PRSA is pleased to launch PRSAY, a place where PRSA leaders and members—and other industry professionals—can exchange viewpoints and opinions. The first question you’re probably asking is “why another blog?” After all, there are literally millions of blogs, including dozens in the public relations space, and your attention is already stretched by information overload. I’d like to give you a window into our thinking—but I’ll keep it brief, since time is in short supply for us all.
Over the past several years, we’ve solicited a great deal of feedback from members about their (our) organization. We’ve conducted several major research initiatives, held leadership rallies and teleconferences, sat in the Assembly, established electronic discussion boards (eGroups), asked for input in letters and e-mails, and created a professional development blog (check out my post on the ways PRSA can help you in lean economic times). While we’ll continue to seek our members’ input and guidance, we’ve established some clear direction based on what we’ve heard so far.
A common theme throughout our research findings is that members want their voices heard. On one level, this puzzled us, because there are many communications channels within PRSA. But as we looked more closely, this started to make sense. While PRSA is a single community of professionals bound by a desire to further themselves and their profession, it is also a fantastically complex organization made up of many “neighborhoods” and “constituencies”: 109 Chapters, 10 Districts, 20 Professional Interest Sections and Affinity Groups, 298 college chapters, dozens of committees, task forces, and working groups, hundreds of Assembly Delegates, and countless volunteer leaders. Each faction has its own ways of communicating, ranging from e-mail distribution lists to Web sites to Facebook and LinkedIn Groups to networking and learning events. While this mirrors the coming together of like-minded people happening online, it also creates a daunting number of layers and nuances.
Thus, our latest blog—a town square, if you will, where all the different elements of our Society can come together and discuss issues of mutual concern. In the months and years ahead, you’ll be hearing a lot from us about what is happening at PRSA and within our profession, so please join in the conversation as this new blog develops. It’s a simple, direct way for you to make your voice heard as a valued member of our community.
William Murray is PRSA’s President and COO.