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ePro January edition

Welcome to the January edition of ePro, the electronic newsletter of the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Houston).   This new year for PRSA Houston is truly going to be an exciting one.  Join us each month for great events, fun and professional development opportunities that can’t be matched.

February 2 - PRSA Houston Presents Political Commentator Rich Galen

What do you get when you cross a political “hack” with a philosopher?  According to many, you get Rich Galen, author of www.mullings.comand frequent guest on Fox News and CNN.  Most recently, Rich returned from a tour of Iraq at the request of the White House.  While his stay was supposed to be for about eight weeks, it lasted six months.  His mission? To bring the message of the positive aspects of what the coalition is doing in Iraq back to America.  In the world of public relations, this task in many minds would be daunting to say the least.  To hear Rich discuss this as well as his many other roles – which have included being press secretary to Dan Quayle and to Newt Gingrich – join PRSA Houston's monthly luncheon on Wednesday, February 2.

And guess what else?
Time Warner is offering a prize worth $1200 to some lucky winner in attendance.

Gittings Photography, Halliburton, Multivision Inc. and Time Warner are early sponsors for this event, though other sponsors are still needed.  Please call (281) 870-1717 to lend your  unique support.


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.

For more information or to register, call (281) 870-1717 or go online at

2005: Your Year for Accreditation

It’s time to take the step. You’ve written PR plans, thoroughly researched issues before acting, and you never complete a project without evaluating its effectiveness.  You have the experience behind you to earn those three distinguished letters… APR.

This year, solidify your qualifications and be confident in your advice to executive leadership because your accreditation will speak for itself.  To get started, register for the one-day examination preparation workshop, slated for Saturday, Feb. 19, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Houstonian Hotel.

Led by Julie Fix, APR, the one-day seminar will cover the examination process and many of the test topics: research, plan writing, communications theory, business literacy, etc.

“We have so many potential candidates in our chapter, but the top excuse we hear is that candidates have very limited time to prepare,” says Amy Kaiser, APR, co-chair of the Accreditation committee, “This one-day seminar is perfect for those candidates who are interested in learning more about the exam, and it replaces the former seven-week course. It also serves as a great refresher course for skilled practitioners who wish to brush up on their skills.”

An additional perk for those attending will be the affordable registration fee of $50 for members and $75 for non-members. This seminar is a great value for training dollars, and the class is open to any who wish to attend, although seats are limited.  Register online at



Make 2005 the year that you achieve a milestone in your career.  Earn your APR!

Call for PRSA Foundation Board Nominees

PRSA Foundation President Ben Wheatley extends an invitation to PRSA to support PRSA's philantrophic arm by serving on the PRSA Foundation board.  Foundation funds are used to provide academic scholarships to PRSSA students at the University of Houston, Sam Houston University and Texas A&M University.  Nominations will be accepted until January 24, 2005.  For more information on responsibilities and duties, contact Ben Wheatley, APR, ABC at (713) 627-2223.

2005 Silver Spur/Best of Texas Awards Call for Entries Available

Houston PRSA Chapter members just one week remaining to meet the entry deadline for the 2005 Silver Spur/Best of Texas Awards.  However, Julie B. Fix, APR, who manages the contest for the Texas Public Relations Association, has once again offered her private courier service.  If you can get your entries to her on Thursday, Jan. 20, she'll take them to the judging.  Contact her at or (281) 494-6097 if you need her assistance.The PRSA Houston Chapter is again partnering with TPRA to sponsor the contest.  Chapter members may enter at the "member" rate and the chapter will receive a share of the contest proceeds.

members just one week remaining to meet the entry deadline for the 2005 Silver Spur/Best of Texas Awards.  However, Julie B. Fix, APR, who manages the contest for the

Entry deadline for the 2005 competition is fast approaching: 5 p.m. Jan. 20, 2005.  Silver Spur and Best of Texas Awards will be presented at the annual awards banquet on Saturday, March 5, 2005, at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Dallas.  The banquet is a featured event during TPRA's Annual Conference, March 4-6.  Find details on the conference at

The Silver Spur/Best of Texas Awards Competition is the only statewide contest for Texas public relations practitioners and recognizes excellence in programs, projects and tactics.

For more information, e-mail or contact Julie B. Fix, APR, at (281) 494-6097.

PRSA Houston Member News

With the new year comes changes, and among them are promotions for three chapter leaders.  Assembly Delegate Larry Springer is now Manager, Public Affairs for Enbridge Energy Company.  Board member Priscilla Tinsley has moved to Direct Energy as Media Relations Manager, and board member Lisa Martin has moved on to become Marketing Communications Manager for RBC Mortgage.  Be sure to let us know of your changes, as they happen.

Welcome New Members!
PRSA Houston proudly welcomes new members Melanie Mahaffey with Baker Botts, LLP, and Lloyd C. Conley of 30th Space Wing Public Affairs.

PR Day 2005 – Request for Proposals and Spanking New Developments

The PR Day Planning Committee is currently accepting proposals for presentations at PR Day 2005.  Descriptions and forms are available online at  Suggested topics include: PR and Cultural Diversity, PR on a string (cost savings), International PR, Blogs, Strategic investor relations knowledge, Trends of PR, Internal Communications, Measurement and PR for small businesses.

Proposals are due by February 15, 2005.  Currently, confirmed speakers for our September 14, 2005 event include:

  • John Sturtevant - reprising and expanding his extremely popular Writing Workshop. He’ll offer two sessions –one basic and one advanced - for PR Day 2005.  (
  • Terry Hemeyer – addressing crisis management. He currently teaches communications management for The University of Texas and crisis communications for the Rice MBA program, while serving as Managing Director of Corporate Communications at Service Corporation International.
  • Ann Iverson – sharing her 35 years of marketing and communications experience with an in-depth look at branding and PR. (

PRSA Houston Remembers Industry Great: Ralph Frede, APR Fellow

With our deepest sympathies, we convey to you the passing of Ralph E. Frede, APR Fellow, on Jan. 1, 2005.  He was 83.  Ralph was president of PRSA Houstonin 1966 and is known throughout for his substantial and career-wide contributions to the industry. Ralph is survived by his wife of 58 years, Martha, and 4 daughters and their families to whom we express our condolences.

Ralph had received the highest honors of PRSA nationally (including both Silver and Golden Anvils), and Houston PRSA's Legacy Award, as well as the Golden Spur of the Texas Public Relations Association.  As vice president of public affairs for Baylor College of Medicine from 1970-89, he continued to be one of the Chapter's staunchest supporters.  He is perhaps best known for his strong convictions about integrity in public relations and is considered one of our most influential leaders.  Shortly after his retirement, the Houston Chapter of PRSA endowed a scholarship in his name at the University of Houston.  Many in Houston public relations will miss him.

For those who choose, contributions may be made to the Ralph Frede Endowed Scholarship at University of Houston, c/o Office of Development, 400 E. Cullen Building, Houston, TX  77204-2013 or to another scholarship that has been established at the University of Texas or to St. David's church Foundation where he was a director or to the Alzheimer's Association of Austin.
Arrangements are handled by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 N. Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX  78705, (512) 452-8811.  Memorials and guestbook online at

A Fantastic Time was Had By All at PRSA Houston’s Holiday Event and Leadership Recognition Luncheon

Sally Ramsay of Pierpont Communications, vice president of PRSA Houston, presents a leather computer briefcase to outgoing president Dan Keeney, DPK Public Relations, at the December luncheon.

Outgoing treasurer Holly Hutchins, along with all the board members, assembly delegates and committee chairs present, received a multi-tasker desk clock/pencil holder as gratitude for being leaders in PRSA Houston for 2004.  Holly rolls off the board after many years of service to PRSA Houston.

Kris Taylor (left) of Katy ISD, immediate past president of PRSA Houston in 2004, rolls off the board.  With her is Kelly Papinchak of Schipul Technologies, who leads the New Pros Committee and is the PRSSA liaison for the Chapter.

Baby Boomers, Beware!  Don’t Let Your Resume Date You!

If you’re a job seeker of the Baby Boom generation, you may be feeling a little left out by the job market.  You’re certainly not ready to retire, but the young recruiters you send resumes to don’t seem to respond to your skills and experience.  If you’re feeling symptoms of age discrimination, you should know that your resume could be the culprit, categorizing you as out of date and over the hill.

There are three ways your resume can put you in the over the hill category.  Your resume is due for an update if it contains:
1. Outdated technology skills
2. Outdated industry or occupational terminology
3. Outdated resume trends

Don’t despair if your resume is out of date.  You can perform an extreme resume makeover by using the tips below.

Make sure you are up to date on your industry’s technology.

Check multiple job descriptions within your industry to see what technologies employers really want.  Determine which technologies are missing from your resume.  Then decide what you need to learn or do in order to fill that technology gap.  Consider adult education classes, college classes, or even online learning.

You should be aware that technology terms are often used as keywords to filter the best resumes from electronic databases.  If your resume doesn’t have them, it may never be seen.  Make sure your technology skills aren’t leaving you behind.

Make sure your resume is using current terminology.

If you have just been adding to the same old resume over the years, then your early entries may be using outdated terms.  One way to bring your resume up to date is through publications from your industry’s professional associations.  If you don’t belong to any professional associations, you might be missing out on the latest industry-speak. 

Another good resource is job descriptions.  Search job descriptions in your field for recurring terms.  Learn to use the current terminology for your industry correctly and effectively.

Make sure your resume reflects today’s trends in resume format and style.

Ten or fifteen years ago, the old-fashioned reverse-chronological format may have worked for you.  But now that you have more experience, it may not be the best choice.  The more advanced hybrid format may be much better at promoting your skills and expertise, providing you with a more professional presentation.  With the hybrid resume, potential employers will form an impression of you based on your best accomplishments, not just your most recent job description.  You should also realize that some of the old resume rules just don’t apply any more.  For example:

  • “Limit your resume to one page.”  This is a really old idea that limits your ability to show all of your skills and expertise.
  • “End your resume with References Available Upon Request.”  You don’t need to say that; it’s assumed.
  • “You should show every job you have ever held and give each equal importance.”  Your employment history should only go back as far as it related to your current employment objectives.  Think of your resume as a marketing piece that highlights the best parts rather than as a tell-all.
  • “Your resume should go back no more than ten years.”  Don’t use an arbitrary number to determine how much to include on your resume.  Use the rule of relevancy to decide how many of your jobs to include.
  • “One resume should handle everything.”  Not anymore!  In addition to tailoring your resume to different fields or industries, you’ll also need to tailor the way that you save it. 

You’ll want to have (1) a standard Word format (for printouts and as email attachments), and (2) a Plain Text version for online forms.  This will save you a lot of time in repairing lost formatting, which often occurs when cutting and pasting a Word document into a text-only form.

Let your experience work for you rather than against you.  Using these tips to update your resume can make a noticeable difference in interest from employers.  And your new resume will be a better reflection of your hard-earned skills, talents, and expertise.

By: Deborah Walker, CCMC, Resume Writer ~ Career Coach
To see resume samples and read more job-search tips visit


Our Gratitude for Luncheon Sponsors!

Our thanks to Stevens/FKM for their sponsorship of the January luncheon featuring Ken Hoffman of the Houston Chronicle.  It is not too late to add your sponsorship to the Feb. 2 luncheon with nationally recognized speaker, Rich Galen.  For $500, we are offering 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 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 one of the most talked-about programs the Chapter plans to offer, please call (281) 870-1717 or email Paula Ruth at  These sponsorships help PRSA to offer outstanding programs to members at reasonable prices.


.  These sponsorships help PRSA to offer outstanding programs to members at reasonable prices.

PRSA Houston & The Chron’s Ken Hoffman Exchange War Stories

Program chair Mark Hayden makes introductions.

Houston Chronicle’s Ken Hoffman hams it up for his PRSA audience.

Ken Hoffman tells of his most painful moments as a celebrity at the January luncheon sponsored by Stevens/FKM.

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 February newsletter is January, 19 2005.   We love hearing your thoughts and news, so send generously 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