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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

3 reasons PRSA is important to me.

After much deliberation, I have decided to renew my membership to PRSA. It was not an easy decision to make, because it is no small investment to make for self/unemployed individual but in the broader context it really was pretty obvious.

You see, without PRSA there would be no MNPR Blog. This blog started as a social experiment that elevated me to a visibility I otherwise would not have attained. PRSA has taught me three things that I think every communicator needs to be aware of:
  1. If you think you are smart, you are dumber than you know. There have been times in my career where I have been frustrated by people's inability to see things my way. Conversely, I know there have been times when supervisors have been frustrated by my lack of understanding of what they were thinking. As Socrates said, "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." The hard part about this is many times as PR pros we have to be the trusted adviser that does know what is best. PRSA has taught me to fight these battles wisely.
  2. In our business COMMUNITY is everything. The only people I don't trust in this industry are those that don't have a healthy network. Because it is impossible to know everything, as a mentioned above, it is important to have a community to rely on. For me this community has often times been PRSA. Obviously, there are other groups that can provide value, but I feel PRSA always seems to bring it back to strategy and thought-leadership.
  3. Diversity of opinion means good ideas. The more diversity you can incorporate into your ideas the better they will be. This is a lesson I learned in my time working as a defense contractor. The U.S. Military is the best at bringing people from all walks of life together to do good work. Because PRSA is a national organization it brings diversity to the table. The articles in PRSA Tactics are always relevant.
So while there have been times I felt our local chapter has been slow to respond to some of the important trends, I feel that PRSA has a strong history and an even stronger future. I am excited to see where the future will take us.