PRSA News

May I Have Your Attention, Please?

As professional communicators, we’re keenly aware of the importance of keeping key constituencies thoroughly informed. It’s what we do. In serving our organizations and clients, we all convey messages that at times are complex and challenging to explain. But, of course, best practices call for the professional diligence and creativity to get those messages to audiences. And, it’s no different when those constituents are PRSA members.

That’s why PRSA has employed a variety of communications strategies to engage its members in the process of rewriting the organization’s Bylaws. While the underlying concepts can be complicated, this initiative is critical to modernizing PRSA’s governance structure. PRSA’s bylaws have not been thoroughly revised since they were first ratified more than 60 years ago. The rewrite is intended to bring PRSA in line with current best practices and make the organization nimbler, stronger and better equipped to fulfill its mission of advancing the profession and the professional.

The process of rewriting PRSA’s bylaws should be of critical importance to each and every member. The anticipated benefits to membership will include:

  • Opening up membership to a broader group of communications professionals.
  • Allowing membership to elect National leaders by popular vote.
  • Broadening the field of talent and experience available for Board service. 
  • Reinventing the Assembly to focus on issues of the profession.

Throughout the research and deliberation stages, PRSA has delivered key information to its members and offered tools to engage them in the process and its outcomes. The goal is to educate members and empower delegates with the information, context and input they need for debate and approval of the changes at the National Assembly in November. Over the last year, PRSA’s communications outreach has included:

  • A Q&A in PR Tactics and The Strategist Online — a quick read to summarize what we are doing and why.
  • A presentation made available for use at District, Chapter and Section board meetings.
  • An earlier PRSAY blog post, which includes insights from the Bylaws Rewrite Task Force chair.
  • A Governance e-Group, created to serve as a dedicated discussion forum on the bylaws rewrite process and proposals.

Members can visit the Bylaws section of PRSA’s Web site to access these resources, which we’ll be updating regularly. The actual bylaws language is currently being drafted and will be available for member review in mid-August. The final wording will be submitted for approval to the 2009 National Assembly.

Moving forward, we encourage you to access the information and tools that we’re making available, and to learn, discuss, interact, debate and become personally vested in the outcomes. Please also consider how you can personally communicate the availability of these resources to your colleagues.

If you think something is lacking to support your outreach efforts, please let us know what you need via any of the feedback channels that PRSA has set up to facilitate the process. You can comment on PRSAY; submit written questions to Dave Rickey, Bylaws Rewrite Task Force chair, at governance@prsa.org; join the discussion on the Governance e-Group; or contact PRSA Director of Research and Special Projects Christina Darnowski at christina.darnowski@prsa.org.

Thank you for your commitment to this critical project to enhance PRSA’s governance structure and the organization’s service to our profession.

Dave Rickey is chair of PRSA’s Bylaws Rewrite Task Force.

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