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Looking Back to Look Ahead: PRSA State of the Society

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:

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.

Gary McCormick, APR, Fellow PRSA, is immediate past chair and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America, and director of partnership development at HGTV in Knoxville, Tenn.

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