Your Public Relations and Communications Community

Advocacy in a Box

Tools You Can Use

Chapter Advocacy Officers (CAO) interface with the national Advocacy Advisory Board (AAB) in a dynamic way. CAOs carry out the AAB mission at the District and Chapter level as the eyes and ears of the AAB in the field. CAOs identify grassroots issues that merit national attention, pre-empt local issues from escalating nationally, and engage the AAB to assist in addressing local issues.

Here is a step-by-step survey of how this dynamic process helps PRSA keep a finger on the pulse of issues at the national, state and local level and address them proactively to advocate on behalf of PRSA members, the public relations profession and all professional communicators.

Issue Identification

1.   Monitor regional and local print and online press, blogs and social media outlets for issues with potential implications for the profession, such as:

a. Activities by public relations firms, professionals or others that violate the PRSA Code of Ethics (Code), including Professional Standards Advisories.

b. Activities by public relations firms or professionals that violate the letter or spirit of state and local laws or regulations.

c. Activities that run counter to basic standards of professional best practices.

d. Commentary in editorials or news coverage that impugn the professionalism, business value or reputation of the profession.

2.   Monitor state and local legislative and regulatory activity, including:

a. Proposed statutes, regulations and public policy initiatives with potential implications for the profession.

b. Proposed statutes, regulations or public policy initiatives that reinforce or contradict Code principles.

3.   Bring the issue to the attention of the national PRSA Advocacy Advisory Board (AAB) as follows:

a. Contact PRSA's PR department at and they will bring the issue to AAB’s attention.

b. Include as much background as possible, including clips, proposed legislation, regulatory proposals, etc.

c. Offer special insights and knowledge achieved through personal knowledge, regional networks or local perspectives.

d. Note any deadlines or time sensitivities for action.

e. Consult with Chapter committees and/or leadership as required by your Chapter.

Position Development

1.   Plan to participate on AAB “Rapid Response Team” conference call or regularly scheduled AAB teleconference to discuss issues and participate in position development.

2.   Engage Chapter committees and/or leadership as necessary.

3.   Be prepared to contribute local perspectives as well as Chapter input, as appropriate.


Local Issues:

1.   Develop targeted materials, engaging Chapter processes as necessary, to initiate communication and outreach on the topic in your state, region or municipality.

2.   To facilitate the process, PRSA provides a series of resources and tools, below, for your use as you prepare vehicles to drive your efforts.

3.   Reach out to the national AAB to engage on the issue should it appear to gain traction as an issue beyond your area.

National Issues:

1.   Consult the Issues Tracking section of the PRSA website to keep a finger on the pulse of issues facing the professional on a national level.

2.   Participate in regular, quarterly Chapter Advocacy Officer teleconferences to gain deeper insights into issues being tracked and addressed nationally, how they may resonate locally and how to engage AAB’s help in addressing them.

3.   Be prepared to partner with AAB to engage Chapter assistance to help drive national issues outreach in your local areas.


Issue Identification:

To help drive your issue identification efforts, following are some useful resources that you may use to track developments (in addition to those that come to your attention in the normal course of your professional or PRSA endeavors).

Federal Government Initiatives:

Federal Register

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

State Governments Initiatives (New York used as an example):


State Senate: NY State Senate

State Assemby/Legislature: NY State Assembly


NY State Register


To help frame your efforts on the regional or local level, following are some examples of outreach on issues nationally by AAB:

PRSA Professional Standards Advisory Takes Stand Against Expropriation of Intellectual Property in Business Pitches

PRSA Makes a “Case” for Public Relations

PRSA Condemns the Growing Use of Disingenuous Editorial Content, Deceptive Commentary on Blogs and Other Venues


To facilitate local outreach, PRSA will prepare templates, including press releaes, op-eds, letters to the editor, etc., to facilitate initiating local outreach efforts on breaking issues. They will be made available on a rolling basis as links from this page.

More Information

For further assistance at any time, please contact the PRSA public relations department at or 212-460-0347.

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