I was blessed with the opportunity to attend the PRSSA National Conference in Boston, Massachusetts two weeks ago. It was a trip that I will never forget! From the public relations professionals to the people who are studying Public Relations just like me. I met some outstanding leaders and future superstars in the communications world. This blog will focus primarily on what I did and what I saw on the first day.
On Friday morning, I arrived at the gorgeous Boston Park Plaza Hotel. Before entering through the front doors, I was amazed at what a trip I was about to have for the next 3-4 days. The staff assisting Conference allowed us leave our luggage in the hotel and leave, as we had arrived at a time when the computer systems went down. My Vice President and I went to find breakfast, as we had an early morning and a long day ahead of us. We ended up going to The Paramount, a diner about 15 minutes away. The caramel banana french toast was so flavorful and it was then that I knew that my excursions in Boston would be fun.
One of the best moments I had was the Chapter Presidents’ Leadership Workshop on the first night with Ben Butler. He was a younger presenter with charisma and credibility, as well as a great start to my schedule at Conference. He gave us a list of things that we should do if we want to be poor leaders. A lot of the wrong moves that he mentioned were bad habits that I have developed and it was great to talk to another student who had been making those mistakes as president as well.
The seminar was hands on, requiring us to relinquish control and put our confidence in a stranger. We had to give them our notebooks to take notes for the rest of the seminar and of course that made some people nervous. We all have a certain way of getting a job done, which we may think is the proper way to achieve that goal. However, we cannot do everything.
As Chapter presidents, we cannot do every job on the executive boards at our respective schools and expect to execute everything to the best of our ability. Even if we were relatively successful, we would not be efficient with our resources. This exercise showed us that we need to trust our people, as they have different perspectives and are capable of taking some of the responsibility and business off of the leader. We have to trust them with major and minor situations, as it is impossible to be involved in every detail of every aspect about a project. Delegation and following up are some concepts that were taken from this session.
The first day was probably my favorite because I had an amazing flight with a gentleman who was sitting next to me. There wasn’t much turbulence and he was very pleasant. I was not sure what to expect with people from or traveling to Boston. Additionally, I experienced a Boston diner and was very impressed with the food. This was only the start of my wonderful journey to the PRSSA National Conference. Stay tuned for more stories and images of my trip to Boston!
Nicole A. Boddie