Name: Olivia Ortiz Position Title: PRSA Liaison Position Duties: The PRSA liaison’s responsibilities include communicating with The University of Alabama PRSSA chapter, executive board members, Alabama PRSA professional liaison and the other Alabama PRSA affiliated chapters. This position requires frequent communication and outreach to the Alabama PRSA chapter based in Birmingham, and you will work very closely with the professional liaison assigned to The University of Alabama PRSSA chapter.
What did you do in your position this semester? Since this position was newly implemented on The University of Alabama PRSSA executive board this year, I have been able to be creative and set the basic foundation for the position. In the fall, I led the first PRSA and PRSSA Leadership Workshop where approximately 30 Alabama and Mississippi PRSA affiliated executive board chapter leaders and their advisors attended a day-long event in Tuscaloosa. Attendees were able to hear from a panel of Alabama PRSA representatives, including Alabama PRSA President Kevin Storr, and network with other executive board leaders through multiple creative breakout sessions. This event was a great opportunity to plan for the upcoming school year since it was held at the beginning of the year before many chapter meetings had taken place. I spent a wealth of time during the summer planning as many details as possible. I hope the PRSA and PRSSA Leadership Workshop will take place at the beginning of the fall semester on an annual basis. I also helped plan The University of Alabama PRSSA 2016 Regional Conference and led all hospitality functions. This spring, since the PRSA liaison is a new position to the executive board, I am creating a thorough plan of two innovative concepts for the upcoming fall semester. This will allow the selected PRSA liaison to fully implement two new programs for chapter members to participate in and further grow in their public relations careers.
What qualities or characteristics does it take to do your position well? The PRSA liaison should be an effective communicator, detail-oriented, very organized and responsible, and be a daily communicator via email and phone as necessary. They also should be able to work in and embody a professional manner with public relations practitioners, faculty and their peers while being a passionate executive board team member.
How much time did you dedicate to your position? In the fall, I dedicated approximately five hours a week while planning the PRSA and PRSSA Leadership Workshop and assisting with Regional Conference as the hospitality coordinator and committee leader. In the spring, I dedicated approximately three hours every other week working on various projects, continuing to shape the newly added position and set the foundation for innovative concepts for the upcoming year to be implemented in the fall semester.
What would you like to go back and tell yourself before taking on this position? Because this was a new executive board position, I was able to set the basic foundation of the PRSA liaison and would have created a more detailed schedule of my goals throughout the year on a more specific deadline. I believe you can never be too prepared and would have made my goals for the position more specific.
How does your position fit in with or engage with the rest of the executive board? The PRSA liaison fits perfectly with the rest of the executive board as the official and engaged communicator with the Alabama PRSA chapter and the professional PRSA liaison. The person in this position forms relationships within the UA PRSSA Chapter and Alabama PRSA affiliated chapters. Communication is vital in public relations, and the PRSA liaison serves the executive board through detailed and outstanding communication with a multitude of diverse audiences.