PR grad nabs prestigious nod

Public Relations

Recent Public Relations graduate, Karen Russell, has won the WW Mitchell Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) WA Student of the Year Award. Judging for this prestigious prize saw entrants tackle the task of improving engagement between individuals working and studying in the PR sector in WA.

For her project Karen presented ways to raise awareness, engage and unite individuals in the industry and importantly connect them with each other and with PRIA WA. Karen’s work was based on the premise that while most of us are busy working away in our own bubble, there is much to be gained from coming together to share knowledge and experiences, and create a network. 

By identifying key areas for improvement and innovative approaches to tackle this disconnect, Karen looked at using social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to allow PRIA members to share their professional lives and experiences, in an easily accessible virtual domain. She also proposed the development of a short video series to share advice and tips that would create easy to consume content that was fun, informative and inspirational.

Her integrated and comprehensive plan aimed to engage with new members of the PR sector and encourage existing industry members to share their experiences. Importantly, Karen’s project acknowledges that technology is changing, and so the nature of communication and the ways in which we connect need to constantly evolve too. “I find it really interesting how people communicate, how relationships are formed and how decisions are made. PR gives me the opportunity to be part of this process and hopefully have a positive impact by helping to inform, educate and build relationships with people,” explained Karen.

Since completing her studies in the Bachelor of Communications course in 2014, Karen has been travelling the world and immersing herself in a variety of creative experiences. The diversity of subjects that she enjoyed while studying at ECU has given her the perfect platform from which to launch her own online business Bloom Bella Wellness. With plans to work in media and crisis communications, while incorporating her passion for social media and online communications the sky is the limit for this PR star.

“It was extra special to receive this award. To me it is recognition of the hard work I put into my university studies at ECU and shows me that I really do have a lot to offer the industry,” said Karen.

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