What began as a side-project contest entry could earn Jessica Funcannon, 21, a trip to meet one of the world’s wealthiest and most philanthropic people, Warren Buffett in New York.


Funcannon, who will be a senior majoring in public relations and communications at Illinois State University, said she saw a contest through the magazine “Business Wire” on Twitter asking to give thoughts on the future of public relations in an ever-changing world.


 

What began as a side-project contest entry could earn Jessica Funcannon, 21, a trip to meet one of the world’s wealthiest and most philanthropic people, Warren Buffett in New York.

Funcannon, who will be a senior majoring in public relations and communications at Illinois State University, said she saw a contest through the magazine “Business Wire” on Twitter asking to give thoughts on the future of public relations in an ever-changing world.

“It’s my senior year and I’m really looking at the future of public relations, because it’s going to be my future job, so the topic in general was interesting to me and I wanted people to know my point of view as well,” she said. 

The two-and-a-half-minute video has black and white scenes showing “what could happen in the future,” such as a car driving itself, a touch-screen television and more.

“But I go back and say that no matter what happens with technology — no matter what develops — the only thing that matters is face-to-face communication, personal connections. Go back to the basics as a society and relearn what it is to communicate …”

Now in the Top-10 and a finalist in the contest, Funcannon said the public can view all of the videos and post comments on Business Wire’s Facebook page.

A 2008 Washington Community High School grad, Funcannon said it took her awhile before finally deciding on public relations and communications as a career choice.

“I wanted to do graphic design then photography, then fashion design, then merchandising and then I found public relations and it’s kind of everything combined into one,” she said. “It’s all forms of communication … in order to get where you want to go you have to put yourself out there, which is why I entered this contest.”

Funcannon said she is both excited and nervous to be graduating in May, but is ready for what lies ahead.

“I’m in love with every aspect of public relations … so if I could get into a company where I could do a little bit of everything, that would be ideal. I prefer something around here because my family lives here,” she said.

Despite being so close to an all-expenses paid trip to New York to hang with Buffett and other executives, Funcannon said she is just honored to be considered for the top prize.

“I’m really happy to be in a competition where there are good people to go against,” she said. “Even to be in the Top-10 is a huge opportunity as a public relations person — it’s a good resumé booster.

“I’m happy even if I don’t win, but if I do, that will make it that much better.”