Archive for the ‘Professional development’ category

Are You Ready for the PRevolution?

September 27, 2012

Just 6 weeks until the 2012 Mid-Atlantic District Chesapeake Conference!

Wow…what a mouthful to say. But that’s what’s in store for you this year. A FULL day of education created especially to help you Strategize, Digitize and Energize!

So what will the day look like? You’ll start off with a networking breakfast to get you geared up.  Then you’ll head right into the day, choosing from a variety of topics based on what you told us you wanted to see: more business and leadership skills, more PR tools, and more social media trends. What’s more, we’ve organized the sessions into three tracks—Strategic Business and Leadership, PR Essentials, Social Media—to help you create the best experience. You can stay on one track throughout the day, or alternate between tracks. It’s all up to you!

So what else is happening? Well, this year’s luncheon keynote speaker is Amy S. Mitchell, Deputy Director for the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Mitchell will share an insightful look at news in our digital lives. Be sure to check out Center’s 2012 State of the Media Report before the conference.

So who will be there? Last year’s conference was sponsored by three chaptersMaryland, National Capital, and Central Chesapeakebringing together PR pros from a wider area than ever before. We’re all still participating, and this year we’re excited to welcome two more chapters to the fold: Blue Ridge and Central Pennsylvania. This means there will be PR pros coming from Maryland, DC, Virginia and Pennsylvania!

So don’t delay! The conference is scheduled for Thursday November 8, 2012 at the Four Points by Sheraton BWI. Click here for more information, including a peek at the full agenda, and begin planning your day!

Are you ready?

A special thanks to our sponsors to date:

Premier Sponsor: Vocus

Premier Patron: Erickson Living

Patron: a. Bright idea

Event Photographer:  Stockfield Photography


The 51st Best In Maryland Call for Nominations is open! Have questions?

March 22, 2012

We’ve changed the Best In Maryland program for 2012. To help with the transitions, we’ve created a list of questions that you may have and supplied the answers below. Please don’t hesitate to chime in with any additional comments or questions. Or email us at

Why aren’t you doing the usual call for entries? And why the shift to a nomination process?

Last year, PRSA MD celebrated 50 years of our Best In Maryland awards program, an anniversary of which we are extremely proud. During the last 50 years, the awards have focused on specific programs and products that successfully addressed a communications challenge. This year’s program shifts focus from the product to individuals and teams that represent exemplary contributions to the public relations profession in Maryland.

What exactly are you looking for and what are the categories?

We’re looking for the best PR pros, teams, students, educators and partners. Categories include our two signature awards, the Lifetime Achievement and the New Professional of the Year, as well as 5 new awards including Educator of the Year, Partner of Distinction, Social Media (Individual Or Team), Improvement of the State Award (Team Or Individual), and Innovation and Technology (Team). We will also be awarding two $500 Kathleen Kelly Undergraduate Scholarships this year. Go to PRSA MD Awards for descriptions of each award.

Is there a fee to nominate someone?

There is no fee. You need only submit the application. What’s more, you can do so electronically, saving you time and money. No more hours or anxiety spent putting together a binder.  And no more shipping fees.

Can I nominate myself and/or my team?

You can self-nominate in the following categories: Partner of Distinction, Social Media (individual or team), Improvement of the State Award (team or individual, paid or pro bono), and Innovation and Technology (team only). Students apply for their own scholarships.

Do I need to submit reference letters along with the application?

Reference letters (no more than two) are optional for all the awards except the Kathleen Kelly Undergraduate Scholarship, which requires two references. Please be sure to carefully read the requirements for the scholarships.

What about the scholarship? Who is eligible and who completes the application?

The Kathleen Kelly Undergraduate Scholarship is awarded to a student with a PR focus who is in his/her sophomore or junior status at the time of the application. The student completes the applications and submits along with two letters of recommendations (one from a professor and one from an internship supervisor or other source).

What is the deadline?

The deadline for nominations is Monday, April 2. The deadline for the student scholarship is Monday, April 9.

I’m not nominated nor am I nominating anyone. Why should I attend the Best In Maryland Awards event on May 10?

The program is more than just an award ceremony. Whether you’re a seasoned PR pro or a newbie, here’s your opportunity to hobnob with savvy PR professionals throughout Maryland, and to make connections that you can’t get anywhere else. You’ll also hear from our keynote speaker Bill Toohey, communications director for the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. Bill has been named Baltimore’s best public sector PR man – or Best “Flak” – three times: once by Baltimore magazine and twice by the Baltimore City Paper. Finally, you’ll be there to honor the best in PR including our Lifetime Achievement and New Professional of the Year winners as well as winners in 6 other new categories.

Regarding the full 2012 program schedule, what happened to the monthly events?

PRSA MD recognizes that with shrinking budgets and staff, getting to monthly events has become more difficult for our members and guests. But we also recognize that professional development and face-to-face networking are still important aspects of any professional association, so this year programming will be a combination of webinars and quarterly face-to-face events. Our first face-to-face was held on February 29, and if you attended, you already know how successful it was – we had over 35 people! Other face-to-face events include the Best In Maryland set for May 10 at 6:30 pm, a summer networking event in August, and the 2012 Annual Mid-Atlantic Chesapeake Conference set for November 8. Our first webinar is set for March 29 and will feature MGH on the new business Facebook Page. Go to for information on all upcoming webinars and events.

A Great 2011 for PRSA-MD

December 15, 2011

So what did PRSA-MD do in 2011?

On behalf of the PRSA-MD Board of Directors, we wish you a safe and happy holiday!

We look forward seeing you in 2012. 

Seeking programming ideas!

July 18, 2011

What topics are your hot buttons right now? What are you desperate to learn more about? Whether you’re a novice or an expert on a particular topic, if you want to know more about it, we want to know what it is!

We’re working on filling the session slots for our fall Mid-Atlantic Chesapeake Conference, as well as our regular fall monthly professional development programs.

ROI? Google+? FourSquare? Crisis communications? Public speaking? Online writing?

No matter what the topic is, if it is of interest to you, it’s of interest to us!

Please post your topic suggestions in the comments section!

First Fall Writing Series Session – 10 Tips for Honing an Essential PR Skill

September 30, 2010

On Thursday, September 23, Jean Miskimon, APR, of {JeanInk} presented “10 Tips for Honing an Essential PR skill” to attendees of our first Fall Writing Series session.

As  Jean said, “strong writing matters”. However, “very few PR professionals can write well” – welcome to the “dirty little secret of PR”! Here are Jean’s tips for honing your writing, an undoubtedly essential PR skill:

  1. Create an outline
  2. Take your time – time to think, and time for rough drafts
  3. Editing is key (Read it backwards! You’ll catch more errors.)
  4. Be concise (Seldom use more than 17 words per sentence.)
  5. Consider the audience (WIIFM – What’s in it for me)
  6. Remember the basics (spelling, facts and attribution)
  7. Avoid common mistakes (punctuation, grammar and the usuals: its vs. it’s, too/two/to, etc.)
  8. Study good writers
  9. Know that all writers struggle
  10. Utilize writing resources (Jean posted her link of fabulous resources on her website – check out the 25 writers you should follow on Twitter!)

This was a great session, and a wonderful beginning to our Fall Writing Series! Be sure to register for Writing for SEO on Oct. 7 and Writing for Blogging on Nov. 18.