It’s Time to Join the PRSA!

In May when a new member joins they will receive a free $25 visa gift card. Flyers for the may promotion as well as our summer promotions were sent out earlier this week. Online information and details can be accessed on the leadership tools page. Don’t forget we are also running the Associate membership promotion as well. Associate members receive a free New Pros. Section membership when they join!

April 2011 | New Rules of Engagement: Communicating Transparency, Quality and Healthy Lifestyles

April 27-29, 2011 | Washington, D.C.

With health care reform in flux, along with increased focus on public reporting of data, quality outcomes and illness prevention, public relations and communications professionals are expected to have the knowledge to provide advice and implement strategies on these complex issues. Are you ready? Join your colleagues for the premier health care public relations and communications conference and:

* Examine policy and best practices alongside industry experts. Hear how the changes spurred by the health care reform legislation will impact best practices in the short- and long-term.

* Fine-tune communications strategies and vehicles for effective messaging to a variety of audiences, including health care consumers and the media.

* Expand your insight and professional network by connecting with health care public relations and communications professionals in the hospital, pharmaceutical, agency, payer and association/nonprofit sectors.

This year’s conference features dynamic programming including:

Elizabeth Cohen

Keynoter Elizabeth Cohen*, CNN senior medical correspondent, will share insight from her book, “The Empowered Patient: How to Get the Right Diagnosis, Buy the Cheapest Drugs, Beat Your Insurance Company, and Get the Best Medical Care Every Time,” which will be given to all conference attendees at no charge. You will learn how to:

* Set expectations and offer support for patients and their families.

* Position your organization to collect and respond to feedback.

* Integrate the communications tactics necessary to facilitate high quality care.

* Understand the “new rules” of communicating with empowered patients and caregivers.

Check out the PRSA ComPRehension blog post, “On the Pulse.” Roger Simon, Politico chief political columnist and Health Academy Conference keynoter, sits down with Health Academy’s Joyce Lofstrom, APR, to discuss a variety of issues, from what it’s like to interview President Obama in the Oval Office to how communicators can help shape the ongoing discussion on health care reform.

Hear a podcast preview: 2011 Health Academy Conference Co-Chair Ellen Beth Levitt speaks with Phair Advantage President and past PRSA President Judy Phair about her upcoming conference session, “Ethics and Today’s New World of Health Communications.”

Social Media Policy Luncheon a Success

Cassandra Engeldinger & Denyse Mesnik

This month’s Lunch ‘n Learn brought together various business owners and PR professionals within the community who were looking for some advice on how to get started on creating an effective social media policy for their business.

Cassandra Engeldinger, Social Media Chair for the Gulf Coast PRSA and Marketing Communications Specialist at Arthrex, outlined 10 things to keep in mind when you begin to create your policy. Cassandra told the attendees, “The first thing you’ll want to do is determine your culture. It’s imperative that you understand how social media will fit into the overall mission and culture of the business before you determine your policies on how employees should use it.”

Before you get started on creating your policy, some key points to keep in mind are:

  • Foster openness and encourage growth while still establishing what is appropriate for the company
  • Social media policy supports existing company policies and is not intended to super cede them.
  • Policy cannot cover EVERY single extraordinary circumstance. Continue to be prepared to address specific circumstances individually and as part of your normal disciplinary procedures.
  • Write with a casual tone. Too much legal “mumbo jumbo” can cloud the reader’s mind and communicate your message in a confusing manner.
  • Involve a variety of departments. Don’t let just your legal team or HR Director be in charge of creating the policy.  Guidelines with respect to social media should be all encompassing for the business and therefore involve every aspect of your business from customer service to marketing.
Kathy Saenz, President & Guest

For the complete document outlining tips and tricks on how to create your social media policy, please contact Cassandra Engeldinger at

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