Public Affairs & Public Relations | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 28 | Web Exclusive
Issue Date: July 11, 2011

Public Affairs & Public Relations

Department: ACS News
Keywords: official reports from Anaheim California, ACS meeting

The Committee on Public Affairs & Public Relations (PA&PR) met virtually on March 18.

The chair presented proposed 2011 committee goals that are aligned under Goals 4 and 5 of the ACS Strategic Plan for 2011 & Beyond. Under Goal 4, the chair proposed three goals that would increase ACS member involvement with Local Section Public Relations (LSPR) committees to create greater awareness and appreciation for the importance of chemistry and its practitioners in improving everyday life; facilitate greater LSPR public outreach activities to the media, local chambers of commerce, and service and other community-based organizations, with the goal of creating sustainable collaborations; and serve as role models and mentors for LSPR committees, the Chemistry Ambassador program, Sparkle training workshops for LSPR chairs, and other communications programs.

Under Goal 5, the chair proposed three goals intended to enhance ACS advocacy as follows:

Evaluating new delivery mechanisms, systems, and metrics to ensure effective and timely communications to elected and governmental officials through the ACS Legislative Action Network (LAN).

Serving as role models and mentors for Government Affairs Committee (GAC) chairs.

Identifying ways to increase ACS member GAC local section involvement and increase frequency of local meetings with government officials, arranging for government officials to participate in local section meetings, recruiting more ACS members to join the GAC and the LAN and actively participate in the ACS Legislative Summit, Public Service Award ceremony, as well as other opportunities to advocate on behalf of ACS public policy priorities.

Committee members then discussed the goals described above and agreed to their adoption for 2011.

The chair reviewed highlights of governance-related advocacy activities, encouraged committee members to review a chart listing local section advocacy and communications outreach activities, reminded committee members that the PA&PR breakfast in Anaheim would be on March 28, and that the nominations window was open for ACS Fellows through May 2.

The committee received a presentation from ACS staff that examined the political situation in the 112th Congress, details of the FY 2011 and FY 2012 budgets for the federal science agencies, public opinion polling that ACS helped support, and upcoming changes in the chemistry programs of the key ACS federal research agencies. The presentation also discussed strategic advocacy planning being undertaken by the ACS Office of Public Affairs (OPA) to help facilitate success in the 112th Congress.

ACS staff presented a special improvement plan prepared jointly by the PA&PR Subcommittee on National Historic Chemical Landmarks and staff. The landmarks program went through its second Program Review Advisory Group (PRAG) assessment in mid-2010 and PRAG made several recommendations to improve the program. After discussion, the committee voted to adopt the recommendations and share them with PRAG. PRAG will assess progress attained in implementing the recommendations at its next review of the program in 2013.

PA&PR went through the annual process to prioritize the society’s public policy statements. Based on survey input received from both PA&PR members and ACS staff, policy statements were put into four tiers. After discussion, the committee voted to approve the advocacy priorities for 2011.

The committee received an overview of 2010 media results from OPA staff that covered print and electronic venues. Placement of ACS-generated content in 2010 exceeded results of 2009 despite a continued contraction in print media. The value of ACS print placements was $24 million in 2010 based on costs had ACS purchased equivalent space for display advertising. The chair commented on the importance of earned media versus purchased media and the level of success OPA was achieving in the earned media area. Staff outlined the ACS press room activities for the March 2011 Anaheim meeting, including the production of 30 press releases highlighting Anaheim technical papers as well as 20 press conferences.

Updates were then received on ACS and local section communications-related activities in support of the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) 2011. The update covered IYC Web presence projects, engagement with the media, activities by our members through the Chemistry Ambassador program, and a potential event in conjunction with the Obama Administration.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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