Making Connections from Coast-to-Coast

BY: JENNA NEWMAN

After being on the executive board from PRSSA Delaware for two years, I had still not attended National Conference or any other PRSSA national event and honestly, WOW, I was missing out. This spring, I finally had the opportunity to attend PRSSA National Assembly in Portland, Oregon. Before I talk about my key takeaways from the conference, let me talk about a little bit about what National Assembly is and what we did.

What is PRSSA National Assembly?

PRSSA is a pre-professional, international organization, with chapters not only all over the U.S., but also internationally in South America. Then, beyond each individual chapter, there is a group of students that are part of the PRSSA National committee. Their job is to connect all of the chapters, manage the PRSSA National social media, send out all the emails, collect dues, and so much more! Each year, one member from each chapter is invited to come to some city (this year Portland), and vote for the new National committee. Saturday was our primary day of voting, where we heard candidates talk about why they are qualified to serve PRSSA on the national level. We also went over new proposed by-lines, including adding in a new VP of Diversity and Inclusion position on the committee. Some people call this the “boring” day, but I found it so interesting!

What did we do (beyond voting)?

Beyond voting (which was only one day), we had a mix of other keynote speakers and break-out sessions. Our keynote speakers included amazing, influential PR pros such as Trisch Smith, Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Edelman and Matt Prince, Sr Manager, Public Relations and Brand Management at Taco Bell Corp. I could talk about all the wisdom that our keynotes shared each in a separate blog post, but I don’t have the time for that, so I’m just going to keep going! Our break out session included meeting with other students in similar executive board positions at their respective PRSSA chapters and talking to them about what has been successful and what has not.

Key Takeaways

Get involved. 

There are so many different, incredible opportunities to get involved with PRSSA at either the chapter level, regional level, national level, or even the international level. As I finish up my junior year, I only wish I got involved sooner and I’m grateful for next year to continue expanding my influence.

We have the power to make a difference.

There were over 100 students in a Marriott hotel in Portland talking about Public Relations. We are the future of Public Relations and because of that we have the power to make a difference on the industry moving forward.

Put yourself out there.

Most students at the conference were the only ones from their chapter (like myself), so that meant that you were either alone all weekend, or you made friends. By putting myself out there, I was not only able to network, but to build friendships that I’m going to carry to International Conference in San Diego and probably beyond that.

National Assembly was AMAZING and now I’m just counting down the days to International Conference (184Days!!)!IMG_3353.jpeg

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