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April ePRo - Luncheon Deadline Approaching

Welcome to the April edition of ePRo, the electronic newsletter of the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Houston). Join us each month for great programs, networking and professional development opportunities that can’t be beaten.

April 4 Luncheon: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

The news media''s pursuit of a controversial story that attracts widespread public attention can form public opinions very quickly. The truth and facts are often lost in the heat of a sensational story involving a known public figure or an unfortunate individual caught in the public spotlight.

Join us for the PRSA Houston April 4th luncheon, ''Guilty Until Proven Innocent
,'' and learn from the expert, Joe Householder, about dealing with relentless media in the face of controversy.
Householder, director for Public Strategies Inc., has engaged in these battles for more than 15 years, most recently counseling City of Houston Councilwoman Carol Alvarado during the city employee bonus pay scandal. Prior to joining Public Strategies, Householder served as communications director for U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, successfully navigating the challenging media climates of both Washington, D.C. and New York.
Householder also worked as media relations manager for the Vinson & Elkins law firm, where he helped raise the firm''s profile and provided assistance to both its attorneys and clients. During his tenure there, the firm allowed Householder a one-month leave of absence in order to serve as press secretary for Houston Mayor Lee Brown during a contentious runoff re-election.

Register now:


When: Wednesday, April 4, 11:30 am

Where: Courtyard on St. James Place
1885 St. James Place
Houston TX 77057

Thank you to our sponsors: U.S. Newswire, Schipul - The Web Marketing Company (AV Sponsor) and LifeGift Organ Donation Center

2007 PRSA Excalibur Awards for Excellence

The Houston Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America invites you to participate in the 2007 Excalibur for Excellence Awards Program. This annual competition honors outstanding professional accomplishments in the development and execution of comprehensive public relations programs and individual communications tactics.

Award winners will be showcased at the 2007 Awards presentation and dinner, at which time Gold, Silver and Bronze Excalibur Awards will be presented to talented PR professionals. Additionally, one entry will receive the annual Grand Excalibur Award, an engraved steel sword recognizing the highest professional standards we strive to attain on behalf of our customers, clients, corporations, and shareholders.

Please join the Houston Chapter of PRSA in saluting the best work of the year by entering the 2007 Excalibur Awards and attending the awards ceremony.

Submit Your Entries:

2007 Excalibur Award entries are due by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 11.

Direct questions to: Mike Breslin, APR,, or Michelle McCormick,

Finding Your PR Puzzle

On March 9 -11, top PR practitioners from Texas and beyond came to Houston for the TPRA 2007 Annual Conference, “Breaking the Code: Solving Your PR Puzzle.” The conference had stellar line-up of speakers and professional development sessions and served as the PRSA Houston March luncheon.

Conference Highlights

PRSA Houston President Lisa Martin-Walsh, Lyondell Chemical,  greets PRSA Houston Board member and event chair Terri Larson, Fleishman Hillard, and TPRA President and former PRSA Houston Board member Larry Springer, APR, Enbridge Energy Company,after the joint luncheon in March. 

PRSA Houston Program Chair and Assembly Delegate Aaron Woods, APR, Lyondell Chemical, makes an announcement during the joint March luncheon.

Houston Mayor Bill White spoke to the assembled PR professionals.

Making Career Connections for New Pros

Have you ever wondered how the pros in PR got started?  Want to know their career secrets and work philosophies? What do they REALLY look for from new employees?  What makes or breaks a PR career? Join us as a panel of corporate, non-profit and agency PR professionals address these issues and take your questions!  Panelists include:

  • Sally Ramsay, Senior Vice President, Pierpont Communications
  • Latha Thomas, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • Graham Painter, APR, Executive Vice President, Sterling Bank 


When: Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Where: Greater Houston Community Foundation
4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 100
Houston, TX  77027

Costs: Members - $10 in advance, $15 at the door
Non-members - $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Please register at We hope to see you there!

Houston Communications Alliance Events

PRSA Houston has committed to join the Houston Communications Alliance in the sponsorship of two networking events for public relations professionals. Both events will be at the Courtyard on St. James. The first will be the evening of June 14, and the second will be Nov. 29. Both of these will be functions that begin after 5 p.m. Watch for more information, as these promise to be even more spectacular than the event last year.

Calling all APRs

If you have an interest in chairing a committee for PRSA Houston , we can use your professional talents. Accredited members are needed to chair the Accreditation Committee and the Ethics Committee. We also can use a representative on the Houston Communications Alliance (which does not require an accredited chair). Please contact Lisa Martin-Walsh at or Paula Ruth, APR, at

Satellite Social a Smashing Success 

Thirteen PR professionals gathered for a casual evening of networking, food and drinks at the Goose’s Acre in The Woodlands in late February. This “Satellite Social” was the first to be hosted by the chapter and will be followed later this year with similar events in Kingwood, Katy and Sugar Land.

Some attendee comments included:

“It was fun!”
“Very nice to have these satellite events!”
“I hope we can do a Woodlands group again soon.”
“The event resulted in some business and referral leads - in that respect, it seemed productive.” 

Public Relations Foundation of Houston Announces New Trustees

Susan Schmaeling, APR, has been named president of the Public Relations Foundation of Houston (PRFH) board of trustees. The 2007 PRFH board of trustees are:
  • Alice Brink, ABC & APR, A. Brink and Associates
  • Henry de La Garza, de La Garza Public Relations
  • Sabra Gill, APR, Sabra H. Gill and Associates
  • Susannah Moore Griffin, Sterling Bank
  • Julie B. Fix, APR, Fix & Associates, Inc.
  • Suzanne Lammers, consultant
  • Lisa Martin-Walsh, Lyondell Chemical Co.
  • Mabel Menefee, Halliburton
  • Eydie Pengelly, APR, Eydie Pengelly Marketing Communications
  • Susan Schmaeling, APR, Susan Schmaeling Public Relations and Marketing
  • Priscilla Tinsley, Direct Energy
Formed in 2001 by the Houston Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the Foundation supports educational excellence by helping prepare high school and college students for careers in public relations and communication. The Foundation awards student scholarships and distributes funds to educational programs that support public relations and communication.

In 2006, the Public Relations Foundation of Houston awarded its second $1,000 scholarship to Brittany Philmon, a communications major at Texas A&M University.


Help Wanted: Donations or contact details from Houston’s trendiest spots and services

Help the PR Foundation of Houston make this year’s auction an event to remember. This much-anticipated June happening held during the Excalibur Awards program draws one of Houston’s hippest demographics around – PR, Marketing and Communications professionals.
  • Please contribute the following items or contact details to get them:
  • Golf packages at area courses
  • Tickets to Houston Symphony, Opera, Ballet
  • Concert tickets at Cynthia Mitchell Pavilion
  • Portrait photography packages
  • Certificates to area restaurants, wine bars, clubs
  • Salon and spa packages
  • Sporting goods
  • Electronics (iPods, cameras, PDAs)
Get involved. Get your clients involved. Contact Eydie Pengelly at or 713.467.2718 for more information.

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Houston’s GSUSA Public Relations Interest Project Award Workshop at Moody Mansion, Galveston 

The Houston Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) helps Girl Scouts complete requirements for the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) Public Relations Interest Project Award. These professionals lend their expertise to assist girls to create press kits to publicize themselves, are interviewed about their daily responsibilities and offer girls information to know more about what it takes to prepare a public relations campaign.

Moody Mansion and the Mary Moody Northen Endowment are our generous hosts for this exciting workshop for girls. As an added treat, participants and their accompanying adults (please no tag-a-longs) will enjoy a tour of the Mansion following the workshop.


Who: Cadette & Senior Girl Scouts…YOU!!

Where: The Moody Mansion
2618 Broadway, Galveston, Texas 77550
When: Saturday, April 21, 2007, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Doors open at 9:30 with complimentary drinks and snacks provided by our hostess, Moody Mansion.

Forms to Bring: Completed permission slip (F-204) & medical form (F-185) for each girl. Adults please complete and carry the Adult Emergency Form, (F-22). Please keep in your possession during event. All forms found on the council website or in the forms files in Girl Scout offices.

Cost: $2/girl; Safety-Wise ratio of adults free for workshop. No tag-a-longs, please

Register: Complete a GSSJC Program Registration Form in issues of the council magazine, The Golden Link, or in Girl Scout offices and service center forms files or online or register online using the Activities & Events Online Registration (AERS)

Event Code: 10 63 20 6243

Due Date: Thursday, April 5, 2007

Min/Max: 20/30

General: Melinda Gaskill, 713.292.0232, 800.392.4340, ext. 1232, or
Registration: Theresa Hunter, 713.292.0318, 800.392.4340, ext. 1318 or
Day of event: Kelly Papinchak, PRSA Houston, 713-416-2218 cell

What to Bring: Please bring with you your résumé, pencil or pen, and lunch.

Parking Notes:  Participants may park in the Moody Mansion parking lot accessed off of 27th Street, construction permitting or free street parking.

Feb/March Taste of PRSA Membership Promotion: Extended to 4/14

Save the $65 initiation fee when you join PRSA. Houston Chapter dues are an additional $55. This offer does not apply for Associate members. To join and save $65, new members must go to and indicate promotion code TASTE2007 on the application, or they can fax or mail their application. For more information, please contact PRSA Houston Membership Chairwoman Karen Naumann Blanchard, APR, at or Paula Ruth, APR, at

Group Membership Program

Groups of 10 or more individuals can receive special rates on dues (for the first year) along with other benefits; two of the 10 may be current members rolled in to the group. For more information, please contact PRSA Houston Membership Chairwoman Karen Naumann Blanchard, APR, at or Paula Ruth, APR, at

Find Your Best Employees at PRSA Houston

Job opportunities have been posted on the PRSA Houston Web site at every week. Whether you are adding your first employee or filling a slate of new roles, the PRSA Houston job bank is the best place to find qualified people. After registering on the site, click on “Job Bank,” then “submit a job.”  Payment is generally with a credit card, though checks may also be mailed and invoicing is available upon request for members.

Do People Know What You Do?

Tell them by listing your business in the PRSA Houston Business Directory.  So often we are called for referrals for public relations firms, but if we don’t know what types of clients a firm has, it is difficult to recommend them.  Small firms without large staffs that handle all kinds of clients might especially benefit. People also look to PRSA for information on photographers, graphic designers, printers, research firms and other services commonly used by public relations professionals. For $100, you can advertise your firm for a year on our Web site at Register on the site, if needed, then simply pay with a credit card. 

Be a Luncheon Sponsor in 2007

Thank you to U.S. Newswire, Schipul - The Web Marketing Company (AV Sponsor) and LifeGift Organ Donation Center.who already have committed to sponsor our April lunch, but there are still opportunities to be involved. Our luncheon sponsors make it possible to bring in speakers from around the country, occasionally, and still maintain a break-even luncheon price for our members. Please call Paula Ruth, APR, at 281-870-1717 if you are interested or email her at In return for your $500 at lunch, we offer the following opportunities:
  • Mention in promotional e-mail sent to database of subscribers
  • Mention and text link in ePRo, the PRSA Houston newsletter
  • Text/Logo link on PRSA Houston Web site for one month
  • Ability to distribute materials to all luncheon attendees
  • Table in back of room to talk with luncheon attendees before and after the event
  • Opportunity to speak to the luncheon gathering (no more than 3 minutes)
  • One lunch registration at the President''s table
  • One set of paper mailing labels for all 450 PRSA Houston members or one-time use of electronically provided membership list (if desired).
For larger sponsorships, we can discuss tables.

Sponsorships also are available for other events. We thank Hill & Knowlton Public Relations for stepping forward as the Presenting Sponsor for the Excalibur Awards. We already have been getting inquiries from prospective sponsors for other top sponsorships, some of which are out-of-state, so please commit soon to be in the invitation for the June 21 event.The levels are posted on the Web site.

Welcome to These New Members!

Britney Jackson, writer, Fulbright & Jaworski

Deborah Cerkovnik, area governor, District 56, Division N-20, Toastmasters International

Susan Emfinger, director of corporate communications, Administaff

Michele Freeman, training coordinator, The Ammerman Experience

Member News

Sherri Green has joined Frog Dog Communications as senior writer.

Kimberly A. Paisley is now manager of executive visibility for
Shell Oil Company.

Brook Wootton is now manager of investor relations for Noble Drilling

ePRo is the electronic newsletter of the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Houston), and is a tool for you. Deadline for submitting items for the May newsletter is April 18, 2007. We love hearing your thoughts and news, so send generously to Stephanie Pertuit at

Stephanie Pertuit
(713) 663-0164
Author: Stephanie Pertuit
Phone: (713) 663-0164
Category: newsletter | Sub Category: newsletter