I want to thank everyone who was able to attend this year’s PRSA NJ’s annual kick-off meeting at The Frog and Peach in New Brunswick. It was great to usher in the New Year with such energy and enthusiasm.
I also want to thank our recent past President Kristine Simoes, APR, for her service and dedication to PRSA NJ. During her time as president, the organization saw steady membership growth, a renewed commitment to professional education, and a steadfast focus on the value of APR certification. Kristine’s leadership, guidance, and sense of humor have prepared me well for my term as chapter president.
I’m honored to assume the role of president and look forward to a year focused on elevating our business acumen and communicating how public relations professionals contribute value to today’s corporate, government, and not-for-profit sectors.
As 2016 unfolds, the value of PR will become an increasingly important theme for our profession, as will the challenge of being recognized as integral to our clients’ success.
In the current communications landscape, it is no longer acceptable to “stay in our lane” and be relegated to generating media placements or be judged by advertising equivalency. As PR professionals, we have the opportunity to go beyond the traditional metrics of our industry by creating content and strategic programming that engages and influences audiences, imbuing communications efforts with an authenticity that no other marketing discipline can achieve.
Just as our abilities as strategic counselors are limitless, so should be our desire to assert ourselves when we believe we can add value to communications initiatives. To demonstrate our value, we need to make a conscious effort to integrate our offerings and expertise into our clients’ businesses and become an indispensible resource to executive management. We need to help clients see us as insightful professionals who not only can execute a PR plan, but who can also navigate multiple marketing and communications landscapes as a holistic approach to advancing their business interests.
Our adaptability to changing situations, our thirst for immediate knowledge, and our “get-it-done” attitude are attributes that can help business leaders make sense of today’s overloaded media environment. Our expertise can help our clients understand which voices and channels have real value and influence, and which merely make noise with little strategic importance. Although media attention is critical to our success, we need to see ourselves as more than media experts: We need to be our clients’ business partners. Achieving that status means demonstrating our value on a daily basis, so that our clients seek our counsel as true partners.
I therefore encourage you to offer your time and expertise to PRSA NJ as we work to enhance the profile of our chapter, our trade association, and our profession as a whole. I also invite you to use PRSA NJ as a resource, a mentor, a network, and even a shoulder to lean on when times are tough. I hope each of you will do your part to help us grow.
Thank you once again for electing me your president. I look forward to a year of great success in 2016.