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You Get Out What You Put In

By Stephanie Thara
2017 Diversity Chair

I’m what a lot of people like to refer to as a commitment phobe. Prior to joining the Board as Diversity Chair this year, I had only attended OCPRSA events “every once in a while” and “here and there” since landing my first job in public relations back in 2008. It took me nearly 10 years to actually commit to OCPRSA…and it was 10 years too late.

That was a bit dramatic. It wasn’t too late but if I were to do it all again, I would have joined OCPRSA and the Board of Directors after my first event. Why? Three main reasons.

Deeper Relationships: Attending networking events can be intimidating if you don’t know anyone. Joining the Board is an easy way for you to get to know members of OCPRSA quickly. I joined the Board not really knowing anyone in our organization. Now that this first year is over, I have close friends who I can bounce ideas off of – friends who understand my industry and can share ideas from their own experiences in public relations and communications.

New Career Opportunities: If you work hard, it will be noticed. Because I joined the Board and became more visible within the organization, veterans throughout the industry have taken note. The connections I have created because of my participation has opened doors to potential future career opportunities for me.

Giving Back: I love my careers in public relations/affairs and communications. Having the opportunity to give back to the industry that has given me so much is amazing. This year, the Diversity Committee launched a “Real Talk” initiative, where we host events and feature monthly blogs where leading communications professionals speak candidly about diversity & inclusion in the public relations profession. Through Real Talk, we hoped we moved the needle on awareness and inclusion of diversity in not only public relations in Orange County but the industry as a whole.

Whether you have been part of OCPRSA for one month or ten years (or are a prospective member!), I highly encourage you to join the Board of Directors. If you can only volunteer your time once in a while, join a committee. If you can give more of your time, consider a chair or director position. With organizations like OCPRSA, you truly get out when you put in. Don’t be a commitment phobe like I mistakenly was; get involved and get the most of your membership with OCPRSA. It was the best decision I could have made for my path in public relations.

Curious about joining the OCPRSA Board? Contact Immediate Past President Robin Wachner wachner@gmail.com.

 

 

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