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Why I Attended My First Counselors Academy Conference – and Why I’m Going Back

Several years ago, some professional friends and mentors of mine mentioned that PRSA had this group called Counselors Academy, and that I should look into becoming a member.  I filed that away, but I wasn’t in the right place in my career to take advantage of it.  Then, I started my own firm, and it was much more relevant to my everyday work.  So I applied and became a member, and I’m glad I did.

As with anything else, you reap what you sow…you get out of something what you invest into it.  So I looked for a way to engage with other members, get to know them and see what Counselors Academy had to offer.  The 2013 Annual Conference in Austin was the perfect opportunity.  So I went, and had a wonderful trip.  Here’s why:

  • The information.  As a relatively new agency owner, it was invaluable to be in sessions in which I could think in new ways about how to measure my success, run my firm, develop new business and more.  In my almost two years in business, I haven’t seen the kind of information I saw at Counselors available anywhere else.
  • The people.  It’s one thing that the group is full of renowned, established PR pros, and it’s great to have the chance to rub elbows with so many distinguished practitioners.  But, maybe even better, they’re so incredibly generous with their time and talents.  I had many candid conversations about the business with people I’d just met, because I think we had a genuine interest in helping each other.  And I’m really excited that some of the relationships formed with some of my fellow members have turned into good friendships and deep collaborations.  What an incredible resource to have on your side.
  • The location.  Austin is a wonderful and lively city, and it delivered the goods – just as every other host has for Counselors Academy.

As soon as I heard about this year’s even in Key West, I immediately circled the dates on my calendar.  I’m excited, like I was last year, about the learning I’ll do and the new friendships I’ll forge.   And, of course, who doesn’t want to spend 3-4 days in Key West?  Personally, I’m looking forward to sitting poolside with a margarita in hand.  It’s the little things sometimes!

I hope you’ll be there as well, and I hope we’ll get to connect in Key West and beyond.  If you see me, be sure to introduce yourself…and I’ll do the same.

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