Name: Bethany Corne Position Title: Publications Committee Leader Position Duties: I am responsible for editing all submissions to the UA PRSSA blog, recruiting and encouraging new writers to submit articles, and creating and distributing the monthly UA PRSSA email newsletter. The publications committee leader must also encourage and inspire members to write for both the UA PRSSA blog and for other publications, such as Platform Magazine, Tank Talk and Progressions.
What did you do in your position this semester? I made some big changes to the way that the blog and article submission process worked, which I believe have improved the efficiency and frequency of the publishing process. During the first semester, I encouraged PRSSA members to write for the blog by hosting bi-weekly brainstorming sessions. These sessions allowed members to develop new ideas, gossip about the latest public relations news and develop confidence in their abilities as a writer. In the spring, I created a calendar where committee members could sign up for a specific date to submit an article. By knowing this date in advance, committee members were held accountable for their submissions and encouraged to write. This planning kept our blog updated with a constant flow of interesting and relevant articles. Finally, I invited attendees of The University of Alabama PRSSA 2016 Regional Conference to serve as guest bloggers and write conference recaps, garnering 16 blog posts in total.
What qualities or characteristics does it take to do your position well? This position is one of the more creative positions on the executive board. Since an article can be about any topic, written in nearly any way and written by nearly anybody, the sky is the limit in terms of what this position can become. The person who takes on this position must be constantly searching for ways to engage committee members and to improve the blog and newsletter as a whole. Additionally, the publications committee leader must be empathetic, encouraging and open to constant communication with their committee members. Writing an article for a stranger can be scary, so the publications committee leader must be able to give edits and criticism in an encouraging and constructive way. Finally, this position requires organization, knowledge of AP style and the PRSSA style guide, and, of course, a keen eye for detail when editing copy.
How much time did you dedicate to your position? On average, this position should take one to two hours per week. I edited an average of three articles per week. The newsletter usually took more time than editing articles due to the detail involved in it.
What would you like to go back and tell yourself before taking on this position? I would tell myself to get fired up about writing! This position is one for which you must have a passion. The blog could easily fall by the wayside if no one is passionately advocating for people to write for it. It’s not easy to get people to go out of their way to write an article, but it would be impossible to do so if you’re not the blog’s number one fan.
How does your position fit in with or engage with the rest of the executive board? The publications committee leader works closely with the Web director, since it is the Web director’s responsibility to publish all finished articles. The publications committee leader also is in close contact with the chapter adviser, who must edit all articles before publishing. Finally, the person in this position must also be aware of what each of the other committees is doing and what the chapter is doing as a whole so that those things may be published in the chapter newsletter.