PRSA Oregon’s premier annual professional development conference, CommCon 2019, will take place on Friday, May 3 in Portland.
Tickets at the EARLYBIRD rate will go on sale at the end of February…stay tuned!
PRSA Oregon’s premier annual professional development conference, CommCon 2019, will take place on Friday, May 3 in Portland.
Tickets at the EARLYBIRD rate will go on sale at the end of February…stay tuned!
As a member of a Maine Wilderness Rescue Team and an emergency medical technician, she hung by ropes off cliffs and carried the injured on litters down mountains.
As a cyclocross racer, she navigates barriers, jumps off platforms and sprints through mud and has won multiple state titles and a bronze medal in a national championship.
And last fall, Rhonda Morin, executive director of communications and marketing for Clark College Foundation in Vancouver, WA, achieved another goal: Accreditation in Public Relations (APR).
“I can fix your wheel, fix your public relations problem and fix your broken arm … all in the same hour,” Rhonda laughs. “I know how to help people in crisis.”
During her 20-year career in communications and public relations, Rhonda organized a trip for international journalists to Zimbabwe, where she witnessed elephants in the wild. She worked as a journalist for niche magazines and in corporate communications for Maine Public Broadcasting. Currently, she edits Clark Partners, a 28-page alumni magazine.
In 2015, she received the platinum/gold award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII for Best Practices in Fundraising Campaigns for Clark College Foundation’s $20 million campaign.
Why did Rhonda pursue APR at this stage in her career?
“Chuck Williams, APR, (PRSA Oregon’s APR guru) called me. He was kind, direct and persistent. ‘See you in February,’ he said.”
But Rhonda hesitated.
“I am curious and a lifetime learner. I have attended countless conferences and workshops in my career and thought I knew everything about public relations. I wondered what more I could learn. Plus, I’m a person who completes things. I hold my free time precious, and I knew the process would take time.”
After attending the APR orientation session, Rhonda knew she was in for the long haul.
“What I learned was above and beyond my expectations. The chapter’s APR sessions helped me put the puzzle pieces together. Everything I learned was applicable to my line of work.”
Rhonda set a deadline to complete the process. She worked on her oral presentation at work during down time.
“That process helped sharpen my presentation skills,” she notes.
To study for the APR computer exam, she hunkered down for three solid weekends and for a few hours after work for about four weeks.
“Fall is my busy season. I race almost every weekend. I gave up three races to study for the APR test. That’s a big deal to me,” Rhonda said.
Was it worth it?
“As soon as I told my supervisor I was pursuing my APR, my credibility went up tenfold. Colleagues started coming to me to ask high-level questions. My credibility is higher than ever,” she says.
But, she notes, with accreditation comes responsibility. “You are now the voice of ethics and reason. You need to say, ‘Wait. Why do we need this?’ when someone suggests a tactic. ‘What is the goal? What is the objective?’”
Rhonda encourages fellow PRSA chapter members with at least five years of experience to pursue APR.
“You are busy. You have family. You have obligations. I had races. You’ve got to fit it in,” she says. “If you are serious about your career, if you want to jump to the next level, if you want credibility, if you want to boost your confidence, APR is how you do it.”
APR Orientation: Saturday, Feb 16
PRSA Oregon offers a series of free Saturday morning classes to help chapter members prepare for and successfully complete the accreditation process. The course begins with an orientation session Saturday, Feb. 16, location to be announced. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more information.
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Oregon chapter seeks dynamic, engaging, and knowledgeable presenters for its Communicator’s Conference 2019 (“CommCon 2019”). This annual chapter event also serves as the Portland, OR-area’s premier strategic communications conference, and we invite you to submit a presentation proposal that would afford you the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise on a topic relevant to the audience.
Please go HERE for more information and to submit!
Submissions are due February 1, 2018, 5:00 p.m. PDT
CommCon will take place on Friday, May 3, 2019 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
DoubleTree Hotel, Lloyd Center Portland, Oregon
Theme: “Communicating Through Chaos”
Whatever the reason you volunteer – learning, networking, mentoring, career growth, social engagement, bettering the community, an overactive hypothalamus – it is, indeed more blessed to give than to receive.
Take it from your 2018 PRSA Oregon Chapter Volunteer of the Year.
“I volunteer for all these reasons and more,” said Madeline Turnock, APR, strategic communications and partnerships advisor for Concordia University-Portland. “I feel I’ve gained much more from PRSA than I’ve given, after more than 20 years of involvement with PRSA, earning accreditation, serving on the board and committees, attending events, paying annual dues, and taking more than one hiatus when life or family called.”
Turnock credits her employers, colleagues, and mentors along the way for supporting her. She also shared that this year’s seven-member Spotlight Committee was among the most rewarding experiences because each volunteer was clear about what they wanted to contribute and had time to contribute, followed through, and carved out time to get to know each other and support each other professionally.
No matter what your personal reasons may be for membership, participation, and volunteering in PRSA, continue to put your job and family first, and then take that effort one step beyond to advance the profession.
Thank you to all our PRSA volunteers for giving of their time, talent and treasure.
*Pictured at top: 2018 PRSA Oregon Volunteers in attendance at the November 28 Annual Meeting!
If you cannot attend, click HERE to join the meeting via webcast at 6 p.m.
Celebrate PRSA’s Oregon’s inaugural year as a statewide chapter. The PRSA Oregon annual meeting will take place Thursday, November 29 at the U of O Turnbull Center, 70 NW Couch St., Portland, OR 97209, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Agenda: Networking (5:30 to 6:00 p.m.); 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.: President’s remarks and board recognition, volunteer recognition, election results, and President-Elect’s remarks. Complimentary hors-d’oeuvres. FREE.
PRSA is a great place to learn about new trends in the field and meet others on the same journey. And being a part of the Oregon chapter can also present opportunities, such as those that two of our chapter’s long-term sponsors discovered while talking at this year’s Communicators Conference.
Craig Walker has managed FlashAlert Newswire for almost 40 years. 740 police, fire, school, city, state, military and general public relations organizations in the Portland TV market alone use FlashAlert—and it operates in half a dozen other markets. Just in Portland, FlashAlert disseminates more than 30 news releases each day, covering all media in the Pacific Northwest.
Mike James of Your News Inc. has worked in the media monitoring business for 21 years, going back to his Moba Media days. Police, fire, city, state, public utilities and public relation organizations in Oregon and across the United States use his monitoring service to discover what TV, radio, newspapers and online outlets ran your story.
Both companies have financially supported PRSA Oregon chapters for more than a decade.
Craig’s clients occasionally ask about monitoring. And Mike gets inquiries about local newswires. It was a match made in heaven: FlashAlert collects and distributes news while Your News Inc. tracks and provides a report of where it was used. They realized how well their services complement each other – with no overlap.
FlashAlert now has the ability to trigger media monitoring on a single story or everything that it posted. Your News Inc. sets up an account for you and then reports on where the story was aired, published or posted.
“It’s a great relationship, with FlashAlert taking clients from A to M, then Your News Inc. taking them from M to Z,” Craig says.
by Madeline Turnock, APRChair, PRSA Oregon Spotlight Awards & Past President, PRSA Portland Chapter
Strategic Communications & Partnerships, Concordia University-Portland
Thank you to all those who attended the PRSA Oregon 2018 Spotlight Awards! We were thrilled to recognize another year of premier communication campaigns and professionals in the presence of nearly 200 guests at the Multnomah Athletic Club on Nov. 7.
We showcased the excellent work of our Spotlight and Merit awardees, and recognized our four distinguished professionals with Awards of Distinction, including Mary Louise VanNatta, APR, Donna Z. Davis, Gary Withers, and Nicole Shaddy. Congratulations to newly accredited members Jaimee Mayfield, APR, and Rhonda Morin, APR, and to College of Fellows inductee: Brian Terrett, APR, PRSA Fellow.
We hope you enjoyed the photo booth images, and, in addition, click HERE for photographer Tim Horn’s professional images made available for free download. See the awards program and full list of award winners and honorees HERE. (View in 2-page mode for easier reading).
Thank you to all our PRSA Oregon volunteers, especially our Spotlight committee members – JoJoe Nujoy, Thelma Hale, Denise Fornberg, Meghan Zea, McKinsey Redmond, Vicki Guinn, Sally Ridenour, and Alyssa Giaimo.
If you missed this year’s event, we hope you’ll join us next year. In the meantime, visit us on social media @PRSAOregon and @prsa_oregon. Participation and membership in PRSA – advancing the profession, upholding our code of ethics, and honoring outstanding work – is more important and meaningful than ever. See you in two weeks at the Annual Meeting on Nov. 29.
We devote so much time and energy to building and protecting our employer’s reputation that our own personal brand can risk becoming the proverbial cobbler’s children with no shoes.
At the recent PRSA North Pacific District conference in Seattle, Nicole Leverich made the case for why it’s so essential to actively manage your personal brand. Nicole, who serves as senior director of corporate communications for LinkedIn, offered practical tips on how to strategically maximize your LinkedIn profile.
A current, carefully curated LinkedIn profile is practically a necessity at this point, whether you’re just beginning your career or are already established.
Nicole’s presentation opened the conference, and it came full circle on the last day during a breakout session led by Kelly Guenther and Chad Lakin of the video company Shootsta. Kelly is a video specialist, and Chad is Shootsta’s vice president for North America.
How to Maximize Your LinkedIn Presence:
1. Photo. Choose a professional-looking profile photo to help bring your page to life. Don’t forget to choose a custom background photo as well. If nothing springs to mind, a cityscape is always a nice option. A unique background photo shows that you’re being thoughtful with your image and aren’t passively settling for LinkedIn’s default blue photo.
2. Location. According to LinkedIn’s tips guide, including the city where you’re based makes you stand out up to 23 times more in searches.
3. Industry. Choose the appropriate industry category (e.g., “Public Relations and Communications” or “Marketing and Advertising”), so that people can easily identify your primary field of interest.
4. Summary. Think of your summary as your elevator pitch. It’s how you want to be positioned in the minds of prospective employers/clients/contacts. It should be at least 40 words in length.
5. Experience. You don’t want your LinkedIn profile to read like a résumé. Make the descriptions of your various roles more conversational vs. a bulleted list copied and pasted directly from your résumé.
6. Media. Upload photos, videos, presentations, and other non-proprietary work samples to showcase what you bring to the table. As Nicole noted, don’t feel like you need to have been the sole contributor to a project to share it on your profile. Most complex projects take a village, which people understand.
Finding impactful work samples to share when your primary focus is internal communications can be challenging. But as Nicole pointed out, most major internal campaigns have some external-facing element that can be representative of the project.
7. Education. Fill in your degree type, areas of study, and alma mater. LinkedIn members who list educational information on their profile receive up to 11 times more views, according to a company tips sheet.
8. Skills. You can pin up to three skills to highlight as top skills that appear prominently on your profile. Be thoughtful about which skills you choose, and how you order them. This will likely change throughout your career, so revisit this section regularly to make sure the emphasis is where you want it to be right now.
9. Endorsements. Skill endorsements are votes of confidence from other LinkedIn members. They lend credibility to your profile.
If your endorsements aren’t for the skills you want to highlight, ask people you’ve had positive working experiences with if they’d feel comfortable endorsing you for specific skills. You can offer to do the same for them.
Endorsement are quick and easy to give with the click of a button.
10. Recommendations. These are written statements from LinkedIn members endorsing you. They provide detail and context that skill endorsements do not. You can ask contacts for recommendations through LinkedIn, and you can also proactively give recommendations to others.
11. Volunteering. Employers like to see that candidates give back and make a contribution to their community. Be sure to add a section listing your volunteer experience. The causes you support help paint a picture of what you value.
12. Connecting and following. Best practice is to only connect on LinkedIn with people you actually know. But for people (or companies) you admire or want to get to know, following them is a great option. Following your organization’s competitors can also yield useful insights.
Nicole recommended following these influencers:
a. Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and co-founder of Microsoft
b. Jack Welch, executive chairman of the Jack Welch Management Institute
c. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group
d. Priyanka Chopra, actress and philanthropist
e. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn
13. Updates and publishing. Nicole likens LinkedIn updates to Tweets, and the publishing platform to blogging.
Updates (which can be photo or video as well as text) are a quick way to build your brand while sharing things you find interesting and hope others will too.
Publishing is long-form (4+ paragraphs) and should be reserved for deeper explorations of topics about which you’re passionate.
Anything you publish becomes part of your profile and is shared with your network, unlike updates. So that content should be workshopped and fine-tuned.
Nicole recommends setting as a goal 1-3 updates per week, and 1 published post per month.
In the Shootsta presentation, Kelly discussed the power of video – and how it’s easy to capture quality video on your smartphone using a few tips and tricks like the AE/AF lock, shooting horizontally, and investing in a tripod or gimbal for stabilization.
He encourages people to share video updates on LinkedIn. You can either record video directly through the LinkedIn app, or you can save it to your phone then upload it to LinkedIn.
14. Integrating with personal websites. Gone are the days of going to a job interview with a physical portfolio. More and more, companies want and expect to see a digital portfolio.
If you have one, integrate it with your LinkedIn profile. You can list your personal website’s URL in your LinkedIn profile, and you can link to your LinkedIn profile from your website. This creates a loop of information showcasing you and your work.
There are many different content management platforms, and each is different. With Squarespace, for example, you can add a social links block to your website that will display the LinkedIn icon and hyperlink to your profile. You can also choose to automatically push content you add to Squarespace to LinkedIn.
15. Check your settings. Check your LinkedIn account settings and adjust as desired. For example, you might not want your profile edits broadcast to your whole network. There’s also a feature you can enable that will discreetly let recruiters know that you’re open.
Additionally, you can customize your profile’s URL, so it’s something clean like www.linkedin.com/in/yourname.
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.
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.
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.
Work on phase one projects is nearly complete. As we wrap up in November, last steps are to:
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:
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:
We’ve integrated as much of our findings into the planning process as feasible for 2018, including these additional changes throughout the year.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Those are just a few starter ideas, we’d love to hear more. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personally, I’m very proud of the Transition Steering Committee team:
Beverly, Dave, David, Elisa, Jill, Lily, Loralyn, Maritza, Mark, Megan, Siobhan, Taylor, Tracey, 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 Williams, APR, MA
2018 PRSA Oregon President-Elect
Transition Steering Committee Chair
Outreach Task Force Co-Chair