“Lessons I’ve Learned as EVP of Scripps PRSSA” By Alyssa Gormley

Folks, my time as Executive Vice President of Scripps PRSSA has been so wonderful and rewarding as I’ve been able to plan almost two semesters of virtual meetings for our Chapter. However, my time is slowly but surely coming to a close, as elections are just around the corner. I’d recommend the role of EVP to anyone as it was a 10/10 experience. Even more, I thought I would share with you all just a few lessons I’ve learned along the way: 

Cold Calls < Warm Hellos

First and foremost, don’t be afraid to cold call potential speakers on LinkedIn! I often like to refer to cold calls as ‘warm hellos’ because of the personalization I add to each message. Professionals need to be reached with a personal touch in order to be interested in and willing to speak to our Chapter. Hence, why I tailor my calls to their experiences and expertise. Once you break the ~cold call ice~ the conversation will flow so much more! 

Follow-ups = HUGE! 

As funny as it is, I tend to follow-up on follow-ups… and sometimes follow-up the previous follow-up once more. Follow-ups are immensely beneficial to this role since you need to be in constant communication with speakers, especially in the days leading up to the meeting. I’ve found that if you’re active and responsive when emailing speakers, you won’t need to send as many follow-ups and will already feel a professional relationship forming between you two. Now that’s what I call a double win! 

Cater to Every Audience 

In my opinion, this may be the most difficult but also the most exciting part of being EVP. It’s essential that you consider each segment of public relations and cater to each of those audiences with speakers. For example, you must find a balance between agency and corporate PR, social media, communications and then fields within those including: tourism, entertainment, retail, sports, etc. Based on personal experiences, the best way to maintain a wide variety of speakers is directly asking members who they want to hear from. Trust me, you’ll get plenty of feedback and maybe even more than what you wished for! 

Be Affirmative and Provide Additional Details 

Majority of people in public relations tend to be type A people, meaning we’re usually detail-oriented, overprepared and always organized. When reaching out to potential speakers, be professional and affirmative in providing the meeting date and time as well as the expectation we will have for them at the meeting. Vice versa, make sure you’re transparent in explaining our meetings and what expectations the speaker should have for our Chapter as a whole. In short: give them the 4-1-1!

Still interested in learning more or potentially running for EVP this year? Feel free to reach out to me at 440-420-0742! 


Alyssa Gormley is a junior studying journalism, strategic communication and is the 2020-21 EVP for Scripps PRSSA and is a PRSSA National District Ambassador. Follow her on Twitter here.

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