PRSA and Hispanic Public Relations Association Broaden Partnership

PRSANEW YORK, NY — The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is expanding its affiliation with the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA), having agreed on a framework for greater cooperation and reciprocity on a broad range of member and industry initiatives.

PRSA and HPRA will cross-honor member rates for national events and reciprocate on guest articles, blog posts, speaking opportunities, web links and memberships for each organization’s Executive Committee. HPRA’s Executive Committee also will continue to have the opportunity to take part in PRSA’s annual Leadership Rally.

PRSA partnered with HPRA and the Hispanic PR Blog last year to sponsor the 2010 Hispanic PR & Social Marketing Conference.  PRSA will sponsor the event again in 2011.

Achieving greater racial, ethnic and gender diversity within the public relations profession is a major focus of PRSA’s, says PRSA Chair and CEO Rosanna M. Fiske, APR.

“An alliance with HPRA, which works to help Hispanic professional communicators enter and advance within the public relations and marketing communications fields, aligns directly with PRSA’s own diversity mission,” says Fiske. “We started by reorganizing our resources and plotting a defined course to involve more of our community, and we’re continuing by looking for targeted opportunities, such as our affiliation with HPRA, that will complement our efforts in these areas.”

Last year, under the direction of its restructured Diversity Committee, PRSA re-focused its diversity efforts on four main areas:  Students, Programming, Chapter Relations and Social Media. In the student area, for example, video on “Diversity in Public Relations” aimed at educating high school and college students about careers in public relations was produced in conjunction with Hunter College.

In the programming area, PRSA hosted idea swaps and free webinars, including “Diversity: A Matter of Gender or Style.” It also augmented the work of its local Chapters by availing them of National programming opportunities and resources, such as PRSA’s Diversity Tool Kit, and by acknowledging Chapter best practices through a Chapter Diversity Awards program.

PRSA’s Diversity Committee also expanded its presence in the social media realm, with the re-launch of the Diversity Today blog; an updated diversity section on the PRSA website, including links to helpful resources; and the creation of an “@PRSADiversity” Twitter handle, which is being used to draw attention to diversity blog posts and articles.

“There’s much work to be done on the diversity front to meet the growing demand for Hispanic and multicultural communicators,” says Lourdes Rodriguez, president of HPRA-LA and account supervisor at VPE Public Relations in South Pasadena, Calif. “HPRA is committed to working with PRSA to help advance diversity in the field. Our collaboration not only will fortify the industry, but strengthen our respective organizations.”

About the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)

With more than 31,000 members, PRSA is the largest organization of public relations professionals and students. PRSA is comprised of 111 local Chapters organized into 10 geographic Districts; 16 Professional Interest Sections that focus on issues, trends and research relevant to specialized practice areas, such as technology, health care, financial communications, entertainment and sports, and travel tourism; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which has more than 300 Chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. PRSA is headquartered in New York.
About the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA)

HPRA was founded in 1984 as a nonprofit organization to establish a network of Hispanics employed in the public relations profession. With chapters in Los Angeles and New York, HPRA has more than 300 members representing public relations, marketing and advertising professionals from agencies, government, nonprofit and corporate companies. HPRA is dedicated to the advancement of Hispanic professionals and provides educational seminars and workshops throughout the year. The organization has awarded more than $230,000 in scholarships to Latino students pursuing a career in communications. HPRA strives to be a resource for communications professionals and for those seeking insights into the Hispanic marke t.

  • http://awww.ct.org Lourdes Pérez-Ramírez, MA, MBA

    Does that mean that HPRA will now require that its members be APR-certificate to occupy leadership roles?
    This issue has created a critical juncture (friction, if you will) among PRSA members (me included) and former PRSA members who are Hispanic PR veterans, agency ceos and respected professionals, to the point that some left PRSA because of that and because practices like dismantling the Multicultural Section-just because it was not being profitable.

    I am still a PRSA member, Many, but it was precisely the dismantling of PRSA’s Multicultural Section, of which I was an Executive Committee member, that I became an HPRA member, unsatisfied by the way they disposed of that desction and their leaders. HPRA has provided what PRSA couldn’t: excellent professional and personal networking opportunities, and, needless to say, a much more emotional link to Hispanic PR professionals.

    Please, don’t adulterate the wonderful product HPRA has become. Partnership is one thing; allowing a big organization as PRSA to absorb, take over and control HPRA is not a good omen.

    My two-cents worth.

    Lourdes

  • http://awww.ct.org Lourdes Pérez-Ramírez, MA, MBA

    Many, me olvidé. I almost forgot to tell you: there is a big difference between a Diversity approach and Multicultural PR (or communications/marketing, etc.).
    The first is a management strategy, usually focused on Human Resources to have a diverse representation in the workforce and to adopt practices to encourage employers to hire, retain and include people from all sorts of groups; the other is a marketing communications strategy. Not the same, Many; not the same.

    The fact that PRSA is “focusing on diversity” doesn’t mean it is focusing on “Multicultural PR.”

    No confundamos las cosas.

    Lourdes