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December ePRo - Ready for the Holiday Mixer?

Welcome to the December 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.

Ready for the Mingle Bells Holiday Mixer?

Get the holiday season started right with PRSA Houston’s Mingle Bells holiday mixer! Instead of our typical luncheon, in December we’ll gather for a festive evening of networking, spirits and fun at Two Hyde Park.
Drop by beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, to celebrate a great year, catch up with your PR buddies or make some new ones. Admission price includes two drinks and heavy appetizers. The event will be catered by The State Grille.
To register for this night of cheery mingling, click here. Thank you to our sponsors Lyondell Chemical CompanyRTS Marketing Research and Two Hyde Park

November Luncheon Recap

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, Gillian Smith, Vice President of Marketing for Teach For America, shared how the organization has used sound marketing and public relations strategies to ignite their explosive growth. Teach for America recently was named one of the 10 places to launch a career by Business Week. Smith described the nonprofit's research into the target market and then how they used that research to zero in on the best and brightest college graduates.
In this photo to the right, Crawford Bunkley, III, APR, ExxonMobil, asks a question during the luncheon. New member Sherry Franke, APR, BMP, ponders what he says.
After the luncheon, Lisa Walsh, Lyondell Chemical, PRSA 2007 President (right) thanked Jackie Whitley of PR Newswire, the sponsor, and Gillian Smith.

Thank You To Everyone Who Participated in the PRSA Houston 2008 Planning Meeting

An excellent group of leaders, interested members and guests gathered to help PRSA Houston plan 2008. The group included both long-time members and new members from a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints.

In this photo, Chris Riepe, RTS Marketing Research, describes the results of the recent membership survey and facilitated the planning session for PRSA

PRSA Houston Announces 2008 Chapter Officers

On behalf of the PRSA Houston Board of Directors, we are pleased to announce the chapter's 2008 Officers:

       President                   Priscilla Tinsley 
       President-Elect           Terri Larson 
       Vice President            Kelly Papinchak 
       Treasurer                    Julie Fix, APR 
       Secretary                   Stephanie Dedeaux, APR

We are looking forward to PRSA's continued success in the new year, and are always looking for ways to make the organization better, stronger and of great value to our membership.  We can't accomplish this without your input and support - and always welcome your ideas and encourage participation.

Leadership and Volunteer Opportunities Available in 2008

While plans are well underway for 2008, there are still many opportunities available to get involved in chapter activities.Opportunities include Membership, Job Bank, Programs, Professional Development, PR Day, Excalibur Awards, New Professionals, and more. If you haven't identified what role you would like to serve—it's not too late!  Feel free to contact Incoming President Priscilla Tinsley at 713-877-3733 or to learn more about the opportunities available.

PRSA Houston Moves to New Location for 2008

The Courtyard on St. James has treated PRSA Houston well.  However, cost increases and the need for a more central location have led PRSA Houston’s Board of Directors to move to the Briar Club, beginning Jan. 9. This move will enable PRSA Houston to maintain the luncheon price at $30 for members.  Valet parking is free, and the Briar Club also offers a large lot across the street for those who prefer self-parking. The facility is located off Westheimer between Wesleyan and Buffalo Speedway. You won’t want to miss the debut in January. Sponsorships are available. Contact Paula Ruth, APR, at 281-870-1717 or

January Luncheon

Not only will the January luncheon be in a new place, the date for this luncheon will be the second Wednesday, Jan. 9, as many companies have holidays on the first Wednesday. In February, we return to the first Wednesday when the luncheon is scheduled for Feb. 6. 

Start Off the New Year by Sponsoring PRSA in the New Location!

Our luncheon sponsors make it possible to bring in speakers from around the country and still maintain a break-even luncheon price for our members. We are delighted to have Lyondell Chemical CompanyRTS Marketing Research and Two Hyde Park as the sponsors of our December holiday party. 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.

Give to the Public Relations Foundation of Houston
A Note from the PRFH Board
Thanks to the support and generosity of many of you and others, the Public Relations Foundation of Houston has taken a leading role in assuring the growth and development of our shared profession. As the education support arm of PRSA Houston, the Foundation’s most recent accomplishment was the awarding of a third student scholarship in 2007. The scholarships have been awarded to area Public Relations Student Society of America members. 

As you plan your year-end giving, consider making the Public Relations Foundation of Houston one of your beneficiaries.  Your contribution may honor an individual or an organization, give special tribute during the holiday season, or simply be part of your year-end giving. 

Gifts to the Public Relations Foundation of Houston are made through the Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF), a fully tax-exempt public charity, which manages the Foundation’s funds.  Checks should be made payable to the Public Relations Foundation of Houston – GHCF and mailed to:

Greater Houston Community Foundation
4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 100
Houston, Texas  77027

If you have any questions, please call Susan Schmaeling, APR, at (713) 349-0780. Thank you for your considering how you can help future professionals pursue their career goals as you promote educational excellence and mentoring in public relations and communications. 

Past PRSA Houston President Ben Wheatley Elected to PRSA Counselors Academy

Ben Wheatley, ABC, APR, senior vice president with Pierpont Communications, has been elected to a two-year term on the Executive Committee of PRSA’s Counselors Academy. Ben served PRSA Houston as President in 2001 and Assembly Delegate 2002-2005.

Founded more than 40 years ago, the 600-member Counselors Academy is a professional interest section of PRSA dedicated to providing principals and senior counselors of public relations firms with the resources to grow their firms and the counseling skills of their people. The 14-member Executive Committee is a volunteer body responsible for operating the organization with the assistance of staff from the PRSA.

Created through considerable talents of its members, Counselors Academy programs encourage networking, peer support and mentoring. Membership is limited to accredited counselors (PRSA or Canadian Public Relations Society) or consultants with 10+ years experience in the profession.

Advertise Your Business in the Business Directory

Pam Francis, owner of Two Hyde Park, recently renewed her business directory listing for Pam Francis Photography. If search engine optimization is important to you, then you’ll want your Web site linked to PRSA Houston at which typically ranks in the top five in searches for “public relations & Houston.” For $100, you get a year of exposure.

Check out the Job Bank
New jobs are posted each week and sometimes filled that fast as well. Check the job bank frequently and respond quickly when an interesting job is posted.

Reminder! Luncheon Policy Change on Nametags

The PRSA Board has approved a policy change. Only the PRSA Houston members who have reservations should have a permanent name badge at the luncheon. All walk-ins will need to use handwritten paper nametags. So, PRSA Houston members have two reasons to register in advance: 1)lower price and 2)permanent nametag available. Of course, we will continue to bill those who do not show nor pay for their reservations.

PRSA Houston Members Turned Out for the
HCA Christmas Party

PRSA Houston members joined in the fabulously successful Houston Communications Alliance Christmas mixer on Nov. 29 at the Courtyard on St.James. It was a great time to meet and network with people from a variety of communications fields. 

Among those seen were (left to right) 2007 Vice President Petri Darby, APR, darbyDarnit; recent transfer from Georgia Andrea Cohen; PRSA Board member and 2007 membership chair Karen Blanchard, APR, Naumann Blanchard,  and former PRSA Houston president Barbara Langham, APR, Renaissance Public Relations.
Others seen included Mike Wysatta, Ryder Scott, job bank chairman.

The Harbor Lights Choir delivered a rousing concert to captivate those attending the Houston Communications Alliance event.

New Members

Andrea Cohen, transfer from Georgia Chapter

Kristal Howard, Stevens/FKM

Hector Carreno, Carreno, McCune & Company (reinstated)

Sherry Franke, APR, BMP (reinstated)

Heidi Brasher, Houston SPCA (reinstated)

Toni Beck, Spectra Energy (transfer)

David J. Roznowski, APR, Lyondell Chemical (transfer)

Kimberly Windon, Shell Exploration & Production

Nalini Vasagam

Member Notes

Linda Hinkle, APR, is now communications manager for University of Houston College of Optometry

Mark Your Calendar

As we approach 2008, we wanted to give you an idea of what to expect from PRSA Houston in the new year.

Jan. 9 - January Luncheon
Feb. 6 - February Luncheon
March 5 - March Luncheon
April 2 - April Luncheon
May 7 - May Luncheon
June (TBA) - Excalibur Awards Event
July 2 - July Luncheon
Aug. 6 - August Luncheon
Sept. (TBA) - PR Day
Oct. 1 - October Luncheon
Nov. 5 - November Luncheon
Dec. (TBA) - Holiday Party

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 January newsletter is December 28, 2007. We love hearing your thoughts and news, so send generously to Stephanie Pertuit.

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