Last weekend the first ever PASSHE Collegiate Media Summit hosted by BUnow.com was held at Bloomsburg University. The conference gave students an opportunity to network and attend sessions held by successful professionals in mass communications. Among the many speakers was Katrina Foster, president and founder of KKPR Marketing and public relations. She spoke to students about “Everyone you need to know: Who you should know, how to get to know them and how to use ’em.”
Foster’s mix of humor and honesty about the public relations profession left students feeling well informed and inspired. Her presentation tackled one of the most important aspects of public relations: networking. She emphasized how crucial it was to find people who have different knowledge than you and how the best thing a professional can do is surround themselves with smarter people.
“Be smart enough to know what you don’t know and fill the gaps,” Foster explained.
She delivered her power point with enthusiasm and passion. Dressed in a black pencil skirt and blazer her personality was evident with accents like a large pink flower (her signature) on her blazer and zebra patterned pumps. From the beginning of the session, she had students captivated. In just 45 minutes Foster delivered concise, essential, and practical information to the audience. She spoke with a rare balance of hard truth and hopefulness that effectively explained the realistic nature of success in the business and the fire in your gut needed to attain it.
The Penn State graduate, who started her business at the young age of 23, did not make light of how hard starting your own business can be. She stressed the value of being a resource when making business relationships. She recommended knowing the family, hobbies, and favorites of contacts as well as being nice, sweet, and helpful.
“The more interest you have in them, the more they will want to help you,” she advised.
She also cautioned the audience to never overlook someone because their current position doesn’t benefit you. She pointed out that you never know where someone is going to end up or how a relationship can help you in the future.
She ended her presentation discussing what she looks for in someone interviewing for an internship in her company. She described a “clicking” that needed to happen between her and the interviewee.
“I look for self starters; people who are driven, smart, courteous, and polite,” she described.
A laundry list of extracurricular activities are not of particular concern to her.
“It’s more important to be eager to learn and have an unmistakable desire to succeed,” Foster declared.
She avidly expresses her joy in fostering young talent, mentioning how her goal is to help interns get so good that she won’t be able to afford them.
Foster’s session was the most attended throughout the entire weekend. Her impact on the attendees was apparent by the mass amounts of students that stayed after to talk with her one on one. She talked personally with them for more than 20 minutes, sharing personal stories and further guidance.