I recently had the opportunity to attend PRSA’s annual Leadership Rally for incoming chapter presidents. While my tenure as president of this great organization won’t officially begin until January, I’m already chomping at the bit to roll up my sleeves and get to work. Cincinnati PRSA has so many qualities that make it stand out among other chapters - our people, our programming and our culture, to name a few. But there are also tremendous opportunities to grow and to rethink the way Cincinnati PRSA brings value to its members.
In the coming months I’ll periodically share some of the leadership lessons I had the opportunity to learn first-hand at the Rally. (In fact, I share my top three moments with you below.) In the meantime, I want to issue each of you a challenge: If you believe the impact Cincinnati PRSA can have on the fabric of public relations in this city and want to contribute to our organization, please email me. Let’s have coffee, or lunch, or a cocktail and share ideas. Consider this your invitation to join us in making an impact on our chapter.
Three Things That Recommitted Me to PRSA
1. Meeting Harold Burson. Wow! The man is in his 90s, has been a PRSA member since 1964 and is the founder of the largest PR agency in the world, Burson Marsteller. He is also a prolific contributor to our industry and was recognized as such during Leadership Rally. It was truly a moment of hero worship for me… hopefully I didn’t embarrass myself.
2. Meeting leaders from around the country. From Alaska to South Florida, and Orange County to Washington D.C., there was no shortage of opportunities to network. But it wasn’t just the networking. It was the idea sharing and the problem solving, as well as the collaborative and creative spirit that pulsed through the room. What a collection of supportive, smart leaders PRSA has!
The attendees at Leadership Rally are genuinely interested in making PRSA a better experience and a better organization at all levels. And they aren’t shy about offering their advice, constructive criticism and, occasionally, a sympathetic ear. (I swear, given the opportunity, we could have ended world hunger, brought peace to the Middle East and still had time left over for a long lunch.)
3. Coming away reinvigorated by -- and recommitted to -- PRSA. Admittedly, I was skeptical going into Rally. I thought I was going to get a lot of “rah rah, we’re the best!” speeches from people who had sipped from the proverbial Kool-Aid. What I experienced was just the opposite. There were far more teachable moments, shareable moments and “Aha” moments. It was a well-connected, well-planned, well-executed event from start to finish… with just the right amount of “rah rah” thrown in. I should have expected nothing less. And I left humbled and grateful for the opportunity to attend.