National Assembly is an annual gathering where one delegate from each Chapter comes together to vote for the incoming National Executive Board. This year's four-day event was held April 4-April 7 in Albuquerque, N.M. As MTSU PRSSA's delegate, I learned a lot of things during my trip to the West:
1. How PRSSA actually runs
I've constantly heard that PRSSA is run by a national student committee, but until I was sitting in a conference room from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., I didn't really know how PRSSA worked on a national level. Delegates from Chapters across the nation reviewed applications, listened to speeches and, eventually, voted for the board that would take over for the 2013-2014 year. This was an incredibly formal event. It was inspiring to see how seriously everyone took PRSSA.
But what struck me the most is that those running were students just like you and me. They were all members of PRSSA (duh), but they also worked in their school's library or took a campaigns class. The National Board is not comprised of elite adults, but rather, passionate PR students who look forward to increasing PRSSA's success, from a Chapter-to-Chapter level to a national level. These students know PRSSA because they've been there, and are, in fact, still right here with us. Just think, anyone from PRSSA could run for National office... it could be you someday. I encourage you to take some time to look at the national website, prssa.org.
2. Network, network, network
The great thing about National Assembly is that you are literally surrounded by PRSSA-passionate students, just like yourself. This is networking hubbub. Eyes light up when Chapter development is mentioned, and an entire session can be based off writing lists of ideas. And because we're PR people, we're all so incredibly nice. You have so much in common that all you have to do is sit down next someone to connect. If you go to National Assembly, don't forget your business cards, and follow up when you get home.
3. Have a Twitter
At National Assembly, you are encouraged at each session to tweet. Sounds a little different from school, right? National Assembly even had its own hashtag: #PRSSANA. Searching the hashtag provided a plethora of information and another way to network. Missed something during National Assembly? You can still search the hashtag for info.
4. We are not a club, we are an organization
This was mentioned by one of the professional advisers at the assembly. How incredibly true these words ring is astounding. PRSSA is something that you can be proud to put on your resume, and the organization can also connect you to more than 300 Chapters worldwide and about 11,000 students.
(did we mention there's an Argentina chapter?). PRSSA connects you to professional development and experiences that you wouldn't get in a "PR Club." Check out the benefits of joining PRSSA.
National Assembly was an invaluable experience. I encouarge all our members to ask questions about the assembly or check out the highlights on the PRSSA website.
And, of course, congratulations to the newly elected National Committee!