Premier Mentorship Event Salutes 5 PR Leaders


After a pandemic-required hiatus last year, the Plank Center’s “Milestones in Mentoring Gala” returns this November as both an in-person and virtual event you’ll not want to miss.


Unexpected Pandemic Side Effect: Many Rethink Personal and Career Goals


By David Gallagher Last week I posted some news on my personal social media feeds about a – my – decision to leave a good job with nice people.


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Key to Successful Client Relations: Overcommunicate


By Kathryn Smith Rhett Ahlander’s creative side showed itself at the age of 11, when he would make up and design his own logos and ads in a journal, although sadly those are lost in time.

Phish Fan Makes Case for Vaccine and Masks


By Ryan Puckett This is a picture of me from this past weekend. Yes, I’m wearing a mask at an outdoor amphitheater to see my favorite band, Phish. I am gonna be generous and say I was joined by about 3% of the crowd in masking up. (1% 1% would also be a fair estimate.) Let’s […].


How Startup Leadership Can Inspire the Team to Deliver Results and Become Great

Inspiring the team to do their best, break through barriers and achieve milestones is the core responsibility of the startup leadership. Inspiring people to do great requires installing confidence and the ability to learn from setbacks and failures.

Heart First: How Self-Care Enables Effective Leadership


By David Grossman At the start of 2020, my “to do” list included further exploration of the concept of leading through change with a goal of creating a new book. I wanted to share what I’ve learned in more than three decades working with leaders across industries.

Considerations for Becoming a PR Specialist


By Luke Smith Our ultra-connected digital landscape has connected our world in some incredible ways. It also means clear communication is especially important. For public figures, brands, or public services, clarity can drive positive engagement.

Get a Job or Get a Master’s Degree? Or Both?


I’m a halfway into the first semester of my senior year and wondering if I should proceed to get a master’s degree upon graduation, accept a full-time job that I’m told is going to be offered at the end of my internship or try to do both. What’s your advice? –JB A. Congratulations on […].

How to Use Public Speaking Anxiety to Your Advantage


By Morgan McCullough Whether you like it or not, there will be a point in your PR career where you’ll have to speak in front of an audience. You probably have already had to do this as part of your coursework.

How Can PR Pros Promote COVID Vaccinations?


Over the weekend, I got a Facebook message from long-ago college friend Susan Zanandrea. We reminisced about the “good old days” and I commented that I’m eager to see things return to a pre-pandemic “normal.” Susan’s response: “Amen to that.

How to “Kill It” During Your Next Big Change

When it comes to change communication, employees need your help to understand what’s happening. Use these four steps to help employees navigate change.

Full Lives Need Bucket Lists


Until this week, I never thought much about the importance of bucket lists. I’m now working on my own bucket list after attending the funeral yesterday of my amazing sister-in-law, Judy Ann Culp. My older brother Earl wisely married her 56 years ago.


Relearning In-Person Eye Contact


By John Millen As we begin returning to in-person meetings in business and our personal lives, we are making a lot of social and personal adjustments. Having stared at people’s eyes as pixels on video screens for the past 18 months, in-person eye contact may take some getting used to.

Self-Education and Skill Development for PR Pros


By Luke Smith Businesses and professionals worldwide are thankful for Public Relations pros. It’s sometimes seems magical how they can create a favorable public image for their clients and rebuild from situations that harm their clients’ reputations.

Switching or Returning to PR Career? Here’s Help


With some 120,000 public relations job postings on ZipRecruiter alone, almost every agency in the U.S. appears to be scrambling to identify and hire talent. But the process often takes more time than anticipated since most firms are increasingly selective about the talent they want to hire.

Top 15 Free PR Ideas to Grow Your Online Business

You've got a great idea, you've built your killer team, and you've maybe even gone through the first round or two of funding.

How to be an Active Audience Member


By Morgan McCullough In this blog series, we have covered writing for the ear, establishing credibility, and overcoming stage fright in public speaking scenarios. What we haven’t yet talked about is the other piece of the presentation puzzle: the audience.

To Shake or Not to Shake? That’s the New Question


Declared dead just a year ago by media, health experts and this blog, handshakes are gradually returning as the greeting of choice for business. Thanks Dr. Fauci, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Purell.

Top Networking Tips for Students Pursuing PR Careers


By Mike Khorev Networking is important for college students as they prepare for their future professional careers. Today, success in the corporate world doesn’t only stem from academic excellence.

Business Acumen Is Imperative for Our Profession


By Ron Culp During a recent Economic Club of Chicago member group discussion that I led, civic leaders vividly described the dire need to improve business literacy among high school students.

A CHRO’s Perspective on Substance Use in the Workplace: Supportive Strategies to Help Your Workforce Thrive

Speaker: Smita Das, MD, PhD, MPH, Medical Director, Psychiatry and Naj Wright, MBA, C-Suite HR Executive

Through advances in technology and access to care, managers can be empowered to serve as the front line of defense to help identify employee AUD and SUD concerns before they escalate. Understanding AUD and SUD, and providing tools for your workforce to overcome the challenges that they pose, is key to fostering strong mental health at work. Join us for this important how-to discussion.

Summer Reading: PR Women with Influence


A downside of writing your own book is that you don’t read many others while you’re crashing on content and deadlines.

COVID Vaccine Communication Action Plan


Over many years of knowing him, Pat Ford has always delivered thoughtful insights and comments during discussions with clients, nonprofit boards and students.

Tips for Entering the PR Field During the Pandemic


The entire job market has been impacted by the pandemic, and the PR industry has felt its effects deeply. Some PR agencies have been working overtime to showcase their clients’ COVID-19 protocols and issues, while others had to furlough employees during client downturns.

‘Hot Sellers Market’ for Public Relations Talent


My random check in last week with 12 agencies – big and small – confirm the urgency of “Help Wanted” pleas on job boards and social media pages: The PR job market is hot. While one major agency confirmed more than 200 job searches underway, the owner of a small 20-person firm said she is […].

The Growth PR Playbook

PR and communications now rely on data-driven, real-time, iterative storytelling with metrics that help to manage crises, get ahead of the competition, and impact the bottom line. Learn how to build a Growth PR plan in this Onclusive whitepaper.

Class of 2021: Time to Reflect, Plan and Thank Those Who Helped You Along the Way


My alma mater held its 2021 Commencement over the weekend and I had a special reason to watch.

Plank Leaders Discuss Ethics with Scripps PRSSA


By Kelly Lambers The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations recently hosted the 2021 Be Like Betsy Challenge in honor of PR pioneer Betsy Plank’s birthday. The challenge encouraged students to learn Betsy’s values and share their knowledge on social media.

Key to Achieving Diversity in Public Relations: Fill the Pipeline with More People of Color


An interview with Kimberley & David Rudd by Fredericka Davis By Fredericka Davis Our conversation on diversity, equity and inclusion was held in the midst of a pandemic and during the ongoing U.S. Presidential election.

How to Break Into the Public Relations Industry


Public relations professionals are increasingly playing key roles in helping their organizations manage and groom their public images. If you enjoy creating narratives, driving stories and influencing public behavior, then a career in PR might be worth looking into.

Generating Leads with Facebook: A Guide for Businesses

In this Facebook guide for businesses, we’ll help you strategize with tips and techniques straight from our playbooks. We also let you in on the best practices for improving your lead gen campaigns, starting with a review of your performance metrics.

Rana Komar’s Journey in Leadership


By Zoë Ihaza Rana Komar is the kind of person who never misses major events in her personal life. Komar states, “There are days where there are gives and takes. There are certain things that you hold firm. It’s about communicating responsibility to people in your environment.”

Business Acumen is the New X-Factor for Communication Leaders


“Employment prospects in public relations look downright bullish, but job seekers should know that most employers have raised their expectations for PR talent.”

Linda Blakley’s Journey as a Black Woman in PR


By Zoë Ihaza Linda Blakley is a results-driven communications professional with over 20 years of experience in the public relations industry. Blakley currently serves as vice president for university communications at DePaul University in Chicago.

Be the CEO of Your Career


By Emma Gresser Hi, friends! My name is Emma Gresser. I am going to give you a glimpse into a conversation between my good friend, PR rookie, and member of my personal board of directors, Andrew Cook. Andrew and I met when we moved to Chicago after graduating from undergrad.


Harness the Power of Influencers and Advocates

Learn how to find and use influencers and advocates to gain buyer's trust on your behalf.

Accepting the Agency Rose: My Pandemic Job Search


Yes, I’m here for the right (PR)easons. By Alyssa Damato Long before starting my career in public relations, I heard *the* phrase for the first time. A phrase that many people have mixed feelings towards. One that you can either label as cliche, or take advantage of to excel in your career.

PRSSA Promotes Civility via Bateman Competition; Hear 10 Important Tips to Reduce Polarization


By Jennifer Honeycutt Civility has been top-of-mind for many this past year.


Leadership: How to Get There & Bumps Along the Way


By Julia Zaeske Leaders are people we regularly encounter, whether it’s at a job, an event or in politics. Everyone has a different take, definition and style of leadership.

Plank Center: Shaping Next Generation of Leaders


By Christine Albrecht There’s a fair amount of pressure that comes along with serving as leaders for a center devoted to leadership! Luckily, the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations is led by a dedicated board, volunteers and small staff of dedicated professionals and academics.