new pros update…Gearing up for 2011 at the PRSA Leadership Rally by Sarah Siewert

The first weekend of June, more than 90 PRSA Section and Chapter leaders from across the country traveled to New York City for the 2010 PRSA Leadership Rally to learn how to best serve their members in 2011. As Chair-elect, I took my first trip to NYC to represent the New Professionals Section. Here are some of the highlights from the keynote speakers, as well as a look into what is coming for the New Pros Section:

You’re already doing it: What to do when you can’t not communicate presented by David Grossman, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA; president & founder, The Grossman Group

  • Not communicating is communicating. Everything from what you wear, to what you do or don’t say is communicating.
  • People may be born with the natural skills to be a leader and a communicator, but they still need to be shown how to succeed and need to practice. If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not practicing.
  • Many people assume most PR professionals are extroverts. However, extroverts tend to communicate a lot (high quantity) but what they are saying is not always high quality. Introverts communicate less (low quantity) but the quality of what they say is high.
  • The Great Eight Basics
    • Understand your audience
    • Make your messages clear, compelling and relevant (especially during times of change)
    • Plan your communication (only 10-15% of leaders do)
    • Set context and make information relevant (add value to the information by adding the “why”)
    • Listen and check for understanding
    • Select the right vehicle
    • Communicate with truth and integrity
    • Match words with actions
  • Don’t communicate with emotions. Instead, be purposely passionate focusing on what is possible rather than directing emotions at someone.
  • In negotiations, the person who talks the least usually wins. Don’t forget to listen.
  • Remember, nothing is neutral.

Putting the Public Back in Public Relations presented by Deirdre Breakenridge, president and executive director, communications, Mango!

  • PR is not dead; it is being reinvented by the social web.
  • Communication is about good conversations.
  • The C-suite is the consumer suite – consumers are taking control of communication.
  • The hybrid model is the new standard mixing traditional with social media.
  • Communication planning is more difficult now.
  • No one owns social media; it’s like e-mail or the web.
  • Social media is about sociology and how people interact within communities.
  • The new workflow process is:
    • Observe (learn the culture of the communities your audience lives in)
    • Listen (pay attention to conversations about your brand)
    • Identify (key communities based on frequency of said conversations)
    • Internalize (analyze the feedback you have gathered)
    • Route (channel the information internally to the appropriate group i.e. sales department or customer service)

What’s next for the New Pros Section and how can you get involved?

  • We are about to kick-off an effort to connect with local new pros groups across the country. We hope to create a national network of new pros groups to share ideas and resources. Are you a part of a local new pros group or hope to start one? E-mail Crystal at
  • Guest blogging for this blog is open to all members. We are always looking for writers interested in being featured on this national platform. If you are interested in writing for the blog, e-mail Andi at or Brian at
  • Connect with other members on Twitter by using our Section hashtag #npprsa, or by adding your Twitter handle to the e-group discussion here.
  • We want to give members what they are looking for in professional development opportunities. Have a topic idea or know a great speaker? E-mail me at
  • Mentors are a great way to expand your network and gain a valuable perspective from a senior practitioner. We have a mentoring program in the works, so stay tuned!
  • Getting involved with the executive committee allows you to connect with new professionals across the country, and increase your credibility. Interested in helping out this year? E-mail Janet at for potential projects. Want to be on the Executive Board in 2011? E-mail me at

If you have any general suggestions or ideas please feel free to leave them in the comments. I look forward to serving the New Pros members in 2011!