Over my spring break, I had the wonderful opportunity and honor of attending the PRSSA National Assembly in Charlotte, North Carolina, as NYU PRSSA’s official delegate. This was my first national conference and our chapter’s first representation in the assembly since its foundation. If I had to sum up my experience in one word, it would be Inspiring. Over 200 delegates and PRSSA members from around the country represented their universities, in order to learn important leadership skills, understand the role that ethics plays in PR, build their chapters, and spread the PRSSA love.
The assembly started out with an optional Day of Competition event in which I was placed into a group and asked to create a PR campaign for Duke Energy in just one hour. Though my team did not win, I got a little taste of what it’s like to work with a group of people I literally met on the spot, coordinate and work together under time pressure, and present a plan to a “client.” Over the course of the assembly, we had some very interesting sessions about the ethical standards of PR, chapter development for different board-member titles, and the history of PRSA and PRSSA.
I took away many valuable tips from the assembly, such as:
- How to develop an effective Student-Run Firm
- How to concisely explain what PRSSA is and encourage students to join
- What it takes to be a leader and why the executive board is so important
- What types of fundraisers to host each local chapter
It was wonderful to not only see how loyal and devoted the national committee was in helping other chapters grow, but to interact with other delegates from around the country and share personal stories with one another about our chapters. I believe we can learn more from our mistakes than our successes, and this was definitely the case when we were all able to share our mishaps and issues within our own chapters. The open discussions were effective in allowing me to look at my own chapter and think about our strengths and weaknesses.
During the assembly day, all of the delegates were given the task of electing their new PRSSA national committee. After listening to the speeches, I was so impressed with the leaders who are growing this organization and so proud to be a part of the process.
To end off the post, I want to quote Mary Tribble, the keynote speaker during our farewell reception, and Chief of Events for the upcoming 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. “It’s all up to you, each day and each career. Your happiness is up to you.”
NYU PRSSA VP of Communications