Students get career exposure in public relations industry

Left to right: Joli Dupy, Skye Gorena, Seth Walker, Karla Cruz, Taylor Bleakley.

Public relations students attended agency and industry tours in Little Rock for a day of networking and learning from public relations professionals Friday, Feb. 17.

The annual Public Relations Student Society of America Agency/Industry Tours Day brings undergraduate students from across the state together to gain insight about some of the top PR work environments in Central Arkansas, according to the Public Relations Society of America.

“I feel like I’m leaving with five or six years of knowledge that a book couldn’t teach me. I really enjoyed learning about all of the different aspects there are to public relations,” Seth Walker, speech communication and public relations major, said.

Students had the chance to join industry professionals for lunch at the Regions Bank Building to network, seek career advice and watch Johnny Little, CEO/Founder of eLittle Communications, give a presentation on the communication of the Ferguson, Mo. crisis, and how he assisted the city by creating a media relations department.

Public relations students visited Mangan Holcomb Partners, Stone Ward, Ghidotti Communications, The Communications Group, Heifer International and the Union Pacific Jenks Locomotive Facility.

“This has opened my eyes to more opportunities within public relations,” Karla Cruz, junior public relations major, said. “I feel like if I pursue public relations that the Public Relations Student Society of America is the best way to get my foot in the door.”

Students were able to network with public relations specialists including president/CEO of Ghidotti Communications, Natalie Ghidotti, Public Relations Society of America Arkansas president, Sarah Kinser, senior brand manager and public relations account manager, Heide Harrell, and many more.

“It is important for students to have these opportunities for exposure, networking and other benefits that you can’t teach students in a classroom,” Megan Toland, assistant professor of journalism, said. “It also helps students figure out for themselves what they might want to do, and what options they have if they go into public relations.”

For more information about PRSSA go online to or contact ATU PRSSA adviser Dr. Hanna Norton at