Forward

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Truth and Consequences

President's Column: Andra Bennett House, APR

Remember the long-running game show Truth or Consequences? Sometimes in the world of PR, it’s a game known as Truth AND Consequences.

Everyone agrees if we lie about, hide or omit critical facts, we will eventually pay the consequences. But truth – or personal opinion – has consequences as well.

Some months ago, this debate hit the blogs regarding Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, who penned an Aug. 11 opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal regarding health care reform. It prompted thousands of comments on Whole Food’s Internet forum, and protesters called for a boycott of the store.

Mackey certainly has freedom of speech, freedom to his opinions. But were the public relations implications – and the financial ripple effects – worth sharing those opinions in such a public forum? Health care as a philosophy is certainly tied into Whole Foods’ mission, but taking a political stance may have unnecessarily alienated too much of the customer base. The jury is still out.

Another example that comes to my mind recently is Rush Limbaugh’s bid to become co-owner of the St. Louis Rams. Some high-profile NFL players said they would not play for Limbaugh, based on racial comments he has made in the past, so he was dropped from the bid. Others, like Time magazine’s Bill Saporito, think that the NFL “is just another big business — why should it be anything less — only with a huge amount of ego attached to it. Rush should fit in quite well.”

Rush, as a nationally-known public figure and entertainer who often says polarizing things on the airwaves, is either worshiped or vilified. Anyone entering into a business relationship would certainly be within their rights to weigh the benefits vs. the risks of teaming up with a person whose larger-than-life reputation could impact the value or operation of a franchise.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise when a public figure cannot separate unrelated business dealings from his or her reputation. We cannot separate a pastor’s / CEO’s / radio host’s personal opinions or private behavior from their public responsibility to their trustholders. They can’t live their lives in compartments. Is that fair? Not always. But it’s the way it is.

Public figures have always been scrutinized and held to higher standards. With today’s 24/7 media, now more than ever, freedom of speech does not guarantee freedom from the consequences of your speech.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Why earn your APR? #accredchat testimonial

Diane Rhodes Bergman, APR

Attaining the APR turned out to be one of the most rewarding endeavors I have undertaken. I have been practicing PR professionally for over 15 years and have always strived to stay informed and updated. As a result, I was astonished at how much I learned going through this process and the impact it has had on my daily practice of public relations.

It is true that much of the information you review in preparation for the APR covers topics you have “learned” before. The difference is that this process forces you to actively apply the details of this knowledge to your real life practice of the profession, which takes your learning to a whole new level.

Now that I’ve completed the process, I fully realize that the APR designation is much more than three letters after your name; it symbolizes a deeper level of commitment to the profession, the public and to your employers/clients.

Fort Worth PRSA Dues Increase Vote Revisited

From the Chapter President, Andra Bennett, APR

Several weeks ago, I e-mailed chapter members and posted a blog item informing you of the Board’s proposal to increase our chapter dues from $45 to $55 annually.

As I outlined in the previous post, our dues have not been increased since the mid-1990s, yet our chapter has grown and with that growth comes increased activities, obligations and associated expenses.

We knew our bylaws called for a vote by the membership at the annual meeting to be able to increase dues for the next fiscal year. However, after looking at the language a little closer, and consulting with a National PRSA, it appears that our bylaws mandate a majority vote of the entire membership, not just those who are present at the annual meeting.

Article IV, Section 1 states: “The amount of Chapter dues for the next fiscal year shall be fixed every year by the Board of Directors. If increased, the increase will be approved at the annual meeting by a majority vote of the Chapter membership.”

In the absence of any other language, such as “a majority of members present and voting,” (which we do have for officer elections), a majority vote means a simple majority, which is 50 percent plus one.

As of Oct. 14, this chapter has 157 members, which means that 79 members would need to be present at our annual meeting luncheon to have a quorum – also defined in the bylaws as a “majority of the membership” – to even take a vote on this issue.

Knowing that we rarely have that many members at a luncheon, and not having time to conduct the vote using proxies, the Board withdrew the proposal for a dues increase at its October board meeting.

However, this issue will likely come back. Our chapter’s budget is around $30,000 annually, and the cost to operate – including luncheons, committees, SIG programs, scholarships, bank and credit card charges, web hosting, tax preparation and filing, etc. – is about $190 per member annually.

We do have a few other revenue streams, but our dues are not keeping up with the cost of doing business. If we want to continue having a vibrant chapter that delivers quality programs in a professional setting, uses up-to-date technology, and encourages professional development of our members and our college students, we will need to revisit that .83 cents per month increase in the next year or two.

Wouldn’t you like to see the GFW Chapter hit the 200-member mark in 2010? Thank you for being a part of it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Three Signs You're a PR Pro

Public Relations is ever changing - and as it becomes more integrated with marketing and advertising, we are starting to see many new facets of PR professionals. So what constitutes as a PR professional? We've discussed the definition, but what about types of people? Types of personalities? We will never all be the same, but we might have some of the same traits.

1. 'Dude I can't put down my BlackBerry/iPhone/snazzy smartphone': Admit it. You check it incessantly. You have to be on all the time. You're checking social media channels, Google Alerts and national media coverage. If something negative hits, you need to be ready. If a client pings you at 2 a.m., you might be expected to answer. It might vary depending on your industry, but clients come first. In associations, members come first.

2. 'Proud, Honored and Words Like it Make Us Cringe': It's hard to look at those words in a press release and not take out the red pen and cross it out. Innovative and Synergy are starting to become over-used words as well. As PR professionals, we don't want to have the same type of press release as another, especially a competitor. It's hard to believe something is 'incredible' if everyone else is shouting the same thing. Make your client unique.

3. 'Grammar Pet Peeves': Mine is 'your' v. 'you're.' Yours might be 'loose' v. lose. Many of us are writers at heart, and a large portion of our job revolves around it. I've noticed many have quirks and like things done a certain way - and grammar is always one of them.

So what would you add? What are your signs of a PR professional?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Being green is good for the environment, but is it good your bottom-line?

Big Elephant EarsImage by K. W. Sanders via Flickr

President's Column: Andra Bennett, APR

Green's my favorite color. Huge green elephant ears gently sway in the breeze outside my home office window as I write this, bringing peace to my work.

My affection toward green extends to the ink on U.S. currency. Having that kind of green brings peace of mind, too.

Can those two greens live in harmony? As environmentally-friendly “green” initiatives have come upon the PR scene, how do we implement programs and campaigns that are relevant to our customer and measure the return to our company / client?

Find out at our next PRSA luncheon Oct. 14 as our panel shares how the public and private sectors are working to steward our precious environment, communicate these efforts to the public, and bring a positive return to a company. Panel members are:

Brian Boerner, director of environmental management, City of Fort Worth

Tom Burke, APR, manager of public relations and communications, IBM

Chris Smith, Texas media director, Environmental Defense Fund

Giving away some green...
We’ll also be handing out some green. The Greater Fort Worth Chapter has established scholarship funds for outstanding PRSSA students at ACU, TCU and UTA. A student from each university is selected to receive $500 each and will receive their check at the October luncheon. The students are:

ACU - Will Moore

TCU - Katie Pool
UTA - Kathelin Buxton

Finally, congratulations to Diane Rhodes Bergman, APR, for achieving her accreditation status from National PRSA. Diane will receive her APR pin and $100 from the Chapter’s Jim Blackmore APR Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund was established last year in memory of Blackmore’s PRSA legacy in Dallas-Fort Worth, and is awarded to GFW members who achieve accreditation.

Chapter members, your annual dues fund these important local awards that elevate the status of our profession and help support fellow members and students. Please join us in October at our annual meeting for the luncheon program, presentations and elections. Your participation is appreciated.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ft. Worth PRSA considering chapter dues increase

A message from the President of the Greater Ft. Worth Chapter PRSA, Andra Bennett, APR:

I'm asking Chapter members to consider something that's sort of like a running joke about members of Congress.  Vote yourselves a dues increase.

Our chapter dues are $45 annually. They have not been increased since the mid-to-late '90s, according to chapter records. The Board has proposed increasing the dues to $55 annually, effective January 2010. Bylaws require a majority vote of the membership at the annual meeting at noon on October 14th, at the Petroleum Club, to raise dues. (Register for this meeting here.)

Over the past 11-15 years (when dues were last raised), the chapter has doubled in size, requiring us to send an additional assembly delegate to the national assembly. The chapter has created eight new Special Interest Groups, several new committees such as Diversity and Ethics, committed to annual student scholarships for three universities (UTA, TCU and ACU), and a scholarship fund for members who attain their APR.

Every new activity has associated expense line items - small expenses but necessary for the committees to function. Operation expenses have increased, such as credit card and bank fees for online registrations. Because of our increase in size and budget ($30,000), we now retain an accountant for tax preparation, because even as a non-profit, we are required to file a tax return and associated state tax paperwork. As a 501 (c) 6, we are required to pay sales tax, which has increased as prices have increased.

We have diversified our income streams to include fees for award judging, portions of revenues from the Job Bank and TPRA awards contest, and sponsorships, in order to keep luncheon fees down and not raise dues.

This year, the Board reduced the budget and renegotiated contracts. We are exploring a new venue for luncheons that retains quality and professionalism but would contain costs better.

However, to sustain the many activities and operations of our chapter, we should consider increasing our dues to help cover and defray rising expenses and maintain a balanced budget. In addition, this would add room for further chapter expansion OR protect us from economic downturns like the one we saw this year.

Fyi, a $10 annual increase amounts to 83 cents per month per member.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me (abennett [at] fortworthchamber.com) or our Treasurer Allyson Cross (cross [at] gcgadvertising.com).

Andra Bennett, APR
President, Greater Fort Worth PRSA

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Making the News: The Rise of the Crowd

On Tuesday, September 15, GFW PRSA members Tracy Syler-Jones and Richie Escovedo provided a session for the chapter's Education Special Interest Group.

Making the News: The Rise of the Crowd


Tracy Syler-Jones (@TracySJ) - Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communication at TCU
Richie Escovedo (@vedo) - Media and Communication Development at Mansfield ISD

Today's supercharged communication world presents numerous challenges for communicators. In the recent past, one could rely on traditional media to pass along news and information that could reach, and hopefully, influence the masses.

However, a shrinking number of reporters means communicators must learn how to effectively utilize, integrate and manage social networking and new media tools to remain visible and connected with key audiences. Learn more about the role the crowd plays in pushing your message along and how to tap into that energy.

Additional links promised to attendees:
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Understanding organizational ethics: How PR professionals can steer a safe course

Through the Looking GlassImage by clspeace via Flickr
From PRSA’s Public Relations Tactics, Vol. 19, Issue 9/September 2009

By Linda Ld Jacobson, APR

Ponzi schemes, bank failures and million-dollar bonuses. The public barometer of trust in U.S. corporations measured a frail 38 percent for informed publics, aged 35 to 64, according to a StrategyOne survey in December 2008. Public backlash ballooned, erupting against those companies guided by a moral compass different from that of Main Street.
Under this public scrutiny, how can PR professionals assess whether an organization is steering an ethical course? And what strategies can PR pros implement if they find an enemy from within?

The Looking Glass
As a first step to understanding an organization’s ethics, PR professionals can perform a “looking glass” exercise that allows them to view an organization’s actions from two different moral perspectives, utilitarianism and communitarianism. In a utilitarian model, an organization stresses positive outcomes that produce the greatest good for the largest number of stakeholders, placing a priority on consequences. A communitarian ethic balances individual freedoms and social responsibility so that an organization’s decisions result from values expressed by its stakeholders.
To perform the exercise, focus both utilitarian and communitarian lenses on a particular corporate action, using PRSA member values: advocacy, honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty and fairness. Prioritize these values first within one model, then the other.
Jacque Lambiase, associate professor of strategic communications at Texas Christian University, uses this exercise to illustrate how the same values can produce very different outcomes. She says that objectively gauging corporate ethics is helpful for pros in the middle of a crisis or for those who experience a disconnect between corporate policy and corporate actions.

Red Flags
Unfortunately, when organizations begin to stray from an ethical course, PR pros aren’t always able to pinpoint the departure. But certain red flags can signal shifts in a company’s moral compass:
1. The organization’s decisions reflect an absence or low priority on ethics. Many organizations say that integrity is a core value, but the real test is whether the C-level emphasizes that value and demonstrates that behavior.
At American Airlines, Charley Wilson, managing director, external communications and international advertising, says that during a recent crisis, the airline’s CEO requested that a customer’s family receive the first communication, one of sympathy, before making any statement. That type of ethical leadership powerfully impresses employees. Indeed, a 2007 Deloitte & Touche Ethics and Workplace Survey revealed that 42 percent of employees believe that management’s behavior positively impacts organizational ethics. “We require our team to adhere to the airline’s standards of conduct, but nothing beats a leader who walks the talk,” says Wilson.
2. The organization does not show an overt commitment to ethics. Just because an organization says it is ethical does not mean it acts ethically. Ask these questions: Does the company corporately abide by a code of ethics? Are its values taken seriously internally? Is there infrastructure to support ethics or ethics compliance? Internally, does the company encourage open communications?
Reace Alvarenga Smith, APR, PR manager for Texas Health Resources, says that her organization places special emphasis on the company’s code of conduct, known as their company’s promise. “We provide monthly training sessions on what our promise means and behaviors we expect from employees,” Smith says. “Our promise gives us a filter by which we make all our corporate decisions and foster open discussions.”
Recent research undertaken by Jinae Kang, a doctoral student at The University of Alabama, reinforces PR perceptions of ethical practice in an open communications structure.
3. The organization lacks a robust fact-checking and approval process. PR professionals most often work collaboratively or cross-functionally when crafting communications. This means that attorneys, executives or coworkers review documents for factual errors or suggestions. If this process is absent, that indicates lax oversight. Wilson says that the airline’s Corporate Communications team complies with both the letter and the spirit of the law. If an issue arises, leaders at the company guide discussions, but decisions are rarely made in a vacuum.
4. The organization shifts responsibility. Lambiase points to an example in 2007 when a tiger at the San Francisco Zoo killed a visitor. “In addition to releasing incorrect information, the zoo director maligned the victim rather than focusing on the zoo’s responsibility to keep the public safe.” When things go wrong, ask yourself and your team whether the organization looks at its own role or assigns blame to others.

Ethics Strategies
PR pros who find themselves working with or for an unethical organization can employ a number of strategies, according to Dr. Karla Gower, director of the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations:
  • Arm yourself with knowledge. Know the laws and regulations that concern the organization’s industry, especially laws dealing with communications. Be able to discern if something is seriously amiss with a company’s financial statements.
  • Prepare for a variety of crisis situations now. Once a crisis occurs, there is more potential for the legal response to take over at the expense of public relations. Gain buy-in now on the priorities for making appropriate and sensitive messages.
  • Trust your instincts. Don’t blindly accept assignments. Ask questions!
  • Begin a campaign for ethics. Occupy the role of ethics counselor, and campaign for the organization to adopt ethical practices.
What if the PR professional continues to grapple with conflicts or meets extreme resistance? Gower says it may be time to end the relationship. “It’s never easy to walk away from a job, especially in this economy, but at the end of the day all you have is your integrity,” she says. “You won’t get any thanks for staying loyal to an unethical company, not even when you end up taking the fall for others.”


Linda Ld Jacobson, APR, is the principal of Que Public Relations and an instructor of PR ethics at The University of North Texas. She can be reached at ljacobson@quepr.com or via Twitter @LindaJacobson.
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Friday, September 4, 2009

Wrestling with Ethical Dilemmas

Cafe Terrace at NightImage via Wikipedia

by Margaret Ritsch

I'm chair of the ethics committee for the Greater Fort Worth Chapter PRSA (Public Relations Society of America). My big responsibility, and really my only responsibility in this volunteer position, is to put together a program focused on ethics in the fall.

All along I have wanted this program to be highly interactive -- to really challenge us to carefully think through situations we face everyday in our profession that call into question our values and ethics. Now it's just around the corner and I'm very excited!

On Wednesday, Sept. 9, we will run a full morning and lunch program with guest speaker Alan Hilburg called “Building a Recession-Proof Brand Communications Strategy Through Ethical Decision-Making.”

We're asking everyone who plans to attend to be prepared to think through -- and share -- real situations and challenging questions.

We will work in small groups of four, following a conversational process that Hilburg helped develop called "World Cafe." Sounds cool, huh? Brings to mind a little cafe on the River Gauche, smoke wafting from your Gauloises as you rereading your Camus and gaze at the stylish passers-by .... Back to Fort Worth. The program will be held at the Petroleum Club in our usual 39th floor setting overlooking the city.

Here's Hilburg's description of World Café:

"a conversational process based on a set of integrated design principles that reveal a deeper living network pattern through which we co-evolve our collective future. As a conversational process, the World Café is an innovative yet simple methodology for hosting conversations about questions that matter. These conversations link and build on each other as people move between groups, cross-pollinate ideas, and discover new insights into the questions or issues that are most important in their life, work, or community. As a process, the World Café can evoke and make visible the collective intelligence of any group, thus increasing people’s capacity for effective action in pursuit of common aims.

❧ Seat four or five people at small Café-style tables or in conversation clusters.
❧ Set up progressive (usually two) rounds of conversation of approximately 20 minutes each.
❧ Questions or issues will focus on ethics, ethical judgment and ethical decisions in life, work or community
❧ Each table has a host. Both table hosts and members to write, doodle and draw key ideas on their tablecloths or to note key ideas on large index cards or placemats in the center of the group.
❧ Upon completing the initial round of conversation, one person remains at the table as the “host” while the others serve as travelers or “ambassadors of meaning.” The travelers carry key ideas, themes and questions into their new conversations.
❧ Ask the table host to welcome the new guests and briefly share the main ideas, themes and questions of the initial conversation. Encourage guests to link and connect ideas coming from their previous table conversations—listening carefully and building on each other's contributions.
❧ By providing opportunities for people to move in several rounds of conversation, ideas, questions, and themes begin to link and connect. At the end of the second round, all of the tables or conversation clusters in the room will be cross-pollinated with insights from prior conversations.
❧ In the third round of conversation, a new question is posed to deepen the exploration of the focus and again participants switch tables to synthesize their discoveries .

Round One Questions:
1. Write a definition of what constitutes unethical communications?
2. What is poor ethical judgment?

Round Two Questions:
1. What are examples of unethical language?
2. What contributes to unethical behavior?

Round Three Questions:
1. Describe the most unethical business situation you are aware of?
2. What are your most significant barriers to maintaining your own values when confronting unethical business situations?

Round Four Questions:
1. If you were going to create a PRSA Code of Ethical Communications, what would be the three most important elements of that work?
2. What are the greatest challenges in getting this Code adopted?

Please join us for this important, engaging learning opportunity at the Petroleum Club! The program begins at 9 a.m.; breakfast and networking at 8:30 a.m. Find out more and register at www.fortworthprsa.org.

More about the speaker:

Alan Hilburg, president and CEO of Hilburg Associates, is an award winning author, filmmaker, teacher and senior advisor in organizational transition communications and marketing. Now based in Northern Virginia, Hilburg lived in the DFW for many years when he served as president of the former Bloom Co. Hilberg is perhaps best known for his leadership, for over 30 years, as one of the world's leading strategic institutional branding counselors assisting senior executive teams and boards of directors survive organizational transitions (crisis, litigation and the introduction and socialization of principles of values-based decision-making) while maintaining the continuity of their institutional brand objectives.Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, August 27, 2009

President's Column from the September eChaser

School bannerImage via Wikipedia

By Andra Bennett, APR

E-chatting the other day with my old friend and fellow Beatlemaniac from junior high, we mulled whether we had the time, energy and dinero to go to the Paul McCartney concert last week at Cowboys Stadium. (We’d seen Ringo together back in ’88 in Dallas.)

After we had about decided it was all too much, she playfully suggested we do what her teenage son often advises: “Let’s don’t go, but say we did.”

In our social lives, we may be able to get away with that one a time or two. But what about when it spills over into our professional lives? How many times have you heard these:

“Oh yes, those figures are 6 months old, but use them in the release anyway. No one will ever check that.”

“How do we make these customer survey results say what WE want them to say?”

“Just tell the reporter I’m out of town.”

“This grassroots campaign is funded by an industry special-interest group, but we’re going to roll it out under the auspices of the foundation.”

These words are not coming out of a teenager’s mouth. They are uttered by employers, clients and colleagues. Where’s the line for you?

Join us at the next PRSA professional development workshop Sept. 9: Building a Recession-Proof Brand Communications Strategy Through Ethical Decision-Making, http://www.fortworthprsa.org/events.htm presented by Alan Hilburg, president and CEO of Hilburg Associates, a Virginia-based firm. Formerly president of DFW’s Bloom Co., Alan is an award-winning author, filmmaker, teacher and senior advisor in organizational transition communications and marketing.

The half-day workshop with interactive small groups and illustrative examples is presented in conjunction with National PRSA’s Ethics month. Kudos to Lauren Kwedar, professional development chair, and Margaret Ritsch, ethics chair, for putting together this excellent opportunity to revisit the PRSA Code of Ethics with challenging activities and meaningful take-aways.

Don’t just say you came. Get a ticket to ride. Register today.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Ft. Worth PRSA member receives promotion at TCU

Congratulations to Tracy Syler-Jones has been promoted to Vice Chancellor for Marketing Communication at TCU, Chancellor Victor Boschini  announced in an internal e-mail to faculty and staff July 27th. Tracy succeeds Mr. Larry Lauer who is now the Vice Chancellor for Governmental Affairs for TCU. Mr. Lauer will be based in Washington, D.C.

Until her assumption of this new position, Tracy was the Associate Vice Chancellor for Marketing Communication and Executive Director of Operations in the Office of Communication. She is the first African-American to be named to the post.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Three reasons why PR is no longer the whipping boy

This is cross-posted from The Saltlick blog.

From marketers to journalists to mom bloggers, PR has traditionally been the favorite scapegoat of those in other areas of the communication field. Commonly referred to as purveyors of the “dark side” of communications, public relations professionals have dealt with a tainted label far too long. But that label is a non sequitur now, and here’s why:

1. The economy is a great leveler. Hoards of journalists have exited their profession – and at least some of them have entered public relations, a field they once castigated. I’ve watched this trend with interest and predict that more seasoned journalists will come to view public relations professionals with a lot more respect.

2. Digital deadlines and a “news now” mindset necessitate an alliance. News journalists simply have more to do with fewer resources. Today’s journalist must view PR professionals as a service-oriented commodity, necessary due to digital news timeframes. Newer journalists will welcome strong PR relationships.

3. The mommy blogger PR Blackout yielded backlash. Even Trisha, owner of MomDot.com, admits that she ill chose the name of a one-week campaign whose intent she *claims* was to encourage mom bloggers to get back to the basics of parent blogging. The ensuing conversation split the parent blogging community, yielded poor participation (latest estimates were 20 committed to participating) and had journalists like Cnet’s Caroline McCarthy declaring that “Working with the public relations industry is core to any journalist's (and now blogger's) job, as is the use of press releases and in some cases review products.” It’s a sure sign that whipping up on PR is passé and not to be done.

I also think that PR is naturally embracing strategic relationship management and expectations from an increasingly complex array of stakeholders and publics in a way that marketers and advertisers cannot in Web 2.0. Stakeholder demand for authenticity is placing PR professionals in the leadership role to define corporate values and to sustain interactive relationship building. The result is that the PR profession is building trust with more constituencies than ever before.

Taken together, these markers signal – to me, at least – a new era in PR, one that shows the value of the profession.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The How (Not) Guide to PR

This post is cross-posted on the LAF Blog here.

I blog a lot about PR tools, how social media affects PR and what we can do to be better PR professionals. However, what about those that are entering the PR field and wondering what tools they do need?

What about the tools they DON'T need? Let's face it, not everyone is a rockstar PR professional, nor are they ever going to be. Many times, hard work and dedication will get you far in this field. If you don't have the foundation, however, you won't make it. Below are three points that won't add to the next great PR pro:

1. I want to dress up, meet celebrities and like, host parties

sic_londonnyc_0 The public relations field is viewed as a glamorous all night party on many TV programs. With how my TV kids watch nowadays, it's no wonder that many enter their college public relations programs thinking that's what it is. Wrong. Public Relations does not equal solely publicity. Yes, you might plan events. You will be the one running around, making sure all of the details are seen to, dealing with any crisis and making sure that everyone is happy.


2. I have to write and research?

Yes. Two strengths I always tell PR students is that they must be able to write and research well. Most of my days are spent writing, researching and executing media relations. PR is all about getting the word out - and you have to know the market and your audience before proceeding.


3. "I'm a people person."

Good for you - so is everyone else. Your personality can get you far in this field - but it's through pitching, promoting a brand and landing media hits that will get you even farther. Many times, being extremely personable can come off as flirty and non-professional. There is a line - and you have to work for a brand that fits your personality.

So, what would you add?

*Photo copyright of HBO and Sex and the City.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bylaws Rewrite to be a Focus of PRSA’s 2009 Assembly

By Dan Keeney, APR
PRSA Assembly Delegate for Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA

One of the most important organizational initiatives that PRSA is undertaking in 2009 is updating the national organization's bylaws. The initiative is intended to keep up with modern governance theories and current best practices in association management.

Amazingly, PRSA’s bylaws have not been thoroughly revised since they were first ratified more than 60 years ago. Broad and meaningful bylaws changes will help the Society continue to grow, prosper, and serve as a leading voice in the public relations industry.

PRSA established a Bylaws Task Force in 2007 to determine the changes needed. The task force felt that governance changes in three main areas of the bylaws — membership, governance, and leadership — could further strengthen the Society for the future.

MEMBERSHIP: The task force recommended that the bylaws be updated to extend membership opportunities to professionals with a broader range of knowledge, experiences and job responsibilities. This reflects the changes in what many communications professionals do. The change will increase the diversity of thought across the organization.

GOVERNANCE: The task force recommended that we open the election of the national board to all members. The National Assembly would become the “Leadership Assembly,” a body of leaders advising the PRSA Board of Directors on issues pertaining to the profession. The task force envisions a group that communicates regularly, votes electronically and helps shape PRSA’s advocacy agenda. Under the task force’s recommendations, the composition of the Leadership Assembly would remain the same as the present Assembly, with the addition of Delegates representing National committees and task forces.

LEADERSHIP: The PRSA Bylaws Task Force has recommended expanding the requirements for, and eliminating certain barriers to, board service to open board service to a broader range of individuals with diverse backgrounds. Under the new requirements, any PRSA member in good standing who is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) and/or a Chapter, District, Section or Committee leader, and/or has more than 20 years of public relations experience with increasing levels of responsibility, would be eligible to run for the board. Additionally, all board members would be elected at-large meaning that directors would no longer be elected from the specific area of the country in which they live and work. Directors would be allowed to serve up to two, two-year elected terms, which may be served consecutively or non-consecutively. Directors would still be entitled to seek additional terms as an officer.

Subject to input from PRSA members, the plans is to incorporate changes in these areas into a new bylaws document to be voted on by the Assembly at PRSA’s International Conference in San Diego in November 2009.

Member questions may be sent at any time to governance@prsa.org.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hack and Flack: Still Adversarial

The Odd Couple (TV series)Image via Wikipedia

From Andra Bennett, APR - Chapter President

My journalist husband and I have considered starting a blog called Hack and Flack, taking off on NPR’s Click and Clack but more like Mary Matalin and James Carville. Remember TV’s “Odd Couple” intro: “Can two divorced men {hack and flack} share an apartment without driving each other crazy?” Neil Hefti music up now.

Those sentiments were all in play at last week’s GFW PRSA luncheon when four publishers/editors of local weeklies [Lucie Allen, publisher/editor of the Spanish-language Panorama News; Lee Newquist, publisher of the Fort Worth Weekly; Blake Ovard, managing editor of The Star Group Newspapers, and Kay Pirtle, editor of the Wedgwood News] and an ex-ombuddy were corralled in a room of PR practitioners.

The weeklies were invited because Greater Fort Worth PRSA members wanted to hear how they were doing financially and how we could work together on news stories.

Oscar, meet Felix.

During the Q&A, Lee Newquist, publisher of Fort Worth Weekly, was asked how PR practitioners could be of the most value to the weeklies. As part of a longer response, Newquist answered, “PR companies, at least on the journalism side of what we do, are problematic because they’re in between (us and) the person with the real answer. I don’t want to talk to a PR person whose sole role in their career is to spin it and make it sound good." There was nervous laughter from the audience, and several Tweets.

Blake Ovard, managing editor of The Star Group weeklies, echoed: “All of the cities have a PIO, and their job is to keep you from getting the story, so they don’t understand why I don’t want to talk to them. They say, ‘Well, I have all your information.’”

At this point, neck hairs began to bristle. Marc Flake, Tarrant County PIO, took umbrage with those statements and stepped forward. He related how he had facilitated the Weekly’s requests for a recent cover story by Peter Gorman that examined issues related to the medical examiner’s office.

“I was very helpful with Mr. Gorman,” Flake said, “and told him who he needed to talk to, gave him background, gave him all the documents (and) contract information he needed. I don’t stay between you guys (and county sources). I help you get the information you need.”

Spontaneous applause erupted from PR crowd.

I found the exchange refreshingly candid -- and disturbingly enlightening. It brought home to me that the adversarial relationship between hacks and flacks is still alive and well.

Some may dismiss weeklies (and indeed all newspapers now) as non-influencers or think their constituents don’t read those papers, so who cares what they think? But with the market share of dailies falling and weeklies currently increasing, we need to have this honest dialogue to bridge the gap of misperceptions.

Maybe the panelists didn’t realize they were in a room with cream of the crop PRSA practitioners, who hold to a PRSA Code of Ethics,which state in part:

HONESTY - We adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests ofthose we represent and in communicating with the public.

LOYALTY-
We are faithful to those we represent, while honoring our obligation to serve the public interest.

FAIRNESS-
We deal fairly with clients, employers, competitors, peers, vendors, the media, and thegeneral public. We respect all opinions and support the right of free expression.

PR practitioners are obligated to our organizations / clients and their stakeholders as well as to the public interest. Journalists are obligated to the public’s right to know, their readers and advertisers. (Yes, advertisers were mentioned several times by the panelists as being quite an important audience.)

Here’s the rub: being honest and ethical doesn’t always translate (in the private sector, anyway) to being as “open” as some of us would like. This is due to a number of reasons, including proprietary information, SEC regs, security concerns and political sensitivities.

As PR practitioners, we have to weigh the benefit vs. risk of responding to certain media inquiries. Brave responders will answer even a hostile reporter in order to provide balance. But cautious ones will favor silence if media objectivity is questionable and they are mischaracterized or taken out of context repeatedly.

In our changing media landscape and diminishing dailies’ prowess, it would behoove PR practitioners to eschew derogatory terms for alternative or community weeklies (punk rags, podunk papers) and appreciate their financial strength and scope of influence among many constituencies.

By the same token, journalists should re-examine their broad-brush generalizations about PR practitioners as spinners and blockers. In light of shrinking news staff and resources, ethical PR pros provide information, assistance and access to high-level sources that will only become more critical for journalists who want to report the truth.

Read about the financial status of the dailies and the hack’s take on it here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

INVITATION ~ June 24th Celebration Honoring Dr. Doug Newsom

You're Invited!

Let's mix and mingle, celebrate the arrival of summer and toast one of the profession's finest individuals!

Please make plans to join GFW PRSA members and others for a Retirement Celebration Honoring
Doug Newsom, Ph.D, APR, Fellow PRSA.


WHEN: Wednesday, June 24, 2009
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Joe T. Garcia's
Fort Worth, Texas

PRICING:*
$10 reception only
$18 enchilada dinner (includes reception)
$22 fajita dinner (includes reception)
*each price above includes a complimentary beer, wine or margarita and/or tea or soft drink, and chips and salsa.

When you RSVP, please specify your choice.

Event hosted by: GFW PRSA President's Council and Board of Directors



JUNE 24th SCHEDULE:

Event Celebration
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Reception and "mixing and mingling"
5:30 to 6:15 p.m.

During the reception, several of the Chapter's Past Presidents will toast Dr. Newsom.

Dinner ~ We'll be seated for dinner around 6:20 p.m.


* When you arrive to Joe T's, please ask for "PRSA" and you'll be directed back to our private area. You can pay as you enter the PRSA event. (Cash or check payable to "Joe T. Garcia's." There is typically a working ATM in the restaurant. FYI)


RSVP & questions:
lauravanhoosier@msn.com
817-703-8432


Thank you!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The last PR stand

This post by Linda Jacobson, APR is cross-posted from her blog, The Saltlick.


I’ve long been a proponent for ensuring that those who practice public relations need a sound ethical basis. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to make a decision that only you can make, whether it’s for a client or for a company and its employees. And it will involve this basic question: What do we owe strangers by virtue of our shared humanity? That’s the question Kwame Anthony Appiah asked in Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a world of strangers.

My premise is this: Whether you’re an adherent of a communitarian or utilitarian perspective, as a PR practitioner, be smart enough to know the values you follow before the proverbial s*** hits the fan.

Recently, I accepted a position with a company to direct its communications. It’s an exciting time for this firm internally, as the company is undergoing major restructuring. Change always brings possibilities – both good and bad. Almost immediately, however, I understood a culture that was devoid of fact checking and one that assumed “fudging” – a term, when I hear it, that always gives me pause and tells me a whole heckuva lot about the person who used it. Now “fudging” can possess varying degrees of meaning – but it always involves untruth.

In addition to hearing this term, I heard other statements from employees that were worrisome to me. Here’s a list that should raise red flags for any PR practitioner:
• This is the way we do it here—we’re [insert name of department].
• If we write it that way, then that’s the way it is.
• You’re new to this industry; we don’t ever tell our true [insert noun—numbers, facts, situation].
• I don’t care if you think this is wrong. Do what I told you to do.
• You have been told to get this done and to get it done by this date. Do you have a problem with that?
• Are you refusing to do the job for which we hired you?

Even before it happened, I knew that my time with this company would be short. Sure enough, within a few weeks, I was asked to publish a press release that had material errors in it. I knew the information to be incorrect. And, in my judgment, the errors were not of the “fudging” kind. They were substantial. And in that moment, the moment that I call the “last PR stand,” I had a decision to make.

In military terms, a “last stand,” occurs in one of two ways. One situation calls for the defending force to retreat, which leads to immediate defeat, usually due to the surrounding geography or shortage of supplies or support. The other situation arises when the defending force are ordered to defend their positions. Thus, retreat is not possible without being considered a deserter.

In my case, I knew I had no support for refusing to include incorrect statements. In fact, I was told to issue the release with the incorrect statements. I opted to retreat – resign – thus deserting. I turned in my security badge and my electronic gadgetry without the slightest thought of surrendering to the edict.

I’m now happily unemployed. I say this not because I am pleased about being unemployed – I’m not, and Lord knows in this economy, I could use the income – but because I know the worth that integrity brings to a PR professional and, by extension, to a client or a company that demands it.

If you’re in the PR or communications field, take the time to understand or to review your ethics perspective. In today’s troubling environment, you’re better served to be prepared.

Recommended resources:

Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a world of stranger :: Kwame Anthony Appiah
Contemporary Media Ethics :: A practical guide for students, scholars and professionals :: Bill Hornaday and Mitchell Land (editors)
Public Relations Society of America :: Ethics resources

Friday, May 15, 2009

@The Forefront: Successfully Navigating Social Media - Slideshows

Thank you to all of the attendees of the chapter's May 13, 2009 Professional Development Workshop -@ TheForefront: Successfully Navigating Social Media

As PR professionals, strategy underscores all our methodologies, so why would social media be any different? If you’ve been waiting to take the social media plunge, now’s the perfect opportunity to learn the nuts and bolts, best practices, strategy, planning and measurement.

Below are the presentation slideshows from the day:


The GFW PRSA professional development workshop was led by Beth Harte (@bethharte), Twitter maven and marketing and communications professional, with help from our own Richie Escovedo (@vedo) and Terry Morawski (@morate).

Plus, a post-workshop interview with Beth Harte:




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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fort Worth PRSA and Social Media Club DFW welcome Beth Harte

It is with great pleasure that we welcome friend and social media maven, Beth Harte, to Dallas/Fort Worth. Beth will be in the metro as a guest of Greater Fort Worth chapter PRSA and will be speaking at the May professional development workshop and luncheon, Wednesday, May 13.

Graciously, Beth is game for a tweet-up on May 12! Come join us!

Where: Sherlock's Pub in Arlington; 254 Lincoln Square Center

When: 6:30-8:30pm

Please RSVP for the tweet-up via Facebook or in the comments on Lauren Vargas' event post.
(Note: a tweet-up is just another name for meet-up for those non-Twitter types.)

3008045694_a460528144 Don't forget to also RSVP for Greater Fort Worth Professional Development Day and Luncheon.

Everyone’s doing it: Facebook and Twitter, that is. Does that mean it’s right for you? As PR professionals, strategy underscores all our methodologies, so why would social media be any different? If you’ve been waiting to take the social media plunge, now’s the perfect opportunity to learn the nuts and bolts, best practices, strategy, how to get started and how to do it well. And, if you’re already involved, we’ll help you learn how to do it better, more effectively and efficiently.

Beth HarteThese topics and more will be center stage at the May 13th GFW PRSA professional development workshop to be led by Beth Harte (@bethharte), Twitter maven and marketing and communications professional, with help from our own Richie Escovedo (@vedo) and Terry Morawski (@morate).

Following the morning workshop, after we’ve learned who, what, where, when and why of social media, we’ll learn how to measure our efforts during a social media ROI seminar.

About Harte Marketing & Communications | Harte Marketing & Communications, located in the Philadelphia suburbs, specializes in marketing, communications and social media programs–from strategic planning to execution of branding, public relations, analyst relations, product marketing, international marketing, lead generation (direct mail, e-mail marketing), Web site management and SEO/SEM.
www.theharteofmarketing.com

About Beth Harte | As principal of Harte Marketing & Communications, Beth offers nearly 15 years of experience in strategic planning, branding, public relations, analyst relations, product marketing, international marketing, business development, lead generation (direct mail, e-mail marketing), Web site management, SEO/SEM-in short, all things marketing and communications. And she’s applied that experience for a range of companies-from startups and SMBs to mid-market and Fortune 500 companies. When Beth began her marketing and communications career, companies barely had e-mail. Having experienced Web 1.0 first hand, she also enjoyed the mad dash toward integrated marketing communications and SEO/SEM. Today, she enjoys the challenge of helping clients use marketing, communications and social media to take their marketing–and their businesses–to the next level of customer engagement.

In addition to running Harte Marketing & Communications, Beth speaks at industry conferences and event and serves as adjunct professor at Immaculata University where she’s taught Marketing in a Global Economy, Marketing Principles and Practices, Introduction to Public Relations, Writing for Public Relations & Social Media and Issues in E-Commerce. Beth will also be teaching Community, Government and Global Relations and Writing for PR & Social Media in the new Master’s in Applied Communication program.

A firm believer in “walking the walk to talk the talk,” Beth shares tips, opinions and observations on her blog, The Harte of Marketing. She also writes for Marketing Profs’ Daily Fix Blog and Search Engine Guide. Beth holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Chestnut Hill College and a Master of Science in International Marketing from Saint Joseph’s University.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Social Media ~ Green means go and now is the time to make plans for May 13

MY THOUGHTS ON WHY PR PROS MUST ENGAGE IN SOCIAL MEDIA.

As PR practitioners and communicators, we must engage in social media.

It is a key component of our field of specialty, it is what we do and it will be a part of our future.

For those PR professionals who are still considering venturing out into it, a special workshop awaits you and it will provide you with the tools and the knowledge you need to jump start your efforts.

It is critical that PR pros be interested and willing to be immersed in social media and see the value in it. Sure there were people who shook their heads in 1803, when Thomas Jefferson first combined the words "public" and "relations" into "public relations," or those who thought Lee or Pultizer didn't know what they were talking about in the early 1900s when they introduced the concepts of press agentry, publicity, "muckracking" and PR campaigns, but that didn't stop them from doing it or others from learning from them. (SOURCE OF HISTORICAL NOTES: This is PR, Newsom, Turk, Kruckeberg.)

We are in the midst of the evolution of our field so if we don't own it and master the new technologies and tactics then there will be another professional field that will. (For additional reading on why "Social Media is the Responsibility of PR" follow Jason Falls on Twitter http://twitter.com/jasonfalls or read http://bit.ly/brAZG).

If you are uncertain of how to begin a social media effort, I'd suggest you just get your feet wet and start small. You'll be glad you did.

How easy is it? Sign up for a Twitter, Facebook or Blogger account. Start listening, reading and monitoring what is happening in your fields of interest, then perhaps consider jotting down your thoughts in a blog.

What I so appreciate about social media is the sharing of knowledge and resources.

Pioneers in social media are more than happy to make available their best practices, missteps, and recommendations. Being involved with social media is like being in front of PR thought leaders all day and being in a super interesting grad school class with an engaging speaker each week. (I loved grad school at TCU http://twitter.com/tcu so this is a real treat for me!)

Social media is also a chance to hear what your customers and community members think and believe about certain issues and where they are focusing their energies and resources all on a real-time basis.

By listening and engaging in social media, one has a golden opportunity to soak up knowledge and become a more skilled practitioner and strategic communications professional.

Want and need the how-to? Need the basics, only a refresher or just want to hear from the pros? Then please consider joining Greater Fort Worth PRSA on May 13, for our Professional Development Workshop with http://twitter.com/vedo http:/ /twitter.com/morate and http://twitter.com/BethHarte

Details here: http://fortworthprsa.org/events.htm

Don't wait, register today!

Then while you are at it, start listening and reading blogs, Wikipedia, or get a Twitter or Facebook account and get engaged. As our friend Geoff Livingston http://twitter.com/GeoffLiving has said more than once "Now is Gone" and very simply the future is NOW! (NOTE: There is a book on genetics titled "The Future is now" by William, Kristol and Cohen but I'm just writing those words in general terms.)

Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/vanhoosier

RESOURCES MENTIONED ABOVE:

http://twitter.com/

http://www.facebook.com/

http://www.wikipedia.org/

http://www.problogger.net/ (Now offering a free 31-day effort on building a better blog.)



P.S. If you are unable to attend May 13, several GFW PRSA members will be blogging or Twittering live from the workshop.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Words Every PR Pro Should Know

This post is cross-posted from FW PRSA member, Lauren Fernandez's blog

There are many words that every public relations professional should know. Below are four that I think you should never leave home without - preferably in a cool Johnny Bravo lunch pail.

high-five

Preparation

I've heard many say that a PR pro is only as good as their next pitch. But how do you get there? How do you make sure that your message is being heard; that the right outlets and correct beat reporters are receiving your pitch? You prepare and plan. Media plans are an effective tool when outlining your course of action. My media plans to detail this way.
  1. Date
  2. What type of outlets I'm pitching (National Radio, Local TV, blogs, etc)
  3. How I'm doing it (Pitch, Media Alert, etc.)
  4. Angle I'm taking
  5. 3 points I can touch on if I connect with a reporter
Media plans should also include your follow-up time, and if applicable, what you plan to do after the event occurs. Being prepared to pitch a press release is important as well. You will, at best, have 30 seconds to hook a reporter. If it is filled with 'uhms' and stammers, the likelyhood that a reporter will continue to listen to you is pretty non-existent. You don't sound prepared or knowledgeable, and a reporter views you as their first source and connection to a possible story. If they have a hard time with you, that will cast the first impression on your client. Even if it's a great story, if you can't get it out, it means nothing.


Evaluation

The best laid out plans need to be consistently evaluated throughout the process. You need to be able to demonstrate value by setting benchmarks and continuously measuring the impact. If it's not working, change it. A media plan is not set in stone. A reporter hates the idea? Maybe you are pitching the wrong beat. You aren't gaining any traction? It could be because you're not hitting the target audience appropriately. If you continiously evaluate your success and learn from the failures, your plan will go consistently smoother and shows that you can project manage efficiently.



Concise

The two most important skills (in my opinion) for a PR pro to have are writing and research. Writing should be concise and tight, and get straight to the point. Remember the 30 second rule? You need to be able to grab a reporter's attention in the first two sentences. I joke that PR pros have to be ADD because they are constantly switching projects or getting new ideas, and reporters are no different - I had a reporter friend that said unless they can see me sitting in front of them in a cute dress and smiling, they probably will have an image of me in their head as a robot talking/writing to them. If your writing doesn't follow the basic principles (yes, including AP Style) you will be viewed as incompetent by the reporter. It doesn't matter if you have the best hook in the world - if it isn't written well and tight, you might as well forget getting a placement.


Confidence

It seems to be a no brainer, but you have to exude confidence in your professional role. You are the expert. You know the client well and should be passionate about the topic. If you are nervous, a reporter will pick up on that. They will probably ask you harder questions and try to find the "juicy juice" because they think you might slip. Before you pitch a reporter, practice. Write down a few sentences, or opening lines, on your computer to refer to when you're on the phone. Bullet some key points to hit on. Practice in front of the mirror. Pull a co-worker aside and have them fire questions at you. Send a news release to someone who has no link to the company and ask them if they would be interested in reading a story on it. This will give you the confidence that you can pitch a release and have a great story for a reporter to pick up on.

So, what words do you never leave home without?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Public Relations Roles explained through Baseball Positions

CJ Wilson of the Texas Rangers pitching
This post is cross-posted on the Next Communications blog.

In honor of the start of the 2009 Major League Baseball season, I thought it might be fun to create a listing of the roles and functions for public relations by baseball positions.

  1. Pitcher (P) - In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throws the baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter who attempts to either make contact with it or draw a walk. In PR, the pitching role is one where the professional attempts to garner publicity or attention through effective media relations.

  2. Catcher (C) - Positioned behind home plate, the catcher can see the whole field; therefore, he is in the best position to direct and lead the other players in a defensive play. In PR, this is role of strategy. Like a catcher, the PR professional sees the big picture where they understand that actions will lead to specific reactions.

  3. First baseman (1B) - A first baseman is the player on the team playing defense who fields the area nearest first base. In PR, this is the role of first response. The initial response to problems and/or crisis will make or break the situation.

  4. Second baseman (2B) - The second baseman often possesses quick hands and feet, the ability to get rid of the ball quickly, and must be able to make the pivot on a double play. In PR, this role is of measured quickness. A public relations professional helps to protect reputation and vital relationships when an organization is under attack.

  5. Third baseman (3B) - Third base is known as the "hot corner", because the third baseman is relatively close to the batter and most right-handed hitters tend to hit the ball hard in this direction. In PR, this is the role of coordination and quick reactions that comes with experience from having to catch hard line drives or difficult internal communication challenges.

  6. Shortstop (SS) - Shortstop is often regarded as the most dynamic defensive position in baseball so naturally the PR role is one of adaptability. The one constant is that things change, it is up to the public relations professional to be aware and keep up with the changing landscape of the profession, media, and organizational industry.

  7. Left fielder (LF) - Outfielders must cover large distances, so speed, instincts, and quickness in reacting to the ball are key. They must be able to learn to judge whether to attempt a difficult catch and risk letting the ball get past them, or to instead allow the ball to fall in order to guarantee a swift play and prevent the advance of runners. In PR, this role can be equated to good judgment. Professionals need to understand when not doing or saying something will provide the best benefit to the organization.

  8. Center fielder (CF) - The center fielder has the greatest responsibility among the three outfielders for coordinating their play to prevent collisions when converging on a fly ball, and on plays where he does not make the catch, he must position himself behind the corner outfielder in case the ball gets past him. In PR, this role is made up of the credibility a professional must possess in order to be an effective communicator to both internal and external audiences. Just like a center fielder, the PR professional needs excellent vision and depth perception.

  9. Right fielder (RF) - Of all outfield positions, the right fielder often has the strongest arm, because they are the farthest from third base. However, oftentimes, as in lower-levels of baseball, right field is the least likely to see much action because most hitters are right-handed and tend to pull the ball to the left field and center. In PR, this is the role of monitoring and measurement. Unfortunately, many professionals are not as up to speed in this area (me included) as we should do whatever it takes to learn how to measure. It requires additional work and research, but it is one of reward and justification for jobs well done.
Additional Positions
  • Designated Hitter (DH) - The designated hitter is the official position in the American League to bat in place of the pitcher. In PR, this is the role the understands the usefulness of social media for listening and engaging an organization's community. The professional needs to fully grasp various aspects of the social web to reach audiences including, at times, as a way to by-pass the mainstream media.

  • Manager - A manager controls matters of team strategy on the field and team leadership. In Pr, it's the same thing; coordination of play and tactical movements are integral for successful public relations.

Play Ball!


Saturday, March 14, 2009

President's Column from the March eChaser

PRSA National HeadquartersImage by hyku via Flickr

From GFW PRSA President, Andra Bennett, APR:

Do you think President Obama is saying, “Only 3 years, 11 months to go”? Well, it’s one heck of a first quarter, that’s all I know.

As every level of government, every business and every organization is reviewing its business model and budget right now, so is your GFW-PRSA. Your volunteer elected Board has been diligently reviewing every aspect of the Greater Fort Worth Chapter, from our programs, special interest groups, and service projects to our registration software and luncheon expenses.

Bottom line: we want to provide the best value and benefits to YOU, the member. And we want to be good stewards of the chapter’s funds and come out in the black!

A survey from National PRSA is on its way, to determine your priorities. The GFW Chapter may also be conducting our own survey with “all things Fort Worth” included as well. We will respect your time and make it short, but please be on the lookout for these survey e-mails in the coming months.

Of course, feel free to let the Board or the committee chairs know your opinions / suggestions at any time. All of our e-mails are at http://www.fortworthprsa.org/about/board.htm.

Our April 8 program will feature Brian Pierce, ad copywriter and creative guru, speaking on “How to make your PR writing stand out.” That’s also our Pro-Am Day with ACU, TCU and UTA. Please sign up when you get the e-mail from Jahnae Stout or Mary Dulle, APR, Fellow PRSA for a student shadow that morning. More details will be in the next E-Chaser or online at www.fortworthprsa.org.

Also in April, mark your calendars for Saturday, April 11 for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the non-competitive 5K run/walk. We need 10 members to field a team!! Please contact Cindy Vasquez, cindy@cancercareservices.org , community service chair, ASAP if you’d like to join us in a fun walk for an important cause!