A Report from the October Professional Development Luncheonby Monica Cuevas
The Nov. 1 PRSA luncheon, “Halloween Horror Stories: Real-Life Communication Mishaps” was a delightful and entertaining experience. Throughout my coursework at UTSA and during my internship, I have listened to several lectures on steps to take when faced with a crisis. Listening to the real life stories of PR professionals who have experienced hairy situations and how they were able to turn them around offered wonderful examples of how to apply these lessons.
I particularly enjoyed the story by Dee Dee Poteete, director of communications for the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, where her team found themselves with no light just before midnight as Anderson Cooper was about to go on air to feature a San Antonio New Year’s celebration. As hearts where pounding, her team thought quickly to come up with a solution. The team spotted a neighboring party and reached out to them for help connecting to an electrical outlet. Cords were thrown over a balcony and seconds before airtime lights illuminated Cooper. Poteete’s story, as well as the many others told, shows how PR professionals must be flexible to unexpected situations that occur even when planning is well laid out.
Leaving the luncheon I felt a sense of excitement knowing I would soon encounter the challenge of experiences just like Poteete’s. Encouraged by the Halloween spirit, the corners of my mouth perked up into a giant grin. As I walked out, I couldn’t help but envision my opportunity to play PR superhero rescuing those in need, if even for just a moment.