One of my takeaways from a recent Erickson Living leadership meeting was a quote from Steve Jobs: “If you’re working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”
I thought about this statement a great deal prior to the Feb. 26 PRSA-MD board meeting. The quote reinforced for me the importance of establishing attractive programming and networking events that not only help build membership, but also encourage ongoing member support, such as volunteering to serve on chapter committees.
As this year’s events and activities are announced, I think you will agree that there is much to be excited about. We will offer high-quality training sessions, professional development and mentoring opportunities, accreditation instruction, social events and much more. There is no doubt that when meaningful opportunities exist for us to come together to learn, grow, serve and become industry leaders, we not only drive optimum membership value but also stimulate chapter growth.
Some of the specific board goals for 2016 include increasing membership as well as hosting networking and educational events. The pathway to success in these areas includes having monthly events and activities, such as educational workshops, media tours, the “Coffee With” series, multiple happy hours, several informal virtual conference calls, the 2016 PRSA Maryland Conference (formerly called the Chessie Conference) in June, and the “Best in Maryland” celebration in early December. Our greatest need now is for members to see our vision for success in 2016 and let it pull them into helping make one or more of these events a reality. Board members have already started reaching out to those who have expressed an interest in volunteering this year.
I am inviting anyone who has ideas or suggestions for chapter programming to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I value your input and it will go a long way in helping to provide relevant programming and networking opportunities for members.
Special thanks to PRSA-MD board members and others who attended this year’s first board meeting. It is a joy for me to be a part of this talented and dedicated group of communication professionals as we commit to making PRSA-MD all it can be in 2016.
Last but not least, for the past two months, Jennifer Kellar, APR, chair of the Accreditation Committee, has been mentoring a group of chapter members who are pursuing their Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2016. Having obtained my APR last year, I’m familiar with the time and effort needed to make this study group a reality. Jennifer’s efforts are truly noteworthy and reflective of the unique value our chapter brings to Baltimore’s communication professionals.
Daniel R. Dunne, APR
PRSA Maryland Chapter