By David Snowden, Assembly Delegate for PRSA San Antonio (and former chapter president), October 20, 2007
At today’s assembly, I had the honor of sitting next my fellow San Antonio chapter delegate and a social media rock star – Kami Watson-Huyse, APR. While she was busy “tweatering” with her motley crew of hot shot blogger friends, I tried to figure out the real issue behind Bylaw Amendment #1, which would have changed the way PRSA national board positions are determined.
Today, the majority of the positions are aligned with various regional districts. The proposal would have done away with the district representation and turned the majority of the board positions into “at large” positions. There was actually a lot of debate on the issue. Some say the new model will allow for a greater pool of talent to be considered. And others, well, I’m not sure exactly what they were trying to say, but there was a lot of debate on the issue.
Here’s what it looks like to me… It looks like the contingent who’s advocating for the new bylaw really wants to run the PRSA national board like a corporation with all directors working on behalf of all members. The old model is almost like a form of representative government where most of the board members are there to first represent the interests of their districts, and second to work on behalf of the entire membership. Is one model really that much better than the other? I don’t know. But, to tell you the truth, I like the idea of having a representative from my district on the board. And since the bylaw amendment didn’t pass, I guess that’s how it will be in until next year when this issue comes up again.
Of course, there were lots of other issues discussed. Military PR practitioners were honored and so were the PRSSA board of directors, but the most informative time for me was getting rock star blogging advice like:
• “You can’t hire a 20-year-old to run your social networking program just because he knows how to navigate Second Life.”
• “Big companies should start their social networking programs by testing the waters with small projects.”
• “The biggest challenge for big companies wanting to participate in the social networking space is overcoming the internal culture that often wants to control the messages.”
The list goes on and on… thanks Kami.