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Our DE&I Goals for 2021

Over the last year, PRSA, the Maryland chapter, and our industry as a whole have made incredible strides in the incorporation of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. The DE&I committee spent significant time over the last few months conducting research and interviews with folks in our industry and beyond, carefully considering the ways that our DE&I goals can best serve our members.

Our goal for 2021 is to create tools and educational opportunities that will allow you, as members to incorporate these essential pillars into your daily work for the organizations you serve. We plan to offer several programs that will allow you to learn different topics like the need for equitable internships and how to use inclusive language in your communications plans. We’ll introduce you to diverse media outlets that could prove to be useful contacts for your work. And, we plan to offer resources about anti-racism and how to get started on your own journey. In addition, we will create educational toolkits for members to reference at any time to ensure that their efforts are truly inclusive.

In addition to these educational efforts for members, it is also essential that we, the leaders of PRSA Maryland, incorporate standards and practices that promote equity. We are making a concentrated effort to use our platforms to elevate the voices of underrepresented groups in our profession. You can expect to hear from experts who have diverse backgrounds at all of our panels and events. We are also going to elevate minority-owned businesses by hiring them for events and by providing a resource for our members who would like to expand their own vendor base.

We appreciate your continued support on these endeavors and ask that you hold us accountable. We welcome your feedback! If you have ideas, suggestions, or even criticisms, we are ready to hear them. Please feel free to email us directly at mmiles@weinbergharris.com or kalethajanori@gmail.com  

Sincerely,

Kaletha Henry & Mary Miles

 

Museum of Public Relations Tour Reminds Maryland Chapter of First Woman President

A press kit premiering the movie “Dumbo,” a stereograph, Edward L. Bernays’ wooden in-box and

Virginia H. Pie, APR (Photo: C-SPAN’s coverage of American Red Cross leadership and others during a news conference about workers with AIDS in the workplace, April 19, 1988)

history-making PR artifacts and books were all part of PRSA Maryland’s live and customized virtual tour of The Museum of Public Relations in New York. The tour included a focus on famous Maryland PR execs, as well as women in PR, to mark Women’s History Month in March. 

Tour leader and museum founder Shelley Spector reminded attendees of an important Maryland chapter milestone with national significance. The Maryland chapter is known for having one of the first female chapter leaders in the nation and doing so a year ahead of National.

That leader was Virginia H. Pie, APR (later Virginia Pie-Pistolesi, following her marriage to Domenic “Tony” Pistolesi).

Chapter members were saddened to be reminded that Virginia passed away from cancer in 1991 at age 57 at her home in Hedgesville, W. Va. 

Pronounced PEE-AY, Virginia Pie-Pistolesi’s obituary in The Sun noted that she was a special events and promotions officer at Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C. and had been the organization’s national director of public affairs from 1981 until 1988. She also served as community relations director for the Baltimore chapter of the Red Cross from 1964 to 1973. The Washington Post noted she also worked for the Red Cross in El Paso, Alexandria and Richmond.

She was Maryland chapter president in 1972 during her time at the local Red Cross, marking the first year the chapter was recognized as “Maryland.” From 1961 to 1971 the chapter was known as the Baltimore chapter of PRSA.

The former Virginia Hughes was a native of Charlottesville, Va., and a graduate of the University of North Carolina where she earned a degree in journalism. She won a Silver Anvil award among other honors.

 

PRSA MD Service Opportunity: Call for Judges for Wisconsin PRSA Awards

It is that time of year again where our chapter performs a valuable service for another PRSA chapter around the country – the judging of their chapter’s annual professional awards.

This time we are being called to judge The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter awards. https://prsanewis.org/index.php

This service is invaluable because without judges PRSA chapters would not have a ready remedy to celebrate the hard work and professional achievements of PRSA members.

Of course, this act is reciprocal.

Because of our participation in this, it allows our Best In Maryland entries to be judged by a sister PRSA chapter later this year. We are expecting an announcement soon about what chapter will be judging us this year for our December BIM awards.

With that said, I am soliciting your help. We will need at least 20 volunteers to participate in this year’s judging.

Here are the touchpoints:

1. If you won a PRSA MD Best in Maryland Award last year or your company did, this is a great way to pay your win forward. Your award was made possible because other PRSA members around the country volunteered their time to look at your entries.

2. If you want to submit an award this year for PRSA MD BIM, this is a good chance to see what the judging process is so that you can form a strategy when our BIM call for entries goes out later this year.

3. If you want to see what other PRSA professionals are doing around the country with campaigns, this is a great opportunity to get a look at the landscape of work in another part of the country especially with COVID communications.

If you can help, please send me an email: david.marshall@morgan.edu letting me know that you are willing to participate.

The entries are expected to be delivered to PRSA MD this weekend, and all entries are due back to NE Wisconsin on March 27.

I will be in touch with further directions once I receive your email saying you can volunteer.

Thanks so much for considering this meaningful service opportunity. It would be great to hear from volunteers by this Saturday.

Best to all, and thanks for being a member of PRSA MD.

David Marshall, Ph.D., APR
PRSA MD Chapter President

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