As the 2019–2020 vice president of brand engagement, I have a number of responsibilities aimed at guiding the reputation of PRSSA and providing opportunities for our members. This work entails quite a bit in order to get it done right. Luckily for me, I have a group of enthusiastic leaders who will support the work of maintaining and building the society’s publications, particularly this very blog. Meet the 2019–2020 Publications Committee, one of the PRSSA National Subcommittees, and get to know the team helping to shape this platform.
I asked each committee member what the “PRSSA experience” means to them. Check out their answers below, and feel free to connect with them. If you ever want to contribute to Progressions this term, reach out to any of us!
Before I started studying at college, I already knew about PRSSA and I also knew it was the perfect place for me. Once I joined, I discovered a world full of people who were like me: they had a purpose in their professional career and the PRSSA experience helped us to find it. One day you can be sitting listening to a lecture and the next day you can be delivering your business card to the leaders of large PR companies, and that’s something that PRSSA provides to its members. I am two years away from graduating and bringing all the knowledge learned here to make a career in my country, Peru, and thanks to PRSSA, I got all that experience before leaving university.
My personal experience that’s been built with PRSSA in the last four years has been more than phenomenal. I finally know what I can contribute to the world with the skills that I have acquired with this organization. My learning experiences with PRSSA helped me become more knowledgeable in my industry and very comfortable in my targeted job fields. Meeting people from many backgrounds and walks of life during conferences/events created long lasting relationships that will never be forgotten. PRSSA is essentially having your own family that serves as a community to members nationally and internationally. I can truly say that I am confident graduating in May 2020 knowing that I have gained experience with opportunities given to me by this organization and remembering that I have a large PRSSA network standing behind me who can help me if needed. Not only have I professionally developed; I’ve personally developed as a person too!
I joined PRSSA under unique circumstances: I’m a 19-year-old senior who will be graduating with a Master’s degree before I am a legal adult. I entered the University of Florida only with the idea that I wanted to be a writer. I believed Journalism was the path for me until it wasn’t. The PRSSA experience proved that I was much more than a writer: I am an activist, a designer and a communicator. For me, the PRSSA experience helps students discover their potential in this loose industry. It’s taught me that you can apply your distinctive skills to your future career and use those specializations to propel you to glory. My passion is connecting with clients on a personal level and using that relationship to ensure a life-long bond with the public. The world truly is an oyster and we, as public relations professionals, have a job to crack it.
The PRSSA experience for me is all about finding your passion, your “why”, and then helping other students to find theirs. For me, my passion is storytelling for creators in the gaming and technology industries. This blog has given me a platform to explore this passion and I hope to give back and allow other members to explore theirs. One of the great things about PR is that as professional communicators, we are playing a vital role in telling the brand story of so many important companies. History is being made right before our eyes and it is our job to support each other and our publics as we help to tell the ever-important stories of our time.
On the off-chance that you are curious about my answer, check out a blog post I wrote sharing how PRSSA impacted my college career path.
Terrell F. Merritt is the PRSSA 2019–2020 vice president of brand engagement and serves as the editor in chief of Progressions. They are a senior studying advertising and public relations at City College of New York’s Department of Media and Communication Arts. Follow them on Twitter @terrellfmerritt and connect with them on LinkedIn.