Coming Soon: New Professionals Week 2013

New Professionals WeekI love planning events for the New Professionals Section, especially when they involve a national week-long event celebrating young professionals! You can never have enough young professionals in your Chapter; after all, they are the future.

This year, during November 11-15, we will host our third annual New Professionals Week. This week was designed to celebrate young professionals, but also to help connect young PR pros with their local PRSA chapter.

Who’s invited? Everyone. We’re encouraging anyone who’s interested in this week to get involved! PRSA New Pros National Executive Committee will support your local event via guest blog posts and social media channels.

How can you get involved? To help plan events in your local Chapter, visit our website and download a fact sheet and an event registration form. This website will be the hub for all events held during New Pros Week. Once registration forms are submitted, you’ll be able to see a list of events on our website, promoting local events. If you are interested in contributing to our blog to promote your Chapter NPWeek event, contact blog co-chairs, Heather Sliwinski and Keri Cook.

We understand that not every Chapter may have a budget to host an event this year. For those of you who have tight budgets, here are a few budget friendly ways to participate:

  1. Host a private showing of a New Pros webinar. During New Pros Week, we feature a national webinar on a topic of interest for new pros. We anticipate the webinar will be held in the afternoon on Monday, Nov. 11. To host a private showing – invite local new pros to an office, bring a bag lunch and have a discussion after the presentation. The playback will also be available through PRSA’s on-demand service, and our guest speaker can be reached throughout the week for questions via Twitter.
  2. Host a New Pros-focused Chapter meeting. What topics are particularly interesting to young professionals? What issues are they concerned with during their first few years as a PR professional? Schedule a Chapter meeting during this week and cover one of these topic(s) and/or issue(s).
  3. Participate in New Pros week via our social networks and blog. Follow our hashtag #NPWeek to join the coast-to-coast virtual networking. You could even schedule a Twitter chat or tweet-up for new pros in your area to meet via social, and then take it off-line! We’re always looking for a fresh, new perspective on any aspect of PR for our blog: consider drafting a post about your Chapter’s local new pros group or your personal experience as a new pro.

It’s going to be great week of celebrating young professionals. If you have any questions about getting involved, please email me. 

Elizabeth GreenawayElizabeth Greenaway
PRSA New Professionals Chair

Web Writing 101 by Elizabeth Rhoads

Shortly after I had accepted my position as web content coordinator at Lycoming College, I had the opportunity to attend Neilsen Norman Group Usability Week in 2011. I’ve always considered myself to be a strong writer, but I never realized the notable differences between print and web writing.

The difference comes down to this: just because we can read at or above college level doesn’t mean we want to, especially when we’re online. Consider the atmosphere when you’re reading a book and when you’re reading something online. Usually reading a print piece lends itself to a quiet area, whereas online articles are often read on the go, with a lot of distractions.

Online content should be written with this fact in mind.

So, here are a few tips to transform your print writing into effective web content:

  • Keep all content between a sixth and eighth grade reading level
  • Use short words
  • Online text should be 50% less than the print version
  • Include information that people really need to know, rather than what you want to tell them
  • Break content into chunks (one idea and a maximum of three sentences per chunk)
  • Use bullet points – lists in bullet points are read 70% of the time (compared to 55% read in paragraph form)
  • Use a sans-serif font
  • Use size 10-12 font – don’t go any smaller, it’s hard on the eyes
  • Keep pages short, but if you need to make a page longer, include a summary at the top of the page, followed by descriptive subheading so that it’s easy to navigate

Remember, simple is better.  The simpler you keep it, the longer your audience will stay engaged with your website.

Elizabeth RhoadsElizabeth Rhoads currently works as web content coordinator for a small liberal arts college in Central Pennsylvania. She graduated from Susquehanna University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Communications. She is an alumna of the White House Internship Program.  Rhoads serves the PRSA New Professionals Section Executive Committee as programming director and chair-elect.

New Professionals Week: A Hit from Coast to Coast by Elizabeth Rhoads

Young professionals had the opportunity to do everything from mingling at happy hours to getting professional development advice during our first ever New Professionals Week, November 14 through 18. Our #NPweek hashtag took over Twitter for the week, and everyone enjoyed connecting with other new professionals in their area and online.

We are looking forward to New Professionals Week 2012 and are excited to connect with even more Chapters and see what fun, new events will be held!

Special thanks to each of these individuals and their Chapters for all of their efforts in planning and implementing so many successful events in celebration of New Professionals Week:

Rachel Sprung, Boston (@PRSABostonYPN)

Jeana Harrington & Janelle Huelsman, Central Ohio (@PRSAcentralOhio)

Alison Hamer, Chicago (@YPNChicagoPRSA)

Dan Tipton, Delaware (@PRSADE)

Joshua Preister, Detroit (@PRSADetroit)

Emily Geesaman & Anna Cramer, Philadelphia (@PRSAPhilly)

Angi Ramos & Cameron Bays, Puget Sound (@PRSA_yoproCheck out their success!)

Carolina Madrid & Francie King, San Francisco (@prsasanfran)

For more information on New Professionals Week 2012, please contact Elizabeth Rhoads (, @ElizRhoads), programming co-chair.