Affinity Call Recap: Volunteer Recognition

By Brant Skogrand, APR, MBC

Skogrand PR Solutions, LLC

Immediate Past Chair, PRSA Midwest District

The strength of a PRSA chapter rests upon the shoulders of its volunteers. With all the heavy lifting, however, it can be easy for volunteers to burn out.

On the most recent PRSA Midwest District affinity call, chapter representatives shared best practices as well as challenges regarding volunteer recognition.

Chapters use several approaches to recognize volunteers, including:

  • An annual peer-nominated “Volunteer of the Year” award,
  • Summer potluck picnics,
  • A winter holiday party combined with the chapter’s annual meeting, and
  • Acknowledgement of individuals at chapter programming events.

Certain chapter committees naturally attract volunteers, such as the student relations committee. Perhaps that’s because professionals are eager to help the next generation of public relations practitioners.

For several chapters, “business community outreach” committees have trouble gaining momentum. In addition, probably because of all the work involved, awards ceremony committees have challenges keeping volunteers.

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