As we close out 2012 and move into 2013, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all PRSA Colorado members for your interest and commitment to our profession. I know your involvement in PRSA is on a volunteer basis, and most of us work full time in addition to the time we dedicate to PRSA Colorado. Because we are volunteers, I know that that the time each member commits is so valuable, and often hard to come by.
That’s why it is so important that with each year, we get better at planning for the future and taking a more strategic look at what we’re doing, services we’re providing to our members, and how to improve what we offer and how we do it. 2012 is no different, and I am so proud that our chapter is considered a leader at the national level because of the commitment, ideas and great work our volunteers deliver. Our volunteers create programs that become models for other chapters and which are often held up as examples by the national organization.
Below are a few of the highlights of 2012. I hope you agree with me that we’ve made significant progress in a number of areas that will help ensure the success of future leaders and volunteers in this organization.
Planning for the Future
- The 2012 board has secured a number of venues and dates for programs for next year, including monthly programs (there are some changes, so stay tuned to your email!), Gold Picks (May 9), monthly programs, the Brand Challenge (October 16), and the Chapter Retreat (November 20). This means the chairs and volunteers who plan next year’s events will be able to focus more of their time and energy on securing speakers and promoting the events, rather than finding a location or selecting menu items.
- The idea of hosting more events in different parts of the city comes up each year, and in 2013, we’re going to do just that. We’ll have one of our monthly programs near the Denver Tech Center and another one in Westminster. Hopefully, this will allow members who find it difficult to make downtown events to attend, network and learn alongside their colleagues.
- We conducted a chapter survey, the first one we’ve done in a number of years, and the results will provide valuable information for planning for 2013 and beyond.
- We’ve improved our communications with the national organization to work more closely with them on membership recruitment and promotions, and we’ve been able to leverage the free webinars they started offering this year to bring in non-dues revenue that wasn’t expected. The webinars have been well attended, providing an additional valuable benefit to our members.
- We continued our tradition of having one of the highest percentages of accredited members and had an impressive number of candidates express interest in gaining their accreditation.
Informative, Engaging Programs
- We hosted an amazing Western District Conference that highlighted some of the most unique aspects of the city and our state, with national-caliber speakers and great participation from throughout the 10 chapters in our district.
- Speaking of programs, in 2012, we moved our venue to the Four Seasons, and saw consistently high numbers, with great feedback on the location and the food. We’re continuing our relationship with the venue in 2013.
- Our committees tried new and successful ways to engage our members, such as Geeks Who Drink and a progressive dinner with the Colorado Restaurant Association, and we continued annual events with great feedback from attendees, such as PR Boost, Shadow Day, and Gold Picks.
- The chapter is fortunate to have committed, dedicated members like Jon Pushkin, APR, who see the value in the professional development we provide, especially to those who are new to the profession. This year, we finalized details with Jon’s company for the PRSA Colorado Pushkin PR Scholarship, which will help new professionals attend chapter programming in 2013.
A Community Presence
- In a variety of ways, our chapter partnered with organizations such as the Social Media Club, South Metro Chamber, Colorado Healthcare Communicators, American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds, the Pikes Peak Chapter, SummerToast, and more.
- Our members worked side by side with the University of Denver as it hosted the first presidential debate this year, raising the profile of our organization in the community.
Streamlining Processes and Procedures
- We’re changing the way we look at post-event and monthly reporting by committees so that we streamline this process and make it less of a burden for committee chairs – yet still retain valuable information for future chairs and the board.
- The board has discussed and is considering combining some committees to streamline our internal communications processes.
- We will soon have a Standard Operating Procedures manual that contains all of our policies and governing documents in one place, making it much easier for new board members and committee chairs to get answers to their questions and keep everyone on the same page.
As you can tell, it’s been a busy year! It has been an honor to serve as your president, and I could not have made it through the year without the support of a strong group of board members, membership and staff at IMI.
To all the 2013 board members, committee chairs, and committee members, I am excited to have you involved in the chapter, and I hope you are as proud as I am to be a part of PRSA Colorado. None of us is perfect, but together we accomplish things in this organization that bring value to our members and improve our communities. Along the way, we build relationships and friendships that will last for years to come. We do important work in PRSA, and I hope you value your membership and its benefits as much as I do.
Happy holidays and best wishes for a successful 2013,
Sarah Rasmussen, APR, LEED AP
2012 President, PRSA Colorado
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