PRSA Rochester Connect Newsletter

June 2019  

President's Message


Welcome! Thank you for taking a few minutes to catch up on the latest with PRSA Rochester. 

In our last newsletter, we asked whether anyone was interested in helping the chapter by volunteering to serve on one of our many committees. Several of you offered to help. Thank you to all our new volunteers. We’re happy and thrilled to have you join our team!

As I think about what I appreciate the most about PRSA, the networking and professional development opportunities top the list. But I also appreciate the professional guidance and resources provided by PRSA. We share some of this guidance in this newsletter:

  • Our ethics chair shares tips on what to consider if you find yourself in a sticky situation.
  • University of Rochester’s Elizabeth Stauderman shares ways to take care of yourself in a crisis.


Lastly, don’t miss the profile on Traci Legonelli, a PRSA Rochester member who has volunteered and helped the chapter in many different ways.

Thank you to Traci and everyone else who supports the chapter. Your involvement helps us continue to provide top-notch opportunities for Rochester PR pros.

If you have questions about the chapter, or want to learn more about volunteering, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].

Take care,

Joy Auch, PRSA Rochester President

Corporate Communications Manager, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

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Upcoming PRSA Rochester Programs and Events

The 2019 PRism Awards will be held on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at the Wintergarden by Monroe’s.

Rochester’s PRism Awards are an evening of celebration and industry recognition among colleagues in the Rochester public relations profession, where we recognize complete public relations programs and tactical elements incorporating sound research, planning, execution and evaluation. Individuals will also be awarded Rising Star and Sharleen M. Bruse awards.

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Ethics Corner

Shining Light on Ethics: Reacquainting Yourself with the Basics

The Code of Ethics pledge. Every PRSA member signs off on it when becoming a member. But how much time do you really spend thinking about ethics? Would you be able to name the PRSA Code of Ethics values and provisions of conduct?

It’s not the sexiest topic, but in a world where change seems to happen faster than ever, it’s perhaps never been more important.

As we welcome warmer days and, hopefully, more sunshine to Rochester this season, why not also take some time to shine a little more light on ethics?

First, a refresher on what the Code of Ethics values are:

  • Advocacy
  • Honesty
  • Expertise
  • Independence
  • Loyalty
  • Fairness


The second part of the Code of Ethics is the Provisions of Conduct. They flow from the values listed above and are intended to guide everyday practice for PR professionals. They are:

  • Free flow of information
  • Competition
  • Disclosure of information
  • Safeguarding confidences
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Enhancing the profession


In future newsletters we’ll explore these more deeply, but if you’re interested in learning details now, visit

As a PRSA member or as a practitioner trying to work ethically, are you expected to memorize these? Not necessarily. In a recent call with ethics chairs from across the country, Tim O’Brien, APR, stated it well. He said when it comes to ethics, most of us already have a sense of what’s right versus what’s wrong. PRSA’s Code of Ethics comes in as a way for us to justify right and wrong.

They can also help us evaluate choices when trying to make difficult decisions. When in doubt, consider consulting the Code of Ethics. It could be the little spark of light that nudges you toward the sunshine.

The PRSA website has a wealth of ethics-related resources. Find them at In future issues, we’ll address topics related to ethics.

If you experience ethical challenges you’d like to discuss with someone or if you have a topic you’d like to see addressed in this newsletter or elsewhere, contact our PRSA Rochester Ethics Chair, Ruth Harper-Rhode, at [email protected].

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Event Spotlight

In May, Mental Health Awareness month, PRSA Rochester hosted “Bring Balance to a Busy Workplace – Tools for Stress Management & Self Care,” which provided great insight and tools for managing a busy workplace.

It’s no secret that working in PR can be stressful, so we’re passing along 10 simple tips for staying sane in stressful moments as shared by Elizabeth Stauderman, Vice President for Communications at University of Rochester.

  • Focus on one thing at a time. Don’t let everything else bother you.
  • Focus on the issue, not the chatter. Don’t get sucked into negative commentary.
  • Get enough sleep. You’re not doing your best work if you’re exhausted.
  • Take a short walk.
  • Take a walk outside. Science says that 20 minutes outside has very positive effects on you.
  • Breathe. Breathing techniques can help calm you down.
  • Talk about it. Share as much as you can with a partner, spouse or friend.
  • Hydrate don’t medicate. Stress is very dehydrating so drink water (not caffeine or alcohol).
  • Check in with your team. Talk about the situation together to make sure everyone is okay.
  • Check in with yourself. Stress is real, even if you don’t realize the overt negative effects. Check in to make sure you’re okay.
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Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Traci Legonelli

Traci Legonelli is a Public Relations Specialist at Manning & Napier. Since first joining the PRSA Rochester chapter in 2014, Traci has always been an active member in the Rochester PRSA community. In addition to her volunteer work with PRSA Rochester, she also is co-president of the Gilda’s Club Associate Board. We sat down with Traci to discuss her career, involvement in PRSA and her favorite part of working in PR. 

What is your role at Manning and Napier, and what do you like most about working in public relations?

I’m the Public Relations Specialist at Manning & Napier. I’m responsible for coordinating and monitoring the day-to-day activities for our marketing and public relations efforts, pitching stories to national and local media, working with various internal departments to determine and recommend potential PR and other marketing communications and thought leadership opportunities. I’m also responsible for our social media and monitoring, content creation, and our awards program. My favorite thing about working in public relations is finding creative ways to tell different stories and no two days are the same.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in public relations?

Originally, I thought I wanted to teach Italian at the high school level. Then my high school guidance counselor introduced me to the idea of Public Relations. After doing some research, it was something I was super interested in and could see myself pursuing a career in.

What is the best lesson you’ve learned during your career in public relations that you’d like to share with any young professional embarking on a career in communications?

The best lesson I’ve learned is to be nimble, flexible, and keep an open mind. 

Describe your involvement in PRSA Rochester’s committee. What kind was the volunteer work you were involved in, and what led you to choose to volunteer or work on this committee? 

Before joining the PRism planning committee this year, I was part of the Young Professional/PRSSA Committee. The YP/PRSSA Committee was a great first step in getting more involved with the local PRSA chapter. I decided to join the PRism planning committee because I love attending the PRisms each year and wanted to be more involved in the process. I also love planning an event! Joining the PRism planning committee has been an amazing learning experience that has provided the opportunity to meet other young professionals passionate about PR and hear about all of amazing things they’re working on.

What is your favorite part about PRSA?

My favorite part of PRSA are the learning opportunities and events. There are a number of amazing sessions throughout the year to help PR pros stay up-to-date on what’s going on in the industry. They’re also a great opportunity to network with your peers and learn more about the exciting things they’re working on. The PRisms are my favorite event of the year! 

When you’re not busy working, what do you like doing in your spare time?

In my spare time, I volunteer as co-president of the Gilda’s Club Associate Board, I like to run outdoors, read, listen to podcasts, and travel.

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PRSA Membership

Calling All Non-PRSA Members!

If you’re headed to the PRisms this week, we encourage you to stop by our membership table to learn more about the many wonderful benefits of being a PRSA Rochester member. Join that evening and you’ll receive a complimentary bottle of champagne! And, if you just take a membership packet with you that night with the intent to join, you’ll receive this small token of our appreciation – this fun pin, specially designed for our chapter:


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