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September | October Newsletter

September 1, 2010

Message from the President

It’s hard to believe we are already into September!  The PRSA-CCC has had a busy year so far!  Hopefully you’ve had chance to attend one of our great monthly luncheon programs, visit our completely redesigned chapter website, or check out our latest postings for job opportunities in the Sacramento area.  We have several more events and activities coming up in the next few months that I wanted to make sure our members are aware of:  

  • Quality Time With PR Minds
    PRSA-CCC will host its Second Annual “Quality Time with PR Minds” event in Sacramento on Tuesday, October 5, from 8:30 a.m. to Noon.  During this half-day event, we will provide on-the-spot PR and marketing consultation and brainstorming to a group of local nonprofit organizations, helping them communicate with their shareholders and potential donors, and further their contributions to the Sacramento community. 

 
Volunteers are needed to help staff this event!  We are looking for public relations professionals with at least two years of PR and/or marketing experience to participate.  The event will include a brainstorming session for each nonprofit organization from the Sacramento area where we will focus on a specific PR issue area that the nonprofit is facing, such as message development, media relations, social media or communication plan development.  Breakfast will be provided for all volunteers.   

To sign-up as a volunteer, please click here for the Volunteer Application.  Please note that anyone with an APR needing continuing education hours can count 3.5 hours toward their required quota by participating in this event.     

  • APR Boot Camp
    If you’ve ever considered pursuing your APR, now is a great time to do so.  We are offering a series of four free APR boot camp study sessions to help you prepare for the exam, including copies of the PRSA study guide, case study exercises, and advice from other members who have succeeded in achieving their APR.   In today’s tough job market, adding APR to your professional credentials just might give you the competitive edge you need.  Classes began on August 21st, but you are welcome to join at any time.  For more information on the remaining classes or the APR process, please contact Nancy Kincaid, APR, at (916) 654-2441 or nkincaid@csus.edu.   
  • Other Programming/Events
    We’ve had some fantastic luncheon programs so far this year!  Topics covered have included event planning, crisis communication, speech writing and social media.  In September, we’ll be discussing the topic of successful mentoring and job searches.  This event is scheduled for Thursday, September 16, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and will be held at River City Brewing Company in downtown Sacramento (inside Downtown Plaza).  Please keep an eye on your email and/or our website for further information and registration details.    As you may have already noticed, we’ve also initiated a new registration and payment process for our monthly events, using EventBrite and PayPal.  Hopefully you have found them to be user friendly; if you have any additional feedback, please let us know. 
  • Updated Chapter Website
    The PRSA-CCC website, located at www.prsasacramento.org, has been completely redesigned and updated.  The site includes details on upcoming Chapter events, local job postings and our quarterly newsletter, as well as links to many of the resources, trainings/events and materials provided by PRSA National.  If you haven’t visited the site in a while, please be sure to check it out!   

Should you have any questions or suggestions for us, please feel free to contact me at lpangburn@counties.org.  

Best Regards,  

Lindsay Pangburn
President, PRSA California Capital Chapter  


  

PRSA-CCC Launches New Website

If you have visited the PRSA-CCC website recently, you will notice some big changes have taken place. Our website, http://www.prsasacramento.org, underwent a major facelift over the past few weeks. The new and improved website follows a similar layout and style of the PRSA national website and serves as a great resource for PR professionals in the Sacramento area.  

The new site allows you to tap into PRSA national resources as well as find out the latest news for our local PRSA-CCC chapter. Whether it’s learning about our new APR bootcamp, registering for our next luncheon or browsing through job postings, the new PRSA-CCC website has it all. You can also connect to us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn through our website.  

We would like to give a special thanks to Jon Myers for all his hard work in developing the new website!  


  

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Welcome New Members

Diane Jayne Barney
Director of Public Relations
NorthBay Healthcare  

Jordan Blair
Director, Communications
Jesuit High School  

Michelle Marie McIntosh  

Lisa Michele Sherrill
Community Relations Manager
Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano  

Jason Eric Sorrick
Director of Communications and Government Relations
American Medical Response  

Jennifer Sweeney
Public Relations Manager
California Travel and Tourism Commission  


  

Measuring Stakeholder Relationships: A Case Study

Posted by Alan Chumley on July 30th 2010

We work in an increasingly ‘direct-to-stakeholder’ world. Stakeholder, influencer, key opinion leader relationships are everything in this business. So if the industry is investing time and money in initiating, building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders for mutual benefit, then there sure better be a way to first diagnose the situation, respond to it, then measure success.  

In Theory
There are. Methods exist to quantifiably benchmark and track the quality of stakeholder relationships (customers, interest groups, investors, employees, vendors, government officials, etc.) over time. It’s an index used to establish a diagnostic benchmark, build a campaign around addressing gaps, and measure again for lift.  

The index, which comes to us from the granddaddy of contemporary public relations academia, Jim Grunig, Ph.D., out of the University of Maryland, can be executed through a series of interviews, focus groups and/or (ideally) a survey.  

It measures success in familiar terms such as mutual awareness, accuracy, understanding, agreement and the less familiar, symbiotic behavior.  

Six elements of a relationship are testing using an agree-disagree scale:  

Control mutuality (The extent to which stakeholders feel they have control over the direction of the relationship, the organization, the strategy, or whatever’s at issue.)
Trust (integrity dependability, competence)
Satisfaction
Commitment
Exchange and communal value (Anybody remember their Marx readings?)

Each of the above categories generally has at least a dozen or so agree-disagree statement behind it.  

So, does it work? Yes, it does. Let’s look at an some simplified excerps from example undertaken recently.  

In Practice
A large public sector organization operating in a very complex environment with a wide and diverse range of external stakeholders wanted to understand what stakeholders thought of them. The project set out to test the hypothesis that this organization had fairly decent and strong (read: good quality) relationships with their stakeholders.  

The result was much poorer than was assumed: 34/100. The score means that, all questions and all categories being equally weighted (and they aren’t always or at least don’t have to be), and looking at all stakeholder groups, on average, 34 percent of all survey respondents would have either agreed or strongly agreed with the statements, such as those below, put to them. Or, looked on another way, one might infer that only 34 percent of respondents agreed that they have a ‘quality’ relationship with the organization. (Examples of statements are below.)  

•This organization wants to develop a partnership with clients. — 29 (percent agreed)
•This organization treats people like me fairly and justly. —.44
•This organization is responsive to me. — 39
•When this organization makes an important decision, it will be concerned about people like me. — 24
•This organization can be relied on to keep its promises. — 27
•This organization really listens to what people like me have to say. — 29
•I feel that this organization is trying to maintain a long-term commitment to people like me. — 32
•I can see that this organization wants to maintain a relationship with people like me. — 37

More importantly, looked at in the simplest light, the results essentially mean that 66 percent didn’t feel they had a ‘quality’ relationship with the organization with whom they deal. And if one were to look at these results broken down by type of stakeholder (say, investors versus suppliers versus government officials), the bad news is that the results, in many cases, are even more troubling. As a former employer used to say, “Data can validate the intuitive.” In this case, it (the data) did quite the opposite. It disproved an assumption. But that’s not always a bad thing. The good news is that the organization that commissioned the study now has a diagnostic benchmark that helps them identify with laser focus, problem areas; prioritize stakeholders; go after those stakeholders; and improve those relationships.  

   

Alan Chumley

Alan Chumley

Alan Chumley, senior consultant at CARMA International Inc., Global Media Analysts, has twelve years’ experience in the corporate communication / measurement industry, including senior-level, in-house corporate communications roles for leading blue chip organizations such as Bell Canada, as the director of Measurement for Hill & Knowlton, and vice president at Cormex Media Content Analysis. An advocate of driving science into the art of communications, Alan has extensive experience in the use of research and measurement to inform and influence strategy. He specializes in interviews, focus groups, surveys, stakeholder relationship measurement, communication and perception audits, reputation research, employee engagement research, traditional and social media content analysis, and correlating this data with tangible organization outcomes. Connect with Alan and the CARMunity on Twitter and on LinkedIn. 

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