The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) inducted PRSSA Kent Faculty Adviser Michele Ewing, APR, into its College of Fellows at the 2014 International Conference in Washington, D.C.
Ewing joined an elite group of 300 professionals who have dedicated more than 20 years of excellence to the public relations industry. Less than two percent of PRSA members are accepted into the College of Fellows.
“I’m really honored to be joining such an elite group of PR professionals,” Ewing said. “I feel like one of the cool kids in the industry now.”
Ewing was inducted with 14 other professionals at a dinner Oct. 11, escorted by alumnus Rick Batyko, APR, president of the Regional Marketing Alliance (Cleveland Plus).
Ewing said the application process was extensive, taking her more than four months to complete. Throughout the process, she was asked to show the results of each of her jobs in the public relations industry.
“I had to track down clients I haven’t talked to in years,” Ewing said. “It was good to hear that I made a significant contribution to these organizations. It reminds me that my career has been a rewarding experience, and not everyone can say that after 20-something years.”
After working as an executive at Marcus Thomas LLC, an integrated marketing communications agency in Cleveland, Ewing decided to pursue a career in higher education.
“About 15 years ago, JMC Professor [Bill] Sledzik and a colleague encouraged me to teach an evening class at Kent State,” Ewing said. “I almost didn’t do it because I was a senior executive and my children were young. I was concerned about managing it all. Thank goodness I made time to teach that class.”
Ewing said working with her Kent State colleagues and students for the past 12 years continues to be an energizing experience. She is able to play a role in the future of public relations and contribute to it through her instruction.
“I see more growth and need for pubic relations compared to my early days in the field,” Ewing said. “Audiences are communicating 24/7 and expecting real-time communication today […] I’m also fortunate to work with young, aspiring public relations professionals every day, and the future of the PR industry is in good hands.”
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.