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
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!
by Allison Bolt
With over 20 years of experience in marketing and communications, Amanda Roe has worked at Fortune 500, Fortune 100, and privately owned companies. After being recruited by Biamp Systems, she spent some time trying to work public relations into her regular duties as a brand marketing manager before making a pitch to the CEO. The company needed a dedicated public relations manager. She got the job and then faced her next hurdle – a deep organizational lack of understanding about the true scope and function of public relations.
Amanda decided to pursue APR accreditation to put weight behind what she says. Working in a highly technical field, she is often surrounded by engineers who value credentials over experience. She wanted to be able to point to formal training as a support for her recommendations.
Another motivating factor for her was the desire to gain new resources and new ways of looking at things. She wanted to make sure that new viewpoints would validate what she was doing and reinforce her gut instincts, but also provide alternatives to consider.
And finally, she was looking for a peer group to connect with. Forming relationships with PR professionals in a variety of roles across a wide range of industries was hugely rewarding for Amanda. “I have lots of experience and relationships with engineers, product managers, and sales teams,” she said, “but I wanted to develop a true public relations circle of peers.”
Happily for her, Amanda was able to reach all of these objectives and more by going through the accreditation process with the PRSA Oregon chapter. “I’m so thankful for how supportive and nurturing they have been through the process,” she said. While she had initially planned to pursue accreditation on her own, she was “gently encouraged” to wait until the prep class would begin the following February, and is glad she did.
Joining the class allowed her to develop the peer group she had hoped for. She also found that having the support of Fellows and the class mentors was valuable every step of the way. She was able to practice her Panel Presentation several times to refine it, and when it came time to take the test, she felt more than comfortable with the material.
As of the time of writing, Amanda has held her APR accreditation for three weeks, and is enjoying putting it to the test. She’s been congratulated by many of her colleagues, who have heard the news through the grapevine. “There’s a certain level of validity that I have now,” she said. “I know that I can hold my own when providing guidance and making strategic recommendations.” While she was always experienced, she’s already found that the APR accreditation has given her thenew level of credibility with her scientifically minded colleagues that she had hoped for.
When asked what advice she has for someone who may be considering working toward their APR, she recommends just talking to someone who’s already gone through it. “Your mind will be made up.” If you’re thinking about how to add value, punch, and validity to what you do, she continues, “I absolutely recommend it.”
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.
Julie Reed, M.S., APR
President, PRSA Oregon
PRSA Oregon is the state’s leading professional development association for public relations and communications professionals. We value and are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and being a professional organization that is welcoming to all.
As was widely published, in December 2018, the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland evicted Mr. Jermaine Massey, an African American hotel guest, who was falsely accused of loitering. PRSA Oregon soundly denounces the treatment of Mr. Massey.
PRSA Oregon has a longstanding relationship with the DoubleTree by Hilton Portland Hotel. The hotel has served as an event venue for PRSA Oregon’s professional development events, including our signature Communicators Conference. The recent racially-motivated incident at the hotel raised serious concerns about whether our organizations share the same values, and we advised the Doubletree Hotel of our position and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The DoubleTree has been responsive to Mr. Massey and the community at large. We acknowledge the DoubleTree’s corrective action that included a public apology to Mr. Massey, terminating employment of the staff involved with the incident, and a public statement of commitment to ongoing and specific actions to evaluate and change business and human resource policies and practices to demonstrate a commitment to DEI principles and ensure this situation is never repeated.
PRSA Oregon will continue to be a vigilant proponent of diversity, equity and inclusion — in our practices and with our community and professional peers. We ask you to join us in supporting this important agenda.
Julie Reed, M.S., APR
2019 President, PRSA Oregon
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 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.
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.
“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!
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 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.
The time to celebrate your stellar work is here. PRSA Oregon wants to cheer the best campaigns and tactics our local firms, companies, organizations and professionals innovate, produce and measure. It’s your time to shine. Show off for your boss, let your teams shine, give your clients a little extra love, demonstrate how you moved the meter and/or made change for good.
The PRSA Oregon Spotlight Awards recognize campaigns and tactics that exemplify excellence and leadership in public relations, digital media and integrated communications. You don’t need to be a member to win. You just need to be good. Really good.
5:30 p.m. — Networking and cocktail reception
6:30 p.m. — Dinner
7-8:30 p.m. — Awards program
Pricing: See ticket prices and sponsorship opportunities HERE
ALL SALES ARE FINAL. No refunds or exchanges. Tickets are transferable by updating attendee information. In the event of event cancelation or reschedule, a refund may be issued at the discretion of the PRSA Oregon board of directors.
Strategies and Tactics for Equitable Communication
About this Event
The PRSA Oregon Chapter Diversity and Inclusion Committee presents, “Leadership Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Strategies for Equitable Communication,” featuring Joy Fowler, VP of Diversity & Inclusion Manager at Umpqua Bank and Gail Dundas, Communications Consultant.
Come hear two dynamic communicators share their stories, perspectives, and observations about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). As communicators, we are charged with shaping corporate reputations and creating value for brands. We engage with an array of stakeholders, whose demographics are changing rapidly.
Are you or your organization looking for ways to craft communications that break through cultural barriers? Come learn hands-on strategies to make sure your communications keeps pace with the diversity of your audience.
5:30 p.m. Registration and Networking
6 – 8 p.m. Program
Event Venue: Vida, 401 NE 19th, Ste. 200, Portland, OR
Cost: $25 PRSA Members/$35 Non-members/$5 PRSSA Students
PRSA Oregon is Committed to Promoting Diversity and Inclusion
The Diversity and Inclusion Committee aims 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 PRSA Oregon to learn more.