Annually, representatives from PRSSA Chapters gather at National Assembly to make decisions that affect the entire Society. This year, PRSSA will gather in Charlotte, NC March 15-18. If you are the lucky delegate from your school follow these 10 tips from the 2011-2012 National Committee to make the PRSSA 2012 National Assembly an event you will remember. If you’re attending as a non-delegate, you may also find these tips helpful.
Talk to Your Chapter’s Delegate from Last Year
Speaking with your Chapter’s past delegate can give you a better idea of what to expect, how to prepare and how to get the most out of this experience. Take the time and make the effort to learn from someone who has been there before.
— Haley Higgs, Vice President of Regional Conferences
Read the 2012 Situation Analysis
Understanding the current state of the Society will make it easier to select the best candidates during National Assembly. Reading the 2012 Situation Analysis provides background into what each National Committee member is responsible for throughout their term and will put the candidates’ platforms into perspective.
— Amy Bishop, FORUM Editor in Chief
Soak up Tailored Learning Experiences
The valuable information you learn in the Chapter Officer and Leadership Training Sessions is tailored to you. Sessions will address issues and ideas that can help your Chapter and the entire Society, as well as put you face to face with the other highly motivated and successful members from across the country.
— Kendall Schmidt, Vice President of Chapter Development
Take Notes and Ask Questions
Throughout National Assembly, be sure to take notes, especially during the candidate speeches. Once the opportunity is available, ask questions that apply to your Chapter and the Society so that you can make an informed decision. Furthermore, bring back your notes to your Chapter and brief members about what happened.
— Adam Aisner, National President
Attend Elections – Delegate or Not
Elections not only provides a window into how serious the Society is about choosing its future, but they allow members to see what the National Committee is about. It is a great time to understand your Chapter’s position in the Society.
— JR Rochester, Vice President of Advocacy
Network With Other Student Leaders
At Assembly, some of the top student leaders from Chapters around the country will be present. Take advantage of this networking opportunity to learn from their successes and challenges. Ask for business cards and make notes on the back of each card to talk further with that person.
— Lauren Gray, Vice President of Public Relations
Sign up for the Day-of Competition
Networking with fellow members is key to your success at Assembly. Participating in the Day-of Competition is an excellent way to meet other members and expand your public relations skills. Prepare for the competition by researching the client and reviewing your basic public relations skills, such as building a communications plan.
— Vanessa Perkins, Vice President of Member Services
Connect With Your Hotel Roommates
Since room assignments are randomly assigned, it is easy to build relationships that can connect you throughout the country. Reach out to fellow attendees via the Facebook group to get a head start.
— Jessica Noonan, Vice President of Professional Development
Follow up With Connections and Utilize the Network
At National Assembly, you will be able to network with current and future PRSSA leaders and potential colleagues when you begin your career. Whether you are facing challenges in your Chapter or you’re beginning to apply for jobs, tap into your network of PRSSA members for advice and help.
— Nick Lucido, Immediate Past President
Attendees are dedicated to the Society and the industry. Enjoy your peers, soak up all the information you can at sessions and appreciate that you get to experience the election of the 2012-2013 National Committee. It is important for attendees to learn yet also let their hair down and enjoy themselves.
— Joe Clarkson, Vice President of Internships/ Job Services
How are you preparing for PRSSA National Assembly? What advice do you have for members preparing for their first National event?
This is a guest post written by the Vice President of Professional Development, Jessica Noonan.