PRSA Oregon’s tale of three cities

PRSA Oregon’s tale of three cities

Like the flavor-packed middle of a Bunk sandwich – a PDX favorite – bookended by two prominent flavors of their own, the robust market of Portland is flanked by our state legislature in Salem to the south and by a burgeoning waterfront in Vancouver to the north. As a statewide chapter, our PRSA members span the mid-valley and extend beyond the Columbia River, throughout Fisher’s Landing and Shumway and Felida neighborhoods.

Whether you are one of our 232 chapter members who toil in our Silicon Forest; as part of our recreational, sports and apparel industries; in our health care sector; or even among our big agricultural secret: hazelnuts, you have a community in and outside of Portland proper.

Keep an eye out for upcoming events hosted throughout Salem/mid-valley and Vancouver/SW Washington and for a monthly feature series highlighting the great work throughout Oregon and SW Washington in 2020.

Here’s to our neighbors to the south and to our neighbors to the north. Happy 2020!

All the best,

Liz and Jolene, regional co-chairs, SW Washington and Salem/mid-valley

Better Together

October is Global Diversity Awareness Month

October is Global Diversity Awareness Month
The public relations industry has continued to evolve with technology and time but now more than ever we must evolve our role as advocates. Global Diversity Awareness Month is a perfect time to reflect, equip and reassess how we can show up as allies that champion diversity through inclusive and equitable communications.
The PRSA Oregon Diversity and Inclusion Committee has created Actionable Tips and is hosting a Leadership DEI event on Oct. 28 to help equip members to craft more inclusive communications.


PRSA Oregon is Committed to Promoting Diversity and Inclusion

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee has jump-started our chapter’s efforts to build, foster and enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion within our communities. Their work focuses on the idea that the communication field is stronger and more effective when it reflects the broad diversity that exists in the United States. Visit the Committee’s web page to learn more about their work at

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee aims to:

1. Provide members with educational and professional diversity programming.
2. Diversify membership and areas of chapter participation.
3. Share diversity-focused resources for members and visitors.
4. Serve as a liaison to PRSA’s National Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

October is Global Diversity Awareness MonthPRSA Oregon’s Diversity Statement:

PRSA Oregon is committed to building a diverse, inclusive and equitable society. We understand and uphold these values as chapter members, through our work and while serving our communities. We believe this commitment will strengthen the public relations profession and help us thrive as individual practitioners.

Meet your 2019 Committee Members

Jaimee L. Fox, M.A., APR, Committee Chair, Director of Advancement
Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA
Nicole Early
Vicki Guinn, M.S.
Tracey Lam, APR
Erin Merz, M.A., APR
From Our President: A Great Start to 2019!

From Our President: A Great Start to 2019!

From Our President: A Great Start to 2019!It’s been a productive start to 2019 for PRSA Oregon’s board of directors. I’m excited about the enthusiasm, energy, and great work being done by the chapter’s leaders and committee volunteers.

The PRSA Oregon board just finished its 2019 strategic plan. That plan is a built around a vison of PRSA Oregon as a thriving statewide chapter.  It includes four priorities that will guide our work and investments this year: membership value, engagement, leadership and excellence.

One of the board’s most important priorities as a thriving statewide professional association is to serve our members and support their professional development. We are committed to delivering quality programs, events and activities that are relevant and timely, that serve your professional interests, and provide value for your investment. Especially important is to ensure the chapter’s professional development activities are accessible by members throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Our members want to build professional networks, belong to something larger, and to make a difference.  An old proverb says, ‘you reap what you sow.’ What you give to your career and profession comes back to benefit you. It means being seen and heard and getting involved.

Here are some options to consider:

  • Volunteer for a PRSA committee .
  • Volunteer for our signature Communicator’s Conference on May 3.
  • Make time to attend a PRSA event, meet new professionals, and grow your network.
  • Advance your skills through contributed articles for the chapter newsletter.
  • Share your wisdom and experience through PRSA Oregon’s professional mentoring or APR readiness review.

The chapter offers many ways for you to connect, be involved and make a difference. Take that next step! It will make a difference—to your career, to our chapter, and our professional community.

The board of directors is committed to effective leadership and being good stewards of our chapter resources.  We strive to be the best leaders we can be, to mentor emerging leaders, and to use continuous quality improvement to evaluate and adapt our practices for the best results for our members and the organization.

Join us in advancing your career and helping to make this a great year for PRSA Oregon and the communities we serve.

Be sure to connect with PRSA Oregon on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and

Warmest regards,

Julie Reed, M.S., APR
President, 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

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!

Transition Steering Committee Report: June

Change Creates Opportunities to Engage 

Summer has barely begun, but for PRSA Oregon leadership it’s time to shift our focus to plans for 2018.
Work planned for consolidating chapter operations in 2017 is nearing completion or well underway.

And we have a clear list of transition activities to guide continued efforts in 2018, for instance completing all of our Policies & Procedures. We’re one of the first chapters in the district to commit to this operational necessity, so we’re figuring it out as we go.

As we fine-tune operations, we also started a second round of Listening Tour sessions to report what we heard. As promised, we’re coming back around to see you in person. To make sure everyone has access to the findings, the report will also be distributed digitally and through the mail.

We hosted a morning session with Portland-area members on June 20; additional sessions will be part of member orientation events in Salem on Aug. 12 and Eugene on Sept. 16. Mark your calendars!

Here’s how we’re already putting your great feedback to work:

  • Accommodating travel: This year’s Spotlight Awards will be on a weekend night, Friday, Oct. 20, to allow for travel time. The location, Willamette Valley Country Club in Canby, Ore., was selected because it is central to our region.
  • Geographic diversity: A Service Draft, designed to fill board and committee positions with PR pros from throughout Oregon and SW Washington, will launch on July 15.
  • Events throughout the region: With eager local volunteer support, Meet the Media events can be hosted in multiple cities. Email [email protected] if you’d like to host one. Spotlight Awards and Listening Tour sessions provide event options throughout the region in the last half of 2017.
  • Enhanced programming: Members can provide input on a pilot PRSA Oregon “editorial calendar” of programs and activities during upcoming Listening Tour sessions.

We know that members get out of PRSA what they put into it. If you are feeling disconnected given all the changes taking shape, I urge you to learn more about service. As we work on the Service Draft, it will help to know how you’d like to be more involved, so please do reach out to [email protected] or complete the form on our website.

We look forward to hearing how you’d like to take part in reaping the benefits of our regional chapter spanning from Vancouver to Medford to Bend to Baker City to Tri-Cities.

Yours in Service,


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

Call to Service

Author: Beverly Brooks

As we’re becoming PRSA Oregon this year, you’ve shared your excitement and ideas. For instance, that “we need to make sure that everyone has a voice at a table” with responsibilities that make a difference for anyone, anywhere. Now, it’s time to consider what you need from your membership next year and how we can help you grow.

We are looking at service differently in 2018.

How will you join in next year? Will you:

  • Volunteer at an event – great way for anyone in community to get to know chapter and our members
  • Offer “self-service” – opportunities for 75-100 people to give back by helping with awards judging or readiness review panels and more
  • Serve on a committee – 20-25 roles for members looking for meaningful networking and skill building
  • Lead the chapter – 12 leadership roles for members seeking strategic planning and management experience that yields significant results

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

To ensure all members are considered for service, we are piloting a new model for how we bring our volunteers on board: 1) this summer the Nominating Committee will include the entire board to “draft” their successors and dream teams (like in the NBA), co-chaired by President-Elect Julie Williams, APR, and then 2) this fall/winter everyone will be trained by the Service team, led by Taylor Long.

Reach out to [email protected] by July 7 to express your interest in serving with us!


Merger action plan

Nov 2014

  • Oregon Capital Chapter alerts North Pacific District to depleted leadership pipeline
  • Oregon Capital and Portland Metro Chapters explore shared governance options

Oct 2015

  • Greater Oregon Chapter implements financial stability plan

Dec 2015

  • Oregon chapter boards form statewide governance committee, appoint representatives

Apr 2016

  • Statewide governance committee forms committee charter, launches

May 2016

  • Oregon chapter boards approve statewide governance committee charter

Jul 2016

  • Research indicates membership open to merging three chapters into a single, statewide chapter
  • 2017 nominating committee forms

Aug 2016

  • MILESTONE: Oregon chapter boards approve merger, revised bylaws for a single, statewide chapter
  • 2017 board / organization structure finalized; call for nominations opens
  • Polls open to membership to approve/not approve merger, revised bylaws
  • Virtual town halls: August 24 and 31

Sep 2016

  • Virtual town halls: September 16, 22 and 28
  • MILESTONE: Membership approves/does not approve merger, revised bylaws

Oct 2016

  • MILESTONE: National board approves merger
  • 2017 board slate presented to boards for endorsement
  • RFPs for key roles and/or initiatives (such as PRSA Oregon brand campaign, event planner, development consultant, executive director)

Nov 2016

  • MILESTONE: 2017 elections – board, official chapter name – submit results to National
  • File Articles of Incorporation with the State of Oregon, secure new Tax ID
  • Secure venues for 2017 signature events

Dec 2016

  • Governance transition / leadership rally
  • MILESTONE: 2017 board approves new chapter policies and procedures
  • RFP review, interviews
  • Transition web, social networks to new chapter

Jan 2017

  • Transition banking, bookkeeping to new chapter
  • Board approves RFP recommendations
  • Revise media/sponsor kit

Feb 2017

  • Launch brand campaign

Mar 2017

  • Ratify 2017 budget

Apr 2017

  • File 2016 taxes for Greater Oregon, Oregon Capital, Portland Metro chapters

June 2017

  • Board approves signature events strategic plan

Committee Members

Greater Oregon Chapter

Oregon Capital Chapter

Portland Metro Chapter

Want to get in touch? Please reach out to the committee chair at treasurer (at) prsapdx (dot) org.

Committee Charter


There shall be a limited duration joint task force of the boards of the Greater Oregon, Oregon Capital and Portland Metro chapters of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) to be known as the Oregon Statewide Governance Committee (the “Committee”) with purpose, composition, authority, duties and responsibilities as follows:

A. Purpose

The purpose of this limited duration Committee is to investigate whether our collective governance challenges would be solved by forming or merging into one statewide chapter, and if so, to recommend — and spearhead — a pathway forward.

B. Composition of Committee

The members of this Committee shall be appointed by the boards of the Greater Oregon, Oregon Capital and Portland Metro chapters of PRSA. Each respective board is entitled to two (2) appointees. The chair of this committee shall be determined from among the appointees by consensus and the endorsement of all three boards.


Members of the Committee shall serve until the Committee’s scope of work is completed or their earlier resignation or removal. Each respective board has the authority to replace its appointed representatives at any time.

C. Committee Meetings

The Committee shall meet as often as it deems appropriate to perform its duties and responsibilities under this charter. Any member of the Committee may call meetings of the Committee. The Chair of the Committee, in consultation with the Committee members, will determine the frequency and length of meetings and develop the Committee’s agenda. The Committee shall maintain written minutes of its meetings, which will be filed within the PRSA Portland Metro Chapter’s Google Drive archives.

D. Authority and Resources

The Committee may request any officer of one of the three Oregon PRSA chapter boards to attend a Committee meeting or to meet with any members of, or consultants to, the Committee. The Committee has the right at any time to obtain advice, reports, opinions, or other non-monetary support from Oregon PRSA chapter members, North Pacific District board members, PRSA board members, or PRSA staff. The Committee also has the right to form subcommittees without consulting with, or obtaining approval from, any of the three Oregon PRSA chapter boards in advance, as long as the subcommittee is tasked with addressing an element or elements of this charter.

E. Duties and Responsibilities

The Committee shall:

  1. Investigate whether one statewide governance structure would be of more benefit to members than the current structure, to be completed by June 30, 2016
  2. If the answer to the first is “yes,” then:
    • Recommend a statewide governance structure for all Oregon PRSA members, including but not limited to, Bylaws, pathway to board service, board terms and term limits, to be completed by August 31, 2016
    • Build a roadmap and implementation plan (“Plan”) for one statewide chapter by July 31, 2016.
    • Lead the transition to a Jan. 1, 2017 single chapter governance structure by the 2016 National Leadership Assembly following Plan approval from the Oregon chapter boards.
  3. Oversee statewide programming subcommittee, which shall recommend statewide structure of professional development programming, including:
    • Statewide virtual programming options and opportunities
    • Regional in-person programming committees
  4. Oversee Bylaws subcommittee, which shall:
    • Compare/contrast Bylaws of each chapter, identify points of differentiation
    • Recommend resolution for conflicting elements, when/where applicable
    • Compare/contrast against latest Bylaws “template” from National, identify where/when modifications should be made
    • With input from Executive Committee, develop revised Bylaws for a “PRSA Oregon” chapter
  5. Oversee research subcommittee, which shall discover member perceptions and preferences for statewide governance, statewide programming, regional programming, and engagement (volunteer) opportunities
  6. Provide monthly updates to respective boards, including the District and National boards
  7. Facilitate communication among members of each Oregon chapter

Last revised 5/31/16

Approved May 31, 2016 by the Greater Oregon Chapter, May 24, 2016 by the members of the Oregon Capital Chapter, and  April 20, 1016 by the Portland Metro Chapter