BHSU students gain experience during public relations shadow day in Denver

Author: Paige Schuurmans/Monday, April 25, 2016/Categories: 2016

Black Hills State University mass communication and photography major from Wright, Wyo., Danielle Litaba, far left, visited KMGH-TV during a recent Shadow Day in Denver for public relations students. Litaba was one of six BHSU students to spend the day learning from public relations professionals.

Black Hills State University mass communication and photography major from Wright, Wyo., Danielle Litaba, practices meteorology broadcasting using a green screen during a recent public relations job shadow day in Denver. Litaba was one of six BHSU students to spend the day learning from public relations professionals.

Six Black Hills State University students participated in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)-sponsored Denver Shadow Day recently, an experience that provided a unique networking experience with PR pros in the field.

BHSU students were paired with public relations professionals from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Colorado State University, and B Public Relations firm. The students attended and observed meetings, assisted with business research, and participated in event promotions throughout the day.

Claudia Miller, mass communication major from Letcher, said the Shadow Day experience reassured her that she chose the right major.

"I can definitely see myself working in public relations after I graduate. This opportunity helped me understand what a public relations career can include on a daily basis," said Miller.

Dr. Mary Caton-Rosser, associate professor of mass communication and BHSU Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) advisor, said the BHSU PRSSA has participated in Shadow Day for several years, noting that the students enjoy putting the skills they've learned in the classroom to work in a real operating organization.

"They get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how things really work in PR," said Caton-Rosser. "They're making contacts for future jobs and networking."

During a networking lunch, the students rotated through tables where they met with local and national news reporters. The reporters shared advice and strategies on how public relations professionals and media can work together.

Laura Heisinger, mass communication major from Mitchell, sat in on a crisis management meeting with her host organization. She noted the value of Shadow Day and said her courses at BHSU prepared her to make the most of the experience.

"Now I'm really excited to get out into the job market after graduation and show the world what I can offer," said Heisinger. "Being able to see what public relations is all about in a live business setting made me love it even more."

Students who attended the PRSA-sponsored Denver Shadow Day include:
  • Allan Gonzalez, mass communication major from Spearfish
  • Laura Heisinger, mass communication major from Mitchell
  • Danielle Litaba, mass communication and photography major from Wright, Wyo.
  • Sumire Matsumoto, corporate communication and mass communication major from Shizuoka, Japan
  • Claudia Miller, mass communication major from Letcher
  • Shareece Tatum, mass communication major from Piedmont
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