November President’s Message

BeanlandIt’s hard to believe my presidential year is drawing to a close. I feel honored to have had the chance to lead one of the United States’ largest and most active chapters of the Public Relations Society of America, but the real privilege has been getting to chance to meet and work with so many of you.

Past president Jill Vaughan was recently interviewed by PR Week for a regional spotlight on Richmond’s PR industry. If you haven’t gotten the chance to read the article, you should. She says we’re a “tight-knit group” willing to lend each other a hand, and I couldn’t agree more.

I’ve loved watching this play out throughout the past year. Our members are generous with their time and talents, and the result is that we got a ton done this year. We revised our chapter’s bylaws, rolled out a new website (and the customer relationship management system that supports it), revamped our sponsorship package and hosted the Mid-Atlantic District’s first APR Boot Camp. Then there was the everyday work of hosting nine luncheon programs, three professional development seminars, a public service program, two happy hours, several section-specific events and Student Connections Week. Whew!

We can do all of this because we have an amazingly committed board and dozens of members who step forward to sit on committees each year. If you’ve never volunteered with the chapter, I urge you to consider getting involved in 2016. Serving on a committee is the best way I know to get plugged in, and it’s how I came to know so many of the people who I now consider not just colleagues but very dear friends. If you’re interested in joining a committee, reach out to president-elect Andrew Ryan, APR, and let him know where your interests lie.

As we approach the end of 2015, I would also urge you to consider making a year-end gift to the chapter’s foundation. The Richmond Public Relations Foundation supports current and future practitioners alike by offering both college scholarships to students and accreditation assistance to members seeking their APR. It’s a wonderful organization and worthy of your ongoing support.

At our November meeting, we’ll be installing next year’s executive board and introducing you to your new committee chairs. PRSA Richmond is in great hands, and I look forward to seeing what the chapter accomplishes in future years. As for me, I’m a better public relations professional for having had the chance to lead this organization, and for that I thank you.

Warm regards,

Rachel Beanland, APR
2015 PRSA President