During my four years in PRSSA, I have attended four National Conferences (Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Indianapolis), two Leadership Rallies (both in Arizona), three Regional Conferences (Chicago, Detroit, Waynesburg) and two National Assemblies (Portland, Austin). I’m lucky to have seen so many parts of the country and met so many peers and professionals, but for some reason my experiences at National Assembly stand out.
Below, you’ll find seven reasons why National Assembly is my favorite PRSSA event.
Opportunity to Serve as a Delegate
The first time I attended a National Assembly, I not only ran for Publications Editor in Chief, but also served as the official delegate for my Chapter. Serving as a delegate provides the opportunity for you to vote on bylaw amendments and elect the next National Committee. Every Chapter has a voice in shaping the future of the Society, and the experience is empowering. One perk for official Chapter delegates: Your registration and hotel room is covered by PRSSA! What could possibly be stopping you from registering?
More Intimate Networking Event
Because many Chapters only send one person to the National Assembly, there is a sense of instant camaraderie between attendees. You become fast friends with those you share a room with or sit next to at sessions. I still stay in touch with my roommates from my first Assembly!
The National Assembly is NOT a delegates-only event. The event programming has a lot to offer to non-delegates as well, including the Day-of Competition. This activity provides participants the opportunity to apply their public relations skills by preparing a campaign plan or an aspect of public relations for a client in one hour. Winners get prizes, and a real-life learning experience. Space is limited for this program, so be sure to register early!
Running for National Committee
Running for a position on the National Committee is something I’ll never forget. Those who have the courage to run in front of over 100 of their peers from all over the country learn something, whether they earn a title or not. As a candidate, you feel a tremendous amount of confidence in the delegation to choose the right person for the job and pride to represent your Chapter on that stage.
Leadership Training Sessions
Led by members of the National Committee and their Advisers, attendees are offered highly interactive workshops on various leadership development topics. Past topics have included leadership transition, personal branding and developing future leaders within your Chapter.
National Assembly also features two high-profile keynote speakers within its programming — one on Thursday evening to kick off the event, and a closing session on Sunday. This year, Karith Foster, a diversity engagement specialist, will kick off the event on Thursday, March 30, hot off a speaking engagement at TEDx Lincoln Square in New York City. Sunday, we will welcome Amazon’s Director of Corporate Communications, Ty Rogers, for a moderated discussion and question and answer session. You don’t want to miss these speakers.
Visiting a New City
I love exploring a new city with #PRSSbaes. It’s fun to reconnect with friends and make new ones in new places. Traveling to various PRSSA events has opened my eyes to future career possibilities from one side of the country to the next. Seattle certainly has a lot to offer with nightlife, sight seeing, shopping and more, and I hope you all take advantage of the free time National Assembly allows for you to enjoy it.
The PRSSA 2017 National Assembly is being held in Seattle, Washington, from March 30–April 2. The registration deadline is Feb. 15. For more information, visit the event website or contact PRSSA National President Emma Finkbeiner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emma Finkbeiner is the PRSSA 2016–2017 National President. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public relations and advertising at DePaul University in Chicago. She works for the DePaul Office of Community and Government Relations. When she isn’t working or commuting on the red line, she is often walking her pit bull puppy Addison or watching the Chicago Cubs.