April President’s Message
When I started attending PRSA Richmond events when I was a student at Virginia Commonwealth University, people would tell me how great the chapter was. The accolades always matched my experiences interacting with members and participating in programs. I didn’t realize how awesome PRSA Richmond really was until I moved to another city after college and tried to get involved with that area’s PRSA group. Let’s just say they had NOTHING on PRSA Richmond.
When I moved back to Central Virginia, rejoined PRSA Richmond and started serving on the board, president after president would tell the directors how awesome PRSA Richmond was. I assumed, because we were volunteers, that the excessive praise was just to keep leadership motivated throughout the year. I never doubted the truth or sincerity of the president’s message, I just had very little to compare it to other than my experience with that one other chapter.
Moving into more executive-level positions on the board gave me the opportunity to attend regional and national events as a PRSA Richmond representative. At those gatherings I would speak to leaders from other chapters about their members, programs and activities. I would describe what PRSA Richmond was doing assuming other chapters were doing the same. It never failed that by the end of the conversation, the person with whom I was speaking would be impressed with our chapter’s work. And it continues to happen.
Two weeks ago I had a long conversation with Mid-Atlantic District Chair Mitch Marovitz, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA. (For those who aren’t aware, the Mid-Atlantic District is one of 10 PRSA districts and includes nine chapters in Delaware, DC, Maryland, eastern/central Pennsylvania and Virginia. They provide a vital link between the local chapters and the national PRSA organization.)
As chair, Mitch is reaching out to presidents to gather some formal information about the inner workings of each chapter in his district. He asked questions about programming, member recruitment, leadership succession planning, bylaws, financial practices, community involvement, student development and much more. These questions were specific, detailed and purposeful. Mitch was looking for gaps where he could help by offering some sort of counsel or recommendation about establishing a process or improving a practice. (As you can see from the credentials behind his name, Mitch has quite a bit of sage advice to give!)
I had an answer to every single question Mitch asked. PRSA Richmond had already thought about the topic and was in almost every case already doing something to address the issue—and doing it well. There were no gaps.
As we finished chatting, Mitch followed the pattern of many PRSA members from across the county that I’ve talked to over the years: he expressed how impressed he was with how PRSA Richmond is performing on all levels.
I explain all of this to point out that no matter how many times you have heard that PRSA Richmond is a great chapter, you should know that it’s completely true. As one of 112 chapters in the Public Relations Society of America, PRSA Richmond stands above the rest with its professional development, member engagement and efficient organization.
I am honored to be involved with such a well-run organization. I hope every single member feels the same way.
With everything I do involving PRSA Richmond, my goal is to make sure I don’t mess anything up. I strive to support the work of the board members who will continue to build on the impressive programming we offer for members, manage our operating budget, put on an extravagant awards program, assist PR professionals on their accreditation journey, connect with PR students at colleges and universities across the state and much more. We are working hard to continue the PRSA Richmond legacy and ensure our chapter remains a model professional organization.
One of my initiatives this year is to expand opportunities for PRSA Richmond to serve as a resource for other PRSA chapters. If you have ideas of how we could help achieve this, or have feedback about enhancements we could offer our members or community, please let me know – e-mail me at Jennifer.Guild@abc.virginia.gov.
PRSA Richmond: thanks for being awesome. From attending programs to mentoring students to judging awards to offering suggestions on social media posts, your participation makes our chapter strong.
Please know that getting together regularly with a group of professionals who understand my day-to-day challenges is extremely uplifting. PRSA Richmond programs always inspire me to do my job better, and the people always help me recharge my batteries. PRSA Richmond members are my community. I’m so proud of our chapter’s past accomplishments and for those to come.
I’ll see you (a lot) in April as we continue our great work at the APR boot camp, spring social, professional development workshop, Next Wave section “Chat and Chew,” nonprofit section networking event and the luncheon about social media’s impact on the public relations field. Enjoy your April!
Jennifer Guild, APR
PRSA Richmond President