Preparing for Your Next PRSSA Role

As I am writing this, I am 44 minutes past deadline.

I didn’t forget that I had a blog assignment—it simply fell through the cracks, stuck on the bottom of an endless to-do list.

This kind of thing happens to everyone, but for me, adhering to deadlines is normally a strength. And as I prepare to take on the role of Public Relations Director for the Waynesburg PRSSA Chapter, adhering to deadlines is critical.

Now that elections are over and the 2017-2018 Executive Board has been chosen, I think we are all in a state of excitement mixed with anxiety. The same goes for Chapter members who are planning to apply for committee positions and take on a greater role in the Chapter. We are all very well-qualified for our new PRSSA positions – but are we fully prepared for the responsibility?

Here are some tips to help you (and me) get ready for your next role in PRSSA – whether that is on Executive Board, a committee or an active general body member.

Ask a lot of questions.

As a freshman, I often felt embarrassed by the sheer amount of questions I had. What is public relations? What is a news release? Why can’t I use an Oxford comma? What time is our meeting, again?

It got to a point where I would just fake it until I knew what was going on. But that isn’t exactly conducive to learning everything you can. Find yourself a mentor—perhaps someone in the position you hope to, one day, fill—and pick their brains. Ask to help them with their work and watch their process.

Volunteer for everything.

Try not to overwhelm yourself, but do your best to volunteer for as much as you can. This will help you learn, with less of the pressure of perfection. Each leadership role in PRSSA tends to encompass a lot of different responsibilities—if you plan to take over at some point, you will need to know all of the ropes.

Practice professionalism.

Whether it is attending professional networking events or leading a group to complete a project, professionalism is a necessity for all members of PRSSA to possess. Especially if you are taking on a leadership role, you must convey a sense of trustworthiness and reliability—both in your work and in your attitude.

In other words, turn your blog posts in on time.


Teghan Simonton is a sophomore with a dual major in public relations and journalism. She serves as the content coordinator for Waynesburg PRSSA and as managing editor for the award-winning Yellow Jacket student newspaper. She is an active member of Red Brick Communications and the Society of Professional Journalists. In her free time, Teghan is a member of the cross country and track teams.

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