In March, our team had an opportunity to connect with the PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) Student-Run PR Firm, Ut Prosim PR of Virginia Tech. Each year, Ut Prosim PR takes on new clients, pro-bono, and will create public relations plans, execute strategies and tactics, and provide communications counsel to its clients. The firm gives students a first-hand glance into the world of client management and allows them to practice the skills they learn in the classroom in real life.  

Our current account coordinator, Alana Stillitano, was the Firm Director of Ut Prosim PR before graduating Virginia Tech and joining the Commonwealth team.  

The current Firm Director, Ella Kilgore, came to our team with a problem: how can we help our client, a nonprofit, increase brand awareness and garner donations and support from the community. Through a 45 minute Zoom call, we were able to brainstorm and strategize together. 

It was helpful for the students to see the thought process that a larger PR firm takes when facing clients with unique or challenging requests.

Walking through the process from goals -> objectives -> strategies -> tactics together helped the collegiate team think about the big picture and what they can do to get there. 

Since many of the student-members of Ut Prosim PR are early in their collegiate career, there are many skills/strategies that have not been explained yet. On our Zoom call, we discussed specific tactics that can be explained in easier ways. We also discussed firm structure, allowing our own firm set up to stand as a guide for the collegiate firm.   

The Commonwealth PR team was able to help share their knowledge and skills to future public relations leaders and strengthen its relationship with PRSSA. It was a pleasure to speak with Ut Prosim PR and we are excited to see what they bring to their client and students this semester!