Dispatches from PRAM State Conference

I had the pleasure and privilege of attending the PRAM State Board meeting this past Sunday.  All of the state officers, chapter presidents and chapter representatives come together quarterly to discuss business related to the organization and give reports of what is happening on the local level.

Confession:  I LOVE attending these meetings.  I know attending a meeting on a Sunday doesn’t sound like much fun.  However, I always learn so much at these board meetings and come back with great ideas about how to be a better PR practitioner and how to improve things for our chapter.  If nothing else, I get encouragement from people I respect and appreciate.

I compiled our chapter report before leaving, and felt pretty good about our activities for the first quarter.  Our membership has been steady, we installed officers, and have had four great speakers at our monthly meetings.  I would like to do more to improve our digital presence this year, and hope to increase our membership this year.

As it turns out, my concerns are similar to those of other chapter presidents.  PRAM Gulf Coast membership is about the same as the other chapters located in communities of our size, and we are all working to enhance our online communications.  In fact, PRAM Northeast is a comparable size chapter and is working on the very same thing.  I sat next to their immediate past president at the meeting, and she gave me some great ideas that we could use to improve communications among our officers and recruit new members.

After the meeting, I crashed the opening reception, even though I could not stay for the conference.  It was nice to catch up with familiar faces and meet some new ones!  There was really good synergy at the reception, and it gave me a feeling that this year’s conference would be a good one!  We had a bit of an ice breaker activity (I know what you’re thinking), but it was actually really fun!  It really illustrated the difference between building relationships vs. networking, and drove home the point that we should be focusing on how we can add value, rather than what we can get from people.  Being authentic, sharing our talents and our time, and lifting each other up professionally will strengthen our field a lot more than shaking a million hands and giving out a million business cards.

I hate that I could not stay at the conference, but I know that everyone who is attending will leave feeling inspired!  I wish you all the best!

-Anne Pitre

Chapter President