Ten public relations students from Eastern Kentucky University’s Department of Communication provided media coverage for the inaugural Kentucky E³ Conference – Education and Entrepreneurship as Economic Engines. The event attracted nearly 100 attendees to the EKU Center for the Arts on Nov. 19 for a day-long discussion about entrepreneurial thinking.
The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and EKU’s Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CEDET) partnered to host the conference that featured concentrated sessions to highlight entrepreneurial approaches to topics such as preparing the 21st century workforce, social enterprise in higher education, emerging maker communities, entrepreneurship, funding and capital, fostering start-up communities and emerging markets.
The students collaboratively covered all conference sessions. Coverage included on-site session notes, press releases, photography and videography clips. Students were also responsible for drafting social media posts to be posted in real time.
CEDET Executive Director and conference moderator Dr. Thomas Martin said he was impressed with the students and their eagerness to participate in the conference.
“The communication students were the first ones in the building and the last ones out,” Martin said. “They were incredibly professional. I was very proud of those students and that program.”
Martin said the Kentucky E³ Conference was an opportunity for students to experience public relations in practice.
“Events like these allow students to take what they learn in the classroom and execute it,” Martin said. “(It was) a wonderful opportunity for them to learn early what they love, or what they don’t like doing. Both experiences are valuable.”
Martin is already planning next year’s conference and has asked that a couple of students participate on a planning committee as a way to tap into their creativity.