April 8 Luncheon Information

Dan McFadden - headshot (high-res)April is Accreditation in Public Relations Month.  Join the Greater Fort Worth PRSA chapter on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, to hear the PRSA Southwest District’s APR committee chair, Dan McFadden, APR, speak on, “Go for the Gold: How To Get and Keep Your Accreditation in Public Relations.”  Take the survey for the April luncheon here, and register for the luncheon by clicking here.

We have many successes on the accreditation front in the PRSA Southwest District. How are our chapters and district excelling while others struggle to get their APR programs off the ground? Dan will share with us his passion for Accreditation in Public Relations, what it means to you, how you can achieve it and maintain it. So get ready to “Go for the Gold” on April 8!

Dan McFadden, APR, has 30 years’ experience in public relations, broadcasting, marketing and new media. An “APR evangelist”, Dan is a past president of the Arkansas chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, where he served nearly 10 years on its board of directors. In 2010, he was honored with the Arkansas chapter’s Crystal Award, given to a chapter member for service to the community or to the public relations profession. Recently, he completed his service as the chapter’s assembly delegate and chair of the Accreditation Committee where he created the “APR Ready to Roll” program. He is now in his second year of service as Accreditation chair on the PRSA Southwest District’s Board of Directors. Currently, Dan serves as director of Marketing Communications & Branding for Arkansas Children’s Hospital, where he has served since 2005. In his role, he is responsible for planning and leading the hospital’s public relations, advertising and marketing, digital services, and media services.

Proposed Bylaw Change to Allow Non-APRs on PRSA Board of Directors

Members from across the U.S. will attend PRSA’s 2014 National Leadership Assembly on Saturday, October 11 in Washington, D.C. to discuss the State of the Society and issues facing our organization. Among the discussion items are proposals that would amend the bylaws to allow non-APR PRSA members on the Board of Directors.

-> Fort Worth PRSA Chapter members: Please review proposals 1401 and 1402 on MyPRSA and share your thoughts via comments below by September 30. (Note: you must be logged in to MyPRSA to view the documents.)

What amendments is the Board proposing for the Assembly delegates to vote on?
Proposal #1401 – Amends the bylaws to allow for eligible non-APR members to apply for either of the two At-Large seats set forth in Article V, Section 1.

Proposal #1402 – Clarifies that voting members of the PRSA Board of Directors may not serve as District or Chapter officers, Chapter delegates or alternates, Section chair, officer of the College of Fellows, member of the Board of Ethics and Professional Standards or on the UAB. However, members who serve in any of those positions may be elected to the Board in a nonvoting capacity.

(Read the 2014 Bylaw Change Proposal FAQs.)

What is being changed in the bylaws?
Proposal #1401 amends Article V, Section 2 to allow for eligible members who do not possess the APR credential to serve in an At-Large capacity on the PRSA Board of Directors. It further states that the APR credential is necessary for those eligible members who would like to represent a District or serve on the Executive Committee of the Board.

Proposal #1402 adds the word “voting” to clarify that board members eligible to vote may not serve in other volunteer roles within the organization.

What brought about the proposed amendment?
There have been ongoing discussions at Assembly on PRSA’s longstanding policy of holding the APR as a prerequisite to serving on the PRSA National Board of Directors. Simultaneously, the PRSA National Board says the number of applicants for the APR credential has steadily declined, and that has created a struggle to source a complete slate of candidates who are eligible for national office service.

According to PRSA, three years of independent research and studies indicate that the majority of membership sees the APR as a mark of personal achievement do not believe it to be a validation of leadership ability.

The PRSA National Board felt that PRSA needed to evolve the composition of the board and provide representation at the national level to non-APR members. The proposed bylaw is intended to allow PRSA to tap into a larger pool of potential leaders.

Joe Cohen, APR, 2014 chair of PRSA’s board of directors, writes about the proposed bylaws changes here: Providing a Voice to All of Our Members at the National Board Level

Our Process: The Fort Worth PRSA board held a discussion on these leadership/governance proposals during the September 4 meeting. This post will be shared with membership to gather feedback for a month.

As the delegates for the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA, we would like to make sure the membership is fully informed of the changes proposed, and would like to invite your comments and concerns. The Board of Directors of the chapter will make their recommendation to the chapter delegates at the Oct. 2 meeting, so we ask that you comment by Sept. 30 so that we have time to compile the information to present to the board.

Please review the available information, and let us know your thoughts.

Thank you,
Holly Ellman (2014 Assembly Delegate)
Gigi Westerman, APR, Fellow PRSA (2014 Assembly Delegate)

Update 10/2/14: Following our chapter’s procedure to gather feedback and two board meeting discussions, Fort Worth PRSA will vote for proposals 1401 and 1402.

Consider earning an APR: No hiking involved

By: Carolyn Bobo, APR, Fellow PRSA

The trail into the depths of the Grand Canyon is a steep, winding path with soul-touching views of Mom Nature’s best work. The route I’ve chosen descends at a sharp angle, so by the time I reach the Colorado River campground fours hours later, I’m in a crab-like position and every muscle in my legs is trembling.

The next morning I’m greeted by a glowing dawn, inspirational, fortunately, because I have 10.5 miles ahead of me. I meet hikers from around the world, all of us marveling at the canyon’s grandeur as we follow the ceaselessly uphill trail. Along the way, I regularly wish for the ability to levitate. For an elevator. For an angel’s hand to scoop me up and take me to the rim. But at mile 9, I know I’m almost there, and I have an epiphanic moment: I am now certain that I can do almost anything, anytime, anywhere.

I often think about that hike and the sense of achievement that came with it. So what motivates us to hit the trail, run a marathon, take a class or learn a new skill? Why do we pursue personal and professional milestones?

Probably because we are a society of strivers, we are residents and citizens of a country that was founded on the belief that we can move ahead, improve, succeed. We set goals in business, in sports, in school and in our personal lives, and we work hard to reach them.

Which brings me, less philosophically, to accreditation in public relations, an achievement offered to members of PRSA and seven affiliated organizations. Perhaps the APR designation is another example of our collective drive to excel.

APR was established 50 years ago to demonstrate knowledge of public relations theory and practice, ethics, strategic thinking and tactical skills.

Celebrate this milestone anniversary with a personal accomplishment. Join other chapter members in APR Boot Camp, a series of free study sessions that lead to completion of the exam. (No hiking involved.) Many of our chapter APRs already have volunteered to lead study sessions and help candidates prepare for the exam.

If you have questions, feel free to ask the chapter Accreditation co-chairs (me, Linda Jacobson, APR) or any APR. We look forward to seeing you at our first study session, 6:30 p.m., Sept. 9 in the Schieffer Seminar Room in the J.M. Moudy building on the TCU campus (West Cantey and South University.) — Carolyn Bobo, APR, Fellow PRSA

APR Boot Camp

The Greater Fort Worth PRSA chapter will offer a boot camp for members interested in earning the Universal Accreditation Board’s designation – accredited in public relations, or APR.

The boot camp includes:

  • Four structured study sessions beginning in September or October. Accredited chapter members will guide discussions about the exam’s tactical and strategic content, preparation for the readiness review and online exam, and provide encouragement and coaching.
  • Readiness reviews will be completed after the final study session.
  • The process concludes with the required online exam at a local Prometrics testing facility.

Camp begins Wednesday, September 10 (revised day) and offers you the opportunity to review tactics and strategies for the APR exam. Plus, you’ll receive guidance on putting your Readiness Review portfolio together. Sessions will be held each Tuesday on the TCU campus, J.M. Moudy Visual Arts and Communication Bldg., 2805 S. University Drive, Room 224, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Sept. 10 – Introduction, history of public relations, communication models, PR management
Sept. 17 – Research, planning
Sept. 24 – Guidance on putting your Readiness Review portfolio together
Oct. 1 – Crisis communication management, management skills, business literacy
Oct. 8 – Media relations, information technology, law & ethics
Week of Oct. 13 – Readiness Review panel
Week of Oct. 20 – APR computer exam

You also must complete your application for APR, which you can access by clicking here. The boot camp is free. There are fees associated with taking the exam. These are explained online.

Anyone interested in the accreditation process should:

  •  Review the accreditation guidelines, study materials and application form.
  • Apply now and begin reading accreditation materials before the APR Boot Camp begins.
  • Contact Fort Worth PRSA Accreditation Co-Chairs Linda Jacobson, APR, at ljacobson@ctcinc.com or Carolyn Bobo, APR, Fellow PRSA at cgbobo6311@att.net.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the designation, which is managed by eight professional communications organizations, including PRSA.

I’ve Got You After My Name

At the GFW PRSA Luncheon on April 9, Andra Bennett, APR shared a quick song promoting PR accreditation with the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the APR. Please see below for the lyrics and the YouTube video.

Tune: I’ve Got You Under My Skin

I’ve got you – after my name
I’ve got you – proving I know P.R.
those 3 little letters known as the A.P.R.
I’ve got you – after my name!

I tried so not to give in
I said to myself the studying never will go so well
But why should I try to resist, when baby I know so well
I want you … after my name.

I would sacrifice anything come what may
just to say that I’ve been endorsed
By our Society – that I’m known to be
an outstanding professional force

Don’t you know you little fool, you can pass that exam
Use your mentality, step up!
Show your credibility

It’s the mark of our trade
Says that you’ve got it made
So don’t stop… get into the game
You should have APR … after your name

I’d sacrifice anything come what may
for the APR on my resume
And the frame would look great on my office wall
And my colleagues would stop nagging me….

Don’t you know little fool, you’re the cream of the crop
You’re already one of the best
Now if you’d only take the test

And each step that you make, the review you will take
Makes me know –you won’t be the same
Cause you’ll have A-P-R after your name

Put it on your signage – it’s ok to be vain…

Go ahead and flaunt it…. You deserve the fame.

Put it in lights!