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Take PR leadership skills to next level

Leadership training. Building your network. Boosting professional skills. Having fun.

These are promises we will deliver on when you say “Yes!” to volunteering for PRSA Maryland. Just ask any of our current Board members and they will share with you outcomes like developing skills leading to promotion, new positions, new clients, new friends and fun.
 
We’re forming the 2019 Board and committees and so we’d love to hear from you. Positions currently open:

  • President – guide the board in serving members’ needs
  • Secretary – officer position to assist in leading the board
  • Membership Chair – welcome new members, meet other PR pros
  • Communications Chair – guide the chapter’s communications and marketing
  • Conference Chair – guide the planning and hosting of the Maryland PR Conference
  • Mentoring Chair – guide the chapter’s mentoring program
  • New Professional Chair – guide the planning and activities to meet new professional’s needs
  • Volunteer Coordinator – connect members to chapter volunteering & engagement
  • And seats on all committees including Best In Maryland, Mentoring, and APR

Plus, we’ve have openings for blog writers, social media posters, program hosts, Coffee With hosts, awards judges, PR writers and more.
 
Let us know you are interested by completing this quick survey or send us email right now at info@prsamd.org
 
If now isn’t the right time for you, we are always interested – just let us know what you’d like to do and when you are available – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PRSAMDGetInvolved.

Meet New Member Morgan Randall

As a communications coordinator with the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, Morgan Randall contributes to numerous tactics and strategies on behalf of her school. Some of her tasks include providing content for the Arts & Sciences magazine that is put out twice a year, managing a monthly e-bulletin that gets sent out to faculty and staff, making necessary edits to department websites, and completing billing for departments requesting photography services through Homewood Photography. She also supports the Director of Communications and team with various projects.

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Currently resides: Baltimore, MD

Education:

Randall earned an M.A. in Contemporary Communications from Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Why did you choose a career in Communications/PR?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and storytelling, so I decided to explore the Communications field since there are so many areas within it that are relevant to that passion.

How did you get into your current position?

During my last job search, I reconnected with a supervisor (from when I was a college intern) and she informed me of a job opening in her department that was exactly what I was looking for at the time.

How do you stay on top of industry related news/trends?

Websites like Forbes and PR Newswire are useful in regards to staying informed, along with speaking/meeting with people who do similar work at Hopkins.

How has being a PRSA member benefited you?

PRSA has provided me with resources like Webinars and information about conferences (which are discounted) as well as ways to network with others in the field on a local level through the Maryland Chapter.

Who is your role model and why?

Besides my mother, who is outgoing and a great problem-solver, Damon Dominique and Jo Franco (it’s hard to name one without the other) are my biggest role models right now. On YouTube, they are simply known as Damon and Jo and they travel around the world, exploring different cultures and learning new languages along the way. Their videos show that you can truly be a world traveler on a budget, meet people abroad, and experience the charming nature of a city like a local. They’ve also taught me not to let material things or just being too comfortable in a situation hold me back from pursing my passions (they move a lot so they have to be minimalist to an extent).

A career in Communications/PR can be stressful at times. What do you do to relax?

Hot yoga is the best way to clear my mind and just focus on my body.

What are your passions/interests/hobbies?

Reading, writing, photography, and researching historical events through primary sources (like archives.gov), documentaries, etc.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

Sometimes I do writing exercises where I write from the perspective of a stranger (while on the metro, at the park, etc.) and just imagine what their internal monologue might be like or how they live their life based on what I see in that moment.

Best piece of advice received:

Not to let fear govern your decisions.

Connect with Morgan:

Email –morgan.g.randall@gmail.com

Meet New Member Nick Cavey

As Director of Communication, Nick Cavey is in charge of the MD Department of General Services (DGSE) social media pages, the DGSE website newsroom, and communications with the governor’s press office. Nick also handles media inquiries and Public Information Act requests and helps coordinate outside events and inter-office communication with other teams in the department.

Nick joined PRSA Maryland in January. Be sure to welcome him to our chapter at that next event or via LinkedIn!

Hometown: Hampstead, Maryland

Currently Reside: Hampstead, Maryland

Education: Nick earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from West Virginia Wesleyan.

Why did you choose a career in Communications/PR? How did you get into your current job?

[At Wesleyan] I was actually highly involved in the radio station and spent my senior year as general manger of the station. And I thought, hey, how cool would it be to work at a radio station? And then I realized it was extremely difficult to actually work in radio.

 

I got a job with the state and was over at the Maryland Insurance Administration as the assistant director of government relations. While I was working there I liked the communication aspect of it, going out and talking to people, the inter-office communication, planning events, and everything like that. After a while I decided to switch lanes and got into the director of communication position here.

How has being a PRSA member benefited you?

It’s been a busy year so far, so I haven’t been able to get to any events. But I have been able to go on the website and watch a couple of webinars, which are really helpful. One of the big things that we’ve been trying to do this year is increase our followers on Facebook and our LinkedIn account. There’s a bunch of different social media webinars out there and a lot of them have been very helpful.

How do you stay on top of industry-related news and trends?

Typically our audience and our major customers are other state agencies. We don’t typically deal with the public a lot. Usually when searching news articles every morning I’ll go through a couple of the major papers around here and I’ll look at a dozen other smaller papers from counties. I just go through the front pages first to see if there are any front page stories that involve DGSE or could potentially involved DGSE, and I keep an eye out for other things for other state agencies. If there’s something there I can always send it over to my counterpart at another agency, but they all do the same thing as well. So you get to know the other communication directors and we all try to help each other out.

A career in communications/PR can be stressful at times. What do you do to relax?

Especially working in a state agency, we’re always working. Just because it’s five o’clock doesn’t mean we set the phone down. If there’s something going on I can be called at 10:00 and have a conversation about whatever is happening. Yeah, that can be stressful at times. But I think the best way to relax, personally, is to go home and enjoy my family and have a nice dinner; cook dinner and sit and watch TV.

What are your passions/interests/hobbies?

I’m a very big movie buff, usually watching movies, TV shows, and everything like that. Currently—and I know I’m behind on the times—but I’m finally getting a chance to watch Game of Thrones. My friends have been telling me for years, “hey, you need to watch this!” And I finally gave in and gave it a shot and it’s been pretty good.

Best piece of advice received:

Try your hardest, because if you don’t try hard you might as well not try at all. I’m not going to get anywhere just going in and doing the bare minimum. Being like that, you’re not going to stand out. If you want to succeed, move up, you’ve got a short one here, so be willing to put the work in.

Connect with Nick on LinkedIn

Member Profile: Edwin “Ed” Bodensiek

Edwin (Ed) Bodensiek will be our keynote speaker at the PRSA Maryland Conference on June 12 where he’ll address the future of marketing and communications and the coming convergence between our fields and customer experience (CX). Click here for a sneak peek of Ed’s keynote.

Ed made an early transition into CX while in healthcare, as the head of branding and communications for a Fortune 500 public company. In 2016, Ed became the first Chief Experience Officer in the Am Law 200, for Maryland powerhouse Miles & Stockbridge.

 

Hometown: West Palm Beach

Education:  Florida Atlantic University

Describe what you do professionally:  I design immersive brand experiences for competitive advantage.

How did you get into your position? Ignoring silos. They exist of course, but I’ve long pretended they don’t. I’ve found that when you engage people across functions – when you tell them you want to co-design something special with them – you can get almost anything done.

Like many PRSA members, I began in marketing communications and public relations. In time I realized that people like us had the creative firepower to solve all kinds of problems for our organizations. I’ve always had a stubborn mindset of wanting to help leadership and my colleagues achieve their desired results, wherever that took me. I never thought – oh, I’m just the creative person in the room and should stick to my lane, whatever that means. I turned it all around, so the creative people were at the center of solving all kinds of operational issues – using the tools we know – but also learning to use some new ones too. I’ve never had all the answers but found that others usually did – if only we asked the right questions.

The mindset helped me navigate radically new environments. For example, when I moved from Johns Hopkins to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, I was in a very new world. Here I was, appointed by the President of the United States, into a role forcing me to combine my communications background with other disciplines – for example, public policy. At first, it was uncomfortable, but it was also how I grew as a professional. Those of us in the communications tribe think very strategically about things like target audiences and messaging – which means we are always thinking about the larger aims, and usually asking questions. It translated well to such a new environment as the federal government. The same thing happened again at my next stop – a co-op agency of the State Department. I was named head of communications and outreach for the U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program, and our goal was to find more highly qualified applicants to represent American scholarship overseas, almost like ambassadors from higher education. It forced me to combine yet again with another discipline – recruiting.

However, when I moved back into healthcare I undertook the biggest –and most uncomfortable change of all.  I was named head of communications and brand for Select Medical, a $5B public company. I knew I was going to be busy building an internal, full-service agency. I did not know I would be asked to help solve a new challenge: designing a patient experience. The work soon morphed into employee experience, and then into cultural change and activation. All of these were new areas, but I started to ask questions, think about the big picture, and connect new dots. In a few cases we invented new dots. This was the real game-changer for me: Realizing our audiences formed perceptions from every single interaction with the organization. I suddenly saw how important it was to expand my work beyond the buyer’s journey. Working across a massive scale – across 42,000 associates and across all verticals and functions – we became much more intentional about designing moments that matter. This was the pivotal role that taught me what next-generation branding could look like. After nearly six years, I took those lessons learned into law, becoming the first Chief Experience Officer in the Am Law 200.

Current and past PRSA Maryland member activities: I am a current member of PRSA Maryland, and a former board member-at-large. More than a decade ago, I also co-chaired the Best in Maryland Awards. I’ll also be participating in the upcoming annual conference on June 12 in Towson.

What advice do you have for practitioners looking to do more with the PRSA Maryland Chapter?  Beyond paying attention to the great programming, pitch PRSA Maryland on an idea of how you can contribute. Practitioners have so much to offer their peers. It’s how we can all grow together.

What are your passions/interests/hobbies? Spending time with and learning from deeply thoughtful people who are super passionate about something – anything really. It’s inspiring to see that kind of focus and learning. I also have two baseball-crazy young sons, so I ought to add the Baltimore Orioles.  I’m originally a soccer guy, so that’s been an education for me, but I am hooked for life.   

More recently, my interest has been learning as much as I can from successful entrepreneurs. There are so many great models out there. I’m about to embark on a new journey – opening Cravety, LLC in another month or so. I plan to help others create the brands and cultures people crave. The two areas are powerfully connected, as what you get on the inside you get on the outside.

Best piece of advice received:  The CEO of Select Medical and my friend and mentor, David Chernow, taught me this: “Listen, learn, then lead.” 

How to connect with Ed:

Twitter: @EdwinBodensiek

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/edwinbodensiek/

Effective in June, you can also connect with Ed at ed@cravety.com or on his website at www.cravety.com

Click here for more information on 2018 PRSA Maryland Conference including Ed’s keynote address!

Thank you to our volunteer judges!

We put out the call for volunteers to help judge the Central Michigan PACE Awards and these volunteers heeded the call!

To get it all done, nine teams judged 84 entries (36 campaigns/48 tactics) in 24 categories. While some teams met in person, others judged virtually (check out Pattie’s team in action via Skype below). And they did it all in just 2 weeks!

So a huge THANK YOU to …

Cami Colarossi, Notre Dame Preparatory School

Elizabeth Homan, Howard Community College

Angie Hamlet, Anne Arundel Community College

Claudia Ciolfi, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Dianna Fornaro, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Lisa Brusio Coster, Coster Communications, LTD

Dorothy Fuchs, Purple Dot Public Relations

Pattie Yu, The Yu Crew LLC

Berry Brady

Bill Furmanski

Phillip Yerby, Weber Shandwick

Kaitlyn McCoach, Weber Shandwick

Chuck Fitzgibbon, Weber Shandwick

Kara Joyce, Crosby Marketing Communications

Becky Ceraul, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

Malissa Carroll, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

Erin Merino, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

Nancy Sherman, Caroline Center

Duane Carey, IMPACT Marketing & Public Relations

Joe Bawol, IMPACT Marketing & Public Relations

Peggy Hoffman, Mariner Management

What’s our next step? Launching our own 2018 Call for Entries! Watch your in-boxes and mailboxes for details in late spring.

Member Profile: Emily McDermott

As an account supervisor at Van Eperen, Emily McDermott guides client strategy and manages accounts, overseeing client teams and deliverables. Emily also contributes to Van Eperen’s communications and supports business development in addition to recruiting and training staff and interns. This year, Emily was recognized as the PRSA-MD chapter Volunteer of the Year.

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Education:

I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communications, specializing in public relations. I was lucky enough to go to Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. It’s part of the UNC School System and located in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

Describe your day-to-day job:

That’s the hardest question to answer! I love agency life because every day, every minute, is different and unpredictable. Possibly the best way to explain it is to imagine taking all the things I said I do at Van Eperen and put them in a really big bag. Toss in multiple clients, the integrated PESO (paid, earned, shared, and owned media) model, math for tracking and measuring, leave space for the things I’m surely forgetting, and give it a shake for 4-6 minutes and THAT’S my day-to-day job. I love it!

How did you get into your position with Van Eperen?

Funny you should ask! I moved back to Baltimore in 2013 after living in Atlanta for seven years and immediately joined PRSA-MD. I was quite active in the PRSA Georgia Chapter and knew I wanted to continue to be involved with the organization here. Jeff Davis, APR (Managing Partner of Van Eperen) was co-president of the PRSA-MD board of directors at the time and I saw him at the first event I went to and introduced myself. As I became more involved with the Chapter I was asked to join the board and got to know Jeff better. Over the years my admiration for Jeff and his work grew and grew. His public relations consultancy was acquired by Van Eperen and it wasn’t too long after that Jeff was ready to expand Van Eperen’s Baltimore office. I met with him and CEO Laura Van Eperen and the rest is history!

What did it mean to receive the Volunteer of the Year award?

It took time to sink in because it was a complete surprise. I couldn’t have been more honored. I invest time and energy into PRSA-MD because it’s an organization that I believe in and it has truly made a difference in my life and professional development. To be recognized by the Chapter as Volunteer of the Year encourages me to do more and I hope others are inspired to volunteer with PRSA-MD, too.

What work are you most proud of doing for the Chapter?

Increasing the number of programs the Chapter offers is what I’m most proud of. It has been, and continues to be, a group effort. People suggest a topic they’d like to present or one they’d like to learn more about and we’re turning those ideas into meaningful programming for communication practitioners. Networking and professional development are the two biggest reasons people join the Chapter and it’s been a huge focus to deliver both. It’s a lot of work but the feedback has been fantastic and we’re excited to bring even more in 2018!

What advice do you have for practitioners looking to do more with the Chapter?

Speak up and don’t take on too much, too soon!

 What are your passions/interests/hobbies?

Everything revolves around my family and friends. Spending time with them is the most important thing to me. I love music and going to concerts and productions. And I’m passionate about giving back. Just over a year ago, I started volunteering with Thread, Inc., a Baltimore City nonprofit. Thread aims to engage underperforming high school students confronting significant barriers outside of school by connecting students with a family of volunteers and increased access to community resources. We work to foster students’ academic advancement and personal growth into self-motivated, resilient, and responsible citizens. It’s been one of the most challenging and rewarding adventures of my life.

Best piece of advice received:

I have two; be kind and be true to yourself.

Connect with Emily:

Email – emily@vaneperen.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/EMcDermott48

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilymcdermott/

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