PRSA Oregon Shines at 2017 PRSAIcon

PRSA Oregon showed its “Revolutionary Leadership” at this year’s PRSA International Conference (#PRSAIcon), Chapter Leadership Rally (#PRSArally) and National Assembly (#PRSAdelegates) held in Boston, Mass., Oct. 6-10.

Ten PRSA Oregon members attended, two received industry awards, three advocated for members’ rights at Assembly and one networked with chapters from around the country at Rally, showing leadership within the organization, the industry and society. View a photo album on Facebook.

Here’s a recap of the highlights (in order of date):

Leadership & Networking at Rally – Oct. 6

President-Elect Julie Williams, APR, MA, joined representatives from nearly all 100 chapters, including the North Pacific District’s (NPD) 15 chapters from California to Alaska. During the Leadership Rally orientation for chapter leaders, Oregon chapter’s lessons learned from the chapter merger, new models for succession planning, career planning guide and membership engagement were in high demand. Chapter leaders, especially from larger 250-400 member chapters, sought Oregon’s materials, expertise and partnership. Julie made connections for the chapter with national board members and chairs, regional and district leads, along with leaders from Reno, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, Oklahoma City, Illinois, West Palm Beach, Minnesota chapters and more.

Oregon PRSSA Presence – Oct. 6-10

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has 25 chapters at colleges in the North Pacific District. The PRSSA conference was held concurrently, Oct. 6-10, and attended by six board members from the University of Oregon’s (U of O) chapter, led by PRSSA President and Oregon chapter committee member Lily Gordon. President-Elect Julie Williams, along with the students’ adjunct professors John Mitchell and Kelli Matthews, enjoyed seeing the Boston sights with the students and making introductions to PR pros across the country during #PRSAIcon networking events.

Elections & Voting Results at Assembly – Oct. 7

About 300 Assembly Delegates from 100 chapters around the country gathered on Saturday, Oct. 7, to discuss and vote on amendments to the national bylaws as well as hear results of the 2018 Board of Director elections, including Brad Hilliard, APR, serving as Assembly Delegate At-Large next year. Oregon sent President-Elect Julie Williams and two other seasoned delegates.

There was heated debate prior to and during Assembly about Amendments 1703 and 1704, including testimony from PRSA Oregon delegates, Dianne Danowski-Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA and John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA.

The result: upholding all district seats on the National board and rescinding 1704 by the board of directors (fairly unprecedented according to longtime delegates) to many cheers by delegates.

  • Amendment 1701 – APPROVED: Documents the Requirement for District Bylaws to Comply with National Bylaws was approved
  • Amendment 1702A – APPROVED (as amended): Change the term “public relations” to “public relations and communications” was approved
  • Amendment 1703 – NOT APPROVED: Eliminate requirement for District Representation Among Directors on the National Board
  • Amendment 1704 – TABLED: Allow the Board of Directors to Amend Bylaws

Industry Award Honorees – Oct. 8-9

During the PRSAIcon Opening Ceremony on Sunday and the Networking Luncheon on Monday, longtime PRSA members from Oregon were two of four practitioners recognized as industry leaders before thousands of peers and surrounded by their loved ones.

Louis (Lou) Capozzi, APR, Fellow PRSA, received PRSA’s Gold Anvil Award for Lifetime Achievement in Public Relations. Lou is semi-retired in Bend, teaches at U of O and credited the formative relationships that have shaped his career during his acceptance speech.

In addition to this year’s awards from our chapter for service and from the district for practitioner of the year, Dianne Danowski-Smith, received PRSA’s Paul M. Lund Award for Public Service. Dianne spoke about her cancer survival journey’s inspiration for starting a new nonprofit organization to help other patients, all while running her own PR firm in Portland and serving on the Oregon chapter board.

PRSAIcon Professional Development Opportunities – Oct. 8-10

PRSA Oregon member Ann Wylie presented on how to write for mobile reading and members* Lou Capozzi, Dianne Danowski-Smith, Kathy Hubbell, APR, Fellow PRSA, Barbara Kerr, APR, Fellow PRSA, Kelli Matthews, John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA, Sally Ridenour, APR, Tom Unger, APR, ABC, Fellow PRSA, and Julie Williams, attended many of the PRSAIcon keynote sessions and nearly hundred sessions related to the six tracks of industry trending topics: big data & measurement, integrated marketing communications, leadership & management, reputation management, tools & techniques and special interests.

Attendees noted that the sessions were informative, especially the case studies and new tools, though not overwhelmingly “revolutionary.”

Mark Your Calendars – 2018, 2019

Per the last couple years, Leadership Rally, Assembly and PRSAIcon will continue to be consolidated into one event next year and hosted in early October, 2018. The conference will be held in Austin, Texas, and even more exciting for the North Pacific District – it will be in San Diego, Calif. in 2019. As of publication, there was not information available on the PRSA website.

Tip: Travel, accommodations and conference registration are about $3,000. So, start saving up or budgeting for Austin and/or San Diego now!

*Attendance list is to our knowledge. We’d love to hear if anybody else from the chapter was in Boston that we missed.

PRSA Oregon Leadership Announcement

As many of you know, 2017 has been an incredibly busy, but also very successful year. CommCon 2017 was very well received, we piloted several new programs to serve our members, membership is up Year Over Year and we have successfully completed our merger to be one, statewide chapter.

All of that being said, we do have one more significant transition to come: President-Elect Julie Williams has decided to step down from the 2018 presidency at the conclusion of her 2017 president-elect term, so we will be voting in a new nominee as President during the Nov. 8 elections. Julie provides some context around this decision below and announced this news recently live on Facebook. Watch the post from Oct. 13 on our Facebook page.

I want to personally thank you for your continued support of PRSA Oregon. If I can answer any questions or provide any additional clarity, please do not hesitate to reach out.

– Colby Reade, APR, 2017 President, [email protected]

Note from Julie Williams, APR

As Colby notes, I will transition out of my role once the new board of directors is officially elected by the Annual Meeting & Elections on Nov. 8. This summer, I joined a small business accelerator program and started launching a new strategy retreat, amongst other products now in the works. As the business expands, I need to focus my passions there. Having to step back is a sad reality for me, though I am extremely confident about where our community is at and where it’s going. This year’s board and Transition Steering Committee has engaged members across the region and we have worked hard to set a strong foundation for the new, merged chapter. It was very clear during Leadership Rally in Boston last week that our chapter (and our district) continues to be a leader amongst our peer chapters with innovative models for engagement, service, and leadership. PRSA Oregon will continue to flourish next year – moving from transition to transformation – especially with our talented and well-trained volunteers who are coming on to lead in 2018. As an engaged member since 2010 and APR since 2014, I will continue to be one of our biggest fans! I hope you will join me in continuing to champion PRSA Oregon and support our new incoming president.

– Julie Williams, APR, 2017 President-Elect, [email protected]

Note from Brian Terrett, APR

When I arrived in Portland from Eugene in 2009, I was excited to get to know the members of the PRSA Portland Metro chapter. I joined the PRSA Greater Oregon chapter in 1997 and achieved my APR in 2001. I served in many roles on the chapter leadership team, which culminated with me having the honor of serving as chapter president. PRSA has been an important part of my professional life, providing me with an opportunity to grow my knowledge and skills and develop relationships with professionals around the country. I have been looking for a way to serve again, so when I was asked if I would serve as president of the newly formed statewide chapter, I quickly said yes. I am honored to help carry on the work of consolidation that began under the leadership of Mark, Colby and Julie. For those of you who don’t know me, I am currently the Director of Public & Community Relations for Legacy Health. Prior to this, I worked for PeaceHealth’s Oregon Region, US West and the City of Eugene. I have an MBA and a BA in Journalism. Again, I am honored to serve and look forward to meeting as many of you as possible over the common year.

– Brian S. Terrett, APR, 2018 President Nominee

Please Save-the-Date and join us online for our 2017 Virtual Annual Meeting & Elections on Nov. 8, 2017 at 6 p.m. PST via webinar. More information on registration and webinar access will be provided soon.

 

Taraneh Fultz, APR, Named 2017 Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award Winner

Based on exceptional nominations, the Oregon chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is proud to announce Taraneh A. Fultz APR, as the winner of the Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award.

Inspired by the legendary Olga M. Haley, a public relations professional known for her role as mentor and career guide, this award is given to a PRSA Oregon Chapter member who demonstrates exceptional mentorship and supportiveness of others as they advance their careers in public relations.

“Taraneh Fultz is an incredible mentor because she is an incredible cheerleader,” said Colby Reade, APR, PRSA Oregon President. “In the many years of service to PRSA Oregon, it has been my pleasure to know her, Taraneh never stops rooting for the people around her. Particularly for new professionals, she is constantly looking for ways to help her colleagues develop and grow by offering her wisdom and guidance.”

A current senior field analyst at Cambia Health Solutions, Fultz has over ten years of experience in the public relations field, working in a variety of marketing and communications positions. Her passion for strategic planning is only enhanced by her hunger for a challenge and strong desire to see herself, and those around her, succeed.

“In a world of 140-character tweets and bite-sized content, Taraneh has always taken the time and patience to go deep with her colleagues. She focuses on helping other professionals grow by investing her own time in providing context, background and careful direction to ensure her colleagues are positioned to succeed. Our chapter and our industry are far stronger today because of her contributions,” said Reade.

Fultz will be formally presented with the award at the PRSA Oregon Spotlight Award ceremony on October 20 at the Willamette Valley Country Club. For ceremony and ticket information, please visit prsaoregon.org.

College of Fellows

The pinnacle of a professional career

Barbara Kerr, APR, Fellow PRSA, and David Remund, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, are two of the newest members of the PRSA College of Fellows. They are among 15 PRSA members who were approved by the PRSA Board of Directors for acceptance into the organization’s prestigious College of Fellows in 2015.

“Each year, we are honored to review the extensive and impressive careers of candidates for the PRSA College of Fellows, and are reminded of the hard work it takes to achieve excellence and longevity in the public relations profession,” said PRSA 2015 National Chair Kathy Barbour, APR“I thank each and every new Fellow for their dedication to the profession and to the Society.”

These distinguished Chapter members have been inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows:

  • Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA; Vice President, Publix Northwest PR & PA;
  • Kathryn D. Hubbell, APR, MS, Fellow PRSA; Owner, Adscripts, Inc. & Adjunct Professor, Marylhurst University;
  • Barbara Kerr, APR, Fellow PRSA; Chief Communications Officer, Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Ministries Corporation;
  • David L. Remund, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA; Assistant Professor, University of Oregon;
  • Tom Unger, APR, ABC, CTM, Fellow PRSA; Regional Communications Manager, Wells Fargo; and
  • Mara Woloshin, MA, APR, Fellow PRSA; Principal, Woloshin Communications 2.0

Oregon members of the College of Fellows also include Louis Capozzi, APR, Fellow PRSA, adjunct professor at Baruch College in Bend; John Charles Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA, adjunct assistant professor at the University of Oregon in Eugene; and Joette Getse Storm, APR, Fellow PRSA, of Bend.

Founded in 1989, the College of Fellows is a community of less than 350 senior PRSA members who have successfully advanced the public relations profession and distinguished themselves through their leadership in the public relations industry.

In order qualify for admittance into the College of Fellows, the public relations practitioner or educator must have at least 20 years of experience, hold the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential and have demonstrated exceptional capability and accomplishment in the practice or teaching of public relations. College of Fellows members also must exhibit personal and professional qualities that make them role models for other practitioners or educators. Less than two percent of PRSA members are accepted into the College of Fellows.

To learn more, email us at [email protected]

Nicole Early Named 2017 PRSA Oregon New Professional Award of Excellence Winner

The Oregon Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is proud to announce that Nicole Early has been selected as the 2017 New Professional Award of Excellence recipient.

Presented to a “rising star” in the industry in Oregon, the New Professional Award of Excellence honors a chapter member who has entered the field of public relations within the past five 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.

A recent graduate of the University of Florida, Early has already made a significant impact on the professional community in the first years of her career. She currently serves as an Account Manager for Pac/West where she works tirelessly to drive communications on behalf of community-focused organizations and healthcare and education clients.

Outside of her day job, Early is very active in the community. A regular volunteer for PRSA Oregon, she has been instrumental in developing key resources for several chapter events and publications. An active member of her community since college, Early is constantly looking for opportunities to grow while also helping those around her to develop and thrive.

“Nicole Early is a real gift to our chapter,” said Colby Reade, APR, PRSA Oregon President. “In her day job, she sets the standard for how we hope every young professional will approach their role. She is hungry to learn, she focuses on crafting her work to a gold standard and she is never afraid of tackling a new challenge.

“But no matter how hectic the day-to-day gets, she always makes time for her community. She has invested significant time in helping our chapter develop and roll out resources specifically designed to aid young professionals as they grow in their careers and is always willing to lend her voice to the discussion of how we can grow as a chapter. And this is on top of the work she is already doing with several other community organizations. We are so proud to count her among our members.”

Early will be presented with the award at the 2017 Spotlight Awards on October 20 at the Willamette Valley Country Club.

For event details and ticket information, please visit prsaoregon.org.

 

John Mitchell Named 2017 William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Distinction marks more than three decades of service to the public relations community in Oregon

Following a rigorous judging process, the Oregon chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is proud to announce that John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA, has been awarded the William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award for 2017.

Named for one of the foremost figures in the history of the profession in the state of Oregon, this award is given to a PRSA Oregon Chapter member who has invested significantly in developing public relations as a credible profession, accomplishing landmark professional achievements and furthering the goals of PRSA.

A lifetime Duck, Mitchell has served the public relations community as an instructor at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications for more than 30 years. For much of that time, he has invested additional time outside of his regular class load to serve as an advisor to student-run organizations such as the PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America).

In addition to his teaching, Mitchell established an exceptional reputation in the public works sector, supporting strategic communications for the Eugene Water and Electric Board. At his retirement from EWEB, Mitchell held the distinction of serving as the longest tenured communications team member in the organization’s 100-year history.

Mitchell has also been a dynamic force for change and development within PRSA as an organization. He has served as a senior leader within the governance of the PRSAGreater Oregon Chapter for many years, including regular board service (the PRSAPortland, PRSA Oregon Capitol and PRSA Greater Oregon chapters merged under the PRSA Oregon umbrella earlier this year). He has also helped raise the voice of Oregon’s PR community to a regional level while serving as the North Pacific District Chair, and the national level where has represented the state as a delegate at the organization’s National Assembly.

“The William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award is really the pinnacle for the members of our chapter,” said Colby Reade, APR, PRSA Oregon President. “If you look back at the history of this award and some of the names that have been recognized, you can see that this honor is only presented to those in our profession who show up every day, focus on setting an ideal example for how a communications professional should operate, but also look for ways they can grow the profession, help their peers and aid young professionals in their growth.

“John Mitchell epitomizes what this award stands for. He has worked tirelessly for decades to advance the image of what a stellar public relations professional should be and has modeled that for countless students who have come through his classroom. Our chapter, our profession and our community are far stronger today because of his contributions and we are proud to have him as a member.”

Mitchell will be formally presented with the honor at the PRSA Oregon Spotlight Award ceremony on October 20 at the Willamette Valley Country Club. For ceremony and ticket information, please visit PRSA Oregon.

Change is in the air!

We’re wrapping up transition activities going from 3 chapters to 1 this year very soon. That means we are archiving site content this month and then redirecting the former chapter’s sites to our new site as of Oct. 31.

Old sites and pages may still show up in your search, but you’ll be redirected to prsaoregon.org.

Email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Secretary/President-Elect Application

During this year’s Listening Tour, members said:

“we need to make sure that everyone has a voice at a table” with responsibilities that make a difference for anyone, anywhere.

And that starts with our chapter leadership.

Call to Service

This year all members were considered for service as we piloted a new model. To ensure we have the broadest representation of voices, we are offering a unique opportunity to step up and apply for the 2018 Secretary/President-Elect role, helping build and lead the future of PRSA Oregon.

Application opens Sept. 25, 2017, and closes on Oct. 4, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. PST.

New Role

We’ve steamlined the two roles together as part of a revised Organizational Chart to better serve the statewide chapters’ needs. Of the 12 leadership roles for members seeking strategic planning and management experience, the Secretary/President-Elect will yield some of the most significant results.

Now, this role offers hands-on experience in the chapter’s operations that will better inform strategic planning and ease the presidency transition. View the Secretary/President Job Description.

Secretary/President-Elect requirements:

  • Due Paying Chapter member
  • APR or accreditation completed prior to 2019
  • Previous Chapter, District or Section leadership experience (anywhere in U.S) or previous nonprofit board leadership in lieu of PRSA experience
  • At least 5 years’ industry experience

Members say that serving the chapter has helped them get jobs, get connections and get training – and that now applies across all of Oregon and SW Washington.

You are invited to apply for the role of PRSA Oregon Secretary/President-Elect.

Applications are due by 10/4/17, 11:59 p.m. PST.

 


Qualified applicants will be considered and a vetted applicant will proceed to a nomination with approval of the nominating committee. Elections for next year’s leadership are coming up soon in November so that leaders and committees can hit the ground running on Jan. 1, 2018.

Not interested in leadership, but lots of offer? Contact [email protected] to express your interest in volunteering next year.

Don’t just join, join in!

Some notes about ethics, during ethics month

by Kathy Hubbell, APR, Fellow PRSA

September is ethics month, and as with most of you, I feel a bit overwhelmed by the ethical problems we are seeing all around us. I wasn’t sure where to begin with an article about our ethical challenges and responsibilities as public relations professionals. Talking about the small challenges we face each day – Should I fudge on my time sheet to look better? Should I score points with the client by saying yes, I can pretty well guarantee this social media campaign will work? – seemed a little like rehashing old territory. We’re people who have signed onto our PRSA Code of Ethics. We’re supposed to know this stuff.

But what happens when you become aware of wrongdoing in your own organization or in a client’s organization? Should we blow the whistle, and if so, how and when? What will be the consequences to us personally?

Two good friends and colleagues, Dr. Cary Greenwood, APR, Fellow PRSA, and Mary Beth West, APR, Fellow PRSA, have written about what it is to be a whistleblower, and when to quit the battle.  Greenwood conducted a study titled “Whistleblowing in the Fortune 1000: What practitioners told us about wrongdoing in corporations in a pilot study” which appeared in the Public Relations Review (Volume 41, Issue 4, November 2015, Pages 490-500). She found that just under half, about 44 percent, of the respondents knew about some kind of wrongdoing, and of those, about two-thirds had reported it. The greater majority, 81 percent, said that reporting wrongdoing was not part of their job.  Nearly a third of those who reported and were identified suffered some form of retaliation.

West wrote on her blog, just this week, about her own experience as a whistleblower. In “What is your Whistleblower Threshold?” she described her experience in an unexpected role herself that she self-describes as investigative journalist and activist. I remember following her tale earlier in the year on her Facebook posts. She was, as always, clear and articulate, but had a seemingly intractable foe. She ended her post saying, “Survival mentality dictates that you cut your losses when you finally decide you’ve stopped caring – or the thing you cared so much about which prompted your whistleblowing is no longer worth caring about to the extent of the pain being inflicted by those who feel threatened by your challenges to their actions, over an organization that they – after all – largely control.”

Because her battle caused her enormous personal and professional pain, I can understand that last paragraph.  There comes a time when you wonder if the battle is still worth it.

There are also some battles that go on for years.  Since 2000, I’ve been involved in a whistleblowing effort as part of a protest against the military’s mandatory, experimental anthrax vaccine. I got involved when my son, then in the Air Force, was required to take the first three shots in the series, saying back then that they’d “just done that to the wrong mother’s son.” During the first few hours that I researched the vaccine online, I wasn’t alarmed. There were lots of reassurances that it was both safe and effective. Eventually, however, the truth began to surface. The Pentagon had asked the manufacturer of the vaccine which veterinarians use for cows and sheep – called the cutaneous or “of the skin” anthrax vaccine – to reconfigure it so that it could be used against aerosolized, or air-borne anthrax. The manufacturer did. The Pentagon used the new vaccine – without researching it, although in all fairness you can’t exactly spray people with anthrax and hope the vaccine works – and without testing or licensing it. It was experimental, and mandatory. To make matters worse, the manufacturer falsified the expiration dates on some lots of the vaccine; used vaccine that had become contaminated; and changed it once again without notifying the FDA.

I went to D.C. to hear testimonies before Congress from service members and veterans. With the help of the pilots leading the effort and many professionals lending their services pro bono, I formed a national group. I went back to D.C. twice to walk the halls of Congress, educating any staffer who would listen about the dangers of the anthrax vaccine. I wrote a “friend of the court” brief for a lawsuit. For a time, the vaccine was declared illegal. That lasted about two years. Then the FDA declared it to be legal, and that was that. These days, the number of shots has been reduced, the vaccine is supposedly safer, and I’m not aware of the same number of complaints. I’m mostly aware of people wanting to know how they can refuse the vaccine (if ordered to take it, they can’t.).

One of my fondest memories is from a radio interview I gave shortly after 9/11. If you’ll recall, there were post office workers in D.C. who received anthrax spores in the mail, and thanks partly to some members of our group, they had the sense to refuse the vaccine and insist on antibiotics instead (Cipro was the recommended drug at the time.). The radio station was somewhere in Ohio, and the announcer asked me if I wouldn’t want to take the vaccine if there were a threat of aerosolized anthrax. “No,” I said.  “You can actually recover from anthrax, but you can’t recover from the effects of the anthrax vaccine.” First time I’ve ever heard “dead air” for about a full minute on the radio.

My son is long since out of the military, and is just fine. He’s a pilot now, flying cargo for a company in Utah. As for me, I run a website at http://mvrd.wordpress.com , which is being redone. I discovered I can’t emotionally handle talking every day to the veterans whose health has been severely compromised or even destroyed by the vaccine. I was constantly crying for their suffering and for their country’s betrayal (this also happened in Australia and Great Britain, just FYI). But because a lot of those men and women became good friends, and because I’ve watched these last 17 years as they’ve sometimes made progress, and sometime just endured, I keep the website going.

Three of the major things I’ve learned from my own activist years are these:

  1. If you repeat something often enough and long enough, people really do believe it. No one checks the source documents anymore. The fight against half-truths, lies, alternative facts and fake news can never be dropped.
  2. If something affects people personally, they will speak out and often take action. It was because of my son that I got involved. It was because of her own battle that Mary Beth West spoke out this week. It was because she had been a whistleblower and suffered retaliation herself that Cary Greenwood changed the course of her career and became a nationally renown researcher and instructor in the field.
  3. Even if you don’t have a job at stake, which I didn’t, there can still be negative consequences to your activism. I had stepped out as a leader on the national stage concerning the anthrax issue, and as such was subjected to both intense criticism and conspiracy theories concerning my involvement – even from members of my own group. There was an incredibly painful transition when I stepped down. A lot of people who were furious that the group was disbanding had no interest in helping to run it or to contribute financially. Others were sure I had some evil intent, and spread lies all over the internet. The pain lingered for some time. Still, years later when the FDA (or someone) floated a proposal to test the anthrax vaccine on civilian children, there was a tremendous outcry and the attempt was shut down. I like to think we had something to do with that.

It is tempting and easy to turn a blind eye and say, “whistleblowing isn’t part of my job.” I’m sorry, but it is. If we are to be leaders in our profession — and I would submit that every single member of PRSA is a leader precisely because of our Code of Ethics — then we must speak out about ethics, and speak out constantly, all the time. A fear of retaliation is a genuine fear: we can’t afford to lose a job, to risk not supporting our family, to see our own reputations trashed. But sometimes we must take up the battle. If we turn a blind eye, we are part of the problem. Be authentic; be fair; be accurate; be transparent. And most of all, be ethical.

Drafting Our Dream Team

Author: Julie Williams, APR, 2018 President-Elect

As I was committing to the presidency last July I had to think about the whole experience: what the merger would be like, how 2018 fit into vision 2020, and especially who I’d work with on the board.

Back then my first thought was pretty typical – recruiting my friends.

As we started validating the Service Draft idea as a new recruitment model for the Nominating Committee and getting traction last fall, I knew we were heading in the right, new direction though the significance didn’t quite hit me yet.

The revelation has slowly revealed itself this year.

New Perspective

We default to our friends, to those who are well known to us, because there’s trust. There’s shared values. There’s accountability. There’s respect. There’s care.

All things that grow through relationship.

I used to think it was necessary to cultivate these relationships personally – one by one.

Now I see that these relationship bonds do not rely on me personally, but can exist with the community. In this case, the PRSA Oregon community of members.

I trust the community. We have shared values. I feel accountable to the community. I respect the community. I care deeply about the community.

And I see now, that it doesn’t matter who I work with or whether I know them in order to do joyful, fulfilling, valuable work together that delivers results.

It’s not about who’s compatible with me, it’s about us all being compatible with what we’re trying to achieve.

If we all have matching levels of commitment, honor our needs, offer the best we can and share grace with each other, our work is achievable, mutually beneficial and fun.

Growing Community From Within

This new way is about building something together, not architecting it. Building teams that work, together.

We may be strangers to start and we might work very differently and we may occasionally get frustrated but we will grow into a team that takes care of us all.

Perhaps this is how everybody on our leadership team and in our committees already looks at their roles. My guess is many still see it the way I did – working with/for their friends and/or for themselves.

Heading into our Service Draft where we’ll draft 35 talented colleagues from our membership pool into roles that will help them grow professionally while helping our community and profession grow, the anticipation is ripe.

I expect that by the end of 2018, I’ll have a lot more friends in our community than I could have made on my own.

Now, I feel more eager than ever before to see who we’ll discover, who will lean in, who’s journey is in sync with ours as we grow PRSA Oregon into a fully engaged chapter for every member next year.