“To make the greatest impact on society requires first and foremost a great organization.” – Jim Collins
Consider this view of nonprofit Board members:
- Necessary evil (for legal reasons)
- Impediment to progress
- Source of busy work for staff
- Meddlesome micromanagers
- Power mongers
As opposed to this one:
- Stewards of public trust
- Guardians of the mission
- Ambassadors for the organization
- Strategic partners with staff
- Experienced civic leaders
If you’re on the Board of a nonprofit, I’m sure you’d rather be viewed the second way. So what can you do to make your Board great? What skills and behaviors can you bring to the Board table to ensure that your organization’s beneficiaries are being served by the best Directors possible?
An effective nonprofit Board fulfills a promise to the community it supports – a promise of responsibility that inspires confidence in the organization. Yes, Board members must contribute financial resources to help pay the bills, but the support is also a vital vote of confidence in the group’s mission and in its commitment to its constituents. Your clients deserve nothing less than strong leadership.
You’ll know you’re on the right track if you and your fellow Directors adhere to these principles in support of your mission:
- Engage in honest discussion, strategic thinking and deliberate action in partnership with the organization’s staff
- Embrace accountability
- Regularly and formally assess your own performance
- Commit to informed, intelligent and engaged service
- Provide generous support and see that the organization is generously supported by others
- Operate with complete transparency
If this reminds you of your boardroom, your organization is in good hands. Actually, make that great hands.
I wrote this blog post from the offices of Buchanan PR’s PRGN Chicago affiliate, LC Williams & Associates. In the span of a two-hour flight, my daily view went from the habitually willful “can-I-have-a-treat?” faces of our office pups, Lacey and Romeo, to sun-drenched sailboats docked along Lake Michigan.
The inspiration – not to mention effect on my productivity – was enormous. This got me to thinking: how can a change of scenery benefit PR professionals? (more…)
It’s the middle of summer and it’s my turn to write a blog post. I don’t feel like writing a blog post. In fact, I don’t feel like doing much of anything. Did I say it’s the middle of summer?
So – how to stay motivated and productive during the dog days of summer, when frankly we’d prefer to be at the beach or in the mountains rather than sitting at our desks?
Recently, I’ve been lucky enough to attend some amazing conferences in Philadelphia. These conferences have provided me the ability to do some great networking, as well as learn a lot about running businesses, using my talents and being a strong female leader.
A common theme throughout all of the conferences, however, was that the skills workshops and forums tended to cater to younger professionals, with a distinct lack of options in the advanced department. It got me thinking about what workshops I’d like to attend as an experienced PR practitioner. I also asked a few of my peers what they’d like to see in terms of professional development opportunities. (more…)
This week’s blog post comes from David Fuscus, president and CEO of Xenophon Strategies. Based in Washington, DC, Xenophon is a member of the Public Relations Global Network, of which Buchanan PR was a founding member.
“Year of the Retailer Breach” was how Verizon recently described 2013 in its annual Data Breach Report, saying that it “was a year of transition… to large scale attacks on payment card systems.” The report documented 1,367 confirmed data breaches, the largest and most infamous of which was the massive amount of customer information stolen from Target during the busy Christmas shopping season.
Public relations professionals are rarely offered the opportunity to gain insider knowledge from members of the media with whom we work every day.
Last week, however, as a member of PRSA Philly and a co-chair of the Nancy Bacher Long PR Institute committee, I was given the chance to mingle with a few of Philadelphia’s finest media minds at the annual media panel hosted at NBC 10’s studios.
Moderated by Lee Marshall, a top-notch communications consultant, the panel actively discussed pitching preferences, thoughts on social media and tips for PR professionals working to build long-term relationships. Here are some key takeaways from the region’s top media professionals:
I recently returned to Buchanan PR after giving birth to my son Carmen on New Year’s Eve. Upon careful observation over the past four and a half months, I reached the conclusion that working at a public relations agency is a lot like taking care of a baby. Seriously? Yes, and here’s why.
It’s common as an undergrad and early in your PR career to associate pitching with news releases and phone calls. But how do reporters feel about this (sometimes) old school way of doing things?
PR pros have to juggle multiple projects at once, and I often think that we can easily forget who’s on the receiving end of many of our initiatives: reporters. That’s partly why we’ve gotten such a bad rap over the years (and why PR pros think reporters are grumpy people).
Here are three things we need to stop doing – or, at a minimum, carefully consider – when pitching journalists.
Having a mentor, especially in the beginning stages of your career, is arguably one of the most valuable assets to your professional growth. He or she can teach you new skills, introduce you to networking contacts, and help you blossom – all without passing judgment. I’m lucky to have several co-workers here at Buchanan PR whom I can count on for guidance, constructive criticism or a friendly chat.
So, to all college students, interns or professionals entering a new industry, here are five tips to get the most from your mentor(s).
A few years ago, we at Buchanan PR decided to develop an ongoing series for our blog called “Where Are They Now?” Our aim was to reconnect with former interns, review their career trajectories to-date and solicit their advice for current students looking to break into PR.
Our most recent submission is from former intern Diane Bizzarro, who worked with us during the summer of 2012. A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, Diane currently works as a Client Relationship Advisor at a New York City-based translation company.