growing academic programs at Belmont. The PRSSA chapter is considering partnering with the university’s Center for Entrepreneurship to launch a real student-managed public relations firm.
“The establishment of a Belmont Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America is a major step forward for our year-old program,” Pam Parry, associate professor of journalism and director of the public relations program, said. “It brings legitimacy to our efforts and opportunities to our students. Through the PRSSA Chapter, Belmont students will be able to network with professionals, attend conferences, apply for scholarships, participate in a national job center and compete with other students across the country.”
Parry said the establishment of a PRSSA Chapter is a significant development for campus life and community partnerships with other public relations professionals in Nashville and across the country.
“For two years, we’ve had a very successful public relations club on campus that has provided a sense of belonging and connectedness with our students. Now, that campus club has become part of a larger community, extending the network beyond Belmont, beyond Nashville to the rest of the country.”
The chapter, already 20 members strong, will hold its first meeting in September.
“At that meeting, we will discuss the possibility of starting our own PR firm, and Dr. Jeffrey Cornwall of the Center for Entrepreneurship will be there to explain this potential new partnership between our new PRSSA Chapter and the entrepreneurship program on campus,” Parry said.
About the Belmont Public Relations Program
Belmont University added a new major and minor in public relations beginning in the fall of 2004. Students may earn a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts degree in the major. The major was added to the Media Studies Department, which also houses journalism, mass communications and audio/video production. As of August 8, 2005, the public relations program had 46 majors and seven minors, establishing it as one of the fastest growing programs on campus for the 2004-2005 academic year. The program’s annual report for the 2004-05 academic year can be read online at http://www.belmont.edu/mediastudies/pdf/anreport.
About the PRSSA
The PRSSA was founded in 1968 by the Public Relations Society of America for the purpose of cultivating a favorable and mutually advantageous relationship between students and professional public relations practitioners. The PRSSA aims to foster understanding of current theories and procedures of the public relations profession, appreciation of the highest ethical ideals and principles, awareness of an appropriate professional attitude, and appreciation of Associate Membership in PRSA and eventually accredited membership.
Tennessean, August 10, 2005, Business briefs, fourth item. [PDF file here.]
You can also read UMAC staff writer Amanda Wheeler’s Circle magazine story about the new Public Relations Progam, A Running Start, online here in a 2-page PDF file. The story appears in the Spring 2005 issue of Circle.