KENT, Ohio (April 18, 2016) — The Kent State University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) celebrated the life and legacy of the First Lady of public relations, Betsy Plank, Thursday, April 7, by collecting donations for the Kent State University Women’s Center.
Plank, who is known as the Godmother of PRSSA, was instrumental in the organization’s formation in the late 1960s. Plank accomplished many firsts for women in the public relations industry, including being the first woman elected as president of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in 1973. PRSSA Kent joined Chapters from across the nation in celebrating the life and legacy of Plank on Betsy Day.
“Our national organization wouldn’t be where it is today without the leadership and support of Betsy Plank,” said Chapter President Gabrielle Woodard. “We wanted to make sure we acknowledged her contributions to the education of public relations students in the best way we could — by contributing to our own community in her honor.”
As part of The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations Betsy Day challenge, PRSSA Kent members watched a Betsy Plank tribute video and collected more than 600 nonperishable food items and personal care items for the Women’s Center in honor of the barriers Plank broke for women in the industry. Chapter members who donated items were invited to a reception with cupcakes on April 7, a subtle nod to Plank’s “Baker’s Dozen for Public Relations Students.” Students at the reception were asked to share the impact they wanted to leave with their careers in public relations.
“We chose to donate to the Women’s Center because Betsy Plank was all about the advancement of women in PR,” Chapter Vice President of Fundraising and Community Relations Erin Zaranec said. “To celebrate [Plank’s legacy], we thought the Women’s Center was the perfect way to give back to the community and honor Betsy Plank.”
PRSSA Kent received first place in the annual Betsy Day competition, which grants them quarterly Skype sessions with Plank Center leadership.
For more information about Betsy Plank, The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and Betsy Day, visit http://plankcenter.ua.edu/.
About PRSSA Kent
PRSSA Kent (www.prssakent.com) was established in 1968 as one of the 14 original Alpha Chapters of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Named the 2014 Outstanding Chapter, the 70-member student-run organization collaborates with its parent Chapter, the Akron Area Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, to coordinate meetings and events that offer professional development and networking opportunities to Kent State University students interested in the public relations and communications industry.
Brenna Parker Michele Ewing, APR, Fellow PRSA
Vice President of Public Relations Associate Professor/Faculty Adviser
PRSSA Kent PRSSA Kent