President’s Column – March 2013

Chris Smith, Greater Fort Worth PRSA President

ChrisSmithPortraitLRAre You Worthy?

Do you have what it takes to be a communications professional?
Long hours, lots of meetings, emails, phone calls, computer desk work and unnerving presentations may eventually earn you that paycheck – always a good thing – or maybe even a pat on the back from the boss via an email you’ve saved for posterity. But what else? What about professional acknowledgment for that portfolio you’re constantly nurturing for that next big promotion?

Do yourself a favor: Get some professional “street cred” and earn some recognition from your peers, where it really counts. Enter The Worthys, an annual communications awards program with entries reviewed and judged by your peers in another state.

Maybe you’re like I was for the past several years, always delaying the task of entering competitions until the deadlines passed. Takes too much time. The boss probably won’t want to fork over $75 for an entry. I’ve already proven myself. Sound familiar?

As a PRSA board member though, I felt an obligation to support our first competition and accordingly, found an hour or two to grab just one thing I did in 2011 and enter. Thanks to the guidelines written by PRSA Fellow Carolyn Bobo, APR, my entry was organized and thought-out. I had done my due diligence as a responsible, supporting board member and maybe even learned something in the process. Then I won. Just one entry in one category and now I could show clients (and potential clients) that my work had merit beyond what the resume showed. My peers had deemed it so.

Board members Gigi Westerman, APR, and Sandra Brodnicki, APR, are firm believers that entering competition is worth the time and effort. Their entry, “Money School,” a financial education program offered by two prominent local non-profits, earned the Worthy’s inaugural 2012 Best of Show award. Gigi says that just the application process alone requires a good amount of self-reflection in order to present judges a compelling entry. “You have to cut to the chase and explain what you did and why you did it clearly and concisely,” she said.

VP of Membership Richie Escovedo adds, “It’s a smart way to see where your materials might be lacking or where there are areas for improvement. The recognition is great, but the analysis is also a worthy endeavor.” No pun intended.

Convinced? Good. Time to look back at your 2012 accomplishments and enter NOW. The deadline is right around the corner on March 8. To enter, visit:

Worthy Award Entries Due March 8
Work from 2011 and 2012 is eligible for entry in one of the seven strategic communications programs or 28 tactic categories of the Worthy Awards presented by the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA. Campaigns, which require evaluation, have a two-year entry time frame, and tactics have a one-year time frame. There also are  categories for academic contributions to public relations. For tips about how to prepare a competitive entry, visit

The Worthy Awards recognize the very best in strategic communications in our region. The chapter also will honor the Communicator of the Year, a leader outside the public relations profession who exemplifies open, effective communications.

Visit to enter your work and submit Communicator of the Year nominations by March 8, 2013. Winners will be announced April 25, 2013 at the Worthy Awards celebration dinner at the Fort Worth Club.

For questions, contact Jahnae Stout at or Margaret Ritsch, APR, For sponsorship opportunities, contact Rita Parson at

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