Five Digital Tactics That Would Bring Fresh Life To PRSA

Five Digital Tactics That Would Bring Fresh Life To PRSA

(RANT ALERT!)

I love public relations. Passionately. Yet, as annual fees come due for my Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) membership, I’m wrestling with the decision to renew. Since it is a fairly big spend for a solo practitioner, I’m leaning towards channeling that $440 in another direction.

Public Relations Society of AmericaI’ve been a member in the past as part of agency memberships, but expectations change when it’s your own dollar being spent on dues. This last year was the first time I’d paid the dues out of my own pocket and I have to say that I’ve been disappointed.

As an organization, PRSA is falling further and further behind. In my opinion, it needs a massive infusion of fresh thinking and digital strategy to give it new life. It needs to become nimble.

To keep up with changes in the profession and play a visible, engaged role in the industry, I have some ideas on a few major gaps that need to be addressed. Add yours in the comments!

1. Ramp up the email blasts.

If I were evaluating PRSA strategy, one of the first pieces I would suggest implementing is a much deeper level of email marketing. A wonderful database of past and present members sits largely unused – leveraging it to help members remember to use the benefits they are paying for would be HUGE.

It would also boost retention.

Member participation in the online webinars is very low, for example. Yet, I’ve never seen a PRSA Facebook post promoting one, or received an email reminding me of one coming up. I haven’t seen so much as a single tweet, either.

I get the PRSA issues and trends email blast, but nothing about webinars or other online member resources. The only member emails I receive revolve around the (very expensive) conferences.

Instead of spending more money, it would be nice to get more out of what I’ve already spent.

This lack of promotion explains why the attendance is so low, despite FANTASTIC topics and the resources expended in putting them together.

PRSA is desperately in need of marketing and PR on its own behalf – even more than external efforts, it needs a solid, consistent member outreach program that helps us maximize use of our membership.

I’d venture to guess that email marketing alone to promote member events would explode participation and even retention in a matter of months, making it worth every penny spent. It would be very high return for a low investment.

Along with Facebook activity and promotions, this would be one of the first tactics I’d launch if PRSA were a client, because the payoff would be immediate.

Besides, we pay almost $500 a year in dues – shouldn’t that entitle us to NOT have to constantly hunt down the event calendar to see what is coming up? I never remember to do it, so I miss out on membership benefits that would interest me.

So, how about a weekly email touting what is on the calendar for the upcoming week? Or a simple yet consistent Facebook activity promoting each webinar a few days beforehand, and perhaps a “save the date” location a month in advance? It would make a huge difference in how I perceive my membership if the association ensured I was aware of the events it offered in time to put it on my calendar.  I’d participate more often, thus getting more value out of my membership.

And why have I never received a copy of the PRSA Tactics member newsletter during the entire year of my membership? Digital would be nice – no need for wasting money on snail mail. Or how about an app to drop it right on my iPad?  I’ve received it twice upon request after the fact, but I just don’t have the time or energy to chase it down every month.

If PRSA were to simply focus on helping members get more value from their membership by using the assets it already has using digital PR tactics, great things would happen.

2. Hire a fantastic community manager to handle PRSA social media.

How can members respect social media advice from an organization that clearly doesn’t get social media? Facebook is about community and sharing expertise, not promotion.

Not only does PRSA not engage with members or local chapter pages, almost every post is an event promotion. Where is the thought leadership? The content curation? The comments and shares when members tag the PRSA page? Missing. All missing.

The Twitter page is equally abysmal. It’s content aggregation with nothing else.

Putting a dedicated community manager in place would do wonders. Plus, creating a tighter community would have a strong impact on member retention. Perhaps they could launch a weekly Twitter chat, or participate in relevant chats already happening (such as #PRprochat). Or entice the webinar presenters to do a monthly Google hangout with members? A monthly APR related chat would also be interesting, or a monthly chat with a special guest, perhaps the author of that month’s PRSA Tactics cover story author? That could be very fun with minimal effort. I’d also like to see all of the great content showcased on the PRSA Facebook page, with local chapters encouraged to share it.

At the very least, the content aggregation could shift to content curation with expertise and insight added, and the association could become a voice in the important conversations happening around digital PR.

It’s disappointingly invisible during a time of historic shifts and epic changes, when it should be front-and-center driving the change with a powerful voice.

In fact, I often hear peers question if it’s even relevant in today’s environment. Ouch.

3. Launch measurable PR campaigns and tactics on its own behalf.

Any membership organization needs funds to thrive and grow. I’m not sure if PRSA is a 100 percent volunteer organization or not, but if it is going to remain viable, it’s time to start investing funds in marketing and staff.

It’s time to run the nonprofit like a business. I’m hoping recent leadership shifts will help.

If public relations on behalf of the association is currently done on a volunteer basis, maybe it’s time to PAY for the PR support it needs. If the right hire or retainer were put in place, it would pay for itself extremely quickly. It would also help the association retain credibility.

Content marketing, social media and SEO all need attention and, as cornerstones of digital PR, it’s time for PRSA to put resources in place to flex its muscles in these disciplines on behalf of its own reputation and visibility.

Not only does it need to teach these skills to public relations pros, but it needs to apply them on its own behalf. Fast.

Perhaps it’s a chicken-or-egg conundrum between low membership and lack of revenue, but what does it say about the organization if PRSA can’t master PR well enough to drive the revenue it needs to survive and thrive?

Isn’t that what public relations is designed to do?

It even struggles with doing a good job of communicating with its members.

If the organization can’t close the gap between demonstrating expertise and sharing it, then it is doomed to fail. It isn’t just about bringing in the right experts to present to members, but actually practicing public relations strategies and tactics on its own behalf to grow as an organization. To demonstrate cutting edge, fresh tactics and strategies that work, and be an engaged member of the public relations community – no matter where it happens to be in the online world.

Speaking of whether the chicken or egg came first, in terms of membership versus revenue, the regional conferences and national conference are a perfect example of how a lack of funding impact membership value. How much value can an expensive conference give its paying attendees when there is no money to pay speaker fees? When it can’t even pick up speaker travel and hospitality costs? It has to settle for those speakers willing to pony up hundreds or thousands of dollars in hopes of landing business from their speaking gig, instead of having the freedom to pick speakers based on their expertise and credibility. The best speakers don’t pay for their expenses, they demand a well-deserved fee. Bringing in a higher quality of speakers would also bring in more ticket sales.

The lack of revenue is becoming a crisis because PRSA is not able to put the resources in place that it needs to remain competitive and provide value. It’s sinking like the Titanic.

As PRSA falls further and further behind in meeting member expectations and earning support and respect from the PR industry, APR certification will also become more and more meaningless. Once that is gone, what will be left?

4. Use PR influencers as advocates and volunteers.

I tried to give away my time. I was even ready to donate the equivalent of a full retainer. I filled out PRSA’s online volunteer form two or three times AND inquired on the Facebook page.

No response. Not even a courtesy email acknowledging my offer to give away my time for free because I care so much about the profession. Wow. EPIC FAIL.

This association desperately needs help and resources, yet how many volunteer submissions go ignored? I wonder…

My local chapter struggles with similar issues. I’ve been chasing down the Master Practitioner SIG group for A FULL YEAR, but haven’t once received information enabling me to attend one. Epic fail there, too. However, the local chapter does a far, FAR better job of promoting its local events than the parent association does.

From a financial perspective, it makes far more sense to attend local events and pay non-member prices than it does to remain a member only for local event discounts.

If PRSA were to create a brand ambassador program leveraging influencers as advocates and volunteers, the amplification of PRSA as a leader would be incredible.

To take it a step further, national could even create a brand ambassador kit for local chapters to launch similar efforts on a local level. Wow. Can you image how fantastic that could be?

It gives me goosebumps. .

5. Connect and engage with local chapters.

This could potentially be PRSA’s most powerful organic resource for growth, yet it’s completely unused. Other than a connection to the parent organization through local chapter leadership, PRSA doesn’t do much for its local chapters. What a shame! Cross-pollination at a member level just doesn’t seem to exist.

They don’t even share local chapter online events or content that might be noteworthy to its members.

Can’t PRSA create resources for its local chapters to make them stronger?

  • For example, how about collateral to promote upcoming webinars at the local monthly chapter meetings?
  • How about a blog that syndicates content written by PRSA members?
  • How about an email newsletter template already populated with some content that can be co-branded with the local chapter logo and information?
  • Or tools to set up local closed Facebook groups leveraging local PR pros and media but using national resources?
  • What about having that community manager work with local chapter social media committees?
  • How about a committee to help local chapters encourage agencies to join and participate?
  • What about a Pinterest board with local chapters invited to post and share?
  • Wouldn’t it be fun to leverage SlideShare to aggregate PowerPoint presentations from local chapter monthly meetings?

I could go on and on with ideas. So much potential to leverage…

With a little imagination, PRSA, oh what we could do!!

What changes would you like to see from PRSA? Let’s air the laundry and start the conversation. Perhaps it will make a difference.

About Carrie Morgan

Digital PR, social media, search and content marketing consultant. 20+ yrs of agency/corporate experience. Author. Blogger for Convince & Convert, MarketingProfs, PR Daily & Social Media Today. Founder of #PRprochat.

26 comments
mdbarber
mdbarber

Carrie, 


I was on vacation last week and am just catching up. You've raised some great issues here and already have some good comments. I really encourage you to get engaged in PRSA before giving up your membership. I’m fairly well known as a supporter of the organization and believe it is the number one place many communicators go to receive information.

Several folks have already mentioned PRSA national’s small staff, relative to the organization’s vastness. Let me put it another way…there are about 50 staff people who deal with the needs of over 30,000 members (PRSA and PRSSA) practicing around the world. Those members are at varying points in their career and have different practice specialties. That’s one of the reasons there are so many communities within PRSA, each needing personalized attention (by that 50 person staff). In fact, PRSA has 111 chapters, 10 districts and 14 professional interest sections, as well as the College of Fellows. That’s 135 different formalized communities before counting PRSSA’s more than 300 chapters. It’s a huge challenge to communicate to each of these members individually.

I was on PRSA’s board (national) when we reviewed and made some much needed changes to our email program. You see members were complaining that we were sending too many emails. They weren’t reading them, which meant they didn’t know what was happening. Since that time, MyPRSA was finalized which lets you make all kinds of choices about what you want to receive and how you want to receive it. I know it’s already been suggested but go to MyPRSA (my profile within the my account tab) and make sure your email preferences are set the way you want them. If they are, and you’re not getting what you are signed up for, email the help desk to see what’s up.

While you’re on the site, take a look at the items under the learning and intelligence tabs. There you’ll find a host of resources to help you solve most any problem. As a solo professional I think you’ll be interested in the Find a Firm offering. You’ll also find information about PRSA’s huge professional development offerings and discover webinars are free to members. Take a look at the Business Case for PR, a treasure trove of information to talk with others about our profession.

Having said all this rosy and wonderful stuff about PRSA, it’s not without its challenges. What trade group representing thousands of diverse professionals is not? It stands to reason that PRSA is always looking for volunteers like you who are members looking for ways to solve their problems. If you have the time to volunteer, you’ll get an amazing ROI and learn even more about the organization, its benefits and challenges. I’m happy to introduce you to those on staff or the national board so you can figure out the best fit for you. I can pretty much guarantee you won’t regret it.

Please renew your membership in PRSA. Even more importantly, please truly become a member of the organization by volunteering. As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

Mary

cegielski
cegielski

On behalf of PRSA National, below is the email I sent to Carrie this morning in response to her blog post. I would like to add that we are acting on recent feedback that we need to diversify our webinar offerings and information to better reflect the integrated communications world we now live in. It is taking more time than we would like but we want to offer the best we can.


Good morning. I wanted to take the opportunity to respond to you via email prior to responding to you publicly regarding your recent blog post.

Let me begin by saying how sorry I am that you feel this way about PRSA, but I am even more sorry that you felt it more appropriate to take your issues to a blog prior to getting answers to your concerns from National or even your local Chapter. Let me address your concerns now as they appear in your post.

Ramp up the email blasts

PRSA has a policy that our membership not receive more than two emails per day from National. This came about after many members complained that they received too many emails from us each day. One of those emails is the daily issue of Issues & Trends and the other might be a webinar notification, upcoming conference information, a message from our Chair, an in-person seminar opportunity, etc. When we switched to this policy we also created the opportunity for our members to pick and choose the types of email they receive each day so they could also control the amount of email they receive.

We don’t promote our webinars as well as we should, although we have gotten better since I took over the Vice President of Public Relations position for PRSA National. My predecessor, who suddenly passed away this time last year, didn’t dedicate much staff time to it because our resources were (and still are) tight. I have taken a different approach. Among them, you may have noticed that at least once a week an upcoming webinar is listed in Issues & Trends. As for tweeting, I have my staff on at least one webinar a month live tweeting it to engage people and to draw attention to the content from a national level.

Your National dues are $255 a year and we are very frugal about how that money is spent. While we are trying to determine the best way to diversify our revenue streams in the years to come, membership dues currently make up 50% of our revenues. We have a staff of about 50 so that we are fiscally responsible with the dues money we receive.

I am not certain what type of event calendar you are looking for. National only hosts a handful of events each year plus our monthly webinars, all of which are listed on the PRSA website. I understand your frustration with regard to navigating the website, we’ve previously indicated that this issue will be rectified with the rollout of our new website which will occur during the first part of 2015. We were hoping it would be sooner but the change in leadership led us to postpone the development and deployment. I will add that I have been working on creating a monthly or quarterly newsletter to send to the membership detailing things happening at National and upcoming events. It has not yet been finalized, but we often promote important news through blog posts and in other communication resources.

As for Tactics, you have not received a paper version because you joined in September when we took the publication digital. Anyone who joined in September or after does not receive the paper version unless they change their options in their member profile. You should be receiving a monthly email, usually the first Sunday of the month, containing links to the online version. Additionally, on the Tactics portion of the website there is a digital flipbook that you can access on your iPad, as a not-for-profit we unfortunately just don’t have the funds to devote to an specific app version of this resource.

Hire a fantastic community manager to handle PRSA social media

As I previously mentioned, we try to be as fiscally responsible as possible with member dues. The PR team is a staff of four and the Marketing team is a staff of four, all of whom support the 22,000 members and 111 Chapters of PRSA, not to mention PRSSA and non-members who value PRSA as a resource. You might find that most organizations with an audience of our size would devote entire teams and outsourced consultants to do what we do with much less – again, this is our way of protecting the value of your membership dues.  We use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, etc. to share all our news and information. We push out more thought leadership posts on Facebook than promotional material, and those are our highest performing posts. Unfortunately, unless you check our page daily you might not see the information because of the Facebook algorithm.

Launch measurable PR campaigns and tactics on its own behalf

We have a number of campaigns going on at any given time here at National. We also have a multitude of Communications Plan to ensure that we are covering everything that needs to be covered for all of our programs and for the reputation of PRSA. While we don’t share the metrics and analytics regarding the effectiveness of each campaign with general membership, we’ve found a steady increase in their ability to attract and retain members, but more importantly to inform and help members to advance professionally.

As far as National conference is concerned, we do pay for our keynote speakers to travel and stay when they speak. I can speak as to what the District conferences do since they are not organized or funded through National. All District and Chapter events are managed by those leaders.

Use PR influencers as advocates and volunteers

Regarding your volunteer request form, a greater issue with this system recently came to our attention and we are working to remedy the issue. We have been working to transition that process over to the PR department so that it can be better managed. As for your Facebook inquiry, when did you submit the inquiry? Since my team manages that piece, I apologize for that not being addressed.

Connect and engage with local chapters

Our office and our Board members host monthly and quarterly calls with Chapter leadership. The intent is to update the leadership so that they can pass the information along to their members. Again, with only 50 staff members (a portion of which are responsible for operations and administration) we try to be as efficient as possible and utilize our volunteers as much as possible. I am hopeful some of the communication issues are rectified with the newsletter we will begin sending to members.

As for resources to strengthen Chapters, we already provide much of that information through Doc Share and through the handbook provided to leaders at Leadership Rally in June of each year. If it is not being shared then it may be an issue you’ll have to address with your local Chapter, not National.

I understand if you are still not satisfied with what we are offering and you choose not to renew your membership. If you have additional questions or concerns we are happy to address them directly with you.


Thank you


Stephanie Cegielski

Vice President, Public Relations

Public Relations Society of America

amandalhill214
amandalhill214

Hi Carrie,


I appreciate your passion for PRSA, even if your experience hasn't been the same as mine. I've enjoyed thought leadership and industry perspectives in PRSA Tactics and The Strategist, as well as various posts written on the PRSAY and comPRehension blogs (both of which include member-contributed content). If you haven't had a chance to read those lately, I'd highly recommend.


Many other people have chimed in with their thoughts. As a newer member (does 10 years make me seasoned yet? ha!) of the profession, I am looking for ways to invest at the local, district and national level. I'm hoping to be one who can look back 20 years from now and be proud of where we are as an organization - and how we got there through collaboration and feedback.


PRSA is mostly a volunteer organization, but there is a (small) staff at headquarters in New York. In my experience, they are approachable and open to new ideas. I hope you'll have a chance to connect with them.


Best,

Amanda Hill, MBA, APR

AHalberSherm
AHalberSherm

I agree with all of this, fantastic post Carrie! I feel somewhat validated b/c I've had such similar thoughts for a while now - although, I wish there just wasn't a need for the conversation at all. As you said, change happens when people speak up!


I think it's really telling that when I'm looking for resources for my career (I'm PR Director for a content creation and promotion agency) - related to content marketing, digital PR, social media, etc.. - I don't even look to PRSA for insights anymore (local or national. I go to individual professional blogs, such as yours, or blogs from paid services (like Cision) because the changing landscape is basically ignored by the professional association. That's a terrible shame. It should be THE resource for PR pros - there are plenty of professionals willing to provide content, promote events, etc. The resources are there but they aren't being used. 


Hopefully, PRSA embraces this post and at the very least considers a dedicated community manager - I agree that could be a change that really makes an impact!

CarrieMorgan
CarrieMorgan moderator

It is fascinating how the conversation all seems to be revolving around the minor details instead of the three elephants in the room: horrendous social media (we need a PRSA community manager full-time), stronger visibility from PRSA in critical industry conversations, and collaboration between chapters. 


The right community manager with blogging skills could be absolutely incredible in doing ALL of those things. 

tressalynne
tressalynne

Carrie, I agree that PRSA National is a bit stodgy and, at times, seems to be stuck in a rut. As president of the St. Louis chapter, we are working hard to get out of that rut with more timely programming (convergent media, digital PR, etc.) and networking events where the only fee is to cover the expense--no profit. It is definitely a struggle to prove the value of membership with our local chapter and are open to any and all ideas. I especially like #5 so thanks for speaking out! :)


PS - I do get emails from National about upcoming webinars, events, etc. If you go to the "My PRSA" area, you can opt-in for whichever email alerts you'd like to receive. 

ggSolutions123
ggSolutions123

Wow. Tons of great ideas! Where do you get them all?! Well I guess when you're passionate about an industry, ideas flow naturally. This is an extremely interesting article, Carrie. Seems like PRSA misses out if they don't give a rapid response to people who truly want to elevate the PR world. I'm a little speechless. Sounds like they need all kinds of help, ideas, oomph, and a bunch of other needs. Yes, an overhaul is a big to-do but all good journeys begin with small steps. Keep those ideas coming!! :) In this overloaded climate, ideas are gold.

dbrody
dbrody

Carrie, Spot on! PRSA, like many membership based organizations, seems to have lost sight of how to best reach/serve their members. And, there seems to be a fear of sharing and letting non-members get access to information. I have seen this rigidity here in Washington, DC. There seems to be little appetite for collaboration. But the bigger issue of a communications organization failing to embrace the digital space is more disturbing. The wheels of bureaucracy seem to turn slowly, even as local chapters always seem to be offering PD events that deal with social media. In my opinion, in a few years, membership organizations are going to be obsolete. With many networking and learning opportunities available for lower cost online, there will be less incentive for people (especially solo practitioners) to pay the high annual dues. Judging from the responses to your post, the PRSA folks are aware there may be a problem, but reluctant to address it.

MarinaR
MarinaR

Hi Carrie, 


We always appreciate members taking the time to share their thoughts. When we met a few months ago, I was excited to get you onboard as a volunteer with our local chapter. We appreciate the work you’ve done with our Social Media Team as the community manager for our local chapter’s LinkedIn page. Local chapters depend on great volunteers to keep the chapters running.

As Abbie stated in her comment, we would both be happy to make introductions for you to National leadership since that’s where most of your concerns seem to lie. They can better address some of the items you raise. They are always great at supporting our chapter and answering member questions.

A few things I’d like to point out for clarification. When you log into your account on PRSA.org, you can opt-in to the emails you want to receive from National. This includes announcements about upcoming free webinars, trainings and seminars. You can also opt in to receive Public Relations Tactics online via email. You can view your settings by logging into your account, going to “My Profile” and selecting “My Communication Preferences.”

With regards to membership, PRSA National implemented a quarterly payment plan a few years ago to make it easier for members who have to pay dues on their own.

I apologize that you’ve had a hard time connecting with our local Master Practitioners SIG. I would have been happy to connect you with the person in charge of that group. I know that she would gladly add you to her list. In addition, we do our best to post the SIG’s events in our e-newsletter and on our events calendar.

Our local chapter Board meetings are always open for members to come and share their thoughts. Let me know if you are ever interested in attending.

Sincerely,

Marina Renneke, APR

PRSA Phoenix President

AbbieF
AbbieF

Carrie -- quite a lengthy blog post today :)  I am wondering if your frustration is with the local chapter, the District, the national office...or all of the above.


I have been a PRSA member since college, I have served the local chapter as a volunteer and a board member, co-chaired the Western District conference (in Scottsdale last year) and am currently chair-elect of Counselors Academy (for senior practitioners and agency owners). 


Your frustrations are valid. And I would strongly encourage you to share your thoughts with the local leadership here in Phoenix.  Our chapter is privileged to have two District officers (Paula Pedene and Doug McKenzie) who would gladly share your concerns with the national level.  And I would be happy to make some introductions to the national leadership as well.


The organization definitely needs members like you who take the time to express concerns and generate dialogue around how things can be done differently.

CarrieMorgan
CarrieMorgan moderator

One more thought - why can't we make local PRSA events occasionally free as part of membership, and monthly speaker events only available to members to give them a sense of exclusivity and value? That could boost value of the membership quite a bit, too. 


The local Arizona Interactive Marketing Association does something similar and it works very well. The  monthly events are free for members and $45 for non-members, and the turnout is fantastic. Annual dues are only $250. 

CarrieMorgan
CarrieMorgan moderator

@mdbarber Love your response, Mary, thank you.  


It is absolutely expected to have challenges. I'll take you up on your offer that I won't regret volunteering. Perhaps I can spearhead coordinating a brand ambassador program of member volunteers to help share the load? I think there are dozens of members across the country that would clamor to get involved, if we can harness that power to help the organization.


Would you mind emailing me at morgan (at) rockthestatusquo (dot) com? I'd love to talk to you on the phone if we can schedule a call. =)

CarrieMorgan
CarrieMorgan moderator

@AHalberSherm You are so right - that IS a terrible shame. For any industry, the primary trade association should absolutely be the #1 place to find learning and career resources. And for all levels of experience, not just newbies!

AbbieF
AbbieF

@CarrieMorgan  I don't know that I would go as far as calling it "horrendous." All organizations have opportunities to do better, be better.  Volunteer organizations, in particular, have to rely on its volunteers often times to make those improvements.  I believe our chapter does an excellent job when it comes to social as does our District.  Similarly, several of the SIGs on a national level do a tremendous job of keeping their members engaged through social.  Is there room for improvement? Of course.


I assume from some of your thoughts in your post, that you are not seeing all of the information that is produced by PRSA regarding issues - both industry and general business?  Be sure to update your profile online so that you are receiving these.  I can get daily blog posts, participate in online forum chats and see valuable white papers and content that I share with my team and clients when relevant.


As for chapter collaboration, what were you thinking?  I know in the past we have shared our programming with the Tucson chapter and vice versa.  And certainly at the District level, there is shared knowledge and best practices.  I see the camaraderie between chapters when I attend the national conference on a fairly regular basis. 

CarrieMorgan
CarrieMorgan moderator

@tressalynne I thought I had carefully gone through "My PRSA" but I'll take another look to see what's up. Thanks, Tressa! You are fantastic. :-) 


I have no doubt that many of the local chapters are doing fantastic things - would love to see PRSA have a social media forum or platform that really allows dialog between the chapters. How fantastic would that be!?!

CarrieMorgan
CarrieMorgan moderator

@dbrody Hi, Deborah, thanks! I love the idea of letting the dialog happen, since that creates the kind of change our industry needs.  Those resistant to the winds of change break and are swept away.


Your point about solo practitioners is interesting. It would be cool if PRSA did a member and industry survey segmented by the type of practitioner (agency, solo, non-profit, etc.) and title, really delving into where they aren't getting value from membership and their suggestions for new programs. Or use social media as a platform to drive deep into this kind of dialog. How awesome would that be? 


One of my favorite marketing brands is Hubspot for the fabulous job they do with content marketing. I'd like to see PRSA move that direction and be run more like a business, instead of a nonprofit.  

CarrieMorgan
CarrieMorgan moderator

@MarinaR I'd love that, Marina! Give me a few weeks to get through the health crisis with my dad, who has brain cancer and came out of a coma a few days ago, then I'll circle back. 


In regards to your comment about payments, my point wasn't about the cost, it was about questioning if the value is worth the cost. 


For the SIG group, I know the person in charge and have been chasing information since last September. I've asked to be on the list at least three times but always seemed to find out after the fact. Bummer, and now the year is over. Things move far too slowly for an industry in such massive flux. The point behind that was that members should not have to work as hard has I have over the last year to take advantage of the benefits.


My goal of this post was to kick off some important dialog, so thank you for chiming in!

CarrieMorgan
CarrieMorgan moderator

@AbbieF Perfectly handled, I'm rolling over for a belly rub. Abbie, you are simply awesome and a great example to all of us. Thank you. 

AshleyOakes
AshleyOakes

@CarrieMorgan We do provide some free online webinars. Unfortunately, since we are a non-profit, we have to set a fee for events to cover venue/food/drink/speaker costs.

CarrieMorgan
CarrieMorgan moderator

@amandalhill214 Can you share a little bit about what made you get your APR, and how it might have helped you? 

CarrieMorgan
CarrieMorgan moderator

@AbbieF @CarrieMorgan Abbie, this article refers to the national level, not local or district. Please don't take offense. 


My thought is that there is much room to create an online social media resource where chapters can share best practices, ideas, information and resources that would help other chapters be stronger - a single leadership resource and idea sharing platform that all might benefit from. Think of it as national conference online. Maybe that is something I can help create?


I'd also like to see a monthly Google hangout or chat happen where members can talk about their membership and give input. Give them a voice to help shape the value they get from belonging. Learn what is coming up in the next month. Get local chapters or districts the tools they need to hold the same chat at their level for their members, even. What do you think?


To your point about communications from national - even though I have the settings fully enabled, I have never received any communication since last year, so we are trying to get that fixed.  


I look forward to finding out what I don't know so I can keep writing about progress and shifts at PRSA. I'm an advocate, if we can get the doors of communication and receptivity open across PRSA, and hope to help make the organization stronger than ever. 


These conversations are an AWESOME start. =)

CarrieMorgan
CarrieMorgan moderator

@tressalynne I was fully opted in with the correct email address. That doesn't seem to be the issue.  

CarrieMorgan
CarrieMorgan moderator

@AshleyOakes Oh, I totally get that! The free online webinars are completely fantastic - but so much back-end work with no front-end promotion! It's a shame.


With the right effort, I'd estimate 20-40% of members could be doing at least one webinar each month and that attendance would grow a thousand percent. 

amandalhill214
amandalhill214

@CarrieMorgan @amandalhill214 You bet - it was a goal I set for myself early on, along with my MBA. PR is a crowded industry, and I was frustrated with practitioners that I felt didn't demonstrate best practices. So, I decided to get both my APR and MBA to set myself apart.


On the corporate side, the APR was encouraged by management for advancement. Now, at an agency, both the APR and MBA demonstrate my commitment to a high ethical and strategic standard. It's a differentiator for me that, in my opinion, was absolutely worth the work.


Would love to talk about it more, if you're interested!