Strategic Thinking: Planning for PRSA’s future

February 19, 2011

The first months of every year are a great time to take stock of where we are and where we are headed — reflections that are good for both individuals and institutions.  As busy as you surely are, take a few minutes to look at just two documents concerning PRSA and you’ll gain great insight into today’s Society.

First, flip through PRSA’s just-released State of the Society report, which will quickly bring you up to speed on what we accomplished last year during 2010 Chair and CEO Gary McCormick’s tenure. Second, take a look at our newly unveiled 2011-13 Strategic Plan, and you’ll know where we’re heading this year under the guidance of Rosanna Fiske,  APR, our 2011 chair and CEO.

Reflecting on 2010 
Despite a lagging economy this past year, the profession continued to prove its value by serving the public good and helping businesses prosper.  We’ve seen indicators that the PR sector weathered the down economy better than other professions. For example, postings on our Jobcenter board increased in the middle of the year, before the general unemployment picture started to change.

In addition, we met our modest financial target, added member benefits, kept our dues the same for the ninth straight year and worked hard to deliver value to members.

The PRSA 2010 State of the Society report provides a glimpse into our many accomplishments from the past year.  We developed a fully digital, interactive report full of videos, audio, links to resources and other materials.

Highlights include:

Looking ahead
Last year was also one for reflection and planning. Early in the year, Rosanna led a team of senior-level executives in a thorough review assessing the state of PRSA and what services our members most desired.

This process wasn’t insular; it involved considerable time, effort and resources with external audiences to lay the groundwork for the strategic plan that will be vital to our success.

With all the tools PRSA has in place to hear from members and the broader profession, we can proactively adjust our programs on an ongoing basis. This ensures that we always offer the most up-to-date and valuable resources and professional development experiences.

For example, we heard from senior members who were seeking different types of professional development opportunities. So in November 2010, we broadcast a webinar on measurement in partnership with AMEC, and in 2011, we plan to conduct a seminar on measurement with the Institute for Public Relations.

The PRSA 2011-13 Strategic Plan builds on the simple alphabet mnemonic (A-B-C-D-E) introduced early last year by Gary McCormick, which refocused our mission on the core areas of Advocacy,  “The Business Value of Public Relations,” Communities, Diversity, Education, Ethics and Excellence in Society Management.

You can find the Plan, along with our 2010 State of the Society report, at PRSA.org. I invite you to review both and see how PRSA continues to provide invaluable resources, helping you become more successful professionals.

William (Bill) M. Murray, CAE, is the chief executive officer of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
Email: william.murray at prsa.org


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