The Public Relations Student Society of America took over Charleston, South Carolina this past weekend as the 2014 National Assembly met to elect a new National Committee. Over a span of four days, delegates from colleges all over the nation met to network, listen to industry professionals, and most importantly vote on the future of PRSSA. The 2014 National Assembly kicked off with a competitive Day-Of Competition where delegates had the option of creating a public relations campaign for Warner Bros. Television. Following this, a welcome reception was held to bring all of the delegates together and bond over the mutual love for the PR industry.
The next day was full of sun, fun, and of course a ton of PR. The day started off with chapter officer sessions where delegates shared useful tips on how to enhance the individual chapters of PRSSA. Leadership training sessions were held the rest of the morning. The sessions included, “discovering the leader in you, leading with integrity, and communicating member benefits.” In these sessions, members learned about the qualities of a great leader. These include good decision-making, courage and foresight, tact, and humor. Attendees also reviewed the PRSA Code of Ethics, which is now available as an iPhone application and can be downloaded here!
The delegates of the National Assembly had the pleasure of listening to two speakers throughout the weekend. Fred Cook, CEO of GolinHarris International, spoke about his unlikely rise to the top. Cook dropped out of college and was a doorman at a hotel before he became CEO of one of the largest public relations firms in the world.
“Figure out the best route to the top. Imagination can transform a situation,” said Cook during his speech. Cook was truly an inspiration to all of the delegates at the assembly.
The last speaker of the assembly was John Deveney, Founder and President of Deveney Communications based out of New Orleans. Deveney emphasized that “your word is your bond” in the communications industry. As pre-professionals, he wanted to make sure that PRSSA members are entering the field with the proper knowledge and ethics to succeed.
Finally, we elected the 2014-2015 National Committee and voted on bylaws to make sure that the future of PRSSA is in good hands. Even though this was a long process, it was well worth it as each of the new members of the committee is extremely qualified and willing to fulfill their duties. Though there were many serious and important issues to discuss, there was plenty of time to explore the beautiful and historic city of Charleston, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Between dinners by the river, lunches under the warm southern sun, and new friends to bond with, National Assembly was by far the best weekend I have experienced as a member of PRSSA.
National Assembly taught me not only how to make a motion or speak on a bylaw, but it taught me the importance of connecting with my peers. I met so many amazing and inspiring young professionals in Charleston, and I will forever cherish this PRSSA experience!