This month, we caught up with volunteer David Harrison. David is the 2019 Best in Maryland Chair (a position he’s held twice before) and a past board member and chapter president.
In his day job, David is principal of Harrison Communications, specializing in overall communications strategy, earned, social and owned media primarily for professional associations.
When and why did you first join PRSA?
I joined when I was new to the field in 2000, primarily for networking.
What do you enjoy most about being a board member or volunteers?
When I first chaired BIM in 2015, we saw an opportunity to rejuvenate the program and encourage new people to become active in the chapter. I have since served on the board and as president. This year, I’m excited to chair BIM again and we have a new twist on the event that’s going to make it fresh and fun. BIM is the one opportunity we all have every year to celebrate the holidays, reflect on the great work of our PR community and connect with each other.
How did you become your own boss?
Going out on my own was a professional passion I wanted to pursue. I wanted to be entrepreneurial, and I just jumped into the cold water. That was 12 years ago, and I’m very happy.
What do you love most about the PR field?
Every once in a while, you really can cause positive change. An example is a project I recently worked on with Abel Communications for the Wayland Baptist University women’s basketball team, the Flying Queens. Our goal was make the program more visible as they pursued enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Our work has been credited with helping to achieve that goal; I’m excited that the team will be enshrined later this summer.
How do you define success?
I separate personal and professional success. Professional success is everything that it indicates: career growth and financial goals. Personally, it’s about feeling good about who you are, being a strong spouse, parent, family member and friend.
Who inspires you?
David Letterman. He’s naturally funny, incredibly gifted, but also – admittedly — flawed. He is constantly evolving and improving himself. Clearly, his life’s ambition was to host the “Tonight Show,” but when it didn’t happen, he found a new path.
What’s one thing – either industry-related or not – you learned in the last month?
How to throw an axe! (see photo)
What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
I’ve never met a microphone I didn’t like. I served as the “voice of god” at an association conference, and I love the stage production aspect of conferences.
What’s the last book you read?
The biography, Shout!: The Beatles in Their Generation by Philip Norman. I found it fascinating.
Where did you grow up and where would you like to retire?
I grew up in Pikesville (MD) and I would like to retire at a beach. TBD – I can’t even think about it!
If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A 24-hour Las Vegas buffet