Delegates to PRSA’s 61st Assembly, and the second annual PRSA Leadership Assembly, turned their attention to the Society’s financial future as they met prior to the start of PRSA’s 2011 International Conference, “Imagine. Create. Inspire. Envisioning the Future of Public Relations,” in Orlando, Fla.
Following nine months of discussion and debate, Assembly Delegates overwhelmingly approved a proposal to increase PRSA’s membership dues by $30, not to exceed $255 annually. The proposal passed by a nearly 4-to-1 margin (209-to-53), with the increase scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2012.
Members who renew (regardless of their renewal date) or initiate PRSA membership by Dec. 31, 2011, will still receive one additional year of membership at the 2011 base membership rate of $225.
Discussion of the proposal lasted less than 10 minutes. Delegates appeared to understand the rationale for a dues increase, given the Society’s efforts to cut expenses and realize new sources of non-dues revenue, as well as the increased costs of business and the current economic climate.
With the incremental revenue derived from the dues increase, PRSA will be able to upgrade and add several member benefits; most prominent among them are:
- Webinars included free with PRSA membership. PRSA plans to offer its entire catalogue of professional development webinars to its members — for free — starting in 2012. This represents nearly $2,000 in annual savings for members who participate in one PRSA webinar per month. It’s also consistent with the findings of PRSA’s 2011 Membership Value Perception and Satisfaction Survey, which confirm the high value our members place on free webinars.
- Development of webinars exclusively for Chapter use in creating local professional development programs. This new benefit also will aid Chapters’ local recruiting efforts.
- Loyalty programs to reward PRSA’s most-involved members. These cross-channel programs will facilitate the engagement, retention and growth of PRSA’s member base and, by improving the value proposition of PRSA membership even further, also will aid in Chapter and Section recruiting efforts.
Assembly Delegates also approved PRSA’s 2012 slate of candidates for the Society’s Board of Directors. Mickey G. Nall, APR, Fellow PRSA, will serve as PRSA’s 2013 chair and CEO. The Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide managing director is a current member of the Society’s Board of Directors and will serve as chair-elect in 2012.
The afternoon featured a series of strategic discussions about issues Delegates feel will critically affect the public relations profession in the coming year. Those topics included:
- Value of Public Relations
- Strategic Planning
- Measurement and Evaluation
- Social Media
- Integrated Marketing
Now in its second year, the PRSA Leadership Assembly was created via a change to the Society’s bylaws, to engender discussion and debate among Society delegates surrounding pertinent issues and trends affecting the public relations profession.