By Kelsey Miller
Whether you’re new to running for PRSSA elections or not, there are a few things to keep in mind while putting your cover letter and speech together:
Don’t just run for a position to be on Eboard. Be sure that it’s a job you enjoy. If you aren’t thrilled with the duties of that position, you probably won’t be good at it. Don’t let your pride of being on executive board cloud your brain. Make sure to run for the position that suits you.
Talk to the exec in that position now. I’ll let you in on an exec board secret: they love when you want to talk to them. We assume that when people talk to us about our positions, they will take it more seriously and take initiative.
Execs give great insight and ideas about their positions that lead to great talking points in your speech. When I met with the former VP of external relations, Marisa Dockum, she talked about putting together a professional mentor program. Although I didn’t get the position, Briagenn, the current VP of external relations, did a great job executing the program this year!
During your speech, talk about what you’ll do with the position, not why your qualified. This is where killer ideas come into play. You have one minute to persuade people into voting for you; make it count. I don’t care why you’re qualified for the position unless it pertains to the duties at hand. I will always vote for someone with less experience that has more innovative ideas than anyone that has a dozen internships under his or her belt.
Don’t discount the cover letter. The cover letter is a free pass to bragging rights without being judged, so take advantage! Not everyone will read your cover letter, but I can assure you the current executive board, our professional advisor and members that care about the chapter will. Give concrete examples about your skill set that match the duties of the position you apply for.
Make your speech natural. A lot of people have public speaking anxiety. I strongly recommend against a memorized speech or a speech you read word for word. If this is how you feel the most comfortable presenting, then do what is best for you.
I am a fan of bullet points on an index card and having an idea about what you want to say about each point. This opens up the opportunity for the speech to flow naturally and letting the chapter see your personality. Showing emotion in your speech shows how much you care about the chapter and the position.
Talk to your friends. Never let a position get in the way of your friendship. Have open communication with friends who want the same position and understand that your friendship isn’t worth throwing away for a leadership position. Friendship also shouldn’t discourage you from running for a position. Run for the position you want.
Running for the Scripps PRSSA executive board is a great experience whether you get a position or not. It is great exposure and gets your name out there. If you haven’t considered running, you should give it a shot. If you have any questions, please contact me or any other executive board members. I’m excited to see you all on election day!
Kelsey Miller is Scripps PRSSA’s Vice President of Internal Relations. She is a junior majoring in strategic communication, minoring in marketing, specializing in in travel and tourism and working towards a social media certificate. After graduation she hopes to work at an agency with visitors bureau accounts or accounts that deal with resorts. Follow her on Twitter at @kelseymiller300!