January 2020 President’s Message by Lisa Kiefer
On January 1, I began my term as 2020 PRSA National Capital Chapter (NCC) president. In this initial message to you, I would like to briefly introduce myself, along with the priorities I am focused on for the year ahead.
As an introduction, in my “day job,” I run my own business as a researcher and Certified Executive Coach. I began my career in strategic communications and have worked in agency and in-house roles before transitioning into market research to support external communications campaigns as well as internal strategy and decision-making.
I have been actively engaged with PRSA for nearly 20 years – from serving as president of the University of Florida PRSSA chapter during college, to having served as a committee member, committee chair, board member and executive committee member of NCC over the last 15 years of my professional career.
As we enter a new year and new decade, 2020 will be a time of growth and improvement for NCC. We have a new strategic plan to guide our direction and priorities from 2020-2022. The plan focuses on ensuring that NCC reflects the best practices of the communications profession and provides a clear, beneficial return on investment (ROI) for all of us as members. The charge from here will be to ensure we stay committed to implementing the plan.
Implementation is no easy task. NCC, the largest PRSA chapter in the country with 1,000 members, is larger than many national associations. Yet, rather than having a full-time staff to implement a strategic plan, we rely on a volunteer board of directors, committee chair, and committee member cadre, with operational support from our chapter management firm.
The advantage we have is in the aptitude and dedication of NCC’s volunteers and our chapter management firm, RMK Productions. I sat around the table at our January board of directors meeting last week, so impressed with the turnout after a long day, the passion and genuine care that went into ideas and discussions, and the diverse representation we’ve achieved – across not just race and ethnicity, but across gender; age/various career phases; agency, in-house and independent practitioners and a multitude of other factors. We are equipped for success and we are committed to putting our strategic priorities to work for you.
You can already see this dedication at work in Q1:
Marking a significant milestone in our priority to improve members’ experience and streamline and improve our communications platforms, the new PRSA NCC website has officially launched at www.prsancc.org. The website features a clean and lean look, easier navigation, new resources, an improved event registration process and a mobile-responsive format – just to name a few.
As part of our priorities to better engage members and optimize their opportunities to see ROI from their membership, the NCC Board voted in January on a new, consolidated structure for our committees. Where there had previously been nearly 20 individual committees, the new structure will join efforts of some similarly focused committees to improve collaboration, augment resources and provide even stronger programming and/or support to members.
In line with this consolidated, strengthened committee structure, as well as our focus on offering members and non-members more affordable event opportunities, we will host a 2020 Kickoff Party on Tuesday, February 4. The event is just $15 for NCC members and only $25 for non-chapter members. The format will simply be an opportunity for attendees to meet the 2020 NCC Board of Directors and committee leaders, sign up for committees on-site, and make new connections for the year ahead.
Another example of the strategic plan at work is our priority to increase partnerships with area organizations and universities. We are co-hosting Integrate DC 2020 with West Virginia University on March 31. This daylong conference will be held at the National Education Association building in D.C. and will be chock full of educational sessions on the latest trends and issues in integrated marketing communications. In addition, we are planning a PR Day for late March that will offer DC-area PRSSA students professional development and career support opportunities.
NCC has always been great and we have an impressive group of professionals devoted to making it even better than before. There are endless opportunities to get involved, expand your network and advance your professional goals. I hope you will reach out and join us for an ambitious and exciting 2020.