As many readers of Communication Overtones may already know, I am a long-time member of PRSA. I joined in 1995 and have been a pretty active member ever since. I still serve on my local board of directors and participate in some committee work and professional development at the national level.
Most recently I have been working on a committee with Andrea Weckerle, Steve Lubetkin and others on how PRSA can join in the social media fray. I am a big believer in the idea that if you don't like something, you need to work to change it.
We all have read the criticism about the slow movement of most of the major PR organizations in this area (both in the U.S. and abroad), but having also worked in association public relations for most of my career, I believe PRSA is doing a good job of taking risks. For instance, for a number of years advocacy has been an important priority for the association, and though it has been conducted mostly in the mainstream media, and not in social media, the association has taken a stand on a number of issues and given media interviews in support of these initiatives.
I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting the new incoming PRSA Chair and CEO for 2007 Rhonda Weiss, but some behind-the-scenes conversations and a recent interview in Bulldog Reporter, makes me think that I will like her style.
Some excerpts from her interview:
My theme is “bold and aggressive.”
- First, I want our 32,000 members to become engaged in things they have a passion for. An example is inviting all of our members to sign up to work on a committee task force or other group that matches their passions to projects…
- Second is offering professional development tools and resources in every medium possible—that includes print, online, audio, webinars, podcasts and the whole Web 2.0 mix. We want to offer tools that people can access from wherever they are at any time of day…
- My third goal is to make sure we're not incubating—and that we're out there taking risks. Traditional thinking in organizations is to pick what you're best at and to stick with that. But we are going to try new things. For example, I might launch a blog. Another example is building our professional resource center online… we want to be the “Google of PR.
She also says the new PRSA President should be announced within the week.
I am looking forward to what Rhonda’s energy, and hopefully that of the new president, will bring to the table.