Columns members attend PRSSA regional conference at WVU

Kayleigh Casto, Staff Reporter

Editors of the Columns recently attended the Public Relations Student Society Association (PRSSA) Regional Conference hosted by West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media. Conference attendees of Wired and Wonderful: The Reach of Digital Storytelling! were exposed to the minds and experiences of industry professionals in public relations and media-based occupations. Attendees had the opportunity to hear the speakers of their choice in breakout sessions.



            Industry professionals in public relations and other media-related occupations shared their experiences and industry advice to those in attendance at the conference. A few of the speakers who presented are:

  • Whitney Drake, Story Bureau and Analytics Manager, General Motors
  • Kristi Hansen Onkka, Marketing Consultant and Founder, com
  • Bree McCullough, Multimedia Specialist, SSPC: The Society of Protective Coatings
  • Dylan Jones, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Highland Outdoor Magazine
  • Alex Dudich, Cooperative Advertising Program Coordinator, West Virginia Tourism Office
  • Leighann Sainato, Ticket Operations Public Relations Manager, West Virginia Black Bears
  • Jordan Mitrik, Public Relations Specialist, BRUNNER
  • Kevin Saghy, Senior Director of Social Media, The Ohio State University
  • Sukhi Sahni, External Communications and Marketing Public Relations Director, Capital One
  • Eric Winkfield, Public Affairs Manager, Pepco
  • And more!

An example of the breakout session options was Jordan Mitrik’s presentation titled The Art of Digital Storytelling from an Agency Pro. Mitrik, the Public Relations Specialist for BRUNNER, discussed the strategy and importance of using influencers in marketing. For example, marketing companies may use influencers (someone of influence for a lifestyle or product) to endorse a business’s product. Marketing companies, like BRUNNER, may use technologies that identify the reach and reliability of an influencer to then be chosen for the marketing of a company’s product.


What is PRSSA?

            Public Relations Student Society of America is a nationally recognized organization mission-minded to “provide exceptional service to members by enhancing their education, broadening their professional network and helping launch their careers after graduation.”


Interested in Joining PRSSA?

            Staff for the Columns is looking to start a PRSSA chapter at Fairmont State. If you are interested in being part of the start of a chapter, please contact the Columns advisor Professor Barbara Grigg at [email protected].