As the President of GVPRSSA, I want to welcome you back to a year that looks a bit different than you’ve ever seen PRSSA function before. As the communicators in times of stress and chaos, we adapt. So of course, our E-board and advisers have done everything in our power to provide you with an experience that will push you closer to being the best professional that you can be by the time that you graduate. 

Of course, we’d love to be able to host a meeting in Neimeyer Room 148, and have you all there. I’m confident that you’ll love what we do have though. Our plan is different this year, let me walk you through it.

Imagine this!

We knew for our safety and for our members’ safety, we couldn’t have everyone gather in person. We also knew that times are changing rapidly, and it’s difficult to plan a month ahead, let alone a whole year. We wanted to make sure that our members were offered consistency from us. Our Vice President of Programming, Sam Stoddard, has done an amazing job to make sure that PRSSA meetings can function smoothly and virtually. To make up for the loss of meeting snacks, we’ve provided you with an even better selection of opportunities.

Our programming for the year is provided by PRSSA REIMAGINED. This is an amazing group of PRSSA chapters from around the country. Grand Valley, Samford University, American University, West Texas A&M, Kennesaw State University, and the University of Memphis have all teamed up to provide a diverse group of speakers and networking opportunities. This puts us in the position to be able to hear speakers that we never would have been able to book due to distance, as well as gives us the opportunity to connect with students we never would have met. Speaking on behalf of my experience at the first meeting on “Relationship Building between PR Pros and Journalists” featuring Nina Smith, Bryce Huffman, and Marvis Herring, the energy was phenomenal, and #PRThursday has a brand new spark to it.

PST…Attending the virtual meetings are FREE! 

Tours?

That too. Our Vice President of Professional Development, Kady Volmering, has set up some great, national opportunities for you to get involved in. The benefit of virtual tours is that no agency is too far when the internet is involved. You definitely won’t want to miss the upcoming tour on September 25th. Robin Beaman is showing us around the Chicago based Beaman, Inc and giving us some great professional advice while she’s at it. 

You can sign up for that here!

Volunteering Opportunities and Activities?

Our Vice President of Chapter Development, Bethanie McGraw, is working double-time to provide socially distanced, or remote volunteer opportunities to our members. Our first volunteering opportunity of the year is with our friends at Kid’s Food Basket. We’re decorating bags that will serve as ready-to-eat meals for elementary students in the Grand Rapids area. With the Stay in Place Order by the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, we are unable to do our volunteering for Kid’s Food Basket as a group. However, we’re still doing it, just adjusting it a bit! When you sign up, you’ll get information about the address for pick up and drop off of the bags and the decorating kits. Volunteering until further notice will be socially distanced and safe for our members.

Sign up for the Volunteering Opportunity on September 26th here!

My Thoughts?

I think we all took a situation we weren’t necessarily prepared for and made the absolute best out of it. A day off isn’t an option, as PR pros, the world keeps spinning even when it seems like it’s stopped. We have to be the glue that holds everything together. I am confident in my chapter’s ability to overcome and still provide valuable opportunities. Nobody knew exactly what PRSSA and the adjustments that COVID-19 calls for would look like together. However, I think that we have done our best to make that relationship seamless. If it feels good, that’s because it is. I am confident in GVPRSSA.

Allison is a senior in the Advertising and Public Relations program with an emphasis in Public Relations. She also has a minor in Political Science. Allison is President of GVPRSSA and serves on the GrandPR E-board. In her free time, Allison likes to argue that LaCroix does have flavor and talk about her beagle, Sally. You can find her hanging out in the living room, or reading tarot cards.

Twitter: @allsncntr