Students who attended the 2018 PR Gumbo SPRF conference had the opportunity to form teams to participate in a B.O.A.S.T. competition.

The students had to discover clues about the Tabasco Co. by meeting the SPRF board and asking questions. The students had a fictional campaign to design on behalf of the Tabasco Co. Finally, teams could earn extra points by attending sessions and by getting business cards of practitioners in attendance at the conference. The information was given to teams at registration and campaigns were due at 10:00 a.m. the second day of the conference. The entries were judged by practitioners who had no direct affiliation with schools. 

All student teams did a great job meeting the board, collecting business cards, and planning a campaign for the donation of Tabasco Sauce to the NOLA soup kitchen (remember, this was a totally made up situation.)

The winning team was “The A Team," which was comprised of students from Louisiana State University Alexandria and the University of North Alabama. Great job, students!


I have always been a behind-the-scenes kind of person. Don’t get me wrong, I love attending events, parties, and conferences, but there is always a side of me that is wondering how things are set up. I recall getting to a concert in Nashville early and having time to spare before the concert began. I sat there and began thinking through the process that had to happen for all the stage to be designed, the intricacy of the lighting design, and the team of people who promoted the concert.

When I was asked to intern for the SPRF Conference in New Orleans, I was very excited for the opportunity. This internship allowed me to receive all the benefits of the conference while also learning about what it takes to make the conference a success.

Part of my responsibilities included assisting with the silent auction. We had to contact potential donors, compile a list of contributions, and create the bid sheets. Another part of my responsibilities was helping to put together the evaluations for each session of the conference and the overall conference. I designed the session evaluations, constructed the conference evaluation on SurveyMonkey, input the data from the session evaluations, and tabulated the results.

Every part of this corresponds to a potential part of a job as a public relations practitioner. Learning the nuts-and-bolts of surveys and analyzing how people responded will most likely be something I have to do in the future. Designing specific kinds of documents and organizing events, like the silent auction, are also activities I expect to perform in the future. I had the chance to network with professionals and learn more about this career from the best-of-the-best. Overall, this was an amazing learning experience and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to intern and learn all that I did.