0 Items

From Baltimore and beyond, our response to racial injustice

Open Letter from the PRSA MD Board of Directors:

Yesterday George Floyd was laid to rest. It should not have happened. In the name of Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others who have been brutally killed, PRSA Maryland stands with the protesting nation to say Black Lives Matter.

PRSA Maryland was formed in 1961, during the Civil Rights Era, a movement against racial segregation and inequality. The chapter’s purpose was to advance the profession of public relations by offering services and support that help our members practice their craft.

Sixty years have passed and our raison d’etre has not changed. But we hear a crescendo regarding racism from our nation’s protesting citizenry representing all races, creeds, genders, and religions. The recent events are affecting everyone, especially those in our base city of Baltimore, which is 63 percent black (2010 U.S. Census Bureau) and has seen more than its share of racial tension, hate crimes, inequity, and uprisings.

Last week, PRSA National responded that the current climate in our country is indeed not healthy. In addition, T. Garland Stansell, our 2020 chair, stated:

“As communicators, those pledged to ethically and responsibly promote healthy dialogue and the free flow of information that can help inform attitudes, opinions and beliefs, I believe we should be the voices of compassion, the voices of civility, the voices of reason, and the earnest voices of challenge to help our employers, clients, communities, friends and families engage in productive, honest and empathetic conversation.”

We not only want to be the same voice for our chapter members but also want to continue our work to be more diverse and inclusive. As such, we are making a commitment to improve upon this initiative with meaningful and measurable goals. We are going to hold up the mirror to our membership, board, and committees, to solicit change. And, furthermore, we are challenging our members, public relations agencies, partnering companies, sponsors, and industry leaders to look at their own ranks and commit to changing the color of their profiles.

As we approach the second half of what we hope and pray will be a more positive and healthier 2020, we are starting the process by:

  • Dedicating next week’s Weekly Chat to “Racism in our ranks and how leadership can change the system.” Register here for the free 45-minute session.
  • Appointing an ambassador for diversity and inclusion in the chapter who will develop and oversee the D&I strategy and goals.
  • Continuing the conversation from our 2018 and 2019 annual conferences with expanded dialogue at our 2020 conference on racism in our city, and specifically in our industry, and systematic ways to overcome it. Save the date for Sept. 24 and 25th!
  • Encouraging our member agencies and companies to provide internship, scholarship and employment opportunities for BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) to build the type of diverse talent who will be able to soar/excel in an agency or firm environment.

We empathize with our members that are hurting during this time. Just as with the onset of COVID-19 and the pressures it put on our members personally and professionally, we are here, we are listening, and we are supporting you. #Membership matters and we encourage your participation in this ongoing dialogue. Write to us at info@prsamd.org or engage with us on any of our social platforms.

Sincerely,

Your PRSA MD Board of Directors

Lisa Brusio Coster, President

Kenneth Smith, APR, Treasurer

Jeffrey Davis, APR

Dianna Fornaro, APR

David Marshall, Ph.D., APR

Emily McDermott

Debra Schindler

Lauren Walbert

Phillip Yerby

 

 

President’s New Year’s Message

2019/2020 chapter president Lisa Coster accepting Award of Excellence on 12/4/2019. Photo courtesy of Coyle Studios.

Welcome to 2020 and all it promises you professionally and personally. I am honored to be continuing in the role as chapter president and plan to make great strides this year with another strong board of directors. (Meet them here.)

While we have much membership data from our past events and surveys, tell me more about what you want from our chapter this year.  I want an engaged membership, and that includes programming that interests you, as well as your time and talent to assist with the chapter. Can you take on some tasks in our communications, event logistics, or recruitment and onboarding of new members?

The benefits of engagement are limitless. It not only provides you with a network of professionals on whom you can call in crisis or in celebration, but also hones your skills and sometimes, moves you out of your comfort zone to become more confident or learn something new.  We work hard and enjoy our time together (both virtually and face-to-face), while advancing the profession. What more could you want?!

I have met some incredible professionals as well as clients in my 25+ years as a PRSA member and volunteer in various chapters.  Better yet, many of those people have become confidants and friends.  I look forward to spending more time with you in 2020!  Have a comment? Reach out to me at lbcoster@costercommunications.com.

Cheers!

Lisa Brusio Coster
PRSA MD President
2019-2020

Maryland Chapter of Public Relations Society of America Re-elects President and Announces 2020 Board of Directors

The Public Relations Society of America Maryland Chapter (PRSA Maryland) announces Lisa Brusio Coster, president of Coster Communications, has been re-elected president of the chapter’s board of directors effective January 1, 2020.

Coster has been a dedicated member of PRSA since 1995. She has held multiple leadership roles within the Maryland chapter over the years, including sitting on the PRSA Maryland board of directors since 2018, chairing the 2017 Maryland “Best in Maryland” annual awards program, and co-chairing the 2004 PRSA Maryland annual conference. She is the founder of Coster Communications, which she started in 1997.

“Being re-elected is an honor,” says Coster. “Leading this wonderful chapter is only possible when there is a great board working beside me. I have been fortunate to have had that in 2019 and look forward to the same in 2020.”

The 2020 PRSA Maryland board of directors consists of:

President

Lisa Brusio Coster, M.A., President, Coster Communications

 Treasurer

Ken Smith, APR

Directors              

Christine P. Barnhart, M.S., APR

Jeffrey A. Davis, APR, Managing Partner, Van Eperen

Dianna Fornaro, APR, Senior Communications Specialist, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Dr. David Marshall​, APR, Professor and Chair, Department of Strategic Communication, Morgan State University

Emily McDermott, Account Supervisor/Project Manager, Van Eperen

Debra Schindler, Regional Director of Media and Public Relations, MedStar Health

Lauren Walbert, Vice President, Sandy Hillman Communications

Phillip Yerby, Group Manager, Weber Shandwick

Assembly Delegates:

Cathy E. Nyce, Director, Marketing and Communications, Maryland Auto Insurance

Kenneth Smith, APR

Click here for bios.

Click here to learn more about PRSA Maryland.

Presenting the 2020 Board of Directors Slate

Each year, PRSA Maryland Chapter installs a new board of directors and member volunteers who work together to ensure the Chapter achieves its mission, plans professional programs, and grows membership. Today, the Chapter is pleased to present you with the slate for the 2020 board of directors for your review. Click here for full bios.

 

President

  • Lisa Brusio Coster, M.A., President, Coster Communications

Treasurer

  • Ken Smith, APR

Directors              

  • Christine P. Barnhart, M.S., APR
  • Jeffrey A. Davis, APR, Managing Partner, Van Eperen
  • Dianna Fornaro, APR, Senior Communications Specialist, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company
  • Dr. David Marshall​, Professor and Chair, Department of Strategic Communication, Morgan State University
  • Emily McDermott, Account Supervisor/Project Manager, Van Eperen
  • Debra Schindler, Regional Director of Media and Public Relations, MedStar Health
  • Lauren Walbert, Vice President, Sandy Hillman Communications
  • Phillip Yerby, Group Manager, Weber Shandwick

Assembly Delegates serve as 1) the Chapter’s representatives at PRSA Leadership Assembly, and 2) liaison between the Society and Chapter.

  • Cathy E. Nyce, Director, Marketing and Communications, Maryland Auto Insurance
  • Kenneth Smith, APR

PRSA Maryland Chapter members: Voting for the 2020 board of directors will commence on November 25 via Survey Monkey. Please watch your inbox for your chance to vote.

We continue to accept nominations for the board of directors, specifically a vice president and president-elect. This is a great opportunity to steer the Chapter into the future.  If you are interested in holding a leadership position within PRSA Maryland, please contact Lisa Brusio Coster at lbcoster@costercommunications.com.

We are also seeking volunteers to chair or be part of a committee. Not sure why you should volunteer?  Finding your place in PRSA Maryland will answer a few of your questions. You can also click here to take a simple poll.

 

The Chapter is Accepting 2020 Board Nominations

2019 Board of Directors January Kick-off Meeting

Are you looking to boost to your career or hone your leadership skills? Perhaps you’d like to expand your professional network? PRSA Maryland Chapter offers numerous opportunities to lead and grow.

Board of Directors: We are currently accepting nominations for board of directors with terms beginning January 1, 2020 (Get to know current leaders here). This is a great opportunity to steer the Chapter into the future. Interested in learning more? Contact Maryland Chapter President Lisa Brusio Coster.  

Committees: We are also seeking volunteers to chair a committee or be part of a committee. Not sure why you should volunteer?  Finding your place in PRSA Maryland will answer a few of your questions.

Not sure where you’ll fit in? Tell us about what interests you by taking this simple poll: 

Create your own user feedback survey

Click here for volunteer opportunities.

 

Brush up on Leadership Skills with Quick Start Training – Free Registration for the First to Respond

Aspiring chapter leaders are cordially invited to this year’s PRSA Mid-Atlantic District (MAD) “Quick Start” leadership program, taking place on Saturday, November 2, in Towson. The program – registration link here – is designed to help strengthen emerging and upcoming Chapter leaders through meaningful, practical content.  And, Quick Start enables unique networking experiences with fellow leaders from around the region.  Meet your peers, offer advice and take home some fresh, winning ideas to your Chapter.

Agenda & Featured Speaker

The day of “Quick Start” is full of only useful content, including roundtable discussions about how to turn some of the challenges we all face into opportunities.  Attendees will have the chance to share and receive thoughtful feedback on just about any PRSA-related topic, from successful programming approaches, to recruiting committee members, to leading a volunteer board. 

The event’s featured speaker is Ken Jacobs, a long-time PRSA ICON and PRSA Counselors Academy speaker who focuses on leadership and empowering team members – including those in a volunteer setting. His column on leadership appears regularly in PRSA’s Strategy & Tactics, and he has written on leadership development, executive coaching and agency management for PR News. Ken has coached and helped leaders, from C-suite executives to managers, achieve and surpass their goals.  We’re lucky to have him at the 2019 Quick Start.

Event Location & Details

The event will be held, November 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Sheraton Baltimore North, 903 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, 21204

Free Registration

Each chapter receives one complimentary registration to the event (including lunch).  Registration for additional attendees is $20.  For more information, contact Mike Gross at 856-866-0411, ext. 117,  Mike@AKCGfirm.com or visit the Quick Start website.

 

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors