Committee Profile: Employee Communications Roundtable, a ‘Targeted Group’ Leader

    Megan Ryan, APR

    By Liz Gibbons, chapter editor, PRSA Colorado Communications Committee

    While PRSA Colorado commemorates 60 years of providing formal professional development programs to its members, it’s also recognizing the value of its less formal “Targeted Groups.”

    One of the first so-called Targeted Groups to form was the Employee Communications Roundtable, which because of its consistent following among internal PR professionals may offer some best practices for other Targeted Groups as they begin to roll out.

    According to Megan Ryan, APR, chair of the group, the Employee Communications Roundtable began forming in 2017 after several chapter members attended a Connect Conference in Denver, hosted by PRSA’s Employee Communications Interest Section. That same year, the chapter’s board conducted several focus groups to determine how best to respond to the changing needs of its membership. In line with the purpose of the Connect Conference, research indicated that members also wanted smaller, more intimate settings to connect, share ideas and network with peers who hold similar roles, focus on related areas of interest or live/work in nearby geographic regions. PRSA Colorado was also seeing strong engagement in existing niche groups including the Young Pros, Master Practitioners and 36 Corridor groups.

    The result, says Amy Sperber, APR, chapter president and co-chair of the group, was the formal launch of the chapter’s Targeted Group concept in 2018, “an effort to help members better build rapport in small-group settings around PR topics of group interest.”

    Spearheaded by Ryan, who leads internal communications and employee engagement at CoBiz Financial Inc., the Employee Communications Roundtable meets regularly with members and non-members to discuss a variety of topics in a casual, participatory forum. The group has discussed a variety of internal communication topics including ways to use video to engage employees, methods for tracking the effectiveness of internal communications tools, ideas for engaging remote employees, employer branding efforts to support recruitment and approaches for creating an effective company intranet.

    “Our group also allows members who have non-traditional PR roles to not only find resources, but to network and stay on top of trends by hearing from other professionals how they are putting tools, tactics and strategies into practice,” says Ryan. “The causal format allows discussion participants to pose specific questions or challenges and receive feedback and suggestions with concrete approaches.”

    The next roundtable will be held on Nov. 8 at CoBank in the Denver Tech Center. The featured topic is “Internal communications through times of change.” The roundtable events are held quarterly atlocations alternating between downtown Denver and other Denver metro areas.

    To learn more about participating in the Employee Communications Roundtable or host a future event, please contact Megan Ryan, APR. While PRSA Colorado members and non-members are able to participate, only members can host events.


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