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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/.

Never assume your crisis is over … until your audience says so!

We took a brief break from our #PRSAMDWeeklyChat only to come back on June 12 with PR pro Jeffrey Davis, APR, Managing Partner, Van Eperen! Jeff talked about the realities of crisis communications and why you need a solid plan to address Covid 2.0, our national conversation about racism and whatever awaits us in the “Next Normal.”

Listen below to full conversation below or read recap for highlights.

Highlights:

What is a crisis? Internally, a crisis is an event or a series of events which threaten the organization’s ability to achieve its mission. Externally, a crisis is an event or a series of events which put your organization’s values on trial in the court of public opinion.

Realities of a crisis: Your values will be communicated and will under public scrutiny. Remember that what you say must be reinforced by your behavior. Important publics (employees, media, competitors, neighbors, family, critics) are paying attention to you. Be ready with good messaging.

Basics of a crisis: Ask “what do you want people to think about you?” That you care, are doing something, and will prevent recurrence. That you are accountable and will be part of the solution. Have a solid messaging strategy that includes a media policy, prepared messaging platform procedures, trained/tested spokespeople. Tip:  When training spokespeople, practice with a series of Q&As that will prepare the spokesperson for the hardest questions imaginable. *Don’t train in the midst of a crisis! Crisis specifics make the news.

Tip: Journalists often put out calls for more information via social media. Be a part of the story; be prepared to answer those calls.

Initial statement: Don’t ignore the “window of opportunity.” Respond quickly. Your initial statement may be broad but make sure it is timely and be sure to address the key issues during this critical period. Tip: Don’t put the news media ahead of your own employees. They are your ambassadors and can help get the messaging out. Let your employees know what is going on. Tip: Organizations can be pulled into employee issues. If this happens, respond quickly.

Create a solid crisis communications plan that includes a mobile option allowing easy access to all. The mobile plan can be setup based on crisis levels vs. specific scenarios, i.e., Level 3 – Emergency event; Level 2 – Significate/threshold event; Level 1 – Major event. The plan should identify team members and their roles, current contact information, template statements, and social media passwords.

Crisis Management Best Practices:

  • Risk assessments – identify scenarios; plans using levels
  • Scheduled sessions to review plan
  • Regular updates to plan – internal team, external stakeholders, media/influence lists, contacts, templates, mobile version
  • Media/speaker training for primary spokespersons

 

PRSA MD Weekly Chat: Crisis Communications Review with Jeffrey Davis, APR

Join us for a chat with PR pro Jeffrey Davis, APR, Managing Partner, Van Eperen on the realities of crisis communications and why you need a solid plan to address Covid 2.0, our national conversation about racism and whatever awaits us in the “Next Normal.”

With world events changing every day, an updated and actionable crisis PR plan has never been more important.

In this 30 minute presentation, followed by Q&A, Jeff will cover …

  • Tips on messaging and communicating during a crisis
  • What to look for when analyzing your existing plan
  • How to build a mobile version of your plan
  • Considerations for communications around current events

Of course, we want to hear from you so come with your questions and tips to share. It’s FREE!

About PRSA Maryland Weekly Chat: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and all the ways it is affecting our professional and personal lives, we are holding weekly virtual meetings to gather and address a variety of topics.

Missed the last few weekly chats? Here you go …

Online Reputation – Search Engine Optimization/Wikipedia and more…

Worried about SEO/reviews/Google results/Wikipedia, and/or any other scary sounding tools that you’re uncomfortably aware that you may be responsible for?

Everyone’s concerned about their online reputation but no one’s quite sure what to do about it. Join us as we cover the channels that make up your online reputation, provide tactics you can use when you get home, and introduce some mini case studies.

Webinar Details:
When: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 | 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Where: Online via Zoom*
Investment: PRSA Members $10; Guests $25

*You will receive a Zoom registration link prior to the event. If you haven’t received by Wednesday morning, please let us know at info@prsamd.org.

About the Speaker

Josh Greene is the CEO for The Mather Group, a digital agency, that helps companies manage how they’re found online, through Wikipedia and Search Engine Optimization.

Prior to The Mather Group, Greene was the VP of Marketing for both 1-800-PACK-RAT and Zippy Shell where he was responsible for all marketing including online, offline, and the launch of national television campaigns.

He was also the Vice President of Member Services for Shop.org where he oversaw membership recruitment and retention initiatives. Additionally, Greene collaborated with NRF’s government relations staff to execute policy and advocacy strategies on behalf of Shop.org members. He also served as a liaison to Shop.org’s Policy Advisory Group, developed industry initiatives, and managed Shop.org’s Ray M. Greenly Scholarship fund.

Greene joined Shop.org from Discovery Communications, where he was director of online marketing and business development. At Discovery, Greene oversaw online marketing, direct response television, corporate gifting, and partner programs for DiscoveryStore.com. He’s been a frequent speaker at industry events including ad:tech, SES, PR Summit, Channel Advisor’s Catalyst conference, and others.

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!

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors