Posts

Speakers needed for January North Pacific District Conference!

The professional development program topics for the 2020 district conference to be held in San Francisco in January were approved by the board, and organizers are looking for speakers and panelists who can contribute their expertise and perspective to these subjects. If you think this could be you, please complete the speaker submission form.

The submission window will remain open until all vacancies have been filled.

Learn more about the PRSA North Pacific District HERE.

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

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.

 

Dealing Honestly With Media When Your Client Doesn’t Want To Say Anything

By Vicky Hastings, APR
@vickyhastings

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.

Ethics and decision-making go hand in hand. Next time you’re challenged with making a tough choice at work, consider the six core values in PRSA’s Code of Ethics: Advocacy, Honesty, Expertise, Independence, Loyalty and Fairness. This is the second entry in a six-part blog series spotlighting these values.

 

Events

Living Our Best (PR) life: Addressing fitness, health, and wellness in our Industry

Register via Eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/living-our-best-pr-life-addressing-fitness-health-and-wellness-in-our-industry-tickets-66540034033

Mark Mohammadpour, APR is a senior communications executive and certified health coach. Download his health and wellness podcast, Chasing the Sun, at anchor.fm/markmoh, contact him at [email protected], or follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

Free Event for PRSA Oregon Members: Internal Communications Pro’s Rise & Shine Series Comes to Portland on August 27!

Location: George S. Turnbull Portland Center, 70 NW Couch St, Portland, OR 97209
Date: 8/27/2019
Time:  8:30 am to 11:30 am
Cost: Free
Featuring: Jason Anthoine, Managing Founder, Audacity

World-renowned internal communications thought leadership collective Internal Comms Pro brings its Rise & Shine series to Portland’s University of Oregon Turnbull Center on August 27. The event is free for PRSA Oregon members and features both past and current chapter board members as speakers. We’re fortunate to partner with Internal Comms Pro on hosting this very special event right here in Portland. Whether you’re in external or internal communications or work in an agency or in-house, this event will have something for everyone. In the meantime, check out the Internal Comms Podcast to hear from some of the world’s best and brightest internal communicators. 

Use the link below and the promo code PRSA-PORTLAND to register your free admission to the event. Rise & Shine series events typically sell out across the country, so space is limited; registration is first come, first serve, so RSVP as soon as possible. 

REGISTER NOW! https://icomms.pro/2VTN8AC

Unable to attend the Portland Rise & Shine Series? Thank you to Rise & Shine for the option to watch the event via live webcast! Click the link below and follow the directions to access a live stream of this event for FREE.

Website: https://internalcommspro.com/rise/portland-brew-your-business-case/
Directions to access live stream for FREE:

1. Enter promo code “PRSA-Streaming”
2. Select ticket for ‘Streaming’
3. Unselect ‘General Admission’ ticket
4. Click Checkout button
5. Enter contact info & info for the ticket recipient

About The Presenters:

Jason Anthoine, managing director of Audacity, a strategic communications consulting firm, serves as the event’s keynote. A regular contributor and presenter at PRSA national events, Jason draws on his 30-plus years’ worth of strategic communications experience to talk about delivering effective internal communication outcomes in any sized organization. 

Former PRSA Oregon chapter president, Mark Mohammadpour, APR, is also scheduled to present on effective strategies for leading a healthier lifestyle amid working in strategic communications, widely considered by researchers as one of the most stressful professions in today’s workforce. 

Current PRSA Oregon board member Pete Donahue, as well as Portland resident and PRSA national member Lise Harwin, APR, will serve as panelists in a discussion on hot topics in internal communications moderated by Internal Comms Pro co-founder Sara Jackson. Sara Bradshaw (Columbia Sportswear) and Sarah Fridovich (KinderCare) round out the panel. 


The Morning Brew:

Join Jason Anthoine, Managing Founder of Audacity, as he shares some of his 30 years’ worth of knowledge on how to structure your internal comms strategy with outputs that sizzle and outcomes that sell. Learn how to:

  • Serve up your internal comms strategy to your boss and the C-suite so they see you as a true business partner, not just a great comms person
  • Brew up your internal comms strategy that’s aligned to your business strategy
  • Perk up your courage to propose bold channels and creative content that resonates with your employees and reflects who they are, not just who your company is

Expert Panel

Learn the latest tips, trends, and best practices on the biggest issues facing internal communicators.