Gov.'s Press Secretary to Keynote PRSSA Regional Conference

Posted on: January 20, 2014

-4Gov. Rick Snyder's press secretary, Sara Wurfel, a CAS alumna, will be the keynote speaker at Michigan State University's student chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) regional conference being held at MSU's Student Union on Saturday, Feb. 8.

Wurfel, who holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from CAS, is accredited in public relations and held numerous communications positions prior to becoming Gov. Snyder's press secretary. She has experience in policy communications, coalition and relationship building, and crisis management in nonprofit, health and government sectors.

The conference, with the theme "Electing Excellence: Public Relations in Government and Politics," is coming to the Capitol area at an exciting time as a big election year gets underway for both a U.S. Senate seat and the Michigan Governor's office.

Other conference speakers include:

  • Michelle Grinnell, Public Relations Manager at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and communications lead for the Michigan Film Office and Travel Michigan
  • Andy Hetzel, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Angela Minicuci, Public Information Officer at the Michigan Department of Community Health
  • Ari Adler, Communications Director and Press Secretary at Office of Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger
  • Chrysler (speaker to be announced)
  • Martin Waymire Advocacy Communications

Also, Karl Gude, former Director of Information Graphics at several large news organizations and graphics editor in residence for MSU's School of Journalism, will be conducting an "Interactive Professional Development and Infographics" workshop as part of the conference.

To kick off the event, a networking mixer with local professionals will be held Friday, Feb. 7. Local businesses will provide desserts. Donations will be accepted to benefit the Greater Lansing Food Bank.

"These are the kinds of events that students who are committed to their profession attend. They're great opportunities," said John Besley, Associate Professor and Ellis N. Brandt Chair in Public Relations and PRSSA adviser.

MSU's PRSSA chapter is hosting the conference and was one of 10 student chapters to successfully compete to bring a regional conference to campus. Attendees can expect to network, attend workshops and listen to local public relations professionals.

"PRSSA has done a great job putting together a conference that'll be interesting and help those who might go into PR understand what's really involved," Besley said.

To register for the conference, visit the Electing Excellence: Public Relations in Government and Politics web page. The registration deadline is Thursday, Jan. 23. The $25 registration fee covers the cost of attendance for both days.

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