05 Oct 2011

2011 Year in Review – By Amy Littleton, President PRSA Chicago 2011

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This year has been full of change. Here at PRSA Chicago, the change has been very good.

While many organizations struggled to emerge from recession, PRSA Chicago had a record year. Significant sponsorship dollars and a wildly successful Skyline Awards program combined to put the organization firmly in the black.

In addition to buttressing PRSA Chicago’s financial position, this surplus will enable the 2012 Board of Directors to enhance programming, further build communications channels and provide additional member benefits.

Many thanks go to the dynamic Sponsorship duo of Abby Lovett and John Brooks and the Skyline team, made up of Bryan Blaise, Laura Micheli and a number of spectacular volunteers. Without these amazing leaders, this successful year would not have been possible.

Membership

In addition to a fantastic fiscal year, 2011 also was a record year for membership. With more than 500 members, PRSA Chicago is one of the largest chapters in the PRSA network. More Chicago-area PR professionals joined PRSA Chicago this year than in any other year since 2003. This surge in membership not only underscores the value of PRSA Chicago networking opportunities and programming, but also showcases the health of the PR industry in Chicago as a whole. Welcome to all new PRSA Chicago members.

Communication

You may have noticed that you received fewer emails from PRSA Chicago this year. The Communications team instituted a weekly e-newsletter program to streamline email communication. Rather than receiving numerous emails each week about various Chapter and Young Professionals Network activities, you now receive one email each Monday that contains everything you need to know. In addition to event details, this email contains surveys, news articles, national updates and more.

In 2011, the Communications team also enhanced PRSA Chicago’s social media activity. In addition to live tweeting at Chapter events, the team consistently delivered news, images and information via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to Follow, Like and Join.

Thank you to Dawn McKenzie, Andrea Cordts and the entire communications team for making such incredible improvements to Chapter communication.

Programming

Another highpoint of the 2011 PRSA Chicago season was programming. Hundreds of PR professionals turned out to learn about everything from social media to the health of the public relations industry. Content was robust, speakers were top-notch and Maggiano’s served up more healthy lunch options. PRSA Chicago’s monthly educational experiences were made possible by the dedicated effort of Jack Monson, Julie Schaeffer and Mike McGrath. Thank you.

In Sum

In addition to those mentioned above, thank you to the entire PRSA Chicago Board of Directors for a fantastic year. I very much appreciate your time and effort.

Past President Stephanie Krol

Treasurer Bob Kornecki

YPN/PRSSA team Alison Hamer and Todd Blecher

Senior Leaders team Julie Crothers, Scott Farrell and Virginia Mann

Membership team Kelly Drinkwine, Katie Feltz, APR and Sarah Karl

Accreditation team Joyce Lofstrom, APR and Ed Bury

Midwest Region liaison Herb Ritchell

I would also like to extend best wishes to PRSA Chicago President-elect Debbie Harvey. Debbie is a strong leader, a tenacious practitioner and an all-around great person. Our organization will be lucky to have her at the helm in 2012.

As 2011 comes to a close and we all get ready for a new year, I quote the famous Bob Hope by saying, “Thanks for the memories!”

– Amy

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