SPRA Conference Reflection By Phinah Lekganyane

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It was an immense pleasure to attend the Students’ Public Relations Association (SPRA) conference, during which I had an opportunity to meet successful public relations practitioners. This was a fantastic opportunity for me since I was able to learn a lot about the influence of public relations in society. I have learned that public relations is a broad field that involves creating, managing, and distributing information from an organization to the wider public to inform them about that organization’s activities to develop a positive reputation. Most importantly, I have learned about five things to do in university, which are: building relationships with different media; having different mentors; building my skills; researching industry trends; and personal branding, which might be a better key than education. I have also learned that to become a successful public relations practitioner, I must understand the environment that I want to be in and I must approach agencies and look for unpaid opportunities. This conference was extremely helpful to me because I was able to learn about things that they do not teach us in the classroom, such as setting clear objectives in terms of what I want to achieve and having a plan. I was also able to learn about being active in all the activities that the university offers students, such as community engagement, applying to become a member of the Student Representative Council (SRC), and applying to be a mentor or tutor. This will help me to enhance my curriculum vitae and learn communication skills, teamwork skills, networking skills, writing skills, leadership skills, and many more. One of the most exciting moments was having to attend a social media master class by Tebogo Ditshego, where I was able to learn how to write a curriculum vitae and learn about “what makes me special, is what I have done that others have not done.” Everything about this conference was so perfect that I would like to attend many more of them.

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