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2020 PRism Award Winners

In the first-of-its-kind virtual awards ceremony, Central Ohio communication professionals were recognized for the best work in the profession in 2019 at the annual PRism Awards. Despite being unable to gather together and conduct the awards event in the traditional way, PRSA Central Ohio leadership found a way to honor and recognize the highest achievements from the previous year.

“We’re just not going to let the global pandemic diminish our opportunity to honor the best PR work in our region,” said Katie Thomas, APR, Chapter President. “With this pivot, we genuinely expect this to be a PRisms no one will soon forget.”

Congratulations to the winners listed below for their outstanding achievements!

Individual Award Winners
Tom Poling Practitioner of the Year | John Palmer, APR, Ohio Hospital Association
Rising Star | Brian Hammel, Fahlgren Mortine
PRSSA Outstanding Graduate | Konni Lorenz, The Ohio State University
Walt Siefert Award for Outstanding Service to PRSSA | Natalie Kompa, Ed.D., MBA, Ohio Dominican University
Volunteer of the Year | Shannon Jack, Experience Columbus

Best of Show
Profit
TIE: Best of Show | Fahlgren Mortine with Avery Dennison
TIE: Best of Show | Fahlgren Mortine with DHL Supply Chain

Non-Profit
Best of Show | Fahlgren Mortine with Travel Nevada

Campaigns
Community Relations
Profit
Award of Excellence | Event Marketing Strategies
PRism Award | Fahlgren Mortine with BrewDog

Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Fahlgren Mortine with COSI
PRism Award | Experience Columbus

Crisis Communications and Issues Management
Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Inspire PR Group with Pet Food Institute
PRism Award | Geben Communication with Short North Alliance

Influencer Outreach
Profit
PRism Award | Geben Communication with Donatos Pizza

Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Fahlgren Mortine with Travel Nevada
PRism Award | Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau

Social Media Campaign
Profit
Award of Excellence | Approach Marketing with Raising Cane's Ohio
PRism Award | Geben Communication with Donatos Pizza

Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Inspire PR Group with American Dairy Association Mideast
TIE PRism Award | Geben Communication with COTA
TIE PRism Award | MediaSource with The Ohio Development Services Agency

Best Use of a Social Media Platform
Profit
Award of Excellence | The Shelly Company
PRism Award | Geben Communication with Donatos Pizza

Non-Profit
PRism Award | Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau

Integrated Communications
Profit
Award of Excellence | FrazierHeiby
PRism Award | Fahlgren Mortine with Avery Dennison

Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Fahlgren Mortine with Donate Life Ohio
PRism Award | Fahlgren Mortine with Smart Columbus

Internal Communications
Profit
Award of Excellence | Burkholder Flint Easterday with AEP Ohio
PRism Award | The Wendy's Company

Marketing Communications Consumer Products and Services
Profit
Award of Excellence | Fahlgren Mortine with Bob Evans Restaurants
PRism Award | Fahlgren Mortine with Balloon Time

Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau
PRism Award | Geben Communication with YWCA Columbus

Marketing Communications Business to Business
Profit
PRism Award | Fahlgren Mortine with DHL Supply Chain

Non-Profit
PRism Award | Team Fleisher Communications

Special Events and Observances
Profit
Award of Excellence | Belle Communication with Shake Shack
PRism Award | Geben Communication with Forbidden Root

Non-Profit
PRism Award | Fahlgren Mortine with Travel Nevada

Branding/Rebranding
Profit
PRism Award | FrazierHeiby

Non-Profit
PRism Award | City of New Albany

PRSSA Outstanding Project
PRism Award | Capital University with Fahlgren Mortine

Tactics

Single-Issue Publications
Profit
Award of Excellence | FrazierHeiby with AEP Ohio
PRism Award | Ohio Department of Commerce

Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | City of Dublin
PRism Award | Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau

Series Publications
Profit
PRism Award | Fahlgren Mortine with Cardinal Health

Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau
PRism Award | Nationwide Children's Hospital

Annual Reports
Profit
PRism Award | The Catholic Foundation of Ohio

Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Paul Werth Associates with SWACO (Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio)
PRism Award | City of Dublin

E-newsletters
Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau
PRism Award | FrazierHeiby with Bristol Village

Presentations / Webinars
Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | FrazierHeiby with Marion CAN DO!
PRism Award | Jaron Terry Communications

Media Relations - Consumer Products and Services
Profit
Award of Excellence | Fahlgren Mortine with Bob Evans Restaurants
PRism Award | Geben Communication

Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Fahlgren Mortine with Pelotonia
PRism Award | Fahlgren Mortine with Travel Nevada

Media Relations - Business to Business
Profit
Award of Excellence | Geben Communication with Caster Connection
PRism Award | Belle Communication with The Risk Institute at The Ohio State University

Feature Placements - Print
Profit
Award of Excellence | Belle Communication with Ricart Automotive
PRism Award | Geben Communication with The Parking Spot

Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Inspire PR Group with Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau
PRism Award | City of Dublin

Feature Placements - Broadcast
Profit
Award of Excellence | FrazierHeiby with AEP Ohio
PRism Award | Inspire PR Group with Cameron Mitchell Restaurants

Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Inspire PR Group with Destination Delaware County Ohio
PRism Award | Fahlgren Mortine with A&F Challenge

Feature Placements - Digital
Profit
Award of Excellence | Belle Communication with Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
PRism Award | Geben Communication with Eleventh Candle Co.

Non-Profit
PRism Award | Inspire PR Group with Butler County Visitors Bureau

Op-Ed Columns, Byline Articles and Blog Posts
Profit
Award of Excellence | Ohio Northern University
PRism Award | Fahlgren Mortine with Alliance Data's card services business

Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Nationwide Children's Hospital
PRism Award | Inspire PR Group with Lutheran Social Services‚ CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence

Websites
Profit
Award of Excellence | The Wendy's Company
PRism Award | FrazierHeiby with AEP Ohio

Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau
PRism Award | Inspire PR Group with Pet Leadership Council

Video News Release
Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | MediaSource with Nationwide Children's Hospital
PRism Award | MediaSource with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Best Use of Video
Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Inspire PR Group with American Dairy Association Mideast
PRism Award | MediaSource with The American Dairy Association Mideast

Audio
Profit
PRism Award | Ohio State Fair

Use of Data / Analytics
Profit
PRism Award | Fahlgren Mortine with Columbia Gas of Ohio

Non-Profit
PRism Award | Geben Communication with Boundless

Diversity and Inclusion
Profit
PRism Award | Fahlgren Mortine with COSI

Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | City of Dublin
PRism Award | Nationwide Children's Hospital

Creative Tactics
Profit
PRism Award | FrazierHeiby with Woeber Mustard Company

Non-Profit
Award of Excellence | Nationwide Children's Hospital
PRism Award | Fahlgren Mortine with Travel Nevada







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Online option now available for the Examination for Accredited in Public Relations By Toby Lichtle

Adjusting to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed daily routines for many of us. How and from where we work has — at least for now — changed to varying degrees, making flexibility welcome and often necessary. The good news is PRSA is now offering an online testing option for those pursuing their Accreditation in Public Relations (APR).

APR candidates now have two options to take the Examination for Accredited in Public Relations (EAPR):

  1. A Prometric Testing Center, or
  2. Remotely, through Prometric’s ProProctor application.

Candidates who choose to take the EAPR remotely must have a computer equipped with a camera and microphone, internet connectivity and the ProProctor application installed prior to the test event. ProProctor allows candidates to test wherever and whenever is most convenient for their schedule.

At this time, remote testing is not available for the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations Examination (CERT). CERT candidates must schedule their examination at a Prometric Testing Center; however, ProProctor is expected to be available for CERT exams in September 2020.

Additionally, PRSA Central Ohio candidates ready for their panel presentation, or motivated to start the process, should contact Susan Alyse Bowers Fortner, Accreditation Committee Chair, for virtual options.

Best of luck to this year’s candidates!

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PRSA D&I Resources

Last month, our Diversity & Inclusion committee explored a communicator's role in making a statement in reality in light of the Black Lives Matters protests. As PR practitioners, we've all crafted statements, but now we must figure out how to help our organizations live up to these statements.

As part of this presentation, the committee developed a list of books, articles, videos, websites, and organizations to look into to better inform your actions. Many of these (listed below) were discussed during the webinar--which PRSA Central Ohio members can watch on-demand here

  •  "Five Things You Should Know About Racism,”From MTV News' Decoded series, Franchesca Ramsey discusses the five things everyone should know and understand about racism. 
  • Antiracism and America:” A collaboration between The Guardian and American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, this is an ongoing series that sheds light on the structures at the root of racial inequities.
  • “13th” Netflix documentary. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans. 
  • Uncomfortable conversation with a Black Man,” Emmanuel Acho educates and informs on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting and the hurt African Americans are feeling today.
  • Dear White People, Please Read ‘White Fragility,’” June 5, 2020, Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart writes opinion recommending controversial Robin DiAngelo book that addresses white people directly about how white supremacy permeates their lives and how to recognize and dismantle it.
  • Here’s What White LGBTQ People Can Do Right Now,” Stancliff, G., June 9, 2002: Equality Ohio, (includes Letter From Queer Partnership for Black Liberation and list of 155 Black persons killed in Ohio by police in Ohio since 2015).

 

For more resources, please download our full resource packet from the webinar here

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Background and Information on Proposed Amendments to Add Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Every three years, the Chapter's Board of Directors and Committee leaders develop a new strategic plan to help provide guidance and direction to the Chapter's leadership to fulfill its mission and vision. The chapter’s current strategic plan for the period of 2019 through 2021 was finalized by an ad-hoc committee in 2018. The plan identifies several goals and initiatives to take place over the three-year period, many of which have allowed the chapter to rework operations, such as by offering programmatic changes such as free coffee chats. While many goals can be implemented by the chapter’s volunteer leadership, one notable change requires an amendment to the chapter’s bylaws.
 
This particular goal is to modify one of the six director-at-large positions to become a Diversity and Inclusion Officer. This position expands upon the chapter's mission statement, vision statement and Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In order for this change to occur, the membership must vote to amend our bylaws. In addition, some minor housekeeping changes have been recommended. 

On Thursday, July 2, the Board of Directors approved the amendments to the bylaws as outlined on this voting page. To officially amend the bylaws, the membership is asked to vote on accepting these changes. Voting is open today through Aug. 8, 2020. If accepted by Central Ohio PRSA and then national PRSA, the Diversity & Inclusion Officer position will become effective with the 2021 Board of Directors, for which nominations will be sought soon. 

Background Information

PRSA Central Ohio Mission Statement:
To empower a diverse and inclusive community of members to drive strategic outcomes within their organizations by:

  • promoting ethical practice
  • building dynamic relationships
  • providing growth opportunities and
  • recognizing excellence


Vision Statement:
To be a leading PRSA chapter that embodies the values and ethics of the profession
 
Rationale for New Position: PRSA Central Ohio has a longstanding commitment to diversity. The Chapter has an established Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and a dedicated Director-at-Large who serves as liaison to this committee. We need to take these efforts a step further to increase diversity and inclusion standards within our Board, our programming and within our membership to ensure all voices are being represented by creating a formal position. 
 
Benchmarking and Research: Feedback was requested on the PRSA Leadership Forum. We reviewed the position descriptions from national PRSA, as well as local chapters in Akron, Detroit, Charlotte, Minnesota, Southeast Wisconsin and Austin. We also completed a search to see if other chapters had similar positions on their Board. We found that most chapters have a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and a liaison sits on the board, as a member/director at large, similar to PRSA Central Ohio. The Minnesota chapter has a Diversity & Inclusion Officer as a defined position on its Board. Feedback was solicited from the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and PRSA Board of Directors. 
 
Our Current Diversity & Inclusion Committee Description:
The Chapter affirms diversity as a smart business practice. It is through awareness, education and positive recognition of the differences among people in the workforce that we can begin to recognize the uniqueness in everyone, valuing the contribution that each can make and create an inclusive work environment where awareness of, and respect for, those of diverse groups. For this reason, the Board of Directors established a Diversity Committee.

Position Description:

Diversity & Inclusion Officer 

The purpose of this position is to facilitate a culture of inclusion in all aspects of our chapter -- from leadership and membership, to education, communication and programming.

Requirements: A PRSA member in good standing.

Responsibilities

  • Serves as a liaison to the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
  • Defines the Chapter’s Diversity & Inclusion goals with the Committee Chair. 
  • Participates in quarterly conference calls to discuss and review initiatives led by the national D&I Committee
  • Ensures the Chapter is using PRSA’s Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit and Checklist and gives feedback on the Chapter’s response to the use of these documents
  • Sits on the Programs Committee to ensure diversity and inclusion aspects are considered as part of programming 
  • Works with Membership Committee to actively invite interested members of all backgrounds to join committees and serve in leadership roles 
  • Develops and implements a plan, criteria and expectations that would create a path to elevate diverse members from committee membership, chair roles and board roles
  • Serves as a resource to chapter members on diversity and inclusion education 
  • Helps plan activities with the Diversity & Inclusion Committee during Diversity & Inclusion Month
  • Connects with the National D&I Committee leadership and other Chapter liaisons to learn best practices or discuss any particular project on D&I
  • Serves a minimum one-year term. (A two-year term is preferred).

 

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National Consumer Research Instructive Beyond Food And Restaurants

Results signal importance of focusing on consumer values and concerns
By Hinda Mitchell

What will expectations of consumers be as restrictions lift? Where will consumers draw the line on health and safety precautions in grocery stores and restaurants? Inspire PR Group in April partnered with Illuminology, a full-service consumer research firm, to conduct national and Ohio over-sampled research to get these answers.

Eating 2020: How COVID-19 Will Change Consumer Engagement With Food, explored consumer behaviors in two food industries – restaurants and grocery stores – to evaluate how patterns for dining and shopping evolved from pre-COVID-19 activity to what is projected as stay-at-home restrictions lift. The survey included more than 1,300 consumers nationwide, as well as an additional 500 Ohioans.

Key results indicate that health and safety will remain a top concern for consumers once stay-at-home restrictions are lifted. The vast majority of those surveyed want grocery stores and restaurants to have employees wear face masks and encourage social distancing. When presented with all safety options, shoppers and diners are most concerned about the perceived health threat posed by other customers, more so than employees.

Of interest, although consumer behaviors between the Ohio and national research draw many similarities, one significant finding is that Ohioans are statistically less likely to be extremely or very worried about getting sick from COVID-19 compared to the nation. This likely is attributable to the early actions of Governor Mike DeWine, as well as the continued communication and demonstrated impact of “flattening the state’s curve.” People in Ohio have more reason to be confident in prevention measures perhaps than those in other states.

Clearly defined protocols around how businesses will keep their customers safe – mostly from other customers – will be critical to restoring trust and confidence. The survey revealed continuing worry about the economic picture – and messages that highlight affordability and value will resonate with financially wary consumers.

The findings contribute to data suggesting that both restaurants and groceries should prepare to meet consumer expectations for health and safety for some time to come.

Among the specific consumer concerns and likely changes in the grocery sector are:

  • Continued “stockpiling” of nonperishable foods and household supplies;
  • Strong favorability for customers in grocery stores wearing masks and for grocery stores to limit the numbers of customers in stores; and
  • Decreases or flattening of online grocery shopping after restrictions are lifted.

Restaurant findings mirror some of the grocery behaviors and include:

  • Significant concern (37%) among diners about getting exposed to the virus from other restaurant guests;
  • Decreases in carryout and food delivery after restrictions are lifted; and
  • A return, but at reduced levels, to in-restaurant dining.

While the findings are focused on the food sector, the data signal likely trends that extend beyond food into other consumer service and public-facing businesses. It is reasonable to assume that concerns about exposure to COVID-19 from other consumers in places where many gather will remain heightened, and that smart businesses will have plans in place to clearly articulate – and demonstrate – their commitment to the health and safety of others.

For communicators – a lesson is this:  Understand that consumers remain focused on health and safety – and while they believe businesses will do what is needed to keep them safe, they are less confident in the commitment of other consumers to take precautionary measures. Strong messages that focus on values, on caring for others and on businesses’ responsibility to do what is right should resonate for some time to come.

Hinda Mitchell is the founder of Inspire PR Group, a full-service public relations and digital firm headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. With more than 25 years of experience guiding c-suite leaders in diverse business sectors, Hinda is a sought-after expert in crisis management and response, executive counsel and communications strategy. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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A Statement from PRSA East Central District and Central Ohio PRSA

Statement on Racism from the PRSA East Central District
The Public Relations Society of America East Central District* is appalled by the events leading to the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many other members of our Black community. 

We condemn all acts of racism. We dedicate ourselves as communicators to stand in solidarity with our Black members, Black colleagues, Black students, and the Black community at large to promote the principles of equality.

We pledge our support to convene people for solutions and to listen in order to empower change in our communities. Furthermore, we resolve to do our best as advocates to bring truth to power, act always with justice, and to commit ourselves to an essential role in resolving systemic racism.

Central Ohio PRSA is a member of the PRSA East Central District.

Central Ohio PRSA President’s Message
Central Ohio PRSA stands with our colleagues in the East Central District on the important matter of racism.

I am proud of our chapter's commitment to diversity and inclusion through the leadership of our Diversity and Inclusion Committee, under the leadership of Chair Shanikka Flinn, committee members Gayle Saunders, APR, Jaron Terry, APR,  Fellow PRSA, Josh Hartley and Mackenzie Betts and Board liaison Wendy Schwantes, APR. This committee works to promote diversity and inclusion in the PR profession, support PR professionals from diverse backgrounds, and educate our members through timely, relevant content and educational programs. This year, our PRisms and Diversity and Inclusion Committees took steps to recognize the individuals and organizations that are leaders in this area by establishing diversity and inclusion criteria for our PRism Awards, along with a specific award recognizing this important initiative.

Our chapter believes every person is deserving of equal respect and dignity, and this is a strategic initiative we must keep at the forefront. That’s why our 2019 to 2021 Strategic Plan identifies specific goals related to diversity and inclusion. They include to:

  • Facilitate a culture of inclusion within our chapter;
  • Implement programs with topics related to diversity and inclusion that feature speakers representing diverse backgrounds;
  • Have a representative of the diversity and inclusion committee sit on various committees to allow for cross representation;
  • Actively invite interested members of all backgrounds to join committees and serve in leadership roles;
  • Develop and implement a plan, criteria and expectations that would create a path to elevate diverse members from committee membership, chair roles and board roles. 


We know we can always do more. And, we need your help. We appreciate the voices of all our members in making sure we can continue to empower change through effective programming and dialogue. Please join us in sharing your voice - share your feedback on how we can be more inclusive. Help lead the chapter by serving on a committee or through volunteer work. We can all play a role in moving the needle forward and making progress together.

I am happy to help answer any questions you have.

Katie Thomas, APR
President, Central Ohio PRSA 

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Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

By Gayle Saunders

Guess who’s coming to...

Dinner. Why is it the same question EVERY.SINGLE.DAY – Son: “Mom, what’s for dinner?” Me: “Son, we are in the middle of a pandemic, there are more important things to worry about. Let’s be grateful we have options for dinner.” Son: “Okay, mom, I was just wondering.”

Listening to your audience and responding to its need is critical. During these times of COVID-19, it is more important today than ever before.

As we watch our leaders communicate to their constituents, one thing has become abundantly clear...leadership matters, and having the right and diverse people on your team makes a difference. Ohio has become an example and will become a case study for communicators near and far on how to lead and communicate during a crisis, thanks to our governor, his team, and their commitment to transparency in communications.

In this unprecedented time of “alternative facts.” revisionist history, propagandist storytelling and daily barrage of misinformation, we as public relations practitioners, have a responsibility to develop strategies and communications that are transparent, real, and inclusive.

The roles we play, especially during crisis situations, are invaluable. There are examples after examples of communications gone bad, and how that negatively impacts community trust. And, let’s not overlook the social media disaster that targeted blacks, saying “there’s no need to worry about COVID-19.”

We must push the envelope to ensure our leaders are thinking about ALL constituents, how words matter, how strategies matter, how imagery matters. As we continue to drive toward our lives on the other side of the coronavirus, it is imperative that communicators of diverse backgrounds and experiences are at the table to counsel leadership and help drive strategies, messaging, and creative approaches to ensure ALL audiences impacted are receiving the critical information needed.

I offer a few key considerations as we work with clients during a crisis:

  1. Ask the tough questions – probe deeply.
  2. Determine if the right people are at the table to address multiple issues and audiences. Look around and see who is missing. Bring people of diverse perspectives into the discussion on the front end, rather than after the stuff has hit the fan.
  3. Be willing to acknowledge loss and be sincere in your sympathy to the loss. While you may not be able to share all the details, for various reasons, share what you can. And remember, it is imperative to show some heart during tough times.
  4. Communicate consistently and in a timely manner. Create a steady cadence of communications updates, and be sure media and community know when these occur. Provide access to these via social channels and other avenues.
  5. Develop communications approaches to reach audiences with the right message, where they are, and how they best receive the information. This includes your internal and your external audiences.
  6. Know who the key influencers are for your audience...who or what makes them believe?
  7. Select the right messenger(s) – be sure the people are relatable, trusted, demonstrate leadership, and exude confidence with a high level of compassion.
  8. Listen to your team, knowledgeable experts in the field, and your audience.
  9. Use social media to your advantage. Keep a pulse of chatter on social media channels and other networks and be prepared to respond as needed.
  10. Dispel myths quickly, address misinformation promptly.
  11. Most importantly, keep your crisis plan updated and have your team prepared.

Now, back to the question of the day – dinner. What is the relevance you ask? Audience matters...what is important to him matters. Responding in a timely manner, matters. Showing compassion and an understanding of his need, matters. You get the connection.

My diversion and avoidance tactic left an unnecessary void that could easily be addressed with an honest and transparent response. So today, when my son asks the dinner question, my response will be: “Son, I have not gotten that far yet, what would you like, or do you have a suggestion?” I guarantee, our engagement during dinner, and beyond, will be a totally different result – for the better.

E. Gayle Saunders, APR, is CEO of The Saunders Company, a full-service public relations firm in Columbus, Ohio. She is engaged by clients for support during crisis situations and has led public relations, crisis communications and acted as spokesperson for big brands such as The Ohio State University and Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at [email protected].

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The Benefits of Mentoring - and Being a Mentor

Coming from a small town in Appalachia Ohio to the big city, I was nervous about starting college. And my major. And schoolwork. There wasn’t one thing I didn’t have questions or worries about. 

But luckily, I was blessed with the guidance and wisdom of many mentors who helped me with pivotal life events – and even some not so pivotal moments where I just had a question or needed some quick advice.

Because I know I wouldn’t be where I am in my life without those mentors, I pay it forward through mentoring our next generation of PR professionals.

Mentoring is a powerful way to help young PR professionals. Research shows that there are many short-term and long-term benefits to mentoring.

Benefits for students:

  • Help with life questions and support. A mentor can help give practical advice, solve problems and provide encouragement. Conversations I’ve had over the years range from taking a job, to negotiating my salary and deciding between graduate school and starting a career.
  • Help with professional development. Have questions about resumes? Interviewing? Attire? A mentor can help with all of that – and more.
  • Gain insight into the field. When a mentor shares about everyday work – including accomplishments and challenges – it helps prepare students for what the “real world” looks like.
  • Expand your professional network. Mentors are great resources to help students meet others in the field who can ultimately connect them with future career opportunities.
  • Learn soft skills. Having a conversation with a complete stranger can be daunting. Meeting with a mentor and practicing follow up emailing a mentor builds those soft skills that are vitally important to the workplace.

 
Not only does the mentee benefit from a mentoring relationship, but I’ve gained many benefits from being a mentor. 

  • Fulfilment. Mentoring is my way to give back to all those people who have helped me. When I see a student I’m working with get a wonderful internship opportunity it’s a great feeling to know I played a part in that.
  • Insight into yourself. Talking about your own life experiences gives you insight into how you communicate and handle challenges in your life. It’s opened my eyes to how I could have better handled situations or how I’ve learned from these situations.
  • Leadership and communication skills. I’ve learned to hone my leadership and communication skills, which has helped at home, at work and in the community.
  • Learn something new. I learn something new about technology trends and how our future leaders think about our profession. It helps keep me young!
  • Making friends and colleagues for life. A lot of students I’ve worked with over the years have become my lifelong friends -- and even colleagues.

 

Stay tuned – in February we’re going to unveil a new program for students and professionals. 

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Changes coming to the PRism Awards in 2020

Author: PRism Awards Committee

For many of us, January represents a new beginning and fresh start to achieve new goals; but did you know PRSA Central Ohio made some new year resolutions, too?

Based on feedback from previous years and a commitment to offer a premier PR awards event in Central Ohio, PRSA Central Ohio has made some exciting updates to this year’s PRism Awards:

  1. An easier way to submit entries. The PRism Awards submissions will now be completed in Award Force—an award-winning software designed for awards that will offer entrants an easy, efficient and secure way to submit their entries. Entries will no longer be single-page or multi-page PDFs, but text submission areas for each item being judged will allow for clear, concise reporting of your successful work. Be on the lookout for an invitation from PRSA Central Ohio for an upcoming tutorial on how to use Award Force to submit your entries! Be on the lookout for an invitation from PRSA Central Ohio for an upcoming tutorial on how to use Award Force to submit your entries!

  2. Earlier opportunities to submit your best PR projects from 2019. The Prism Awards deadlines have been set as Monday, Feb. 24 by 11:59 p.m. for the early bird deadline, and Monday, March 2 by 11:59 p.m. for the final deadline. Review this year’s categories and entry guidelines document and start preparing your entries now!

  3. New awards category to highlight diversity and inclusion. PRSA Central Ohio has created a new category to recognize PR tactics that focus on diversity and inclusion. This year’s new category will honor PR pros who are leading diversity and inclusion efforts in Central Ohio while also highlighting the significance of diversity and inclusion in PR.

  4. New look, new venue. We’ve got a fresh logo and a great new venue at High Line Car House for a refreshed PRism Awards Ceremony that will not only celebrate award winners, but will serve as a place for Central Ohio’s communications professionals to mix and mingle. Plan to join us Thursday, May 7.

More information will be sent to you in the coming weeks.  Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Thank you,

PRSA Central Ohio

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Welcome to 2020 with Central Ohio PRSA!

Can you believe it? It’s already 2020, the beginning of a new decade! Speaking of new beginnings, I want to introduce myself.

My name is Homa Moheimani, manager of media & communications for the Ohio Restaurant Association. But more importantly, I’m honored to serve as your new Central Ohio PRSA Vice President of Membership.

THANK YOU for your membership because without you, PRSA wouldn’t exist.

2020 also marks Central Ohio PRSA’s 70th year! For the last 70 years, we’ve been furthering the development of public relations professionals in the Central Ohio region, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have you as a part of the family.

We’re the storytellers, leaders, communicators, defenders of the brand and so much more in our personal and professional circles. So, it’s important that we develop relationships, learn from one another and grow together in our careers.

I want to make sure you have everything you need to make the most of your membership, and give you a direct line of communication to your Central Ohio PRSA Board of Directors. Go ahead, send them an email. They’d love to hear from you!

I hope you’re already taking advantage of the PRSA member benefits available to you. Just in case, below my email signature highlight several available right now.

We all have new year’s resolutions, including expanding our professional networks, or maybe even finding a new job. What’s the best way to do that? MAKE CONNECTIONS!

Now is the perfect time to take your membership to the next level by getting involved in a committee as a volunteer. Serving your chapter is the best way to get your name in front of top industry professionals in an area that interests you. Not ready to serve on a committee? Write blog posts, volunteer to host a program or get a speaker for a program — there are many ways to make a contribution!

Have questions? Shoot me an email at [email protected], connect on LinkedIn or I'm always up for grabbing a coffee and chatting. Or, reach out to any board member; we're happy to answer any questions about member benefits, programming, or simply career and life questions. That’s what we’re here for, right? 😉

Let’s make 2020 the best yet. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Blessings,
Homa Moheimani
Vice President of Membership
Central Ohio PRSA

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