President’s Note – Spring 2018

As President of PRSA NJ, Have I Entered a Black Hole?? I Think Not.

The findings of our recent survey will motivate us to work even harder to serve your needs as a PR practitioner.

By Christopher Biddle

Graphic visualization of a black hole in space. Credit: Armagh Planetarium

I am now three months into my official role as president of the board of PRSA NJ.

Like the other board members, I volunteer my time, and a considerable sum of it.

When I tell other business-service professionals I have assumed this mantle, they warn me that I have accepted a thankless task – and entered a relentless black hole that will suck all my time and energy.

To these naysayers I reply: I think not.

I wanted this job and I enjoy doing it, especially in the company of our talented and motivated board of directors. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I am thriving in the dizzying whirl of our mission: to provide our members—and the broader PR community in New Jersey—with first class information and services to help make their jobs easier and bring them success.

Soon I will report on the findings of our chapter’s 2017 Needs Assessment Survey of PR Practitioners in New Jersey, which you will receive in a separate email. We will use these findings to update our strategic plan so we can serve you better.

The survey findings contain no big surprises, BUT they do reflect our needs in this digitally driven era of public relations: We are extremely thirsty for knowledge of every kind to help us do our jobs better and advance our careers.

This is no easy task.  There is so much to learn and so little time to learn it. Every day its seems we need to run faster to keep up with ever more demanding schedules and deadlines.

To me, social media management is as mysterious as Jackson Pollock’s “Blue Moby Dick” painting seen here.

Sadly, we can’t do it all.

Take a veteran communicator like me as an example.  I find the hands-on management of social media to achieve bottom-line goals a mysterious process. To me, it’s the equivalent of a Jackson Pollock painting, full of bright swirling images that refuse to stand still.

That’s why I primarily leave this task to the younger folks who grew up with it. I prefer to stick to my role as strategist and brand journalist, baked into my professional persona by 15 years as a daily newspaper reporter and editor (1977-1992).

Young PR pros should know that when I was born in 1951, newspapers still used hot-metal letterpresses to print their papers, a technology dating back to the invention of the Guttenberg Press more than 500 years ago.

Fast forward to the age of the Internet and online communications. The way we do our jobs has changed dramatically, and we are continually dogged by the need to learn technologies and how to incorporate them into our strategies and tactics. This need is clearly expressed in your responses to our survey.

That’s why I look forward to sending you my report on the findings. Whether you are a veteran scribe like myself or a newly minted PR professional who lives and breathes social media, I am confident you will hear yourself speaking.

And rest assured: The findings of our survey will motivate PRSA NJ to work even harder to serve your needs as a PR practitioner.

 

Christopher Biddle is President of Biddle Communications & Public Relations LLC in Moorestown, NJ.

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  1. Pingback: Spring 2018 Newsletter | Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) New Jersey