Top Nine in ’19

At The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, we take great pride in our commitment to the development and advancement of public relations leaders. It has been another wonderful year for The Center. While there are many things to celebrate, here are our top nine moments to reflect on 2019:

  1. The Plank Center sponsored the North American Communication Monitor, the first survey of its kind in Canada and the United States, to explore the status quo, qualities and trends of communication management. The monitor tracks trends in fake news, issues management, leadership, work stress, social media skills and job satisfaction.
  2. To continue our groundbreaking research in public relations leadership, the Center launched its third biennial Report Card on PR Leaders. Leaders received a C+. As it stands now, leadership in the field remains pretty average; improvement seems elusive. The urgency to act is now.
  3. To advance leadership at all levels, we hosted the fourth Challenge for Emerging Leadersan intensive, two-day leadership workshop for engaged, high-achieving and diverse university seniors majoring in public relations. Seventy-five students have completed the workshop so far and received a Certificate of Leadership Achievement.
  4. Our “Milestones in Mentoring” Gala, held in Chicago each year and dubbed the “best night in public relations,” honored six deserving public relations leaders and continues to be an inspiring and motivational evening. More than 60 mentors, including six this year, have been honored for demonstrating a superior commitment to mentoring others.
  5. Before our “Milestones in Mentoring” Gala, we co-hosted the #PlankMentor: Student Mentoring Session with DePaul PRSSA. Fifty students from Chicago-area chapters and The University of Alabama were in attendance to ask our “Milestones in Mentoring” honorees the tough questions on career advice, networking, mentoring and more. Also, we co-hosted “A Night of Mentoring” with PRSA Chicago Young Professionals.
  6. We hosted the inaugural Summit on Diversity and Inclusion in Public Relations, which showcased cutting-edge research, highlighted organizations who are moving the D&I needle, and featured individuals who have overcome D&I challenges. Public relations and communication professionals, educators and students gained actionable insights to implement within their own organizations.
  7. The Center awarded eight diverse public relations student scholarships to attend The Plank Center’s Summit on Diversity & Inclusion in Public Relations and Milestones in Mentoring Gala held in Chicago.
  8. To further our mission of developing public relations professionals, the Center added seven interviews to its abundance of free resources. From interviews to resource guides, explore the resources on our website to expand your skill set and elevate your career.
  9. We continue to honor our namesake with a national celebration, Betsy Plank Day, now in its seventh year. As Betsy said, “Unless it’s illegal, unethical or immoral, volunteer for everything!” Many PRSSA Chapters celebrated Betsy Plank Day by giving back and volunteering on their campus and in their local community.

Everything the Center has accomplished over the last 14 years is directly attributable to our dedicated and active Board Members who exemplify public relations leadership.

Betsy Plank’s legacy lives on in the Center’s research and work to advance the profession and public relations education. Thank you to the organization and friends who have generously supported The Center this year. With your support, we can continue to make a legendary difference in the development and advancement of outstanding public relations leaders through a variety of programs, such as fellowships, initiatives, research and awards.

We invite you to support a stronger public relations profession by making a tax-deductible giftEvery dollar we generate or receive goes back into our programs, grants and scholarships.