My Chapter, Our Chapter, Next Chapter

It’s not lost on me that PRSA Georgia has been present at the start of every chapter of my career, and now I’m in a position to shepherd what’s next for our almost 75-year-old organization. As I look at the coming year, I see it through the three below lenses. As you continue reading, I invite you to think about what role the Chapter does currently and can play for your career as well as what role you might play for PRSA Georgia and champion our communications profession.

My Chapter – A Little About Me Professionally
A Georgia native, I knew I would come back to Atlanta after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Journalism and a concentration in Public Relations. I also knew from my time as a PRSSA member that finding a like-minded group of people made an otherwise huge world feel smaller and easier to navigate, so I became a member of PRSA Georgia in 2003.

One email to Denise Grant a few months later got me immediately involved in the Chapter – I know many of you can relate! Volunteer work with the Chapter enabled me to exercise skills I was not yet able to in the work world from planning and running events to building teams to learning how (as well as how not) to delegate to others.

In 2008, I became Accredited in Public Relations, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my career! APR and two subsequent stretch moves – chairing the Universal Accreditation Board and accepting my current paying job as a result of a PRSA connection – have challenged and rewarded me more than I could have imagined.

Our Chapter – Part of a Greater Whole
Anyone can hang a shingle outside their door and say they’re a communications professional…and many do. Honestly, they don’t need a shingle nor a door. All they need is a website and LinkedIn profile. For those who do it well, our profession is bolstered. For those who don’t do it well, our profession is tarnished, making all we individually and collectively try to achieve more difficult to attain.

That last sentence is what drives my work with PRSA. We, as professionals, must set and align to ethical standards and continually refine how we counsel and what we communicate through lifelong learning and sharing. We must collectively do and be better at every turn, because the profession tomorrow is not what it was yesterday.

When I think about our Chapter, I want to know how PRSA Georgia can help you be better? How can we help our profession stand out? These aren’t rhetorical questions. Let me know.

Next Chapter – Ushering in What’s Next
Our Chapter’s strategic plan wraps at the end of 2020, which means research and planning will soon begin for 2021-2023. You can expect asks for your involvement – from an online survey to focus groups – and updates on our progress along the way. If you have not already read the executive summary for PRSA National, which should have hit your inboxes last week, I invite you to now. If you feel strongly about any aspect of the summary, please let our PRSA 2020 chair, T. Garland Stansell, APR know.

We will also invest this year in making sure our Chapter is operating with excellence from technology, support and communication perspectives. An upgrade to our website will continue to be refined; we’ll look at all paid relationships and partnerships to ensure we’re investing back in our members as much as possible; and we’ll communicate all of this transparently to you.

Of all the 2020 themes I’ve heard so far, roaring ‘20s is my favorite. Here’s to working hard and celebrating our wins together!

Elizabeth McMillan, APR
President, PRSA Georgia

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