Fall 2010 Recap
We had a great time at the Fall 2010 UF PR Advisory Council Meeting. It was a wonderful time to connect with students, faculty and each other. Please enjoy this quick re-cap, and mark your calendar for our 2011 meetings:
Spring: March 24–25 or March 31–April 1
(let Spiro know if you have a preference and we will confirm the date asap)
Fall: November 17–18
Thank you again for your service on the Council. The students and faculty are so appreciative, and your support really does make a difference.
Frank Karel Chair in Public Interest Communications
Our Spring meeting will follow a similar schedule to recent meetings:
Perhaps the highlight of the meeting was celebrating our fellow Advisory Council member Frank Karel's memory through the launch of the nation's first chair in Public Interest Communications.
Ann Christiano (left photo above*) was mentored by Frank and is the first recipient of the endowed chair. The focus is to prepare students for careers in the nonprofit and public sectors using communications to advance public interest issues and objectives. Those of you who met Ann will agree she is the ideal person for the job.
Frank's wife Betsy was at the event and wanted to make sure we knew how much he enjoyed his time on the Council.
A pioneer in the field of public interest communications, Frank worked with organizations such as the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, the National Cancer Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson and Rockefeller Foundations. He earned a bachelor's degree from UF's College of Journalism and Communications in 1961 and was named an alumnus of distinction in 1990.
*photos courtesy of UF College of Journalism and Communications
We learned about a variety of PRSSA activities from president Erika Zayas including:
Alpha PRoductions: More than 30 students are involved on client teams.
Alpha PRoductions is the oldest student-run PR firm in Florida, and won the Best Student-Run Firm Award at the 2010 PRSSA National Conference in Washington DC.
Bateman Team: We heard from this year's Bateman Team, who has already completed the research phase of their campaign. Look for an update on the full campaign at the Spring meeting.
Conference Hosting: UF PRSSA will host the 2011 PRSSA National Conference in Orlando Oct. 14–18, 2011.
Chat: Students and alumni are regularly chatting on Twitter using hashtag #ufprchat. The chat has now evolved into a webpage, and is expected to continue connecting students with professionals. If you're in the twitterverse, check it out.
Kudos to PRSSA leadership for a great year so far!
Center for Media Innovation + Research (CMIR) Update
During the strategic planning session, we decided to focus efforts in 2011 on the launch of the Strategic Communications Lab, which is the second phase of CMIR.
In Sept. 2010, the College unveiled the 21st Century News Laboratory, a state-of-the-art news laboratory where students create content for multimedia platforms.
Now that the newsroom is up and running, it's time to focus on the Digital Lab for Strategic
Communications—with a targeted launch date of Fall, 2011.
UF isn't aware of any other university that is developing a similar Center to provide a collaborative work environment for students to create multiplatform campaigns.
The Center is even more unique because within Weimer Hall, UF has six working media outlets (four radio and two television stations) where students gain real-life experience.
State of the PR Department
We heard from Dr. Spiro Kiousis that the department remains one of the most prestigious and productive in the country. A few priorities for 2011 include the Strategic Communications Lab (mentioned above),
Public Interest Communications and Distance Education.
Committee & Leadership Updates
Future Trends: Thanks to chair John Deveney and PRSSA president Erika Zayas, we had another successful Future Trends panel discussion: “Interpersonal Communication in a Digital World.” The panel featured both Council members and students.
David Morse (moderator)
(Special thanks to UF Web Administrator Craig Lee for taping & posting the panel).
Communications: Thanks to Chair Grace Leong and Nancy Fishgold from Hunter PR, the UF PR Advisory Council site is up and running! We incorporated a fun element into the student networking sessions: students interviewing council members to generate content for the site.
Department Research Support: Thanks to Dr. Belio Martinez for bringing us four interesting graduate student research proposals. You can view the proposals here or view other research throughout the College of Journalism and Communications.
Internships: For the fourth year, our Council is working with Ph.D. students and faculty to identify internship opportunities (on-site or virtual). These "real-world" experiences strengthen their body of knowledge, which they can share in the classroom and in their research. If your organization has opportunities for students or faculty, please contact Del Galloway (thanks, Del for coordinating!). You can also download FAQs and the internship request form here.
We are also so pleased to announce our leadership for the coming year:
Chair: John Deveney
Vice Chair: Susan Towler
Bateman: Craig Dezern
Communications: Grace Leong
Department Research Support: Bob Grupp
Designated Gifts: Debbie Mason
Future Trends: Deborah Charnes and Chris Ahearn
Internships: Del Galloway
Nominating Committee: Joe Hice
Thanks to everyone for stepping up into leadership roles. If you aren't involved on a committee, please make sure you get connected before the Spring, 2011 meeting.
Areas of Focus for 2011
We'll continue the efforts we've started in recent years to support the following areas. However, we'll add an additional focus on the development of the Strategic Communications Lab.
• New Council members connected with a "buddy" (includes "Getting Started" guide)
• Increased networking opportunities
• More interaction between Council members and students to get ready for meetings
• We'll continue to explore ways to leverage our time, including in-between meetings
• We look forward to your continued suggestions to help make our Council service even more effective.
Thank you, as always, for your continued service to the students and faculty at the University of Florida. Please let us know what you think of the meeting re-cap format (suggestions welcome), and we look forward to seeing you soon!
Rebecca Hart & Joe Curley
Your 2010 PR Advisory Council Chairs
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