Gimme a P-R-S-A!

I was stoked (totally, dude!) for my first meeting as president of the PRSA-Madison board of directors. It’s a great group, with a past leadership that reads like a Who’s Who in Madison Public Relations; I wanted to honor the honor, do well by my colleagues and our members, maybe even exceed an expectation. Dream big, right?

Welcome to the nuts and bolts of board leadership, Madam President.

First there were the 78 emails it took to set a date and time for our first meeting—PR pros are busy, busy people! Then we had to tackle an agenda packed as full as our calendars: committee-chair slots to fill, memos to distribute, financial reports to scrutinize, membership rosters to update.

Two realizations dawned on me pretty quick:

1) Public relations, for  me, is all about the “Cons.”  Connection. Content. Consistency. There are more, I’m sure, but those are my Big Three. By the end of our first meeting, I knew that I wanted whatever we did as a board to hit those marks — Connect with our industry, our community, one another; Create useful content for our membership; Do it all consistently.

2) Everybody who belongs to ANY non-profit organization of ANY sort should sit down right now and pen a thank-you note to the leadership of that organization. Seriously (srsly, for those who Tweet), until you’ve done it, you really can’t comprehend the time, effort and thoughtfulness that good leadership requires.

Now that I comprehend this, I also know how lucky I am that the owners of PRSA-Madison’s A Game—Jon Whitely, Kara Hanko, Melissa Wollering, Dan Chin, Anne Smith and Brian Lee—serve with me on the PRSA-Madison board. Clearly, I’ll be introducing a resolution at our next board meeting to make 2012 The Year of the Thank-You Note.

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