Why PRSA? What I have learned from researching and attending a variety of professional development trainings put on by other professional associations is that PRSA distinguishes itself from others in its vision, tools, training, as well as mentorship and networking opportunities. I have relied on these as valuable elements in my growth as a public relations professional. In pursuing and earning the APR designation, PRSA provided the trainings, tools, and mentees that helped prepare, encourage and spur me on as I gained confidence in applying textbook knowledge to my job. I also made new lifelong friends in the crucible that is “studying to take the APR exam.” It’s now my turn to give back to PRSA and the local chapter!
Craig Balben, APR is a public affairs representative for the San Diego County Water Authority, the wholesale supplier of water to the San Diego region. Balben helps improve the Water Authority’s reputation in the community by improving relationships with external stakeholders through impactful, participatory, and responsive community outreach and communications programs. In his 12-year outreach and communications career at the Water Authority, Balben has worked on a variety of communications and outreach initiatives, managing the award-winning Citizens Water Academy program, which has educated several hundred community and civic leaders since 2014 about water issues in the San Diego region; managing community outreach and communications for large infrastructure projects; providing expertise developing a video production suite to help the Water Authority create its own branded videos; and helping develop and launch the Water Authority’s first mobile app.
In his free time, Balben enjoys giving back to his community. He is president of the board of the North Coastal Prevention Coalition, which works to reduce the harm of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs in the communities of Oceanside, Vista, and Carlsbad. Balben also volunteers at his church, North Coast Church, leading a small group and volunteering in the youth ministry program. Balben graduated from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications. While in school, Balben covered sports for the school newspaper, The New Hampshire, was an intern for a local radio morning show, and worked in broadcast television at New Hampshire Public Television. He also performed freelance broadcast work for live Boston Celtics and Bruins games. Balben enjoys North County life (craft beer, affordable housing options, lots of open space) with his wife, two boys, and dog.
Connect with Craig on LinkedIn and Twitter.