PRSA Central PA Chapter
Takes New Direction Under New Guidance
The year of 2014 may be the most exciting one ever for the Central Pennsylvania chapter of PRSA. The chapter’s new leadership team has great plans for programming, two new standing committees and will celebrate an important milestone.
“I am thrilled at the possibilities for chapter members to help organizations needing help with communications through the creation of our new public service committee, and the new sponsorships committee will help fund this effort,” said Chapter President Liz Smith. Plans are already under way to make public service an important part of the chapter’s work in 2014. Representatives from the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and United Way of the Capital Region will be the featured speakers at the chapter’s February 12 luncheon.
In 2014, the national PRSA organization with more than 20 thousand members nationwide, will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the important public relations credential, the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR).
Smith is proud of her chapter and the talent and service it brings to the society and profession, “We are fortunate to have such a wealth of public relations pros in our chapter. We are known for orchestrating the strongest APR training program in the country. Our APR training program has a 90 percent success rate, the highest in the country.”
Only 18 percent of public relations practitioners hold the prestigious designation of APR, which requires five years of public relations work and passing a rigorous, 400-question test.
The chapter’s APR committee chairs Bob Saline and Jason Kirsch, along with Amy Hill and Josette Myers, coach APR training programs locally and across the country to help professionals study and prepare for this important credential.
Smith talked about her excitement for the future and some of her plans for the organization. “This is an important year for PRSA,” she said. “Some of the people who started the chapter decades ago are still active with our organization today. We will be honoring their accomplishments throughout this year.”
One of the originators of the APR can be found in the ranks of the central Pennsylvania chapter, and each year we recognize his contribution to the profession by presenting the “Frederick E. Leuschner Award for Excellence in Public Relations” to someone who exhibits a high degree of professionalism and accomplishment in their work.
Smith, who earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University and a master’s in business administration from Case Western Reserve, fills many roles. She is chair-elect of the PRSA Mid-Atlantic District, the largest district in the country with the most PRSA members. She serves as president and principal of Integrated Communications Ventures, a public relations company located in York, Pa., and as an adjunct professor at Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pa.
During her career, Smith served as vice president of communications for the International Copper Association in New York City; communications and education leader for the Lancaster County Planning Commission in Lancaster, Pa.; director of public relations and advertising for the Greater New Orleans Tourist and Convention Commission; in addition to corporate communications leadership positions for Fortune 500 companies. She also reported consumer news on several radio and television stations.
The chapter can expect great things from Smith and the new leadership team and will look to their knowledge and guidance to steer them in the right direction for the future.
For further information on PRSA, contact the Chapter Administrator.