Biola’s Student Public Relations Society to Host Regional Conference in 2015

Public relations student group receives national awards and recognition

Nov. 3, 2014 By Lauren Frey

Biola University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has won the bid to host the PRSSA 2015 Regional Conference on Biola’s campus Feb. 20-21, 2015. As one of ten regional chapters to receive this honor nationwide, Biola PRSSA will host fellow chapters from Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah.
"This is just one more way Biola PRSSA is continuing to be a leader,” said Carolyn Kim, public relations professor and faculty adviser for Biola PRSSA. “I'm so proud of Allyson and the team. The conference has a lot of creative planning and dynamic opportunities to really enhance the experience of those attending.” 
Senior Allyson Fleener, PRSSA regional conference director, wrote and proposed the bid to judges in September. The conference comes at a perfect time for Biola University, as this year marks the launch of Biola’s public relations major, said Melissa Strom, senior communications major and Biola PRSSA president.
“Especially with the PR major, we’re definitely beginning to establish ourselves in Southern California,” said Strom. “Biola University is a place you can go to learn about PR and do PR well.”
There are currently 82 students in the PR major, whereas in 2011, there were only 40 students with a journalism major and a PR emphasis. The major has grown in numbers and quality, receiving national recognition. Biola’s PRSSA received the Star Chapter Award — an award of distinction earned by meeting certain PR requirements and goals — for the second year in a row in D.C. at the national PRSSA conference on October 11. In addition, Biola’s on-campus student-led agency, 6th Street PR, won the PRSSA Student-Run Firm Award for Best Tactic. 
The regional conference team will capitalize on Biola’s prime Southern California location with the theme, “Topping the Charts of PR,” as Los Angeles is a hub for the public relations profession, said Fleener. 
“Allyson worked really hard at creating the theme and presenting all of the programming and presenting our ideas to the national committee,” said Strom. “They determined that we were the best choice to host the conference in our area after looking at all the other applications.” 
The conference will highlight, but not strictly focus on, the opportunities of entertainment PR in Los Angeles, said Fleener.
“Looking for areas that specializes in entertainment, Los Angeles is going to be your number one,” said Fleener. “But we want to bring a mindset that, yes, we do have a lot of entertainment PR, but there’s so many different types and we do have so many opportunities.”
Biola PRSSA hopes to have close to 100 attendees, including PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) attendees from their organization’s two parent chapters — Los Angeles PRSA and Orange County PRSA. 
“It was only a few years ago when [Biola] PRSSA had just three members,” said Strom. “So we’ve grown a lot as a chapter. We want to show that to both the on-campus and off-campus communities and raise awareness about the group, so that we can continue this growth.”
PRSSA National posted a press release with the official conference announcement in October.
Connect with Biola PRSSA on Twitter and Facebook.
Written by Lauren Frey, internal communications assistant. For more information, contact Jenna Bartlo, media relations specialist, at 562.777.4016 or

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