Fall Programming Lineup Set: Crisis Communications, Pentagon Communications After 9/11 and Advocacy Campaigns

Ryan Yantis, Principal, Yantis Consulting

The season is noticeably changing, which means the PRSA Suburban Chicago summer break is ending. It’s time to return to improving our professional skills through our fall professional development series, and we have some exciting programs scheduled.

We’re kicking off September with When Wall Street Meets Main Street – Managing a National Crisis Locally, a look at how local Chase banks managed the financial crisis impacting the parent organization in New York.

Our October program features  Ryan Yantis, Principal of Yantis Consulting, a private public relations and crisis mitigation practice, recounting managing communications at the Pentagon in the aftermath of 9/11, and for the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. All communicators need to think about and prepare for crisis scenarios for the workplace. But Ryan and his colleagues faced the unimaginable: managing crisis communications in midst of a terrorist attack, with over a hundred coworkers killed and badly injured. One year later, Ryan and his colleagues prepared for the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and sought to better inform the American people about what happened that day in the Pentagon. The anniversary observance earned the Army a PRSA Silver Anvil award.

Our holiday meeting features a long-time friend, 2006 PRSA National President Cheryl Procter-Rogers, APR, Fellow PRSA, president of A Step Ahead Public Relations and formerly vice president, Office of Public Relations and Communications, DePaul University. In 2000, Cheryl was the youngest member ever to be inducted into the Public Relations Society of America’s College of Fellows, a distinction held by a little more than 400 senior practitioners in the field of public relations.

Cheryl Procter-Rogers, APR, Fellow PRSA

Cheryl will be presenting a case study of a public relations advocacy campaign she led at DePaul to save the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant for the spring 2010 semester. After $2.1 billion was cut from MAP grants in early August 2009, more than 130,000 Illinois students were left scrambling to fill the gap in their tuition costs. Under Cheryl’s guidance, DePaul led the fight to restore the MAP funding, and the resulting demonstration of the ability of public relations to affect change has useful lessons for PR practitioners, regardless of industry.



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