Detroit Chapter Public Relations Society of America | June 2010
By Rich Donley, APR
While PRSA-Detroit has traditionally shut down in July and August, there will be no cooling off this year as we continue to offer programs, professional development and networking opportunities all summer long.
To keep the momentum going from the first half of 2010, your board members and committee chairs/co-chairs will meet for a Spring Leadership Retreat this month to build upon their initiatives to date, refine plans for the rest of the year and set the foundation for a successful 2011.
Some committees have done an outstanding job since the beginning of the year, while others are just starting to see the fruits of their labor. Others could use some additional assistance. If you’re interested in joining a committee or donating some of your time and talents, please contact me or Nancy Skidmore. It truly is a rewarding experience.
For companies and organizations looking to take advantage of what PRSA has to offer besides membership, career enhancement, new business opportunities and the like, consider a chapter sponsorship. You can cost-effectively reach more than 550 key public relations practitioners, communicators and a host of other decision-makers, who receive our Bulletin via e-mail. Sponsorship packages for 2010-2011, which will be offered at the same reduced pricing as 2009 — and with enhanced marketing benefits — will be posted on our website and e-mailed this month. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Nancy Skidmore our Sponsorships/Fundraising Chair Jennifer Flowers, APR. Thanks in advance for your continued support.
To be or not to be APR – that is the question.
APR. Ever wonder what it stands for? Yes, Accredited in Public Relations. But, what does it really mean? Can you succeed without it? Can you afford not to earn it? How valuable is it? Can you make more money or be more marketable with an APR? Is it required for leadership within your company? How crucial is it to serving PRSA? As PR professionals, we could do a better job of positioning the certification of our profession.
“Established in 1964, the Accreditation Program is the profession’s only national post-graduate certification program,” according to PRSA National’s website. “It measures a public relations practitioner’s fundamental knowledge of communications theory and its application; establishes advanced capabilities in research, strategic planning, implementation and evaluation; and demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct.”
According to PRSA, more than 5,000 professionals from the agency, corporate, association, nonprofit and education fields hold the APR mark. Less than 20 percent of all PRSA members are accredited. The Detroit chapter, which has an award-winning APR prep program, boasts 133 accredited members – representing 37 percent of our members. It’s pretty impressive, but still doesn’t seem high enough. What is preventing members from pursuing this certification – the certification of our profession?
Early on in my public relations career, I was skeptical and questioned the value of APR. I felt this way, in part, since I was not schooled in public relations; I majored in journalism and radio/TV/film. As I moved up in the PR profession and became actively engaged in PRSA-Detroit, I fully embraced the challenges and opportunities of earning my accreditation. It was one of my most rewarding career accomplishments, and certainly a major highlight in my life.
However, accreditation is certainly a hot issue. Adding to the heated debate, six PRSA (not PRSA-Detroit) members recently formed an ad hoc committee, The Committee for a Democratic PRSA, to “petition PRSA to abandon the decades old requirement that its national officers and board members be accredited … the signatures will then be forwarded to the PRSA Assembly which will be urged to remove APR as a barrier to PRSA leadership going forward …”
The PRSA-Detroit board of directors is currently evaluating the petition. We are very interested in what our members think about APR, why you pursued it or haven’t, the requirement for APR to serve at the national level, etc. Please look for an e-mail survey soon seeking your input. Thanks in advance for your participation in this hot topic.
Thursday, June 17
The PRSA Counselor’s Academy invites senior PR practitioners to join Summer Sync on June 17 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. for an evening of networking, socializing and sharing best practices. Professionals from the Ann Arbor/Detroit/Ypsilanti areas will gather at the Pizza House in Ann Arbor, for complimentary pizza, drinks and discussion. Each attendee will receive a ticket for one free drink at the bar. If you are a veteran PR practitioner with 10 or more years of experience, please register by responding to Pam Young, APR or call 734-487-4400 no later than June 10.
For nearly 25 years, Eisbrenner Public Relations has been helping B2B and B2C clients reach their marketing goals through strategy, creativity and counsel. Clients benefit from our team’s 100 years of collective experience in all aspects of marketing communications, branding and public relations. http://www.eisbrenner.com
By John Austerberry, APR
PR Newswire – which provides news distribution services for text, photo, audio and video along with targeting and measurement services and Webcasts – has signed on as the Title Sponsor for this year’s event. The Open will be held Sept. 15 on the Strategic Fox par-three course at Fox Hills Golf Club in Plymouth.
“We appreciate PR Newswire’s support of the Open,” said John Austerberry, APR, chairman of the 2010 Open. “I want to thank Mike Isopi, the company’s Detroit-area senior account executive, and Dave Bonkosky, business development manager, for recognizing the value of the Open in providing scholarships for deserving PR students. PR Newswire’s financial commitment to the Open is especially important at this time, when students and their families are struggling to fund their educations.”
While the title sponsorship is taken, a variety of other sponsorship opportunities are available at various cost levels. All sponsorships will include recognition at the event, on the PRSA-Detroit website and in social media channels. Additional benefits are available for Corporate, Beverage and Lunch sponsors.
Even though the Open is still months away, golfers should block out the date on their calendars now. And remember, the par-three format levels the field for foursomes that lack a big hitter. The Strategic Fox rewards accuracy and good putting. The cost to play is $300 per foursome or $75 for individual golfers.
Additional information on sponsorships will be available on the chapter website* (see note above) later this month.
In-House Hospice is one of the leading hospice providers in Michigan and Ohio serving over 500 patients, daily. Headquartered in Southfield, In-House has experienced double-digit growth over the last 10 years and was selected by The Detroit Free Press as one of the Top Work Places of 2008 and 2009. www.in-househospice.com
By Kristine Schultz
Have you ever wished you could package all the wisdom you’ve learned over the years and give it to students entering this ever-changing profession? The PRSA Mentor Protégé Program gives seasoned public relations professionals the opportunity to “pay it forward” by becoming a mentor.
The Mentor Protégé Program matches college students studying PR and communications-related fields with professionals who have at least five years of communications experience.
As a mentor, not only will you have the opportunity to acclimate the student to the profession, you’ll be amazed by what you’ll learn from your mentee.
“In working with my mentee, Katie Marroso, I soon realized that I probably had as much to learn as I did to share,” said Steve Blow, vice president, Eisbrenner Public Relations, who became a mentor this year. “The mentor/mentee relationship truly becomes a two-way street – and that’s one of the most satisfying aspects. Katie and I have had numerous discussions where I’ve tried to give advice and insight into the profession and what it takes to succeed and, in turn, have gained interesting perspectives and new ways of thinking about how I approach my job.”
Mentors help students in many ways, including:
The Protégé committee carefully selects each pairing based on compatibility. The mentor and mentee are matched for one school year and can choose to maintain their relationship outside the program, if they wish.
Katie Marroso’s perspective as a mentee in the program is unique. She is an adult learner in the midst of changing careers.
“My experience with the program has been nothing short of spectacular, she said. “I have 20 years in the workforce but not in PR, so the questions I ask my mentor are different than a person just starting his or her career. I find that I can apply the knowledge my mentor shares with me in a very broad yet focused way, and it is just one more thing that makes this program valuable to me.”
A mentoring relationship is invaluable not only to the student, but to the professional.
“The mentor/mentee relationship has been a constant reminder to challenge assumptions and always take a fresh look at my work. I certainly recommend that any experienced communications person consider participating in the program,” said Blow.
For more information about the PRSA Mentor Protégé Program, please contact Protégé chair Ash Mathew.
PR Newswire is a global leader in innovative communications and marketing services, enabling organizations to engage target audiences worldwide. Through its multi-channel distribution network, audience intelligence, targeting, multimedia and measurement services, PR Newswire helps organizations conduct rich, dynamic dialogues with the media, consumers, investors and the general public. www.prnewswire.com
Whether you’re a qualified public relations practitioner looking for a job or an employer seeking a qualified practitioner, the PRSA-Detroit Job Resource Center is the perfect resource to help meet your needs.
Need to fill a position?
Post your job openings at www.prsadetroit.org to reach the best and brightest public relations, marketing and communications talent. The cost to list the position for a 60-day period is $30 per posting for PRSA-Detroit members and $60 per posting for nonmember companies. Local companies and recruiters are encouraged to utilize this tool to reach a targeted pool of practitioners.
Even if you’re not in charge of hiring, spread the word to your HR or recruitment teams about this great opportunity.
Looking for a job?
The first place you should look is at the PRSA-Detroit Job Resource Center. Job openings are posted by employers seeking qualified public relations, corporate communications, investor relations and/or marketing employees on a regular basis. You’ll find job titles, complete job descriptions and directions on how to apply.
By Deborah Walker, Certified Career Management Coach
With today’s level of competition for good jobs your resume has only one chance to make a great first impression. To be considered for interviews your resume must have that special something that grabs the reader’s attention and motivates them to call you. Here are five strategies for transforming a blah document into a WOW resume that will get employers calling you.
1. Keep your focus clear and to the point.
The first thing potential employers need to know is what you do and the position you are interested in. In the past, job seekers have used an objective statement at the top of their resume to indicate their employment interest. With the lightning speed scanning approach that recruiters take in viewing resumes, a wordy, vague objective statement taking up three or more lines of text just doesn’t get the job done. In most cases they don’t get read.
Instead, write a short, direct professional summary that clearly illustrates your career focus. Your statement should include your profession, how long you’ve done it and your particular areas of expertise. Something to the effect of:
Remember, your resume is not a historical tell-all. To keep your focus clear, make sure that everything following in your resume relates to your focus. Leave off extraneous details.
2. Stuff your resume with key words.
The more key words you use the more frequently your resume will show up in online searches such as LinkedIn, TheLadders and CareerBuilder, etc. Additionally, employer resume data bases also use key words to query for qualifying candidates. Without appropriate key words, your resume will be electronically ignored. Without key words, your resume is being shot off into a black void each time you submit it.
A good way to make sure your resume is full of key words is to check it against job postings. Use as many of the key words found in the responsibilities and qualifications sections of job postings. As much as you can, match up your terminology with what you find in job postings.
3. Keep your resume reader-friendly.
Nothing gets ignored like a resume full of lengthy blocks of text. No one has time to read through that much information. Resume screeners need to be able to absorb your information quickly. Leave out extraneous details so that key facts show up easily. Separate blocks of text into smaller easy-to-digest snippets of information. Use white space to separate bullet points so that each stands out. Be sure that your font size is readable: nothing smaller than 11 point.
4. Include plenty of accomplishments.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you must include accomplishments throughout your resume. Write accomplishments that show how you solve universal problems such as saving time, cutting costs, improving performance and increasing customer satisfaction. Your accomplishments should stand out on your resume in bullets separate from your responsibilities. Don’t make the common mistake of combining responsibilities and accomplishments in a long list of bullets. List your responsibilities in a small block of text and your accomplishments in bullet form following.
5. Get your best information on page one.
It’s true, if you can’t grab their attention on page one they won’t stick it out to find out the wonderful things you’ve got on page two or three. This presents a problem for those who experienced their most productive work five or more years back. The solution is to use the hybrid resume format that allows you to create a highlight of accomplishments section at the top of page one of your resume. This area of your resume is reserved for the best examples of your work. The accomplishments you include should illustrate the key transferable skills needed for the position you are interested in.
Don’t delay in implementing these resume changes. Employers are waiting for you with opportunities for a better career and a better life.
Read more career tips and see sample resumes at Alpha Advantage.
Stratacomm is a strategic communications firm that educates, persuades and motivates people to drive results. Using research as a guide, we create integrated campaigns that raise awareness, enhance reputation, shape policy and build market share. While independently managed, we are part of Fleishman-Hillard, offering boutique service with global resources. www.stratacomm.net
By Tom Tryban, APR
If there were a blue ribbon for networking with LinkedIn, Travis Parman, APR, might’ve won it. Not that it matters to him. To Parman, director of Public Relations at Ally Financial Inc., the online business network has served its purpose – expanding his search for career opportunities and talent to hire, as well as finding peers and mentors who can counsel him in niche communication areas and in a new industry.
“LinkedIn is just a normal part of my networking,” says Parman. “It certainly facilitates a job search. You’re able to tap into not only the people you know and trust, but also the connections of people they know. It just expands your search enormously and generally improves the quality of results because you’re relying on recommendations from a foundation of people whom you trust.
“Plus, I recently moved from the automotive industry to banking and finance. Through my contacts on LinkedIn, and then the larger network of business professionals, I’ve learned more about financial services and public relations’ role in it, as well as certain communication niches, such as social media, community relations, diversity and philanthropy.”
LinkedIn has more than 65 million members in more than 200 countries. In fact, close to half of LinkedIn members are outside the U.S.
Parman, who also has Twitter (@TravisParman) and Facebook accounts, has about 1,000 primary contacts on LinkedIn. His contacts run the gamut in age. While the majority are under age 40; at least one-third are senior-level practitioners.
Even journalists use Parman’s digital accounts.
“I think it’s kind of a modern Rolodex; I’ve had reporters follow me on my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts,” says Parman. “If they need information or if they have a story idea, they know there’s more than one way to get hold of me.”
Parman even has a separate LinkedIn account for fellow members of PR Week’s “40 Under 40” group so they can network and share items of unique interest to the group.
“Whether it’s for your career or your personal life, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to leverage. You can learn more about your industry, about your field, from people from around the world. It’s really making the Internet work for you.”
Kelly Services, Inc. is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to 480,000 employees annually. Visit kellyservices.com.
PushTwentyTwo has been selected as agency of record by Wittock Supply Kitchen and Bath to handle all branding, advertising, and web marketing efforts.
The Quell Group has won two prestigious, international 2010 Hermes Creative Awards for its work in website design. The Quell Group was recognized with a gold award in website design for the automotive publication AutoBeat Group www.autobeatgroup.com, and an honorable mention in website design for global steering company, Nexteer Automotive www.nexteer.com.
June 17 – Summer Sync, For practitioners with 10 years experience or more. Reservations required. 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Pizza House, 618 Church St., Ann Arbor.
Sept. 15 –PRSA Open Golf Outing, Registration 11 a.m., Lunch 11:30 a.m., shotgun start 12:30 p.m., Strategic Fox course at the Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center, 8768 North Territorial Rd., Plymouth
Nov. 11 – PRSA Detroit Annual Meeting, The Townsend Hotel, Birmingham