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.
by Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA
2018 was also an extraordinary year of governance at all levels of PRSA. In this year’s National Leadership Assembly in October, PRSA Oregon’s three delegates heard spirited debate from national leadership, delegates and members on important topics such as membership veracity and what improvements might be made in the Code of Ethics. The topic of what constitutes a member in “good standing” may seem obvious but many felt more refinement was needed on the topic. Also, conversations were had about what should be the proper policy if a member is found to have violated the Code of Ethics and what the outcomes might be. PRSA Oregon’s delegates participated and realized that changes were needed in our own chapter’s bylaws to comply with the national-level changes. Additionally our chapters’ merger also required key updates in our bylaws.
Additionally, our Nominating Committee wanted to ensure our bylaws do not impose any barriers to service in chapter committees, events and in leadership. Finally, there were some minor inconsistencies that needed to be reconciled. Thus, we are updating the bylaws with these changes. You will note the edits and suggestion revisions are in red and highlighted in yellow so you can follow along- see these suggested revisions submitted here for your approval.
Review the proposed Bylaws HERE
Creating New Pathways to Leadership in PRSA Oregon
by Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA
2018 has been an extraordinary year for our chapter. There were still growing pains from our statewide merger of three chapters becoming one and some board vacancies created opportunities for refocusing on priority strategies and important conversations. The Presidents’ Council (comprising 12 former chapter presidents) punched in to support the priorities and helped the evolving board to implement succession planning, engage new professionals, put on the amazing Spotlights Awards, and create relevant and much-needed professional opportunities. A huge amount of credit goes to the 2018 Board of Directors for managing this transition in amazing, self-directed ways. It speaks highly of the caliber of PR pros that lead our chapter.
So, when the PRSA Oregon Nominating Committee began the work several months ago, the committee knew it had big shoes to fill. The committee‘s strategic goals to:
- Cultivate awesome leaders who work in broad array of sectors, and are diverse in age, market, experience, and culture/ethnicity.
- Build on 2018’s great expertise with key returning board members Pete Donahue; Sally Ridenour, APR; Judy Asbury, APR; Colby Reade, APR; and Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA.
- Bring in smart pros who we can support strategic succession planning.
- This coming year, we are affirming our committee for the importance of accreditation, with nine board members (if elected) who are Accredited in Public Relations (APR).
2019 Proposed Org Chart
PRSA Oregon 2019 Board of Directors Election Details and Slate of Candidates
President – Julie Reed, APR
Julie Reed is a communications strategist and leader with experience working with government, healthcare and non-profit organizations. Reed serves as a community and public relations consultant for Legacy Health, Oregon’s largest locally owned nonprofit health system. She manages communications and public relations projects, media relations and serves as Legacy’s public information officer. Reed previously worked for Metro as a business strategy and public affairs manager. She served on the boards of Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce and Children First for Oregon.
A native Oregonian, Reed holds a master’s degree in leadership from Capella University, a bachelor’s degree in communications, and is accredited in public relations from Public Relations Society of America.
President elect – Brad Hilliard, APR
Brad Hilliard is the Public Information Officer for the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, the state’s largest consumer protection agency where he manages communications for the state insurance commissioner and regulator of financial products and services. His public relations career spans 11 years, serving as a public affairs specialist, government relations manager, media relations manager, and public information officer.
He received a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Middle Tennessee State University in 2000. He reached his goal of living in the Pacific Northwest when he moved from Colorado to Oregon in 2009.
Secretary – Andrea Watson, APR
Andrea Watson is strategic communicator with experience in communications, public relations, outreach, and resource development in the pubic, nonprofit and health care sectors. She joined the Tualatin Valley Water District in 2017 as the Communications and Public Affairs Supervisor. She previously worked for fourteen years as Communications Director at Reynolds School District, which provided many challenging opportunities in crisis and strategic communications, as well as event and volunteer management.
She holds a Master of Public Administration from Portland State University and a Bachelor of Science in community health education from the University of Oregon.
Treasurer – Gary Rubin, APR
Gary Rubin is the co-owner and global director of marketing and communications at Premium Organics, LLC, an international pet food company. He previously served as the Managing Director of Earned Media at CMD. He has more than 25 years of experience in public relations, marketing and communications and has won more than 30 PRSA Oregon Spotlight Awards during his career.
He earned his accreditation in public relations in 2008 and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Puget Sound.
Director – Judy Asbury, APR
Judy Asbury oversees and implements marketing communication strategy to promote the reputation of the Lewis & Clark Law School. Previously, she led Smith Asbury Inc., an award-winning communications agency for more than 25 years. She is recognized for her counsel and creative campaigns for clients in higher education, healthcare, financial, law, business, and nonprofits. Asbury created many B2B and B2C campaigns, earning awards from PRSA IABC, HPRMA, Davey Award and others. Judy is a skilled presenter and facilitator and has served as a guest lecturer at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University and at Woodbury University.
Director – Debra Carnes, APR
Debra Carnes is the communications and marketing director for the Columbia network of PeaceHealth, which includes hospitals in Vancouver and Longview. She relocated with her family from Seattle last June. Her career spans more than 25+ years in strategic communications, marketing, media relations and public affairs in the public and private sectors. She’s advocated for teachers statewide, provided PR consulting services for numerous companies, served as the communications director for a governor’s campaign, and managed critical communications challenges for a state bar association.
Carnes holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Idaho and an MBA from City University of Seattle. She was a member of the PRSA Puget Sound chapter and served on the board.
Director and Assembly Delegate – Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow
Dianne is a longtime PRSA devotee. In 2017, she was awarded the National Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Paul Lund Award for Public Service; the PRSA North Pacific District Practitioner of the Year and the PRSA Oregon Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award. She’s an experienced leader with a history of working in public relations, public affairs and communications and skilled in corporate communications, executive coaching, crisis management, nonprofit organizations, media advocacy, and social media strategy. She holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Oregon and certificate in e-commerce and marketing from Portland State University.
Director – Shawn Patrick Floss
Mr. Rogers knew it well, “The best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts.” Inspired by Mr. Rogers, Floss serves with great empathy and compassion helping to lead employee communications at TriMet. He works closely with senior leaders to develop strategy and drive engagement throughout the agency.
His storytelling background comes from more than 15 years as a television news anchor and reporter. His work included covering Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, the space shuttle Columbia explosion, and the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver that nominated President Obama.
Director – Patrick Holmes
Patrick Holmes leads internal communications at OHSU, a nationally prominent research university and Oregon’s only academic health center with over 16,500 employees and 3,500 students and trainees. In this role he oversees OHSU-wide internal communications strategies and channels as well as internal communications for OHSU’s hospitals and clinics.
Patrick earned a bachelor’s degree in social science at Portland State University, with an emphasis in communications.
Director – Jaimee Mayfield, APR
Jaimee Mayfield is the Human Resource Communications Manager for Multnomah County Health Department. Mayfield’s professional experience ranges from community service and public speaking to government and the nonprofit sector. As a versatile PR professional, Mayfield has progressive experience developing strategies that drive objectives and align with company values.
A native Oregonian, Mayfield received her bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in political science and global studies from Washington State University and a master’s degree in public relations from Michigan State University.
Director and Assembly Delegate – Colby Reade, APR
Colby Reade is the Director of Communications for the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. Colby regularly volunteers as a career mentor to young professionals, even hosting his own podcast on the subject (“Coffee with Colby”). A PRSA member since 2011, Reade joined the board of PRSA Portland in 2014 and helped oversee the chapter’s transition to PRSA Oregon as President in 2017.
When not in the office, Colby can be found attending Disney princess dance parties with his young daughter and indulging in the delicious culinary creations hand-crafted by his amazing wife.
Director – Sally Ridenour, APR
Sally Ridenour is an award-winning government communicator with a specialty in web-based communications. She currently works for the Oregon Department of Transportation as the chief content strategist. Prior to working for the state, she worked in sales and marketing.
She is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America. She is the 2018 membership director for PRSA Oregon and a committee member for the North Pacific District. Sally is a graduate of the University of Idaho. In her spare time, she enjoys entering recipe contests and going on adventures with her husband and dogs.
Director – Gina Williams
Gina Williams is a Portland-based marketing communications strategist, publicist and freelance journalist. She owns Carpe Verbum/Carpe Lumen Communications. Her clients include a statewide nonprofit advocacy organization, a creative focus camera lens manufacturer, and the Siena International Photography Festival in Siena, Italy. As a journalist, she focuses on photography and photographers internationally, as well as arts, culture and travel.
Williams holds a master’s degree in strategic communication from the University of Oregon and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. She has served as PRSA Oregon board secretary and volunteer with PRSA Oregon Communications Committee providing website support.
Past President – Brian S. Terrett, APR, Fellow PRSA
Brian S. Terrett is the Director of Public Relations and Community Relations for Legacy Health. He is responsible for strategic communications and reputation management for one of Oregon’s largest healthcare systems. Brian also served as the Director of Public Affairs & Communications for PeaceHealth Oregon Region and was the Community Affairs Manager for US West for Western Central Oregon.
Brian earned an MBA from Northwest Christian University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the Metropolitan State University of Denver. He earned his accreditation in public relations from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and was recently inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows.
Prioritizing Your Personal PR
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.
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.”)
By Vicky Hastings, APR
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.
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 [email protected]
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.
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.