Developing Your Chapter Through Event Planning

As any member of an organization will say, development takes time and effort; not just from executive members, but from everyone involved. Development is an ever-changing process that never ceases. If an organization reaches its goals, new ones must be set or it risks becoming stagnant.  Members may become complacent, which is one of the worst fears for any Chapter.

As future public relations professionals, our mission is to build and maintain relationships with the public and help those relationships grow.  Think of your personal relationships; if things get stale, you typically try to bring back some of the excitement. You go somewhere for fun, take a vacation or find a hobby to participate in — something that generates a sense of cohesion and energy. Just as these traits are healthy for our personal lives, so are theyyou’re your professional growth.

In our Chapter at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, we generate buzz through our events. For the 2011-2012 school year, I had the good fortune to be a part of the executive board that planned and initiated two events from scratch: Shop with a Cop and BrandU Professional Retreat. Our executive board spent many caffeine-induced evenings in the library planning what were giant leaps of faith for our Chapter. As a result, we executed two incredibly successful functions that got everyone in our Chapter involved and excited to be part of PRSSA.

Of course, there are always risks involved when an organization puts itself out there in the public. What if we botch the planning and miss something? What if our members don’t fulfill their obligations and complete their jobs? What if reservations fall through at the last minute?

These are all legitimate risks and understandable concerns for any Chapter. What I learned, though, is that whether you succeed or fail, one of the most rewarding parts of these experiences was the growth our Chapter went through during the planning process. I learned that it is better to take the risk and challenge your organization than stay safe and out of date – always strive for development.


About the blogger

This is a guest post written by Nathan Maul, a member from the Southern Illinois-Carbondale Chapter. He enjoys sports, pop culture, and humor.

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[highlight]How does your Chapter generate excitement for the year? Share your experiences with us. [/highlight]

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