Creating public relations professionals
The Arizona Student Public Relations Society (ASPRS), which was established in spring 2017 at the University of Arizona, provides opportunities for students to gain real-world experience and skills in the public relations field.
UA accommodates a wide variety of clubs and organizations, which provide small communities for students to identify with, as well as skill-building opportunities that help members land jobs after graduation.
According to the ASPRS website, the club “was created to offer students a chance to learn about and engage in the industry of public relations as a potential career path.”
UA junior and president of the organization, Talia Sabbath, joined because of her interest in developing leadership skills and to ensure the continuation of the club, and she intends to bring ASPRS to a national level.
Sabbath is a marketing major and has held the position of president since fall 2017. As the club grows and develops, she hopes it will become part of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
PRSA National researches, tracks and speaks out on current issues impacting professional practice, principles and reputation. PRSA advocacy also focuses on three core areas: the business value of public relations, ethics and diversity within the profession, according to its website
“Right now, since we are a fairly new club, we are wanting to get more involved in real-world projects involving public relations and connecting with other organizations,” Sabbath said.
The UA does not currently offer a public relations major or minor, therefore limiting the opportunity for public relations career experience for students. For UA students, ASPRS is an opportunity to explore the field of public relations by making connections and learning from professionals in the field.
A public relations minor is currently being developed at UA in the Department of Communication with the assistance of ASPRS club adviser Julie Armstrong.
Regarding current club activity, Sabbath said ASPRS is enhancing skills and informing its club members on what public relations can offer them.
“We have guest speakers who have a career in public relations come speak to our club members and give more insight to public relations and what it entails,” Sabbath said. “We also have had a couple of press release workshops to help build people’s skills when writing press releases.”
According to Sabbath, there are also plans for a kind of “public relations field trip” to the agency Caliber Group.
Caliber is a brand-marketing, public relations, interactive firm based in Arizona, representing clients across the U.S. and internationally.
ASPRS meets every other Wednesday in the Emil W. Haury Anthropology building, located at 1009 E. South Campus Drive, from 6–7 p.m.
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