BHSU mass communication students visit Denver for Public Relations Shadow Day

Black Hills State University Public Relations Club members visited Denver for Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Shadow Day March 28. Students were able to shadow business related to their field of study for the day.

Black Hills State University students and members of the Public Relations Club had the opportunity to travel to Denver to shadow businesses and companies involved in public relations work in Colorado during the PRSA Shadow Day recently.

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the largest professional organization serving the U.S. public relations community and they helped host the event.

BHSU students were paired with businesses based on their desire to work with an agency, non-profit or government organization. Businesses that students visited were Colorado State University, CIG (Communications Infrastructure Group), Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA), Fidelity Investments, Linhart PR, Turner PR, and US Bank.

Christel Peters, mass communication and journalism major from Spearfish, said her experience at PRSA Shadow day was very beneficial.

"It confirmed that I have made the right choice in my career path. Being able to follow professionals in the in the field that I will one day be working in allowed me to be more confident and prepared for graduation. I am so grateful we had this opportunity," says Peters.

Gabi Johnson, a senior associate at CIG, said she decided to volunteer because mentorship is something she really enjoys. She said she wishes she would have had the opportunity to shadow a business while she was in college.

"I wish I would have had the opportunity to shadow someone when I was in college because gathering first-hand experience really does make a difference in deciding what direction you want to go in career wise. As students saw from their time at CIG, there are so many avenues to go down within public information (PI) vs. public relations (PR) so having that exposure up front is a great way to help in your decision making," says Johnson.

Geoff Renstorm, senior account executive, with Linhart PR says, "We will always participate in the Shadow Day. It is a great learning experience for anyone who participates."

Dr. Mary Caton-Rosser, Public Relations Club advisor at BHSU, says BHSU students have been attending PRSA shadow day since 2008.

"This experience shows students what it is like in board rooms, production sites, client customer relationships and they see how we work at BHSU to connect their academic and classroom work to real-world job settings. This way upon graduation they can walk directly into careers in the field," says Caton-Rosser.

Public Relations Club members who participated include:
  • Paul Baker, mass communication major from Spearfish
  • Hannah Bolinger, mass communication and journalism major from Cheyenne, Wyo.
  • Drew Dutton, graphic design communication and mass communication, major from Spearfish
  • Sierra Frazier, outdoor education major from Sturgis
  • Victoria Geary, mass communication major from Winner
  • Kylie Hall, mass communication major from Anchorage, Alaska
  • Dani Litaba, mass communication and photography major from Wright, Wyo
  • Matt McCaskell, mass communication major from Spearfish
  • Christel Peters, mass communication and journalism major from Fair Haven, Mich.
  • Bailey Roebling, mass communication major from Clearmont, Wyo.