As a part of Grand Valley’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter, you have the opportunity to join GrandPR. GrandPR is GVSU’s nationally affiliated, student-run integrated communications firm. As an account executive for GrandPR, I get to lead teams through client work and assign tasks to make sure our work gets finished in a timely manner. GrandPR has given me the opportunity to communicate and work with real clients, along with allowing me to network with my peers inside and outside of GVSU. 

What is GrandPR?

Being a part of GrandPR not only allows you to experience life in a communications firm, but it gives you the opportunity to:

  • Write blogs.
  • Enter in national competitions.
  • Attend weekly meetings with industry professionals.
  • Participate in workshops.
  • Practice project management.
  • Network with other Ad/PR students and industry professionals.

In addition, GrandPR members learn how to use multiple project management and communication resources such as Slack, Basecamp, and the Google Suite. These resources have helped me become a better project manager in general, along with improving my communication skills internally with the firm, and externally with other responsibilities. 

Why Should I Join?

If you would like to experience working in a communications firm, GrandPR is the perfect way to do that. It has boosted my confidence and started my professional growth journey. Before I joined, I was afraid that I was not going to be qualified for a position in the firm. However, with a work ethic and a strong support system in the GVSU Ad/PR program, I learned quickly and had a lot of connections to help guide me through any challenges. 

If you are on the fence about joining, I encourage you to take that step and apply for a position in the firm. You will meet several other student professionals that eventually turn into lifelong friendships. I began as an account associate, and that position was a great place to start.

My Experience on GrandPR

In terms of my personal experience, GrandPR has enhanced my knowledge of creating public relations campaigns. In Ad/PR classes, professors discuss how you start with secondary and primary research, then objectives, strategies, and tactics. In GrandPR, I have conducted secondary and primary research for multiple clients, and have had multiple brainstorming sessions when it came to creating the campaign. 

Although we do this in class, GrandPR gives you the unique experience of making a campaign for a real client. Additionally, it allows you to work with a team and come up with the best practices for having an efficient brainstorming session. 

Furthermore, GrandPR has led me to become a better communicator. Using Slack as our communications tool, I have learned how to keep my messages organized, short, and concise. Sending emails is also an easier task for me to accomplish, because I know how to create quick and professional emails when I need to communicate with a client or colleague. 

On top of that, I have a much better understanding of time management and digital organization. We use Basecamp as our project management tool, and it has taught me how to be clear when assigning tasks. Basecamp also allows you to make to-do lists for future times and it keeps your team on track when accomplishing due dates. 

Along with Basecamp is the Google Suite, especially Google Calendar and Google Drive. Google Drive is where your team will keep all of their important documents — Basecamp has a documents and files section as well! Google Drive gets you used to organizing your documents in folders, assigning comments to your team members, and working on projects with multiple students in one document. Google Calendar is used for all GrandPR meetings. My Google Calendar keeps me on track of time and makes communication easier. 

GrandPR goes beyond just putting something on your resume and portfolio. It has guided me to become a better student and employee. If you are considering joining GrandPR, you can apply for a position online. All you need is a work ethic and eagerness to learn about life in a communications firm. You can visit their website at www.grand-pr.org

Clare Quirin is a junior with a double major in Film and Video and Advertising and Public Relations. This is her second year on the GrandPR staff where she serves as an Account Executive. She also is on the NSAC team and is in Ad Club. Fun fact: Clare likes to ski, hike, and rock climb!