Welcome to the Greater Kansas City Chapter of PRSA

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What's Next...

2020 Midwest District Conference: OctoPRfest

Oct. 5 - 8
8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Tickets

$69.00 PRSA Member Ticket | Full Conference before September 21
$79.00 PRSA Member Ticket | Full Conference

$79.00 Non-member Ticket | Full Conference before September 21
$89.00 Non-member Ticket | Full Conference

$0.00 Student Ticket | Full Conference

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About GKC-PRSA

The Greater Kansas City PRSA chapter is a community of public relations and communications professionals across the Kansas City area, from recent college graduates to leaders of some of the largest firms, agencies and non-profits. Our members represent nearly every practice area and professional and academic setting within the public relations field.

In addition, we support students from across the Midwest who are members of their campus Public Relations Student Society of America chapters.

We have approximately 200 members and hold regular professional development luncheons to enhance our professional growth. Our chapter also boasts signature events, such as our annual PRISM Awards gala honoring the year’s best in communications excellence and our full-day, interactive student event, our PRSSA Summit. At GKC-PRSA our mission is to be the professional resource and advocate for Kansas City’s PR and Communications community.

PO Box 413794, KCMO 64141

 

Inez Kaiser

Black History Month – A Tribute To Inez Kaiser, Kansas City’s Own

by Lea-Ann Germinder, APR, Fellow PRSA

February 25, 2020

As we near the end of Black History Month, I thank the chapter for allowing me to share a story about one of Kansas City’s very own national black pioneers. When I was president of the Kansas City chapter in 1998, there was a decidedly diminutive exquisitely dressed “older” African-American woman at the PRISM awards I had not met before. I asked someone who it was. I was about to give a speech, and the only thing I can honestly recall was the response, “oh, that’s Inez Kaiser.” I went up to give my “all-important” speech and the moment to meet Inez was lost. I don’t recall seeing her again.

Fast-forward 22 years later. I was attending the Museum of Public Relations 5th Annual Black History Month event as the guest of speaker Cheryl Proctor-Rogers, APR, Fellow PRSA, past chair of PRSA and a noted PR Business Strategist/Executive Coach. Cheryl not only knew who Inez was, she celebrated her as one of the black pioneers of the public relations profession in her presentation, “Why History Matters: Making the Case for Storytelling.”

Perhaps chapter members don’t know what I learned that night and subsequently: Inez Kaiser was born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1918. She worked 20 years for the Kansas City school district before entering public relations. She started Kaiser & Associates here in Kansas City, and she was the first African-American woman to own and run a public relations firm with national clients in the U.S. She was the first African-American woman to join PRSA nationally. She was also the first African-American woman to join the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. She wrote a column for the Kansas City Star, “As I See It” and a syndicated column, “Fashion Wise and Otherwise” to help other African-American woman and promote pictures of women of color. She was a counselor to presidents Nixon and Ford – but as noted by her son voted for Obama! The list goes on.   

She was an extraordinary national trail blazer that is one of Kansas City’s own.

Inez Kaiser passed away at 98 years old in 2016. I know how hard it is to start a business as a woman, but to start a business in 1957 as an African American woman? I’m glad I got to know her story, but regret I never really met her. We have so much to thank Inez.

Immediate past president Norita Taylor, APR is working with me to engage with interested members to celebrate Inez Kaiser in other meaningful ways. If you knew her, please email me at [email protected] or Norita Taylor at [email protected] to share more chapter memories. Thank you Inez and thank you Cheryl-Proctor Rogers, APR, Fellow PRSA for calling attention to Inez Kaiser’s enduring legacy.