Last year I was slated to join the Texas Chapter board as the Communications Director. I believe I was selected for this position due to my work for the past 3 years as the website chair for the annual student day called Student Symposium. I was trained by a fabulous woman named Laura McDonald Stewart of Plinth and Chintz. Laura walked me through what it meant to brand our organization online and how to complete the logistics of website design. I’m so thankful for her and her mentorship.
Stepping into the position I was wide eyed and very green to the business of my beloved organization. I spent 3 days last summer learning about all that I’d be doing over the next two years in my volunteer position. I loved everything, the people, the ideas provided by other chapters, and the opportunity to grow. Diving in headfirst took a bit of getting used to but I’m happy to say that I’ve gained a great understanding of how things work and what doesn’t fly in this business.
The most important is that Branding is important. When you identify yourself as a company you have to maintain the look and feel of everything you put out; from company materials, your professional persona, to portfolio of work. With ASID we are given these guidelines from national headquarters. As the Texas Chapter board member it’s my duty to oversee and ensure that our chapter is abiding by these guidelines. I spend a good bit of my volunteer job reviewing and approving documents to ensure that they fit with branding standards. I love that our organization is able to self manage this and that I’m a part of the process.
Part of my job as Communications Director is to manage the E-Newsletter and quarterly magazine. It’s my first Foray into the editorial world and let me just say it’s been an interesting experience. I had no idea of all the planning that occurs months ahead of time to produce these types of items. The thing that’s kept me on track is my ability to identify and stick to a schedule. Organizing tasks and scheduling them with enough time for completion is key. I am a list maker so it gives me great satisfaction to check things off once they are complete.
Each year our chapter roster is distributed to the members. While technology has sped us light years into the future, there’s something familiar about having that physical copy. I suggest that you Don’t give up on print materials. Graphic designers work long and hard to organize and present information in an aesthetic way; so as interior designers we can appreciate this.
A few months ago I sat down with our magazine chair and we brainstormed ideas for the upcoming issue. I was amazed at how many ideas we were able to generate! Bouncing ideas off others has really helped me learn and grow in my position. I find that when I don’t know an answer or are stuck on a particular item it’s helpful to gain another’s perspective. Many times they stir something in me and I end up solving the issue when I couldn’t previously see an outcome.
Last and certainly most importantly, Always play nice with others. While I recognize there are going to be differences in opinion and ways to problems solve, there’s no point in making enemies. When you encounter something difficult it’s helpful to ask yourself what you can do to best help the situation. Sometimes that means no action at all. I’ve had knee jerk reactions to events in my position as Communications Director and thankfully took the time to cool down before responding. I’ve always come to the same conclusion, don’t respond with hostility because that won’t get me anywhere. I know I’ll catch a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar.
So, moving forward in my position I have a few goals. I’d love to expand the authorship and featured stories in our quarterly magazine. I’d also like to increase ad sales in our annual membership directory. However, the overarching theme for my term is to greatly increase the reach of our organization to gain more clientele for our designer members and industry partners. I want to help people and have fun along the way!