Sunday, January 24, 2010

PR pros thrive and learn @FortWorthPRSA

This is cross-posted on the Next Communications blog:

I am a member of and hold a board position with the Greater Ft. Worth Chapter of PRSA. At the January Board meeting, we were given the local results from the PRSA's all-chapters survey that was launched in March of last year.

According to William Murray, the President and COO of PRSA, the purpose of the survey was "to identify, in a methodical, statistically sound way, which Chapters represent best practices in the area of service delivery, and who can serve as models for other Chapters to learn from and emulate."

The Results
Here are some of the interesting and in some cases, surprising, data points from the Ft. Worth chapter report:

Chapter Satisfaction was listed at 82% compared to a 53% all chapter average and 58% peer chapter by size.

Quotes from the open-ended questions included Positives
  • “Good for networking.”
  • “Necessary.”
  • “Can't think of anything that it is not doing. Very busy bunch.”
...and Negatives
  • “We need more of the higher level training experiences like they provide at PRSA New York.”
  • “Sometimes not substantive.”
  • “The same basic formula for monthly meetings gets boring after awhile.”
 The respondents wanted to see our chapter Do More
  • Programs delivered by thought-leaders
  • Ethics programs
  • Newsletter
...Do Less
  • Award programs
  • Mentoring programs (This was actually surprising since mentoring should be a fundamental aspect in my opinion.)
  • e-Group or listserv
...and Maintain

Chapter events were rated very well including highest remarks in the categories of Professional, Beneficial, Relevant, a Learning Experience, and Welcoming. (I attribute the last one as being in part because we are in Ft. Worth.)

There are some great take-aways for the chapter leadership and members to assess moving forward. I really appreciate PRSA National taking this on for the chapters as a way to help us grow as an organization and on our local levels. As a PR professional, I think it is a great investment of my time to be a member of PRSA and look forward to another enlightening and challenging year.

If you have attended any of the Ft. Worth PRSA chapter events/meetings (or other PRSA chapter meetings) I would appreciate any feedback on your experiences. As always, the comments are yours.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Make every second count this year

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President's Column: Tom Burke, APR, Greater Fort Worth PRSA

As hard as it is to believe, a decade has come and gone. As they say, time really does fly. Then again, even a second can seem like an eternity and be life-changing. Just ask the Nebraska Cornhuskers. And the Texas Longhorns. And the TCU Horned Frogs. In the Big 12 Championship game last month, one second was the difference between Nebraska losing, Texas winning and TCU being in the Fiesta Bowl on January 4 instead of playing for the national championship January 7 in Pasadena. In other words, every second counts.

I hope to make every second count this year for the magnificent public relations professionals in Greater Fort Worth PRSA. It is humbling to lead such a dynamic crowd in my hometown, and an honor as president to follow in the footsteps of some of the titans of our industry — Andra Bennett, APR; Laura Van Hoosier, APR; Marc Flake; Holly Ellman; Heather Senter, APR. I am surrounded by an amazing group of accomplished and dedicated people, including the chapter’s 2010 officers and committee chairs. Thanks to all of them for agreeing to lead with me in the New Year.

The year begins with uncertainty swirling about, but I am encouraged by the continued vitality of the Fort Worth-Dallas Metroplex and the resiliency of not only our local public relations professionals but the entire workforce. Hopefully we will not see worse economic times or more unsettling changes than what we just survived and that better days are ahead as we build on the personal and professional relationships that sustain us.

I wish you unbridled success and happiness in 2010. And let’s all resolve to make every second count.

Tom C. Burke, APR
(TCU '76)
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

PR Dreams for 2010

This is cross-posted from Linda Jacobson's blog, The Saltlick.

Googling 2010 predictions shows that it’s the 36th-most searched subject on the final day of the decade. I’ve read some predictions, like these, with an enthusiastic nod. Still, I think there’s some of the “daring to dream” aspect that’s missing. That’s what I crave most, the idea that as a PR professional, I can do something in a new and unique way. So, without any prediction whatsoever, here’s my wish list for PR in 2010:
  1. I want to see my elected PRSA leadership affirm accreditation with one voice and promote it. The APR conversation will continue to be circular without a strong, united voice coming from the association’s elected leadership. My wish would result in more knowledgeable PR professionals coming up through the profession and agreement on best PR practices permeating down from the top. I’m tired of hearing the same old arguments about why senior PR pros who don’t possess APR think it’s a bad idea. Get over yourselves already, and together, let’s build up the profession with professional standards and expectations.

  2. I’m wishing for technology that allows PR to deliver green. Instead of just talking about how green an industry is, I’d like to practice green and add in the WOW factor. I can’t wait to deliver a PR communiqué using holographic displays from smart phones and e-mails. Or how about replacing Powerpoint with this type of presentation? Steve Jobs, can you hear me?

  3. Quality content. Repeat that three times please. And then do it. Don’t put something out there that isn’t relevant, fresh and timely. That means PR professionals will need to hone their strategic skills and nurture their journalistic relationships. Spend time doing this instead of putting out a news release every single day. We’ll all reap the benefit of that practice.

  4. Play nice with others. Marketers, advertisers and PR professionals need to be on the same team. Playing to each strength usually gets targeted results. When one of the three legs decides not to do this, the result skews and doesn’t deliver full strength.

I’m sure you have dreams for the PR profession, too. Please share those, so we can all toast them together, and here’s hoping your PR dreams come true in 2010.