The PRDude’s Day as Delegate at PRSA 2013 Conference

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

PHILADELPHIA — It’s certainly appropriate that this post is being published here in the city known for being the place where our founding fathers set the wheels of democracy into motion.  (As well as the place where you can get a real cheese steak sandwich.)

Why you may ask?  Well, because The PRDude — actually Edward M. Bury, APR — served the Chicago Chapter of the Public ??????????Relations Society as a delegate at the 2013 PRSA Leadership Assembly.  On Saturday, October 26, PRSA leaders from across the nation gathered to conduct the Society’s business and recognize accomplishments.

My delegate responsibilities included voting on two Bylaws Amendments and the Nominating Committee Report.  While important to the Society, I believe readers will take more interest in the following:

PRSA One compOne PRSA. In his report on the State of the Society, Chair and CEO Mickey G. Nall, APR, Fellow PRSA, shared many positive thoughts about the profession, PRSA, the APR credential and other topics under the One PRSA banner.   My big takeaway: The Society has returned to 2007 membership numbers.

Bottom Line.  The Society is on sound financial footing, despite the still struggling economy, a mammoth force of nature and literally having the ceiling cave in.  Those were some thoughts from President and COO Bill Murray, CAE.  Some insight on the last two topics: The PRSA office in downtown Manhattan was out of commission for several days following Super Storm Sandy, and a water pipe rupture caused a ceiling to collapse and a minor flood of PRSA offices.  My big takeaway: Leadership and staff were well-prepared for challenges, responded promptly and demonstrated strong commitment to PRSA and the profession.

Fearless Future. Following the 10 a.m. break, Chair-Elect Joe Cohen, APR, trumpeted the theme of a “Fearless Future” for the profession as the guiding force behind the Strategic Plan 2014-16.  Public relations must embrace change and “adapt, evolve or risk irrelevance,” he said. Elizabeth A. Pesci, APR, Fellow PRSA noted that an improving business climate will lead to opportunities for practitioners.  My big takeaway: Thoughts I wholeheartedly subscribe to. APR_logo

Fixing APR. A report from consultant Laura Freebairn-Smith, Ph.D. of the Organizational Performance Group on a study regarding the Accredited in Public Relations credential especially hit home, given my passion for the credential, years spent on the Universal Accreditation Board and work with PRSA Chicago to help others earn Accreditation.  “Not a pretty picture solution,” was Dr. Freenbairn-Smith’s overall assessment of Accreditation, which as declined in terms of numbers, interest and respect.   My big takeaway: Thrilled that a sound assessment will guide what hopefully be a renaissance for the APR.

Lots of other stuff took place during the Assembly, but I’ll stop for now.

My final takeaway from my participation as a delegate: A lot of smart, successful professionals are working hard and allocating time and resources to guide the Society forward and improve the public relations profession. My role as a delegate hopefully a small difference.  What about you? What are you doing to “Advance the Profession, and the Professional?”

Cutthroat Kitchen Slam Top Menu Item for PRDude

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Even though the PRDude has published 185 posts over the past four years, he’s still a relative neophyte in the blogging universe.  The PRDude blogs because he wants to (when there’s time and something to say), not because there’s any monetary rewards (which would be most welcomed.)

With that established, time to  switch to the first person — and the theme of this post.

Cutthroat OneFor some reason, a post I wrote back in August bashing a new TV show called “Cutthroat Kitchen” continues to attract readers.  In fact, a total of 226 as of this writing, for a rough average of 75 per month.

That’s not going to make the folks at HuffPo or Buzz Feed nervous and change the Technorati rankings, but it’s a pretty big deal for me.

The question of the hour is why?  Why did my rant against a  reality TV food-oriented show I did not like based on previews only generate sustained interest?

I trust it was well-written and optimized.  I know it had relevance.   I hope readers found some value in the post. Cutthroat two

And, for the record, I still don’t plan on ever watching “Cutthroat Kitchen,” despite learning that it’s received fairly good ratings, and will probably do better now that “Breaking Bad” has concluded and no longer dominates Sunday TV.

(An aside: In a perverse way “Breaking Bad” was also a “cooking” show.  Of sorts.)

So I turn to you, the 226 readers who read — and hopefully enjoyed the original “Cutthroat Kitchen” post — to share your thoughts: What was so good about that blog?

A Public Relations Plan to Help The USA Return to “Normal”

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Loyal followers of The PRDude know that I believe in the power of public relations to do good.  So, I’m offering the following framework of a strategic public relations plan to our elected leaders in Washington, D.C. as an instrument to help end the current legislative stalemate better known as the “shutdown.”

The people who work here need to do their part to end the government shutdown.

The people who work here need to do their part to end the government shutdown.

I’ll follow the storied four-step process, which I addressed way back in September of 2009.  The communications industry changes rapidly in today’s technology-driven world, but the four-step public relations process should not be one of them.

What follows is, as noted above, just the framework of a plan.  (I’d be delighted to expand upon this further — for a hefty fee, of course — but I don’t believe there’s anyone in Washington still on the job who could cut a check, much less have the funds available!)

Step One: Define the threat or opportunity.  In most cases strategy would guide communications to address one or the other.  With the impasse underway in our nation’s capitol, I maintain there’s the potential to craft messages that address both: a) The threat is continued deterioration of the American economy and way of life, and a decline in the nation’s stature on the world stage. b) The opportunity is to bring to the forefront the fact that the two-party system clearly no longer works and we probably need to fix it.  (Independents, are you listening?)

Step Two: Conduct research. In a real-world situation, we’d conduct primary research and review secondary sources. But based on two online news sources, I maintain that the no one really knows when or how the shutdown will  end, and everyone is blaming the President and Congress for this fiasco.  That’s sufficient research for now.

And, the guy who lives here needs to compromise.

And, the guy who lives here needs to compromise.

Step Three: Develop a Plan and Communicate. Strategic public relations plans are based on realistic goals, sound strategies and measurable objectives.  Here’s what I recommend: Compromise and end the impasse (goal), have each side walk away with something (strategy), get people back to work tomorrow and bring business back to normal (objectives). Communicate this through a joint news conference and issue a news release.  Hey, I’ll write the release and talking points for you. For free!

Step Four: Revisit The Plan and Make Revisions.  Most strategic plans are revisited after several weeks or perhaps months.  But in this case, my proposed plan to help bring the United States back to some sense of “normalcy” should be revisited a lot sooner.  Like tomorrow.

Whether you’re in public relations or some other profession, why not share your thoughts on how the nation’s leaders can do their jobs and govern.  So we all could get back to “normal.”

For Sale: The PRDude Blog

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

When I launched The PRDude blog on 09/04/09, making money from online commentary was not part of the agenda.  Hey, I was just writing about my chosen profession — public relations — and my search for a new job.

And, remember, in late 2009, the nation was being rocked financially to its very core, so I had no financial aspirations related to blogging; plus, what did I know about monetizing an online resource?  I had enough challenges learning to manage WordPress.

World imageBut, over the past 180-plus posts, I’ve had a change of heart;  and the national economy is creeping, albeit much too slowly, toward some level of recovery. Perhaps there is some value behind The PRDude blog, I mean aside from letting me rant unabated and unedited on public relations and “other stuff.”

Recent news, really struck home: The Chicago-based Braintree, a credit card management software company, was purchased by the folks at eBay for $800 million.  No matter how you slice and dice it, that’s a lot of money.

A writer for Crain’s Chicago Business noted in this commentary that the Braintree sale means another Chicago tech firm will be owned by some outsiders.  That’s of no real concern to me, although my city has lost some long-standing, iconic businesses to buyouts.For Sale  Braintree is a fine company, I’m sure, but it never was a part of Chicago’s fabric for generations like the former Marshall Field’s department store.

Now on to the real thrust of this message: If Braintree is worth $800 million, perhaps there’s a market value for The PRDude blog.  That’s why I’m announcing that the blog is for sale.

That’s not a misprint.  You kind reader, or eBay, for that matter, can make me an offer.  Here’s what you’ll get:

  1. Every word, link, image and comment published in The PRDude since its inception.
  2. The ability to continue publishing The PRDude.
  3. A farewell post from me — The PRDude.

Not sure if the WordPress folks have any reservations, but if so, I’m willing to split the proceeds.  As for price, I’ll take less — yes, less — than eBay paid for Braintree.

What would you pay for The PRDude blog?