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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.

 

Important Update for APR Candidates

Here’s some great news for APR candidates!

There are now two ways to take the examination for Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). As of June 19, 2020, candidates have the option to take the APR exam either at a Prometric Testing Center or remotely through Prometric’s ProProctor application.

For a remote proctored exam, candidates must consent to being videotaped and supply their own laptop with camera, microphone, and internet connection. They must also be able to install a software application (“app”) prior to the test event. For information about both options, see www.prometric.com/pruab.

Additionally, if you are a candidate who is ready to give your Panel Presentation, PRSA Maryland can now administer virtual panel presentations using Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, or another virtual platform. If you are ready for one of these steps, or if you are interested in learning more about the APR, contact Dianna Fornaro, APR, at dfornaro@ceiwc.com or go to https://prsamd.org/apr/.

PRSA Maryland hosts first successful APR panel presentation online!

PRSA Maryland Chapter’s APR Chair, Dianna Fornaro, APR, announced that the first-ever virtual APR Panel Presentation held this spring was an enormous success!

Dianna explains that, prior to COVID-19, PRSA National required chapters to host the APR Panel Presentation (formerly called the Readiness Review) as live, in-person meetings. The Panel Presentation is the first step in a candidate’s quest for accreditation and requires the candidate to present a PR campaign that he or she has been intimately involved in. During the presentation, the judges score the candidate on presentation skills, including speaking, listening, and engaging.

However, because of the need for social distancing during the current pandemic, the APR Committee took to Zoom to host its first very successful Panel Presentation in April. Special thanks to the candidate, Andre Riley, Director of Communications for Baltimore City Public Schools; and to judges Ken Smith, APR, Manager of Internal and CEO Communications for Boeing Defense, Space and Security and a PRSA-MD Board Member; David Marshall, Ph.D., APR, Professor and Chair of the Strategic Communications Dept. at Morgan State University and a PRSA-MD Board Member; and Janice Smith, Ph.D., APR, Assistant Professor and Director of The Strategy Shop at Morgan State University (and no relation to Ken).

Learn more about getting your APR!

Spring Session of APR Online Course begins January 28

The next session of the APR online course begins with an Orientation on Jan. 28 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. This course is invaluable to help you prepare for the APR exam.

Participants in this course are PR and communications professionals from all over the country. Facilitators are senior PR professionals who hold the APR designation as well as senior level positions at private and public organizations across the U.S. They often speak from experience to the various topics at hand.

The course is supported by a Study Guide as well as several textbooks. Over the course of 13 weeks, you will delve into the 10 modules, or chapters, covered in this course. Chapters include: Public Relations: A Management Function, Applying Ethics and Law, Communication Models and Theories, Managing Issues and Crisis Communications, Leading the PR Function, Managing Relationships, and, of course, Research, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation (RPIE), the 4-step process that is at the heart of all successful public relations campaigns

During the final week of the course, you’ll have a chance to discuss your ideas for a Communications Plan utilizing RPIE. This information will be especially helpful in preparing your individual Panel Presentation, which must be presented and approved before you can take the APR exam.

The course is very convenient; it will be held completely online for one hour each week during the evening from 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. The PRSA member price is $195 (group discounts are available), and participants may take this course up to three times a year – in the spring, summer, and fall.

For more information on the APR online course, click here,

For the Spring 2020 course schedule or to enroll, click here.

 

PRSA Maryland Announces Four New APRs

Photo caption: PRSA Maryland Chapter Accreditation Manager Dianna Fornaro, M.A., APR (center) with Janice Smith, Ph. D., APR (left), and David Marshall, Ph.D., APR, at BIM19 in Dec. 2019. (Not pictured: Christine Frey, APR and Kelly Stoll, APR.)

PRSA Maryland is proud to announce our chapter’s four newest APRs! The four were first announced at our Best in Maryland (BIM) Awards Gala on December 4.

The APR is our profession’s only national post-graduate certificate program. It demonstrates a PR practitioner’s or educator’s commitment to the highest standards of the profession, to ethical conduct, and to professional excellence.

Unlike the credentials required for competence in many other professions, the accreditation process for PR professionals is voluntary, Consequently, the APR credential is held by very few today. Currently, only 19% of PRSA members are accredited, according to PRSA National.

PRSA Maryland Chapter’s four newest APRs are:

Christine Frey, APR
Senior Corporate Communications & Patient Education Manager
American Urological Association

David Marshall, Ph.D., APR
Professor and Chair of the Dept. of Strategic Communication
Morgan State University

Janice Smith, Ph.D., APR
Asst. Professor & Director of The Strategy Shop, Morgan’s in-house PR agency
Morgan State University

Kelly Stoll, APR
Senior Strategic Communications Specialist
AECOM

Congratulations to all of them!

Congratulations to our Chapter’s newest APRs!

Congratulations to the Maryland Chapter’s newest APRs – Christine Frey, APR, Senior Corporate Communications & Patient Education Manager at American Urological Association, and Janice Smith, Ph.D., APR, Assistant Professor in Morgan University’s Dept. of Strategic Communications.

Christine received her accreditation in June, and Janice received accreditation in August. Their accomplishments represent a year’s worth of hard work and commitment to the public relations profession!

Janice Smith, Ph.D., APR

Connect with Janice on LinkedIn

If you’d like information on obtaining your APR, contact Dianna Fornaro at dfornaro@ceiwc.com or on LinkedIn.

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