By: Jaclyn Weisberg
After 3,500 miles in the air, 2.5 hours in the bus, and boundless weeks of preparation, the day had finally arrived; my dream was becoming a reality. I was walking into my first public relations conference…. in England!
I’m not embarrassed to say that my morning consisted of sweaty palms and a stomach full of butterflies. But, as I entered the University of Bournemouth and was welcomed into the 5th International History of Public Relations Conference, my fears were quickly alleviated. I felt right where I belonged, surrounded by people from all over the globe who shared the same desire as me to expand and share their knowledge of public relations.
On the first day of the conference, Dr. Dustin Supa and I presented our proceeding, entitled “What’s in a name? The history and evolution of the naming of sports venues as a public relations tool.” Surveying the role of branding with regard to the name of a particular stadium, the paper studies the Coliseum, Wrigley Field and Busch Stadium.
As research assistant for Dr. Supa, a BU professor for both graduate and undergrad students, I’ve had the opportunity to assist with various research initiatives, focusing primarily on the history of public relations.
I’m humbled to have had the opportunity to interact with my Boston University professors outside of the classroom setting and to watch as they literally played on a global intellectual stage, in front of noted scholars from all four corners of the world.
It was an honor to see firsthand the respect that other public relations academics have for BU’s program. I can say with extreme fervor that I’m proud to be a BU graduate student.
I feel fortunate (and a little star struck) to have spent time interacting with prestigious and highly esteemed academics, researchers, and practitioners from more than 15 countries.
As keynote speaker Dr. Gunter Bentale, distinguished professor at Leipzig University, said, “the true definition of public relations is to work for, with, and in the public.”
After this past week, I couldn’t agree more.
This conference has truly enriched my outlook on the world of public relations. The knowledge, feedback and stories I have received are invaluable.
In the final plenary of the conference, Tim Travis Healy concludes, “character is the most crucial part in professional public relations. The checklist to success is simple. Be personable, mature, articulate, courageous and humorous and you will equip yourself with the tools to succeed in this field.”
As a future practitioner, I will utilize all that I learned this week. I look forward to attending more conferences in the future and I hope to maintain the connections I’ve made for years to come. I couldn’t have asked for a better #myCOM experience!
*Jaclyn is a graduate student in the Public Relations program. For more information on the program, click here.