Striving for the best, GVSU PRSSA is recognized for its hard work and dedication

Grand Valley State University's Public Relations Student Society of America (GVPRSSA) provides more than just public relations and communications-focused education and project opportunities. 

“GVPRSSA has given me a network of dedicated individuals who have helped me grow both personally and professionally,” says Emma Nelson, chapter president. “I’m constantly bettering myself due to the positive and helping community I have through the members of PRSSA. We’re always pushing [one another] to think outside the box and be better.”

Thinking outside of the box and seeking to be better is what allowed the Chapter to adapt and remain engaged during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their ability to find new ways for members to stay informed and connected was recently acknowledged by the West Michigan Public Relations Society of America (WMPRSA) at its virtual 2021 WMPRSA PRoof Awards held June 10.

The WMPRSA PRoof Awards seek to recognize the best of the best throughout West Michigan in public relations based on campaigns, tactics and more. 

Courtesy of Emma Nelson
“The PRoof Awards are important to our Chapter because it shows the appreciation for our hard work and dedication for our organization,” says Nelson. “All of our board members put in countless time to ensure our members receive quality resources and opportunities to grow as professionals. Being awarded many different awards shows us that our hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.”

In addition to the six awards earned, including awards for the student-run communications firm, GrandPR, and recognition of a recent member and GVSU graduate as Student of the Year, the Chapter's most notable accomplishment was its Best in Show win — the event’s highest honor. The Best in Show award was in acknowledgement of the organization’s PRSSA ReImagined virtual event series.

The PRSSA ReImagined series came about in response to COVID-19. Traditionally, the organization would have hosted local, in-person programming. Last year that was not feasible. In collaboration with PRSSA chapters from Kennesaw State University, Samford University, the University of Memphis, American University and West Texas A&M University, PRSSA ReImagined provided virtual programming and an opportunity for expanded engagement. “Each university was responsible for hosting a virtual speaker that provided students with insight and direct experience from professionals,” says Nelson. 

Instead of viewing this change as a negative, Nelson was able to see the added benefits it provided to the group. “PRSSA ReImagined gave us the opportunity to connect with more students and professionals from different parts of the country,” she says. “Without this fresh perspective, our scope would have been more narrow and held back. The virtual element allowed us to make larger connections with those we wouldn’t have met otherwise.”

For Nelson, she foresees the Chapter continuing to go above and beyond. “I see our chapter continuing to make a notable impact within the industry,” she says. “We’re innovative and dedicated, meaning we’ll always be up for a challenge and reshape what we’re doing for the benefit of our members. With the continued support of our advisers and other professionals, our organization will strive for nothing but the best.”


About Leandra Nisbet: Leandra Nisbet, Owner of Stingray Advisory Group LLC and Co-Owner of Brightwork Marine LLC, has over 15 years of experience in leadership, sales & marketing and graphic design. She helps businesses grow and assists with strategic planning, marketing concept development/implementation, risk management and financial organization. She is actively involved in the community, sitting on several Boards and committees, and has been recognized as one of the 40 Under 40 Business Leaders in Grand Rapids.

Contact Leandra Nisbet by email at leandra.rapidgrowth@gmail.com