Fall 2017 President’s Message

Aloha! We are in the final stretch of 2017 and our board is preparing to transition to a new board in 2018! Our Programs committee is also gearing up for our final two professional development programs of the year. Although registration for our November program has closed, we hope to see you at our final 2017 lunch program featuring a media panel on Wednesday, December 6th. Look out for details soon on social media and email.

I was fortunate to attend this year’s PRSA International Conference, or PRSA ICON, in Boston last month. Our Western District Chair Amy Hennessey, APR and our President-Elect Jocelyn Collado, APR also attended to represent Hawaii at this year’s conference!

Aside from learning about dynamic topics and PR trends, we especially valued the connections we made with other Chapter leaders and PR professionals from around the world. As members, I highly recommend looking into the various conferences and workshops PRSA national organizes throughout the year. It is such an added value to have educational and networking resources readily available to you just by being a PRSA member. If anyone wants to talk story about my ICON experience, feel free to contact me at jen@kaiaconsult.com.

As my presidency begins to wrap up, I want to thank the board members (pictured below) who have contributed their time and talent to sustaining our Chapter.

There is a reason why we are a founding Chapter of the Society and make no mistake, we have been able to impact our local industry for 70 years because of our dedicated members who serve voluntarily on our board every year.  We hope you look forward to the next group of leaders in 2018! You will receive a board slate for voting via email later this month and will be able to meet our 2018 board members at our December 6th program and annual meeting.

Much gratitude and aloha,
Jennifer Armstrong, APR
Chapter President

PRSSA National Conference is a Learning Experience

By Mika Rawson, University of Hawaii Senior

The 2017 Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Conference in Boston was an amazing opportunity to meet new people and learn more about the field. I was able to attend with other University of Hawaii PRSSA Chapter members Kayla Scotka and Brandon Mitsunaga.  

Photo (Left to Right): PRSSA members Kayla Scotka, Brandon Mitsunaga and Mika Rawson attended the 2017 PRSSA National Conference in Boston, Ma.

The biggest piece of advice that resonated with me was what Morgan Spurlock said during his presentation at the PRSA General Session — “Take risks.” I took a risk attending the national conference because I knew that without significant financial assistance, the 2017 PRSSA National Conference would not be a reality for me. However, I was confident in my ability to make it work and to find enough scholarships to cover my trip. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my professor, academic advisor, and PRSSA advisor, Dr. Ji Young Kim and my PRSSA professional advisor, Amy Hennessey, APR. Without their dedication to our education, this trip may not have been possible for the three of us who attended. If I am willing to take risks to achieve something great, there will be people who believe in me enough willing to help.

Attending PRSSA National Conference has also helped to reinforce the theories and concepts I learned in the classroom. I was able to attend the seminar, “Let’s Get Ethical” with Donald K. Wright and Raymond Kotcher, both professors at Boston University. With the concepts of ethics that were reinforced at the seminar, I was able to share my knowledge with my PRSSA members by having an ethics workshop during one of our meetings. I gave two different scenarios and asked everyone to have a discussion about what might be the most ethical solution to the problems. I felt accomplished when the discussions become lively and everyone really enjoyed the activity.

Last but not least, I learned the importance of continuing my education and to eventually be a part of the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) program. Before attending the conference, I had no idea such a program existed, but now I feel inspired to get accredited myself when I join the field and become a member of PRSA. I want to be able to make the most ethical and professional decisions for the company or agency I will work for in the future. It’s unbelievable how much I learned about the field in just five days in Boston, but I am eternally grateful. Mahalo to PRSA Hawaii for your support of our trip.