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Meet Chapter Member Kelsey Harman

For the September Issue of Web Notes, we talked to Maryland Chapter member and volunteer Kelsey Harman. Kelsey is an Account Manager at Cision, and has been an active volunteer on the PRSA Maryland Communications Committee since 2019.

How long have you been a member of PRSA and why did you join?

While in college at the University of Tampa, I was a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). After graduating in 2018, I became a New Professionals Committee Member and last year I joined the Communications Committee as a social media volunteer. I knew I wanted to be a part of a community specifically in my industry that allowed me to grow and network.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

I like having the ability to develop social media content. It allows me to be creative.

What is your current position at Cision?

I have been working at Cision, a leading global provider of earned media software and services since 2018. I am currently an Account Manager.

What do you love most about the PR field?

I love how diverse the PR field is. People assume that if you work in the public relations field you must work at an agency. That is not the case. There are many different roles. There is a lot of flexibility in this industry.

How do you define success?

For me, success is knowing the work I am doing is making a positive impact. Eventually, I want to take the non-profit route. I want to wake up knowing my work is improving someone’s life for the better.

Who inspires you?

My mom and all the women in my family in general. I have some strong and hardworking female influences in my family, which I am grateful for. Quite a few of them work in the communications industry, including my cousin, who is the Vice President of Public Relations for an agency in Baltimore.

What is one thing – either industry-related or not – you learned in the last month?

I was recently promoted. At first, I was doing my old job, while also trying to learn my new job. It was overwhelming. I had to learn to reflect on my accomplishments instead of focusing on all the things I didn’t get done. I had to give myself some lead way and learn how to relax and unwind.

What is something about you (a fun fact) that many people may not know?

I love to travel. I have been on an airplane every month since 2018. I love exploring new places and visiting friends. Although I can’t travel right now, I still have a lot of places I want to visit after the pandemic.

What is the last book you read?

1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz.

Where did you grow up and where would you like to retire?

I grew up in Annapolis, Maryland but I currently live in Austin, Texas. I am not sure of the exact location but I want to retire somewhere warm in a laid-back environment. It could be within the United States, Italy or maybe an island.

If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza or Tacos.

PRSA MD Volunteers Deliver Big for Sister Chapter

A small army of The Public Relations Society of America Maryland Chapter collaborated on a project to help colleagues six states away have their big moment in the sun.

Twenty-eight volunteers from PRSA Maryland judged The Public Relations Society of America Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter’s annual Paragon Awards, the highest professional salute that chapter gives.

“This was just an amazing team of colleagues to work with,” said PRSA MD Board member Dr. David Marshall, APR, who coordinated the judging this year for PRSA MD. “As soon as the call went out for help, people responded right away and worked tirelessly to give each entry a very thorough review. Our members completed the process with distinction and on time.”

The judging took place in April over 22 days. Leaders from PRSA SE Wisconsin announced the winners last month.

“This was the first time I have participated in a PRSA MD offering. Serving as a judge not only was rewarding, but it provided me with some terrific ideas that I was immediately able to bring back to my own work,” said Anthony Naglieri, Senior Director of External Affairs at Cultural Vistas.

“It was awesome to see this come together,” said Kaletha Henry, Owner and Director of Be Local Go Global. “I was very excited for the opportunity to participate as a judge and review each agency’s submission. I learned a lot. It’s certainly an exciting time to be in Public Relations.”

There were 46 entries across a number of categories covering tactics and programs. Each submission was reviewed by two judges on a 0-50 point scale. Judges considered research, clear objectives and target audiences, comprehensive planning and budgeting, creativity and execution, and evaluation against the stated objectives.

“I absolutely love serving as a judge of PRSA National and Chapter awards,” said Dan Dunne, APR, Director of External Communications for Erickson Living, and PRSA College of Fellows member. “It affords a perfect opportunity to learn from today’s exceptional communication professionals who share accomplishments that inspire me to always seek creative and innovative ways to serve others.”

The magic in this year’s judging may have been the result of the diversity of the judging panel according to Marshall. Based on the list of judges, they represented every segment of chapter membership from first-time judges to more seasoned practitioners, APRs, a College of Fellows member, academics, and a number of professional award winners. Some judges teamed up with old colleagues. Others expanded their professional network by collaborating with someone new.

I appreciated the opportunity and am grateful for being asked. I really enjoyed doing this. I hope the feedback I provided was good and that I’ll be considered for this type of service again in the future,” said Dr. Melanie Formentin, Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at Towson University.

Each year PRSA Chapters around the country coordinate to determine which chapters will judge each other’s entries. The chapter that will judge The PRSA MD 2020 Best in Maryland Awards in December has not been named yet.

You can read more about the Paragon Awards below:

2020 Paragon Winners

 

This year’s panel of judges included:

Ragina C. Ali
Manager, Public & Government Affairs
AAA Mid-Atlantic

Linda Anderson
Advisor, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications
Office of Communications
Social Security Administration

Dani Baldassare
Regional Communications Manager
Erickson Living

Nikki Bracy
Social Media Supervisor
Planit

Berry Brady
Director, Media Relations
Full Tilt Consulting

Claudia Ciolfi, WCP®
Senior Manager of Public Relations and Communications
Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Duane A. Carey
President
IMPACT Marketing & Public Relations.

Tyanna L. Collins, MBA
Marketing Specialist
ChristianaCare, Union Hospital

Kendall Dougherty
PR & Social Media Manager
Planit

Molly Dressel
Account Manager
Abel Communications

Jana Duckett, MA
Assistant Professor
Strategic Communication
Morgan State University

Daniel R. Dunne, APR, PRSA College of Fellows
Director of External Communications
Erickson Living

Melanie Formentin, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Mass Communication
Towson University

Dianna N. Fornaro, M.A., APR, AINS
Senior Communications Specialist
Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

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

Kaletha Henry
Owner/Director
Be Local Go Global

David Marshall, Ph.D., APR
Professor and Chair
Department of Strategic Communication
School of Global Journalism & Communication
Morgan State University

Michael MacFee
Grant Writer
Maryland Public Television

Greta McNally
Corporate Communications Trainee
Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Joonwoo Moon, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Strategic Communication
School of Global Journalism & Communication

Anthony Naglieri
Sr. Director of External Affairs
Cultural Vistas

Christina Perry
Public Relations Supervisor
Planit

Janice E. Smith, Ph.D., APR
Assistant Professor and Director, The Strategy Shop
Department of Strategic Communication
School of Global Journalism & Communication
Morgan State University

Kelly A. Stoll, APR
Senior Strategic Communications Specialist
Strategic Communications Services
AECOM

Jim Taylor
Communications Director
Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Pattie Yu
The Yu Crew and PRSA Maryland Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Lorianne Walker
Account Manager
Abel Communications

Tom Williams, APR
Managing Director, Communications
Maryland Public Television

Call for Award Judges! Can You Help?

We are looking for a few (or many) PR pros to serve as judges for the PRSA Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter’s Paragon Awards. Judging is expected to begin April 10 and last approximately three weeks.

As a judge, you will have the opportunity to review the entries and gain some insider knowledge. And, since you will be joining a team, judging provides an opportunity to connect with other Maryland Chapter members and to share ideas.

Are you an APR? You can get continuing education credits for judging.

What skills are required to be a judge? A firm understanding of effective public relations practice, and experience in the profession. Your time commitment can be as little as two to three hours to judge a complete category or more if you wish to judge additional categories.

Where does this take place? You will receive the entries electronically so you can judge from right from your office, home or wherever you are comfortable. If you’re part of a team, feel free to connect online via Skype, Zoom etc. Don’t have a team? Just let us know and we will do some match-making.

Sound interesting? Get more information and sign up via this short survey by Friday, April 3. If you have a team – your staff, department employees or a group of peers – just inform us via the survey and provide the key contact. If you do not have a team, we will find a partner for you.

Finally, we welcome as many judges as possible (the more judges, the less categories each team has to review) so feel free to recruit a colleague or two to be part of your team. Simply share this link and we will do the rest.

Questions? Give us a call at PRSA Maryland Chapter office at 301-725-2508 or email info@prsamd.org.

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.

 

Finding your place in PRSA Maryland

We’re pulling together our 2020 leadership who will in turn be tapping a cadre of members in one-time, short-term and half-year roles. We’d love to help you find your place in PRSA Maryland, whether it’s a being a member of the writers pool, a quick role as an event greeter or blog writer, or role on one of our committees.

There are many reasons to opt into a volunteer role with PRSA Maryland, including

  • Acquiring new skills.
  • Honing current skills – skills-based volunteering (Experteering is the word MovingWorlds uses) offers an opportunity to build leadership skills as you apply your skills to new environment. Strong leaders can think quickly and adapt to new situations.
  • Building your network – contacts and references.

Check out Volunteering for your association has benefits for more.

And we’ll make it easy to help you learn more:

1 – Complete our simple poll

Create your own user feedback survey

2 – Ask for a call from our membership/volunteer chair, Erika Murray at info@prsamd.org.

3 – Give us a call at 443-283-8060

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors