This year PRSSA’s National Assembly was in Seattle. The National Committee arrived on Wednesday so we could have our full day of meetings on Thursday. We made the finishing touches on our goals for the rest of the term (which ends on May 31) and had a very productive meeting. Then delegates from many Chapters arrived on Thursday for the Day-of Competition.
For the Day-of Competition, seven teams had an hour to prepare a campaign to promote Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign. Then they had 8 minutes to present to a panel of judges and 2 minutes to answer questions. The winning team (pictured below) won because of their in depth research and measurements to show whether or not their campaign would be successful.
The next day, the National Committee led a series of Leadership Training Workshops focusing on branding, ethics and PRSSA national initiatives. Along with Brandi Boatner, Danielle DuPree, Kara Robinson and Julie Henderson, I helped lead the branding workshop. We started off with PR Idol which asked members to give a 30 second elevator pitch about their Chapters. Then we went into the do’s and don’ts of Chapter branding which took a look at fundraising ideas and Twitter and Facebook etiquette. Finally, we had discussions about the proper ways to brand your Chapter and resources available by PRSSA for branding guidelines.
We had a chance to tour the city a bit as well. We went to Pike Place Market (where I took part in catching a fish, apparently a Seattle tradition) and the first Starbucks.
The next day we had elections for the 2011-2012 National Committee. The following people (pictured below) were elected:
Nick Lucido, Immediate Past President
Adam Aisner, National President
JR Rochester, Vice President of Advocacy
Kendall Schmidt, Vice President of Chapter Development
Joe Clarkson, Vice President of Internships/Job Services
Vanessa Perkins, Vice President of Member Services
Jessica Noonan, Vice President of Professional Development
Lauren Gray, Vice President of Public Relations
Haley Higgs, Vice President of Regional Conferences
Amy Bishop, FORUM Editor-in-Chief
The next day Frank Shaw, the Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft spoke as our keynote. He said that PR people tell stories and manage issues. He used a great quote from Mark Twain that said “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” He also touched upon the importance of aligning with business objectives and working with people in marketing and sales. He spoke about his experience in crisis communications and said that you have to prove your leadership to others. While dealing with a crisis, you need to try to prevent it from happening but also react when it does. He also spoke about some of Microsoft’s responsibilities and its structure.
After the keynote, Nick recognized the National Committee for our work throughout the year. He spoke about some of our memories from the year as well as our accomplishments. It was so great to share everything we have done this year with the delegates. I was presented with the Elaine Averick Outstanding National Committee Member Award for my dedication to the society which was SUCH a great honor. I also had the chance to recognize Nick for everything he has done for the society at National President. (Video to come!)
So I still have until May 31 for my PRSSA term, so I am not going to reflect on that quite yet. But I do have to say I’m so excited and proud of the new committee. They are already fired up and ready to go with great ideas, and I know Adam will lead them to great success just like Nick led us!