Conference Reflection – Braelyn Rasco

I would like to start out by saying how incredibly thankful I am to be a part of such an amazing student society. PRSSA has provided me with incredible opportunities as well as relationships I will never forget! Following that, a huge thank you to the IUPUI Department of Journalism and Public Relations for making this year’s PRSSA National Conference an unforgettable experience. Without their support, we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish everything we did.

As I reflect back on our trip to DC, one particular keynote speaker comes to mind. Amy Robach of ABC’s Good Morning America truly embodies the representation of a beautiful, inspirational and empowering woman.

As some of you may already know, Robach agreed to have a mammogram on live television in the middle of Time Square. The segment was intended to promote proactive health care for women as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Little did Robach know, her part in this awareness initiative would end up saving her life.

Robach’s inspirational story of defeating breast cancer is not an easy journey by any means. Throughout her speech, Robach admitted to the times she felt hopeless, fearful and unbearably exhausted. However, she allowed ABC to cover her entire journey. Robach explained that if sharing her story could potentially save the life of another, it was all worth it.

Robach shared with the audience that she discovered two of the most important things in her life during her battle with breast cancer. (1) The power of social media allowed her to not only inspire her audience, but be inspired by her audience and (2) people respond to positivity on social media. Robach mentioned how the messages of encouragement and reassurance she received through social media made her realize she wasn’t battling breast cancer alone; she had people by her side every step of the way. It’s said, “A hashtag can’t change the world.” However, an idea or thought can change a person’s entire perspective, which inspired Robach to create her #girlpower series.

Amy Robach emotionally connected with every single person in the audience with her story. Listening to Amy Robach speak was truly an honor. She may be a celebrity news anchor, but she’s also a real, genuine person who is passionate about helping others. Because of this influential woman, I now believe social media can change lives or even change the world. It’s inspirational stories like Robach’s, experiences of others, and the sharing of ideas that we need to communicate through the power of social media.

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