take advantage of all that’s offered

the Public Relations Student Society of America put together a social media program in TampaOne of the great benefits of membership in a professional organization is the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of the unsung meeting committees’ hard work. Over the past four weeks I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to attend four functions by four different groups in two states, with three more events to participate in through the rest of November.

My business delivers public relations and advertising, nearly all of it conducted digitally and absolutely all of it in a state of flux. For instance, much of the buzz these days revolves around social media – what it is and how it works. Some experts are, some wish they were, but it’s all part of learning what works and what doesn’t and local events are a big part of keeping up to date in a social context.

Five weeks ago the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Tampa hosted a roundtable on social media trends. The following week I was in Baton Rouge for a Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) chapter meet-up. Next, back home, where the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) hosted a fascinating look at the metrics used to measure social media’s ROI by industry expert Josh Hallet. And last week PRSA Tampa Bay held their semi-annual Professional Development Day, featuring speakers from Disney PR and Media Relations, nationally syndicated columnist Chris Elliott and a state and local editorial and media relations panel discussing best practices for targeting niche markets.

Rounding out this fall’s mini-seminars next week are (so far) an Adobe User Group font management workshop, a PRSA Independent Practitioner’s meeting and an Ad Fed Tampa Bay luncheon featuring Nike’s digital agency R/GA’s creative director Jim Hord.

By taking advantage of the often thankless task born by the commmittee members who not only come up with themes but tirelessly pursue speakers, venues, sponsors and not least of all caterers who can work a budget without having the room turn ugly on them, I get the benefit of strategic thinking offered by peer vetted pros from a variety of disciplines.