Planning Meetings & Events
Chapter meetings and events are among the most important tools you have for recruiting and motivating members.
To be successful, it’s important to plan activities that are tailored to fit the needs of your unique membership. The ideas below can help you creatively address the different interests of your members while also giving them a wide range of opportunities to learn.
How to Have an Effective Meeting
- Adequately publicize Chapter meetings. Use Chapter emails and social media, the campus newspaper and professors who can make announcements for you.
- If possible, meet at a consistent time and location so members can always have it in their schedules. Members who don’t see your reminder e mail or tweet will still know where to be.
- Create an agenda with specific objectives and goals for your meeting. See a sample in the Chapter Handbook (PDF).
- Avoid group discussion of matters that only pertain to a small portion of those in attendance.
- Begin and end on time, so your members can count on the time frame you’ve given them.
- Have one person lead the meeting.
- At the end of each agenda item, briefly summarize what has been accomplished and decided, emphasizing due dates and action items.
Creative Ideas for Meetings & Events
- Listen to your members. Have a Chapter brainstorming session to find out what they would like to do at meetings and what they expect to get out of their membership.
- Take your Chapter on an agency visit. These are a great way for your members to network, learn and get a taste of work life in public relations.
- Give your members useful opportunities to get hands-on experience. Hold a mini-case study competition, set up mock interviews, or offer a resume, writing and portfolio workshop with professionals and faculty.
- Invite local PRSA members, faculty or university staff from the offices of marketing and communications to speak to your members. Ask them to discuss their careers, answer questions or offer other professional advice.
- Give your members opportunities to get to know one another and work as a group. Plan an after-meeting dinner, have a holiday party, design a float for the Homecoming parade or organize a Chapter retreat.
Holding a fundraiser can increase your Chapter unity, provide funds to help members attend events and participate in competitions, and are another source for meeting and event ideas. See our fundraising suggestions and review past winners of the FUNdraising Bowl.
Need more ideas? Ask other Chapter Presidents through the listserv, contact the vice president of Chapter development, or start a conversation on PRSSA’s social media.