Putting the "PR" in PittsbuRgh

Last week I had the privilege of traveling to Pittsburgh, PA with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) here at Ohio Northern. The weekend consisted of bumpy ONU van rides, hotel cookies, delicious food, lots of walking, and informative networking with amazing PR professionals. I had never been to Pittsburgh before and it was such an amazing experience, I feel like I'd be doing you a disservice if I didn't share it with you.

We left Sunday afternoon on our four hour car journey and arrived in the city just in time to eat dinner at Benihana. I don't have a picture of our meal because I was severely hungry and ate it too quickly to snap one. Benihana's was right next to a Rita's, a place to get Italian ice, but unfortunately for us, and especially for Dr. Aggie, they were closed.

Monday morning we got up and got ready for the day. We headed up to the top of the city and got amazing photos of the whole of Pittsburgh. Our first stop was Brunner, a PR agency in downtown Pittsburgh. They were very friendly and had a lot of great advice to give us. They showed us around one of the most colorful and coolest offices I've ever seen, and I think I might have fallen in love. Before we headed to Brunner we had lunch at Primanti Bros. which is a Pennsylvania classic that we actually have in Beavercreek. I had had it before but it was just as good, if not better, in downtown Pittsburgh.

After Brunner we headed to the Pittsburgh Zoo and talked to two ladies all about event planning and communicating with outside media. Unfortunately we didn't get to see any animals except for a tarantula, a picture of the new baby rhino and an iguana that I swear was dead because he NEVER. MOVED.

For dinner we headed to a place in the outskirts of Pittsburgh, called Shiloh's. It was a quirky restaurant that actually had seating upstairs, which is where they chose to sit a rowdy bunch of PR kids and our hilarious professors (that was a good choice on their part.) I had one of the best meals I've ever had, which unfortunately I forgot to save the picture. Just picture a bowl of strictly potato, chicken, and gravy goodness. True comfort food that a little town like Ada just cannot provide. Oh, and did I mention they had buffalo chicken dip? Delicious. After dinner we raced (going the appropriate speed limit and stopping at all necessary stoplights) across the city to Rita's. After making a phone call to the store to let them know we were coming we managed to pull in right as the clock struck 9:00. They closed the store and denied serving Aggie, which made for a very quiet and sad ride back to the hotel.

Tuesday morning we packed up and headed out to our last stops before heading back to Ada. We went to the PPG Arena to visit the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team. The guy showed us around the arena and behind the scenes a little bit, then gave us some of his insight into trying new experiences that could hopefully land you in a job that you love doing. He even let us go on the ice at the end which was both cool AND cold. I have never felt more like a true polar bear than in that instance.

For lunch a couple of us split from the group so we could eat at a cool burger joint in the city called Wingharts. I got a burger that had a pierogi and caramelized onions on top of it and it was SO GOOD. Also we had a couple of baskets of fries and I swear if Pennsylvania does anything right, it's french fries.

Following the Penguins we visited a PR agency called Havas PR. They were very friendly and we got to talk to them a lot about the projects they work on specifically and see different kinds of PR in action. Finally, we headed to Visit Pittsburgh whose office had an amazing view of the city. They showed us some cool promotional material they have and talked about specific work that they do to get people to visit Pittsburgh. Also, I learned that Pittsburgh was ranked the #1 spot for food in the country and I am not lying when I say that it is TRUE.

Finally, we headed out of the city and on our way back to campus, but not without making a stop at.....you guessed it, Rita's. It was delicious, and definitely worth all of Aggie's hype. We made it back to campus late Tuesday night after stopping to get Chipotle for dinner (another fantastic food decision.)

I had such an incredible time, and this trip reminded me how much I love visiting new places. I'm so thankful for the opportunity, special shoutout to my professors and Allie Gellner for convincing (politely forcing) me to go. I already can't wait for next year's trip. Also, I apologize that this is such a long post but I figured it was a packed couple of days and I haven't blogged in over a month, WHOOPS! Hope you enjoyed :-)


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