Last year marked the first year of the PRSA Hoosier Chapter’s 2021-2023 Strategic Plan. This plan addresses goals like increasing the value of a PRSA Hoosier Chapter membership, expanding our membership, and focusing on diversity/equity/inclusion to create a more representative and welcoming environment.
We’re only a third of the way through the timeline for the Strategic Plan and have already made some notable strides. Take a look at some of the highlights from the past calendar year:
Mentor Matching Program Launch
2021 marked the first year of the PRSA Hoosier Chapter’s new Mentor Matching Program. This vital initiative will invest in the future of our profession and is the perfect way to connect with and learn from industry peers.
The Mentor Matching program is designed to help both young professionals and seasoned veterans learn from one another, grow in their careers, and develop confidence and leadership skills.
As one new mentee shared, “I will always cherish the relationship I have with my mentor — no matter what stage I’m at in my career. She provides me with unbiased, caring opinions during those pivotal career moments — like changing jobs and navigating salary negotiations. She pushes me outside of my comfort zone, is my biggest cheerleader, and is always there to remind me that I’m capable to take on any new task. I can’t imagine where I’d be at professionally without her guidance.”
New Ways to Connect from Anywhere
2021 continued to inspire new ways of communicating. For our Chapter, the 2021 landscape pushed us to continue to improve live, virtual and hybrid event experiences. The PRSA professional development committee introduced new technology, like a lavalier mic, to improve the member experience at our hybrid luncheon in August and took the year’s final ‘Meet the Media’ event virtual. PRSA Half Day with a Pro also offered virtual and in-person options for participating students and pros.
In addition to improving event experiences, we also took steps to update our digital communication channels, including adding an upcoming webinar and professional events section to the newsletter and launching a new LinkedIn Company page. Be on the lookout for more ways to connect with the PRSA Hoosier Chapter from Anywhere in 2022!
Focus on Diversity/Equity/Inclusion
The Strategic Plan includes a focus on diversity/equity/inclusion to create a more representative and welcoming environment for all of our members, potential members, partners, and sponsors.
In efforts to further improve representation, committees conducted an audit of the chapter website. By highlighting diverse voices, events including the November luncheon and the year’s final ‘Meet the Media’, also helped us take steps towards creating a more representative environment.
Efforts to create a more welcoming environment included developing a Hoosier Chapter D/E/I Toolkit for all chapter leaders and conducting a D/E/I survey of current members.
The Chapter also launched a new grant program to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our membership in 2021. The DEI grant program — made possible by significant support from Hirons — aims to assist those public relations professionals who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC) by covering either the dues for PRSA national and local membership for one year or, with an additional grant, covering the one-time fees associated with getting the APR certification.
Supporting Future Communications Professionals
Each year, the PRSA Hoosier Chapter offers scholarships to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in the public relations/communications field. Scholarship application submissions are reviewed by a group of active PRSA board and committee members and selected based on merit and financial need.
In 2021, we were pleased to award two scholarships — each in the amount of $1,000 — to Jacqueline Malott, a graduate student at IUPUI, and Mackenzie Derico, a current junior at Taylor University.
The 2021-2023 Strategic Plan is well underway, but it’s not too late to get involved. To learn more about programming, volunteer opportunities, and how to join the PRSA Hoosier Chapter, visit the “Why Join” page or contact our PRSA Hoosier chapter membership director Samantha Sandala at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Anna Julow Roolf, VP of marketing and operations, BLASTmedia
2021 Strategic Plan Chair