As freshmen, we always knew that someday we wanted to be leaders within our Chapter. Now, as upperclassmen, we both hold executive board roles as Chapter president and public relations director. We’ve learned how to be successful leaders through challenges, as well as from those who held our positions before us. As the semester ends, take a look at our checklist of Chapter leadership do’s and don’ts.
- Do be approachable and accessible.
- Make yourself available and relatable to members; offer to sit down with them to answer any questions they may have. Meetings don’t always have to be formal or in an office — suggest grabbing a cup of coffee or having lunch at the cafeteria to get to know each other better.
- Do seek out individual strengths of members.
- Apply these strengths accordingly to specific projects and use them to achieve Chapter goals and objectives. Make sure your members know that you value what they do well and are willing to work with them on what they need to strengthen.
- Do be a great listener.
- Focus on what your members are saying to you despite the “noise,” be it literal or just in your head. Take notes on the conversation in order to better remember it, and follow up on members’ needs, concerns and ideas — make sure that they know they are being heard.
- Don’t blame others for poor outcomes.
- Remember you’re a team, and teams rely on one another. If something doesn’t play out the way you or your executive board planned, figure out what went wrong and fix it for next time.
- Don’t fail to delegate.
- Delegating tasks and projects to executive board members, committees and underclassmen is an awesome way to get everyone involved, as well as to prepare your Chapter for the future.
- Don’t forget to set goals and objectives for yourself, your Chapter and your executive board.
- Goals and objectives are a core piece of public relations. By creating goals and objectives for each semester, you can provide direction to your members and prepare future Chapter leaders.
Maura Fenske is a junior public relations major with a journalism minor. She serves as the Chapter president for the Waynesburg University PRSSA Chapter and as an account specialist for Student-run Firm Red Brick Communications. Maura hopes to combine her passion for public relations, writing and sports in her future career. Follow her at @mfenske87 and visit her LinkedIn.
Natalie Gloady is a senior public relations and sports information major at Waynesburg University. She serves as the public relations director for the Waynesburg University PRSSA Chapter, as well as an account executive for the Nationally Affiliated Student-run Firm Red Brick Communications. Follow Natalie on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.