An Informed Voter Is an Invested Voter: What You Should Know for the PRSSA 2019 National Assembly

The annual PRSSA National Assembly is set to take place April 4–7 in Portland, Oregon. In preparation for the event, it is crucial that all Chapter delegates review the 2019 Situation Analysis and the delegate packet in its entirety.

Below are three pieces of information that all delegates should be familiar with.

Preparation Session

If this is your first National Assembly, don’t fret! The day before the big event, there will be a run-through session, hosted by Ben Butler, the National Professional Advisor. He will walk through the proceedings of Assembly and answer any questions people may have about it. This mandatory session will help all delegates be informed, prepared and ready for the following busy day!

Proposed Bylaw Amendments

Two proposed bylaw amendments will be voted on during the Assembly.

The first is to create a new position on the PRSSA National Committee that will be called the vice president of diversity and inclusion. As implied, this role will encompass the diversity and inclusion initiatives of the Society at a local, regional and national level. If the bylaw is passed, a separate application process will be announced, therefore enabling any qualified PRSSA member to apply. If the bylaw does not pass, the duties of diversity and inclusion will remain under the vice president of external affairs.

The second proposed bylaw amendment is dependent on the previous bylaw mentioned above. It will include the merging of the roles of the Publications Editor in Chief and the vice president of external affairs. If this bylaw is passed, the new position will take the title of vice president of brand engagement, and primary responsibilities will include media relations and overseeing of the national publications including the blog and podcast series. If the bylaw is not passed, the two roles will remain separate.

Delegate Preparation

By now, all delegates have received the delegate packet from PRSSA Headquarters. This packet includes information about the students running for national office. It is imperative that Chapter delegates review the packet with their Chapter’s executive board or general member body to discuss each candidate. As a delegate, you are responsible for voting on behalf of your Chapter, therefore it is crucial that you have an open conversation with your Chapter to discuss potential questions for candidates or clarification points that you’ll look for during their speeches.

Candidate Q&A

After candidates present their speeches, delegates will have the opportunity to ask questions. The use of questions is intended to provide clarification or more detail towards understanding candidates’ ability to serve the Society. Therefore, questions should not be directed at specific candidates but rather should be broader so that all candidates will be able to answer it without feeling singled-out.

It is recommended that you become familiar with the candidates before the day of voting.

Just as you would look up a potential employer or interviewer before meeting them, it is important that you look up the candidates. The more you can familiarize yourself with the candidates’ backgrounds and previous experience, the better prepared you will be during the Assembly.

Remember, as a Chapter delegate you have the opportunity to vote and make changes that will affect the Society for years to come. To make these changes, it is crucial that delegates come as prepared and informed as possible.

If you would like more information on these bylaw amendments, please review pages 14 and 57 of the PRSSA 2019 Situation Analysis.

If you have any questions about National Assembly, please reach out to Jeneen Garcia at

Courtesy of Emma Ingram

Emma Ingram is the 2018–2019 Publications Editor in Chief for PRSSA National




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