A Day of Networking for PR Students at Connection Day

left to right: Christopher Scheben, Alexa Sibilio, Lauren Katz, Vania Andre (Professor Morosoff’s grad-assistant)

The Fair Media Council (FMC) is a not-for-profit media watch organization that encourages quality local news. Thirty years ago, a group of concerned business and community leaders created FMC to educate local consumers on how to decipher important news. Jaci Clement is the Executive Director of this organization and has a notable background in journalism and media, which is why she is such a strong advocate for quality local news coverage.

The Fair Media Council hosts various events to educate organizations on how to be a part of the news ecology. Connection Day is an event the FMC hosts where communicators and leaders are invited for a day of networking and education. The event features workshops and panel discussions regarding news media, social media, story-pitching, presentation skills, crisis management tips, ways to establish media relations, how to create video messages, and more. It is also a great way for local businesses to meet with local media professionals and/or pitch stories.

On October 27, 2011, myself along with two other students attended the Fair Media Council’s Connection day at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, NY, as research assistants for Hofstra’s very own, Professor Jeff Morosoff. As students of his, Professor Morosoff offered a unique opportunity to Lauren Katz, Christopher Scheben, and myself. We were asked to help him with his research project pertaining to how not-for-profit organizations do PR. We went to Connection Day to help Professor Morosoff hand out surveys to not-for-profit communicators in order to achieve his objective.

I met professional communicators from various different fields and organizations, including both for and not-for-profits. What I thought was going to be “just another thing to put on my resume,” turned out to be the experience of a lifetime, and one I will never forget. There were representatives from FOX5, CW, CBS, ABC, Newsday, and other local news stations along with colleges such as St. Josephs and of course Hofstra. This was my first experience networking and I was very intimidated at first, but gained comfort as I realized how approachable the professionals in the room were.

In between handing out surveys, Professor Morosoff encouraged us to sit in on some of the panel discussions and workshops. Chris and myself sat in on a very interested panel discussion called, Social Media for Small Business. I enjoyed listening and learning from the panel members, but my favorite part of the day was getting to network with the people that I will hopefully one day work with.

Taking advantage of Professor Morosoff’s opportunity was one of the best decisions. Not only did it lead to internships for other students, but also it increased my knowledge of public relations in general as well as adding some experience to my resume. Hofstra students do not always realize the vast amount of opportunities offered here at Hofstra. In my experiences over the past four years, I have come to learn that the teachers here are very able and willing to help us in either getting internships, jobs, or other experiences associated with our desired department of study. If I did not open my email and reply to Professor Morosoff’s unique opportunity, I would not have met Jaci Clement and other professional communicators, Lauren may not have snagged her internship from CW11, and most importantly- I would not have obtained networking experience. Hofstra professors can offer a lot more than grades, but experience and mentoring too.

The Fair Media’s platform to bring local communities and news outlets together is a great message for students studying PR because it is important that we stay up-to-date with current events. To learn more about the Fair Media Council and Jaci Clement’s goals for the future of our local media, you can check out http://fairmediacouncil.totalcomputersusa.com/. FMC is a patron of Hofstra and has even offered internships to Hofstra students in the past. Whether you are majoring in Journalism or PR, the Fair Media Council can teach you. I learned a lot from Connection Day and cannot wait for more networking/learning experiences like this in the future!

Alexa Sibilio
Hofstra Public Relations Student

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