June 2020 President’s Message

Summer is usually my favorite time of year. Lots of daylight. A slower pace to busy routines. Travels. But looking ahead to this summer, all I can see right now is uncertainty. A pandemic with no known end. Unrest in cities nationwide, including Richmond, from an unfathomable act on humanity last week in Minneapolis.

Among those most feeling this uncertainty are college graduates. The Class of 2020. For many, the pandemic has canceled, reduced or delayed their anticipated post-college jobs and internships. I think many of us can recall feeling excited, nervous and frustrated after graduating college, navigating a new world and looking to land our first jobs. Imagine facing all of that during a pandemic.

How can we, as members of PRSA Richmond, help the Class of 2020? Here are some ideas:

Hold the door open. Networking – and being in the right place, at the right time – are keys to landing a job. Be accessible to college grads looking for opportunities, especially when they reach out to you. Give them ideas and feedback. Meet with them (virtually). Connect them to others.

Mentor someone in their career journey. PRSA Richmond can match you with a new professional entering the PR field. The chapter also supports students in local PRSSA chapters at VCU, VUU, JMU, Longwood and VSU.

Lend your expertise to some student-run virtual summer programs sprouting up at area universities. To name a couple: The VCU Robertson School’s Camp ADventure and The Carriage House at VCU Brandcenter. If your time permits, find virtual programs like these, where you can help guide some talented up-and-comers over the summer. Likewise, the chapter’s public service committee provides pro bono support to area nonprofits. Let us know if you’re interested in getting involved as a committee volunteer!

Create opportunities to engage college graduates looking for experience. Post to PRSA Richmond’s Joblink for anything that might arise in your organizations.

With greater compassion in these challenging times, we can help one another get through this uncertainty. Let’s stay engaged, at a time when we need it more than ever. Consider tapping into these member events happening this month:

  • Wed., June 10: Nonprofit section virtual happy hour
  • Thurs., June 18: Chapter-wide virtual happy hour, combining a “cocktail adventure” with Perch with learning about to TikTok, a video-driven entertainment platform
  • Wed., June 25: Virtual monthly lunch program on PR Trends Today. The program is sponsored by Virginia Tourism and features local thought-leader, J.R. Hipple.

Summer Reading. Looking for your next page-turner? This summer, you won’t have to look beyond PRSA Richmond. Look who among our members have published novels in the past year! Hats off to these talented PR pro’s-turned novelists.

Enjoy your summer! Whether it’s volunteering your services, mentoring someone in the PR field, or finding a new book to read, I hope you’ll find new experiences. Today’s uncertainty will hopefully yield greater understanding in the weeks and months ahead. Until then, let’s support one another as we together restore our community to safety and health.

Stay safe. Stay smart.

Windy Campbell
2020 PRSA Richmond chapter president