When I was applying to colleges, I was honestly very unsure about what career I wanted to have in the future. I knew what industries I wanted to work in and that I love to write, but I also love social media and creating things. So when I discovered public relations, something in my gut told me that this was the right career path. It’s a field where I can present and perform, work with others, write, and create projects. I think PR is the place where all of my passions can come into play. When I heard that I could attend this year’s ICON Conference, I was thrilled to have received the opportunity because I love hearing different opinions, experiences, and advice from leading industry professionals. Every time I have the chance to listen to a PR professional, I’ve walked out learning something new. I love being able to attend a conference where I have an entire week to learn about the ins and outs of public relations and have the opportunity to create relationships as well.
One of my favorite sessions that I attended was “Protecting Clients Reputations, and Yours, When They Are Their Own Worst Enemy.” The two speakers at the session were Jo-Ann Sage Nelson and Ronele M. Dotson. I learned so much from both of them. Before I watched the session, I had never really thought about how important it is to protect your reputation and how sometimes it’s best to walk out on a client that isn’t cooperative or listening to the advice that you’re offering. Listening to both Jo-Ann and Ronele’s experiences were very eye-opening. I learned a lot by hearing about the tough decisions they had to make when one of their clients risked damaging their reputations.
Another session that I enjoyed was “The Future of PR: Today’s Trends That Shape The Profession of Tomorrow.” The speaker of this event was Alexander Laskin, and I loved hearing all his different opinions about where the world of PR might be ten years from now. It was interesting to hear how documenting experiences might become even more important than experiencing moments in real life. I also appreciated his reference to the show Black Mirror and how he explained that while it takes situations to the extreme, the program brings awareness to how the future might be if technology advances and people become more addicted to social media.
I also liked that Mr. Laskin discussed the possibility of virtual reality becoming more popular in the future because of its significance today.
This year’s ICON conference was my first, but it will not be my last. This conference was such an unforgettable opportunity, and I can’t wait to take everything I have learned and apply it to my career in the world of PR.