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Remembering John W. “Jack” Felton, APR, Fellow PRSA

Jack Felton, APR, Fellow PRSA

Jack Felton, APR, Fellow PRSA

Written by: Judy Phair, APR, Fellow PRSA

Throughout his life and career, Jack Felton made a significant and positive impact on our Society, our profession, and our Maryland Chapter.  Jack’s first public relations job was in the military as an information officer in the USAF Strategic Air Command and he later worked as a public relations executive with U.S. Steel and Interstate Brands. However, we in the Maryland Chapter came to appreciate his dedication and leadership during the many years he served as corporate vice president of communications at McCormick Spice.

Jack was a great role model for those of us who aspired to have a “seat at the table.” He exemplified the importance of personal and professional integrity, and of giving back. Jack and his wife Ann were active volunteers for numerous charitable causes in the community, and Jack was a tireless PRSA volunteer and leader, advocate for the profession, and mentor to students and other professionals.

On a personal note, Jack got me involved in PRSA and the Maryland chapter. I’d met Jack and his team at McCormick when I worked for another corporation in Hunt Valley. I was a newcomer to the state, and Jack and my boss encouraged me to attend a few PRSA meetings. Shortly thereafter Jack became chapter president and recruited me to chair the Education Committee. Of course, I was hooked. I had also found a lifelong mentor and friend, whose advice and support was always valued.

Jack never did get to complete his term as our chapter president. The national president resigned early in his term in 1985, and Jack was asked to take over. He completed that term and then served another full year as national president in 1986. He was, I think, the only PRSA president ever to serve two terms – not an easy task, but he did it beautifully.

Public relations education and research were always strong interests for Jack, so when he retired from McCormick in 1995, he embarked on a new career as a professor at the University of Florida and established the Institute for Public Relations Research on the Gainesville campus. After retiring again in 2004, Jack and Ann traveled around the world, but he always found time for PRSA.

Jack said that it was his ability to write that opened doors for him early in his career. He used his writing skills in other ways, too. He loved theater, and he wrote and produced many plays — while holding one of the most demanding jobs in town. He was a man with considerable energy and talent – along with great charm, and a wonderful sense of humor.

Two years ago, Jack lost Ann, who was a true partner in all aspects of his life and who attended almost every PRSA conference with him. This past October was the first time in many years that Jack was unable to attend the Annual Conference – the trip to San Francisco was too much. He was missed, but we thought he’d be back this year. Now there will be a seat at the table of PRSA leadership that no one can fill. We remember and miss him – and we are grateful for all the contributions he made to take our profession to new levels.

Call for Speakers for 2013 Mid-Atlantic District Chesapeake Conference Open Now!

Are you interested in presenting at the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Chesapeake Conference happening June 25  at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel? If you are, then submit a Speaker RFP by Friday April 19, 2013.

We are looking for interesting topics and speakers in areas such as, but certainly not limited to:

  • Social media strategy
  • Traditional/Social Media integration
  • Tools for PR People in the Cloud and via Apps
  • Risk for communicators in the age of social media
  • Time management
  • Measurement, tracking & metrics
  • Getting the “Old School” educated
  • Marketing to the Emerging Majority
  • How to Build Brand Awareness

By speaking, you will have the opportunity to impact individuals driven to improve themselves, their place of work, PRSA and our profession. Of course you will also be shaping yourself and your stature among your peers. Your experiences and insights towards innovative concepts are in demand…here is a chance to show where you came from and how you have evolved into a true role model.

Sessions will run 75 minutes including question & answer periods.  

Event Details:

What: The Mid-Atlantic District Chesapeake Conference

When: Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Where: Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel

This year’s conference is a collaboration the chapters of the Mid-Atlantic District which draws from ten chapters in five states.

*Showcase your company by becoming a Conference Sponsor. As a sponsor you will be able to share your company both with pros during the conference and through recognition in our participating chapters. Click here for more information.

Are You Ready for the PRevolution?

Just 6 weeks until the 2012 Mid-Atlantic District Chesapeake Conference!

Wow…what a mouthful to say. But that’s what’s in store for you this year. A FULL day of education created especially to help you Strategize, Digitize and Energize!

So what will the day look like? You’ll start off with a networking breakfast to get you geared up.  Then you’ll head right into the day, choosing from a variety of topics based on what you told us you wanted to see: more business and leadership skills, more PR tools, and more social media trends. What’s more, we’ve organized the sessions into three tracks—Strategic Business and Leadership, PR Essentials, Social Media—to help you create the best experience. You can stay on one track throughout the day, or alternate between tracks. It’s all up to you!

So what else is happening? Well, this year’s luncheon keynote speaker is Amy S. Mitchell, Deputy Director for the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Mitchell will share an insightful look at news in our digital lives. Be sure to check out Center’s 2012 State of the Media Report before the conference.

So who will be there? Last year’s conference was sponsored by three chaptersMaryland, National Capital, and Central Chesapeakebringing together PR pros from a wider area than ever before. We’re all still participating, and this year we’re excited to welcome two more chapters to the fold: Blue Ridge and Central Pennsylvania. This means there will be PR pros coming from Maryland, DC, Virginia and Pennsylvania!

So don’t delay! The conference is scheduled for Thursday November 8, 2012 at the Four Points by Sheraton BWI. Click here for more information, including a peek at the full agenda, and begin planning your day!

Are you ready?

A special thanks to our sponsors to date:

Premier Sponsor: Vocus

Premier Patron: Erickson Living

Patron: a. Bright idea

Event Photographer:  Stockfield Photography

There’s a First Time for Everything

For the first time (in recent history or that anyone can recall), the PRSA Maryland, National Capital, and Central Chesapeake Chapters have teamed up to put on a regional conference!  After a bit of a rough (and late!) start, we finally got the 2011 PRSA Mid-Atlantic Chesapeake Conference Planning Committee going.  

Representatives from all three chapters have worked tirelessly all year to brainstorm session topics, locate relevant speakers, find sponsorships, develop conference collateral, and then promote the darned thing!  All the while, we have had great fun forming relationships, networking, gaining valuable experience, and bonding in an energetic, collegial environment. 

It has been a really wonderful time working with all three chapters.  We’re looking forward to enjoying the conference next week!

There’s still time to register for this year’s conference.  Go to https://prsamd.org/news/events2011/nov11program.htm.  Seating is limited and tickets are going fast, so hurry!  

And we’re going to keep building on this momentum.  If you would like to get in on this synergistic, collaborative effort to plan next year’s conference, please don’t hesitate to e-mail Peggy at phoffman@marinermanagement.com.

Have you registered yet? You won’t want to miss…

If you haven’t registered to attend the 33rd Annual PRSA-Maryland Annual Chesapeake Conference, now is the time. This event boasts a dazzling array of speakers who will bestow many gems of wisdom you can use to sharpen your skills as a professional communicator. Here’s a taste of what’s to come:

Writing for the web and social media

Marci DeVries, owner of MDV Interactive, and David Harrison, owner of Harrison Communications, will lead an interactive session on writing for new media. Writing for new media is different than writing for traditional media. Learn the secrets to writing compelling content for Twitter, Facebook, blogs, pitches, and more.  Discover how and why messages spread virally on social media platforms and gain an overview of how people are consuming news and information via the web. This information-packed session will give you ready-to-use tips to help raise your message above the information clutter.

Visit Marci DeVries’ website at www.mdvinteractive.com.

Visit David Harrison’s website at www.harrisoncommunications.net.

Register here to see David Harrison & Marci Devries speak

Social media law 101:  A legal perspective for communicators

Bradley S. Shear, ESQ., managing partner and founder of the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC has the perfect combination of expertise to make sure it is smooth sailing when communicating in the digital world. Get clear insight into the basics of what is or isn’t legal when crafting messages for use on social media platforms. In his 50-minute primer, you will learn what communicators need to know to avoid legal issues unique to social media.

To learn more about Bradley Shear’s practice you can fan him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or visit his firm’s Web site.

Register here to see Bradley S. Shear, ESQ speak

Time management strategies for social media activities

Steve Radick, associate for Booz Allen Hamilton, social media and government 2.0 practice

As social media continues to grow, so do the concerns about time management and measurement of tactics related to this new platform. Booz Allen Hamilton’s own social media strategist, Steve Radick, will focus on the people and processes of social media and how they truly determine the success of strategy. With a push to understand what this new technology enables, Steve will delve into his expertise on running a team of social media experts and how he best meets the needs of clients in an efficient and effective manner. Steve was recently named one of PRNews’ 15 to Watch in 2009. He was also recently named one of the expert bloggers for AIIM’s Enterprise 2.0 Community.

You can learn more about Steve and his approach to PR and social media by visiting his blog at www.steveradick.com.

Register here to see Steve Radick speak

Find out more about our Hardship Package, Smile and Save Professional Photography special and read all about our Morning Keynote, and First Breakout Sessions.

ONLY 8 Days to go until our Annual PRSA-MD Chesapeake Conference.  Register today

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