Happy New Year! What wonderful opportunities we have before us. Before I begin, I want to thank the Immediate Past President Stacy Swanson and the 2016 board for their terrific work. We will build on their ongoing momentum. Thank you!
Let’s get personal. As I wrote in my military PR transition blog, I am deeply indebted to the PRSA and specifically to the local Pikes Peak Chapter. PRSA helped me to connect with Colorado Springs PR professionals, provide tangible advice for my Army retirement to civilian journey, connect with different stakeholders, gain a cultural understanding of the Springs’ and civilian landscape, and obtain my Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). Simply amazing!
You, the Pikes Peak PRSA Chapter members, are truly my family. Besides my lovely wife’s family who has lived here over 100 years, you’re it! With public relations being a niche career field, we need to continue to learn, talk and share with one another. Communications can be quite the character. It’s fun, fast-paced and ever-changing!
Teamwork is vital to any success or positive change. So – let me introduce our 2017 Pikes Peak PRSA Board Members:
President-elect: Christy McGee, APR; Immediate Past President: Stacy Swanson; Vice President: Andrew Montgomery; Treasurer and Accreditation: Fred Morgan, APR, Fellow PRSA; Secretary: Samantha Briggs; Membership: Katherine Sartain; Community Outreach: Joy Maples, APR; Communications: Marjorie Noleen; Public Relations: Sarah Schaefer; Assembly Delegate: Patrice Lehermeier, APR, Ethics: Janet Stevens, APR; Advocacy: Catherine Creppon, APR; Awards: Paul Fanning, APR
Please make sure you thank these wonderful PR leaders for their time and commitment to our chapter.
Our board is excited as we began initial discussion into some different areas to assist our networking, professional development and learning. We have an open survey that we want your feedback on… more details below. But, let me go over a few topics that we discussed:
1. Make PRSA More Relevant to You. We have an open survey and currently only half of respondents believe that PRSA is beneficial to them. Topics will center on “how to’s”, communication strategy, reputation management, mentorships, crisis and digital communications.
2. Luncheons on Wednesdays! Based on our survey feedback to date, Wednesday is more accommodating to schedules. See you Jan. 11 and Feb. 8!
3. Take our online Survey – 3 minutes, 10 questions. Let us know what we are doing well and what we can improve on. Here’s the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MYJXK5N.
4. Workshop planning now. A significant majority of survey respondents said the professional development all day workshop is helpful. We are starting the planning now to ensure we continue this great tradition. We will seek speakers from the Denver area.
5. Shared event with Denver PRSA. A majority of surveyors said they want a Denver/Colorado Springs event – located in Castle Rock. I have started the discussion with the Colorado chapter. This might be a short professional development followed by networking. More to follow.
6. Breakfast on Friday Mornings. We will have several Friday morning breakfasts throughout this year. Look for one breakfast per quarter which will be an addition to the luncheon. Right now, we will probably have a 30-minute professional & 30-minute networking portions. Low cost. Low maintenance. High reward!
7. Mentorship makeover. Younger PR professionals are seeking advice on how to make their office or business more successful. We have several master practitioners that can provide insight and understanding. Again, PR is a niche area. It’s great to have a mentor at any age.
8. APR Workshop. I obtained my APR and it was worth it. Read my APR journey blog to get more detail. With this said, we have one of the best coaches in the nation. Please take advantage of our local accreditation chair’s (Fred Morgan, APR, Fellow PRSA) knowledge and teaching.
9. Awarding Excellence. We will be awarding two PR professionals this Wednesday with our new "Caught In The Act" award. And we want to recognize even more practitioners this year. The Lifetime Achievement Award - Pinnacle and Community Leader Award - The Vista Award need to be presented to deserving individuals. Let's find the best practitioners and recognize them!
As you can see, we have a engaging agenda set with room to maneuver and adapt. Again, we need your specific feedback on the survey. Please email or call me if needed. My email is JP.Arnold@AspenPointe.org and my number is 719-314-4312. I am available during the work day, evenings and weekends.
Finally, I invite you to attend our Wednesday, Jan. 11 Luncheon with the new Gazette Editor Vince Bzdek as he talks about “The State of the Gazette” and pitching stories. The Wednesday, Feb. 8 luncheon will be about “Communication Lessons Learned from the 2016 Presidential Election” with Social Media Expert Lauren Hug and The Independent News Editor Adrian Stanley sharing their insights and takeaways.
Thank you for being a member of the Pikes Peak PRSA Chapter. Our profession has never been more exciting or prominent in this non-stop, multi-channel, real-time communications age.
Let’s make 2017 a fantastic PRSA year!
A PR salute to you!
JP Arnold, APR
President, Pikes Peak Chapter PRSA
Communications Manager, AspenPointe
Adjunct Instructor, PPCC