PRSSA hosts a variety of national events throughout the year. Every spring, National Assembly takes place. Over the course of four days, students gather to learn new leadership skills, hear from successful professionals and vote on the incoming National Committee.

This year’s Assembly was held in Miami, Florida. The first day consisted of the Day of Competition in which students had the opportunity to participate in a live case study with rbb Communications, a PR agency based in Florida. Teams were given one hour to craft a PR campaign that would help a client of rbb Communications. Later that evening, students heard from Tina Elmowitz, EVB, and Partner at rbb Communications. She discussed common myths of the PR industry that left students inspired to launch their career.

The second day consisted of several Chapter Development sessions. Typically, the students who attend National Assembly hold some sort of leadership position in their Chapter. Therefore sessions like these allow students to talk with one another about common challenges or obstacles their Chapter is facing. I personally have learned a plethora of things from other students during national PRSSA events and have even incorporated some of them in our Chapter. After these sessions, everyone heard from Andrew Cook, the current PRSSA National President. Andrew oversees PRSSA initiatives at the national level in addition to leading his national committee, made up of nine other student leaders. During this session, I learned that PRSSA now has over 10,000 students in 360 Chapters across North and South America. Pretty cool right!?

The following day was election day. As mentioned earlier, National Assembly is also the time where students vote on the incoming National Committee. This year there were 22 candidates for eight positions. These candidates gave a speech to over 200 other PRSSA members and then participated in a live question and answer session. By the end of the day, students had successfully elected eight leaders to serve on the committee for the following year. If you’ve been actively involved in AU’s PRSSA Chapter and are looking to further immerse yourself in the society, consider running for a position next year!

On the last day, students heard from Patrick Ford, a professional in residence at the University of Florida. Ford gave a heartfelt speech about characteristics needed to be a strong leader. His powerful words left a lasting impression on everyone in the audience. The Assembly wrapped up with a presentation on this year’s National Conference which will take place in Austin, Texas.

Having attended two National Assemblies, I can attest to how beneficial these opportunities are to students. It’s great to be involved in your local Chapter, but it isn’t until you experience a National event in which you truly come to understand and appreciate all that PRSSA is able to provide you with. If you’d like to learn how to get more involved with PRSSA at the national level check out their website. And get excited about National Conference 2018!