A Midyear Report From PRSA's 2018 Chair

June 27, 2018

Two outstanding efforts this spring advanced diversity and inclusion as a strategic priority for PRSA.

The PRSA Foundation’s annual Paladin Awards ceremony on May 9 honored PR leader and diversity champion Lou Capozzi, APR, Fellow PRSA, while raising $185,000 for grants and scholarships for promising students from diverse backgrounds, as well as mentoring for midlevel professionals.

Our National Diversity & Inclusion Committee, led by James Shackelford, hosted a “State of PR Diversity” discussion on June 22. I was honored to introduce commentary by C-suite executives from FleishmanHillard, GLAAD, Golin and Porter Novelli, and proud of the panel contributions of PRSA leaders Angela Chitkara, PR track director at the City College of New York, who moderated, and my board colleague Andrew McCaskill, APR, senior vice president at Nielsen.

It is a professional imperative that we engage people of all creeds and belief systems, ideologies, races, ethnicities, ages, gender and sexual orientations, nationalities and more. PRSA welcomes all, so that all may help us chart our course in an environment of civility and collaboration. 

Thought leadership

PRSSA’s premier event, the Bateman Case Study Competition, annually gives Chapters the opportunity to create and implement a comprehensive PR campaign. 2018 saw an unprecedented 84 entries. Congratulations on a meaningful résumé builder!

This year’s Silver Anvil Awards, featuring a new format and award categories, showcased exceptional work from across the country. I was pleased to see many of the entries tied to creating conversations around major societal issues, underscoring the important role that public relations plays.

Industry outreach

PRSA continues to partner with other organizations to generate research that impacts the profession. Some of the projects we were associated with in the first half of the year included: the 2018 Annenberg Global Report focusing on the evolution of ethics; a special edition of the Public Relations Journal focused on corporate social responsibility, funded in part by grants from the Page Center; and a technology survey in conjunction with APPrise Mobile.

This fall, we are introducing a survey produced along with Edelman to assess how professionals are measuring the impact of campaigns.

Professional development

Our PD team continues to roll out new certificate programs. In June, PRSA concluded its certificate program on reputation risk. There is still time to register for the Measurement and Analytics Certificate, Content Marketing Certificate and PESO courses. Visit prsa.org/pd for more details on the offerings.

September is Ethics Month, when we will offer a webinar and a series of blog posts discussing this vital subject. Member research has shown emphatically that thought leadership in professional ethics is the most valued aspect of PRSA membership, and the aspect that we deliver best. We will focus relentlessly on ethics — nothing we do is more important.


Earlier this year, I asked our National Governance Committee, led by Jessica Graham, APR, to examine PRSA’s bylaws and policies and procedures relative to concerns raised by a variety of members about member adherence to the Code of Ethics.

We constantly hear news reports of reputational damage to organizations by bad actors associated with them and, in these times, it’s appropriate and necessary to consider what recourse PRSA has, should a member’s actions harm the Society’s or our profession’s reputation.

Currently, the answer is “very little,” and that’s compounded by a lack of clarity in our bylaws, policies and procedures. The Governance Committee is considering the ethical and legal aspects of defining “a member in good standing” and the requirements for maintaining that status, and will develop one or more proposals for consideration by the National Assembly this year.

As I write this, individual members are in the process of developing bylaw proposals as well, per current procedures. PRSA’s Assembly delegates will have the opportunity to discuss and evaluate all pending proposals on their merits, and I appreciate the efforts members are dedicating to develop them for the Society’s betterment.

Anthony D’Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA

Anthony D’Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA, is the 2018 chair of PRSA.


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