Q&A with Outgoing President PRSA Colorado

    Elizabeth Jumel, APR
    Jumel Public Relations

    Q: Thinking back to the past year, what are some of the standout conferences you attended?
    A: Top standouts for me were the Western District Conference in Phoenix, AZ and the annual Summit hosted by our Chapter.

    One standout session from the PRSA Colorado Summit was Chris Perez’s presentation on meetings. It’s one of those things that you’ve heard before, but the reminder encouraged attendees to value people’s time. I actually canceled some meetings the very next day! Also, Marta Newhart’s morning keynote session on D&I was very impactful because she shared her personal story about career growth.

    Q: Can you talk about some of the things you learned in the past year?
    A: You’ve heard it before but, you can’t please everyone all the time. There were several instances where issues could have been solved by taking a step back. Thankfully, I have a solid board that helped establish regulations and clarifications while making thoughtful decisions. We can’t jump at a single voice; We need to look at how we are serving our Chapter of nearly 400 communications professionals.

    Q: How were you able to balance some of the workload?
    A: I’m an all-in person who wants to be responsive and help people further their careers. During my time as Chapter President, I treated PRSA Colorado as one of my clients. If there was a meeting scheduled, I made time and came prepared. It was important to me to give PRSA as much effort and priority as my other clients, which made balancing my workload easier.

    Q: What’s one thing you’d like to encourage new members to take advantage of?
    A: First and foremost, try and introduce yourself to one person. At our events, the name badges are color-coded, making it easier to find another chapter member or identify a board or committee member. We’ve all been there! Networking is key to building your professional career. It can be a hard step to take, but the PRSA community is filled with support, advice, leads, and future contacts.

    New members can also volunteer on committees, which is something I did for years in my early career. Now, some of my past committee members are my good friends who I can turn to for professional advice. 

    Q: What are you most proud of?
    A: I’m really pleased with our current pool of volunteers. Since the committee shakeups at the beginning of the year, we’ve built a reliable core of individuals to fill committees and attend events. I can tell you the group of volunteers we have right now are of a high level. They’re committed, experienced, and show great amounts of integrity. This truly is a volunteer-led organization. I’d also like to mention our events and programming. I believe we’ve hosted very valuable and worth-your-time events this year that are focused on improving the professional careers of our members. Some standout events include:

    The Intersections of SEO and PR. This event made a direct connection between communication, SEO, and writing. I learned so much from this event and others in the room couldn’t take notes fast enough. This is proof our content appeals to people at different stages of their careers.

    Integrated Communications at The Denver Zoo. The venue for this event was spot-on and interesting. Throughout the event, we were able to see animals up-close which made it a nice venue change. While the parking was a little difficult, note that for next year we will be taking into consideration timing and parking!

    Mixer with AMA Colorado & DMA Colorado. PR professionals should always be working to build connections with like-minded individuals. The mixer was the perfect event to build bridges between professional organizations while expanding your professional network.

    Podcasting 101 for PR Pros. This luncheon in April received a large amount of positive feedback from attending members. It was also nice to see interesting topics that appeal to a wide range of our members.

    Q: Any words of advice for the incoming executive board or incoming president, Geoff?
    A: Keep in mind all of the good things that our Chapter is doing. As a past Assembly Delegate, I’ve had the opportunity to network with national leadership in PRSA. When I meet with other delegates from across the U.S. and hear of the programming and events we’re hosting in comparison to others - I can tell you we’re doing a lot of really good work. Other leaders are impressed with what we’re doing.

    My role as President was to flip the script and keep the positive piece at the forefront of every meeting. It makes board meetings more enjoyable when everyone has a more positive outlook.

    Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
    A: I am thankful for all our volunteers, from the committee to the board level. They are the people growing the value of our Chapter. I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to grow as a leader and within our community, and I look forward to staying involved with this extraordinary group of people!

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