Student FPRA members recap on their experiences at Conference: Andrew Casademunt
As a Business Management major at Florida Gulf Coast University, the FPRA conference breakout sessions really helped me understand how public relations is important in the business community. When I went to the HMA, “When 60 Minutes Comes Calling” breakout session, it really gave me some important tips when it comes to interviewing reporters and trying to save your brand image. The breakout sessions gave me great tips and taught me that it is important to gather all of your data and have it ready to protect or attack the situation. I also liked the fact that the company gathered its information and was ready to interview with 60 minutes before they were called by the producers.
At FGCU I took an Entrepreneurship and Creativity course, and in that course I was involved in creating a new product or service that would have to be pitched to Angel Investors. Since I took that course, I have an invention idea that I want to bring to the market, but I don’t really have a marketing plan to reach my target market. Since I went to the “Going Mobile Breakout Session” with Michael Winn, he gave some super interesting and effective tips to reach potential customers with a low marketing budget. The best tip he mentioned in his breakout session was about developing a web based application instead of using a closed system app like Apple or Android. This information really has inspired me to use this web based application for smart phones in my business so I can reach mobile web users (smartphones and tablets) more effectively. I really thought the conference gave me important information about how public relations is important for your business.
My all-time favorite breakout session from conference would have to be “When 60 Minutes Comes Calling!” led by MaryAnn Hodge and David Green. This was my favorite session, because it was interesting to see what happened when the TV show “60 Minutes” contacted Health Management Associates and how they had some pretty strong accusations against the company. As well, I got to see how much work it takes to handle a situation like this, and how HMA had to team up with their company’s PR partner to figure out a game plan.
Overall, this breakout session gave me a lot of insight into what can really happen at any given second when you are in the business world. Communication is such an important aspect, because it is what can make or break a company. If a company has excellent communication skills, then they are typically able to take on any given situation. They are also the ones who help to represent the company and fix any problems that may occur. This session taught me about what to do when faced with a situation like this, and how important it is to research the information, know the facts, and stand firm for what your company represents.
In addition, I liked how they seemed to stay very calm throughout the whole ordeal, and I learned how important it is to not let the pressure get to you, especially when you are dealing with a huge company. This unexpected situation could have done terrible damage for HMA, including ruining their brand and reputation, but MaryAnn and David explained how they prepared for the interview and why it was so vital. I found it most intriguing when they talked about setting up a mock interview to help prepare the interviewer and make sure that he was ready for the real deal.