Pulse of the Profession

Looking Back at 2017: What a Year!

With less than a week left to serve as PRSA’s chair, it’s fitting to take a look back at this whirlwind of a year! Like most of us, I’m guessing that you’re grappling with how quickly the time has flown by. My year was nothing short of magical as your #Chaironthego.

With more than 42,000 miles traveled and 550,000 steps for PRSA, I was able to meet, engage, present to and enjoy hundreds of members at Chapter, District, Section, PRSSA and industry functions. This gave me the opportunity to share PRSA’s value in person.

I had the opportunity to be inspired by your commitment to this Society, our profession and the work you do in your local communities. Our profession is in good hands based on the PRSSA students I had the chance to meet at 21 different schools. They left me refreshed, with heightened enthusiasm for this profession I love so much.

In return, I hope that I was able to serve you well with a vision and leadership that built upon a foundation that will further the organization for many years to come.

We have accomplished a great deal in these fast-paced months, especially in our advocacy efforts to elevate our Code of Ethics. We have weathered storms (quite literally), invested in technology and brought new professional development programming opportunities to our members through two certificate programs that were overwhelmingly sought after and received rave reviews.

We added new committee structures to our operations to address governance, membership, professional development and thought leadership. These efforts resulted in strategic efforts to address diversity, enhance networking opportunities and truly helped our members be smarter, better prepared and more connected. I appreciate the many hours our leaders and volunteers have invested to ensure PRSA remains relevant and valuable to our members.

It was the first year for our operational goals to be tightly aligned with our strategic plan. This integrated focus resulted in the largest transition of PRSSA students to professional membership, a collaborative partnership with IPR to elevate the Public Relations Journal, the addition of another university to the MBA program, increased participation in District and Section conferences and an added focus on the benefit of group membership. All of this was done with great diligence and thought for the good of all our members.

A highlight of the year was serving as host at the PRSA 2017 International Conference in Boston. It was a convening of great minds, lively conversation and over-the-top energy for first-time attendees and veterans alike. Suffice it to say, we learned a lot and had a lot of fun in the process.

It’s been an honor to lead and serve at this level. As this 70th-anniversary year ends, I hope the new year brings you opportunities to challenge your mind and to further your passion for public relations and PRSA. More than anything, I hope we can, in all things, be kind and laugh often.

Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA, finishes up her year as chair with the same enthusiasm and passion for PRSA as the day she started her journey of leadership — 34 years ago as Colorado State University PRSSA president. It’s an honor to serve and champion this great career and profession. In this our 70th year, we’ve been able to accomplish many things to move the Society forward for the good of all our members — professional and student alike.

About the author

Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA

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