Diversity Should Be Celebrated All Year Long

By Alyssa Badalamenti, Diversity & Inclusion Chair

June 12 marked two years since the Pulse nightclub tragedy in Orlando. 49 beautiful lives were taken senselessly. Through the heartbreak, our city has since become more unified in its strong voice for diversity and inclusion because of who we are and who we represent. But when remembering this tragic incident and many others along the way, it’s hard not to be reminded of how much hate still exists in the world.

“Ultimately, America’s answer to the intolerant man is diversity.” – Robert Kennedy

That being said, while we can’t raise a magic wand this minute, we can do our part to build a greater immunity to hate and be more representative of diversity by deliberately being inclusive within our companies, our associations, and our own daily lives.

Just check out this list of 26 companies who celebrate diversity all year long. These companies are LIVING their differences, not just preaching it. Embracing all types of people, ridding the norms, and seeing a good person as a good person are what help shape D&I for all members of society.

“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and test of our civilization.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Recently our PRSA Orlando chapter board of directors decided we wanted to make a statement to our members that reflects our chapter on diversity and inclusion in addition to PRSA’s national defined role. After some brainstorming, we quickly realized….ONE STATEMENT? That’s like trying to sum up 200+ resumes on one Post-it note. Rather than providing one local statement that represents our chapter, we decided to reach out to our members to gather their own thoughts directly about D&I and use it to enforce our policies more authentically. Because like true practice, we should always incorporate our members into the discussion.

We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.” – Max de Pree

Here’s a little glimpse of what’s to come:

PRSA June Newsletter

June 2018 Membership Promos

by Beth Swanson, Co-VP Membership Recruitment Chair

During the month of June, PRSA is offering two promotions for new members.

Promo #1

Join PRSA between now-June 30, 2018 and you can receive membership to a Section of your choice free* ($60 value) when you use the code SECTIONS18.  Explore each Section to see which is right for you!

Eligible Professional Interest Sections:

As a Section member, you’ll receive:

  • A Section newsletter
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Networking opportunities online and at select events
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Discounts to Section sponsored events (when applicable)

Have questions?  Please email Beth Swanson, Co-VP Membership Recruitment at beth@swansoncomm.com.

*This offer does not include the Counselors Academy or New Professionals Sections and is not available to Associate member types ($200 or less annual dues) and current or renewing members. Refer to https://www.prsa.org/membership/membership-categories  for details.

 

Promo #2

Just starting out in your PR or Communications career?  Now is the best time to join PRSA!  For a limited time, you can receive a FREE New Professionals Section membership ($20 value) when you join as an Associate Member with 1, 2 or 3 years of experience. Just use the code AM18 on your application.  The New Professionals section provides resources and networking opportunities to get you started out in your career. Learn more at PRSA.org!

 

Even if these promotions don’t apply to you, let your friends and colleagues know about the benefits of being a member of PRSA.

PRSA Orlando May Newsletter

One size does not fit all: Diversity within communications roles

By Alyssa Badalamenti, Diversity & Inclusion Chair

I previously led communication strategies for an accounting firm and gained invaluable experience from this role. However, I remember feeling a little “out of the group” among my peers who had the traditional PR role for the local agencies who market for big brand names. Here I was, building out tax marketing lingo for a campaign I was proud of, yet sensed it wasn’t “sexy” enough to share with others.

Then, a PRSA member asked me to lunch so I could share some advice on best practices for email headlines based on what I’ve learned from my job. I was honored. Although I knew that I could write a book on the subject, I assumed this person would rather ask someone else since my financial audience may have been too lackluster.

Removing bias and embracing differences

This encouraged me to remove my own bias within the diversity of communications roles and instead embrace the differences between us. PRSA has given me reassurance that all of us have something sexy about our jobs because we all have something the others do not.  Each of us brings something unique to the table. That’s what makes us stand out from the crowd.

Besides, we already have diversity in most other aspects of our roles, despite the strength that unifies us by being in the same industry. Some of us are single executives. Others have three children and two pets. Some work from home. Some communicate to employees and some communicate to the media. Some work on websites while others tweet.

One size does not fit all

Just like how our society continues to make changes to be more inclusive, we as a profession are doing the same thing. Last year, PRSA changed the use of “public relations professional” to “communications professional.”  This will better reflect our membership base and avoid having members feel “out of the group” because our profession expands beyond traditional PR roles. This change will help show that PRSA encompasses a society for all communications roles to learn and advance from.

Our network of members provides a huge benefit to continuing your professional growth.  So no matter what company you work for, what title you have, or what audience you communicate to, we are all unique and diverse within communications; and we all have something to learn from one another.

2018 PRSA Membership Savings

by Beth Swanson, MBA & APR

Taking time from our busy schedules to refresh and renew with peers opens us to new ideas, advice and problem-solving assistance, according to Francesca Gino, a professor at Harvard Business School in a recent article on HBR.org.

During my 13 years as a member and volunteer, PRSA has provided me with just that through opportunities to meet communicators in my field and the industries where I’ve worked. These professional relationships are both fulfilling and enlightening and have made me a believer in the link between networking and career success. That’s why I encourage professionals in PR, marketing, and communications to join us.

This year PRSA is making it even easier to share the benefits of our chapter and national organization with several 2018 promotions that welcome new and returning members to PRSA.

Score a thank you gift and help a colleague save on membership dues during the Refer-A-Friend promotion. Members receive a $40 Amazon gift card for each new person who joins PRSA and lists your name as a referral on the application form (How did you hear about PRSA). PRSA will also waive your friend’s $65 initiation fee if they use the promo code FRIENDS18Applies to Member (3+ years experience) and Associate Member 3 (2-3 years experience) levels only.

Know a lapsed PRSA member? Let them know former members can use the promo code WELCOMEBACK18 and PRSA will waive their $35 reinstatement fee. Applies to memberships lapsed 6 or more months. 

Anyone applying as a new member can use the promo code JOINPRSA18 and the $65 initiation fee will be waived.  Applies to Member (3+ years experience) and Associate Member 3 (2-3 years experience) levels only.

All promotions are valid through Dec 31, 2018.  Learn more about PRSA membership benefits, chapters, and professional interest communities at https://www.prsa.org/membership/.

Have questions?  Please email Beth Swanson, Co-VP Membership Recruitment at beth@swansoncomm.com.

PRSA Orlando April Newsletter

Representation Matters

By Alyssa Badalamenti, Diversity & Inclusion Chair

The animated film, Coco, recently won Oscars for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song at this year’s Academy Awards. The film represented a young, Mexican boy who had dreams of becoming a musician; a heartfelt story with culture and diversity beautifully woven in. But it was Director Lee Unkrich’s words in his acceptance speech that really stuck with me:

“With Coco we tried to take a step forward toward a world where all children can grow up seeing characters in movies that look, and talk, and live like they do. Marginalized people deserve to feel like they belong. Representation matters.”

A small fire of emotion lit inside me after hearing this impactful sentiment because it resonates in so many places and among so many matters in this world. And while increased representation advances diversity and inclusion throughout all industries, it’s also directly important to our very own public relations industry. PRSA’s defined role in diversity and inclusion efforts is to reach and involve members who represent a broad spectrum of differences. Students and entry-level roles must be able to visualize themselves as a PR professional, and that goes hand-in-hand with actually seeing the representation of someone similar within our industry.

How else can we aim to involve members and learn from others if we don’t have representation of differences in the PR field? It’s probably safe to assume without researching statistics that several decades ago there weren’t many differences among the working individuals in our profession. Now, we have better resources, better strength, and better representation to include diverse members.

And by having diverse members, we can benefit by educating each other about our differences and provide knowledge and support to help each other succeed in PR. For example, representation of millennials has certainly correlated to evolving types of communication methods. Millennials have built momentum and created a standard in connecting in new ways with the media and the public.  Just look at police departments and their ability to communicate faster during a crisis by using social media. And yet, those same millennials are learning what actually to say during said crisis on social media, among many other tactics that come with experience, from their baby boomer peers.

If we continued as a profession to be more purposeful in increasing representation and talking about our differences, public relations professionals will have a continuous back-and-forth learning experience. The opportunities to grow professionally and personally are endless when there’s representation of diversity and inclusion within our own stories.

PRSA Orlando February Newsletter