Nearly 20 years ago when I was transitioning from a career in broadcasting to working in public relations and marketing, somebody pointed me toward PRSA. I wish I could remember who that was (20 years is a long time) because they did me a tremendous favor.
Rubbing elbows with members of the Hoosier chapter has been a huge benefit throughout the last two decades. I’ve received incredible professional development, deepened ties to many of Indy’s media members and, most importantly, made some lasting friendships with a number of the best PR practitioners around, and I would put up Indiana PR pros against any in the country!
Along the way, I’ve tried to do my part to serve the organization. Not only has my membership remained constant, but I’ve played a role on various committees and on the board of directors. I have recruited other new members to the chapter and I particularly enjoyed being part of the team that put on the International Conference when we hosted in 2016.
Then, a few years ago after I had stepped back my volunteering due to other obligations, I was asked if I would be interested in representing the chapter – all of you – as a delegate at the national assembly. It didn’t take me long to say “you bet!”
Although I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into at the time, being a delegate is a fantastic opportunity, and a real honor! It means I get to be one of the three Hoosier chapter representatives who casts a vote on some of the current issues facing the organization and our industry overall.
So what does being a delegate require? Time, mainly. You need to take the time to educate yourself on the issues the national board presents and then take that information back to the local chapter to begin discussing how our chapter wants to weigh in on the issue.
For instance, the hot button topic last year was whether or not to remove the APR requirement for someone to serve nationally as a board officer or director. There were many strong feelings for and against the requirement, and ultimately, the proposal failed to receive the two-thirds majority required to pass.
Part of the failure was due to the rules of governance and many delegates being confused about the process when an amendment to the proposal was added. Holding the meeting virtually for the first time also likely played into the confusion. Nonetheless, it was a very interesting experience and I felt honored to weigh in on that issue, and others, that best represented our chapter.
This is my final year of being a delegate, and I have many people to thank for their tutelage and support, including wonderful PR pros Andrea Farmer, Bob Schultz, Sonja Popp-Stahly, Emily Kibling, Melissa Geitgey and many others. Thanks for how you’ve helped me and for what you’ve done for our chapter.
If you ever get the opportunity to be a national delegate, don’t hesitate. Put away the worry and respond quickly with “You bet.”
By Andy Klotz, APR