PRSA Charlotte

The Lead |May 2021

Lead Story: PRSA Membership Matters - Networking Helped Me Land Me My Current Job!
By Jolie Shifflet, Corporate Communications Director, Atrium Health

It seemed like a good idea. Move to a new state with lower real estate costs. Get pregnant, stay home for a few years. And then, go back to work! It wouldn't be hard to re-enter the workforce after 7+ years, right?

I knew I needed to network. If someone was going to hire me, it was likely not going to be because of my now-dated resume alone and I had no local professional connections.

About 9 months before I planned to go back to work, I attended my first PRSA Charlotte meeting in January 2014. A chance meeting on the way out the door with Melanie Davis, APR, past president, happened at the very first meeting, and was my golden ticket to a great opportunity.

It all fell into place from there. I returned to the workforce two weeks before my son started kindergarten.

During the course of my job search, I also attended the very first PRSA Charlotte Symposium. After 7 years "out of the game," the learning opportunities at this event were energizing, it helped me shake out the cobwebs and get caught up on the landscape of our industry.

Seven years later, I'm still with Atrium Health. I credit the networking offered by PRSA Charlotte with helping me land my job and the learning opportunities at our events as key in my overall success. It can be hard to network in today's virtual world, but I encourage you to leverage PRSA Charlotte connections. The members of this organization are here to help and I'm proof!

Do you have a story of how your PRSA membership has helped you?
Let us know! We'd love to feature it here in the PRSA Charlotte newsletter or on social media. Learn more here.

May Chapter Program
From Research to Reality: COVID-19 Vaccine Communications

After more than a year in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a light at the end of the tunnel: vaccines. But not everyone is ready or willing to "take their shot," for a variety of reasons. Join us from 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 26 for this critical conversation about taking research to reality when it comes to a potentially life-changing decision.

Research: We'll begin with special guests from Neimand Collaborative, which did comprehensive research and analysis into the perceptions of COVID-19 vaccine risks and rewards among North Carolinians. The Washington, D.C.-based social impact marketing firm then developed a messaging framework to help state and local health organizations with vaccine communications.

Reality: We'll then hear from Claire Simmons and Lauren Moskowitz from Atrium Health. This dynamic team has partnered for years on pediatric communications and marketing, but this year, they turned their talents to vaccine communications. They'll share how they turned the research to reality and what they're seeing about vaccine numbers in the Charlotte area.

This is a can't-miss opportunity to learn how to take research to reality, especially with a decision that asks us to weigh the risks and benefits.

Register here.

PRSA Network Events
We've rebranding the Connect Over Coffees and enhanced the benefits for you! See details below. And grab your ticket here.


PRSA Network Events
We've rebranding the Connect Over Coffees and enhanced the benefits for you! See details below. And grab your ticket here.

PRSA Charlotte Member Spotlight: Danielle Doolan, Corporate Communications Specialist, Sonic Automotive, Inc.

Danielle Doolen is a Charlotte-based communications professional and freelance writer. Originally from Upstate New York, Doolen graduated from the University at Albany with a Master's in Accounting, which she realizes has nothing to do with her current profession. If it wasn't for her experience working in the wrong field, she wouldn't have discovered her love of writing and storytelling.

Doolen currently works as a Corporate Communications Specialist at a Fortune 500 automotive retailer, where she specializes in internal communications and employee engagement. Throughout her career transition, Doolen began freelance writing to share her experiences. Her work has been published in Business Insider, Career Contessa, Elite Daily, PopSugar, The Financial Diet, Motherly, and more.

Upon moving into her current role, Doolen sought community in the communications field and joined PRSA. She's been a member since 2020 and currently serves on the Communications Symposium Committee.  Learn more about Danielle:

When did you start working in communications?
In 2016, my operations role allowed me to dabble in communications responsibilities by drafting department emails and owning my department intranet site. It wasn't until 2019 that I stepped into a communications role full-time, first as a social media and marketing coordinator and then into my current role as a corporate communications specialist.

What's your current role and what does a "typical" day look like for you?
As with most jobs, there is no "typical" day. Some days I'm drafting emails and working on our quarterly company newsletter; other days I'm strategizing the roll-out of our forthcoming teammate engagement platform. I love that no two days are alike because it gives me the opportunity to grow my skill set and expand my expertise.

What is your favorite part of PR/marketing/communications?
I love taking complicated information and making it consumable and easy to understand. I find so much satisfaction in summarizing important details to educate others. If I can do that while also telling a story to entertain the audience, even better.

Why are you a member of PRSA?
Since I didn't begin my career in communications, joining PRSA has allowed me to connect with other professionals in the field. It's allowed me to grow my network and learn through hands-on experience. I've gained so much valuable insight from others and appreciate the connections I've found.

Is there anything about you that would surprise people?
I already gave it away, but I majored in accounting in college. Writing and numbers usually don't go together, so people are often shocked when I tell them. I've always loved numbers and strategy but quickly realized a career in accounting wasn't where I saw myself long-term. That's when I started
my career transition into communications, and there was no looking back!

May 18 & May 25 Maximize Owned and Earned Media to Garner (Real) Results
Have you ever had a client or executive tell you they wanted their communications program to make the cash register sing? Or get on the first page of Google results? Or outperform their competition? We all know communications can do those things, but it's a long game and it's not always directly correlated -- UNLESS you strategically integrate earned and owned media, use some SEO strategies and some elbow grease, and understand how today's journalists work for views and shares. 

Case In Point
May 18 Navigating Through a Disinformation Crisis
Participants of this Case in Point will learn how to set organizations up for success before they are faced with misinformation as well as help them navigate through a disinformation crisis.

Certificate Programs
May 26- June 30 Organizational Leadership Certificate Program
Designed as an interactive, live certificate of completion program, PRSA's new Certificate Program in Organizational Leadership delivers an advanced framework built on the essential role strategic communication plays in order for organizations to lead effectively and progress in today's fast-moving and turbulent economic, social and political environment. 

Advancing Your Communication Strategy in DE&I Certificate Program
This program will equip management-level communicators with the tools to build a strategic approach to communication planning that advances diversity, equity and inclusion issues for our profession and in our workplaces to achieve more effective public relationship outcomes.

May 18 Counselors Academy Conference Prelude: Hitting a High Note 
(Independent Practitioners Alliance Members have been extended an invitation to attend)

May 20 Don't Feed the Trolls: Managing Online Negative Content
hosted by the Public Affairs and Government Section
The role of misinformation has become more rampant across social media in the last decade, a situation even more apparent in public affairs and government sectors. Join this special interactive webinar that centers on combating misinformation, brand building and solidification, and producing real-life crisis social strategies

June 15-16 Travel & Tourism 2021 Virtual Conference
Craft your comeback

June 17-24 Public Affairs and Government 2021 Virtual Summit
Refresh, Reconnect, Recommit

Diversity & Inclusion

Beyond the Hashtags: How PR/Comms Pros Can Drive Unity
May 19 from 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. ET

Diversity & Inclusion: Uncovering Implicit Bias to Achieve PR Success
May 11, 2021 3:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m.
Talking about implicit bias as it relates to diversity and inclusion can make some people uncomfortable and reluctant to dive deep for fear of saying the wrong thing. In this judgment-free zone, we'll step outside our comfort zones to discreetly uncover our own unconscious biases, confront mistaken assumptions and work together to create an environment that allows us to work together to achieve PR and communication goals for our clients, ourselves and PRSA.

Humanizing Communications: How To Create Thoughtful and Inclusive Narratives
May 13, 2021 3:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m.
This webinar focuses on how to incorporate appropriate language and imagery with a human lens in public relations campaigns. Strategy and tactical inclusion tips covered during the webinar are centered on person-first, multicultural, LGBTQ+ and economically disenfranchised.

Being a PRSA member offers many valuable member benefits including:

FREE Monthly Webinars
PRSA members have access to a wide collection of online instructional videos, to further their skillsets in the public relations and communications communities. Each month, new webinars are presented live. Each is valued at $200, but as a PRSA member, you get access for FREE. (This is a great tool to recruit new members!) Check out the complete lineup and register today!

Member Discount Programs
Check out the wide assortment of discounts available at the PRSA Member Savings Center.

For a full list of the Member Discount Programs, please login and visit

To help communicators address misinformation, civility, diversity & inclusion, and civic engagement, PRSA created the resource-rich forum Voices4Everyone. Learn more about the new initiative here. When sharing about this program on social media please use hashtag #voices4everyone.

Welcome to PRSA Charlotte!

Welcome to new member: Scierra Naki Bratton, Amanda Q. Kaufmann, Lauren Elizabeth Nydish, Beverlee Sanders and Gini Swancy.            

Kudos & Congratulations!

Congratulations to Samantha Story on being promoted to the Director of Marketing & Communications for Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont.

Congratulations to Towanda Long on being the keynote speaker for International Association of Business Communicators-Charlotte April program entitled Finding Gold at the Intersection of Communication and Sales.

Kudos on this new media partnership! WCNC Charlotte and Pride Magazine recently announced a new strategic partnership that will share content resources across digital, social media, print and television.

Both Pride Magazine and WCNC Charlotte want to champion storytelling on those excelling in the community, breaking news across greater Charlotte and bring an increased focus to the annual Pride Awards and Pride Magazine's "Best of the Best." Learn more about the partnership here.

Charlotte integrated communications firm LGA announced it is now Luquire! And seven-time NFL Pro Bowler Luke Kuechly stepped in to help introduce the new brand.

Have a Shout Out to share with us?
Do you have great news to share? Did you get a promotion or change jobs? Did your team win an award, or did you win recognition for volunteer efforts? Let us know! Click here to share your great news with us, so we can consider featuring it here in the PRSA Charlotte newsletter or on social media. Learn more here.

Diversity & Inclusion
We Are Not Invisible by Laarni Rosca Dacanay

On March 16, eight innocent lives were taken in violent shootings in Atlanta. On March 29, many saw a 65-year-old Filipina American woman be brutally assaulted as onlookers stood by and did nothing. Another assault was also captured on video on a New York City subway train as an Asian American man was assaulted to the point of unconsciousness. This occurred on a train with a number of other passengers, also doing nothing.

Seeing these acts against other members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community (AAPI), which I am a part of, both saddens and infuriates me.
You can read the full article (originally from PR Say) here.

News You Can Use

Are you looking for a new job?
Please check out the PRSA Charlotte Job Bank. Open to opportunities outside of Charlotte? You can review communication roles throughout the country here.

Thank you to our 2021 Chapter Partner:

Silver Partner
PRSA Charlotte
PO Box 35442
Charlotte, NC 28235
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