On behalf of the 2018 PRSA Silicon Valley (PRSASV) Board of Directors, thank you to our chapter members, sponsors, partners, prospective members, students from PRSSA San Jose State University (SJSU) and PRSSA Santa Clara University (SCU) and the Silicon Valley community at-large for your ongoing support and engagement to help us advance the profession as well as the professional!
Throughout 2018, the Board was hard at work implementing new ideas and enhancing the work of our predecessors to serve our stakeholders in key areas, including: Programming, Mentorship, Diversity & Inclusion,Membership, Accreditation, Senior and Independent Practitioner Engagement as well as operational management of the Chapter.
Let’s look back to see the advancements we made and fun we shared….
Under the direction of Nicholas Adams and Julianne Rowe, our renowned Inside the Newsroom events focused on the theme of emerging technologies to equip our attendees with the intel needed to operate within the ever-changing landscape. We reimagined the future of banking with Zelle; explored the self-driving roadmap with Baidu; learned measurement that matters to the CMO with Hotwire; talked new trends in enterprise tech with BOCA Communications; covered code and all-things tech with Udacity and IBM; and examined the myths and realities of AI with FleishmanHillard.
And of course, last but not least,we held our 12th annual Media Predicts featuring moderator Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick and panelists from AP, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN Business and ELLE Magazine! (We also had a musical treat at the end of the evening from my co-host, Nicholas Adams…Happy Holiday, indeed!)
Thank you so much to our supporters and sponsors in addition to PRSA San Francisco for partnering with us on a variety of programming over the course of the year to help us provide valuable content to our constituents.
With Jeannie Hornung-Entin leading the charge, we expanded upon the successes of previous years by enhancing our relations with the student chapters we support, PRSSA SJSU and PRSSA SCU. We held a few professional development “PRo Panels” as well as a PRSA SV ChapterPresident Q&A session; participated in SJSU’s Career Fair with representation from Hoffman Group, Hotwire PR, LUMINA COMMUNICATIONS, WeberShandwick and Zeno Group; and supported a South Bay Employer Tour to HoffmanGroup, Intuit, LUMINA COMMUNICATIONS and NetApp.
We continued mentorship pairing between students and PR professionals; engaged PRSSA to volunteer and attend our events at no-cost; and provided scholarships for them to attend PRSSA Leadership Rallyin Scottsdale, Arizona and PRSSA National Conference in Austin, Texas.
Diversity & Inclusion
We officially kicked off and established a Diversity & Inclusion Committee via the steadfast leadership of co-chairs Jocelyn Arellano and Karly Tokioka. Co-hosted with eBay, our first event focused on building the future workforce with Diversity and Inclusion. The event attracted more than 70 attendees to eBay’s HQ, contained a keynote from eBay’s Chief Diversity Officer Damien Hooper-Campbell as well as a panel comprised of six D&I leaders. The Committee also held two student events at PRSSA SJSU in conjunction with our mentorship team: a diversity panel and a non-tech professional development panel.
Additionally, to increase our online advocacy efforts, the team created and implemented a social media campaign surrounding diversity awareness themes throughout the year: Diversity Month, World Day of Cultural Diversity, PRIDE, International Day of Friendship, Women’s Equality Day, Hispanic Heritage Month, National Native American Heritage Month and International Human Rights Day.
We made a variety of strides this year with Jordan Rivera spearheading our membership outreach efforts. We created two surveys for current membership as well as past membership. We received 52 survey completions (thanks for your feedback!) and had 30 new PRSA National members join PRSA SV this year.
To foster a culture of inclusivity as well as awareness of who our fellow PRSA SV members are, we launched our first ever social media campaign #MembershipMondays celebrating members of the chapter. We also held a meet-up mid-year.
In addition, the Membership Committee represented the Chapter at three PRSSA SJSU events. The team is currently planning a mixer/networking event for Spring 2019 with PRSSA SJSU to celebrate upcoming graduating seniors and new chapter members. (Stay tuned for more details!)
Some great movement was made thanks to Accreditation in Public Relations Chair David Vossbrink. Congratulations to Curie Sevilla and Tyler Gamble on each earning their APR! We also have two more candidates who have been assisted to the panel presentation happening in December 2018 and January 2019.
Senior and Independent Practitioner Engagement
Committee Chair Mar Junge has been out and about strategically expanding our outreach to senior and independent practitioners. She joined PRSA’s Independent Practitioner’s Alliance (IPA), and promoted PRSA SV during monthly webinars/meetings as well as re-connected with multiple former PRSA SV Presidents.
Additionally, Mar and Connext CEO Rene Siegel presented Independent Practice or Virtual Agency? A PREntrepreneur’s Guide to Successat 2018 PRSA ICON in Austin, Texas. Based on positive feedback from attendees, PRSA National invited Mar and Rene to record a webinar of the session for broadcast in 2019.
Operational Management – PRSA SV Bylaws Update
Since it’s been 15 years since our Chapter Bylaws have been updated, the Board decided to create a special ad hoc bylaws committee this year – chaired by David Vossbrink – to ensure we are operating in compliance and remaining relevant in how we function as an organization. As a result of PRSA National currently updating their ‘model chapter bylaws,’ we will extend our work into 2019. Please be on the lookout for more information in the New Year, as chapter members will be involved in the process.
As my term as president comes to a close, I can’t help but think of this phrase: “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” Thank you to the 2018 Board for their partnership and relentless work and leadership to drive impactful change. And thanks to all of you for being part of our journey – and for letting us be part of yours. It has truly been an honor to serve as your 2018 Chapter President; represent PRSA SV at the local, district and national level; and lead a team of high-esteemed, passionate and devoted professionals who want to progress the industry, locally and globally.
To stay apprised of the Chapter’s latest updates, be sure to follow us on Twitter @prsasv, join our Facebook group PRSA Silicon Valley as well as LinkedIn group PRSA Silicon Valley and sign-up for our newsletter.
Thank you again for all of your support, and I look forward to seeing you around the Valley!
Sarah Storelli is the 2018 President of PRSA Silicon Valley.