Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reflecting on PRSSA National Assembly 2011

Last week was a blur. Coming back from Seattle had me hitting the ground running leaving little time for blogging, which makes me sad because I have so many exciting things to share with you lovely people. :)

First of all, I was absolutely honored to represent my Missouri State Chapter at PRSSA National Assembly 2011 in Seattle, WA. As you all probably know, I was a bit apprehensive going to a National PRSSA event for the first time on my own with no context for the event, riding in an airplane for the first time on my own, and being with some of the top PR students in the nation.

All of my fears and worries were unneeded. I had a fabulous time as you can tell by all my photos. I want to really share and process this amazing opportunity with you all. Bear with me as I still am experiencing jet lag and sleep deprivation.

I do not know how to describe the instant connection I seemed to make with people there. Making friends seemed effortless. We all had many things in common: we are passionate about PR, love PRSSA, and want to succeed in our education and careers. And PR people LOVE people!

Friday was incredible. A lot of it was simply talking to other PRSSA members and seeing how they do things differently. I asked everyone "How do you set up your eboard?" "How do you organize your firm?", etc. Often conferences can be so jammed packed with important speakers, it leaves little time to engage with your peers at the conference. This was not the case at National Assembly.

People were oozing at the seams with ideas, and it was contagious to be around such passionate people.

Some ideas I have for my Chapter include:

  1. Having a fundraiser expo on campus charging businesses to be there, 
  2. Going to more National activities, 
  3. Having a social media calendar to give our Chapter a specific voice,
  4. Creating committees to support the e-board instead of having specific chairs,
  5. Establish lasting connections with our supporting PRSA chapter by possibly having a Professional Advisor.
The one item I took away from the entire experience is being a part of the election process. Watching my peers run for office, voting for them, and then see them become our new National Committee was priceless. I feel comfortable contacting any one of them about my Chapter because I established a personal relationship with many of them at Assembly.

As great as Seattle was, coming back to Springfield was harder than I anticipated. This past week it is almost as if I have experienced reverse culture shock. After being surrounded by such passionate PR people, it is difficult to come back to a diverse group of people and try to explain my experience and my ideas. Everyone has a listening ear, but some experiences have no words to describe them.

And jet lag doesn't help. :)

But I am feeling more like myself again, and ready to tackle the end of the semester!
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