At our last board meeting, we were discussing the need to define and focus Wichita Professional Communicators’ mission statement. Should we broaden our scope, like KPC has in their mission statement “to actively protect our First Amendment and Freedom of Information rights,” or is it enough to just say that WPC supports and promotes communicators through professional and student development, the way our mission is written in our bylaws? It seems almost glib in comparison to NFPW’s “to promote professional and ethical practices in communication by providing members tools and pathways to strengthen their skills and to advocate for the First Amendment to create an informed public.”
As I begin my final month as president of Wichita Professional Communicators, I have been thinking about what this organization means to me. I first joined WPC years ago, after being lured to an innocuous holiday mixer by my friend Cindy Kelly. I remember seeing quite a few other mutual friends there — Jennifer Keller, Teresa Veazey, and Jill Miller among them — and noticed that WPC seemed different than other business networking groups I’d been to. I felt welcomed, warmly.
I loved that WPC members had journalism backgrounds, which gives them not only an innate geekiness but also a lifelong curiosity about…everything. Since many members are freelancers or have been freelancers, they are experts at connecting the right people with the right opportunities and don’t blow smoke or mince words about bad ones. They believe that learning doesn’t finish when you leave the classroom but is something that burns within that you stoke like a fire and share with others.
I would like to see WPC draft a mission statement that is a feisty and full of conviction as its membership seems to be. I know Kristin and I are anxious for your help in making this reflect the organization we have evolved into over the years.
– Naomi Shapiro, 2023 WPC President