By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
The challenge: Which of the 30 members of the cohort group should I speak to during the showcase and networking event.
The potential impediments: There was a time factor — just an hour or so. There were people I knew, other Chicago public relations professionals, who I had to engage with. And, this being early evening, there was that great buffet table, its contents the antidote to my hunger. Consequently, my time had to be allocated strategically.
Now for the situation: I was a guest at the DePaul University Future Leaders Graduate ePortfolio and Networking Event, held yesterday at an the Chicago Connectory, an appropriately-named co-working space on the fifth floor or the Merchandise Mart.
This now annual event provided a showcase for those who recently earned the Master’s in Public Relations and Advertising. The recent graduates were billed as “future leaders,” but I maintain they are today’s leaders. I visited with six, but would have welcomed the opportunity to meet them all.
I was impressed by their poise, understanding of communications and creativity — and not just because some shared gummy bears and chocolates. They were practiced and straightforward, savvy and skilled in conversation, even when I posed a challenging question.
One graduate was balancing a few job offers, another maintained social media platforms for a lifestyle company as a freelance account. And, one participant highlighted her athletic prowess in her presentation, while another graduate showcased photography skills.
Again, I was impressed.
Now to the Question:
Will these skilled modern communicators have the right stuff to help keep communications advancing, to navigate the unceasing era of negativity, “fake news” and whatever modern society and technology ushers forward?
I enthusiastically say they do. Your thoughts are welcomed.
Aside: A shout out to my friend Ron Culp, PRAD Professional in Residence and a truly iconic figure in public relations, for inviting me to the showcase.