Alexia Swanson: Creating Professional Relationships Through FPRA

Name: Alexia Swanson

Position: President of the Florida Public Relations Association Student Chapter

Hometown: Clearwater, Florida

Year: Senior

Major: Public Relations and Editing, Writing & Media

Courtesy: Alexia Swanson

Her Campus (HC): What exactly is the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA)?

Alexia Swanson (AS): I would describe it as a community of students interested in communication who get to network with professionals and meet others who want to pursue the same things. FPRA’s goal is getting students exposed to the public relations industry as much as possible.

HC: What responsibilities and tasks go into being the president of a school organization?

AS: Some of the basic tasks are holding meetings, orchestrating the organization and leading the executive board. My own personal project as president is “What am I missing from my education?” That’s why in FPRA we like dealing with crisis communications, media relations and networking because it enriches education. I want FPRA to be a place where students can learn what they won’t get sitting in a class.

HC: What has your journey been to lead you to this position?

AS: When I was a freshman I just attended the meetings. Sophomore year I was honestly the most involved member. I wrote a blog, hung around the executive board and asked a lot of questions. Junior year I was on the social board so I was able to work closely with the executive board and they became good mentors for me. Now I’m leading the executive board!

HC: How do you think that FPRA impacts students?

AS: In how it’s impacted me, FPRA has helped me learn how to act in professional situations. In class you learn how to do the actual public relations tasks, but here you see how it applies to the real world.

HC: What is the most important thing about public relations?

AS: Relationships. This week at our meeting we had a speaker, a reporter from WFSU, who kept emphasizing how important relationships are in the communications field. That’s the number one thing. You want to be a genuine person who wants to do good. You’ll definitely enjoy your job more if you make lasting relationships through it. 

Courtesy: Alexia Swanson

HC: Are there any other organizations or resources on campus that would be beneficial for those interested in the communications field?

AS: There are 16 clubs in the College of Communication and Information. I’m only involved with FPRA because it takes up a lot of my time, but it’s important to know what’s going on in the field you’re in. PR is such a wide field that it can be applied to anything so I suggest people getting a taste of what interests them through organizations.

HC: Are there any other organizations you’re involved in?

AS: I used to run the Cross Country girl’s B team, but I found a home in FPRA so I stuck to it. I also always wanted to get involved with the V89 radio station. They just are really cool and I know a lot of people who volunteered with them. The coolest thing I’ve done with FSU has been studying abroad in Valencia though!

HC: Who inspires you?

AS: Jessica Alba. She’s a well-balanced person. She does it all. She’s a millionaire, mother, actress and philanthropist. I always look up to really strong women who handle it all so well.

HC: What is your favorite part about FPRA?

AS: For me as the president, I get to create events to help people get internships and connect to jobs and resources for their careers. When I was a freshman I looked up to the executive board because of that.

HC: Anything else you'd like to add about FPRA?

AS: FPRA isn’t just for communications students. Mostly it’s about professional development that can apply to everyone. I want people to know that coming to FPRA can help them with skills that can be applied to so many things. We have people who aren’t public relations majors who are a part of our organization and it’s just a great thing to be involved in.