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ePro - April edition

Welcome to the April edition of ePro, the electronic newsletter of the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Houston).  Jump now into the benefits of PRSA membership!  Take part in the luncheons and professional development experiences, and let your membership pay for itself over and over again…


April Luncheon: Using a Well-Defined PR and Marketing Strategy to Help Change Public Perceptions and Meet Challenges Head On

Peter Durkin has been at the helm of Houston’s Planned Parenthood for 20 plus years. In that timeframe, he has witnessed 180 degree changes–in both directions–in the public’s perception of the organization he is charged with running. And during that time, he has employed public relations and marketing strategies to help inform target audiences about the realities and myths, pros and cons, of Planned Parenthood and its mission.

To learn more about the specific reputation management issues he and his team face, and how they have reaped the benefits of utilizing integrated communications campaigns, come to the PRSA Houston monthly luncheon at 11:30 a.m., April 6, at the Courtyard at St. James (1885 St. James Place, between Westheimer and San Felipe).

Details:
WHERE
: Courtyard on St. James
1885 St. James Place (Between Westheimer and San Felipe)
WHEN: Wednesday, February 2, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Register:
For more information or to register, call (281) 870-1717 or go online at http://www.prsahouston.org/en/cev/?116

Sponsors
PRSA Houston’s April program is sponsored by US Newswire.


Don’t Miss This Fantastic Professional Development Event!  April 6 –  Starting Your Own Business: The Nuts and Bolts for Success
 

Are you ready to be your own boss?  Do you know how to write a business plan?  Did you know that most new businesses fail in the first two years, especially if the business owner doesn''t receive adequate guidance?

Can you develop strategies, attract customers, increase sales and improve productivity and profitability?  If you''re already in business for yourself, do you have a plan or know how to successfully market your company?
 
No matter what stage your business is in today, this professional development workshop can help you with your next step.
 
Whether you’re just starting out, experiencing your first growing pains, or want to take your business to the next level, you can access vital business information, education and assistance through the University of Houston'' Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Through the University of Houston Small Business Development Center, expert consultants can give you one on one consulting, helping you work through management, marketing, finance and operational business issues.

On April 6, PRSA Houston will present a professional development workshop specifically geared to those individuals who are considering setting up their own company or who have recently started their own business. James B. Evans, Assistant Region Director for the SBDC will lead the workshop. He’ll be joined during the latter half of the presentation by a panel of talented individuals who are there to answer your questions about what it’s really like to work for yourself and how to make the best use of resources that are available to small business owners.

For more information or to register for the workshop, please visit us online at www.prsahouston.org.


What: "Starting Your Own Business: The Nuts and Bolts for Success"
Who: PRSA Houston
Where: The Courtyard at St. James Place
When: April 6, 2005; 8:30 am - 11:00 am

Breakfast will be provided.


Save the Date! Wear Yellow, Live Strong: Austin''s Champion Charity Comes to PRSA Houston in May

You have likely seen them on wrists of presidential candidates, rock stars, celebrities and Olympians. More importantly, they adorn the wrists of cancer advocates, cancer patients, cancer fighters and cancer survivors. The Wear Yellow Live Strong wristband Campaign was born on a Nike campus and flourishes in Austin, Texas, and all around the world - all for the benefit of the Lance Armstrong Foundation''s (LAF) mission of helping people with cancer live strong.

It is a campaign that has spawned imitation from everyone from the University of Virginia to your local Gap and created a windfall of more than $35 million dollars for the programs of the LAF. LIVESTRONG wristbands have been featured in publications ranging from People Magazine to the Wall Street Journal ... and Lance says he is never taking his wristband off.

Find out more at PRSA Houston''s May luncheon on Wednesday, May 4, when our presenter is Michelle Milford, spokesperson and assistant director of public relations for the LAF. The presentation will include a discussion of the strategy, the tactics and the unforeseen hurdles of the campaign as well as a view from inside a media frenzy. The discussion will also briefly examine the changing brand of the LAF and the challenges and opportunities a PR person faces when your famous namesake breaks a world record.

Thank you to May luncheon sponsors, who are: KHOU-TV, Southwest Airlines and U.S. Newswire.  For more information or to register, visit http://www.prsahouston.org/en/cev/?130.


Public Relations Foundation of Houston to Give First Scholarship

The Public Relations Foundation of Houston (PRFH) will announce the recipient of its first scholarship in May at the PRSA Houston chapter meeting. This recipient will be a communication/public relations student at the University of Houston, Texas A&M University or Sam Houston State University, and will receive a $1,000 scholarship to further his or her studies in communication or public relations.
 
Formed by PRSA Houston''s board in 2001 with an initial seed grant, PRFH has grown its scholarship funds through silent auctions, a professional development fundraiser last November and individual donations. Chapter members and guests will have an upcoming opportunity to contribute to PRFH through its silent auction held in conjunction with this year''s Excalibur Awards on June 9.
 
PRFH was formed to support educational excellence by helping prepare high school and college students for careers in public relations and communication. The group will award student scholarships and distribute funds to educational programs that support public relations and communication.
 
Members of the PRFH board include: Frank Agraz; Chris Bozman, APR; Alice Brink, ABC, APR; Beverly Freeman, APR (Vice President); Sabra Gill, APR (Treasurer); Mabel Menefee (President; Sally Ramsay; Susan Schmaeling, APR (Secretary); Cindy Suggs, APR; Ben Wheatley, ABC, APR; and Aaron Woods, APR. 
 
For more information on PRFH, contact Mabel Menefee at (281) 261-6168.

chapter meeting. This recipient will be a communication/public relations student at the University of Houston, Texas A&M University or Sam Houston State University, and will receive a $1,000 scholarship to further his or her studies in communication or public relations. Formed by PRSA Houston''s board in 2001 with an initial seed grant, PRFH has grown its scholarship funds through silent auctions, a professional development fundraiser last November and individual donations. Chapter members and guests will have an upcoming opportunity to contribute to PRFH through its silent auction held in conjunction with this year''s Excalibur Awards on June 9. PRFH was formed to support educational excellence by helping prepare high school and college students for careers in public relations and communication. The group will award student scholarships and distribute funds to educational programs that support public relations and communication. Members of the PRFH board include: Frank Agraz; Chris Bozman, APR; Alice Brink, ABC, APR; Beverly Freeman, APR (Vice President); Sabra Gill, APR (Treasurer); Mabel Menefee (President; Sally Ramsay; Susan Schmaeling, APR (Secretary); Cindy Suggs, APR; Ben Wheatley, ABC, APR; and Aaron Woods, APR.   For more information on PRFH, contact Mabel Menefee at (281) 261-6168.chapter meeting. This recipient will be a communication/public relations student at the University of Houston, Texas A&M University or Sam Houston State University, and will receive a $1,000 scholarship to further his or her studies in communication or public relations. Formed by PRSA Houston''s board in 2001 with an initial seed grant, PRFH has grown its scholarship funds through silent auctions, a professional development fundraiser last November and individual donations. Chapter members and guests will have an upcoming opportunity to contribute to PRFH through its silent auction held in conjunction with this year''s Excalibur Awards on June 9. PRFH was formed to support educational excellence by helping prepare high school and college students for careers in public relations and communication. The group will award student scholarships and distribute funds to educational programs that support public relations and communication. Members of the PRFH board include: Frank Agraz; Chris Bozman, APR; Alice Brink, ABC, APR; Beverly Freeman, APR (Vice President); Sabra Gill, APR (Treasurer); Mabel Menefee (President; Sally Ramsay; Susan Schmaeling, APR (Secretary); Cindy Suggs, APR; Ben Wheatley, ABC, APR; and Aaron Woods, APR.   For more information on PRFH, contact Mabel Menefee at (281) 261-6168.The Public Relations Foundation of Houston (PRFH) will announce the recipient of its first scholarship in May at the chapter meeting. This recipient will be a communication/public relations student at the University of Houston, Texas A&M University or Sam Houston State University, and will receive a $1,000 scholarship to further his or her studies in communication or public relations. Formed by PRSA Houston''s board in 2001 with an initial seed grant, PRFH has grown its scholarship funds through silent auctions, a professional development fundraiser last November and individual donations. Chapter members and guests will have an upcoming opportunity to contribute to PRFH through its silent auction held in conjunction with this year''s Excalibur Awards on June 9. PRFH was formed to support educational excellence by helping prepare high school and college students for careers in public relations and communication. The group will award student scholarships and distribute funds to educational programs that support public relations and communication. Members of the PRFH board include: Frank Agraz; Chris Bozman, APR; Alice Brink, ABC, APR; Beverly Freeman, APR (Vice President); Sabra Gill, APR (Treasurer); Mabel Menefee (President; Sally Ramsay; Susan Schmaeling, APR (Secretary); Cindy Suggs, APR; Ben Wheatley, ABC, APR; and Aaron Woods, APR.   For more information on PRFH, contact Mabel Menefee at (281) 261-6168.

Excalibur Entry Deadline Fast Approaching

Want recognition for your outstanding work from your peers? Don’t delay – enter PRSA Houston’s Excalibur Awards. The regular deadline is Wednesday, April 13, and the late deadline is Tuesday, April 19. The call for entries is posted on PRSA Houston’s Web site – click on Excalibur Awards.  So get those entries polished off and submit those babies! 


PRSA Houston Extends Appreciation to Volunteer Judges

Many thanks to all who helped make the judging of PRSA South Carolina’s chapter entries a success:

Paul Babb, APR; Betsy Ballard, APR; Ann Brimberry; Melanie Brenneman; Wendy Burkeen; Susan Burnell, APR; LaVonne Carlson; Matthew Dillingham; Dawn Dorsey; Sharon Dotson, APR; Laura Frnka; Dina Gustin; Terri Hebert; Dana Hoyland Lee; Anne Lupton; Shelli Manning; Sam Paul; Mari Pillar; Paula Ruth, APR; Cindy Shanley; Michelle Stephenson; Stacey Williams; Melissa West; and the University of Houston PRSSA chapter.

What Happened to the Nametags?

If you have been to a PRSA luncheon lately, you may wonder what happened to the permanent nametags.  The change may have been subtle, but PRSA introduced a new logo, rendering all of our current nametags obsolete, in addition to those that are missing because of members who have changed employers or perhaps left a meeting still wearing one.  Rather than spend over $3000 to replace name tags with our current supplier, the board has been considering other options.  We would like to find a reasonably priced alternative that will enable us to make the names larger for more effective networking.  Meanwhile, please be patient while we use paper, which carries the benefit of speeding check in.

Members:  Post Your Internship Opportunities Online for FREE!

Area students are searching for internships. Do you have one at your organization? If so, put the chapter Web site to work to find the perfect intern. The cost to post an internship on the Houston PRSA Web site is free for members and $25 for non-members for a 90-day listing. Listings appear in the Job Bank section of prsahouston.org in two places:   Job Bank Listings and Intern Openings. Go to Submit an Internship to post your opportunity.

Contact Internship Committee Chair Shelli Manning at (713) 275-5031 or smanning@menninger.edu if you have any questions.

PRSA Houston Job Bank

April showers may bring May flowers, but checking out the PRSA Houston Job Bank listings will offer you a virtual bouquet of exciting employment opportunities.  Don’t delay -  to view the current listings simply go to www.prsahouston.org and click the Job Bank button. 

Questions? Contact Susan Schmaeling at saspr@swbell.net.

PRSA Houston Member News

Welcome New Members!
PRSA Houston extends a warm and inviting welcome to all of our newest members:

  • Holly A. Beretto of the Greater Houston Partnership
  • Erin Blatzer of the Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • Lindsey Brown of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
  • Cheryl P. Donlin  of Tin Horse Public Relations  
  • Debra Ford of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
  • Meg Laidlaw of Calpine Corporation
  • Mindy Nichols of the University of Houston Downtown
  • Roger H. Smith of the Houston Airport System
  • April K. Young of the Greater Houston Partnership

PRSA Houston congratulates Gayden Cooper, who is Regional Public Relations Manager for Lyondell Chemical Company.

 

PRSA Houston Seeking Nominations for 2005 Legacy Award

As PRSA Houston gathers at the annual Excalibur Awards this summer to honor a year''s worth of professional accomplishments, the chapter will also honor a lifetime of professional achievement with the 2005 Excalibur Legacy Award.

Chapter members are encouraged to nominate a colleague, mentor or role model who exemplifies the highest ideals of professional public relations practice.

Candidates for the Legacy Award should meet the following criteria:

  • Candidates should be a PRSA member and either a current or former PRSA Houston Chapter member. The award may be given posthumously.
  • Candidates should have at least 25 years of experience in public relations.
  • Nominations should demonstrate the candidates leadership and expertise in the field of public relations through:
  1. Outstanding service to his/her company, community, organization or educational institution
  2. Outstanding service to PRSA Houston
  3. Honors, awards and recognition, accreditation
  4. Advancing the body of knowledge and public image of the profession through teaching, writing, speaking, mentoring and/or PRSA volunteer/leadership positions.

Former Legacy Award Winners:
2004: Will Osterloh, APR, Fellow PRSA
2003: Gayle McNutt, APR, Fellow PRSA
2002: Sabra Gill, APR, Fellow PRSA
2001: Tom Stewart, APR, Fellow PRSA
2000: Ralph Frede, APR, Fellow PRSA
1999: Jim Hart

Nominations and a brief rationale (no more than two pages) should be submitted no later than May 15 to:

Dan Keeney, APR
DPK Public Relations
1209 Kings Brook Dr.
Southlake, Texas 76092

dan@keeneypr.com   
214-432-7556

Your Favorite ePro Special Section: Press Primer with Melanie Brenneman

Welcome to Press Primer, where we devote time to the professors of pickup – the media themselves.   April’s Press Primer spends time with Darian Ward, a broadcast professional, media consultant and motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience in radio and TV.  Most recognize her from her work as weekend news anchor/reporter for Fox Network affiliate KRIV-TV Channel 26.  Recently, Darian branched into the literary world with the publication of her book (co-written with husband Byron Nichols, a photographer with KPRC-TV), “How to Catch a Mate with the Right Bait.”

From a news anchor''s point of view, what''s the biggest mistake an interviewer can make?

The mistakes include not being confident and knowledgeable about your company
or the topic. Be enthusiastic when necessary and authoritative, yet personable. Take special care with hair, makeup, clothes and jewelry - understated is best.

What is the best way to prepare for an interview?

Practice, practice, practice makes the difference. Practice the answers to the hard questions as well.  You should practice in the mirror with a list of questions. Listen to your delivery and look for the physical ticks. I also work with a top media trainer to help polish company spokespeople. Sometimes it takes a critical, independent eye to get the best results.

Make sure you are familiar with your company''s mission, goals, new products, etc. Check the paper and Internet to see if there are any related current events of interest.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for Press Primer, please e-mail Melanie.

Houston Area Pros Win In TPRA Silver Spur/Best of Texas Contest

The results of the judging are final.  The awards have been given.  So, congratulations are due to Houston area PR pros who have new Texas Public Relations Silver Spur (program) and Best of Texas (tactics) trophies in their offices.  In lieu of listing each PR winner in this space, see the List of Winners on TPRA''s Web site, www.tpra.com. 

Out there Job Hunting?  Don’t forget the “Perfect Ten”:

10 Steps to a Successful Interview

  1. Prepare: read about the company, think through some possible questions – an answers – beforehand.
  2. Arrive on time. 
  3. Introduce yourself in a courteous manner; remember to have solid – but not piercing – eye contact.
  4. Have a firm handshake. 
  5. Listen.
  6. Use body language to show interest. 
  7. Smile, nod, give nonverbal feedback to the interviewer. 
  8.  Ask about the next step in the process. 
  9.  Thank the interviewer. 
  10.  Write a thank-you letter to anyone you have spoken to. 

 

"Why Doesn''t My Old Resume Work Anymore?"

If your last job search prior to 2001, you may be in for a rude awakening.  You might be surprised to find that your old resume, which worked well for you before, is no longer attracting employers, headhunters and corporate recruiters.  If you wondered, "What am I doing wrong?" it might not be you-it''s probably your resume.

There are three reasons your old resume may not be working for you:
* Drastic increase in competition
* Changes in technology
* Changes in your industry


Drastic increase in competition
Increased candidate competition is the #1 reason your resume is no longer working.  While current employment outlooks are marginally brighter, competition is still so high that your resume must be able to stand out against a mountain of candidates.   The best way to enhance your competitive standing against other job seekers is through strong accomplishment statements.  Accomplishments are most effective when:
* They illustrate your transferable skills
* They show your contribution to corporate bottom-line objectives
* They are stated quantitatively

If you are confused about how to state your accomplishments effectively, consider hiring a professional resume writer.  Correctly written statements will make your accomplishments shine-and you''ll be more likely to land those critical interviews.

Changes in technology
Is your resume ready for the high-tech world?  Probably not, if you are still snail-mailing or faxing your resume to potential employers.  Are you willing to take a chance on your resume being tossed, just because you didn''t take the time to prepare your resume for an electronic audience?

With dramatic increases in the number of resumes received, many employers have invested in software to manage resumes and candidate responses.  It is entirely possible that a computer, not a person, will be the first one to screen your resume.  The electronic eye is much more objective than the human eye; it scans only for industry-specific terminology and keywords in qualifications and responsibilities. 

Here are some critical questions to ask about your resume:
* Does it contain the right keywords to put you in the "interview" pile? 
* Will new resume software be able to read its formatting correctly? 
* Will your tables, fonts, and graphics transmit properly in an online resume form-or will they disintegrate into unreadable symbols? 

You can give your old resume a real boost by investing in the services of a professional resume writer who understands the pitfalls of our electronic job market.  Whether your resume needs a brush-up or a complete rewrite, it''s well worth the investment to make sure your name makes it to the top of all candidate lists. 

Changes in your industry
If you are still just tacking your most current job onto the same old resume, then your resume probably contains a lot of old terminology and buzz words.  If so, it will make you look outdated-even over the hill.  It may also fail to be recognized by software that uses keywords to retrieve the best resumes.              

If you''re feeling out-of-step with your industry, it may be time for a checkup with a career coach who can help prepare you and your resume to stand up to the challenges of your industry''s changing trends.  Bottom line: if your old resume isn''t winning the attention of employers, then it''s time to ask yourself, "How much is my old resume costing me in wasted time and effort?"

An investment in professional resume help could mean the difference between months of fruitless effort-and landing the perfect new job.  A new, better resume built on strategies that are suited to today''s job-search challenges may be just the edge you need to get you noticed and get you hired. 

Article submitted by: Deborah Walker, CCMC, Resume Writer - Career Coach.  To see resume samples and read more job-search tips visit www.AlphaAdvantage.com or e-mail Deb@AlphaAdvantage.com. 

Tell us What You Do!  Advertise in the Business Directory!

Each month, the PRSA Houston office receives requests for public relations help in specific areas as well as questions about translation services, photographers, graphic designers, printers, video suppliers and freelance writers.  Helping our members (and others who visit the site) find answers to these questions is the networking advantage of the Business Directory.   This month Bayou City Public Relations and The Writing Workshop became the  latest to advertise here.  Check out their ads at www.prsahouston.org

This exposure is open to all relevant companies for the low price of $100/year.  Logos can be uploaded, and the site can be linked to yours.  Lisa Martin of RBC Mortgage, the board member responsible for the web site, has been very patient helping anyone with difficulties.  Please support our advertisers, and help us help you by posting your firm as well.

Another Great Month: PRSA Houston Did March in Style

Alex Lopez Negrete described the ups and downs of his career and what it takes to make a successful business for those who attended the March luncheon.  Among his key points were 1) you can learn something from every job and 2)running your own successful business consumes a life  3) hire good people and 4)once you delegate a job, let the person you hired do it.  Most people said Alex was perhaps the most informative speaker PRSA has had in a while.

Anne Peebles and Chris Bozman of Shell Oil Company were sponsors of the March luncheon with Alex Lopez Negrete, along with Sterling Bank.

Susannah Moore Griffin, communications manager of Sterling Bank, sponsored the March luncheon too.

PRSA Houston Board member Wendy Burkeen of KHOU-TV Channel 11 gave a tour of the station''s studios to about 20 New Pros members.  She talked about her career at the station and her responsibilities, including partnering with many organizations. 

Mari Pillar (right) of Golin Harris presented a certificate to PRSA board member Wendy Burkeen of KHOU-TV Channel 11 at the chapter''s March 17 event which included a tour of KHOU studio, newsroom and facilities and a discussion about the types of causes KHOU supports.

Call for Entries for the annual American Marketing Association Crystal Awards

The Excellence in Marketing Award will be awarded to those select entries deemed by the judges to be true examples of marketing excellence. Winners will be recognized at the AMA New Orleans Awards Banquet in June.  The deadline for entries is April 5, 2005.  Winners will be recognized at the 19th Annual AMA Crystal Awards, which will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in the Legends Ballroom on Wednesday, May 18, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.  The address is 2222 West Loop South, Houston, Texas  77027  For more information, visit their Web site at: http://houston.marketingpower.com/content19910.php.  

Sponsorship Opportunities Available!

PRSA Houston thanks Shell Oil Company and Sterling Bank for sponsoring the March luncheon featuring Alex Lopez Negrete.  U.S. Newswire will sponsor the April luncheon, and KHOU-TV, U.S. Newswire and Southwest Airlines will
sponsor the May luncheon. 

We are now booking sponsors for the rest of the year.  Wouldn''t you like to be part of these coming luncheon opportunities?

April 6:  Peter Durkin, president & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas
May 4:  Michelle Milford, associate director, The Lance Armstrong Foundation
August 3:  United Way of Gulf Coast CEO Jackie Martin

For $500, PRSA Houston offers the following benefits:
* Logo/name and a link to sponsor web site PRSA web page related to event
* 50-word or less description of firm on PRSA Web site
* Sponsor recognition on all communications for event 
* One complimentary seat at President''s table
* Link to sponsor''s web site included in e-mail communications related to the event
* Acknowledgement from podium at event
* Opportunity to display signs/brochures at event table
* Labels of our 450 members, if desired
* Opportunity to do a raffle for attendees at event through collection of business cards at display

If your company would like to be linked to the movers and shakers of Houston, please call (281)870-1717 or email Paula Ruth. These sponsorships help PRSA to offer outstanding programs to members at reasonable prices.  If mailings are planned for the luncheon, the sponsor will receive the added benefit of inclusion on the mailing, though not every luncheon promotion includes a mailing.

Discounts are available for sponsoring multiple luncheons.  Opportunities also are available for PR Day and the Awards Program. Call (281) 870-1717 for more information.

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 20, 2005.   We love hearing your thoughts and news, so send generously to lhammit@bcm.tmc.edu.


Lauren Hammit
(713) 798-7595
(713) 798-7413
Author: Lauren Hammit
Phone: (713) 798-7595
Fax: (713) 798-7413
Email:
Category: newsletter | Sub Category: epro