Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations Update

This week, the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations held its board meetings in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I accepted an invitation to serve on the advisory board this year and was glad to provide PRSSA’s perspective on the Center’s projects. I can assure you that this board has the best of intentions for our student society and the public relations field.

The Plank Center, named in honor of PRSSA’s beloved Champion Betsy Plank, seeks to advance leadership values and skills in public relations and bridge the gap between education and practice. It was established at the University of Alabama in 2005 and has supported several great initiatives in its short history. For instance, the Center has an endowed lecture series, two annual scholarships and a grant program for research into leadership in the field. The Plank Center sponsored or supported eight other initiatives in the past year and has also developed a Web site where research and leadership resources will continually be made available. You can view these resources and learn more about the Plank Center at

Perhaps the most exciting project for the Plank Center lies ahead for PRSSA’s upcoming 40th anniversary year. More details will be revealed as the time draws nearer, but PRSSA will undoubtedly benefit from this board’s generous efforts.

Finally, a group of nine students from the University of Alabama is working diligently to develop an interactive online magazine for the Center. These students delivered an impressive presentation to the advisory board and aim to publish by the end of this semester.

As part of this trip, I was also able to speak with members from the University of Alabama and University of Alabama at Birmingham PRSSA Chapters. Through all of these aforementioned experiences and more, I gather that public relations has a distinct place in Alabama where leaders of all stages are providing both new and archived tools to help advance the profession and the young professional.

Please take time to learn about the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and how it can benefit your leadership initiatives. This organization will be a valuable resource in the field for years to come.

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