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Daniel Dunne, APR

Daniel Dunne, APR


A special congratulations goes out to Jeff Davis, APR, for receiving a 2016 Silver Anvil on June 9 in New York City. Davis currently serves as a Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Maryland board member, where he was formerly the chapter president, and as the Capitol Communicator regional editor. For more than 70 years, the Silver Anvil Award has served as the industry’s most distinguished honor, recognizing the very best in public relations.  J. Davis Public Relations, the Council of Independent Colleges in Washington, D.C., and PhairAdvantage Communications, LLC of Laurel, Maryland, won the Silver Anvil for “Securing America’s Future: The Power of Liberal Arts Education.” The national campaign’s success involved the use of social media and traditional public relations to tackle stereotypes, bust myths and change the conversation about the value of a liberal arts education.

There is no doubt that the PRSA Maryland Conference on June 14 at Loyola University was a tremendous event. In the opening session “The Year of Pluto,” Michael Buckley, public information officer for the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, used the phrase “unprecedented opportunities” to describe the perspective of those involved in managing the public relations related to the historic New Horizons mission to Pluto. As with this special campaign, I believe the conference provided a perfect forum to better equip attendees for our roles today and to offer unique opportunities we can grab ahold of for tomorrow. The event would not have been possible without the hard work of many—especially conference co-chairs Courtney Benhoff, account manager for Abel Communications, and Kelly Stoll, senior strategic communications specialist for AECOM. Others deserving special acknowledgement include Brian Shea, Lindsay Sappington, Amanda Nolan and Mel Tansill, who all helped plan the agenda; Emily McDermott and Mark Hoeflich for securing sponsorships; and Matthew Scales, Kenna Lowe, Allison Akers, Sarah Hinder for event promotion. The chapter’s communication team members and many others also helped spread the good news about this year’s event.

Also contributing to the conference’s success was the generous support and donations from our event sponsors. A special thanks to our premier sponsor Vitamin, and its president, Amanda Karfakis; Loyola’s Emerging Media Program for serving as venue sponsor; and Chesapeake Employers Insurance, for being a conference sponsor. Our in-kind sponsors included A. Bright Idea, which designed conference materials; PCA, which provided printing; Coyle Studios, which provided event photography; and the Baltimore Business Journal, which served as our media partner.

If you have not yet had a chance to review, I recommend looking at the Pew Research Center’s 2016 State of the Media report. The report is co-authored by Amy Mitchell, Director of Journalism Research, who a few years ago served as a PRSA MD keynote speaker. Five of the key takeaways from this year’s report include:

  • 2015 was perhaps the worst year for newspapers since the Great Recession and its immediate aftermath.
  • Digital ad spending went up 20% last year, and mobile advertising now tops desktop, but journalism organizations have not been the primary beneficiaries.
  • Local television news revenue is relatively steady at $18.6 billion – at least for now.
  • Cable news saw its viewership jump 8%, to an average of 3.1 million viewers in prime time.
  • Podcasting continues to experience audience growth.

Yes, the media landscape is changing – “62% of U.S. adults overall now get news on social media sites – many of which took steps over the last year to enhance their streaming video capabilities,” according to the Pew Research Center.

I hope all have a great summer and can find time for some sun and relaxation! Keep grabbing those opportunities, including with PRSA MD. For example, don’t miss the Happy Hour at Ryleigh’s Oyster on July 20.

Believe you can and you’re halfway there. –Theodore Roosevelt

Dan Dunne

President, PRSA MD

–Industry News