The University of Northern Iowa's chapter of PRSSA was chartered on January 18, 1981. The University of Northern Iowas student-run public relations firm consistently seeks to make a difference to the UNI, Cedar Falls and Waterloo communities through their dedication to education. Our mission statement reads: To provide quality public relations counsel for organizations within the community. Students benefit from working in an educational and professional environment. By operating within PRSSA codes, PRide (Public Relations Interns Develop Expertise) offers an opportunity to sharpen and enhance public relation skills." It has become particularly evident in the work produced by our organization that we strive to uphold these duties outlined for us.
The executive board of PRide consists of five members, each who serve as an account executive, maintaining the communication between our clients and our organization. They then distribute work to the appropriate account coordinator who oversees a committee of 8-13 students who work on a specific format of materials. These groups include: publicity/promotional materials, program planning, planning and research, special events planning, and web development. This has allowed students to develop a relatively strong background in whichever group they are involved in. They receive many opportunities to further their skills through the various projects they are given within these groups.
What started as primarily a campus service has grown greatly and our clients now extend outside the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area. Some of our clients this year include Waterloo Schools, The Tour Place, Game Face, Inc., The Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley, and the Grout Museum. Students meet each week to maintain successful communication, hearing a weekly update of the progress or setbacks of each account.
We are also lucky enough to have individuals who work in the public relations field speak at PRide and also conduct workshops to further our members' education. This year, we will be holding several hands-on workshops, conducted by experts on campus. In addition, we are scheduling speakers to come in during our meeting to explain what they do in their professional field.
Being involved in a student-run firm, like PRide, is a great way to gain hands on experience in the public relations field. It is also an excellent resume and portfolio builder. We encourage everyone to join their student-run firm or establish one for their chapter. It is an excellent way to bring lasting rewards to not only their members, but to their school and community as a whole.