Authors: Elisa Williams, Julie Williams and Siobhan Taylor
PRSA Oregon embarked on a Listening Tour in the spring of 2017 throughout Oregon and SW Washington to meet members and hear their input and concerns about the new, merged chapter. Listening Tour sessions were held in Bend, Eugene, Portland and Salem.
Here’s a recap of the report findings or read the full 2017 Listening Tour Report.
Founded in 2017, PRSA Oregon is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization and a local chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). As we become PRSA Oregon, merging membership from around the state with the majority from the former Greater Oregon chapter in Eugene, the former Oregon Capitol chapter in Salem and the former Portland Metro chapter, we are defining a new era for professional communicators in Oregon and SW Washington.
What Members Said
Several common threads emerged in all of the discussion sessions.
- To ensure geographic diversity we need new or refined operational systems so that programming remains profitable and reaches all members. And, leadership distribution represents all of Oregon and SW Washington, including a robust pipeline of new leaders to aid in succession planning.
- A larger, more diverse chapter makes enhanced professional development and networking possible, including a mix of local and regional events. To ensure these benefits, there must be a high level of membership and service engagement chapter-wide.
- Connections are important. When face-to-face meetings aren’t possible, technology makes professional development opportunities and events accessible to members regardless of location. Using the latest high-touch tools keeps members’ skills current and leaders in communications.
How We’re Already Adapting
Feedback received led to several changes in 2017:
- Spotlight Awards Ceremony will be held in Canby. The central location and timing more easily accommodates travel.
- In July and September, a Service Draft is ensuring leadership and committee positions reflect the entire region.
- Additional input on programming was collected this summer, as well as at the upcoming sessions on Aug. 12 and on Sept. 16.
- Expansion of Meet the Media events is being explored to include media markets throughout the region if there is local volunteer support to host the event. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to help set one up.
Share Your Ideas for the Future
Join us for the final Listening Tour sessions during the membership orientation at 10 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 12, at Willamette University, and at 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Valley River Inn, Eugene, Oregon.