One of PRSA’s many strengths is its unity of purpose — thousands of members contributing their time, contacts, thought leadership and passion in pursuit of a common goal to strengthen the public relations profession. Our unity does not signify uniformity, however; determining how best to assess, prioritize and assimilate the various opinions of our members is one of our ongoing challenges.
Over the past year, we have increasingly relied on formal research to help us solicit and evaluate member feedback and chart appropriate courses of action. Last spring, we surveyed our members to gauge their attitudes and beliefs toward PRSA National and measure their overall satisfaction with the membership experience. Our Professional Interest Sections are all now using research to refine their programs and product offerings, and we regularly poll our other member communities, as well. This blog, in fact, is the result of last year’s member survey — which revealed that our members wanted another forum to engage in a dialogue with PRSA leaders, exchange viewpoints and share perspectives.
A key takeaway from all of this research is the confirmation of something we’ve long known: our 109 Chapters are the backbone of PRSA, providing a more intimate and personal member experience and valuable connections to their local business and public relations communities. Understanding this, we now want to discover ways that we can work with our Chapters to help them make those local experiences even more rewarding and beneficial.
Accordingly, we are about to conduct our first all-Chapter survey, one of several major organizational initiatives we announced last year. The purpose is to identify, in a methodical, statistically sound way, which Chapters represent best practices in the area of service delivery, and who can serve as models for other Chapters to learn from and emulate. The survey will also gather important new insights into member demographics and salary information, which is information that we will be sharing with our members.
The results, including information specific to each individual Chapter, will be shared with Chapter leaders this spring. We also plan to present the results at our June Leadership Rally, which will give incoming Chapter leaders an opportunity to digest the results and trade ideas to take advantage of the findings.
Please take note that this survey is being launched today. The short questionnaire will require just 10 minutes of your time to complete, but holds the potential to deliver benefits throughout the life of your membership. Please watch carefully for our e-mail alerting you to the survey, and take the necessary time to give us your thoughts and feedback.
The cost of this study is being underwritten by PRSA National, with the help of Ketchum, author of our 2008 Member Survey, whose support we gratefully acknowledge — along with yours. Thank you for helping us improve our Chapter experience as we continue looking for new and better ways to advance the public relations professional and our profession.
William Murray is President and COO of PRSA.