Elevating Professional Development: Insights from PRSA CEO Michael Cherenson


I recorded an exclusive podcast interview with Michael Cherenson – incoming CEO of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and an accomplished public relations agency leader – who explores a spectrum of pivotal topics.

From the evolution of professional development within public relations agencies to the intricate integration of social media into PR campaigns and the critical aspect of substantiating PR’s value through quantitative research and data analytics, this conversation promises valuable insights for PR agency professionals and strategic marketers.

A Multifaceted PR Authority

Michael Cherenson brings a wealth of experience, spanning diverse PR disciplines. His extensive background encompasses corporate communications, marketing, internal and crisis communication, government relations, event management, media training, and interactive public relations. Michael Cherenson’s multifaceted expertise positions him as a notable figure in the PR industry, poised to delve into the critical aspects that drive PR success.

Navigating the PR Landscape

As the senior public relations counselor and strategist at Success Communications Group, a comprehensive marketing, advertising, and social media communications firm, Michael Cherenson is deeply embedded in PR. His involvement spans the entire spectrum of public relations activities, offering a holistic perspective on PR professionals’ challenges and opportunities.

Join us in this exclusive podcast interview as we venture into professional development within PR agencies, the transformative role of social media in PR campaigns, and the indispensable art of substantiating PR’s worth through the power of quantitative research and data analytics. Michael Cherenson’s profound insights and expertise will illuminate the path forward for PR practitioners seeking to excel in an ever-evolving landscape.

Attendance and Sentiment at PRSA Conference (2:35)

Michael Cherenson opens the discussion by reflecting on the attendance and overall sentiment at the 2008 Public Relations Society of America International Conference in Detroit. He shares insights into the conference’s dynamics and attendee engagement, setting the stage for the podcast.

Youngest PRSA CEO and Improving PR Agencies’ Image (3:40, 4:15)

Michael Cherenson highlights his unique position as the youngest incoming CEO of the Public Relations Society of America and the first second-generation PR practitioner to hold this office. He discusses the challenges and opportunities ahead for PR agencies, emphasizing the need to enhance the image of PR in the industry.

Controversy Surrounding PR Trade (4:58)

The podcast recaps a controversy involving Andrew Cohen’s critical remarks about the PR trade. Michael Cherenson provides insights into the PR industry’s response to such criticisms and the ongoing efforts to address challenges within the field.

Advocacy and Professional Development (5:28)

Michael Cherenson stresses the importance of advocacy and professional development in the PR profession. He discusses initiatives like Eric Schwartzman’s Social Media Boot Camp and its role in advancing PR practitioners’ skills and expertise.

Retooling PR with Social Media (6:31)

Michael Cherenson delves into the role of social media in reshaping the PR industry. He emphasizes the need for PR professionals to adapt to new technologies and gain confidence in setting boundaries with clients and managers.

Quantitative Research and Data in PR (7:05)

The discussion shifts to the significance of quantitative research and data analytics in demonstrating the value of PR to organizations. Michael Cherenson underscores the importance of organizing and presenting data effectively to reinforce PR’s impact.

Challenges of Achieving Technical Tasks (9:32)

Michael Cherenson addresses the challenges of incorporating technical tasks like analytics and data visualization into PR practices. He discusses how PR professionals can bridge the gap between technical requirements and their non-technical expertise.

Enhancing Online Presence and Resources (9:56)

Public Relations Society of America’s plans to revitalize its online presence, including new web content, improved search functionality, and expanded online resources, are outlined. Michael Cherenson highlights the importance of accessible resources to help PR practitioners secure budgets and achieve their goals.

Upcoming MyPRSA Social Network (10:20)

Michael Cherenson provides insights into the development of MyPRSA, an upcoming social network designed to enhance connectivity within the PR community. He discusses increased advocacy efforts aimed at strengthening the business case for public relations.

Working with Local Public Relations Society of America Chapters (11:32)

Michael Cherenson’s plans to collaborate closely with local Public Relations Society of America chapters are explained. He emphasizes the importance of training courses and leadership development opportunities for PR professionals.

Networking and Knowledge Sharing (12:43)

The discussion underscores the significance of networking and knowledge sharing within the PR agency community. Michael Cherenson encourages PR practitioners to acquire new communication skills and expand their professional horizons.

Building Personal and Professional Brand (13:26)

Michael Cherenson shares insights on how public relations agency professionals can build their personal and professional brand through engagement with the Public Relations Society of America. He highlights often overlooked opportunities within the organization.

Balancing Responsibilities (15:03)

Michael Cherenson discusses the challenges of balancing responsibilities as the CEO of the Public Relations Society of America, managing agency commitments, and family life. He provides insights into maintaining equilibrium in a demanding professional role.

Conclusion (16:15)

The podcast concludes by summarizing the key points discussed with Michael Cherenson, shedding light on the dynamic landscape of public relations and highlighting the evolving role of public relations firms in a digital age.

Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

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