Leadership Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Strategies for Equitable Communication

Looking to craft communications that break through cultural barriers? Learn hands-on strategies to make sure your communications keeps pace with the diversity of your audience. Hear from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion industry leaders Joy Fowler, MBA, VP of Diversity & Inclusion Manager at Umpqua Bank and Gail Dundas, MS, APR, Fellow PRSA, Communications Consultant.

Limited seating! Register via PRSA Oregon Eventbrite today!


On Health and Wellness: My one tip to prepare for conferences

by Mark Mohammadpour, APR

The PRSA International Conference (ICON) is October 20-22 in San Diego. Every year I attend, I learn new things, meet new people and leave inspired to play a larger role in advancing the profession and the professional.

The reality of conferences like ICON, however, is that we are sitting a lot, eating (too) well, and forgetting to take care of ourselves. If you want to prioritize your health and wellness during conferences like ICON, I have one tip: spend 15 minutes before your trip to prepare.

Business travel can increase stress. Managing what to pack, finalizing travel logistics, and organizing the meeting schedule are just three examples we see our stress levels rising!

To compound the issue, once we arrive, long days at conferences cause our guard to be let down at night, which can lead to poor eating decisions. We forget that the following morning, our body might not recover right away, we’re already on the back foot and by the time we get home, we feel like we’re back at step one.

Before you leave for your next trip, spend 15 minutes and answer two key questions:

  • How will you prepare for your meals? Spend a few minutes before your trip and research when and where you’re going to eat. 
  • Are you scheduled to have dinner at a specific restaurant? Research the menus online and determine what you want to eat before you arrive, so you do not need to add another decision while you’re traveling.

  • How will you make time to incorporate exercise? The hotel that hosts ICON has a map that includes one-, two- and three-mile walking/running routes, so I am already prepared before I head to San Diego. I also bring a resistance band on my trips, which I use in my room with simple dynamic stretching exercises to loosen up my body before I start my day. These exercises warm up my muscles and makes me feel accomplished and mentally and physically prepared for the day ahead.

If you spend a few minutes preparing for your upcoming business trip, you will be all set mentally and physically for a great time.

I look forward to seeing you at ICON!

About the Author
Mark Mohammadpour, APR is a strategic communications executive, certified personal trainer and health coach. His company, Chasing the Sun, offers health coaching tailored for public relations professionals. Mark will be presenting a workshop at ICON, titled “Living Our Best #PR Life Through Fitness, Health and Wellness.” Visit chasingthesunpdx.com, email him at [email protected], listen to his podcast at anchor.fm/markmoh, or follow him on Instagram or Twitter.

*Photos courtesy Celeste Wechter Photography

*Top photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

PRSA Oregon honors aspiring PR pre-professionals

For nearly two decades, the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication has called upon our the PRSA Oregon chapter to jury the Jack Ewan Award for Outstanding Public Relations Senior. This year, we were also invited to judge the Liz Cawood Award for Service to UO PRSSA and the Community.

A member of the faculty from 1964 until his retirement in 1985, Ewan is credited with building the UO’s public relations courses into an accredited major. He was responsible for the founding of the first Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter (PRSSA) at the University of Oregon, the first in the Northwest District.

The Jack Ewan Award is presented each year to the outstanding senior member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, University of Oregon Chapter. The award recognizes both achievement and potential in a senior student and is named in honor of Jack Ewan, Professor Emeritus, and founder of the University of Oregon Chapter of PRSSA. The award is sponsored by the Oregon Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

The Liz Cawood Award is also presented each year to a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, University of Oregon Chapter, for outstanding commitment to service to PRSSA and the community at large.  The award is named in honor of Liz Cawood, first UO PRSSA professional advisor and a founding member of the Greater Oregon Chapter of PRSA. The award is sponsored by Cawood.

Liz Cawood, president of Cawood, a communications and PR firm in Eugene and a longtime supporter of the SOJC, worked with Ewan to found the local PRSA chapter as well as the PRSSA chapter at the school. She says she remembers fondly “talking with Ewan about public relations strategies.”

This year’s jury for each award comprised Mary Ann Albright, Compliance Communications Manager at Kaiser Permanente; Kathy Hubbell, APR, Fellow PRSA, President of Adscripts; and Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA, President of Publix Northwest PR – PA.

In this academic year, two excellent candidates were chosen, each receiving a monetary award as part of the esteemed designations. Each displayed excellent academic performance as well as strong goals for their post-graduation lives. The winner was announced at the J-School’s commencement ceremony on June 16.

Lily Gordon was named the 2019 Ewan award winner. Lily was honored for making significant contributions to the UO PRSSA chapter as a member and officer.

She sought out development opportunities not only for herself, but also for her peers. She’s had demonstrable successes in social media PR (gaining national attention for the chapter’s “Ducks Love Dogs” fundraiser) and is keen to embrace emerging technologies. That adaptability will position her to be successful in an evolving profession.

Lily has a clear sense of her values and has been found to be an ambitious and gifted emerging professional. Equity, education, and the environment are important to her. She’s wise enough to understand that she needn’t, as a college senior, know exactly where her career path will ultimately take her. Lily has accomplished a great deal while at UO and has honed her leadership skills through PRSSA. With a great job already lined up for after graduation, Lily has a bright future ahead of her.

Jillian Niedermeyer was named winner of the Liz Cawood award. The judges note not only Jillian’s acceptance into honors programs but active involvement with the PR community on- and off-campus demonstrates an understanding of two key ingredients in a successful career launch: experience and relationships.

She has varied interests and found creative ways to link them professionally – identifying opportunities to combine her passion for events PR with her love of technological innovations. She already has a position secured after graduation at a PR firm that will allow her to explore this intersection more fully.

Jillian has been active on campus, helping to orient fellow transfer students and to plan and execute events for the UO PRSSA chapter. She also immersed herself in Allen Hall Public Relations, where she gained valuable real-world experience and networked with PRSA Oregon chapter members. Additionally, she broadened her horizons by participating in the Semester at Sea program.

Both Lily and Jillian served as Account Executives at Allen Hall Public Relations, the UO PR program’s in-house agency. Congratulations to Lily and Jillian, we can’t wait to see your stars arise!

 

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 PRSAOregon.com.

Warmest regards,

Julie Reed, M.S., APR
President, PRSA Oregon

Don’t Miss Out on CommCon Earlybird Savings! Chuck Gose and Suzanne Stevens announced as 2019 keynotes — Join us May 3!

This year, We’re pleased to welcome two keynote speakers, Chuck Gose and Suzanne Stevens. Chuck is a strategic communication thought leader, an advisor with top employee communications platform socialchorus, and host of the Icology and Culture, Comms, and Cocktails podcasts as well as the Chuck Chats series with bananatag.

Suzanne is the Editor of the Portland Business Journal, Portland’s leading business-focused publication. Suzanne spent seven years as a senior editor at The Deal in New York, where she wrote about corporate mergers and acquisitions. Suzanne also spent time as an associate editor at Oregon Business Magazine and 12 years working in public radio at stations in Kentucky and North Carolina, where she was a frequent contributor to National Public Radio.

Tickets are now available at the EARLYBIRD rate!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-communicators-conference-tickets-56504750229

Rhonda Morin, APR: Accreditation boosts credibility tenfold

By Jean Kempe-Ware, APR
Member, PRSA Oregon Membership Committee and APR Coaching Team

As a member of a Maine Wilderness Rescue Team and an emergency medical technician, she hung by ropes off cliffs and carried the injured on litters down mountains.

As a cyclocross racer, she navigates barriers, jumps off platforms and sprints through mud and has won multiple state titles and a bronze medal in a national championship.

And last fall, Rhonda Morin, executive director of communications and marketing for Clark College Foundation in Vancouver, WA, achieved another goal: Accreditation in Public Relations (APR).

“I can fix your wheel, fix your public relations problem and fix your broken arm … all in the same hour,” Rhonda laughs. “I know how to help people in crisis.”

From elephants to APR … a 20-year journey

During her 20-year career in communications and public relations, Rhonda organized a trip for international journalists to Zimbabwe, where she witnessed elephants in the wild. She worked as a journalist for niche magazines and in corporate communications for Maine Public Broadcasting. Currently, she edits Clark Partners, a 28-page alumni magazine.

In 2015, she received the platinum/gold award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII for Best Practices in Fundraising Campaigns for Clark College Foundation’s $20 million campaign.

Why did Rhonda pursue APR at this stage in her career?

“Chuck Williams, APR, (PRSA Oregon’s APR guru) called me. He was kind, direct and persistent. ‘See you in February,’ he said.”

But Rhonda hesitated.

“I am curious and a lifetime learner. I have attended countless conferences and workshops in my career and thought I knew everything about public relations. I wondered what more I could learn. Plus, I’m a person who completes things. I hold my free time precious, and I knew the process would take time.”

After attending the APR orientation session, Rhonda knew she was in for the long haul.

“What I learned was above and beyond my expectations. The chapter’s APR sessions helped me put the puzzle pieces together. Everything I learned was applicable to my line of work.”

Rhonda gives up three races to study

Rhonda set a deadline to complete the process. She worked on her oral presentation at work during down time.

“That process helped sharpen my presentation skills,” she notes.

To study for the APR computer exam, she hunkered down for three solid weekends and for a few hours after work for about four weeks.

“Fall is my busy season. I race almost every weekend. I gave up three races to study for the APR test. That’s a big deal to me,” Rhonda said.

Rhonda’s credibility goes up tenfold

Was it worth it?

“As soon as I told my supervisor I was pursuing my APR, my credibility went up tenfold. Colleagues started coming to me to ask high-level questions. My credibility is higher than ever,” she says.

But, she notes, with accreditation comes responsibility. “You are now the voice of ethics and reason. You need to say, ‘Wait. Why do we need this?’ when someone suggests a tactic. ‘What is the goal? What is the objective?’”

Rhonda’s advice

Rhonda encourages fellow PRSA chapter members with at least five years of experience to pursue APR.

“You are busy. You have family. You have obligations. I had races. You’ve got to fit it in,” she says. “If you are serious about your career, if you want to jump to the next level, if you want credibility, if you want to boost your confidence, APR is how you do it.”

APR Orientation: Saturday, Feb 16

PRSA Oregon offers a series of free Saturday morning classes to help chapter members prepare for and successfully complete the accreditation process. The course begins with an orientation session Saturday, Feb. 16, location to be announced. Email [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.

 

Call for Presenters! CommCon 2019

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Oregon chapter seeks dynamic, engaging, and knowledgeable presenters for its Communicator’s Conference 2019 (“CommCon 2019”). This annual chapter event also serves as the Portland, OR-area’s premier strategic communications conference, and we invite you to submit a presentation proposal that would afford you the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise on a topic relevant to the audience.

Please go HERE for more information and to submit!

Submissions are due February 1, 2018, 5:00 p.m. PDT

CommCon will take place on Friday, May 3, 2019 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

DoubleTree Hotel, Lloyd Center Portland, Oregon

Theme: “Communicating Through Chaos”

 

 

Why Volunteer?

Whatever the reason you volunteer – learning, networking, mentoring, career growth, social engagement, bettering the community, an overactive hypothalamus – it is, indeed more blessed to give than to receive.

Take it from your 2018 PRSA Oregon Chapter Volunteer of the Year.

2018 PRSA Oregon Volunteer of the Year with Immediate Past President Brian Terrett

“I volunteer for all these reasons and more,” said Madeline Turnock, APR, strategic communications and partnerships advisor for Concordia University-Portland. “I feel I’ve gained much more from PRSA than I’ve given, after more than 20 years of involvement with PRSA, earning accreditation, serving on the board and committees, attending events, paying annual dues, and taking more than one hiatus when life or family called.”

Turnock credits her employers, colleagues, and mentors along the way for supporting her. She also shared that this year’s seven-member Spotlight Committee was among the most rewarding experiences because each volunteer was clear about what they wanted to contribute and had time to contribute, followed through, and carved out time to get to know each other and support each other professionally.

No matter what your personal reasons may be for membership, participation, and volunteering in PRSA, continue to put your job and family first, and then take that effort one step beyond to advance the profession.

Thank you to all our PRSA volunteers for giving of their time, talent and treasure.

 

*Pictured at top: 2018 PRSA Oregon Volunteers in attendance at the November 28 Annual Meeting!

Words from a new APR

“I am so proud!”

Jaimee Mayfield Fox just earned her accreditation in Public Relations from the Universal Accreditation Board.   

“It’s all worth it,” she says. “You have to believe in yourself. But you also have to put in the work.”

Jaimee is Multnomah County Health Department’s HR Communications Manager. She started as a county communications specialist in 2011. She began her work toward the APR in 2016. It’s less than a year-long program if you can devote the time. But Jaimee had a few interruptions along the way. She got married, bought a new home, and got a promotion.

“Ask yourself: Do you really want this?” she advises. “Life will try to get in the way if you drag it out. Put in the effort.”

 

Jaimee had support from the PRSA-Oregon coaches, who guided, advised and pushed her to the end. And she had crucial support from home and work.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my boss,” Jaimee said. “And my husband Jamal encouraged and helped me to stay focused. He continually told me, ‘You got this.’”

Jaimee’s husband Jamal Fox is property and business development manager for the city of Portland Bureau of Parks and Recreation.

Jaimee has some advice for those of you contemplating earning your accreditation.

“Take advantage of the resources the chapter offers you,” she says. “Find your study style. Make sure you know and understand how you learn. You have to study like you’re going to apply it to a real-life scenario.”

Jaimee says the computer test was hard, but not impossible.

“I was careful to make sure I stayed within time. ‘Keep going,’ I told myself. I was tired! But I just took a deep breath, and said, ‘What will be, will be.’”

She passed easily. Despite the time it took, the delays along the way and the amount of hard work, Jaimee insists the APR is worth the effort.

“This has been both a personal and professional goal,” she says. “Even going through the process was valuable. Once you apply this process, all of a sudden it makes sense.”

Your success in any field is dependent on remaining relevant, motivated and imaginative. The Accreditation in Public Relations credential certifies your professionalism and principles. And it positions you as a leader in the competitive field of public relations. The process of earning your APR exposes you to today’s cutting‐edge strategies and practices; it helps you assess your skills to identify strengths and opportunities for growth; it demonstrates your personal and professional commitment to excellence; and it provides the tools you need to distinguish yourself in this field.

“It’s exciting to use my new learning,” Jaimee says. “I have to calm myself down at work! Once you get to the other side it’s so rewarding.”

—Dave Thompson, APR, former chapter president

Manage Your Brand! Lessons Learned from the PRSA North Pacific District Conference

Prioritizing Your Personal PR

by Mary Ann Albright

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.