The Press Club Presses On
The Press Club ended its 2019-2020 season and began the 2020-2021 season with a new Executive Board, some great ideas, and lots of enthusiasm.
But first, they had some big hurdles to clear: COVID-19, personal restrictions, and an uncertain world. Still, the Board moved forward and brainstormed topical event ideas, creating a tentative schedule of communications-related happenings including networking events, luncheons, professional development workshops, and webinars, all designed to support the Club’s mission of facilitating career advancement among professionals in communications by building relationships, keeping current on industry trends and encouraging excellence among future communicators. Their main focus was to line up guests and topics for programs that could transform easily from in-person to online events.
The result: the first three months of the season have been a success!
September’s theme, Communicating About Diversity and Inclusion, became a webinar hosted by Club Board member and author Bo-Dean Sanders. Bo and his guests Joseph Blake from The Spirit newspaper; and Dr. Marie Amey-Taylor from InterACTion Consulting Group, discussed equal opportunity, teamwork, diversity at all levels of an organization, and creating respectful environments. Members’ questions were collected and addressed by appropriate panelists.
In October, the Club focused on Communicating About COVID-19 in settings across different businesses and organizations. Again, not able to meet in person, Club members attended a webinar. Moderator Grant Gegwich, director of Corporate Communications at Independence Blue Cross, shared communications methods used in his organization and led a discussion that included ideas from Carla Showell-Lee, director of Media Relations, SEPTA; Melissa Jacobs, senior editor, Main Line Today magazine; and Mary Wascavage, director of Marketing and Communications, Premier Orthopaedics. Panelists discussed how their organizations are communicating with their publics, internal and external; crisis communications; and how to craft messages for different phases of the pandemic. Again, members’ questions were taken online.
November brought about a disappointment and a new opportunity. Our planned in-person Happy Hour Networking and Veterans Salute event at Echo Hill Farm had to be postponed until Spring 2021.
However, an opportunity came along for the Club to sponsor the 2020 Veterans Day Livestream Celebration in Media. Board members Becky Roberts and Dave Sibley provided technical support and livestreaming expertise to present highlights of past parades and broadcast featured speakers Sen. Pat Toomey, Sen. Bob Casey, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, and others, to the Delaware County audience.
We have more great ideas percolating as we move ahead into 2021. All the Board members join me in looking forward to meeting you all at our upcoming events.
Andrea DiFabio, Press Club President