Star Chapter Award – and chat with a PR Pro

Christine Spasoff, our President receives the Star Chapter award

The day was off to an exciting start this morning when the Beth Wood Chapter of PRSSA was honored with the Star Chapter award. Chapters of any size can earn this distinction by meeting specific chapter and professional development goals including attending National Conference, engaging with the Hoosier PRSA chapter, and educating members about ethics. 27 schools earned this award.

I went to multiple sessions today ranging from tips for a successful career to the real story behind fashion public relations. My favorite session was called “Prescriptions Doctors Can’t Write” with Jason Carlton, Social Media Specialist for Intermountain Healthcare. This session was especially interesting to me because I would like to go into the healthcare field.

Carlton works in a hospital, meaning his duties range from coordinating news stories to photographing healthcare settings. This is typical of most public relations professionals, however in the healthcare field, all these things need to stay within the confines of HIPAA. Therefore patient information cannot be divulged unless there is consent first; an added difficulty to Carlton’s job.

Some examples of Carlton’s work include filming and photographing a rotation plasty for a local news story. Carlton showed a graphic picture of the surgery and it was so neat to see the behind the scenes work in a hospital.

Carlton said the most rewarding part of working in a hospital is the ability to improve and save lives through advocacy campaigns. For example, this month is breast cancer awareness month. As part of his campaign, Carlton passes out “coins” reminding women to get mammograms.

At the end of the session Carlton offered tips for students interested in getting into the healthcare field, but are applicable to most public relations students.

  • Enter PR student contests, like Bateman with PRSSA.
  • Attend local PRSA events (our local Hoosier PRSA has monthly luncheons that are open to students).
  • Play the student card and network with professionals, they are always willing to help!
  • Don’t get pigeon-holed. Volunteer for extra projects so that you can diversify your skills based on your interests.
  • Take initiative. Make yourself stand out from the crowd and above all, network, network, network.

Christine Spasoff



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