Home » Chapter Chat » January 2021

A Message from the Chapter President

  Happy New Year!

Last year was a truly challenging and let’s face it, life-altering, year for all of us with the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, our chapter celebrated our annual Pepperpot Awards in December with more than 150 attendees via Zoom! I want to thank Stephanie Byrwa for her service as chapter President and for taking the reins when Past President Martha Gaston unexpectedly moved to South Carolina early in 2020. Her leadership was critical in keeping the chapter afloat during the trying time that was the year 2020. (And we miss you Martha!)

New years are for looking forward and rebuilding. I’m excited to be your new president and for all that is to come in 2021 – hopefully an end to COVID and an opportunity to finally resume in-person networking events and programs! For now, I look forward to seeing all of your beautiful faces via Zoom and that’s OK! We’ve got some high-caliber new programs in the pipeline and I look forward to engaging our new and existing members so they will become more active participants in the chapter. PRSA Philadelphia also will continue building solid relationships with local PRSSA chapters and students, our future public relations professionals. It’s so important to get them on the right track!

Of course, no chapter can run smoothly without the participation of our leaders who serve on the 2020 Board of Directors. We have several new board members and I’m very excited to see what creative ideas they will bring to the table. But we need YOU, our members, to participate in the chapter. What can our chapter do to support you and get you re-engaged? If you have an idea for an event or would just like to provide feedback, I want to hear how PRSA Philadelphia can be a better resource for you. We will be sending out a membership survey soon. I hope you will take just a few moments to complete it! Please feel free to also e-mail me with your thoughts at president@philly.org.

Lastly, we are still looking to fill out our board, from Vice President to Membership Chair positions. We’re also seeking volunteers to serve on our committees, from Communications to Programming. If you’re looking for a way to get more involved with the chapter, this might be a good fit for you. Stay tuned for an upcoming event where you can sign up to serve on a committee.

I look forward to a fantastic 2021 with PRSA Philadelphia!

Michele Besso
President, PRSA Philadelphia

Meet the Board:
Communications Co-Chair, Taylor Feldschneider

We’re pleased to welcome several new faces to the PRSA Philly Board, including our new Communications Co-Chair, Taylor Feldschneider.  As the Social Media Coordinator at Rowan University, Taylor brings valuable communications experience to the chapter. Below, Taylor shares a bit more about her background and her goals for 2021.

When did you decide to join PRSA and what influenced you to do so?
I loved being in PRSSA as a student so joining PRSA in my professional career was an easy transition. Several of my friends from PRSSA are in the Philadelphia PRSA Chapter and it’s a great opportunity to meet other professionals in the field.

What inspired you to become a Communications co-chair of PRSA?
I wanted to get more involved in PRSA. Being in the committee will not only allow me to better my own skills but it’s also an honor to give back to the chapter.

How do you feel your current job will benefit you in your new position?
I love social media and I want to help grow our social media accounts across all platforms.

What new ideas will you bring to the committee in an effort to make the chapter newsletter more captivating for members?
I want to help our members get the most out of their membership. I’d love to research what our members want in a newsletter and cater that to them. Please share any thoughts you may have on methods for improvement of chapter communications, from social media to the website. The more engaging the better!

In light of our country’s current situation, how would joining PRSA be especially beneficial for potential members?
It’s important to continue educating yourself. PRSA offers so many opportunities, pandemic and all, to better yourself and perfect your public relations craft.

Join the PRSA Board Today!

Whether you have been a longtime member or your membership is newer, the best way to get more out of it is by joining a committee or stepping up to serve on the board of directors. Participating in the board is a great way to meet others you might not cross paths with and use your skills to enhance one of the top ten largest PRSA chapters in the country. We are looking for fresh new ideas and perspectives. Maybe you were a member of PRSSA as a student, and you recall the camaraderie of being part of something. We especially welcome you to transition to the PRSA leadership roles. We’d love to hear from you! Reach out to admin@philly.org and someone will be in touch!

Resources and Events

Visit the PRSA National Professional Development page to see the latest webinars and workshops available to members. Coming up soon:

Master The Virtual Presentation: Essential Tools & Techniques in an Age of Ongoing Disruption
Live January 21, 2021 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. On Demand Beginning January 28
This engaging program will arm you with strategies for combating Zoom fatigue and overcoming the distractions and disruptions that we and our audiences face in the WFH world.

The Upside of Downturn: Unlocking the Hidden Benefits of Crisis
Live January 26, 2021 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. On Demand Beginning  February 2
In the right hands, with the right mindset, crisis can fuel greater customer loyalty and increase employee engagement. It can deepen media, analyst and influencer relationships. It can strengthen executive leadership and communications teams. This webinar will put savvy public relations and communication professionals on a path to understanding methods for converting consternation to calculable advantage.

PRSA Storytellers Series: Leading With Ethics — A View From the Top
Live February 4, 2021 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
As we cautiously ease into the new year, the importance of open and honest communications is top of mind. Public relations professionals in particular face daunting challenges as their publics focus more and more attention on not only the “words,” but also the deeper meaning of those words. Please join moderator Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, for an in-depth look at the state of ethical communications today from the perspective of leading entrepreneur and philanthropist Craig Newmark, whose own personal standards have influenced tens of thousands of others.

PRSA Job Board

For those of you who may be in the hiring position, we hope that you will submit your openings as they become available so we can share them with our community of PR and communications professionals. If you are on the job hunt yourself, check out our local chapter listings. We also encourage you to visit the PRSA National job board.