2000 Alexander Hamilton Medal Winner
Betsy Ann Plank
Betsy Plank Public Relations
As both a woman and as a public relations professional, Plank has achieved a career of firsts. She was the first woman to be elected president (1973) of the Public Relations Society of America, the first person to receive both of PRSA’s top honors – the Gold Anvil and the Lund Award, and the first woman to be elected Professional of the Year by Public Relations News, which also named her one of the world’s 40 outstanding public relations leaders in 1984.
She is also the only professional to have served as president of all four of Chicago’s communications organizations.
Plank began her public relations career as executive vice president and treasurer of Daniel J. Edelman Inc., an international public relations counseling firm. She joined the Bell System in 1973, later becoming director of public relations planning for AT&T before going to Illinois Bell, where she was the first woman to head a company department, directing external affairs and a staff of 102.