May 2020 Print

President's Report

My fellow chapter members,

As I write to you from my home office with my teenage daughter doing her online math class on my floor and my husband taking a work call down the hall, I hope you are all safe and healthy during this COVID-19 outbreak.

As we unite through separation, many members of our professional and personal communities are facing many challenges – from remaining productive and finding ways to generate new business while working or managing a team fully remotely, to balancing at-home childcare and education needs, tending from afar to loved ones who need care or medical support, and for some now, being furloughed or even losing their jobs. To say this is a difficult time would be an understatement. But our work as communicators is more important than ever as our organizations turn to us for messaging, information and advice.

What’s great about being a member of PRSA is that you aren’t in this alone! You are a part of a vast network of talented communicators who want to help one another, especially at a time like now. Plus, you have access to many free resources at your fingertips.

  • Crisis Communication Resources: To help you address these unprecedented times, PRSA has launched a new section on its website. Open to members and nonmembers, it includes access to live and on-demand webinars, Strategies & Tactics and PRsay articles, and advocacy posts.
  • New Online Learning Series: PRSA has unveiled a new on-demand three-part online learning series that addresses internal, external and digital communications questions.
  • MyPRSA Open Forums: Several conversations are happening on MyPRSA related to COVID-19. I find it to be a valuable resource to interact with colleagues nationwide and learn from what is happening in other markets and across different industries.


Finally, while the environment around us is challenging, take comfort in the fact that we have amazing, compassionate board members working behind the scenes to keep the chapter going. We stand ready to serve and hope our website and social channels can be a source of support and solution to you.

I understand that these are uncertain times. However, I also know they are temporary. Stay safe and be well. #InThisTogetherOhio

Best regards,

Jennifer L. Kramer, APR

President, Akron Area PRSA

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Upcoming Events

We may not be meeting in person (just yet) but we can still stay connected. PRSA National offers a number of free webinars for PRSA members (non-members can still take advantage of these webinars by paying for them). Check out what's happening in May and June: 

May. 28, 2020 | 3-4 p.m. EDT

Decoding Gen Z: Actionable Insights For Public Relations and Communication Professionals

This webinar will detail Gen Z’s media mix, inform how they want to be engaged and serve actionable insights and recommendations to effectively communication and collaborate with this cohort.

Jun. 2, 2020 | 3-4 p.m. EDT

Writing For the News: The AP’s Essential Writing Rules for PR Professionals

In this webinar, Paula Froke, lead editor of AP’s Stylebook, will take you through the writing rules essential for PR professionals. You’ll take away an understanding of the 10 classic style rules that haven’t changed and the 10 updates you shouldn’t miss in 2020.

Jun. 9, 2020 | 3-4 p.m. EDT

Nine Brainstorming Techniques to Add Creativity Into Your PR

As public relations becomes more integrated, we’re constantly striving to infuse creativity and innovation into our strategies and tactics. But as an industry rife with Type As, it can be hard to keep content clever, break out of our routines and generate new ideas daily. These nine brainstorming techniques will help you come up with new ideas individually and lead communications and non-communications teams alike in developing engaging and effective solutions.

Jun. 16, 2020 | 3-4 p.m. EDT

Strategic Communications: An Essential Risk Management Tool

Why do some companies and brands survive disaster and crisis better than others? An often overlooked area of risk management is strategic communications and brand. While many organizations have a crisis management plan, not all build in strategic communications. Survival after tragedy starts with strong core values and a mission.

Jun. 23, 2020 | 3-4 p.m. EDT

From Employee Engagement to Employee Activism

Employee engagement is at a pivotal moment: What started as matching grants and volunteer days has evolved to ERGs and crowd-sourced campaigns. In today’s turbulent society, companies can no longer expect employees to check their values — or their passions — at the door. In fact, more employees are looking to their companies as conduits and partners for supporting the issues they care about.

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YouToo Social Media Conference

When we set about planning this year's YouToo Social Media Conference scheduled for March 13, no one could have predicted the wild path we would take to actually make it happen on April 24. Virtually. In the midst of a pandemic. With a planning committee that didn't plan on a Zoom conference. (At least there were free 4-piece Wendy's chicken nuggets that day, courtesy of our Wendy's keynote speakers!)

For this, the YouToo planning committee, Akron PRSA and Kent State PRSSA are grateful to everyone who made this year's conference possible: our sponsors, speakers, PRSSA students, the Kent State technology department, and most importantly, the attendees. Without an audience, we wouldn't have a conference. 

As part of the registration fee, everyone who attended the live conference received a link to re-watch the sessions on demand at any time. 

If you missed the conference on April 24, but would still like to see the sessions, you can purchase the on-demand link for $39.99. This allows you to watch all of the sessions, with the exception of the Wendy's Keynote Session, at any time, as many times as you desire. Check out the YouToo schedule and speakers here

If you would like to purchase the 2020 YouToo Online Conference on-demand sessions, email [email protected] for further information and instructions. 

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Membership Special

Take advantage of free member webinars, access to 21,000 of your peers and connect with members in your area by joining PRSA now! Use code CHAPTER2020 to get a free Chapter membership plus the initiation fee waived when you join now! Take your career to the next level and become a member today.

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East Central District Updates

PRSA ECD Diamond Awards: The 2020 East Central District Diamond Awards competition is NOW OPEN!  

Receive the District-wide recognition you deserve! The East Central District of the Public Relations Society of America will recognize public relations brilliance in campaigns and tactics for its 43rd annual Diamond Awards competition. Within the East Central District, some national-caliber campaigns and tactics deserve recognition. The Diamond Awards are presented to public relations practitioners who have successfully addressed a communication challenge with exemplary skill, creativity and resourcefulness.
The Diamond Awards are open to any public relations professional who is a member of the 17 chapters of PRSA East Central District, AND any nonmember whose place of business is within the district’s boundaries. The East Central District covers the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Click here to look over the 2020 Call for Entries.
score sheet as you prepare for your entries your entry. Click here to enter the 2020 Diamond Awards competition.
Deadlines are:
Early Bird Deadline: August 17, 2020
Regular Deadline: September 21, 2020
Final Deadline: October 12, 2020


Volunteers needed to judge Florida Public Relations Association’s Golden Image Awards

As part of our reciprocal judging arrangement, the East Central District of PRSA is recruiting volunteers to judge award entries submitted to the Florida Public Relations Association’s Golden Image Awards. We expect participant judges to receive entries on or around June 2, and judging forms are due June 18.  

If you are interested in serving as a judge, email Andrea Farmer, APR, at [email protected] by May 29. Serving as a judge is a great way to see how others are implementing innovative, impactful programs. And, for all you APRs out there, judging awards is one way to earn maintenance credits.

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Welcome New Members

Welcome to our newest PRSA Members! 

  • Jill Golden
  • Michele Linton
  • Shaye Sicurella
  • William Singer

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