Kayla Holley elected PRSSA national vice president of professional development


July 28, 2021

SUNY Oswego senior Kayla Holley is charting new territory as the national vice president of professional development at Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

A double major in public relations and business administration, Holley is the first Oswego student to attain a national position in the 20-year history of the college’s chapter of the student arm of the Public Relations Society of America.

Nationally and locally, PRSSA aims to introduce students to opportunities in the public relations field through professional networks and career advice, while promoting ethical principles and embracing diversity via events, workshops and community fundraisers.

“Being a PR major, all the classes we go through, everything that we learn has really helped me for this position, and how to be professional,” Holley said.

“In this first month I have been able to connect with the PRSSA and PRSA team that will help to implement the different initiatives this year, outline my platform for my position and begin collaborating on those initiatives such as writing blogs, preparing for podcasts and brainstorming events,” Holley said. 

The new role is part of a busy summer for Holley, who is working professionally as a junior-level content coordinator for the Tipping Point Communications agency. Holley has connected her public relations courses at SUNY Oswego in knowing the fundamentals of effective communication and the value of research in both avenues.

Serving large audiences

“For PRSSA, I organize articles for PR Daily, which is a huge publication that so many PR professionals receive, where I’m one of two student representatives. I’m also writing a story for it,” Holley said, which is a rare and golden opportunity. “I just recorded a PRSSA podcast episode for the ‘PR With the Pros’ series with my supervisor from Tipping Point Communications, where I’m working in Rochester this summer.”

The vice president of professional development for PRSSA is a major opportunity and responsibility, connecting resources for student-operated activities as well as marketing the PRSA workshop training and coordinating articles and blogs with interviews from professionals.

“I’m trying to use my platform for the other PRSSA members on the local level,” Holley said. “I want to be able to introduce them to all the opportunities we have.”

This includes creating events and opportunities for many others, including for PRSA and PRSSA members who can attend the ICON 2021 event, an in-person and virtual annual international conference this fall in Orlando. 

This event will offer education and networking for topics including crisis communication, advocacy, activism, agility, preparedness and much more. These events also prepare students for the future by incorporating new technological innovations and solutions in the evolving field of public relations and public affairs.

“There’s no way I would be in this position without the support of faculty and other students at SUNY Oswego,” Holley said. She met the previous PRSSA presidents early in her Oswego years and Joseph Stabb, then the faculty advisor, was very encouraging in terms of local and national opportunities. 

Holley became the Oswego PRSSA president in her junior year and learned about the national position through a PRSSA ambassador in November. She decided to run for it, and was pleasantly surprised when she was elected to the VP role.

The best part about it was that my local chapter was so supportive,” Holley said. “I am grateful that the executive board really stepped up when I needed them to.”

Learn more about PRSSA at SUNY Oswego’s local chapter -- which is open to any student in all majors with a passion for building professional relationships and networking with professionals in the field of public relations, communications, journalism and marketing -- at the PRSSA at SUNY Oswego website.