While listening to media expert and author Ryan Holiday deliver his keynote presentation at last month’s PRSA Western District Conference in Riverside, I was struck by how the conference theme, #PRmatters, was at once a message of optimism and protest.
From the optimism side, our contributions as PR professionals have never been more apparent or more necessary to the national conversation. The ethical practice of PR in all its forms builds trust and connections among brands, consumers and causes. It also drives civic and community engagement, and helps journalists meet the public demand for salient information.
And then there’s the familiar protest, shared by some conferees, that PR counselors still struggle for recognition as business strategists. The debate between marketing and PR and who speaks for the organization persists. Meanwhile, what companies do – which is certainly as important as what they say — is too often decided without PR counsel.
As PRSA members, it’s our job to examine this environment and create opportunities for improvement. That’s why during the past two months, PRSA-LA hosted a conversation about fake news, led a day of workshops for entry-level jobseekers and hosted a conference focused on helping agencies and independent practitioners work better together. If you missed these events, not to worry. More interesting conversations are coming in the months ahead.
In fact, the next can’t miss event of the year — USC Annenberg’s Kenneth Owler Smith (KOS) Symposium — is right around the corner on March 30. Free to PRSA-LA members, this annual event is always exceptional. This year’s theme is “The Future of Truth.” See below for details and a link to RSVP.
There’s no time like the present to make your membership work for you.