The Midwest District of the Public Relations Society of America serves a professionally and geographically diverse community of public relations professionals throughout the Midwest, empowering them to excel in effective, ethical and respectful communications on behalf of the organizations they represent and the constituencies they serve.
The mission of the Midwest District is to build stronger chapters throughout the district by providing a link between national and the chapters, fostering communication among the chapters, facilitating leadership development and providing assistance to chapters in need. The district’s business will be conducted in a member-focused and fiscally responsible manner in accordance with the policies and procedures outlined in the PRSA Handbook for District Chairs.
- To revitalize the district and begin bringing value to its member chapters by the end of 2011.
- To foster better communications between national, the district and the chapters, as well as among the chapters.
- To facilitate the development of chapters, as well as district and chapter leadership.
- To conduct the district’s business in a fiscally responsible and member-focused manner.
Issues (Opportunities & Challenges)
- The district is geographically diverse, with chapters spanning from southern Missouri to northern Wisconsin.
- Because of its geographic diversity and lack of interest in its leadership positions, the district underwent a period of inactivity.
- The district has been slowly revitalized during the past year, but needs increased participation to become a thriving, value-adding organization.
- The district currently has no funds in its treasury and needs some to be able to offer future programs.
Strategies & Tactics
To develop a platform for ongoing communications between the district, its chapters and national.
- District chair to participate in monthly district council calls with representatives from national and other district chairs.
- District chair to facilitate monthly calls with delegates from each chapter to share chapter activities and challenges. Delegates can be president, past-president, president-elect or other designee of the chapter, and must have a working knowledge of the chapter’s activities.
- Develop a district website or blog featuring information about district activities and chapter news.
- Develop district profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter if needed/appropriate.
- Provide networking opportunities at the annual Leadership Assembly for chapter members serving as Assembly delegates. May include, but not limited to, dinner the evening prior to or after Assembly, and a district meeting the morning after Assembly.
- Conduct visits to chapters as appropriate/needed during the year.
To provide value-adding services to the district’s chapters that facilitate the development of chapters, their leadership and members.
- Conduct monthly or quarterly affinity group calls with representatives from each chapter to share best practices, discuss issues/challenges, etc. Discussion topics may include: membership, professional development/ programming, accreditation, strategic planning, awards, communications, etc.
- Conduct a survey of chapter leaders to determine other areas where the district may be of assistance.
- Provide an annual QuickStart Conference for chapter leadership. Begin planning in 2011 for later in the year or early 2012 after chapters’ leadership are announced.
- Provide consulting and/or assistance to struggling chapters.
- Provide an annual district conference, hosted by different chapters on a rotating or volunteer basis, attended by PRSA members from all 15 chapters in the district as well as students from PRSSA chapters in the district.
To increase chapter participation in the district’s ongoing activities.
- Call and request participation from chapters who do not yet have a delegate who participates in monthly district calls.
- Create a succession plan for the district on an annual basis, based on input from current district officers and delegates.
- Provide chapter leaders with information about pathways to district and national leadership via the district website/blog, periodic e-mails, monthly district conference calls, chapter visits, etc.
To grow the district’s treasury.
- Provide chapter leaders and members about the district’s activities and value-added services via the district website/blog, periodic e-mails, monthly district conference calls, chapter visits, etc.
- Begin discussions with chapter leaders regarding a yearly fee assessment similar to the structure utilized by other districts. Other districts assess each chapter $1 per year for every chapter member (i.e., The chapter has 300 members, so is assessed $300 per year).
- If district provides an annual district conference, district and host chapter can determine structure for sharing conference profits.