I will be serving as the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National President for the 2012-2013 year. I'm so honored to have this position and I'm very honored to serve my fellow PRSSA members. PRSSA really changed my life, has taught me a lot, has given me amazing friendships and has given me invaluable experience. I honestly love this Society and I'm glad to be in this position this year with my fellow National Committee members.
Officially, my term began June 1 and the new National Committee took office. Last year, I served as the Vice President of Public Relations on the National Committee. You can learn more about me and my history with PRSSA by clicking my business card picture above.
Please take the time to learn more about this year's 2012-2013 National Committee here on the PRSSA website. We have an incredible team leading us this year. We are all passionate, knowledgeable and here to serve.
If you were at National Assembly in Charlotte, NC this year, you heard my speech and about some things I want to accomplish this year. As we move forward as a progressive Society this year, here are a few of my goals right from my speech and a summary of my vision for the year:
*anything in italics is a slight change from my original speech - everything else is exactly the same.
1) Our members should fully understand what PRSSA is and how PRSSA benefits all of our members. Through a new initiative I would like to start including re-working part of the PRSSA website to feature the benefits, a full PRSSA Internship Center walk-through, more PRSSA stories and successes, a new Chapter mailing insert with membership packets to welcome new members with a list of explained PRSSA benefits and other creative outreach.
One of the most effective ways to get people to join PRSSA is through success stories. More of those stories needed to be shared. Our members need to know and fully understand what PRSSA is, what the benefits are and how PRSSA can really help to shape our future. We're not just selling an organization here, but an experience. PRSSA needs to be more about the goals of our members, which starts with getting our members to fully understand what we are about.
I would also really love to get member input in this as to how we, as a National Society, can best reach members. Disney is the most creative company out there. In public relations, we’re supposed to be the most creative people and I think we can come up with more creativity for PRSSA together.
“You can design and create and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality. – Walt Disney
Potential members and the future of PRSSA should be like The Little Mermaid saying, “I want to be a part of your world.” Through combining member testimonies, an outlined list of PRSSA benefits and an explanation of PRSSA National Initiatives, I believe we can get our PRSSA members to fully understand PRSSA better.
2) Expand PRSSA internationally. Pocahontas gives us knowledge here from, “If you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew you never knew.”
While we are expanding and growing internally, I want us to grow internationally as well. International and global growth is important, as it is imminent.
I would like to establish one or two more international or affiliated PRSSA Chapters in other countries this year. While I think this goal may change a little to focus on our already established Chapters and maintaining and establishing new Chapters here in the U.S., I still think global outreach is important.
Diversity and ethics will play a bigger role for PRSSA this year. I want to see PRSSA take a stance on things PR and communication related. I’m proud of the field of public relations and we all should be. We need to be out there as advocates.
3) Improve PRSSA to PRSA transition rate
Just like PRSSA is essential to students in college, PRSA is just as essential after college. We need to improve the PRSSA to PRSSA transition rate. I’ve analyzed the transition rate over the past couple of years and while it has been improving, we should have more members joining PRSSA.
We need to get the word out that it is only $60 to join for an Associate Membership AND you get a one-year free membership to the New Professionals Section. We should be more involved in promoting PRSA, in building and repairing sponsor PRSA Chapter relationships with our PRSSA Chapters and should be joining PRSA ourselves after graduation. For instance, did you know you can join PRSA up to five months before your graduation?
At the end of the day, we’re headed into a new era and it would be an honor to serve in this esteemed position. Thank you for your consideration of me for National President. We should have a terrific year full of growth, passion and knowledge in PRSSA.
I’m ready to see more PRSSA members apply for awards and scholarships, I’m ready to see more members reading FORUM and the Blog, I’m ready to see more Chapters promoting ethics and high school outreach, I’m ready to see our student-run firms grow and become Nationally Affiliated, I’m ready to see more successful Regional Conferences and, most importantly, I’m ready to see our members and Chapters grow and develop into successful young professionals.
As I’ve been this entire year, I will be fully accessible to PRSSA members as a resource through email, Skype, text and social media. I’m here for you and I’m here to help our Chapters and our members. I am dedicated and I am passionate: two qualities I consider strengths for myself and two qualities I deem of the highest importance to any leader.
Just like Walt Disney, I’ve done my research to the fullest extend studied this position and studied PRSSA. I am ready to lead.
I would like to leave you with a quote from Walt Disney I agree with:
"Of all the things I've done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them toward a certain goal." —Walt Disney
It’s true – we could do nothing without you as PRSSA members. Thank you.
So - there it is. Those are my goals for the year! I hope we have a successful year together in PRSSA. You can reach me by email at email@example.com, on Twitter @laurenkgray (best way to reach me for an immediate, quick answer) and on Skype at lauren.k.gray. Please reach out this year as I am here to help you and your Chapter succeed. Also know that every single National Committee member is available as a resource too. USE US and get in touch with us!
I will be blogging occasionally about the progress of things and what this experience is like so stay tuned for more information!
A few PRSSA updates:
- PRSSA Blog changed to Progressions as of June 2012 and we received a complete blog makeover. Check Progressions often for new blog posts!
- National Conference is in San Francisco this year and the deadline to register is September 17. Review the full program and details on the National Conference website.
- Join PRSA as an Associate Member for only $60!! If you just graduated, join PRSA for this discounted rate! Just as PRSA is important and so much fun for us in college, PRSA is just the same for us as new professionals. Don't forget to join the New Professionals Section as well!
- Bid to host a 2013 Regional Conference. PRSSA is about networking and advancing our profession. Put together a bid for your Chapter to host your own conference by Sept. 17!