Independence

We provide objective counsel to those we represent. We are accountable for our actions. Part three of our six-part series highlighting the PRSA Code of Ethics principles.

By Lee Weinstein

Twenty years ago, PR staff weren’t in most of the rooms where C-suite leaders were making important decisions. Today, smart organizations know that to succeed, PR not only needs to be in the room, but will provide counsel to help them make better decisions that may ultimately drive strategies.

When we take on a new client, we commit to serve them as an independent resource. We aim to tell them the truth and give them our best advice, no matter what. Our role is listen and ask, to discern and consider, and then to provide objective counsel—even if they or their stakeholders don’t like it.

We need to be able to walk clients 360 degrees around an issue without mincing words—for their benefit and our own self-protection, so we don’t get embroiled in a communications mess, or have them tell us we didn’t warn them when it happens. It is our job to share the upsides and downsides as we see them, and to be prepared for clients to disagree, or to walk away if their choice isn’t one with which we can live

I once had a manager who coached me to, “Always remember your first instinct.” It was good advice, and is something to always come back to before making recommendations. Another leader came into our organization, looked around and observed, “There’s not enough gray hair in this department.” She was right: Experiences matter in PR, and every project, announcement, issue and crisis we work on makes us better practitioners.

Independence from our own biases needs to be consciously considered as well. As counselors, what don’t we know? What view isn’t represented and being considered? Whom else should we consult? Have we included diverse voices and backgrounds?

Independent counsel and expertise is what clients pay us for, and we must be accountable to them and ourselves. If we don’t deliver the goods (and sometimes, the bad and the ugly), we’re not doing our jobs.

(Lee Weinstein is president of Weinstein PR based in the Columbia Gorge and Portland, Oregon, and PR Boutiques International, an association of more than 40 boutique PR agencies in 17 countries. He is also author of “Write, Open, Act: An Intentional Life Planning Workbook.”)

Dealing Honestly With Media When Your Client Doesn’t Want To Say Anything

By Vicky Hastings, APR
@vickyhastings

Why is it hard for some organizations to be transparent with media?

Honesty is always the best policy, as everyone knows. Not only do consumers prefer brands that are truthful, the PRSA Code of Ethics calls for it.

Many of us have faced situations in which an employer or client doesn’t want to comment on a controversial topic when queried by media. You, too, may be tapped to “keep us out of this story.”

What’s a PR practitioner to do?

If it’s a legal or personnel issue, and your organization has a policy of not publicly commenting such matters, you can say that with complete integrity.

But in other cases, it’s more complicated. Saying “no comment” is a comment it itself − one your client may not want to see when published.

Here are some alternatives:

  • Advocate for transparency so the organization can shape the outcome rather than allowing others to manage the message.
  • Be ready with a pre-approved reactive statement to be shared only when asked by media.
  • Advise that if the company is addressing the issue on social media, those comments may be included in the media story because reporters gather information everywhere. When asked by media for a for a point of view, share the social statement.
  • If leadership is unwilling to go on record after you’ve recommended taking the interview, authentically decline. You can tell the journalist “no one is available to comment” or “sorry, but we are unable to participate in this opportunity.”
  • Remind your client that they came to you to build visibility and they’re being giving an opportunity to share their point of view. Perhaps over time they’ll become more comfortable publicly taking a stand.

When unsure what to do, turn to the Code of Ethics for guidance on ethical practices. Honesty and integrity are among a successful PR practitioner’s most important assets.

Ethics and decision-making go hand in hand. Next time you’re challenged with making a tough choice at work, consider the six core values in PRSA’s Code of Ethics: Advocacy, Honesty, Expertise, Independence, Loyalty and Fairness. This is the second entry in a six-part blog series spotlighting these values.

 

Big Professional Goals for 2018? You Need a Mentor Strategy

It is easy to jot down a few goals each year, but how many of us actually take the time to figure out how we will accomplish those goals?

Communicators know it takes research and planning to implement an organization’s big goals, and the same is true for your personal goals. As you plan how to reach your professional targets for 2018, consider mentoring as a strategy to get you there.

Benefits for mentors and mentees
The mentor/mentee relationship can guide your professional growth and help you map out the steps to realize your dreams.

“Dave Thompson has been a fantastic mentor who helped me realize the different career paths within communications and provided many great networking and educational opportunities,” said Pete Donahue, Internal Communications Manager, Johnson Controls. “We meet regularly to review my progress toward certain career goals and I learn something new every time we meet.”

Mentees are not the only ones who benefit from this relationship. Veteran communicators find that time spent investing in someone’s future enhances leadership and helps them develop new skills.

“Mentoring develops and enhances the professional growth of both mentor and mentee,” said Dave Thompson, APR. “I think I learn more from the experience then the professionals I mentor!”

The mentoring program matches communicators based upon the needs of the mentee and the skills of the mentor. Then, it is up to the pair to establish a meeting schedule. We recommend meeting at least once a month.

To learn more about becoming a mentor, contact us at mentors@prsaoregon.org.

Consider This: Advocacy

Let PRSA’s values guide your decision-making
Erin Merz, M.A., APR

Ethics and decision-making go hand in hand. Next time you’re challenged with making a tough choice at work, consider the six core values in PRSA’s Code of Ethics: Advocacy, Honesty, Expertise, Independence, Loyalty and Fairness. We’re going to spotlight these values throughout the year, starting this month with Advocacy:

We serve the public interest by acting as responsible advocates for those we represent. We provide a voice in the marketplace of ideas, facts, and viewpoints to aid informed public debate.

We are advocates for our clients and employers when we put their interests first. We are responsible advocates when we also consider the interests of their publics. The foundation of our profession is mutually beneficial relationships. Consequently, we’re obligated to make a committed effort toward achieving mutual benefit. While the balancing act between institutional interest and public interest can be tricky, it’s always necessary. Don’t be discouraged when compromise is the result of a difficult decision. In fact, strategic adaptability is critical to long-term success.

Without a doubt, the recent demise of British agency Bell Pottinger will be used as a case study for what not to do when it comes to ethics in public relations. Their destructive advocacy on behalf of clients is what PRSA has been combating since its inception. Read PRSA Chair Anthony D’Angelo’s take in his letter to The New York Times.

On the opposite extreme, Johnson & Johnson’s Tylenol recall nearly 40 years ago cost the company millions of dollars when it made public health and safety a priority. This classic crisis management case reminds us that putting public interest ahead of profit can pay off in the long run.

PRSA Oregon Chapter Announces New Leadership for 2018

The Oregon chapter of the Public Relations Society of America announces its selection of the 2018 board of directors, following the Annual Membership Meeting and Elections held Nov. 8, 2017.

2017 signified a landmark year for PRSA, as the organization experienced a successful and historic merger that established the unified chapter of PRSA Oregon. During a year of vast change, the recent integration of the Oregon Capital, Greater Oregon and Portland PRSA chapters skillfully applied its position as a statewide organization, as well as utilizing its enhanced ability to cultivate professional development and implement its resources throughout a vast region.

During recent months, a 20-person Nominating Committee assembled a compilation of outstanding candidates for the 2018 slate. The carefully-selected contenders included PRSA members from across Oregon with a variety of backgrounds in government, healthcare, higher education, nonprofit and public relations agency work.

Julie Williams, the 2017 president-elect of PRSA Oregon, was eager to attract influential leaders in 2018 that would work to continue the chapter’s transformation in the new year.

Members of the newly-elected 2018 board of directors include President Brian Terrett, APR, Interim Secretary Tracey Lam, Treasurer Siobhan Taylor, Immediate Past President Colby Reade, APR, Assembly Delegates Gail Dundas, APR, Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, PRSA Fellow and Julie Manning, APR, Events Director Victoria Wagner, Member Director Sally Ridenour, Service Director and Nominating Committee Co-Chair Casey Boatman,  Advocacy Director Erin Merz, APR Sponsorship Director Michael Lewellen, APR and Communications Director Judy Asbury, APR.

One outstanding position is that of president-elect and will be selected in the coming weeks by the 2018 Board of Directors.

“Oregon’s PRSA presence is one of the strongest among PRSA chapters around the country. We’ll continue to provide strong and skilled leadership at the national level and strengthen our reputation as a key voice in local, regional and national governance,” said Dianne Danowski-Smith, PRSA Oregon Assembly Delegate #2.

Looking forward, PRSA Oregon is excited to establish a strong presence among PRSA chapters throughout the country. Each of the newly-elected members of the new board of director’s have voiced exhilarating goals for 2018.

2018 Annual Membership Meeting Recap

Annual Membership Meeting & Elections Goes Virtual

On Nov. 8, 2017, PRSA Oregon hosted its first annual membership meeting and election results via webinar to celebrate this founding year’s efforts and next year’s elected leaders with 22 members joining online (of 32 registered attendees).
The 2018 board of directors slate was announced on Oct. 24 and voting was open through Nov. 7 via electronic ballot, 16 days in advance of the annual meeting in accordance with chapter bylaws, during which 48 members voted.
New Board Elected Unanimously
Twenty-two of the 32 registered members for this event cast their vote, forming a majority of annual meeting registrants. All nominations passed unanimously (Note: abstaining was not available on a role-by-role basis).  The election results are announced here.
The electronic voting and virtual meeting was a different format than chapter’s have done in the past and was very well received by the 22 members (+ seven of us in “green room”) who tuned in and engaged via chat throughout the webinar.
Attendee comments include:

Eric Jones: This e-meeting is great! Highlight of the year so far

Sherryll Hoar: Good way to hold a statewide meeting. Thanks.

Andrew Thompson: Great Kimmel reference, Colby.

Kathy Hubbell, APR, Fellow PRSA: This is a great way to hold a meeting!

Andrew Thompson: I’m excited to be a part of this organization. Thanks to the 2017 board for your leadership. Excited for 2018!

Elisa Williams: Great job you guys on this meeting.

During the webinar, presenters from the board reported on the following in addition to recap posts shared on our blog as linked:
  • Welcome & Overview – 2017 President Colby Reade, APR
  • Business Meeting
    • Assembly Report – Assembly Delegate Dianne Danowski-Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA
    • Treasurer’s Report – Treasurer Dave Thompson, APR
    • Membership Report – Membership Director Siobhan Taylor
  • 2017 Transition Accomplishments – 2017 President-Elect Julie Williams, APR, MA
  • Election Results – 2017 President-Elect Julie Williams & Service Director Taylor Long
  • Looking Ahead to 2018 – 2018 President Brian Terrett
  • Q & A – 2017 President Colby Reade, APR
It is not possible to recap in 60 minutes the 3,500+ hours of volunteer efforts contributed this year. Overall, these collective efforts were well represented even as time constraints limited presenter’s from appreciating every person’s and teams’ contributions.
To learn more about reports, accomplishments and plans, review the PowerPoint presentation (Note: large file due to imagery), listen to the the webinar and/or watch the webinar (skip ahead to beginning at 00:26:30) .
Upcoming Service Celebration
We can look forward to celebrating with all volunteers on Dec. 12, 5:30-7 pm, when we gather in the back room of Rogue Brewery & Distillery in NW Portland. Event details will be sent directly to volunteers and up on the website very soon.

Congratulations to our 2017 Volunteer of the Year, Elisa Williams!

In her day job, Elisa Williams is a communications consultant at Oregon Health & Science University with an extensive background in journalism.This year, she’s been instrumental in communicating PRSA Oregon’s transition from three regional chapters into one.

Her dedication to the transition committee and enthusiasm for PRSA Oregon has earned her the title of Volunteer of the Year. Thank you and congratulations, Elisa!

As a side note, if you are curious about ways to get involved with our Chapter, I highly encourage all of you consider volunteering. Just reach out to service@prsaoregon.org and the service committee will be happy to get you involved.

 

PRSA Oregon Celebrates Banner Year

New 300-Member Chapter Marks Completion of Historic Merger, Hosts Two Signature Events to Close out 2017

Portland, Ore. – The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is in the midst of a major celebration as it caps off a banner year in the state of Oregon. The nonprofit professional organization dedicated to the growth and advancement of the practice of public relations opted to merge Oregon’s three chapters – Portland, Oregon Capitol and Greater Oregon – into a unified, statewide chapter.

“By merging our chapters from three regional groups into one, statewide organization, it becomes much easier for us to connect and network,” said Colby Reade, APR, PRSA Oregon President. “It also opens up vast opportunities for our organization to offer a much wider range of professional development and skill-building resources to our members.”

The merger is the result of several years of deliberation and collaboration by members from all three chapters. The decision appears to be a success as the organization is enjoying a substantial membership increase year-over-year.

Spotlight Awards Announced

Along with the merger of all of the chapters around the state, PRSA Oregon announced the 2017 recipients of the prestigious Awards of Distinction at this year’s Spotlight Awards Ceremony, held on October 20th at the Willamette Valley Country Club. They include:

Professional Award of Excellence

Nicole Early was selected as the 2017 New Professional Award of Excellence which is presented to a “rising star” who has entered the field of public relations in the past 5 years. The award is presented to a professional who has demonstrated his or her commitment to advancing public relations through career achievements, volunteerism, and the highest standards of professionalism.

North Pacific District PR Practitioner of the year, Paul M. Lund Award for Public Service, Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award

Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow, had a very active fall as she was honored with the PRSA North Pacific District’s 2017 PR Practitioner of the Year, and the national Paul M. Lund Award for Public Service along with the PRSA Oregon Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award.

The Lund Public Service Award honors a PRSA member whose participation as a volunteer in important public activities has increased the common good and reflected credit on the society. The Ron Schmidt Community Involvement award is given to a public relations practitioner who has performed exceptional service to the community, to achieve results that help the greater good.

Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award

Taraneh A. Fultz APR, a current senior field analyst at Cambia Health Solutions, was announced as the winner of the Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award, an award given to a PRSA Oregon Chapter member who demonstrates exceptional mentorship of others as they advance their careers in public relations.

 William W. Match Lifetime Achievement Award

John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA, has been awarded the William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award for 2017. Mitchell, a professor in the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications, was given this award because he has invested significantly in developing public relations as a credible profession, accomplishing landmark professional achievements and furthering the goals of PRSA.

For additional details on the event and winner bios, please visit prsaoregon.org.

Communicator’s Conference

Another key highlight of the year was May’s Communicator’s Conference in Portland, Oregon. Drawing hundreds of attendees from around the Pacific Northwest, a variety of speakers, including the University of Oregon, ODOT, Portland Public Schools and REI the conference offered insights on a variety of topics centered on the theme of “Leading Strategies”.

Founding Board Members of PRSA Oregon:

President: Colby Reade, APR

President-Elect: Julie Williams, APR

Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer: Dave Thompson, APR

Secretary and Chief Operations Officer: Tracey Lam, APR

Leadership Assembly Delegate: Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA

Leadership Assembly Delegate: John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA

Communications Director: Beverly Brooks

Director of Student Affairs: Megan Donaldson

Director of Service: Taylor Long

Director of Events: Olivia MacKenzie

Sponsorship Director: Amy Ruddy

Director of Membership: Siobhan Taylor

Immediate Past President: Mark Mohammadpour, APR

Immediate Past President: Jill Peters, APR

Immediate Past President: Loralyn Spiro, APR

Annual Meeting

A brand new board of directors will be elected during our 2017 Annual Membership Meeting & Elections held on November 8th, via a webinar. In addition to the elections, current and incoming Chapter leadership will review 2017 highlights including the transition to a statewide chapter, 2018 priorities and hear elections results of the incoming board.

About PRSA Oregon:

The PRSA Oregon chapter, which serves approximately 300 public relations professionals in Oregon and Southwest Washington, supports lifelong professional development and honors excellence in public relations. More than one-fifth of chapter members have earned Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), the profession’s only national post-graduate certification program. The Oregon chapter is led by an all-volunteer board of professionals from across the state. Signature events include the annual Spotlight Awards, honoring excellence in public relations, and the Communicator’s Conference, a professional development event held once a year. The Oregon chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is one of 109 PRSA chapters across the country.

Final Transition Steering Committee Report: October

Finishing Strong

At our final Transition Steering Committee meeting for 2017, we took a few minutes to celebrate the momentum we’ve built. We’ve been so busy working on projects, that I think even we were surprised by everything that our newly formed regional chapter had accomplished when we reflected upon the year.

As the final report of year, let’s take some time to review the details of the journey, directly leading to the plans for next year. This will be a long post, but I think you’ll be reassured and reminded that we apply the same passion and process to running the chapter as we do to our profession.

One-Year Plan Turns Into Two

In March, we had gathered in the same conference room at Make-A-Wish to review all of the commitments and programs grandfathered in by the former chapters, along with all of the transition tasks, that needed to be considered in combining the three local chapters that had served Oregon and SW Washington for the last 60 years.  There were nearly 100.  

At the time, we determined we couldn’t pursue them all this year. We resolved to undertake the transition over two phases in two years and prioritized projects for 2017 that best set up the chapter for success and that would ultimately bring the most value to our members.

Phase One: Nearly Complete

Work on phase one projects is nearly complete.  As we wrap up in November, last steps are to:

  • Back up and redirect the former chapters’ websites to the new PRSA Oregon website;
  • Finalize an inventory of the chapter’s accounts and subscriptions;
  • Complete the updated Policies and Procedures document compilation;
  • Send out chapter pins to founding members who didn’t attend events where they were distributed (please email your address to membership@prsaoregon.org if you need your pin sent to you!);
  • Reconcile final expenses from the former chapters to complete for the final annual income statement and balance sheet of the chapter’s finances;
  • Hold an orientation in November of newly elected board members;
  • And, have a virtual annual membership meeting & elections in November so everyone can attend!
Phase Two in 2018

We’ve also clearly defined what needs to get done next year as part of phase two of the transition. We have a well-documented road map built off our 2017 action plan to share with the incoming board during orientation.

This plan will guide the newly formed Executive Committee that is taking over the transition management and comprises officers, assembly delegates, immediate past president, for 2018 the communications director as well.

This team will take over for the ad hoc Transition Steering Committee from 2017 and the Statewide Governance Committee in 2016 and hold a quarterly call to make decisions and measure progress.

The Transition Phase 2 action plan includes:

  • Strategic priorities summary
  • Proposed schedule and milestones
  • New organizational chart
  • New job descriptions
  • New manuals, along with volunteer and board training
  • Detailed activity and task recommendations
Phase Two: Big Projects

The Executive Committee will oversee six phase two projects in order to complete the smooth transition of three chapters into one chapter that’s built on operational and communications best practices.

The six big projects support the current strategic priorities:

Sustainable Systems

  • Integrated annual budget across programs to ensure cost effectiveness
  • Useful and ethical policies & procedures manual to steer volunteer-run operations
  • Revised bylaws approved by national to reflect the organizational and programming structure

Consummate Communications

  • Comprehensive marketing and communications plan that will include external and internal strategies, including considerations of how to deploy technology to unify members
  • Membership engagement survey to set a baseline for the chapter in 2018 and then enable regular feedback and measurement the “pulse of the membership”

Everybody Connects

  • New database tool for tracking membership engagement and relationship management
Changes, FAQ for 2018

The creation of next year’s priorities, projects and programs were all influenced by our Listening Tour where we learned ideas and input, plus heard concerns and barriers, directly from members.

We’ve integrated as much of our findings into the planning process as feasible for 2018, including these additional changes throughout the year.

January

With all 25 committee members committed, the Service team will provide volunteer orientations.

We will also host a virtual annual membership meeting.

Q: Why another annual meeting so soon?

A: Because currently our bylaws required an “annual meeting” hosted prior to Nov. 30 in order to elect a board, but the membership preferred an annual membership meeting as a “state of the union” to kick off the year. Once switched in 2018, then the next one will be January 2019. Elections will likely remain separate, administered remotely and electronically.

February

To reflect our broad geography, we will host quarterly, in-person board meetings around the region instead of monthly in-person board meetings.

Q: So the board will only meet 4 times?

A: Not quite. The Executive committee (comprising half the board) will meet quarterly and likely remotely,  the board will meet quarterly and in-person, and each of the six program committees (events, membership, service, advocacy, sponsorship, and communications) will meet quarterly and in-person ideally though perhaps more frequently via remote meetings, to make decisions and measure progress. That breaks down to about a monthly meeting and potential travel per board role, which seemed reasonable. Some will have more meetings if they also serve on a subcommittee.

April

We will start the nomination committee process earlier and hold the service draft in June to nominate board members, followed by the service draft in August to nominate committee members.

Q: Why start so soon in the year?

A: The nominating, recruitment and commitment process is a long one. So that board members can be elected prior to the PRSA International Conference, as and if amended in our bylaws, we need to start sooner than July like in the past.

 Phase You: Getting Involved

Throughout the year and during the Listening Tour, we’ve consistently heard how excited members are about the changes, process and progress. Our unofficial motto this year has been: “it takes a village.”

So, how can you help out next year?

  • Host a board meeting at your office
  • Suggest or introduce contacts at a destination venue for CommCon or Spotlights
  • Work with the events team to set up a tour at a local media outlet
  • Volunteer — one-time events, self service, currently open roles (check out our writer opening) or suggest something else!

Those are just a few starter ideas, we’d love to hear more. Please reach out to listening@prsaoregon.org.

Above And Beyond

Personally, I’m very proud of the Transition Steering Committee team:

BeverlyDaveDavid, ElisaJillLilyLoralynMaritzaMarkMeganSiobhan, TaylorTracey, and consultation from Colby and Brian – what we accomplished and the connections we made in the process with so many members around the region.

Instead of monthly conference calls, this team opted to meet in-person every month, offered up their offices to host (with AV and snacks!), and stayed well past the scheduled meeting time every month in order to plan effectively and execute comprehensively because, in their words’, “the work was just too important.”

We knew what an honor it was for the membership to entrust the Transition Steering Committee, in consultation with board, with the mission to smoothly integrate three chapters into one.

We feel confident that this founding year set a strong foundation for future leaders to meet the chapter’s and profession’s needs going forward. Vision 2020, here we come!

Yours in Service,
Julie

Julie Williams, APR, MA
2018 PRSA Oregon President-Elect
Transition Steering Committee Chair
Outreach Task Force Co-Chair

Meet the 2018 PRSA Oregon Leadership

2017 was an historic year of becoming PRSA Oregon – connecting with and understanding our community so that we can offer more robust programming and regional networking that best serves members across Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Representative Leaders with Geographic Diversity

In accordance with chapter bylaws the 20-person Nominating Committee assembled an outstanding slate of candidates from across the region to lead the future of PRSA Oregon.

This slate represents our members from all over the region, including Aloha, Beaverton, Corvallis, Eugene, Gearhart, Gresham, Lake Oswego, Portland, and Salem, various industries, including nonprofit organizations and foundations, healthcare, government, higher education and PR agencies, eight APRs, five past presidents and one Fellow PRSA, as well as members at every stage of their career from new to seasoned pros.  

Here is the leadership team who will steer PRSA Oregon throughout 2018 as we move from transition to transformation when elected by the chapter membership.

The objective of each role is listed after each position nominee and followed by a statement about what’s important to them next year.

Executive Committee

President & Executive Committee Chair (Officer) Brian Terrett, APR (Portland)

To successfully motivate and lead the PRSA Oregon Chapter and its Board of Directors in fulfilling its stated purpose: advancing the profession of public relations and strengthening and maintaining the highest standards of ethical conduct by all members.

“Somewhere in the state there are PR pros who feel completely isolated. What I want by the end of next year is I want them to feel supported and feel like they belong to a organization that can address whatever needs they have.”

Secretary/President-Elect & Nominating Committee Co-Chair (Officer) – See FAQ #2 below

To lead all internal operations of the Chapter in order to gather the insight and skills necessary to succeed to the office of President in the next fiscal year; and to keep records of Chapter materials, including a written record of all board meetings, chapter activities, board motions and policy decisions.

Interim Secretary (Officer) Tracey Lam, APR (East Portland)

To lead all internal operations of the Chapter; and to keep records of Chapter materials, including a written record of all board meetings, chapter activities, board motions and policy decisions.

“I’m excited to continue the work of the 2017 board and transition team to develop an even stronger and cohesive operation for our members.”

Treasurer (Officer) Siobhan Taylor (Lake Oswego)

To successfully forecast, budget and monitor the PRSA Oregon revenues and expenses to ensure that the chapter remains viable.

“The most important challenge I will have is being the wise steward our resources in the manner of our current Treasurer Dave Thompson. Dave’s done the heavy lifting, it will be my responsibility to ensure our continued accountability.”

Immediate Past President Colby Reade, APR (Aloha)

To serve as an informational resource to the chapter President and Board of Directors of the PRSA Portland Metro Chapter. The Past President is an ex-officio member of the Board. As Assembly Delegate, to interact with the PRSA Oregon Chapter Board of Directors regarding voting issues at the National Assembly and to make voting recommendations to the chapter Board.

“2017 was a monumental year for PRSA Oregon as we transitioned from three chapters to one. With the initial phase of our transition complete, 2018 will be a critical year. I look forward to helping the board cement new traditions, identify the most efficient ways to connect with members and provide whole new opportunities for professional development.”

Assembly Delegates

To provide leadership and support as well as guidance to the PRSA Oregon Chapter Board of Directors for operational decisions. Our delegate role also includes representation and making make voting recommendations regarding national governance issues at the PRSA Leadership Assembly.

Assembly Delegate #1 – Gail Dundas, APR (Gearhart)

“Having served PRSA as an Assembly Delegate many times in the past, I look forward to stepping back into the arena to ensure equal representation locally and nationally.”

Assembly Delegate #2 Dianne Danowski-Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA (Beaverton)

“Oregon’s PRSA presence is one of the strongest among PRSA chapters around the country. We’ll continue to provide strong and skilled leadership at the national level and strengthen our reputation as a key voice in local, regional and national governance.”

Assembly Delegate #3Julie Manning, APR (Corvallis)

“After 32 years in the profession and as a long-time member of PRSA, I would look forward to reflecting the views of our chapter as an Assembly delegate.”

 

2018 PRSA Oregon Board of Director Nominees

Click image to see in full screen for better legibility. Roles are also listed in order of display in Organizational Chart for easier navigation.

Directors-at-Large & Committee Chairs

Events DirectorVictoria Wagner (Portland)

To oversee planning of cost-effective and engaging chapter events that align with Chapter goals and strategic plans.

“I’m humbled by the opportunity to create events that will encourage participation from members statewide. My focus is overcoming the challenge of diverse locations and ensuring every member can participate and be involved.”

Membership DirectorSally Ridenour, APR (Salem)

To successfully lead the PRSA Oregon Chapter’s membership retention and growth through a focus on member services, recruitment and relationship building.

“I’m excited to get to know PRSA members, especially new members or soon-to-be new members across the state. With our new statewide chapter, this is a great opportunity to turn the old song ‘Make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold…’ into reality.”

Service Director & Nominating Committee Co-Chair Casey Boatman (Eugene)

To successfully staff the PRSA Oregon Chapter’s volunteer service needs through a focus on recruiting and retaining an engaged volunteer work force through meaningful service.

“I’ll use my Service Director role to encourage service with PRSA Oregon to talented PR and communication professionals over the next year. An engaged membership is key to the growth and success of our Chapter.”

Advocacy DirectorErin Merz, APR (Portland)

To contribute to public discourse on issues that affect the profession directly and those that impact free and open communications within our community.

“I’m excited to elevate PRSA Oregon’s aptitude for advocacy. In particular affirming our role as a trusted, valued resource and partner in the business community.”

Sponsorship Director Michael Lewellen, APR, ABC (Portland)

To assist the chapter President in all activities necessary to successfully lead the PRSA Oregon Chapter through a focus on attracting and retaining chapter sponsors.

“I look forward to connecting other organizations and corporations with our chapter’s vast network of members, along with the broader communications community, to find mutually beneficial ways to support awareness, resources and engagement.”

Communications DirectorJudy Asbury, APR (Portland)

To successfully lead the PRSA Oregon Chapter’s communication efforts to keep members, prospective members, community members, partners, sponsors, and the media informed of and engaged in Chapter activities and influence.  

“I am excited by our key challenge: to create a web of communications that keep PRSA members throughout the region informed, engaged and feeling part of the chapter, no matter where they live.”

 

2018 Slate FAQ

  1. How were these candidates selected?

The Nominating Committee was chaired by both President-Elect Julie Williams, APR, and Service Director Taylor Long to best utilize our volunteer talent. The 20-person Nominating Committee was composed of the entire 2017 board and eight members at large giving broader visibility to the process and casting a wider net.

We used a new process for the Nominating Committee this year to “draft” members, aligning the strengths and resources each member has to offer with roles that directly support their professional development goals. All nominees met the qualifications for the role per the job description. We drafted all chapter leadership nominees, as well as all committee roles, from our members talent pool, adding even more value to your membership.

  1. Why is the Secretary/President-Elect role vacant? Why are those roles combined now? And, when will there be a candidate for this position?

The Nominating Committee completed a rigorous search for this role including outreach to six members who were considered qualified candidates, none of which were able to serve at this time.

The roles were combined because the Secretary role has evolved to be point-person on chapter operations, which aligns perfectly to best prepare the President-Elect for the presidency. The two job functions can be completed without adverse effects on the chapter or significant increase in the amount of time required from the Officer. Read the full job description here.

We hope to finalize this role within the new year, so that the board can vote and elect this role per our bylaws as soon as possible. Due to the new status and broader scope of our organization, finding the right fit is critical. We are continuing to explore options and welcome candidates to apply. Until we have a candidate, Tracey Lam, APR, will serve as Interim Secretary, carrying on her 2017 role and transition efforts developing our Policies & Procedures.

  1. How can I vote?

As a member of PRSA Oregon, please cast your vote by completing the electronic ballot.

  1. When does voting end?

Voting will close on Nov. 7, 2017.

  1. When will the results be announced?

The elected slate will be announced on Nov. 8 at the 2017 Annual Membership Meeting & Elections, held virtually via webinar to ensure accessibility to all members. Register directly for the webinar here.