PRSA Charlotte

The Lead |February 2021

Early Bird Registration Now Open for 2021 Communications Symposium, April 28
Early bird registration is now open for PRSA Charlotte's 2021 Communications Symposium on Wednesday, April 28!

This one-day virtual event is filled with dynamic programming that will enable you to bring new ideas, strategies and perspectives to your teams and clients. 
  • Hear from international crisis communications expert Gerard Braud on how to overcome entrenched misconceptions about how crisis communications is done, and leave with a to-do list designed to modernize your approach to crisis.
  • Dive into "Calculating the ROI of Your Communications" with international communications effectiveness researcher and strategist Angela Sinickas to better demonstrate how your efforts effect the bottom line.
  • Choose from six exciting breakout sessions with an impressive lineup of communications leaders on topics like social media, humanizing communications, effective storytelling, message authenticity, employee brand advocacy, and responsible transparency.
  • Build your network of fellow regional communications professionals in affinity group breakouts for media relations, digital/social media, corporate communications, internal communications, community relations, crisis communications, and more!
Reserve your spot today by clicking here!

Mark your calendars now to join your fellow PRSA Charlotte members for a little bit of fun. More information will be sent through invitations. We hope to see you there!
  • Thursday, Feb. 18
  • Thursday, March 18
  • Thursday, April 15
All happy hours are from 5:30-6:30 p.m. 

For more information and to RSVP:

We're rebranding the Connect Over Coffees and enhancing the benefits for you! The crisis session
is the first one to make the change. See details below. And grab your free ticket here.

Additionally, if you attended another topic-based Connect Over Coffee group (i.e. employee affairs, community relations, media relations, etc.) be on the lookout for information on those in upcoming newsletters, as well as on our website.

Connect Over Coffee: Crisis Communication is now the PRSA Charlotte Crisis Network
What's new?
·  More information you can use, whether you're a crisis comm veteran or creating proactive plans
·  Guest speakers who will share their insight and experience
·  A network of communication professionals available to help when needed
Join us from 8 - 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11:
When a crisis really isn't a crisis (even if others disagree)
We'll explore the difference between a routine emergency, an escalating issue and a full-blown crisis - and how to respond to each. Click here to register here

Introducing Timely Topics Chats
Sometimes the best way to develop communication plans and responses is just to talk through ideas with others. That's what we'll do throughout the year in our new Timely Topics chats.

Join us for the first one from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19.

PR practitioners worked through several historic events in 2020, including the COVID-19 shutdowns, George Floyd's murder and more. The first anniversaries of those events are on the horizon. How are you activating on these items and others? Click here to register here

Queen City PR Awards

After a successful virtual event last year, planning is under way for the 2021 Queen City PR Awards. We hope to return to doing a live event this fall, but contingency plans are also being developed if circumstances won't allow us to gather in person.

Right now, our biggest need is volunteers for the QCPR Committee, which will begin meeting this month. If you're interested in supporting one of PRSA Charlotte's signature events, please contact committee chair Barry Finkelstein at

PRSA Charlotte Member Spotlight
Pam Granzin, Manager, Marketing and Communications, SCOR Global Life US

Pam Granzin joined PRSA in 2020 and looks forward to becoming more involved in the year ahead. Learn more about how her love of communication led her from her middle school newspaper to her role as manager of marketing and communications for SCOR Global Life US.
When did you start working in communications?
I began working in communications way back in middle school, when I served as a school newspaper reporter and yearbook editor. The love of words and the rhythm of language has accompanied me all the way through to present day.

What's your current role and what does a "typical" day look like for you?
I currently work in marketing and communications for a large financial services company, which I have been with for 20 years. A typical day starts off with a to-do list that seldom rules the day, because something else with higher priority comes up: creating/maintaining web pages, posting on social media, developing webinars, writing articles, creating client and employee newsletters, editing for other employee authors, analyzing program metrics and developing strategies for new product launches. It's never dull, because I'm always busy, and I love having the broad spectrum of opportunities that comes with working on a small team for a big company.

What is your favorite part of PR/marketing/communications?
I previously worked for nearly 10 years as a technical documentation writer for software companies, and unlocking highly technical information for non-technical readers became a passion. Today, I really enjoy working on a team and collaborating on a project from start to finish whether it's a fundraising campaign, a new product launch or creating a new website. Because I enjoy writing human interest stories that matter (from my days working on newspaper staffs), I expect that will be part of my retirement plan a few years from now.

Why are you a member of PRSA?
I was nearly a public relations major in college, but I took the writer/editor route and finished my degree in journalism. I didn't feel creative enough back then to be associated with PR. Over the years, I have come to understand PR plays a far larger role than I once imagined. Working collaboratively with designers, editors and other artistic people stirs my own creativity. When my new supervisor (Natasha Ashe-Suber) suggested that I join PRSA, I jumped at the chance to broaden my professional network and explore new avenues for community involvement.

What is a fun fact about you, professionally or personally, that would surprise people?
I was diagnosed as having dyslexia when I was learning to read in first grade, and my father encouraged me to read every night and write stories. I began scrapbooking our family vacations in third grade. That led to my interest in school publications, and I served as yearbook editor for my middle school and high school and as editor for my university's three-times-weekly newspaper.

Welcome to PRSA Charlotte!

Welcome to new members: Shalaeya Brown and Rachel Kompare.

Kudos & Congratulations!
Congratulations to Kelly Marolt of Butin PR on being named one of PR News' "People of the Year."

Congratulations to Cynthia Robbins Shah-Khan for starting a new role as Communications Manager at Retail Business Services.

Congratulations Krista Terrell on being named acting president of the Arts & Science Council.

Congratulate Sarah Lively, APR for starting a new position as Lead Advisor, Field Public Relations at Chick-fil-A Corporate.

Congratulations to The Duke Energy Charlotte communications team on being awarded a 2020 PRSA Silver Anvil Award for "The Power Behind the Power: National Lineman Appreciation Day" in the Most Effective Campaign on a Shoe String Budget category. The same campaign also earned an Award of Excellence in the Events and Observances / Seven or Fewer Days in the Consumer Services category. This is the second year in a row the company's annual National Lineman Appreciation Day campaigns won a Silver Anvil Award. The Duke Energy team in Florida also earned a 2020 Silver Anvil for the Crystal River 3, Six-year Stakeholder Engagement Plan in the Community Relations / Business Services category.

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.


FEBRUARY PROMO: FREE Chapter PLUS waived initiation or reinstatement fee (up to a $165 value)

New and reinstating members will have their initiation or reinstatement fee waived, when they join National as a Regular member ($260 annual dues) and receive a:

FREE 1-year Chapter membership (up to $100 value)

National will reimburse Chapter for their dues. Chapters whose dues are more than $100 will only be reimbursed up to $100 and balance will be collected from member. Use code: CHAPWINTER2021

N/A for Associate member types ($200 or less annual dues) and current or renewing members. Refer to for details.

In between jobs?
2020 has presented its share of challenges, not least among them, furloughs and hiring freezes in agencies, private and public companies, and across a plethora of industry verticals, impacting our members. PRSA is your partner in accessing the career stimulating connections and community you need to find your next job, advance in your professional life, and expand your opportunities. Visit:

Use the CODE: INBETWEEN when registering.

Join now at a deep discount.
If you have been forced to make tough choices on the best way to invest in finding your next position, we would like to help by keeping you connected to the PRSA network and resources at reduced professional membership dues for one year, and some additional savings to help you get moving toward a brighter future.
If you are currently unemployed, take advantage of the "In Between Jobs" program:
  • Receive one full year of PRSA professional membership at a 50% discount.
  • We will waive reinstatement fees for returning members, a $35 savings.
  • Receive a one-year complimentary membership in the Independent Practitioner Alliance.
Check out the largest public relations and communications focused job board, with thousands of current job listings and employers posting every day. Receive a targeted career newsletter each week, with valuable tips, resources and information on building your personal brand. Access career coaching, resume review, tips for your social media profile, online interviewing, and more.

Mentoring and Global Skills Assessment
PRSA also provides a mentor program, internship programs for students, and an online skills assessment tool to assist you in determining areas for future professional development.
Expand your network when you connect with local chapters, districts and online communities where you will meet potential employers, colleagues and experienced professionals ready to support and advise as you find your next job. Join the "In Between Jobs" or "Jobcenter" discussions in MyPRSA.
Consider becoming an independent practitioner, whether temporarily, or as a career shift. Check out the IPA professional interest section, delivering original programming including business resources, to support you in making the transition to an independent practitioner,
Are you a seasoned professional, with an interest in teaching in a college or university, investigate PRSA's Learn to Teach Program? We will connect you with our Educator's Academy and others who will help you explore the many opportunities to teach Communications.
Other discounts:
  • Enjoy exclusive discounts at Office Depot, ADP, FedEx, Hotels & more
  • Access the business insurance discount program from Gallagher Affinity
  • Save on insurance for auto, homeowners, renters, motorcycle and more from GEICO
  • Receive car rental discounts on Zipcar, Budget, and Avis
  • Qualify for business discounts through UPS®
  • Take advantage of personal and corporate relocation service discounts

Silver Anvils recognize the highest standards of performance in public relations and communications programs or campaigns. This year, there are 19 different Silver Anvil categories, along with numerous subcategories, in which you can submit your work. New additions for 2021 are:
  • Most Effective Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Campaign, divided into the subcategories of Associations, Government, Nonprofit Organizations, Business and Pro Bono.
  • The inclusion of COVID-19 Challenges in the Crisis Communications category.
Bronze Anvils single out the exceptional public relations tactics that contribute to the overall success of these programs or campaigns. New Bronze Anvil categories for 2021 are: Brand Videos, Best Tactical Pivot, and TikTok Engagement.

2021 Silver Anvil Entry Deadlines

Feb. 12: Early Deadline
Entering by Feb. 12 saves you $200 on each submission!

Feb. 26: Final/Late Deadline

March 12: Early Deadline
Entering by March 12 saves you $100 on each submission!

March 26: Final/Late Deadline

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


PRSA Storytellers: Leading with Ethics A View from the Top
Feb. 4
As we cautiously ease into the new year, the importance of open and honest communications is top of mind. Public relations professionals in particular face daunting challenges as their publics focus more and more attention on not only the "words," but also the deeper meaning of those words. Please join moderator Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, for an in-depth look at the state of ethical communications today from the perspective of leading entrepreneur and philanthropist Craig Newmark, whose own personal standards have influenced tens of thousands of others.

Protecting Clients' Reputations, and Yours, When They Are Their Own Worst Enemy
Feb. 11
During this webinar, two longtime agency executives will have a frank discussion (without naming names) about situations they've experienced with clients who, despite their counselors' best advice, made a tough situation worse with bad behavior.

Cut Through the Clutter Online
Feb. 16
It's 48% harder to understand information on a smartphone than on a laptop. So how do you make your writing style easy to understand -- even on the small screen?

PRSA Storytellers: Behind the Scenes: How a World-Class Convention Center Became a COVID-19 Field Hospital
Feb. 24
During this session, we will explore the unprecedented challenges of converting the 2.1 million-square-foot Javits Center into a fully operational field hospital with 2,000 patient units at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. You'll hear how Tony Sclafani and the Javits Center team, working with the Army Corps of Engineers and civilian staff and members of the New York National Guard, managed the swift transformation as the destination venue for trade shows and conventions became a fully equipped, FEMA-operated medical facility in just one week.

Earned Media Tips for a New Era
Feb. 25
Michael Smart, popular PR trainer and coach, studies recent successful media outreach campaigns and shares what makes them work.  Examples span all industries and organization sizes.

APR Virtual Boot Camp.
Feb. 24-26:
Registration Deadline is Jan. 29 -- Sign up now.


Charlotte Ledger Seeking 40 Over 40

The Charlotte Ledger 40 Over 40, is returning for a second year and would like your help discovering unrecognized heroes in the Queen City. 40 Over 40 honors and celebrates those who are making mighty contributions to this place we all call home -- even if they are aged 40+. Help us discover some of these unrecognized heroes among us.

Last year, the inaugural crop of 40 Over 40 winners included impressive leaders in business, the arts, charities and many other areas. This year, they want to cast an even broader net and ensure we're including educators, healthcare workers, first responders and others who are making Charlotte a better place to live in many different ways, all over town. Do you know someone over 40 who is contributing to this great city? If so, nominate them here. The deadline is February 15th.

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 Partners:

Silver Partner

PRSA Charlotte
PO Box 35442
Charlotte, NC 28235
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