Membership Focus: Access to Experts – Ask Us Anything

If you need help getting unstuck from a thorny communications challenge, you don’t have to look much further than the Chapter’s membership directory. Access to PR pros is one of the most valuable benefits of Chapter membership. And it continues to expand. 

“Ask Us Anything” was initially launched by the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee as a way to explore micro-topics in a less formal way. As part of this year’s Annual Conference, it offered a small group setting that benefitted attendees and thought leaders facilitating the sessions. 

We posed a few questions to some of these award-winning thought leaders and received sound counsel for PR pros at all stages of their careers. 

Stephen Michael Brown, APR, Fellow PRSA
President Cookerly Public Relations

We had a great discussion about request for proposal documents (RFPs) from the agency and corporate side and agreed that if you know someone’s work through PRSA interactions, you can often avoid processes, such as RFPs, and simply try a first project together.

We also enjoyed the questions from college students about the types of writing to include in portfolios. I reminded them to use more than one trusted source to proof materials and show “before and after” examples, such as a press release and where it got picked up in the media.


Jennifer Grizzle, APR, Fellow PRSA
President/Owner PR Studio 

I like to give new PR practitioners advice and tips that I would have appreciated early in my own career, and I loved fielding questions alongside Stephen. 

As part of the thread on why we love PR because it’s “never the same day twice,” I shared a story about being ready for the unexpected. Years ago, after wrapping up a client’s Halloween-heavy campaign, I was expecting a quiet end to October and was working from home. At 1:00 pm, my client called because an NBC Nightly News reporter was en route for an interview. I switched from comfy to professional attire in a flash, beat the reporter to Buckhead, and managed my client through a somewhat tricky agenda from the reporter. It all ended well but it was a good reminder to always be ready.


Cama Gebhart
Director/Owner Trilucent Group

I found the intimate, unstructured format to be super valuable for everyone. The many students and young PR pros in our session gave off such energy and passion. Connecting in person reminded me how much we can inspire and mentor each other. I also realized I have lessons, realities, successes and maybe a little wisdom to share after practicing PR for 15+ years and walked out of the room with a renewed confidence in myself as a professional.

One question lingered for me long after the conference. An attendee asked “when PR clicked” and became the place I needed to be. There have been many “clickable” moments, which is the beauty of PR. You’re always evolving, uncovering new inspirations, exploring new areas, forging new connections, and writing and re-writing your story.