Last weekend I had the pleasure of representing PRSSA-UD at the PRSSA National Assembly in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was beyond excited for the opportunity to travel and to meet other like-minded students who love PRSSA as much as I do. However, the experience proved to be so much more than a fun weekend away with PRSSA-ers from around the country – I walked away with a whole new passion for the society, a network of PR go-getters, and a long list of ideas to bring back to UD and implement into our chapter.
The fun began on Thursday, April 4 with the Day-of Competition. Participants got broken up into teams and had one hour to develop a communications plan for a client – this year’s client was Duck® brand Printed EZ Start® Packaging Tape. My team worked diligently for the hour, creating a campaign targeted at moms/families featuring Pinterest “Pin it to Win it” contests and our hard work paid off – my team won the competition! Later that evening, we enjoyed dinner at the welcome reception with updates from the National Committee and mingling with other students.
Friday morning started bright and early with Chapter Officer Sessions – I attended the President’s session where we discussed where our chapters succeed and where we falter. I left feeling energized and excited with tons of ideas to help my chapter grow. Following the Chapter Officer Sessions, we broke out into three different mini-sessions – “How to Plan a Sensational Semester,” “Act Ethically and Carry On,” and “Spreading the Word.” At the first, we brainstormed the different ways that we engage our members and left with ideas to plan ahead and create a semester filled with meetings and events that our members will love. In the ethics session, we broke into groups and each faced an ethical dilemma and presented our way to deal with it. Finally, in “Spreading the Word,” we played PRINGO (PR Bingo) featuring the various benefits offered to PRSSA members. Later in the afternoon, we had a special session to discuss the logistics of Assembly the next day where we would vote in the new National Committee.
Saturday was a long day of speeches from the candidates – and even longer when you factor in the room full of PR people not allowed to use social media! Social media or not, though, the day was inspiring to hear from all of the passionate candidates so dedicated to serving. It was exciting to know that I had a say in the incoming National Committee but it was difficult to choose one among all of the highly qualified and devoted candidates. However, I’m confident in the newly elected committee and look forward to seeing their progress next year!
National Assembly came to a close on Sunday morning with a wonderful presentation by our keynote speaker, Tom Garrity, President and CEO of The Garrity Group in Albuquerque. He presented on “#PRMovies,” featuring the most popular quotes from movies and relating them back to public relations. Finally, the National Conference Committee presented on the upcoming conference in Philadelphia in October, which made me super excited – it’s going to be fantastic!
This is getting pretty lengthy so I’m going to break it down to the top two lessons I learned from PRSSA National Assembly:
- PRSSA is way more than just a resume booster. I’ll admit it. When I first joined PRSSA and decided to run for the executive board, I did so under the intentions that it would look great on my resume and set me apart. However, PRSSANA solidified what I’ve been slowly realizing over this past year – PRSSA is an incredible society that creates long-lasting relationships, provides personal and professional development, and prepares you for a successful career in the future.
- You hold the key to your own success. Being surrounded by some of the most successful college students for a long weekend makes you realize what it means to be devoted to your future. These students were some of the most zealous, hard-working go-getters I have ever met – but they did it with their own drive and motivation. No one forced them to serve on their PRSSA executive boards while balancing classes, internships, part-time jobs and extra-curriculars. They all know what every successful professional must know – you create your own success through dedication, passion and hard work.
Thank you to PRSSA National for a wonderful National Assembly!