Today was a big day for me by many standards: Not only did I put on eyeshadow on for the first time in eight months, but I got to pretend – for a few blissful moments – that the world wasn’t upended by a virus or consumed by a still-undecided election.
Instead, I stood safely 6+ feet from away from several of our area’s finest PR pros as they accepted well-deserved awards from our chapter. The socially distanced audience was comprised of just three chapter members and a videographer. Listening to the honorees’ remarks, the chaos and anxiety faded away – and I was filled with inspiration and admiration.
As you may have guessed, we were recording the 2020 PRemier Awards, which will be brought to you virtually on November 17. I know you think you can’t take one more video event, but this one is packed with so many must-see moments. Info about how to access it will be coming your way soon! I hope you’ll tune in.
The election and COVID-19 will continue to dominate the news cycle, but remember this month also ushers in the holiday season. Thanksgiving will feel very different for most of us this year, yet the spirit of the day will remain. And I for one am very grateful for this community of communicators and the work you’ve all done … in a year unlike any other.
Thank you for being such a rich part of our profession – and of PRSA Northeast Wisconsin!
- Erin Elliott, APR
President, PRSA Northeast Wisconsin
The PRSA Code of Ethics lists six professional core values that PRSA members and, more broadly, all public relations professionals should follow. These values provide the foundation for the Member Code of Ethics and set the industry standard for the professional practice of public relations. These core values are: Honesty, Advocacy, Expertise, Independence, Loyalty and Fairness.
Over the course of several months, I’m examining each of these values in more detail.
We provide objective counsel to those we represent. We are accountable for our actions. (PRSA Code of Ethics)
According to Jim Lukaszewski, APR, Fellow PRSA, independence is one of the most important values we can bring to our job and our employer. As he writes, it is “the source of our integrity, our power and influence.”
As PR professionals, we have a responsibility for safeguarding not only the interests of our employer/client but our constituents as well. It is very hard to give sound counsel if we are dependent on the exclusive authority of those who are in charge.
Put another way, “…our own moral codes demand that we stand up to authority when it conflicts with ethical practice,” says Kate Snyder, APR, a member of the Counselors Academy executive committee.
The value of independence, and the reason it is one of our core values, is that it permits us to perform our job without being affected by influences that compromise our professional judgement, thereby allowing us to act with integrity and exercise objectivity.
By: Megan Sullivan
UW-Oshkosh PRSSA, VP of Events
In late September, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s chapter of PRSSA welcomed Kristin Rozek, PRSA member and School and Community Relations Specialist for the Green Bay Area Public School District. Kristin shared some great advice and served as a much-needed resource during the “new normal” of this semester.
With Rozek being an active PRSA member, as well as her unique role in the Green Bay Area School District, she offered helpful perspectives about how to best manage communication during unpredicted challenges. "I am proud of the way the Green Bay Area Public School District has handled the COVID-19 pandemic," said Rozek. "We have worked tirelessly to support our students, staff and families during the most difficult of circumstances." She gave UWO students insight as to how to best handle various public relations challenges. She highlighted her favorite aspects of her job, what it is like to work in a small, close-knit team, as well as being a calming voice of information for families struggling during these times.
"Working in School PR is extremely rewarding, as I have the unique opportunity to help tell the stories of our talented and diverse students, staff and families," said Rozek. "Their stories of resilience, excellence and success deserve to be shared, and it's my honor to do so." It was truly inspiring for PRSSA students to hear the importance of loving one’s job and chosen career path. Rozek emphasized the need to be passionate about one’s career and encourages students to prioritize finding a job that fits their personal values.
When discussing the need to interview companies as much as they are interviewing you, Rozek shared how much experience puts you at an advantage. "Set yourself up for success by seeking out multiple internship opportunities while in college," said Rozek. "Internships are the best way to get real-world experience and determine whether a certain career path is for you." Sometimes, the best way to know what you want to do as a career is knowing what you do not want to do. Internships are not only a great place to learn transferable skills outside of the classroom, but also give you insight into where your passions lie as a young professional.
After answering a series of questions from undergraduate students, Rozek was able to leave the meeting with encouraging final thoughts. "I would encourage students seeking employment after college to stay positive, and not get easily discouraged," said Kristin Rozek. "Ask for informational interviews, meet with employees of your desired organization, attend networking functions and take any and all interview opportunities - it's great practice!" UW-Oshkosh’s PRSSA chapter was beyond grateful for the time that Kristin Rozek took out of her day to answer all of their questions. Speaking with PR professionals is simply the best way to gain first-hand knowledge and a great starting point when navigating the future. Fostering the relationship between PRSSA chapters and the parent PRSA chapters is a coveted relationship that offers students advice, opportunities and reassurance.
Get ready to safely join us — from the office, from home, from wherever — at noon Tuesday, Nov. 17, for the virtual edition of the 11th annual PRemier Awards. We'll celebrate this year’s deserving recipients for Communicator of the Year, Young Professional of the Year and the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. Stay tuned for an email with the link!
Richard Redman, Founder and Principal of The Dialogue Partnershop, LLC, member since 11/01/1985—thirty-five years!
Cole Buergi, Vice President of Business Development at Leonard & Finco Public Relations, member since 11/01/2000—twenty years!
Susan Finco, Owner and President of Leonard & Finco Public Relations, member since 11/01/2000—twenty years!
Krissy Lillie, member since 11/07/2002
Kristin Rozek, School & Community Relations Specialist at Green Bay Area Public School District, member since 11/4/2010
Ann Morehart, PR/Communications Manager at Insight Creative, member since 11/16/2012
Brenda Krainik, Director of Marketing & Communications at Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau, member since 11/30/2018