Remind PR Students They’re Unstoppable on Giving Tuesday

By Cameron McPherson, APR
Richmond Public Relations Foundation Board President

One of my silver linings from working at home during the pandemic is that I can overhear my partner giving English lectures down the hall. I set up my workstation in the guest room, which is only steps away from Michael’s office.

I catch bits and pieces from classes, and I’m always impressed by the enthusiasm and interest from the students. Last week during his office hours, I smiled as I overheard a person tell him, “You’re a great professor.”

There are countless great professors and teachers who are creatively adapting to engage and inspire students as we navigate the challenges of virtual learning. But here’s the deal: They can’t do it alone. We all need to support learners.

And as a communications professional, I hope you’ll consider supporting PR students in our community.

The pandemic has created numerous challenges for aspiring communications talent. There are less job prospects, and organizations are reducing internship opportunities.

But you can help. Now, more than ever, we must step up to support the next generation of PR professionals.

Here are four easy ways you can “open doors” for PR students.


Since 2003, the Richmond Public Relations Foundation has awarded scholarships to deserving juniors and seniors studying public relations in Central Virginia. Meet the 2020 winners here.

Your donations help fund the scholarship program.

For every $25 you give until Dec. 2, you’ll be entered into the Foundation’s fall raffle. One lucky person will receive a complimentary weekend in a guest house at Tabbs Creek Retreat. Located in White Stone on Virginia’s Northern Neck, the property is situated on a quiet cove, but only minutes from terrific restaurants, antique shops, wineries and unique gift boutiques.

If you’re able to, please give today.


As institutions implement social distancing precautions because of COVID-19, PRSSA chapters are more limited in their ability to find speakers and opportunities to engage members.

PRSA Richmond and the Richmond Public Relations Foundation are organizing a network of professionals willing to connect with PRSSA chapters via webcam. Your experiences can help inspire students and open their eyes to new career opportunities.

Sign up here.


Follow and engage with local PRSSA chapters that PRSA Richmond sponsors on social media. It’s a great way to learn more about the exceptional students in our region and celebrate their work.

Here are some accounts to follow:

James Madison University

Longwood University

Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Union University


Without in-person PRSA Richmond luncheons, networking for students can be tough. If a student reaches out for a virtual coffee, take them up on their offer. Spending 30 minutes to hear what they’re learning and sharing about your career experiences can go a long way.

Show students we have their backs. Comment on and share their posts on LinkedIn. Offer to review resumes and cover letters. Consider ways your organization can support students in the future, whether that’s participating in PRSA Richmond’s Student Connections Week or starting an externship or internship program.

This Giving Tuesday and beyond, remind students they’re unstoppable.