PRSA Rochester Connect Newsletter

December 2019  

President's Message


As 2019 ends, I thank you for your support over the past year. We have a lot of successes to celebrate:

  • About 200 of you joined us in June as we celebrated the best in Rochester public relations at the PRism Awards. Next year, we’re celebrating our 30thPRism anniversary. We can’t wait to share what we have planned to celebrate.
  • Several of you took the first steps to attain your Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). This is a vigorous progress for an accreditation that really sets the individual apart from their peers. Anyone interested in learning more should reach out to our APR leaders Patty Corvaia and Jamie Frumusa.
  • About 15 of you agreed to serve as PR coaches as part of Causewave Community Partners’ Shaping our Stories project. You’re coaching nonprofits on how to share their stories with the broader community. This project is helping to address the findings from Causewave’s Shaping our Stories study about how race is represented and perceived in local news media.


Also, we’d appreciate your help as we prepare programming for the New Year. Please take this brief survey. Our most popular workshops this year were around internal communications and measurement/metrics. What other trainings or educational opportunities are you looking for?

As always, we’re also looking for volunteers, especially for our committees. Please let me know if you have any interest. Thank you! Happy New Year, - Joy

Joy Auch, PRSA Rochester President

Manager, Internal & Strategy Communications, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

[email protected]

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Event Spotlight

Gregg Dinino, Director of Public Relations at Partners + Napier recently attended the PRSA International Conference in San Diego, California. Below are his three key takeaways from attending this conference:  

  • New advocacy strategies are needed to protect brand and CEO reputations
  • Merge behavioral science with communications to create more impactful comms planning
  • The purpose-driven CEO or CEO activism is rising influencing public opinions as well as growing the bottom line-PR strategies to prepare brands

Check out some of the presentations for this conference here.

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PRSA Rochester Annual Business Meeting

It’s that time of year again! We hope you can join us for the Annual PRSA Rochester Business Meeting taking place on December 17 at the United Way of Greater Rochester.

This year, we’ve invited leaders from WXXI to talk about the recent changes and additions to its influential news organization and to talk about the impact it has locally and nationally.

For more information or to purchase your ticket, click here

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Ethics Corner

Four Tips for Ethical Job-Changing

Is your New Year’s Resolution to find a new gig? It can be exciting to think about career possibilities, but like with any area of work, there are some ethical implications to keep in mind. We’ve outlined a few below.

  • DO safeguard confidences: In our roles as PR professionals, we often take in information that could be considered sensitive for one reason or another. Even if you’re moving on from a company, it’s important to operate honestly and fairly while you’re there and after you’ve left. This means respecting privacy rights of clients and employees, and it also means protecting information you gained in one position that could create unfair competition if you shared it in your new role.
  • DO be honest about conflicts of interest: If you’re leaving a company to go work for a competitor, it’s only fair that you tell them up front where you’re headed. They may opt to let you go on the spot, which can be upsetting. But it’s important to maintain honesty and fairness, which means communicating honestly with your employer, even as you’re leaving.
  • DON’T inflate your credentials on your resume: It’s okay to include work you completed as part of a group, but be honest about what you, yourself, achieved as an individual. And remember, it’s often a good thing to show you work well with a team! Instead of using vague or potentially exaggerated descriptors about the work you did, give specific examples of what you accomplished individually or within a group project, then explain how the role you played helped the company or client.
  • DO remember your role in always enhancing the PR profession: As a member of PRSA, your professional actions reflect not only on yourself, but on our industry as a whole locally and nationally.


When in doubt, always act with honesty and fairness. And if you’re unsure about a challenge, check PRSA national’s ethics resources or contact PRSA Rochester’s Ethics Chair for guidance.


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PRSA National and Northeast District News

PRSA Northeast District News:

Planning continues for the annual district-wide conference with the team looking into keynote speakers and still open to a wide variety of volunteers, particularly for the sponsorship committee. NEDC takes place on Friday, June 12. The Yankee Chapter will host in Portsmouth, NH at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel.

Looking to volunteer? Reach out to Andrew Morse, chairperson of the planning committee, at [email protected].


PRSA National News:

As we look to close out 2019, we wanted to share some stats about PRSA National. There are approximately 22,000 members to-date, 110 chapters and 14 professional sections. We’ve had the highest retention rate in three years, and this includes an increase in group membership and more individuals enrolling in sections. In the Assembly meeting in October, three amendments presented were voted on, to learn more about the bylaws that were voted on, please visit our website.

As we look to 2020, diversity and inclusion remains a key focus for the organization. And the 2020-2022 strategic plan priorities are: innovation and change; governance and culture; discipline convergence; membership; diversity and inclusion; international potential; advocacy’ civility  

For more news from the national news, please visit our website.

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New Member Promotion

Is a PRSA membership on your holiday wish list?  PRSA National's gift to you this season is a free membership to the Rochester Chapter and a $25 Amazon gift card when you join with code HOLIDAY19. It’s the most wonderful time of the year to join and be a part of the largest organization servicing the comms and PR community.

Learn more about this deal here.

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Call for Volunteers

Make volunteering one of your 2020 New Year’s Resolutions. Did you know PRSA Rochester has eight committees that are open to volunteers?  Joining a committee is a great way to get involved in the PRSA Rochester chapter, and we’re always looking for more volunteers. Also, don’t have to be a member to join.

Learn more about the different committees here, you might just find one the perfect fit.

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2019 End of Year Survey

As 2019 comes to a close, we want to hear from you! Please take a few minutes to help the PRSA Rochester chapter by answering a few short questions.

Survey can be found here.

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Member Spotlight: Michelle Kraft

In this week’s PRSA Member Spotlight, we’re highlighting PRSA member, Michelle Kraft, Senior Communications Associate of United Way Greater Rochester. As Michelle transitions away from her position on the PRSA Board, she reflects back on her experiences volunteering and playing an active role in our Rochester chapter.

Describe your role working for United Way Rochester.

 My role at United Way includes copywriting for our annual campaign, overseeing our website, managing our media relationships and supporting our annual Day of Caring and ROC the Day events.

When did you first join the PRSA Rochester chapter? 

I joined the PRSA Rochester chapter back in 2008.

How long have you been on the PRSA Rochester board and what motivated you to join?

I joined the PRSA Rochester board in 2012 as the PRisms Chair and continued on the board because of the incredible connections I had made with board members' pros and because I wanted to further the work of PRSA as a resource and connector for local communications professionals.

Describe your role on the board and responsibilities you were in charge of.

I’ve sat on the board as the PRisms Chair, Treasurer, President-Elect, President and now Past President.

What other activities within the PRSA Rochester chapter, outside of being a member of the board, were you involved in?

I’ve been really involved in PRisms and the programming committee, and I’m excited to be a part of the Sharing our Stories project with Causewave.  

What advice would you share with fellow members of the PRSA Rochester chapter to encourage them to further participate - whether through joining a committee or considering joining the board?

Get involved – I met the person who hired me at United Way as a member of the PRism committee and that connection helped open the door to the position. Whether it’s joining a committee or being a speaker at an event being more active in PRSA can help you connect with other communications professionals and further your career and your leadership development.

Outside of your involvement in PRSA, what do you like to do in your free time?

I spend a lot of time playing cars and dinosaurs with my daughter, love doing yoga and exploring new cities (especially ones close to a beach!).

What has been your favorite experience working on the board?

Hands down the people – the members and leaders in PRSA are incredible people who have not only helped mentor me but have become some really good friends.


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