CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — The Penn State Lehigh Valley Communication Society hosted its first Communication Day on Feb. 28 at the Lehigh Valley campus. The theme of the conference was “Storytelling in a Digital Age.” Communication Day was open to all students, faculty and staff with the goal of learning about new careers in communication-related fields and network with current professionals.
Beth Michalec, instructor of corporate communication and Communication Society co-adviser at Penn State Lehigh Valley, arranged five speakers from various companies to speak to students and provide insight on life in the field.
“In planning this event, I wanted to expose students to communication professionals in a variety of industries. Our speakers represent brands, agencies, nonprofits and leading marketplace professional organizations,” said Michalec.
The featured speakers included:
Phil Osborne, co-founder and chief creative officer at Digital Feast Inc.
Osborne focused on marketing in a new era of communication. He emphasized the importance of strategy and creativity when working in marketing.
Diana Martin, director of communications at Rodale Institute.
Martin talked about her experiences in digital storytelling at Rodale Institute. Martin emphasized to students the importance of writing real content for a brand and avoiding click bait.
Kimberly Nissen, public relations manager at Siemens Healthineers and president of the PRSA Philadelphia chapter.
Nissen helped students discover their social story. Nissen stressed the importance of branding yourself appropriately and professionally on social media.
Kelly-Anne Suarez, community and media communications manager at Crayola Experience.
Suarez, the event’s keynote speaker, took students through a number of successful Crayola marketing campaigns. She emphasized the importance of being creative and having clarity with a message.
Steve Radick, vice president of public relations and content integration at Brunner Agency and president of the PRSA Pittsburgh chapter.
Radick’s speech was about the story behind Adweek’s number one Super Bowl ad. Radick wanted students to walk away understanding the importance of making impressions by grabbing attention and taking storytelling a step further by adding their own styles.
Also in attendance was Tina Q. Richardson, chancellor of Penn State Lehigh Valley, Kenneth Thigpen, director of academic affairs at Penn State Lehigh Valley, and 10 students from Northampton Community College. Richardson provided the event’s closing remarks. Thigpen spoke during the welcome and opening remarks segment.
Coty Napolitano, second-year communication student at Northampton Community College, attended Communication Day as suggested by her communication adviser.
“I was extremely happy that Communication Day was open to Northampton Community College students. The corporate communication students and staff were very welcoming. This opened the door for me to transfer to Penn State Lehigh Valley by seeing my options here. I was able to see the opportunities provided to Penn State Lehigh Valley students,” said Napolitano.
Communication Day speakers provided students with real examples of their work along with advice for future careers and networking opportunities.
Communication Day was planned by Penn State Lehigh Valley’s Communication Society and its event committee including, Penn State Lehigh Valley students Alyssa Bragg, Shannon Johnson, Ashley Rutter, Naseeba Saeed and Instructor Beth Michalec.
Public Relations Specialist
Penn State Lehigh Valley