PRSSA hosts “Headshot Happy Hour” to encourage professionalism at OU


Maggie Willard

Some PRSSA Executive Board members. From left to right: Kaleigh Wright, Emily Osani, Lauren Reid, Madeline Mason and Leticia Santos.

Oakland University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter hosted “Headshot Happy Hour” on Monday, Oct. 11 and Thursday, Oct. 15 to provide students with the opportunity to receive a professional headshot. The event was open to all OU students and faculty — offering three headshots for $2 or five headshots for $3, taking place outside of the Oakland Center near Elliott Clock Tower.

PRSSA, a student version of the prestigious Public Relations Society of America, provides an outlet for students to collaborate and develop their professional skills while networking with other students and faculty at OU, and professionals in Public Relations, Communication, Marketing and other related fields. An important part of developing this level of professionalism is through a digital presence.

“This is the time that students are looking for internships and professional opportunities — their digital presence is very important and to have that digital presence, have that professional look, is everything,” said Chiaoning Su, assistant professor of Communication, Journalism and Public Relations and the PRSSA advisor. “This is a time where everything is visual driven, so to have that professional look and from there to establish your professionalism and credibility, I think that is essential.”

Vice President of PRSSA, Emily Osani, mentioned professional development is at the core of the organization’s goals.

“I think the fact that we’re doing headshots ties into how focussed we are on professional development, and I’d say that’s a big part of what PRSSA is … a way for [students] to connect with other students and network with different events that we have,” Osani said. “The big focus of what PRSSA does is professional development and even personal development, too.”

The executive board of PRSSA was excited to share their resources with the campus community. Kaleigh Wright, secretary of PRSSA and spearhead of Headshot Happy Hour, hoped the event would prepare students for entering the professional workforce.

“[The event] offers students an opportunity for a service that is much needed,” Wright said, “Having a headshot creates a professional presence and maintains a level of respectability.”

Wright stated she had hosted this event previously while she was attending another university and thought offering headshots would be a helpful tool for others at OU.

She was also one of the photographers taking headshots for participants along with other OU students who volunteered their skills. The organization plans to send participants their headshots via email so they are easily accessible on either a phone or computer.

The event, which Osani stated to be a fundraiser for PRSSA, raised $98 total. Wright confirmed PRSSA will be hosting Headshot Happy Hour again in the winter semester and invites all interested students to participate in future events.

Although the organization is centered toward individuals seeking a career in Public Relations and/or Communication, students do not have to be a Public Relations major to join or attend events. For more information, visit the organization’s Instagram page.