We’re All Ears: PRSA Statewide Listening Tour Visits Portland

Portland members participated in an energetic brainstorming session on March 14 to explore how PRSA Oregon should evolve now that it’s a statewide chapter.

The conversation, moderated by Outreach Committee Co-Chairs Julie Williams, APR, and Siobhan Taylor, focused on two big-picture questions: How are we better as a statewide organization?  What can be done to overcome geographic distance between members?

Collecting input on these and other questions is the goal of the PRSA Oregon Transition Steering Committee’s listening tour that will include discussions in Eugene and Salem in April. By opening up a statewide dialogue to share ideas and vet concerns, leadership will be better equipped to ensure the newly formed chapter is off to a strong start.

Three themes emerged from the Portland discussion:

  • More Access, Knowledge: A statewide chapter provides huge potential for members to be enriched by a more diverse professional network that also includes a presence on college campuses. As one participant put it, members throughout the state are likely dealing with different types of clients and issues that provide learning opportunities.   
  • Active Network: To fully reap the benefits of a statewide professional network, PRSA Oregon will need to create a mix of quality touch points for members to share ideas virtually as well as face-to-face. This discussion, in particular, generated a lot of energy. Participants said they want social events as well as problem-solving opportunities through online forums. There was widespread support for exploring how a pilot of PRSA Oregon leadership’s collaboration on Slack might be expanded to enable members to communicate.
  • Representative Leadership: Finally, there was consensus that members from all parts of Oregon and Southwest Washington, as well as all phases of career development, must continue to be represented in the chapter’s leadership. Ensuring diversity in decision-making has been a priority of the PRSA Oregon board, led by 2017 Chapter President Colby Reade. Reade also chaired the 2016 Nominating Committee which selected leaders to oversee the merger planning and execution.

While they won’t be attending future feedback sessions in person, Portland-area members who participated in the discussion were keen on hearing what others from around the state have to say. By learning from each other about new ways to work, we can “set new standards,” and “advance the profession,” one participant said.  To that end, PRSA Oregon can develop solutions that could be useful for chapters throughout the North Pacific District (spanning from southern California to Alaska) as well as throughout the country.

To learn about future listening tour discussions, look for posts on the PRSA Oregon blog. You may also share your feedback by contacting listening@prsaoregon.org.

Words from PRSA Member – Kate Virden

I recently moved back to Oregon after pursuing a Master’s in Public Relations and Corporate Communications at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. It was an incredible program and experience, but I was more than ready to be reunited with the pacific northwest and friendly people again. The friendliest people I have ever met are part of PRSA-Oregon.

In grad school, PRSA membership was a revered aspect that led to job opportunities and professional growth. I knew I wanted to be a member of the national and local chapter as soon as I had the chance.

My chance came when I started working at University of Western States, an integrated health care university in NE Portland as the Content Strategist. The university paid for both memberships just one day before my 24th birthday, which was a better present than I had dreamed of and a great way to kick off my new job.

Since becoming a member, I have had the opportunity to hone my social media skills by running the PRSA accounts at the Spotlight Awards last year. I was asked to be the Volunteer Coordinator for this year to help recruit new volunteers and get them just as excited about PRSA-Oregon as I am. This group of individuals are some of the nicest and hard-working individuals I have ever met with a strong dedication to service.

As a new professional in Portland, this is a group you do not want to miss out on. Hope to meet you soon!

Kate Virden

Becoming PRSA Oregon Listening Tour Visits Members

As we become PRSA Oregon this year, merging membership from around the state with the majority from Portland, Salem and Eugene chapter hubs, we want to understand your pressing needs and concerns and get to know more of our members.

So, this spring, we’re coming to you! Membership Director Siobhan Taylor and President-Elect Julie Williams, APR, MA, will host the evening and morning visits and hopefully engage with you in a lively discussion.

Our goal: Give members at every stage of their career a chance to speak up about how a statewide chapter can best serve us all.

We’ll be visiting the former chapter hubs in March/April to hear your thoughts and then returning in June to share what we learned and our suggested plans for moving forward together as the founding members of PRSA Oregon.

In Eugene and Salem, we’re hosting a second session the next morning to make sure members with evening commitments aren’t left out.

Upcoming Becoming PRSA Oregon Listening Tour stops:

Portland: 3/14, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Rogue Ales & Brewery
Eugene: 4/4, 5:30-7 p.m. @ Falling Sky Pizzeria & Public House in University of Oregon student union
Eugene: 4/5, 7:30-9 a.m. at Starbucks in University of Oregon student union
Salem: 4/18, 5:30-7 p.m. at Willamette University
Salem: 4/19, 7:30-9 a.m. at Willamette University
Eugene: 6/3
Portland: 6/10
Salem: 6/17
We understand that not all of our members live conveniently close to our stops in Portland, Eugene and Salem. A lot of you live in or near Vancouver, Tualatin, Tigard, Beaverton or Hillsboro, to name a few.

If you’d like us to consider a stop in your community this spring, please contact listening@prsaoregon.org to see if we can arrange one!

This event series is free for members and refreshments will be provided.

Stay tuned on Twitter (@PRSAOregon), Facebook and Linkedin to learn more specifics about tour stops and about how to register.

PRSA Oregon Merger in Full Swing

If you’ve ever worked at a startup or started a family, you know that the first year is mostly about learning and making decisions to build a foundation for the future.

As of Jan. 1, 2017, the three local PRSA chapters in Oregon and Southwest Washington merged to form the PRSA Oregon Chapter, known nationally as the “Greater Oregon Chapter,” for the time being. Now we are busy creating a new and truly unified 501c6 nonprofit organization that serves the needs of all its members.

Steering Decisions and Direction

To get work under way, a 12-member Transition Steering Committee was appointed to develop an action plan. Led by 2018 PRSA Oregon President-Elect Julie Williams (me!), the committee includes board members with oversight of transition-related activities along with representatives who have institutional knowledge. Most important, this group also reflects the diversity of the combined chapters’ membership, both in terms of geography and the stages of their careers. A number of volunteers have also stepped up to help. (If you want to get involved, drop a line to volunteer@prsaoregon.org.)

Transition Team

The Transition Steering Committee includes:

  • Treasurer Dave Thompson, APR, who oversees chapter finances and accounting;
  • Secretary Tracey Lam, APR,  who handles operations, including policies and procedures;
  • Communications Director Beverly Brooks, who is in charge of rebranding and communications channels;
  • Web Strategist David Pan, who is guiding the new website; and,
  • Membership Director Siobhan Taylor, who leads member outreach including the upcoming Becoming PRSA Oregon listening tour.

Joining them on the team are the three chapters’ Immediate-Past Presidents, Jill Peters, Loralyn Spiro and Mark Mohammadpour, APR; John Mitchell, APR, Fellow, as a representative from last year’s Statewide Governance Committee (and 2017 Assembly Delegate); University of Oregon PRSSA President Maritza Rendon; and Student Affairs Director Megan Donaldson (2016 New Professional Award of Excellence recipient) to represent the transition from college to the profession.

transition-plan

The 2017 Transition Steering Committee meets monthly to discuss topics and provide guidance on transition-related activities as outlined in the Transition action plan.

First Quarter Momentum

In January and February, the team began rebranding our social channels, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as this newsletter. It outlined an interim Policies & Procedures manual, designed a listening tour to hear from current members (kicking off March 14 in Portland), started building the new website (hopefully fully launched by the Communicators Conference in May) and initiated 2016 tax preparation (for three organizations – yikes!). And that’s just a few of the many projects in progress that are important to the 2017 board’s overarching goals of streamlining operations, supporting recent college graduates and retaining our members.

Ensuring a smooth transition is also a priority for the board, but we’re realistic that some unexpected stuff will likely come up. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we get organized and hope to hear from you in person at a listening tour event.

Stay in the Loop

We promise to keep you up to date on progress through the newsletter and blog. And, we encourage you to keep us in the loop! Please email us at listening@prsaoregon.org with questions or any kinks you discover. We may take a few days to respond while we determine who can help, but we so appreciate the extra eyes and ears!

Yours,
Julie

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

Introducing the nominees for the 2017 PRSA Oregon board of directors

2017 will be a landmark year for PRSA in the state of Oregon as our three chapters merge to form PRSA Oregon. In accordance with chapter bylaws and after working closely with national and the membership of all three chapters (Oregon Capital, Greater Oregon and PRSA PDX), the 2016 nominating committee has assembled an outstanding slate of candidates to lead PRSA Oregon in the coming year.

Members of all three chapters will receive a separate, electronic ballot to cast their vote on the 2017 slate, but we wanted to provide a preview of this year’s candidates.

President,
Chief Executive Officer

President-Elect

Colby-Reade

Colby Reade, APR (bio)

JulieWilliams_022413

ulie Williams, APR (bio)

 

Immediate Past President

MarkMohamm_Web

Mark Mohammadpour, APR (bio)

jill_20peters_mar_202015

Jill Peters, APR (bio)

loralyn

Loralyn Spiro, APR (bio)

 

Treasurer and Chief
Financial Officer

Secretary and Chief
Operations Officer

Dave Thompson

Dave Thompson, APR (bio)

Tracey Lam

Tracey Lam, APR (bio)

 

Leadership Assembly Delegates

dds

Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA (bio)

johnmitchell_134a

John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA (bio)

Colby-Reade

Colby Reade, APR (bio)

JulieWilliams_022413

Julie Williams, APR (bio)

 

Directors-at-Large

beverly-brooks

Beverly Brooks (bio)
Communications

megan-h-donaldson

Megan Donaldson (bio)
Student Affairs

taylor-long3

Taylor Long (bio)
Service

olivia-mackenzie

Olivia MacKenzie (bio)
Events

amy-ruddy

Amy Ruddy (bio)
Sponsorship

siobhan-taylor

Siobhan Taylor (bio)
Membership

Join us for one of our virtual town hall meetings…

…by phone.

Just call (800) 406-9547 and enter conference ID 417149 for any of the dates and times below.

  • 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesday, August 24
  • 5 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 31
  • 12 to 12:30 p.m. Friday, September 16
  • 4 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, September 22
  • 7:30 to 8 a.m. Wednesday, September 28

…by Slack.

Just join the PRSA Oregon Slack team and post your question to the #townhall channel. One of our committee members will answer your inquiry.

Don’t use Slack? Here’s your chance for self-guided professional development!

Having trouble joining the Slack team? Slack is an invitation-only tool, and so we need to authorize your email domain to get you registered. Please email treasurer (at) prsapdx (dot) org with the email address you’d like to use, and we’ll get you the proper clearance. It’s like a decoder ring — but better!

…by email.

Please reach out with your questions to the committee chair at treasurer (at) prsapdx (dot) org. We’ll get back to you within three business days.