Board Member Spotlight: John Palmer, APR


This month, we are featuring our Chair-Elect John Palmer, APR.

John is an accredited public relations professional with 16 years of experience leading, developing and implementing public relations and communication strategies for nonprofit and private organizations. 

He is director of media and public relations for the Ohio Hospital Association, a statewide organization representing Ohio’s 236 hospitals and 14 health systems. He serves as OHA’s media spokesperson, manages public relations campaigns and supports advocacy communication and event management. Since joining OHA in 2012 he expanded the association’s presence in statewide and national media, increased member engagement and promoted OHA’s strategic initiatives in the community. 

Prior to OHA he was media and marketing communication manager for Ohio Dominican University from 2008 to 2012. He developed public relations campaigns focused on branding and reputation management, managed internal communications and implemented media relations programs securing coverage for the university’s new residence halls, a new student center and a new science center. John managed the development of ODU’s social media strategy and led a marketing committee for the institution’s centennial celebration. Before joining ODU he was with the Central Ohio Transit Authority for four years serving as media spokesperson, managing internal communication, planning community events, implementing marketing strategies for new services and maintaining COTA’s website. 

John is an adjunct faculty member at Capital University and Ohio Dominican University teaching classes in public speaking, media relations, PR campaigns, and health care marketing. 

He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and the PRSA Central Ohio Chapter. John is chair-elect for PRSA East Central District Board of Directors. He is chair the Central Ohio Public Information Network Board of Directors, a regional coalition of public information officers. John received the PRSA Central Ohio Chapter’s 2010 Walt Seifert Award for Outstanding Service to PRSSA. He is a frequent guest speaker and mentor to PR students in the region. He is the professional adviser to the PRSSA Capital University Chapter and is adviser to Ohio University’s PRSSA student firm, 1804 Communication. John was a board member for NC4K – Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids and PRSA Health Academy. 

John earned his bachelor’s degree in public relations and journalism from Capital University in 2004. He earned a master’s degree in organizational communication from Ohio University in 2012.

Home Chapter: Central Ohio Chapter

What is your favorite part about being part of PRSA (National, District and Chapter levels)?

Having an active participation with colleagues and leaders in the public relations to improve the profession and the professional.

What do you hope to contribute to PRSA-ECD in 2020?

Working with the board to achieve stronger operational efficiencies, re-branding our annual conference to focus on chapter leadership development and establishing greater connections with our chapters.

What is your favorite part of public relations (and other related communications industries)? 

This profession gives the ability to learn new industries and to tell their stories to audiences. Today’s digital communications has enabled public relations to be a more active leader within organizations to ensure messages and content are effectively delivered.

Talk about your career. What have been some highlights and missteps, and what have you learned from them?

Time management was a learning curve but developing a routine and utilizing technology has allowed me to be a more effective resource and leader in my position. A highlight of my career was obtaining a permanent full-time position (started as a temporary position) with my first employer.

What would you say to a prospective member who wants to join PRSA but is on the fence?

Consider a more holistic view of the opportunities that PRSA membership and service presents to members. There are a wide variety of skills that I developed from my participation with PRSA including leadership, board service, volunteering, project management, financial management – budgeting preparation, and more.

What do you like most about QuickStart, the Diamond Awards and/or other PRSA-ECD initiatives?

My favorite aspect is ECD’s mission to support leadership development within the chapters and that is achieved at our programs and event throughout the year.

Would you like to add anything else?

Consider bringing your talents and experience to the leadership opportunities within PRSA and the East Central District.

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