Getting Your Boss to ‘Yes’: Gaining Employer Approval to Join PRSA

In today’s economy, we know that you need to justify every expense, including spending time and money to join professional associations and attend events, both in-person and virtual. Follow these step-by-step instructions to gain approval from your management to join PRSA, a community of more than 21,000 public relations professionals.


PRSA Offers Certificate in Reputation Management

Interactive Live Online Course Focuses on Providing Management-level Communicators with Best Practices and Fundamentals for Effective Reputation Leadership 

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and Reputation Economy Advisors have partnered to provide a unique series of  online classes aimed at equipping management-level communicators with industry resources to strengthen their credentials, gain greater credibility and advance their career through a cumulative eight-week certificate program in reputation management.

Corporate reputation management is a concept at the core of the communications profession — one that has matured into a management discipline over the past 20 years and extends beyond the traditional domain of the function. As reputation management has expanded into the realm of business strategy and corporate governance, communicators are seen as the go-to experts inside their organizations.

To equip management-level communicators with advanced perspective, best practices and resources to meet the changing expectations of senior management for reputation leadership, this brand-new professional development offering is designed as a certificate-of-completion program. The live, online series of eight modules will launch on May 10, 2017 and run through June 28, 2017, airing each consecutive Wednesday from 3–4 p.m. EDT. All modules will be recorded so that participants can review them after the live date.

Additionally, participants who are PRSA members will be given access to PRSA’s Reputation Management Community, an exclusive online forum offering private access and interactive dialogue with other members taking this course.

After successfully completing a 16-question, multiple-choice test at the end of the series, registrants will be awarded a certificate-of-completion and digital badge for their LinkedIn profile and resume.

The eight-week Reputation Management Course modules include:

  • Your Reputation Champion’s Path: (Anthony Johndrow, CEO, Reputation Economy Advisors & Laura Kane, Chief Communications Officer, PRSA)
  • KPIs and Collaboration, the Reputation Journey: (Leigh Horner, Vice President, Corporate Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility, Hershey)
  • Measurement Discipline—Solve the Reputation Value Equation: prove it – using analytics to quantify impact of Communications efforts (Billy Mann, Partner, Quadrant Strategies)
  • CSR and Reputation – Establishing a Vision: (Pamela Gill Alabaster, SVP Corporate Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility, Revlon Inc.)
  • Reputation and the CEO: (Leslie Gaines-Ross, Chief Reputation Strategist, Weber Shandwick)
  • Digital Reputation: (Jim Issokson, Senior Vice President/Group Head, North American Communications, MasterCard)
  • Corporate Diplomacy and Executive Leadership: (Mike Fernandez, CEO, Burson-Marsteller USA)
  • Reputation and the Communicator’s Career: (Lisa Ryan, SVP, Heyman Associates)

For more information.


Presentation of Pat Jackson Award – April 12

The Yankee Chapter will honor Van McLeod, posthumous recipient of the of the 2017 Patrick Jackson Award on Wednesday, April 12, at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord from 5:30 – 7 p.m.

There is no charge for this gathering. Learn about the history of the Patrick Jackson Award and the man who was a national PR leader at this cocktail reception and tribute to this year’s recipient, Van McLeod.


Report from PRSA Leadership Assembly

PRSA’s annual meeting of the Leadership Assembly was held on Saturday, October 22nd, in conjunction with the International Conference being held in Indianapolis on the following three days.  The Assembly is the Society’s legislative body, and 203 delegates representing Chapters from around the country and the world gathered to hear reports on the state of the Society from its leadership and to vote on the Society’s incoming leaders as well as proposed bylaws changes.  Delegates from the Yankee Chapter were current President Liz LaRose and President-elect Tom Bebbington.

The Assembly voted to elect Anthony W. D’Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA, chair of the Society for 2018. D’Angelo, professor of practice, public relations, at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse, N.Y, will serve as PRSA’s chair-elect on the National Board of Directors in 2017.

In addition to D’Angelo, several other candidates selected by the PRSA National Nominating Committee were elected to the PRSA National Board of Directors today for two-year terms beginning in 2017. The new board members are:

Treasurer: Debra D. Peterson, APR, vice president, external communications and community relations, CenturyLink, New Century, Kan.
Secretary: T. Garland Stansell, APR, chief communications officer, Children’s of Alabama, Birmingham, Ala.

District Representatives:

  • Director, Tri-State District: Andrew McCaskill, APR, senior vice president, global communications, Nielsen, New York, N.Y.
  • Director, East Central District: Richard J Batyko, APR, Fellow PRSA, senior vice president, marketing, communications & development, Team NEO, Medina, Ohio
  • Director, Western District: Michelle Olson, APR, general manager, Scottsdale office, Fingerpaint, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Director, Northeast District: Jo Ann S. LeSage Nelson, APR, vice president, client services, Pierce Communications, Albany, N.Y.
  • Director, Mid-Atlantic District: Samantha Julie Villegas, APR, president, SaVi PR, LLC, Washington, D.C.

Director At-Large:

  • Robert T. Hastings, Jr., APR+M, Fellow PRSA, executive vice president, communications & government affairs, chief of staff, Bell Helicopter, Fort Worth, Texas

They join incumbent Board of Directors members returning for 2016, including:

  • Chair: Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Immediate-Past Chair: Mark W. McClennan, APR
  • Amy T. Coward, APR, Fellow PRSA, vice president, public relations, Palmetto Health Foundation, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Bonnie P. Upright, APR, senior vice president, Olympus Foundation Management, Orange Park, Florida
  • Don Hale, vice president for public relations and marketing communications, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
  • Joyce A. Lofstrom, MS, APR, senior director, corporate communications, HIMSS, Chicago
  • Ronele M. Dotson, APR, president, RAD Strategies Inc., Reno, Nevada
  • Sam James Morrey Sims, APR, director of public relations and marketing, US Fleet Tracking, Edmond, Oklahoma

Also of note: the Yankee Chapter’s own Jane Law, APR, was elected as a national 2017 national delegate-at-large. Delegates-at-large serve a one-year term and represent PRSA members who are not affiliated with a chapter.

There were three proposed bylaws amendments before the Assembly as well, each requiring a 2/3 majority to be enacted:

Amendment 1601 proposed changing the bylaws to allow the Leadership Assembly to vote remotely if it should be impractical to do so in person, e.g., in the event of a severe weather event at the meeting location that makes travel hazardous or impossible. The Board of the Yankee Chapter recommended a yes vote on this proposal. The proposal passed 183-14.

Amendment 1602 proposed changing the bylaws to allow the current Board of the PRSA to interview and recommend officer candidates, duties that previously were the responsibility of the Nominating Committee. The Board of the Yankee Chapter recommended a no vote on this proposal. The proposal passed 159-52.

Amendment 1603 proposed changing the bylaws to enable the Board to modify the Society’s bylaws, duties that heretofore had been in the hands of the Assembly. The Board of the Yankee Chapter recommended a no vote on this proposal. The proposal did not pass, 125-81.

Jane Law, APR

Congratulations to Jane Law, APR National Delegate-at-Large

Yankee Chapter’s own Jane Law was elected to the position of 2017 national Delegate-at-Large at the PRSA Leadership Assembly on October 22. Delegates-at-large serve a one-year term and represent PRSA members who are not affiliated with a chapter. The delegate-at-large positions require that the candidate hold an APR or serve or have served as a board member of a Chapter, District or Section. To be considered for the position, candidates should be outstanding in their ethical conduct, their participation in and commitment to PRSA and their professional achievements and recognition. Characteristics of each candidate also include leadership experience with PRSA and/or other professional associations; in-depth knowledge of PRSA, including an understanding of PRSA’s governance structure and broad knowledge of the public relations profession.

In her application, Jane noted “I strongly believe that PRSA members who have no chapter or section affiliation should have as much of a voice in the strategic direction and operations of the association as those who do have a more direct, closer affiliation with PRSA (through a chapter, district or section). As a Delegate-at-Large, I could help provide that voice for those unaffiliated members.”

Congratulations, Jane!


Call for Speakers – NESHCo

The New England Society for Healthcare Communications, is seeking speakers for its 2017 spring conference.

If you are interested in giving a presentation at the conference,  download the Call for Speakers form.

Deadline for submission of proposals is Oct. 17, 2016.

If you proposing are more than one session, complete a form for each session. Send your proposal electronically only to:

Proposals will be acknowledged and speakers notified by December 12, 2016.

If your presentation proposal is accepted you will be required to meet the following deadlines:

  • Conference/speaker registration: March 1, 2017
  • Book hotel room: May 5, 2017
  • Prepare one-page PDF describing your presentation: May 1, 2017
  • Submit full presentation to NESHCo: May 1, 2017

NESHCo will send you the appropriate forms to be completed by the deadlines above.

Questions? Please call (401) 443-2361 or e-mail us at


It’s time to nominate for the Patrick Jackson Award

The Yankee Chapter seeking nominees for it annual Patrick Jackson Award that will be presented at the chapter’s annual meeting in November.

The Patrick Jackson Award


Patrick Jackson

The award was established in 1988 designed to recognize a professional who is not in the public relations field but nonetheless successfully uses public relations principles to benefit his or her organization and society. The purpose of the Patrick Jackson Award is to recognize excellence in the practice of public relations and demonstrate a track record of building relationships which earn trust.

Patrick Jackson, APR, Fellow PRSA was a founding member of the Yankee Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and one of the leading thinkers and practitioners of his day. Information on Jackson may be found at

In light of the fact that an organization’s success in relationship management often is a result of a team, the award may recognize the head of an organization or movement, or, if appropriate, an organization (for-profit or not-for-profit) which exemplifies the principle of sound public relations. (Previous Recipients)

Click here for to go to the 2016 Jackson Award nomination form. 

Award Criteria
Nominees must have a proven record in at least one of the following areas:

  • Building relationships that earn trust which contributes to organizations effectiveness or
  • Demonstrating leadership in a crisis by using public relations principles, or
  • Bringing about changes in society by finding accommodation with public needs, or
  • Showing concern for the common good, not just concern for the success of the movement or organization

The nominee (individual, or in the case of an organization, its CEO, or functional organizational head) must agree to be present at the award presentation. The nominee should be based in the Yankee Chapter PRSA service area of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Submission deadline is October 10, 2016.

Questions? Contact Pat McGee, Yankee PRSA Awards Chair


Accepting Nominations for the 2016 Summit Award

2016 Summit Award

“Excellence in Community Engagement”

The Yankee Chapter PRSA Summit Award recognizes excellence in a specific area of focus, which varies year-to-year, based on trends, behaviors, and new technologies in the public relations field. Prior awards have included:

“Special Event Excellence” — 2013 – Families in Transition, Manchester, NH
“Employees as Ambassadors”   2012 – Dyn – Manchester, NH
“PR Miracles – PR in Times of Challenge” — 2011 – The NHHEAF Network Organizations, Concord, NH
“Excellence in Social Media” — 2010 – Kelliher Samets Volk, Burlington, VT

2016 Summit Award Focus: Community Engagement

The 2016 Summit Award recognizes excellence in achieving strategic public relations objectives through a community engagement strategy. The results of an organization’s community engagement strategy may have informed policy decisions, improved the targeting of services, built community ownership, or involved those who might not normally be included, resulting in increased community spirit and empowerment of individuals. The award winner (individual, team, or business) will be recognized for effectively planning and executing a community engagement strategy to support specific public relations goals.

Within the application, please demonstrate how your community engagement strategy:

  • Involved and engaged a broad range of people and sectors,
  • Created movement and/or change related to specific public relations goals; and
  • Focused on collaboration and inclusion.

Award Criteria

Entries will be judged on the following factors:

  • Situation analysis (context and key stakeholders)
  • Strategic organizational objectives
  • Goals and benchmarks for success
  • Execution
  • Results


  • PRSA Yankee Chapter members; or
  • Public relations businesses, organizations or individuals with a primary address within the Yankee Chapter PRSA region (Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont)
  • The winner (individual, team, or in the case of an organization, its CEO, or functional organizational head) must agree to be present at the award presentation

Application Fee

  • New! For 2016, Yankee PRSA is waiving the application fee.

How to Submit Entries

Entries may be submitted in a variety of ways, as long as the entry includes the award criteria previously described. Electronic presentations, videos, documents, binders etc., are all welcome. Choose the format that best displays and explains your work. Entries can include links to existing work, content or articles that support your entry. The award will be presented at the Yankee Chapter PRSA Annual Meeting in late November 2016. Updates will be provided on the Yankee PRSA website at

Submit entry electronically to: or mail it to:

Yankee PRSA Summit Award, 53 Regional Dr., Suite 1, Concord, NH 03301

All entries must include

  • Name & Title
  • Organization Name & Mailing Address
  • Telephone Number and Email

Submissions must be postmarked by October 10, 2016

Questions? Email:


Join PRSA Now and Get a Free Chapter Membership

Do you have more than three years of experience in public relations? 
Join as a Member ($255 annual dues plus a one-time $65 initiation fee). Receive a FREE Chapter, Free Section and waived initiation fee with promo code COMMUNITY16.

Special pricing is also available for Associate Members, former PRSSA members and graduate students.


Reflections on the Value of the APR

By Seth Wheeler, APR

Having sufficiently recovered from earning my Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in November of 2015, I’ve begun to notice the many ways in which the experience has influenced my work life and the way I think about my job.

Seth Wheeler, APR

Seth Wheeler, APR

As anyone who’s gone through the process will attest, the APR exam covers a lot of ground. What does the Agenda Setting theory tell us about the impact of media messages? What’s the difference between a tactic and a strategy? What the heck is Irving Fang’s Easy Listening Formula? I haven’t studied for anything like this since college, and frankly, a lot of the minutia has already settled down deep in the memory vault. What remains fresh and relevant every day, though, are the broader lessons the APR teaches about the values of our profession and how we can maximize them for ourselves and the organizations we represent.

I thought when I started the APR process that I’d be learning new and creative ways to “manage” information and “shape” the public’s perception of my company. How refreshing it was to learn straight away that the ultimate goal of public relations was to serve the public good by simply telling the truth. I’m fortunate to work for a member-owned cooperative. I work with good people who want the best for this organization and the members it serves. When the company’s policies or procedures are perceived to be in conflict with a member or group of members, my first instinct is not to batten down the hatches and go on the defensive. My first instinct is transparency. We have good people with good intentions. Let’s explain how we arrived at this point and get to work on a solution.

It’s this simple clarity of purpose that I return to time and again. I notice these days that there are fewer situations at work where I’m uncertain about how to proceed. There are fewer judgement calls and hunches. Instead, decisions are made based on established processes, the goals they support and the professional ethics established by the APR. In short, the APR provides much-needed clarity when the water gets murky.

Seth Wheeler is a Yankee Chapter Board Member and the Communications Administrator at New Hampshire Electric Cooperative in Plymouth, NH.