I wasn’t planning to write one of those reflective, “We accomplished so much over the past year,” blog posts that you often see around this time of year. PRSA is a professional organization that prides itself on always moving forward, helping its members and the broader profession progress and prosper in the face of today’s modern communications and marketing challenges.
But in light of PRSA unveiling this week its 2010 State of the Society report, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to briefly step back and reflect not only on my time as PRSA chair and CEO, but more importantly, on some of the key recent milestones that helped you advance as a professional.
It was a year of tremendous progress for the profession, in the face of continuing economic concerns, persistent unemployment and a spate of high-profile corporate crises. We’ve seen a variety of indicators suggesting that the public relations sector weathered the economic storm better than other professions.
As Ad Age noted recently, a driving force for public relations’ increased value to the business community in 2010 was, “A realization among marketers that earned media and two-way conversations are the bread and butter of the PR industry.”
And from a variety of feedback points we received over the past year, PRSA, indeed, continued to provide exceptional value to its members and the profession. Highlights from our 2010 State of the Society illustrate this a bit more:
- The refocusing of PRSA’s national advocacy efforts on the value of public relations, ethics and diversity within the profession brought the Society’s national advocacy efforts in line with concerns and issues facing public relations professionals and the business community.
- A highly successful 2010 PRSA International Conference, “Powering PRogress,” with more than 3,000 professionals in attendance.
- A record-breaking year for the Certification for Education in Public Relations (CEPR) program, with 16 international and domestic college degree programs certified.
- Introduction of digital and interactive versions of The Public Relations Strategist and the PRSA International Conference brochure, as well as a re-launch of PRSA’s popular daily industry newsletter, Issues & Trends.
- Development of strategic partnerships with NASDAQ, the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies and the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC).
- Advocating on behalf of the value of public relations in a number of respected publications, including The New York Times, The Financial Times, AOL News and Advertising Age, among others.
As 2010 chair and CEO, I’m very proud of the achievements of our members, the profession and PRSA. But I’m also cognizant of the challenges and realities facing many in the profession.
As we move forward, under the stewardship of 2011 PRSA Chair and CEO Rosanna Fiske, APR, we will need to continue pushing beyond the basics of what our members expect. Our responsibility is to provide the profession with the very best in professional resources, educational and professional development opportunities, advocacy and other programs. When we achieve that goal, you are rewarded as a more knowledgeable and successful professional.
I’m confident that we’ll continue doing so, and I invite you to review the PRSA 2010 State of the Society to see the foundation of what will help you prosper in 2011.