I just returned back to Louisville from a fabulous AEJMC Conference in Washington, D.C. It was interesting to see what were some of the main themes from the conference based on the research and presentations in the PR Division (PRD).
First, there is a of course a discussion about the divide between practitioners and researchers – but we are trying to make this bridge stronger. Second, the research in crisis communications within PR is becoming a dominant area and paradigm in the field, which is exciting. Lastly, social media was being researched, practiced, and used at full speed at AEJMC, especially at the conference! I was very fortunate to work with three amazing ladies at the conference as part of the social media committee. Tiffany, Geah, and Melissa were all fabulous! Thanks for all of your hard work, ladies!
I also had a chance to present a top teaching paper with Tiffany (Gee couldn’t make it to the conference due to a family emergency) and we had a great response to our infographic study. We discussed our infographic study focusing on what students and professionals thought about the process and what were some of the benefits, challenges, and tips they had for professors. This was a great and fun project to work on – and I had a chance to work on the study with some amazing ladies!
There were several takeaway points from the conference I walked away from and wanted to share with you all:
- We have a FABULOUS PR community at AEJMC: I may be a little biased, but I have been to several other academic conferences, and I have to say AEJMC has one of the most positive, engaged, and mentoring focused divisions in PR I have seen. I really enjoyed the conversations I had with everyone at the conference. It’s been very impressive to be part of and I consider myself lucky to be part of a great division of PR professionals.
- Seeing some awesome presentations: I was super impressed with the research presentations I saw at the conference – wow! Truly awesome. I felt that there were some that really stood out to me including Carolyn Mae Kim’s study Pinterest study, Melissa Dodd’s study along with Vince Hazelton and John Brummette on PR practitioners, and many others!
- We have some major PR rockstars coming up in the ranks among our graduate students: I was very impressed with the level of diversity in interests, backgrounds, and perspectives among the graduate students I talked to at AEJMC. They were energetic, excited, and enthusiastic about what they wanted to do in PR, which was very exciting to see.
- Getting to meet people in real life (IRL) from social media: This conference was all about meeting people I have been talking to for several months to years and finally meeting them in person. This was a huge highlight for me – I was super excited! Had a great French bakery breakfast with my friend Patrick (FSU Assistant Professor in PR & Journalism), coffee and dinner with Guy Golan (Syracuse University), lunch with Diana Sisson (University of South Carolina PhD student), chat session with social media and sports researcher and professor Jimmy Sanderson (Clemson University – awesome conversation on sports and Google Glass!), and Kevin Trowbridge on social media and Google Glass (Belmont University). Great meeting you all in person!
- Meeting up with friends and colleagues: I was very excited to see some of my colleagues from UofL (John and William) along with friends from school. Thanks for the great times Nell, Ioana, Geah, Tiffany, Melissa, Craig, Glenn, Sora, Emma, Catherine, and Bernardo! It was great to see you all!
Overall, it was wonderful to see everyone and listen to some wonderful presentations. I hope you all had a safe trip back home from DC and hope to see you next year at AEJMC 2014 in Montreal, Canada!
Have a great day!