Time to get to know another PRSA-MD volunteer! Laura is currently the chair of the Mentoring Committee and has been an active volunteer (she served 2 terms as president) of the Maryland Chapter. Read how she got hooked!
Confessions of a PRSA Junkie
by Laura LaChapelle, APR
Have you ever heard of a PRSA junkie? I hadn’t – at least not until I became one.
I joined PRSA at the urging of a former boss early on in my communications career, and then, a few years later, when this same boss made pursuing my Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) one of my annual performance review goals, I – kicking and screaming – studied, prepared for and ultimately passed all the steps necessary to earn my APR.
A few more years went by. I attended Chapter events here and there, and skimmed WebNotes when I received it. And then an entry caught my eye. Was I sleep deprived? Possibly. You see, I had recently undergone some major life-changing events: I had my first baby, a preemie who was recommended not to be put into daycare, forcing me to forego a communications management role with my company in exchange for a work-at-home-only-and-part-time-at-that arrangement with them. I was going crazy with boredom, so jumped at the entry I saw – an ad to Chapter members seeking someone to write, edit and manage WebNotes.
WebNotes was my toe-in-the-water PRSA event. I happily wrote the bi-weekly publication for a few months, until I was invited to join the Maryland board as a director-at-large.
I was hooked.
Through that first toe in the water, I moved from director-at-large to secretary, and from secretary to Chapter president, not once, but twice. I then jumped to PRSA District leadership as president of PRSA’s Mid-Atlantic District.
PRSA gave me that much-needed professional connection at a time when I needed it most. Along the way, I connected with colleagues and peers, made great friends and added some new professional experiences to my resume. My involvement with PRSA, while not something I had planned for or, frankly, even wanted, has been something that has enriched my life and opened up tons of new possibilities and opportunities. I’m a junkie, and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Shout out to Jeannette Duerr, that boss who initially put me on the path of becoming a PRSA junkie.