The Fall 2022 Executive Board members at ICON '22. Pictured from left to right: Todd, Rachel, Yadira, Audrey, and Giana. Giana is a junior at Boston University studying public relations. She is the PR Coordinator for BU PRSSA and runs the Digital Media and Blog Team.
The Public Relations Society of America hosted its 75th annual ICON Conference—The Power of Influence—with over eight thousand attendees last month. From November 12th through 15th, professionals who are members of PRSA, as well as dozens of PRSSA chapters from around the country, attended the annual conference. The conference took place in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas at the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center, which was decked out for the holidays when students and members arrived. Many of the professionals served as mentors to help out students and demonstrate their knowledge of the field through speaking presentations. Five BU PRSSA Executive Board members attended the event including Audrey Tumbarello, Todd Leporatti, Rachel Lin, Yadira Cabrera, and Giana Carrozza. The students had the opportunity to listen to numerous keynote speakers, including NFL legend Emmitt Smith and actress Marlee Matlin. With over fifty different speaking events, they had the option to pick and choose which speakers to listen to based on their interests during each day of the conference.
“I liked the smaller events because they were catered to the specific interests we had,” said PR Coordinator Giana Carrozza. “My favorite one was So Sorry, Now Please Watch: Identifying Image Repair Strategies, Sincerity, and Forgiveness in Youtubers’ Apology Videos. A professor from Columbia College presented her research on large influencer scandals to assess whether their audience felt the apology was sincere, from analyzing the speaker’s eye contact to their hand gestures to whether they cried. I had never thought of YouTube apology videos in an academic or research way before and it really opened my eyes.”
The E-Board members said they also took many ideas with them for BU’s chapter of the club including new positions and different events they plan to implement in the fall. “I attended a podcast speaker event one morning of the conference and it gave me so many insights and ideas for our podcast we recently began,” Giana said. Her Digital Media and Blog Team recently started their own podcast for BU PRSSA called PaPRazzi Podcast. Find them on Instagram for all things media and pop culture.
In addition to speaking events, a career fair and mentoring session was also conducted and served to assist students with their professional development. E-Board members had the opportunity to sit down with a PR professional who was assigned to them to go over their hopes for their career and any assistance they needed with reaching their goals. Giana said this was one of the most impactful parts of the conference for her.
PRSA announced its 2023 National Conference will be in Nashville, Tennessee next October, which BU PRSSA E-Board members will have the opportunity to attend again.
Written by Sophia Sullivan and Giana Carrozza