PRSA Boston Blog

This is a blog written by the PRSA Boston president (Tom Nutile for 2008) about events and activities involving PRSA Boston

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Initial 2008 PRSA Assembly Report

This past Saturday (from 8 to 5 - more on that in another post) PRSA had its annual assembly. It was my honor to serve as the delegate from PRSA Boston. Compared to past assemblies, this one was relatively low-key – although we laid the groundwork for the “Mother of All Assemblies” in 2009 (Where the plan is to potentially rewrite all of PRSA’s Bylaws…)
I will be making a series of posts recapping the assembly over the next week, but I wanted to get a quick one in now.

PRSA National provided us with an update on the state of the society. Overall, membership has increased by 4,000 over the past few years, and the PRSSA will have more than 10,000 members. This bodes well for the future of our profession. In my opinion, We still need more members, and to do that we need to provide even more value.

There are a number of new initiatives planned, including:

PR Journal
APR Study Guide
Capitol Hill Program
Internship Guide
Diversity Toolbox
Established research policy
Assembly survey

You may notice advocacy and thought leadership are missing from the list – that is because they are core to the growth and mission of the society and are being tackled separately (and I plan to lend whatever assistance National wants on those efforts). I am not sure I agree with the order of the above activities, but there are initiatives here to expand our value to almost every member.

PRSA National highlighted its Clean Elections campaign. They plan to continue the dialogue post election. Again, I applaud it, but is elections central to most of the members? We are not an organization focused primarily on politics – let’s focus on business, academics, etc. But my concern is a matter of degree and this will benefit the members.

For 2008, PRSA National is also presenting a new section model and focused on improving chapter support.

They also recognized we need to strengthen core benefits. One example of potential interest to independents, small agencies and those in transition is PRSA will be offering new insurance programs for companies and individuals. More details to come.

Some random notes:

For those of you that hate having to remember your PRSA Number to log into Membernet, you can now change it via the preferences section.

If you are interested in getting more involved nationally, fill out the My Preferences section on Membernet to highlight your volunteer interests. National is watching.

PRSA Job Center now has some salary information. I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but combined with PR Week’s study, this should be useful to members for various reasons.

Significant changes to the PRSA Website are coming and they look good. They are also working on tying the local Web sites to national. They will provide templates to use in site redesign chapters want to keep the same look and feel. PRSA National would like your feedback on the proposed site. You can check it out and provide feedback on Membernet through November 15.

As always, post if you have any questions.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

2009 PRSA Boston Slate

Good morning,

A special guest posting as immediate past-president and chair of the nominating committee.

The formal stuff:

Pursuant to Article III, Section 3 of the PRSA Boston Bylaws and Article VII, following is the slate of proposed officers for PRSA Boston. At the time of election (our annual meeting on November 19) all will be active members of the society and chapter. If any members of the Board up for election (or currently serving) let their membership lapse during the course of their term, their duties will either be suspended or revoked at the discretion of the board.

Now I have that out of the way, the slate:

President – Jack Jackson, president On-Message Public Relations

Jack Jackson is president of On-Message Public Relations, an agency that traces its roots to the corporate, product and issue communication programs he began doing independently in 1998. Since then, his client base has extended to computer hardware and software companies; biotech and life sciences firms; Web and IT service providers; and, for the past four years, clean energy and environmental technologies. Jack’s PR career has played out almost entirely in New England—with the single exception being the year he spent in Redmond, Washington, where he launched and directed a 55-person PR office servicing Microsoft. In this capacity, Jack was lead outside PR counsel for all of Microsoft’s high-profile Web properties and interactive digital products.

Before turning to PR, Jack was a reporter for United Press International, specializing in science and technology news; a writer and editor for the Harvard Medical School Health Letter; an editor for the Chicago Tribune-New York Daily News Syndicate; and a segment producer for WCVB-Channel 5.

Jack earned his MBA in marketing, with high honors, from Boston University and holds a BS in science from Penn State. He’s been a PRSA member for 11 years now, and has served on the Boston leadership team since 2000.

President Elect—Meghan Gross, Public Relations Manager at Foley Hoag LLP

Meghan Gross has over 15 years’ experience in developing and implementing strategic communication plans for clients in a wide range of industries including professional and financial services and technology.

She is currently Public Relations Manager at Foley Hoag LLP, a 250-lawyer firm with offices in Boston, Washington, and Waltham, Massachusetts. As the first in this role, Meghan works closely with firm management to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy for positioning the firm and its core practice groups with its key audiences. Prior to her current position, she spent four years in a similar role at Ropes & Gray LLP.

Prior to entering legal marketing, she spent several years working on the agency side at Weber Shandwick Worldwide and Arnold Worldwide, managing account teams serving the technology and financial services industries. Meghan also worked in public affairs in Washington, D.C. at the well-known bipartisan public affairs firm, Powell Tate. She began her career in political media relations, working on state-level referendum campaigns in Massachusetts and in state government.

She is an adjunct instructor of public relations at Boston College in the Department of Communication. Meghan received her M.A. from The George Washington University and a B.A. from Boston College.

VP, Programs—Rod Gibbons, APR, Raytheon

Rod has more than 15 years experience in successfully leading top performing communications programs for diverse, global organizations in higher education, aerospace and defense industries. He currently directs the employee communications program involving 13,800 employees in a $5B business unit of Raytheon. Previously, he was the Public Affairs Director for the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. A former naval officer, Rod has served in dynamic and high visibility public affairs and aviation assignments around the world.

VP, Membership—Guy T. Shields, APR Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems

Guy has 20+ years experience in communications. He currently leads the external communications efforts for a $5B business unit of Raytheon. Previously, he was the Deputy Chief of Public Affairs for the U.S. Army in the Pentagon. A retired Army Officer, has had multiple assignments working internal communications, media relations and community relations for organizations ranging from two thousand soldiers up through more than a 750 thousand soldiers and their families. Guy has served in dynamic and highly visible public affairs assignments including Panama, Bosnia, Rwanda and Iraq. Guy has a BS from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and an MA from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI.

Treasurer- Darlene Hollywood, president, Darlene Hollywood Public Relations

Darlene Hollywood has supported publicity and public relations initiatives for both individuals and businesses for more than fifteen years. As sole proprietor of Darlene Hollywood Public Relations, Darlene, with a network of freelance consultants, currently supports PR efforts for national brands including Welch’s and Skinner Auctions & Antiques, as well as lesser know entities such as Kaon Interactive and Paxonix.

Prior to establishing her consultancy in January of 2006, Darlene was a director at Horn Group, servicing a high-tech clientele. Before Horn, Darlene was vice president of Laura Tomasetti & Associates (now 360 Public Relations) where she spearheaded several mom-focused campaigns for Hasbro, The First Years and Isis Maternity.

Secretary - Jackie Lustig, APR, Executive Vice President, Racepoint Group

With more than 25 years experience in public relations and marketing communications, Jackie focuses on business development, agency marketing, and a variety of initiatives that grow and strengthen Racepoint Group. In addition, she leads the agency team supporting One Laptop per Child – a campaign that has garnered the industry’s highest honors including the PRSA Silver Anvil and the United Nations Grand Award.

Prior to Racepoint Group Group, Jackie was senior vice president of marketing and business development at Weber Shandwick. She oversaw the firm’s advertising, intranet/extranets, collateral development, direct marketing, media relations and awards marketing programs. In 2005, both PRWeek and The Holmes Report named Weber Shandwick as “Agency of the Year.” In 2002, Jackie launched the newly formed Weber Shandwick in 68 offices in 23 countries.

Before Weber Shandwick, Jackie was deeply involved in the marketing of emerging technology companies. As the head of the Emerging Business Practice of The Weber Group and Vice President at Neva Group, she provided strategic counsel and architected award-winning marketing campaigns for numerous Internet-related, telecom and networking start-ups.

Jackie spent the first 13 years of her career in a variety of sales, marketing and financial communications roles in technology companies including Bytex Corporation, Prime Computer and Fujitsu Microelectronics.

Jackie has a BA magna cum laude in History from Brown University and an MBA summa cum laude in Marketing from Babson College.

Board member-At-Large, Diane Pardes, president of Pardes Communications, Inc

Diane Pardes, president of Pardes Communications, Inc., has 25 years of experience in high-tech, business-to-business, consumer and nonprofit PR. A veteran of major Boston agencies, Diane has a track record in providing creative and strategic counsel; designing and implementing results-driven campaigns; writing feature articles and whitepapers; and delivering high-level media coverage. She has worked with emerging companies as well as industry leaders such as the Wall Street Journal Interactive edition, IBM, Freixenet sparkling wine, Polaroid, Avid Technologies, and the Mass Technology Leadership Council. Diane has held senior positions at Miller/Shandwick Technologies (now Weber/Shandwick Worldwide), Redgate Communications (acquired by AOL), and Ingalls, Quinn & Johnson.

She graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She is also a member of the Boston Club and serves on the Strategic Planning Committee and Enterprise Committee. Her programs received a Bell Ringer merit award and a Telly award. Diane was recognized twice as one of the top 10 PR professionals in Massachusetts by Women’s Business.

Assembly Delegate, Julie Lear, APR, Lear Communications

Julie has more than 14 years public relations and communications experience creating award-winning launch, cause-related, and educational awareness campaigns for companies in the packaged goods, retail, food and beverage, and consumer health & beauty sectors. In 2005, Julie founded Lear Communications which specializes in strategic marketing communications for consumer product and service companies. Julie was formerly consumer group director at Schneider Associates in Boston. She began her career in television production working for both local network and national cable stations. Julie has previously served as PRSA Boston’s vice president of membership.