As having attended this year’s 75th annual FPRA conference, I can definitely say that it will be an experience I will never forget. I am also so grateful for being able to receive a scholarship to attend. Currently being a senior and Vice President of the FPRA student chapter at Florida Gulf Coast University (DUNK CITY!) I can proudly say that I have learned an extreme amount of information throughout the communication and public relations field. I am ready to take on any job that may come my way after graduation, and I am excited to use all of the skills I have learned throughout the past four years in a job that I will hopefully work at for many years to come.

Furthermore, attending this year’s FPRA conference in St. Petersburg has truly helped me learn and understand about various topics in the public relations field and industry. I now feel even more confident in the skills I have previously learned, and hope to use the skills I have just learned at conference in the future as well. Some of my favorite breakout sessions which gave me amazing insight into real life situations and stories, include ‘Answering Tough Questions’ by Carrie Hoeppner, ‘When 60 Minutes Comes Calling’ by MaryAnn Hodge and David Green, and ‘Keeping Your Brand Authentic’ by Carrie Crozer. These three breakout sessions stuck out to me, because they each showed an extreme passion for what they do and shared real life experiences. They showed how you can get through difficult times and how you should not give up so easily.

One of the breakout sessions at the FPRA conference which has really stuck with me is “Keeping Your Brand Authentic” which was led by Carrie Crozer. Not only did Carrie grasp my attention from the very second she played the Spanx video, but I continued to stay mesmerized on my way out. I really enjoyed this session the most, because it gave a lot of fascinating insight on a brand and showed how they have been able to have the same reputation stick with them for many years now.

Furthermore, I thoroughly enjoyed how Carrie talked about your brand being more than just its products, but the connection you feel to it. She also mentioned how Spanx sends special kits over to various stores, that way they can teach the employees how they should go about selling Spanx to the consumers. I think that is extremely important when one of your main goals is to have brand loyalty, as Carrie mentioned.

Overall, I found it incredible how a young woman created this brand from scratch, and is now on the cover of Forbes magazine today. Not only has this story inspired me to not be scared of my dreams or aspirations, but it has also shown me how important it is to keep my brand authentic at all times, especially if I want to have a successful business and people all of over the world recognizing what I stand for.
By attending conference, I have received a glimpse into the ‘real world’ and what to expect. It has taught me to stay true to who you are, knows the facts 100%, keep your cool, and be confident in what you stand for. Public relations can be very stressful at times, but I will always remember these important things which I have learned from these various speakers, because I know it will help me in my future endeavors. I am so lucky to have been given this opportunity, and would love to attend conference again next year.