PRSA – Sunshiners Helping Sunshiners!

by Diane W. Jones, MPA, APR

Chair, PRSA Sunshine District

Greetings fellow Sunshiners! I am so excited to be the Chair of the PRSA Sunshine District for 2012. For those of you who don’t know, PRSA National is made up of 10 districts that cover the entire country. One of those districts is the Sunshine District, which covers the entire state of Florida. Most districts are comprised of several states. However, the Sunshine District is the only district that represents just one state. I think this makes us special because it allows us to really know each other, both personally and professionally.

A great example of this camaraderie recently occurred between two PR professionals that worked over a hundred miles from each other. Their connection?  They are both PRSA members and they are both active in the PRSA Sunshine District. Here is their story.

The first communication came as a direct message on Twitter from an Orlando PRSA member to two PRSA members in the Tampa Bay Chapter. Orlando wanted to know if the two Tampa members could provide specific media contacts in the area for an event taking place in Tampa. Within just a few hours, Orlando had several very good media contacts that she could pitch. The result? Story placements in several excellent media outlets to promote her event.

I love this example of how members of the PRSA Sunshine District helped each other. And there are dozens of other examples like this that occur each month. I am proud to be leading a district like this. And I hope you all are just as proud to be members.



Don’t forget to Save the Date! The 2012 Sunshine District Conference is June 21-23 in St. Petersburg at the Poynter Institute. Bookmark for the latest information.


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.”