PRSSA competition challenges students to solve crisis problems

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The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter at UVU will host a competition Nov. 9 where students are tasked with solving complex crisis situations.

PRSSA is a nationwide student and advocacy organization that seeks to help students who are interested in the fields of public relations and communications. Founded in 1967, it hosts a membership of around 7,000 students and advisors, along with 300+ chapters all across America.

“The biggest goal PRSSA has is to give students opportunities with applicable information from the field as well as networking chances,” said Carol Chatwin, a junior at UVU and vice president of events at PRSSA.

The upcoming event “Under PRessure” is a competition that challenges student teams of three to five to come up with a solution to the crisis situation that is given. “Our goal is to give students an in-practice opportunity to react to a crisis situation,” Chatwin said.

Teams are given 20 minutes to create a crisis response plan, and will then be judged to determine the best response for the prompt. Teams will be given feedback, and reasoning for the final winner will be explained.

“It’s a great event that really simulates a crisis communication situation,” said Taylor Melamed, a junior and vice president of member services at PRSSA. “It makes you think on your feet and work with others to achieve a common goal, which is a super cool experience. I actually won it last year.”

The event is scheduled to take place on Nov. 9, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Sorenson Center (SC) in room 206A. All interested students should register by sending an email to [email protected], or by messaging PRSSA on Instagram @prssa_uvu. All teams must be registered before the event. There will be a maximum of four teams.

“The biggest takeaway [from Under PRessure] is the hands-on experience and the successful implementation of a crisis plan,” Chatwin said. “You are not going to be getting that in a lot of places.”

Crisis management is a well sought out career in the modern world today, and managers in this profession are often paid at base around $45,000. Companies often seek these managers to help deal with crisis situations, such as public relations disasters.

“Crisis management is a critical organizational function,” according to the Institute for Public Relations. “Failure can result in serious harm to stakeholders, losses for an organization, or end its very existence.”