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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 you 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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Meet an APR: Michael Vannest

Michael Vannest is communications and marketing director at the E.V. Bishoff Company. He earned the APR in January of 2019.

What prompted you to pursue your APR? Put another way, what's your WHY for being an APR?
The process was both nerve-wracking and fun. I tell people two things. First, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. Second, if you dedicate yourself to the process, it will help you to mature as a practitioner. You’ll learn something new, present case studies and put together a campaign from scratch, or rework one and do it the right way.

My why for pursuing the APR was to show myself that I could do it. It was a personal journey for me. In 2014, I was at a point where I needed to write my comeback story. I set a goal to focus on my new job at E.V. Bishoff and run a half and then a full marathon. Then, I bought a house and got married, and the only thing left on my list was the APR.

It was truly my greatest sense of accomplishment since graduating from college. Getting my APR was the icing on the cake for my comeback story.

Looking back on the process, what would you say to your pre-APR self—or anyone else thinking of taking the plunge—to help you better prepare?
My panel presentation was in October, and I took the test in January. Throughout the preparation process, I had confidence issues, but it just required commitment and practice.

I needed to have a classroom setting to work through the problems that I couldn’t understand, so I took the online course. Learning about the research was a challenge for me, especially the difference between outputs and outcomes on the objective front.

What three things stand out as benefits to having your APR. What have you been able to do because of it that would not have been otherwise possible? Why does it make a difference?
Having my APR has given me the credibility to be able to sit at the management table. My leaders know how I prepared for the accreditation, and how I have changed since then. They have put their trust in me because I can now communicate clear business objectives. With the APR, you will become an authority.

Knowing the difference between outputs and outcomes has changed how my company communicates with our stakeholders. It has brought amazing success to our programs. The campaign I used for my panel presentation leveraged the outcome of customer satisfaction. Using the guidelines laid out by the study guide, I was able to see results immediately, which was impressive to the owner of my company.

Some believe that anybody can do PR. Doing it right is a different thing. We face a stigma of being spin doctors. The APR breaks this myth. We have a Code of Ethics and are serious about our profession.

One last thing I’ll say is that many in our chapter who have experience but no APR claim to already be thought leaders. Does everyone need the APR to do their job? If we’re honest about holding ourselves to a higher standard and constantly learning, the answer is yes. No one knows everything. We all need to learn more. This is why we volunteer, and this is why we set the bar higher for ourselves when it comes to accreditation.

How did you prepare for the portfolio process? Which resources did you find most helpful?
Without these three keys, I would not have walked through the door of becoming an APR:

  1. The Cutlip and Center text (Cutlip and Center’s Effective Public Relations),
  2. The APR Study Guide and
  3. The online course.

The online course is the best $200 you will ever spend, and you get a discount as an APR. You can remain in the course for as long as you want. I remained in it for almost a year. You can go at your own pace, and every week you get to meet online and make connections. We also had Google meetings once every two weeks.

I’d also consider renting the text instead of purchasing it, but it is a very helpful tool.

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Meet an APR: Gayle Saunders

Gayle Saunders is CEO of The Saunders Company, a public relations firm. She secured her APR in 2007.

What prompted you to pursue your APR? Put another way, what's your WHY for being an APR?

It really is about demonstrating excellence in our profession. Getting accreditation is another way to demonstrate the rigor of public relations. Our profession is not always considered a science, but there are metrics that demonstrate our work.

The science is real. How we demonstrate our values through metrics and measurement is so important. Accreditation helps to underscore that public relations truly has a process, guiding principles, rules and methodologies.

As an African American in the public relations industry, I believe it is important for people of color to be recognized in our profession. There is a lack of awareness of and support for the great talent that exists among people of color in public relations, and I want to raise that level of awareness and support. Having my APR projects credibility and accountability to clients, peers and others and gives me additional leverage to help mentor others along the way.

Looking back on the process, what would you say to your pre-APR self—or anyone else thinking of taking the plunge—to help you better prepare?

First, if you are not a member of PRSA, you should be! There are such great tools and resources online through the organization, and these are very valuable.

Secondly, I like to remind people to reach out to those you know, who have gone through the process recently, and pick their brains. See what they did to study and be successful.

Next, remember what you have at your disposal—your own plans and campaigns that you have created during your career. Use these as you assemble your portfolio and prepare for the panel presentation. As you pull those out, look at what you did to make the communications effective. And think about what you could have done differently, with more time or budget. These are critical considerations as you go before the panel.

Lastly, I remind people to go through the study process. Use the chapter’s study group or a boot camp. Gathering with a group of people planning to take the test, getting together in person or via conference calls, all help in ensuring success in earning your APR.

Remember that you are not alone. Where you may have strength in one area, your peers will have strengths in other areas. And you will help each other.

What have you been able to do because of the APR that would not have been otherwise possible? Why does it make a difference?

It makes a difference to me. To maintain my accreditation, I have to demonstrate how I have stayed in tune with PR trends and submit what I’ve done over the course of every three years.

This process holds me accountable. It benefits me, and in turn my clients and others I serve.

How did you prepare for the portfolio process? Which resources did you find most helpful?

I highly recommend purchasing or renting the Cutlip and Center text (Cutlip and Center’s Effective Public Relations), and be sure to download and use the APR Study Guide.

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Getting Through Tough Times - Together

I think we can all agree that the past month has been quite a year.

Anxiety. Grief. Disappointment. General overwhelm. These are just some of the emotions I know I’ve felt, and I’m sure many of us have experienced the same thing.

As we figure out our “new normal” of working from home, homeschooling and social distancing, it’s extremely important for us to take care of ourselves. I know we’re all guilty of pushing the envelope, but now, more than ever, we need to step back, take a breath and acknowledge that right now is not a normal time. It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to feel the feelings we’re feeling. 

But how do we build up our resilience and our ability to cope during this time? I loved this advice in  “How To Be Resilient: 5 Secrets To Mental Toughness (Pandemic Edition)”:

  1. Positive self-talk: Be nice to you! It’s been easy to be down on myself this past month. I’ve been practicing writing three positive things that happened that day: from a Zoom call with friends to sunshine to my husband cooking dinner … I’m trying to reframe my brain -- because there is still so much to be thankful for.  
  2. Physical fitness: Move your body to help handle the stress. The gym is such a huge part of my life and now I have to adapt. Take walks. Use cans of soup, cat litter, paper plates, your stairs and more to make a workout (email me if you want to know more). Moving will help you feel better.
  3. Make it a game: Can you clean your inbox? Can you make your to-do list a Bingo card? Games drive us to keep playing until we win.
  4. Humor: Don’t be afraid to laugh! (Memes highly encouraged!) Cheer up a coworker or friend with your favorite meme or quote. Or talk to someone who makes you laugh. Watch your favorite show.
  5. Embrace meaning: Research shows that those who get through life-threatening situations do so because they helped others… because helping others takes you out of yourself. Stay connected. Hear and see the voices of those you love. Continue to check in on each other. 

Central Ohio PRSA, I wish you continued health and hope. I know this time is challenging in our profession. Please lean on your association if you have questions or need help. And take care of yourself. I hope to see you online or hear from you soon. 

Katie
Katie Thomas, APR, President 
[email protected]

~~~ 

Since the March 10 order from Gov. DeWine banning gatherings over 100 people, your Central Ohio PRSA Board has been working behind the scenes on plans to help better serve you and to help keep our members safe and healthy. We are rescheduling our Annual Conference and PRism Awards and are looking to implement more online programs during this time. In the meantime, we’d like to know: what topics would you like to have informal chats or happy hours around? Please email me 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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