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ePRo - August Edition

Welcome to the August 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. Deadline for submitting items for the September newsletter is August 25, 2006.  We love hearing your thoughts and news, so send generously to Stephanie Pertuit at

August Luncheon: Toughest Job in PR

Hold onto your hat... no, pick up the phone and make your reservation for our second annual "Toughest Job in PR Luncheon" in August!

Soaring gas prices, oil industry profits, executive compensation and retirement packages. Who has the toughest job in PR? We could take a vote, but our friends in the oil business are sure to win this year. Grab a chair while you still can for the
PRSA Houston luncheon on August 2. Find out how the PR pros from ExxonMobil tackle the toughest part of our jobs, protecting and defending the reputation of our companies during good times and bad. You won''t want to miss this one featuring Mark Boudreaux, Media Relations Manager with ExxonMobil Corporation.

Call soon, as the house is sure to be packed for this special annual luncheon. Both
Shell and ExxonMobil have already bought tables for the event.


Wednesday, August 2, 11:30 a.m.

Where: Courtyard on St. James

Register: Visit or contact Paula Ruth, APR, at (281) 870-1717.

Sponsors: Many thanks to our sponsor for this event, ExxonMobil. Entertainment Effects is the AV Sponsor for the luncheon.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Paula Ruth, APR, at or (281) 870-1717.

PR Day 2006: Expect the Unexpected – Plan! Prepare! Execute! Evaluate!

Effective communications and public relations is a fine combination of art and science. PR Day 2006, hosted the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, brings together a roster of speakers and presentations that exemplify the power of effective communications when professionals, “Expect the Unexpected: Plan! Prepare! Execute! Evaluate!”

This day-long event Thursday, September 21, at the Double Tree Allen Center will focus on the importance of plotting a course for achieving communications goals.

Topics covered in this year’s sessions range from a case study on building an internal communications program from the ground up to changes faced by communications professionals and businesses as the dominant mainstream media loses its hold on mainstream America.

PR Day 2006 will also provide the opportunity to network with Houston-area media and other individuals working in the public relations, media and communication fields.

Links to a complete list of sessions and registration information can be found online at

Opening Session: Tom Hoog, senior counselor to the chairman at Hill & Knowlton, Inc. will share his forecast for the public relations profession. His topic, “Challenges to the Profession, Opportunities for the Professional” will highlight the challenges ahead and what communications professionals can do to prosper and elevate the profession in the eyes of clients and business partners.

Luncheon Speaker: During his time in office, Houston Mayor Bill White has dealt with several unexpected challenges. He will share his insights as he looks back one year later at the aftermaths of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, making the luncheon a must-attend for the event. Mayor White was honored, with Harris County Judge Robert Eckels, as CEO Communicator of the Year at the Houston PRSA Excalibur Awards in June.

Keynote Session: David Grossman, APR, ABC, president and principal thought partner, David Grossman & Associates, will present “Making the Most of Leaders Through Effective Leadership Communications.” David Grossman & Associates is a boutique communications consultancy that helps leaders and teams tell their story from the "inside out" and deliver measurable business results. David is a nationally recognized business strategist and communications consultant, having worked with management at Fortune 500 companies and other leading organizations for more than 20 years.

Current PR Day sponsors include: 
A&E-The Graphics Complex, Bacon’s, BusinessWire, VCI Group, MediaLink, U.S. Newswire and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Volunteers for this committee are welcome and needed! For more information about PR Day 2006, contact PR Day Chair Stephanie Dedeaux, APR, at 713.563.0000 or

July Luncheon: Lessons from the Masters

Last month, PRSA Houston had a special panel discussion with some of the Houston area’s most distinguished and experienced PR professionals.

In this photo from the event, PRSA Houston President Sally Ramsey, Pierpont Communications, greets former PRSA Houston presidents and panelists Gayle McNutt, APR, Fellow PRSA; Graham Painter, APR, Sterling Bank; Sabra H. Gill, APR, Sabra H. Gill & Associates, and Tom Stewart, APR, Fellow PRSA after the July luncheon. The group shared war stories and career advice for young and old. Thanks to our panel for sharing their more than 125 years of combined experience with PRSA.

Presentation from the Texas Public Relations Association

Graham Painter, APR, senior vice president of Sterling Bank and president of Texas Public Relations Association, presents a check to PRSA Houston President Sally Ramsay for $1261.62. This amount represents PRSA Houston''s share of the proceeds from the TPRA awards competition conducted earlier this year.



Presentation from the PRSA Foundation

PRSA Houston President Sally Ramsay, Pierpont Communications, (left) presents a check for $6,080 to the Public Relations Foundation of Houston President Mabel Menefee as the gross proceeds of the silent auction held at the Excalibur Awards program. The auction was chaired by Susan Schmaeling, APR, Susan Schmaeling PR and Marketing, a board member of the foundation as well as Assembly Delegate.

Coming this Fall

October Luncheon:
Oct. 4, Dr. Richard Murray on "What''s in Store for the November Elections," Courtyard on St. James.

November Luncheon: Nov. 8, James Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, "Risk Mitigation: Building & Maintaining Community Trust," Doubletree Hotel, Downtown.

To sponsor either event, please call Paula Ruth, APR, at 281-870-1717.

Nominating Committee Formed

At the July board meeting, the board approved a Nominating Committee to
select candidates for the coming elections. Past President Cindy Suggs,
APR, Universal Weather & Aviation, chairs the committee and is joined by
Wendy Burkeen, APR, KHOU-TV Channel 11, Julie Fix, APR, Fix & Associates, and Aaron Woods, APR, Lyondell Petrochemical. If you would be interested in standing for election to the
PRSA Houston board or as an Assembly Delegate, please contact one of these people.

According to the bylaws, an Assembly Delegate must be accredited and have served on the board for at least one year. The bylaws also require that the slate of candidates be announced at the August meeting and that nominations may be accepted from the floor at that time.

Participate in PRSA Houston''s Girl Scout Job Shadowing Program in July and August

Brought to you by PRSA’s New Professionals Group

Due to the success of PRSA Houston’s PR Interest Project Award workshops with the San Jacinto Council of Girl Scouts (which has merged with the South Texas Council of Girl Scouts), the team is pleased to add a new dynamic to the initiative -- the Girl Scout Job Shadowing Program.  Close to 100 young ladies between the ages of 11 and 17 have participated in the workshops this past year to learn more about a career in public relations. Now, they are ready to see the professionals in action -- and even take on a few tasks of their own. 

We need you to show them how it''s done! Join
PRSA Houston in hosting a Girl Scout, ages 11-17, at your place of work for one day this summer -- take her to meetings, have her try her hand at a press release, introduce her to your teams, join in a brainstorm or challenge her to whatever unpredictable day lies ahead… after all, that''s what PR is about!

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council now serves 64,000 girls in 25 counties. Give back to the public relations profession and the community by volunteering to allow a local Girl Scout to join you at your place of work!

Interested? Let us know! We''ll assign a Girl Scout to meet at your place of work on a day that is convenient for you.  She''ll arrive on the designated day at 9 a.m. and finish her day by 4 p.m. We’ll contact you in advance with all of the details.


Who: Cadette & Senior Girl Scouts … and YOU!

When:  Designated Day Now through August 11, 2006; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

For more details, contact Cheyenna Brehm, PRSA Houston’s New Professionals Group, 713.627.2223 or

The Power of Two

The Power of Two program is a partnership between global PRSA and the American Red Cross started after September 11. Through it, public relations practitioners become involved in the Red Cross mission to provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. PRSA members are serving their communities as media spokespersons, communication strategists, writers and more.  Some have become members of Rapid Response Teams, answering media questions during times of crisis. Others have taken a leave of absence from their daily responsibilities and deployed to provide public affairs support on large-scale disaster relief operations. In fact, it was through this program that PRSA Houston volunteers were called to participate in the Joint Information Center during the Labor Day weekend following hurricane Katrina.
The Power of Two program trains public relations practitioners in disaster relief communication and enables accredited practitioners to earn maintenance credits. Jamie O''Roark, Linda Hinkle, APR, and Paula Ruth, APR are among those from
PRSA Houston who trained in this program.

For more information or to become involved as a Power of Two volunteer, contact  Margaret O''Brien-Molina Service Area communicator at or 713- 313-4709. Or contact Russell Hubbard, Deputy Director Communication, Greater Houston Area American Red Cross, at or 713- 313-1649. You can learn more about Power of Two volunteers by visiting the national PRSA Web site (watch for Power of Two to scroll by in the PRSA News Box) and by reading the most recent Power of Two newsletter on the RedCross Web site (look in the Volunteer Services Spotlight Box).

Invest Your Dollars in Your Profession!

Thank you to ExxonMobil for sponsoring the upcoming Aug. 2 luncheon featuring their own Mark Boudreaux. They also are buying a table. Rising to the competition, Shell plans to fill two tables at this month''s meeting.

Sponsorships are available for every
PRSA Houston luncheon. While PR Day has its own set of sponsorship offerings, we are looking for sponsors for the Oct. 4 luncheon featuring Dr. Richard Murray on What''s in Store for the Elections? at the Courtyard on St. James. In November, Jim Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, will present a half day seminar and luncheon, Nov. 8, on Risk Mitigation: Building and Maintaining Community Trust.

Our  sponsors make it possible to bring in speakers from around the
country, and still maintain a break-even luncheon price for our members.  To purchase a table for the Aug. 2 luncheon or be a sponsor at any luncheon, please call Paula Ruth, APR, at 281-870-1717 or email her at In return for your $500 sponsorship 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 three minutes)
  • One lunch registration at the President''s table
  • One set of paper mailing labels for all 430 PRSA Houston members or one-time use of electronically provided membership list (if desired).
  • If you should choose to sponsor more than one luncheon in a calendar year, the sponsorship price for two luncheons is $900, three times is $1,200 and four times is $1,400. These multiple luncheon sponsorships do not include special events such as PR Day.

Save the Date: "Meet the Media" Event
Scheduled for August

How do you make the media work for you? What stories capture their attention? Is any publicity good publicity? Knowing who to contact and when is essential for any media relations campaign. The New Pros are helping others become pros at building relationships with the media and getting stories covered by hosting a “Meet the Media” event on Thursday, August 24, 6:30 p.m. Join us as a panel of well-known names in the local media answer a wide range of questions from our members. Media representatives will be on hand to give their thoughts on how you can get the most out of your media relations efforts. General topics to be discussed may include:

  • Deciding what kind of coverage you want
  • Finding the news angles for your stories
  • Preparing for coverage and its consequences
  • The basic elements of a news release


Thursday, August 24, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Location to be announced.

Sponsors: Many thanks to our sponsors for this event, FortBendNow and BusinessWire. The food sponsor for the event will be the Dessert Gallery.

Check the PRSA Houston calendar of events for more details.  The location of the event will be announced at a later time.

New Pros Mix and Mingle at the Scott Gertner Skybar

PRSA Houston’s New Pros group recently gathered at the Scott Gertner Skybar for good times and good cheers! The mission of the New Pros group is to support PRSA Houston chapter goals while providing new professionals with opportunities to expand their knowledge of public relations through networking and professional development. Be sure to join us for our next social in September!

Pictured from left are Justin Breaux, Colin Berthalt of Market Wire, Suzanne Lammers of Nevada Gold & Casinos, Emilee Vieira Fontenot, Kelly Papinchak of
Sterling Bank, Dara Pollicoff of the Literacy Council of Fort Bend County, Chris Lopez of the Greater Greenspoint District and Eric Herrera of Vollmer Public Relations.

Welcome to These New Members!

Patricia M. Chandler, Pate Engineers, Inc.

Jacqueline LeDay-Gonzaque, Covenant House Texas

Amanda H. Sallee, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

Marion Young, Laerdal Medical Corporation

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