By: Pamela Nulman, APR, CPRC
FPRA SWFL President

As we turn the page on a new year and are deluged with year-end lists, resolution lists and inspirational articles about starting the new year off on a positive note, I am reminded of interview I read recently with Jim Collins, author of the seminal business best-sellers Built to Last, Good to Great and How the Mighty Fall.  

Collins was speaking about the idea that life can be a work of art and that entrepreneurship is not only a business idea, but a life idea.  “You can either follow a paint-by-numbers-kit approach to life and do what everybody thinks you should do and stay within the accepted lines,” said Collins, “or you can decide you want to create a masterpiece and start with a blank canvas.”

I personally love the idea that come January 1 each year we all can pull out a fresh, new blank canvas and work on creating our next masterpiece.  Within that masterpiece we need to consider how are we going to prioritize our time, energy and resources.  How are we going to achieve the right blend of family, friends, spirituality, work and community? 

As you look at your own blank canvas for the coming year I hope you find FPRA is part your masterpiece. With a focus on professional development for public relations professionals and our allied partners, FPRA offers leadership opportunities, learning platforms and networking.

Although we have had to make a few tough decisions this year as an organization, including raising membership dues for the first time in 10 years and increasing the cost of attending our regular monthly meetings to $20 from $18 for members, we believe the value we return to our members well offset the slight increase in costs. 

Here are just a few suggestions on how you can become more involved and leverage your membership in the coming months:

  • Network and connect with other professionals at “The Great Unwind” on Friday, January 28th.  
  • Pursue your APR (Accreditation in Public Relations) and/or CPRC (Certified Public Relations Counselor) credentials. Preparation classes begin soon.
  • Enhance your leadership skills by joining the leadership team or board of directors.  Nominations for the 2011/2012 board begin in March.
  • Celebrate your success by entering the annual Image Awards and Golden Image Awards this year.   
  • Plan to attend FPRA’s monthly meetings to learn the latest in trends, leadership skills and public relations strategies and tools.
  • Contemplating starting a blog but not quite ready to take the leap?  Join the state conference blog team and dip your toe in the water before jumping in.

Read on to find more information on each of these areas within this issue of ImPRess. 

This is an exciting time to be in public relations and I encourage you to include involvement in FPRA as part of your plans for the coming year.

I, for one, plan to spend most of the year coloring outside the lines as I work on my masterpiece. Join me and let’s get out and make it a great year.