Many communications people were shocked over the weekend to hear the sad news that Arthur Yann, APR, vice president, PR, for the Public Relations Society of America died suddenly at age 48. It was a tragic turn of events for a person in their prime.
I wanted to add my sentiments.
I knew Arthur professionally, yet his warm personality made me feel like we were friends. I first connected with him when I phoned out of the blue to say that Inside PR wanted to become a PRSA partner and produce content we could both use.
My reasoning was that we were already talking about PR on our podcast and, as active members of PRSA Counselors Academy, Gini, Joe Thornley and I had been sharing our thoughts on the organization for several years. So why not formalize it?
Arthur was open to the idea and saw its potential. We hashed out a plan that started small and ended up with our providing audio and video content for three of PRSA’s signature events in 2012, International Conference, Digital Impact and Silver Anvils. And for that, among other things, we’re grateful to Arthur.
Arthur had many ideas of his own, spoke honestly and ethically, considered all sides of a question and gave a reasoned response. He also had a big personality and enjoyed a good laugh.
And he was supportive and welcoming to Gini, Joe and me. He and his team went out of their way to make us feel a welcome part of the PRSA family.
Like many people, I’ll miss Arthur’s intelligence, quick wit and the twinkle in his eye. He always had an insight to add to any conversation and was a real gentleman to boot.
I join other professionals in wishing Arthur’s family my deepest sympathies. I also want to extend my condolences to his colleagues at PRSA.
Arthur will be remembered. Our profession is diminished without him around.
Note from PRSA: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, June 21 at 10:30 am at St. Thomas Aquinas, 1719 Post Road, Fairfield CT 06824 (meet at church). Burial will be private. Friends and family may call on Thursday, June 20 from 4 to 8 pm at the Cody-White Funeral Home, 107 Broad St., Milford, CT 06460. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in Arthur’s honor to Sofia’s college fund. College America fbo Sofia Yann, American Funds Service Company, PO BOX 2713, Norfolk, VA 23501-2713.