Letter from the President: Teresa Roof

Investing in yourself

The leaves are turning, football is in full-force and pumpkin-spiced lattes are back. This can only mean one thing — fall has arrived! Fall also is great time to take a step back from your day-to-day work and invest in yourself.

OctoPRfest, Iowa’s annual daylong strategic communications conference is Oct. 10 at The Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines. The event features a great line up of speakers for professionals — entry level, mid-career and communications veterans. To get the most out of the conference, here are some tips I’ve found valuable that I stumbled upon from the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Participate: Raise your hand, offer a comment, engage and engage others. Be an active rather than passive participant.

  • Introduce yourself: Make it a point to expand your professional contacts by introducing yourself to at least three new people. If you feel awkward approaching others, network with an extroverted friend who can help with introductions.

  • Take notes and apply key learning to your practice: Write down a few key takeaways from each session you attend. Be determined to take away at least one idea, tool, concept or bit of information that can be applied to your daily practice. Also, hang on to your handouts for future reference.

  • Share what you learned with others: Bring conference highlights home by presenting to your department or team and share key takeaways with colleagues.

  • Follow up: Don’t be afraid to follow up with new contacts. Reach out to others and look for ways to share and collaborate on new projects.

  • Thank your boss for allowing you to attend: Tell your boss what you learned and express your gratitude for the release time and funding that allowed you to attend. This will help demonstrate that sending you to the conference was a worthwhile investment.

Don’t delay and invest in yourself. Space is limited – register today!

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