If you had told me a year ago that I would have been presenting at the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Conference, I wouldn’t have believed you. Two years ago PRSSA was not what it is today. Frankly, it was a pretty ineffective organization, filled with inactive, uncommitted members. People knew so little about it that most students probably could not have guessed what “PRSSA” even stood for.
Due to efforts spearheaded by our advisor Professor Bartoo and our president Abby Stollar, along with our hardworking e-board, the PRSSA-UD chapter now has meetings with an average of 50 people. In addition we have programs, committees, field trips and fundraising activities, all of which are well supported.
But we don’t measure success by the amount of programs we have or the number of activities we offer. Instead, we look at our members’ experiences. Since our rebranding, our members have become active and invested in our organization. We’ve even had members tell us they decided to pursue a career in public relations simply because of their experience with PRSSA!
This transformation is what led me to become one of four presenters from the University of Delaware at the 2011 PRSSA National Conference in October. At the same conference last year, I felt our chapter’s accomplishments were inadequate compared to those of other chapters. However, this year, we inspired many other chapters with our programs, promotions and other original ideas. Many people came up to us after the presentation to ask us how we accomplished what we did.
In addition to the honor of presenting on a national stage, we were recognized for our work by UDaily and our Communications Department blog. I could not be more proud of what our chapter has accomplished, and I am proud to say that I helped the chapter become what it is today. As a senior, I cannot wait to come back to visit and see our chapter’s new accomplishments as we grow in number and strength.