PRSA goes to school

By Michelle Hopkins, Diversity Chair Cincinnati PRSA

I wish all Cincinnati PRSA members could have been there to see the moment when high school students  -- who had no idea about public relations -- got it.

Michelle Hopkins is Community Engagement Director for Mercy Health and Diversity Chair for Cincinnati PRSA.

Michelle Hopkins is Community Engagement Director for Mercy Health and Diversity Chair for Cincinnati PRSA.

PRSA Goes to School, a new diversity initiative, kicked off on Friday, April 17. There were a lot of questions in my mind. Would the students be interested? Would they participate? Would they get something out of it? Turns out the answer to all those questions was a resounding YES!

It was both heartwarming and energizing to see the dynamic between PR pros, PRSSA students from Miami University and high school students from Shroder High School, brainstorming, going through the steps of a PR plan -– and all of us from diverse backgrounds.

We were all crammed into a room with easels and markers and on a mission to come up with strategies and tactics to successfully launch a new museum that would drive visitors and memberships throughout the first year.

The Shroder students were engaged, the PR pros were leading, and, in some case, following. The college students were just plain excited to be there showing off what they know about PR.

The students shared their ideas in small groups first and then later to the larger group. Everyone learning something new.

It's the kind of day that students will remember -- a hands-on lesson in public relations. I have a feeling that it's also a day that will stand out for PR pros -- a reminder of why we're in it and the rewards of reaching back to help someone else.