I traveled to Charleston, S.C. not entirely sure what to expect but eager to experience all that PRSSA National Assembly had to offer. Little did I know that I would come home armed with more knowledge about leadership and a better understanding of the resources we have as members of PRSSA.
These resources are invaluable, but they are not used nearly enough. National Assembly certainly created more awareness for me about how beneficial they are. Here are three resources members should be using:
1. PRSSA Internship Center: Create a MyPRSA account to search for internships by employer, location, start date or keywords. Members can also upload their resume for employers to browse. Career tips on resumes, cover letters, portfolios, interviews, and more are also provided.
2. PRSA Jobcenter: Get access to thousands of job postings in the public relations, communications and marketing industries. Useful career advice and information is also available.
3. PRSA Ethics app: Download this easy-to-use app on your phone to have all the answers about PRSA ethics in your pocket. This app will be your aid when challenging issues arise. The app includes: The PRSA Member Statement of Professional Values, the PRSA Code Provisions, every Professional Standards Advisory, the PRSA Ethics Quiz, the PRSAY blog and email access to members of the Board of Professional Students.
During the leadership training workshops at National Assembly, I gleaned many wonderful tidbits of information about leadership that are very applicable for those in leadership roles.
There are four leadership traits that are underrated and deserve more consideration:
1. Decision Making
Decisions should be grounded in research and provide the key reasons why an idea will work. Decision making in the executive boards of PRSSA Chapters should always have the members in mind. Understanding the wants and needs of the members should be the foundation of every decision. Being able to stand up for decisions when facing questioning is also a needed skill. A helpful question to ask when making decisions is, “How does the decision fit into the big picture theme or goals for the society?”
“Tact is the lubricant that makes possible smooth human relations,” said the 2011-2013 PRSSA National Faculty Adviser Robert “Pritch” Pritchard.
Tact is knowing when to do or say something and when not to. Tact implies a spirit of cooperation; it is not limited to being polite. Tact is a sensitive and an intuitive appreciation for what is right. It is also an insight into the motives of others.
Part of being a courageous leader is identifying your goal and setting tangible objectives. Courageous leaders prepare and set goals for the year during meetings prior to the start of the school year. Courage also means learning to accept responsibility for projects and ideas. Lastly, courage is accepting failures and growing from them.
4. Humor and personality
In order to create a good environment for Chapter members, it is important to use humor and to show your personality as a leader. Human interaction goes a long way in retaining members because it creates relationships. To show personality and humor is to be vulnerable with Chapter members, and that creates a mutual respect.
National Assembly was truly life-changing, and I know that it helped me become a more informed leader. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to pass along this knowledge to my Chapter.
By Lily Sherer
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.