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ePro January edition

Finally, what you've been anxiously awaiting since returning from your holiday vacation: The first edition of the new year of ePRo, the electronic newsletter of the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Houston).

PRSA Houston January 21st Luncheon: Communicating in Critical Environments - Terri Saylor, president and chief operating officer of The Ammerman Experience

Consider this common scenario: an accident occurs at your place of business and the media are hurriedly on their way. What should you reveal when the microphones are directed right at you? On January 21, 2004 , Terri Saylor, who has been contributing to the growth and success of The Ammerman Experience since 1978, will discuss with members and guests of the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) crisis communication skills in critical environments. Saylor will share tools to help professionals sharpen communications capabilities, minimize negative news coverage and ensure that key messages are heard and understood.

Terri Saylor is the president and chief operating officer of The Ammerman Experience with responsibility for strategic planning, finance, sales and marketing and personnel. Her contributions to the growth and success of the company began in 1978 when she began in the business working part-time while studying communications and business administration at the University of Houston and Houston Baptist University . Saylor has traveled both domestically and internationally, advising clients who relied on her expertise in managing many sensitive issues. She advised a school district when a teacher became a suspect in his wife's murder investigation, and she was a member of a consulting team that helped a major religious organization deal with the murder trial and subsequent conviction of one of its parishioners.

PRSA Houston meets the third Wednesday of the month at the Houston City Club at Greenway Plaza . Networking begins at 11:30 a.m. A buffet lunch service begins at 11:45 a.m. , followed by the meeting at noon . Luncheon fees if reservations are made before January 19th at 5 p.m. are $25 for members, $35 for guests and $15 for students. Luncheon fees if reservations are made after January 19 at 5 p.m. , or for walk-ins, are $30 for members, $40 for guests and $15 for students. All "no shows" will be billed. Please bring your check payable to PRSA Houston to the meeting.

To register to attend our next meeting, register online at or call 713-526-1089.

Words From Our President, Dan Keeney , APR:  

Fellow PRSA Members:

This will be an exciting year for PRSA Houston with numerous opportunities for you to strengthen your professional skills, expand your network of professional contacts and get involved in the organization.

I hope you resolve to come to more PRSA luncheons in 2004. They are a great way to meet other public relations practitioners and hear how notable organizations used public relations to accomplish their goals. We meet at 11:30 a.m. on the third Wednesday of every month at the City Club in Greenway Plaza. The cost for members who pre-register is $25, which includes parking.

I think everyone associated with PRSA Houston considers it a priority to attract more participants to our monthly luncheons. For that reason, the chapter's president-elect, Cindy Suggs, APR, is chairing a committee to examine PRSA Houston's monthly luncheon and make recommendations for improvements. Everything is on the table, including location, timing, content of the presentations and our methods of marketing them. If you have ideas, please let Cindy know by e-mailing

We are working harder to collaborate with other organizations when our members benefit from such partnerships. For instance, for the second year in a row, PRSA Houston is co-sponsoring the TPRA Silver Spur and Best of Texas Awards in 2004. All PRSA Houston members can take advantage of the member entry rate, which is a significant savings from the non-member rate. The entry deadline is January 22.

Work on the PRSA Excalibur Awards has begun with co-chairs Clare Jackson and Anne Bryan Peebles, APR leading the way. Clare will be planning and executing the awards event while Anne is spearheading the process of seeking and collecting award entries and having them judged. Of course, in both cases, it's much easier to describe than to do. Both Clare and Anne are seeking committee members to help make the 2004 PRSA Excalibur Awards better than ever. Clare can be reached at and Anne can be reached at

We also are planning major improvements to what has been called Media Day in recent years. First, we are rebranding the all-day professional development conference “PR Day,” to better describe the well-rounded content of the presentations and discussions. PR Day is set for September 22, 2004. Terri Larson, who is chairing the PR Day committee, is working to make the conference more valuable to experienced practitioners while also strengthening the offerings for entry-level communicators. Everyone interested in serving on Terri's committee can e-mail

Finally, in our efforts to make PRSA Houston a better and more member-focused organization, we have hired a firm to professionalize the chapter's administrative functions. We anticipate that Paula Ruth & Company Public Relations, headed by PRSA Houston member Paula Ruth, APR , will bring a new level of administrative and financial excellence to the organization.

** Please note that PRSA Houston's phone and fax numbers and address have changed as a result of this new relationship. Phone inquiries should now be directed to 281-870-1717, faxes to 281-870-9939 and snail mail to the following address.

PRSA Houston
c/o Paula Ruth & Company Public Relations
11506 Del Monte
Houston 77077-6412

As 2004 PRSA Houston president, I consider my role to be that of a leader, problem solver and problem preventor. If you have concerns or frustrations about PRSA Houston or ideas about how we can improve, I want to know about them. Please contact me at or dial 832-467-2904.

Introducing the 2004 Board of Directors and Committee Members

The 2004 leaders of PRSA Houston are a dedicated group, committed to serving and promoting the interests of the communications profession, and enriching the professional lives of every member. Each is volunteering their time to enhance PRSA Houston for its membership, and to this end is interested in your suggestions for improvement. Take a second to familiarize yourself with your PRSA leadership and never hesitate to contact them with ideas. And lastly, a heartfelt welcome goes out to the 2004 PRSA Houston Board of Directors and Committee Members who are working to make this a fabulous year.


Professional Development:
Wendy Burkeen-Ruble, APR

Job Bank:
Jean Gonsoulin
ClearChannel Entertainment

Dan Keeney , APR
DPK Public Relations

Sally Ramsay
Pierpont Communications, Inc.

Cindy Suggs, APR
Tractebel North America Katy

Education & Outreach:
Aaron H. Woods, APR
El Paso Corporation

Member Communications:
Petri Darby, APR
Jenkens & Gilchrist

Holly Hutchins

Web site:
Lisa Martin
Marathon Oil Company

Susan Schmaeling, APR
Susan Schmaeling PR & Marketing

Kris Taylor, APR
Independent School District

Angela McQueen Young
Texas Children's Hospital


Chris Bozman, APR
Shell Oil

Julie Gorling, APR
Gorling Communications

President, Public Relations Foundation of Houston:
Ben Wheatley, ABC, APR
Pierpont Communications, Inc.

Julie Fix, APR
Fix & Associates, Inc. Public Relations

Larry Springer, APR
Enbridge Energy Company


Francisco Agraz
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Jay Edwards
Vollmer Public Relations
Cy-Fair College

Lauren Hammit
Vollmer Public Relations

Clare Sullivan Jackson
Sullivan Group

PR Day Event:
Terri Larson
Planned Parenthood of Houston & Southeast Texas, Inc.

Public Service:
Kelli Newman
Newman & Newman, Inc.

Anne Bryan Peebles, APR
Brookwoods Group

Priscilla Thorne Tinsley

Amy de Masi
PR Newswire

Henry Garcia, APR

Mark Hayden
Hayden Company

Amy Kaiser, APR
TXU Communications

Emily Mir
Centerpoint Energy

Kelly Papinchak
The Brandsoup Agency

Mulit-cultural Special
Interest Group:

Virginia Sanchez, APR
Lopez Negrete Communications

Houston PRSA Congratulates Accredited Members

Being Accredited in Public Relations (APR) is a badge of honor for PR professionals who wish to enrich their high level of skill and proficiency. Recently, three local Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) members have earned APR status from the organization's Universal Accreditation Program, demonstrating the professional knowledge, ethics and experience that set them apart.

Stephanie Dedeaux, APR, has worked at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center as a senior communications specialist since Feb. 2003. She currently volunteers on the pubic relations committee for the Houston Area Urban League and is on the board of directors for University of St. Thomas Alumni Association where she graduated. She has been a member of PRSA since 1997.

Gina Johnson, APR, is a communications specialist with The Williams Companies. A graduate of the University of Houston , she has been involved with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Speakers Committee for a number of years and has won several awards for excellence in the field including an IABC Bronze Excalibur, WICI Matrix Award of Merit and CIPRA for Best Entertainment Campaign. She has been a member of PRSA since 1996.

Linda Hinkle, APR, has worked in PR on both the client and agency side for over 15 years. She is a long time member of PRSA and continues to uphold the values of the profession.

A BIG CONGRATULATIONS go out to all three APR professionals and the Houston Chapter of PRSA. PRSA at large wish them the best in their career pursuits!

Sponsor of January 21st Luncheon

Cardeo ( is a two-day Medical Conference followed by a two-day Consumer Expo whose goal is to educate individuals, families and medical practitioners about the latest in research, technology, lifestyle changes and drug therapies that reduce or eliminate the risk of heart disease.

The Schull Institute Medical Conference (Sponsored by Cardeo)
February 12 & 13, 2004
Reliant Center, Houston

Cardeo Consumer Expo
February 14 & 15, 2004
Reliant Center, Houston

To submit newsletter items of interest to PRSA Houston members, or to offer suggestions to improve the newsletter, please e-mail Lauren Hammit or Jay Edwards:,

Deadline for submitting items for the February newsletter is February 6.

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