I’ll get the mandatory, superficial reflections out of the way. San Francisco was nothing at all like the image I had painted of it in my head (largely courtesy of The Princess Diaries). Somehow in my 21 years, I missed the memo that not all of California is sunny, with roads lined by palm trees.
That being said, San Francisco is beautiful, and my experiences there pushed me to consider previously unfamiliar thoughts and ideas, both personally and professionally.
In an entirely unoriginal (but wonderful) fashion, the trip allowed my fellow Roxstars and me the opportunity to become better acquainted with one another outside of our office. Although we were in San Francisco for the PRSSA National Conference, we did have time to sightsee and have some fun. It was my first trip to California, so I wanted to see as much as possible.
On our first day, after landing and checking in at our hotel, we visited the Marketplace and Ferry Building and had fresh seafood. We then caught a trolley to Fisherman’s Wharf and walked along the piers and beach, enjoying the views and the sea lions. Eventually we made our way to Ghirardelli Square – I mean, it’s a given. Our group of 5 had 4 girls. We also made time to do a bit of shopping, and then the group met up to grab taxis to Osha, a widely-recommended Thai restaurant in the Marina.
The next morning, a few of us trekked to Mission Beach Cafe and enjoyed an incredible breakfast amongst locals. We then headed to the conference! That evening, after celebrating TCU’s defeat of Baylor (Sucks to BU!), Kelsey, Emily and I ventured into North Beach and waited an hour and a half to get a table in the renowned Italian restaurant Tommaso’s. (Did you know pasta can melt in your mouth? Because it can.) The wait was more than worth it.
Sunday, Kelsey and I woke up early to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Unlike the images that shine from posters and postcards, the bridge was shrouded in fog (apparently a common occurrence in San Fran – who knew?). Seeing such a well-known landmark in such an unexpected way was inspiring and, in some ways, haunting. After we took our fill of photographs, we headed back to make it to our last session of the Conference, Biz Stone’s Keynote Address at the PRSA International Conference.
During our first day of sessions, I learned the importance of media training, the role social media platforms have played in presidential elections and the ten essentials of a successful career in public relations (see previous posts).
But above all of the lessons learned and advice shared, I realized the level of interconnectivity that exists amongst professionals in the advertising and public relations field. Pros in this field are more than willing to talk about case studies and swap stories and dole out advice and spar about clients. This industry revolves around information and its dissemination. Follow people on Twitter and interact with them. They’ll interact too. PR is about relationships. What better way to build and maintain a relationship than to engage with someone through as many means as possible?
Whenever you have an opportunity to mingle with others in the field, take it!