Events

Giving Back – Creating a Flourishing Community

By Vanessa Lansdale, Alumni GVSU PRSSA

Anniversaries come and go every year, but instead of getting gifts for an anniversary, how about giving back? That’s what the Grand Valley State University PRSSA chapter did for its 10-year anniversary celebration.

The Grand Valley Chapter of PRSSA, GVSUPRSSA, along with its nationally affiliated, student-run public relations firm, GrandPR, celebrated their 10-year anniversary with an alumni networking spectacular hosted by partner firm 8ThirtyFour Integrated Communications. Between the months of January and March, students from both organizations partnered with 10 different nonprofits in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area as a way to say “thank you” to those who have contributed to the organizations’ success.

Tasks included collecting and re-packaging feminine hygiene products for Be A Rose, donating supplies for GR HQ, assembling sack suppers for Kids’ Food Basket, and more. “The community here gives us so much; we have amazing partnerships with agencies and firms, mentors, our West Michigan Public Relations Society Chapter, and many nonprofits and businesses in the area. When thinking what we could do to celebrate the first decade of GrandPR, we couldn’t think of a better way than to give back,” said GrandPR’s CEO, Sabrina Antcliff.

Being involved first-hand with GrandPR and GVSU PRSSA’s 10-year anniversary celebration, I had many takeaways from this experience. Here are a few:

Community partnerships are to be treasured.

Oftentimes, we take the people around us for granted. Sending a simple thank-you card, inviting a student to your event, or even grabbing coffee with a colleague who you haven’t talked to in a while all strengthens your network. Building networks and partnerships are key in making the community around you grow.

Celebrations don’t need to have gifts.

The gift of time may be the most valuable thing you can give. While volunteering at the different nonprofits with GVSU PRSSA and GrandPR, I could see how my time was directly impacting other individuals. Instead of giving a gift, consider giving your time or an experience to someone. That time may be more valuable to them than you know.

I challenge you to ask yourself, how can I make a difference in my community? How can I use my talents to benefit others? Whether it’s mentoring an individual or volunteering at an organization, together, we can create a flourishing community.

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Don’t Be Slow to Register for QuickStart!

By Jennifer Flowers-Kolf, APR, PRSA ECD Chair-elect; QuickStart Chair

Did you know 48 percent of Americans live within 600 miles of Columbus – making it less than a day’s drive away for almost half of the country? It’s certainly a convenient meeting spot for most of our 17 East Central District (ECD) chapter leaders and a great location for the PRSA ECD’s annual QuickStart conference on Sept. 14-15, 2018.

PRSA’s ECD is one of 10 PRSA districts in the U.S., and represents more than 2,700 members in 17 chapters in six states. The QuickStart conference is the only opportunity the district currently has during the year to bring chapter and district leaders together in one place.

Registration for ECD QuickStart is currently open to all ECD chapter leaders. The first 10 registrants will receive a $150 travel scholarship this year, which can offset hotel or gas costs (one per chapter). ECD chapter and district leaders can register here by Saturday, Sept. 8. Reservations at PRSA ECD’s hotel room block for QuickStart can be made by Wednesday, Sept. 5 via this link.

But, QuickStart isn’t all learning and business. We also have a little fun with a special kick-off welcome reception at Bar Louie on Friday, Sept. 14 – the night before the conference – at 5:30 p.m.

So, if you’re taking on a chapter leadership position in a PRSA chapter within one of these ECD district chapters, then we want to see your smiling face in Columbus Sept. 14-15:

  • Bluegrass Chapter
  • Central Michigan Chapter
  • Central Ohio Chapter
  • Cincinnati Chapter
  • Dayton Area Chapter
  • Detroit Chapter
  • Greater Cleveland Chapter
  • Hoosier Chapter
  • Northwest Ohio Chapter
  • Northwestern Pennsylvania Chapter
  • Pittsburgh Chapter
  • River City Chapter
  • Thoroughbred Chapter
  • West Michigan Chapter
  • West Virginia Chapter
  • White Pine Chapter

Contact me at JFlowe28@forddirect.com if you have any questions and we will see you in Columbus soon!

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