PRSA Hoosier Chapter Changes Due to COVID-19

On June 3, the PRSA Hoosier Chapter’s board voted to approve a COVID-19 Plan created and presented by the Hoosier Chapter Executive Board. The policies, procedures and precautions outlined in the PRSA Hoosier Chapter’s COVID-19 pandemic response plan are intended to help ensure the health and safety of our members, as well as ensure the financial stability of the Chapter. While these are uncharted times, the Hoosier Chapter Executive Board has developed a plan that allows us to continue offering high-quality professional development, at a reduced cost in many instances, to both members and nonmembers.

The plan takes into account guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization as well as from federal and local government and health officials. It also takes into account what peer organizations are doing both locally and nationally, as well as what local major employers have implemented in terms of event participation requirements.

Ultimately, while this is a shift in programming and standard practices for the Chapter, the Executive Board believes the plan outlined below is our best path forward as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Plan Summary:

  • No in-person gatherings until November. This includes all board meetings, committee meetings or events. This policy will be re-evaluated at the September board meeting.

  • July and September luncheons are virtual only.

    • Cost:

      • Members: $10

      • Non-members: $25

      • Students: $5 (must register with student email)

      • Alliance: $16

  • A recommendation on whether the November luncheon will be in-person or virtual will be presented by the Executive Board at the September board meeting.

  • Additional free-for-members professional development events in the months without a luncheon – June, August and October.

    • Cost:

      • Members: Free

      • Non-members: $10

      • Students: Free (must register with student email)

      • Alliance: $8

  • Both the Q3 and Q4 Meet the Media events will be virtual.

    • Speakers must be willing to donate their time.

Out of precaution and for the safety of our members, we are going to adhere to the CDC recommendations and postpone all events through May 10 including the Pinnacle Awards previously scheduled for late April. This action also mirrors the action of PRSA National and other Chapters across the U.S.

Current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 virus can be complicated and confusing, but they also offer an opportunity for communicators to be part of the solution. The World Health Association (WHO) says we are experiencing an “infodemic,” and there is a danger this could overwhelm people to the point they begin to tune out just when they most need to be informed.

As a result, PRSA and the PRSA Health Academy have created an infographic aimed at simplifying the information-gathering process and directing people to reliable, credible resources. The role of public relations professionals as advocates for truth, accuracy and transparency in accordance with the PRSA Code of Ethics is integral to our daily practice but especially crucial in times of crisis

This is a global emergency where the expertise of public relations professionals can have a positive impact.

Learn more:

How Communicators Can Help Inform the Public During the COVID-19 Crisis

PRSA Hoosier Chapter and COVID-19 Precautions