Friday, April 9, 2010

PRAWNC hosts “A Toast to Spring” at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Raise a glass in “A Toast to Spring” with Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina as at its after-hours event at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar on Thursday, April 22, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

PRAWNC members and their guests will enjoy the opportunity to browse the exceptional collection of books, participate in semi-structured networking activities, and enjoy a white, red, and sparkling
wine plus a selection of meats and cheeses as they mark the welcome arrival of spring.

This year, PRAWNC members have much to celebrate. “Our members are excited, and the enthusiasm continues to grow,” says Sherri L. McLendon, president. “We are metaphorically planting the seeds for a healthy, sustainable Western North Carolina communications sector. We’ve got fertile ground for leading the industry in innovation and creativity in the profession. Just watch us grow!”

“The incredible buzz and upward trend-setting image of PRAWNC this year has been precedent setting,” says Rachel Miller, PRAWNC vice president. “This is our moment to do our part to enhance Western North Carolina’s economic growth and positioning by advancing and celebrating its communications professionals.”

Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina hosts “A Toast to Spring” at from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar on Thursday, April 22. The cost is $15 for members and guests and includes drinks and hors d’oevres. Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar is located at 1 Battle Square, Asheville. For more information or to RSVP, visit, or email

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Career Coffee enhances self-promotion for WNC communications professionals

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Communications professionals are invited to grow their careers through networking as the Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina initiates a Career Coffee on Tuesday, April 13, at 5:30 p.m. at Starbuck’s Coffee on Hendersonville Road. The free event repeats second Tuesdays monthly – though members may choose to indulge in a latte while honing their self-promotions strategies in the company of their peers.

“As base salaries and bonuses for public relations and media communications jobs in Western North Carolina decreased in 2009, and layoffs continue in the corporate sector, it becomes increasingly important to offer support for professionals who seek positions or who wish to grow their careers,” says Brian Jennings, the PRAWNC board member who spearheaded the informal event.

The Career Coffee is an informal opportunity for members of PRAWNC to meet to share information and job leads, test new self-promotions strategies, and find support for the challenges of the emerging economy in the face of rapid, wide-spread changes in the communications industry, says Sherri L. McLendon, PRAWNC president. “It’s a new era, and we need to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’.”

“Our organization offers a level of knowledge and expertise necessary to grow sustainable economy. As a storehouse of some of the nation’s best talent, we consider it a valuable benefit to members to have a network of this caliber in place. It’s not enough to simply attract top talent. We want to keep that talent happy, supported, and employed in Western North Carolina,” says McLendon.

Many seeking positions or growth may choose to re-specialize in a health care, consumer, or high tech/social media fields, which continued to hire in 2009, according to The Official PR Salary and Bonus Report (2010). The report, which was synopsized last week by Public Relations Society of America in a press release on March 26, found that average base salaries for corporate communications jobs decreased 11.3% in 2009, while PR agency base salaries decreased 10.6%. Both sub-sectors enjoyed an increase of 2.7% and 2.9% respectively in 2008. Additionally, health care costs rose for most employees.