Highlights of PRSA Int'l Conference

Posted by PRSA_MelissaMY on 11/22/2015 11:17 pm  

Group photo: Bob Sheldon, APR, Fellow PRSA and Gretchen Roufs, APR met with members of the Southwest District at the recent PRSA International Conference in Atlanta. Discussions centered on future planning for regional conferences.

By Gretchen Roufs, APR, PRSA San Antonio president-elect

I was honored to represent our chapter at the annual Leadership Assembly meeting, the Annual PRSA International Conference, and our Southwest District PRSA group in Atlanta, held November 6-10.

First on the agenda was the PRSA Leadership Assembly, which is responsible for identifying, discussing and addressing issues of concern to the public relations profession, and for serving as a liaison between the PRSA Board and its Chapters, Districts, Sections and membership. It is comprised of delegates elected by their peers. At the recent Leadership Assembly meeting, delegates passed two bylaws changes:

  • An amendment that revises the dues structure for Associate members (the Associate membership category is for new PR pros). The bylaws amendment allows Associate members to pay reduced dues rate for four years (vs. two years) before being upgraded to the regular member rate.
  • An amendment that allows the PRSA board to increase dues by no more than 5% over a 5-year period. This amendment ensures that the Leadership Assembly retains the ability to approve the dues structure, while giving the Board the flexibility to manage the Society’s assets within a defined parameter.

We were also updated on the state of the Society, which today has over 22,000 members and 342 chapters and includes members from five different generations. A “town hall” session was part of the Leadership Assembly (allowing delegates to bring up topics of interest and concern). People talked about the desire for an updated PRSA website (it’s coming in 2016); helping chapters with online award submissions (that was my question, and I know our San Antonio Del Oro committee is already looking at this); the desire to have the international conference held “somewhere west” for a change (I later heard rumors that Texas might be on the list as a possible future meeting site); and the need for more support of PRSA’s professional sections. 

It was an enriching experience in so many ways, including interacting with the best public relations professionals in the business, including some of our own PRSA San Antonio chapter members who attended the conference. It was great to spend time with you, Christine Patmon of CPS Energy; Bob Sheldon, APR, Fellow PRSA of Sheldon Public Relations; Karina Cardona Alderete of Whataburger; and Darcy Lea Schroeder of Koch Companies Public Sector in Corpus Christi. I plan to do some blog posts on other topics from the conference (e.g., APR process/exam enhancements; innovation and how to foster the “what if”’; being a sought-after thought leader; and more). Stay tuned! 

Photo of three: Doug Cannon, APR, Fellow PRSA, Ann Cannon, APR and Bob Sheldon, APR, Fellow PRSA attend the annual College of Fellows Induction Banquet held prior to the start of the PRSA International Conference in Atlanta. Doug and Bob were both inducted to the College of Fellows in 2014.