The recent events in Dallas, Texas, involving the ambush and killing of five police officers, brought back recollections of the 2016 PRSA Maryland Conference and the presentation by T.J. Smith, regarding the Freddie Gray case and related crisis communications. What T.J. shared about the importance of transparency and being authentic in crisis communications was once again on full display after the July 7th police officer killings in Dallas. During multiple press conferences, David Brown, Dallas city’s police chief, became the face of the nation’s shock and provided what NBC News described as words that were “simple, direct and powerful.” According to Dallas officials and onsite news media, what Dallas needed the most throughout the crisis was a “voice of compassion and concern” – and chief Brown delivered just that under very difficult circumstances. While talking points and scripts for dealing with crisis situations have their value, what the Baltimore and the Dallas police departments have shown us is that when faced with tragedy, messages coming from the heart connect with audiences.
If you are looking to get more involved in Baltimore’s PR community, PRSA Maryland is a perfect choice. Survey results from the over 125 attendees at the PRSA MD Conference (held June 14 at Loyola University) reflect very engaging presentations and quality speakers. Additionally, the Happy Hour at Ryleigh’s Oyster was a perfect opportunity to enjoy time with fellow communicators in a relaxed environment. Looking ahead, there is even more to be excited about, including opportunities to serve on one of the Chapter’s exciting committees. Please contact the chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more…let’s make 2017 a year of meeting interesting people and promoting professional growth.
I’m excited to announce that call for the Best in Maryland (BIM) 2016 Awards entries has been posted to the Chapter’s website. Extensive planning is underway to make this year’s award’s event a unique occasion to celebrate the exemplary professional skills, creativity and resourcefulness of Baltimore’s finest communicators. Award-winning Clapp Communications leadership is serving as the BIM Committee chair and is doing a fabulous job of preparing to make this pre-holiday event an elegant and memorable evening. Barb Clapp, President and CEO at Clapp Communications will serve as the evening’s emcee. In July 2016, The Daily Record named Barb as one of Maryland’s 2016 Most Admired CEOs. Joining her as our keynote speaker will be Susan Goldberg, editor-in-chief for National Geographic Magazine. Goldberg previously worked at Bloomberg News as executive editor of federal, state and local government coverage and prior to that was the top editor at Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer and the San Jose Mercury News. Both Barb and Susan are sure to entertain and provide insightful comments regarding today’s communications profession. So don’t wait too long before reviewing award categories and submitting your entries (which can be done electronically); tickets for the awards ceremony (December 8) will be available soon. Those organizations interested in learning about BIM sponsorship opportunities can contact me or call (301) 725-2508, for further details. Special thanks go out to our 2016 Design Sponsor, Van Eperen.
Interested in joining in a 30-minute virtual lunchtime discussion with Bobbie Battista, Director of Corporate Communications and Culture at ExpressJet Airlines? Then register today for this special August 25th conversation that will be presented in an interview format with time also for Q&A’s. Bobbie will share details about her communication position at ExpressJet Airlines and the value of PR in today’s media landscape, as well as provide a few tips on how communicators can be successful in their diverse roles. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to talk with a distinguished news veteran who not only serves in a corporate communications role, but is also a media personality, consultant and pundit.
I hope you are enjoying a great summer and I look forward to seeing you at upcoming events…such as our first-ever Photo Safari on September 14, led by photographer-extraordinaire Harry Bosk of Harry Bosk PR & Photography.
Until then, all the best of success!
Dan Dunne, APR
President, PRSA MD