03 Jan 2012

A message from our new chapter president, Debbie Harvey

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2012: A Year to Reinforce Public Relations’ Trust and Transparency.

Happy New Year! I’m thrilled to be spearheading one of the nation’s largest and thriving PRSA chapters, particularly during a time when ethics, trust and transparency around public relations and communications at large very much need to be reinforced. 2011 was a troubling year for building – and defending – reputations, from corporate America scandals to political investigations to university meltdowns.  Communications professionals need to be on the front lines working to counsel executives and organizations on how to be resolute and reputable.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “the years teach us what the days never know.”  While we have seen days of strife, today we must take a step forward in helping to define and defend what public relations is.  Toward the end of 2011, PRSA national commissioned a PRSA Definition of Public Relations Task Force to crowdsource a better, more modern definition from our own members about what “public relations” truly means.  I encourage each of you to take part in this discussion and contribute your thoughts.

In our own backyard, we know there is much to do and time is of the essence.  Our goal in 2012 is to continue to prove to you, our valued members, that PRSA is a very useful and important resource.  You can expect to be kept abreast of the resources that national is implementing that are available to all members.  You can expect new, exciting topics to be explored during our programming agenda, as well as revisiting previously popular ones from a different angle.

This year we are adding networking opportunities to our monthly networking luncheons by reinvigorating quarterly social post-work networking events, providing a more well-rounded offering for our members to interact and get to know one another.  We are also implementing an Advocacy committee to help network with other industry organizations in our market and identify opportunities to work together to elevate the visibility of the practice of public relations in Chicago.

You can expect engaging and dynamic speakers, streamlined communications and more opportunities than ever to get involved this year.  We hope that you take advantage of these many opportunities and that I get to connect with you throughout the year.

And, you can expect to see a lot of information about the inaugural Midwest Chapter Conference this summer, through which Chicago has partnered with our neighboring chapters that comprise the Midwest to bring exciting speakers and lively discussions for our members for the first time in downtown Chicago.

The board of directors and committees are extremely excited about this year, and we hope that you will see and feel this excitement as you get involved.  Please make sure to take part in our social media channels to be kept up to date on upcoming activities through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

I thank you for your continued support of PRSA and our Chicago Chapter, and I look forward to seeing you at PRSA events!

Debbie Harvey, MS, APR
PRSA Chicago Chapter President