2012 Leadership Rally: My journey to the desert and back.

By: Allison Jordan

Every year, at PRSSA’s National Leadership Rally, presidents from across the country gather in Scottsdale, Arizona to share practices and offer insight while collectively learning from industry professionals. This June I was fortunate to be able to represent Ohio University’s chapter of PRSSA and soak up as much knowledge as possible. The conference was three days in length and included seminars based on chapter size, diversity, ethics and leadership training. The rally was geared toward energizing members, improving recruitment and how to successfully support your executive board. All together there were 100 chapter presidents in attendance, eager and ready to expand their leadership styles in the 112-degree heat. Yikes!

While roasting my poor little Mid-western body off, I managed to make some amazing friends and take my first stab at attending a national event! The weekend was enlightening and gave me numerous ideas to bring back to Ohio and implement in the coming year. PRSSA LR hosted several speakers that delivered great advice on how to lead a chapter effectively and about the public relations field in general. One of my favorite quotes from the weekend came from the keynote speaker Cathy Planchard,
“The way people get their news and digest it is changing, and we as communicators need to change with them.”
I wanted to also share some other insightful quotes I wrote down throughout the duration of the conference.
Our president, Allison Jordan, outside of the PRSSA Leadership Rally conference building in Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • The four ingredients on becoming a successful leader are Attitude, Appetite, Accommodation, & Advancement (see PowerPoint for further explanation)Tact is the social lubricant of effective organizations and long-term relationships.
  • In public relations you must balance taking risks with researching thoroughly and discussing all options with your team.
  • At the end of the day public relations can’t fix bad business.
  • PRSA/PRSSA extends, expands, and enriches your experience throughout your career. They are a network of knowledge you have at your disposal.
  • At the end of the day we are in PR not the ER, relax and take a deep breath.
  • New social mediums are exciting, but present new ethical issues as well.
  • PRSA is a great way to interact with people doing what you someday hope to do. Utilize them, they want to help.
  • The only thing more important than researching before the start of the project, is evaluating the results at the end of it.
  • Agency life helps build relationships and makes you more marketable when entering the job field.
  • In every resume make sure to effectively communicate results that have a tangible value.

My journey to the desert left me not only literally thirsty for water,but also brought on a thirst to expand and grow our chapter. I learned so much from our amazing PRSSA advisers and took different programing ideas from the other chapters. I left Arizona extremely confident in the knowledge I obtained and excited to come back with the tools and ideas to grow our chapter even more. Stay tuned for announcements on the exciting new additions we are implementing for our members! Have a great summer everyone, and I can’t wait to see you at our first PRSSA meeting come Fall Semester!

To look through all the power points and materials from the conference click here and to see photos from the entire weekend click here.

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