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October 16, 2010

PRSA Leadership Assembly Focuses on Future, Strategic Value of Public Relations

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 16, 2010) — Delegates to the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) 60th Assembly, and the inaugural PRSA Leadership Assembly, turned their attention toward the Society’s strategic planning as they met prior to the start of PRSA’s 2010 International Conference, “Powering PRogress.”
Delegates were provided with a vision for PRSA’s future as part of the annual State of
the Society Report, given via a joint presentation by Gary D. McCormick, APR, Fellow PRSA, 2010 PRSA chair and CEO, Rosanna M. Fiske, APR, chair-elect of PRSA and William M. Murray, CAE, PRSA president and CEO.
The primary focus of the presentation — “PRSA 2010: On Course for the Future” — was on enhancing the fundamental goals of the Society, which include: Advocacy, The Business Case, Communities, Diversity and Education.   
The Society’s APR (Accredited in Public Relations) credential was a focus of the Leadership Assembly. Delegates amended the agenda to emphasize a discussion regarding the future and value of the APR.
Additionally, the bylaws amendment to expand minimum requirements for board service from solely accredited APR members, to APR or leadership experience in PRSA or tenure in the profession, was defeated, 104 in favor, 172 opposed. The APR remains a mandatory eligibility requirement for PRSA board service.
“It was encouraging to see such an inspired, passionate and collegial discussion around the direction the Society will take with its leadership and strategic positioning over the next two years,” said Gary McCormick, APR, 2010 PRSA chair and CEO. “[Saturday’s] vote to retain the APR accreditation requirement for PRSA board positions demonstrates our members’ commitment to the continued excellence and strategic value of public relations.”
As part of the Leadership Assembly, Donald K. Wright, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, professor of public relations at Boston University and editor of Public Relations Journal, PRSA’s research journal, and Christina M. Darnowski, director of research and project management for PRSA, gave a research presentation, titled, “Defining the Role of the Public Relations Professional of the Future,” which is available to download.

“This year’s Assembly was another example of how professionals come together and help a large, member-focused organization, such as PRSA, grow, prosper and enhance its value to its members and the business community,” said Rosanna Fiske, APR, 2011 PRSA chair and CEO. “With all of the exciting and valuable initiatives the Society is currently undertaking, including “The Business Case for Public Relations,” and our enhanced advocacy and diversity programs, I’m confident PRSA will continue to grow, both in our membership and in advocating on behalf of the profession.”
The Leadership Assembly was created in 2009, via a change to the Society’s bylaws, to engender discussion and debate among Society delegates surrounding pertinent issues and trends affecting the public relations profession.
About the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
With more than 31,000 members, PRSA is the largest organization of public relations professionals and students. PRSA is comprised of 111 local Chapters organized into 10 geographic Districts; 16 Professional Interest Sections that focus on issues, trends and research relevant to specialized practice areas, such as technology, health care, financial communications, entertainment and sports, and travel tourism; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which has more than 300 Chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. PRSA is headquartered in New York.
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