PRSA Charlotte

The Lead |October 2021

Message from the President

Happy Fall, Everyone! It's hard to believe that we're in the last quarter of the year now. Due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to pursue our strategy to return to a hybrid of virtual and in-person events. Nevertheless, we had a fantastic program in September thanks to the Diversity & Inclusion Committee featuring Sherry Thompson as she discussed her work with the Ad Council and beyond focused on breaking down conventional marketing communication norms to tackle the biggest crisis our nation has ever faced - the COVID pandemic.  

Coming up in just a few short weeks, we have our annual Queen City PR Awards sponsored by Novant Health. I'm excited to join you in recognizing all the great work that has taken place over the past year despite a global pandemic and all the personal and professional challenges that come with it. We'll also honor legendary careers and be joined by notable individuals in the media community. You can read more and register below.

Most of all, I want to thank you for your continued membership in PRSA Charlotte. We remain hopeful that 2022 may bring a return to more traditional operations for our Chapter. Stay tuned for many exciting things to come as we continue to build a bridge to a new normal.


Queen City PR Awards

Register, mark your calendars and get ready to celebrate the 2021 Queen City PR Award winners virtually from 9:00  to 10:00 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 5. Co-hosted by WBTV's Kristen Miranda and Abby Theodros, the one-hour event will include networking and feature the best communications work in Charlotte from 2020, including the announcement of our first-ever Best in Show Award! Tickets are $10 for members and $20 for non-members. More info and registration available at
 Thank you to Novant Health for their generous support of the 2021 Queen City PR Awards.
2022 PRSA Charlotte Board of Directors Slate
The nominating committee is pleased to present the 2022 PRSA Charlotte Board of Directors slate. We will ask our members to vote to approve using this link.

Final 2022 Slate

Executive Committee

Cynthia Shah-Khan, President
Shawna Berger, APR, President Elect
Samantha Story, Treasurer
Simone McDowell, Secretary
Erin DeWaters, APR, Immediate Past President

Natasha Suber, Assembly Delegate/Southeast District
Jolie Shifflet, APR, Assembly Delegate/APR
Christy Jackson, Assembly Delegate/Membership
Tina Helms, Director At Large/QCPR Awards Chair
Danielle Doolen, Director At Large/Symposium Chair
Cheron Porter, APR, Director At Large/Diversity & Inclusion
Chelsea Waddell, Director At Large/New Pros
Caitlyn Ryan, APR, Communications Chair

PRSA Gold Anvil Lifetime Achievement Recipient: Dean Kruckeburg, APR

PRSA's highest individual award, the Gold Anvil, recognizes lifetime achievement in public relations. It was recently presented to PRSA Charlotte member Dean A. Kruckeberg, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, a tenured full professor in the Department of Communications Studies at the UNC Charlotte. From 2000 through 2002, he was a director-at-large on PRSA's Board of Directors, was Midwest district chair from 1993-94 and was the 1988-89 P\president of the Cedar Valley Chapter. He also served as the 2010 chair of PRSA's International Section, and from 2006 through 2009 he was a member of PRSA's Board of Ethics and Professional Standards.

Kruckeberg is also a former PRSSA national faculty advisor (1989-91) and was faculty advisor of PRSSA chapters at the University of Iowa, Northwest Missouri State University and the University of Northern Iowa. From 1997 to 2012, he was co-chair of the Commission on Public Relations Education, and he served as chair of the Educators Academy and co-chair of the Educational Affairs Committee in 1997. Kruckeberg is a member of PRSA Charlotte and the lead academic advisor of the Inez Y. Kaiser Memorial Scholarship Fund of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of PRSA. He is co-author of numerous publications, including the 11th (2013), 10th (2010), 9th (2006), 8th (2004), 7th (2000) and 6th (1996) editions of "This Is PR: The Realities of Public Relations."

The only other PRSA Charlotte Chapter member to receive this most coveted award is Joe Epley, APR, Fellow PRSA, who received the Gold Anvil in 2008.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Kruckeberg on this prestigious honor!
Now Accepting Proposals for the 2022 Communications Symposium
The call for speakers for our 2022 PRSA Charlotte Communications Symposium is now open! We're currently seeking proposals for keynote and breakout sessions for our annual professional development event taking place in April 2022.

Proposals should offer actionable insights for professional communicators, and we're especially interested in sessions relating to all that's changed in our world in the past few years. Do you have a great approach to engaging virtual internal communications? Lessons learned from frontline communications during COVID-19? Insights on thought leadership or social media change communication relating to racial justice? New ways to leverage video conferencing for content collection or storytelling? We want to hear about it!

Through the PRSA Charlotte Communications Symposium, we seek to reach professionals at all career stages, and offer balanced programming covering best practices, tools/tactics, emerging trends, case studies and real-world strategies. A committee will review all proposals and communicate directly with those selected to present. All speakers will be contacted regarding their proposals in January 2022. 

Click here to submit a proposal:

Submissions will be accepted through December 30, 2021.


Upcoming Opportunities from PRSA National

Oct. 27 Building Better Partnerships Within Corporate Citizenship and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion featuring key corporate public affairs and communications leaders at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Oct. 28 Financial Management: Guiding Principles for Indie Professionals
hosted by the Independent Practitioner Alliance Section
Nov. 3-4 Technology Conference
Spilling the Tech Tea: Your Guide to Surviving the Screen
Nov. 3-Dec. 15 Media Relations Certificate Program
In today's fast-paced and evolving media environment, it has never been more important for PR/communication professionals to have a solid grasp of how we collaborate with media. Designed as an interactive, live certificate of completion program, PRSA's newest Certificate Program on Media Relations unpacks a toolkit that is customized for today's PR/communication professional.

Nov. 9-10 Association Nonprofit Conference
Communication Strategies to Rebuild, Reimagine & Revitalize 
On-Demand: Communicating to Manage Performance Certificate Program
This dynamic skills-based program will empower managers, team leaders and supervisors to achieve high-performance performance every day, through effective, consistent workplace communication based on emerging management best practices.

Oct. 26 Using Our Voices to Lead Change 1: Equipping PR Pros for Civil Discourse
Join the first installation of this webinar series to understand the drivers leading to true civil discourse. Also, learn to ensure external communications websites, social media, advertising, etc. optimally reflect your brand's position on important social matters.
Nov. 2 Using Our Voices to Lead Change 2: Empowering Communicators and Consumers Through Corporate Civic Engagement
Join the second installment of this webinar series to learn how companies can use corporate civic engagement to give consumers confidence their dollars are supporting organizations that are good corporate citizens.
Nov. 9. Using Our Voices to Lead Change 3: Understanding and Mitigating Unconscious Bias
What factors shape how you see the world? What factors shape how the world sees you? This interactive workshop will explore the neuroscientific processes that guide our automatic associations, the patterns of socialization that reinforce snap judgments, and strategies for recognizing and mitigating implicit assumptions.
Nov. 16 Using Our Voices to Lead Change 4: A Communicator's Strategic and Tactical Guide to Disinformation and Digital Protection
Join this final installment of the webinar series to learn the differences between disinformation, misinformation, and mal-information. Discover tactical steps to take communicators can use to fight disinformation

The Shout Outs!

Welcome to PRSA Charlotte!

Welcome to new member: Jayla Cheyenne Gittens.

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.

News You Can Use

Please check out the PRSA Charlotte Job Bank for details on the above positions and to see additional opportunities too. 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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