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Dear Members and Friends of PRSA,
What a great year it was. Thank you, PRSA members and friends for a wonderful 2016.
In a recent survey, our members said that professional development and networking were most important to them about their PRSA San Antonio membership. So we focused our programs and events around those two things. I kept a “journal” of our events, and the magic number was 1,212. That is, 1,212 people attended our programs and events this year, which means that we had person-to-person interaction with over 100 people each month. A statistic I’m very proud of, because all of that interaction included networking, and most of the events included professional development. Some highlights of 2016:
- We had a 50% increase in attendance at our luncheons in 2016.
- The “Outliers” program was initiated in 2016 for our members who don’t live or work in San Antonio. This program kicked off our outreach efforts to engage our Outliers.
- Mentorship! Our new mentorship program will be kicking off in January, providing opportunities for new PR pros to learn from members who are more seasoned PR pros.
- We implemented an electronic awards submission process for Del Oro awards. That process change was life-altering (in a good way, of course) for entrants, judges, and awards committee members. Our mantra during all of that was, “No. More. Binders.” (If you’re a past Del Oro award entrant, you know what I’m talking about.)
- Our Del Oro awards event at the San Antonio Zoo had record-breaking attendance AND a cocktail hour that included carousel rides on the Zoo’s old-fashioned carousel. A PR pro’s photo op dream.
- The Gift of Guidance program was re-formatted to make the process more of an interactive strategic session. The other meaningful change was the inclusion of some of our APRs as facilitators. Being in the midst of that session with so much wonderful interaction and spirit made my heart full.
- We started doing our meeting evaluations online. No more of those food-stained evaluation forms on the tables at our luncheon programs.
- Three of our board meetings were graciously hosted by board members’ organizations, including the Children’s Shelter, The UTSA Department of Communications, and Northwest Vista College’s Public Relations Department.
- We outsourced our bookkeeping and on-site meeting registration to a local business, freeing up our board members’ time and energy to focus on strategic things.
- Our San Antonio chapter membership continues to hover around 200. We initiated a member information session program this year, with a 30-minute visit and Q&A session before a lunch meeting. The response was good, and we welcomed new members as a result of that session. We’re looking forward to continuing the member information sessions 30 minutes before several monthly luncheons in 2017.
- The year ended with another successful holiday mixer, co-sponsored by PRSA, the American Marketing Association, and the San Antonio Association for Hispanic Journalists. Guests brought nightlights to “light the way” for the kids at Boysville.
Like I said, it’s been a great year. I enjoyed my year as our chapter’s president, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to provide service to our profession, as I hope everybody will do at some point in their PR careers. One of the best things about the year was having such a wonderful tribe of PR colleagues and friends, including our board of directors, who are talented, thoughtful, generous, and fun. I feel really blessed.
On January 12, our 2017 president, Melissa Monroe-Young, APR, will take over. Melissa is an awesome leader, strategist, PR professional, and has already started working on things for 2017. Melissa will be a marvelous president and I know you will love her plans for the year, including the January 12 luncheon featuring a Social Media Influencers panel, and a January 19 Breakfast Meeting featuring past Del Oro winners who will share their winning secrets.
Congratulations, Melissa, on being elected as our San Antonio chapter president.
Wishing you a good health, happy friends and family, a job that you love, and many good adventures in the new year.
Gretchen Roufs, APR
PRSA San Antonio 2017 President