Each week, PRsay will interview one of the nominees for the 2022 PRSA Board of Directors.
Name: Jessica M. Graham, APR, Fellow PRSA
Location: Indian Trail, N.C.
Current job title: President, Fionix Consulting
Board nominee position: Southeast District
Alma mater: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Hussman School of Journalism & Media
Number of years as a PRSA member: 22
How did you come to join PRSA?
I wanted to join earlier but didn’t have the required experience at that time, so I joined the Charlotte Public Relations Society, an established local group. I was very active in the Society and was on its board as treasurer when we decided to merge with the Charlotte Chapter of PRSA. I had been to local meetings and events, but that is when I formally joined PRSA as a member.
You’ve been active at all levels of PRSA, including the Charlotte Chapter, Southeast District and the College of Fellows. Why is leadership service at PRSA important to you?
PRSA has been a very important part of my life. I’ve made lifelong colleagues and friends, I’ve learned an amazing amount through its professional development, and I’ve even gotten jobs through its job bank. It’s made such a difference in my life that I’ve felt compelled to give back to the organization that has given me so much. And I enjoy it!
You serve as a mentor these days. What do you think makes for an effective mentoring relationship? What are the rewards of being a mentor?
I love mentoring, and feel that I get as much — or more — out of the relationships than those I’m mentoring. I believe the best relationships commit — to listen, share and actively participate in the relationship. The biggest rewards I have found are learning about and understanding different perspectives, and creating long-term relationships with some really amazing people.
John Elsasser is PRSA’s publications director and editor-in-chief of its award-winning publication, Strategies & Tactics. He joined PRSA in 1994.