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ePro February edition

Welcome to the late-February edition of ePRo , the electronic newsletter of the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Houston). Dive in and let us know your thoughts!

Save the Date for 2004 Excalibur Awards for the Houston Chapter

Houston is full of talented PR pros with exceptional work, and the opportunity to showcase it is just around the corner. Keep an eye on your e-mail and on the PRSA Web site this month for the 2004 “Excalibur for Excellence Awards” Call for Entries.

Ink us in to your calendar for June 17. With a location like hot, hot, hot Hotel Icon and a title sponsor like GCI-Read Poland, this year''s Excalibur Awards ceremony is not to be missed. Details to follow…

Judges Needed for Knoxville ''s 2004 Excalibur Awards -- Saturday, April 3

Are you planning to enter the 2004 Houston Excalibur Awards, looking for fresh ideas from another market, or needing to earn a few extra points for your accreditation? Well, here''s an opportunity to do all three.

We need Houston Chapter members to donate their time on Saturday, April 3. It will be a great opportunity to mingle with peers and see what the chapter who will be judging OUR awards considers to be top-notch work.

We''ll provide additional information, as we get closer to the event.

To volunteer to judge or to be on the 2004 Excalibur Awards committee, please contact Anne Peebles at 713-241-1584 or

How To Create Award Winning Excalibur Entries

University of Houston Professor Julie Fix and Grand Excalibur winner Eydie Pengelly have the 411. They will be hosting a seminar on March 17th, designed to provide the dos and don''ts of award-winning Excalibur entries. The seminar will be immediately following the monthly PRSA luncheon. Mark your calendar.

Mentor Match Program

PRSSA students the Sam Houston State, Texas A&M and University of Houston chapters have expressed interest in being matched with PRSA Houston mentors in 2004. As schedules are busy, any time you can make available to help students as they complete their studies would be most appreciated. For more information, and to receive a mentor match profile form, please contact Kelly Papinchak at or 281-497-6567 Ext. 508.. Additionally, any members who are interested in speaking at PRSSA meetings and/or workshops, or serving on the PRSSA Liaison Committee, may also contact Kelly.

Volunteer Participation Committee:
Volunteer Corner

If you have an Excalibur Awards volunteer need, or are interested in joining one of the PRSA committees, please e-mail Emily Mir Thompson at

PRSA Houston Member News

Get a “Taste of PRSA” during the newest membership promotion!

Join PRSA in February and March and save money in PRSA''s Taste of PRSA program. PRSA Houston had the first two members join under this nationally offered program which waives the $65 initiation fee and gives the new member a $20 voucher toward PRSA''s professional development programs or books and gift items offered through the new PRSA store. This offer is good for those joining as full members at $225 annual dues. Sorry, Associate members are not eligible. Remember to join the Houston chapter as well to get the most from your membership. Special applications are available at or from Paula Ruth at in the Houston Chapter. Be sure to mention TASTE 2004 to receive the special offer.

Blazing Trails

Petri Darby, APR recently launched a freelance writing business to provide Houston corporations and agencies with creative and corporate communications services. His business, darbyDarnit, can be found online at Petri also is the PR/Marketing Manager for Jenkens & Gilchrist law firm, a contributing writer for Htexas magazine and a PRSA Houston board member.

PRSA Houston Welcomes New Members:
PRSA Houston welcomes:

Robert Wright
Director of Communications
Texas A&M System

Alix Biondo
Client Planning Manager
Marion Montgomery, Inc.

Clare Jackson
CEO Sullivan Group

Elvera Makki

Paula Smead

Jaryl Strong
Internal Communications Advisor Shell Oil Products Company

Internships and Interns Wanted!

The PRSA Internship Committee is actively seeking both available interns and internship opportunities for the fall and spring semesters! Please visit the PRSA internship bank to submit or view listings at

Questions? Comments? Please contact Nicole Kennedy at

PRSA Houston Corporate SIG Web Initiative

Efforts are currently underway to increase registration in one of PRSA Houston''s professional development offerings, our Professional Special Interest Groups (SIGs). This web effort was created to increase value for members of the Corporate Professional Interest Group, and offers three main features in its inaugural state:

1) A Help! Discussion Board
2) Research Central
3) Writing a PR plan, by Ferne Bonomi, APR

To access the site, go to PRSA Houston site, select “About Us”, then “Professional Interest Sections”, then “Corporate.”

Jim Lukaszewski To Headline PR Day 2004

We all know that PR pros should have a seat at the decision-making table. But, how exactly do you get to, and keep your seat at, the table? It''s all about strategy – and becoming a strategist or strategic advisor is that slightly mysterious element that will elevate many a PR professional to a higher status in the workplace.

Mark your calendars now! PRSA has called him a “strategist''s strategist” and “one of the field''s leading strategists.” Jim Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, has agreed to appear as a presenter at PR Day (formerly known as Media Day) on September 22, 2004 . His topic will be “How to Develop The Mind of A Strategist.” Lukaszewski will also welcome senior-level practitioners during a private reception to be held during PR Day – more details to follow!

The PR Day committee has been working to secure speakers for the event. Those who are already “on board” include Donna Anderson, APR; John Sturtevant (Sturtevant Partners); and Myra Jolivet (most recently handled PR for Bill White''s mayoral campaign). Jeff Cohen, Executive Vice President and Editor of the Houston Chronicle has agreed to serve as keynote speaker.

This year''s format will include breakout sessions in the morning and afternoon. We will also bring back an old favorite, closing the day with a Media Roundtables session.

Phil Chrzanowski (Phil Chrzanowski Design) is providing pro bono graphic design services for PR Day. A nationally recognized graphic designer, Phil specializes in design for advertising, marketing and corporate communications. Check him out online at Business Wire is providing distribution services for all pre-event press releases.

Anyone interested in serving on the PR Day committee should contact Terri Larson at

Renowned CEOs Among TPRA 50th Anniversary Conference Guest Speakers

Two dynamic CEOs -- Red McCombs and Bill Greehey -- will be among the speakers for Texas PRoud!," the 50th Anniversary Conference of the Texas Public Relations Association (TPRA), Feb. 27-29, at the Adam''s Mark Hotel on the River Walk in downtown San Antonio.

McCombs, CEO of McCombs Enterprises and owner of the NFL Minnesota Vikings, will open the conference at a luncheon Friday, Feb. 27. "Who Said PR Is Not Personal?" will be his topic. His appearance will bring together not only TPRA but also the San Antonio chapters of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), International Association of Business Communicators and the Association of Women in Communications.

Greehey, CEO of Valero Energy Corp., will discuss "Valero''s Caring and Sharing Spirit -- The Cornerstone of Valero''s Success" at the Public Relations Foundation of Texas luncheon Feb. 28. Under Greehey''s leadership, the San Antonio firm has grown into the largest independent refining company in the U. S., with 21,000 employees and revenues of $30 billion. Fortune magazine has named Valero one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America .

The first conference session is for early arrivals on Friday morning and will be led by TPRA Life Member Jim Haynes, partner in QuickSilver Interactive Group Inc., of Dallas , who will conduct a pre-conference refresher course on the practice of PR. Julie Fix, a PR consultant based in Sugar Land , also will speak.

After McCombs'' luncheon presentation, the professional program will continue Friday afternoon and Saturday with speakers representing Dell Corp., Anheuser-Busch Entertainment, Toyota , Clear Channel Communications, H-E-B, Krispy Kreme, Creative Civilization, Southwest Airlines and other companies and PR agencies.

Saturday will start with breakfast roundtable discussions on PR topics and conclude with breakout sessions including one led by Jerry Dalton, former national president of PRSA, for practitioners representing nonprofit organizations.

Students from campuses across the state will be able to interact with the pros during the conference as well as attend a special young professionals mixer and a resume/portfolio review.

The Friday evening social event at the Buckhorn is billed as a night of relaxin'', reminiscin'' and boot scootin''. Saturday night''s Silver Spur/Best of Texas Awards Banquet will celebrate "Silver Spurs and Golden Years", as statewide awards for PR excellence and individual TPRA honors will be presented.

A Leap Year brunch Sunday morning featuring motivational speaker/humorist Tony Brigmond will close the meeting, said Bob McCullough of San Antonio, APR, conference chairman. More conference information is available at or by calling (800) 525-0405.

2004 District Conference News

The 2004 PRSA Southwest District Conference is scheduled for March 25 and 26 at the Harvey Hotel in Irving . It will offer PRSA Houston members a rewarding professional experience. While the coordinators are currently finalizing the speakers for the conference, it will feature numerous professional development workshops, important general session speakers plus exciting social and networking events. More details regarding the conference will follow in the coming weeks and will be posted online at

PRSA Southwest District Conference

March 25-26, 2004
The Harvey Hotel

4545 W. John Carpenter Freeway
Irving , TX 75063

EPRo is the electronic newsletter of the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Houston). Deadline for submitting items for the April newsletter is April 6. Send to

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