Five smiling people pose for a photo. Three are seated and two stand behind them.

Each year as part of their Event Management class, Humber’s Bachelor of Public Relations (PR) students organize an annual PR Conference in November at Lakeshore Campus.  

The students took the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom and put them to good use helping to arrange the conference.

This year, the event was called Retrospection, and the idea came from the students' curiosity about how PR practices have changed over the past 30 years and where the field is heading. The slogan of the event was ‘PR that made us, campaigns that changed us.’  

“The hands-on learning offers more insight into what we are going to do in the future. It brings us different experiences and practical skills,” said Nana Jaji, a student from the program.

The event began with opening words from Guillermo Acosta, senior dean of the Faculty of Media & Creative Arts. Student emcees Hefziba Mancilla Plaza and Jackson Sparks then took the stage and introduced the panellists for the conference.

People sit in groups at tables while having a discussion.

The panel included Bianca Freedman, CEO with Edelman Canada. She spoke about how PR is about telling stories that are relevant to brands and bringing true value to their stakeholders.  

Along with Freedman, Sherri-Lyn Brown, vice-president of Agnostic PR, said that PR is a process of meticulously shaping messages for key audiences. This involves gaining a profound understanding of these audiences and ensuring a grasp of the narratives and messages that truly resonate with them.

Maxine McDonald, vice-president of MSL Canada, was also part of the panel. McDonald said that PR is about composing a message, coupled with the ability to comprehend an audience and determine the most effective platform for message delivery.

Following the panel discussions, the conference featured a workshop in which students delved into a collection of PR campaigns, many of which were sourced from The Edelman Museum in Chicago. Participants had the unique opportunity to dissect a historical PR campaign and reimagine how they would do it differently in the context of present day.

“One of the key takeaways from the event was how social media has transitioned into the way it is practiced now and how we, as future PR professionals, can incorporate those changes,” said Bhavjeet Singh Kalra, a student from the program.

“Congratulations to the entire Bachelor of Public Relations class for hosting this fantastic event. It was a pleasure to be a part of the conversation with the talented leaders on the stage and the many inspiring students in the room,” said Brown. “In discussing PR of the past, I’m encouraged that the future of PR is bright with this kind of talent soon entering the space.”  

More information on the Bachelor of Public Relations program can be found on its webpage.