Connie Connors ? Connors Communications, New York
Lately it seems there is a lot of controversy surrounding the governing politics of the PRSA. While its mission is important, I don't sense a commitment to the future. For those of us in new media, accreditation seems irrelevant and the awards programs have done little to recognize stellar campaigns. I'd like to see it place more value on new media as a huge growth area and more outreach education on using new media as a communications tool. It should also encourage PR pros to consider careers in new media and expand the awards to recognize this important area.
Gabe Werba ? Durocher Dixson Werba, Detroit, MI
The PRSA has to do a better job of advancing the status of PR with employers, clients, government, educators, the media, and the public. For the PRSA not to have a first-class 'PR for PR' program is incomprehensible. It should set up a professional in-house staff dedicated to addressing the industry's image problem. If this isn't possible, the organization must convince large agencies and corporations to donate the services of one or two professionals for a year ? enough to staff a pro bono PR team on a continuous, rotating basis. Failing that, maybe the PRSA should retain a PR agency to take it on as a client.
Sam Waltz ? Sam Waltz & Associates, Wilmington, DE
The continuing challenge for the PRSA is to adapt and reinvent itself to better meet the needs of both current and prospective members ? and cost-efficiently. It needs: professional development that equips members to deal with the next generation of our work; resource information to help them deal with current issues; reputation management that helps create a market and value for PR work; and ethical professional standards that lift and differentiate the professional practice of members, and that support reputation management for PR.
Gail Winslow-Pine ? Jackson Jackson & Wagner, Exeter, NH
First, the PRSA must start practicing the true essence of PR: motivating desired behaviors from its existing membership by getting down to the chapter level (making use of chapter councils and leadership) and practicing basic elements of relationship building. Second, its national leadership needs to place a greater emphasis on educating business leaders that PR is not a one-way media race. The group should put its energies toward the social science of PR, cross-fertilizing members' knowledge and getting the 'spin' monkey off its back. Lastly, it might want to adopt the motto 'serve, not sell.'