President’s Message: Participation and Engagement Vital to PRSA Detroit

By Tom O’Connell, PRSA Detroit Chapter President

We are closing in on the end of February, and it is hard to believe my PRSA Detroit presidency is already nearly two months old. Since Tim Wieland passed the gavel to me at our Annual Meeting in November, our board and committee members have been working hard on events and activities for 2018.

When I spoke at the Annual Meeting, I expressed my theme as a focus on participation and engagement. I was encouraged by the response from the audience, our Board of Directors and Committee Chairs. At our December planning meeting, we all agreed that getting new voices involved in our chapter is vital to its future.

Since then, our Social Media Committee has been doing a great job encouraging our members to get involved with committees and make the most of their PRSA membership. Our Membership Committee is finalizing a survey that we expect will provide us with important information on what we are doing right and what we can improve. Please look out for it in the near future and share your thoughts with us.

It was also great to start the year off with a tremendous January program, featuring Ron Fournier, publisher and editor of Crain’s Detroit Business, along with a panel of his senior staff. For February, we were honored to join IABC Detroit and partner with Wayne State and DTE Energy for their program “The PIO and the Right to Know”. Our Programming Committee is working hard on other events for the rest of the year – so stay tuned!

One event you won’t want to miss is our Strikes for Scholarships and Silent Auction on May 10. You can find more information here. This event features fun and networking, but also is important to help us provide scholarships to area PR students. Since 1993, we have awarded 44 scholarships, totaling $44,000. Your participation helps us continue this effort and meet our 2018 fundraising goals.  Our Scholarship/Fundraising Committee works very hard on the event and auction – so please support their efforts!

And speaking of scholarships, our application for the Donald P. Durocher Memorial Scholarship Award is now available to be completed on our website. The deadline is March 31 – so please share with any PR students you think would be interested.

Lastly, I would like to thank all of our chapter leaders, volunteers and sponsors. PRSA Detroit needs the energy and support of our members and partners to thrive and their commitment to the organization is very much appreciated.