January President’s Message

BeanlandHappy New Year!

It’s an honor to serve as PRSA Richmond’s new president, and I’m looking forward to a challenging and rewarding 2015. I’d like to highlight several exciting events and initiatives on the agenda.

APR Boot Camp
I’m incredibly excited to announce that PRSA Richmond will host the Mid-Atlantic District’s first ever APR Boot Camp on Apr. 16-19 at the Jefferson Lakeside Country Club. For people who already have their Accreditation in Public Relations, this means we’d love you to volunteer to sit on readiness review panels the afternoon of Apr. 16. For those of you who don’t have your APR, April will be the perfect time to get it! The cost of the boot camp is $400 but I’m pleased to say that PRSA Richmond will be offering scholarships to five local chapter members. Scholarship applications will be available at the January meeting and will be due Feb. 13. The deadline to register for the APR Boot Camp is Mar. 16. Contact Greg Surber with questions about volunteering or participating.

Bylaws Review
President-Elect Andrew Ryan, APR is heading up a special committee to examine our bylaws. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to participate in the review process. Our bylaws govern our organization, and it’s important that they reflect who we are and how we operate. Andrew will be providing updates on the bylaws review process throughout the spring, so stay tuned for more.

Now’s the time to be analyzing the work you did in 2014 and evaluating what will make a winning award entry. Too often, members tell me they have nothing award-worthy to submit for consideration. Nothing could be further from the truth! All of you are doing amazing, meaningful work every day. As you consider the work you’ll enter, think about the tactics and campaigns you’ve worked on that demonstrate a commitment to research, careful planning, solid implementation and thoughtful evaluation. If you’re too close to your work, take a friend to coffee and ask him or her to help you think through how to frame your entry. It really will help. Entries are being accepted online now, and remember, the early deadline is Feb. 23 and the regular deadline is Mar. 2. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the event itself—May 21 at the VMFA. If you have questions about awards, please reach out to Cameron McPherson.

On the Horizon
In addition to the activities outlined above, you can expect 2015 to bring nine powerful luncheon programs, two special professional development sessions, and lots of meet-ups hosted by our special interest sections. These sections—for senior practitioners, new practitioners, independent practitioners and practitioners working for non-profits—offer great ways to meet new people and share ideas. Also, make a note that the PRSA International Conference will be held in Atlanta from Nov. 8-10, 2015.

Serving as president is made much easier thanks to all the hard work our board members put in throughout the year. A list of all our board members is available on our website. Remember, everyone on the list first got involved with the chapter by volunteering to serve on a committee. If you’d be interested in giving your time, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can also learn about volunteer opportunities via our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Please drop me a line or give me a call if you have any questions about PRSA and its programs. I hope to see you at our January 28 luncheon and get to know each of you as the year unfolds.

Rachel Beanland, APR
2015 PRSA Richmond President
Washington and Lee University
(804) 616-6723