PRSSA Leadership Rally

The following is a guest post from Alyssa Bronikowski, PRSSA Chapter President at DePaul University. She is also a blogger and you can find her blog, “PR Thoughts From An Undergrad,” here.

Last week, PRSSA Chapter Presidents and executive board representatives traveled to sunny Scottsdale, Arizona, to attend the 2nd Annual PRSSA Leadership Rally. The theme for this year’s rally was “Inspiring the Future Professional: Preparing the Leaders of Tomorrow.” Overall the weekend was very rewarding, and I think all attendees can agree that we are now better prepared to lead our Chapter.

The 2nd Annual PRSSA Leadership Rally opened with keynote guest speaker Ryan Zuk, APR, and member of the Phoenix PRSA Chapter. The main message of Zuk’s presentation was “Leadership Persona-fied.” Essentially, Zuk discussed the necessity of incorporating a buyer persona concept into our leadership positions. Here is a link to Zuk’s presentation.

After our PRSA Welcome, attendees broke off into three rotating breakout sessions: Leading and Managing Your Board, Advocacy and Diversity, and PRSSA Member Benefits. My most memorable breakout session had to be Leading and Managing Your Board presented by Rebecca Timms, current PRSSA National President, Natalie Neczypor, PRSSA 2002-2003 national president and Dr. Julie Henderson, APR, Fellow PRSA, PRSSA National Faculty Advisor. Coinciding with the Penguins winning the Stanley Cup (even though I am a Wings fan), this breakout session’s theme was “Get Your Game Face On.” In the position of Chapter President, there are five parts to any PRSSA game:

  • the players (the members of your team)
  • the plays (your actions)
  • the points (relationship with others)
  • the progress (transitions)
  • the programs/processes (procedures)

It is important to consider all of these angles as they each play a role in how to best lead and manage your board. However, the most important tool I learned from this session was the START (What are you going to start doing?), STOP (What are you going to stop doing?), and CONTINUE (What are you going to continue doing?) exercise. Applying this exercise to your board and even your Chapter will reveal the steps necessary to continue moving forward.

The sunny (and fun!) weekend ended with three last sessions, PRSA 101, Discussions, and Best Practices Sharing. PRSA 101 was led by Philip Tate, APR, current PRSA Board Liaison to PRSSA. Tate educated the group on the importance to continue being involved with the largest organization of PR professionals after graduation. If you haven’t done so already, please consider applying for a PRSA membership as Tate says, “PRSA is the best entry point to get you plugged into the PR profession.”

In the last two sessions, attendees reflected on how their chapter effectively accomplishes membership, chapter development, and professional development. These two sessions, discussions and best practices sharing, were extremely informative because each group shared and brainstormed different ideas to manage current PRSSA challenges and opportunities. Later, during the Best Practices Sharing the different groups then presented their conversations to the entire rally.

If you were at the rally, please comment and share what you learned. I look forward to seeing you all in San Diego for National Conference!

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