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ePro - July edition


Welcome to the July edition of ePro, the electronic newsletter of the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Houston).  Join us for a summer-FUL of events and learning experiences!

July Monthly Luncheon: “From Xer to Boomer To Geezer: Generational Differences in the Workplace”

I hope that every public relations practitioner has an opportunity to hear this presentation. Chris De Santis portrays the generations side-by-side in a way that one immediately sees parallels within one''s own company or client organization. This talk will alter how you approach key audiences. It did so for me.” – PRSA Houston member Sally Evans, APR. 

This month, we have Christopher P. De Santis, a consultant in Management & Organization Development Design and Delivery, flying in from Chicago to talk to PRSA about generational differences in the workplace.  Ipsos Insight has agreed to sponsor the July luncheon...thank you! 

Now more than ever, one is likely to find as many as four generations in the workplace. And each generation brings its own set of skills and talents – and baggage – to the table. Regardless of where you are in the age continuum, learning how to gain the most from one another’s attributes and best deal with our differences is what Christopher De Santis is all about.

He has special expertise in dealing with generational differences in the workplace, applying the principles of Emotional Intelligence to leading, executive coaching and the application of a variety of instrumentation including multi-rater feedback to develop and enhance performance, and how to develop and leverage long-term relationships in the selling process.  He also teaches and has a depth of knowledge in facilitation, listening and platform skills developed through his work experiences and background in the theater.

Courtyard on St. James
1885 St. James Place (Between Westheimer and San Felipe)

Wednesday, July 6, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

To Register:
For more information or to register, call (281) 870-1717 or visit

Congratulations to New APRs!!

APR is a mark of distinction for public relations professionals who demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice.  They are selected based on broad knowledge, strategic perspective and sound professional judgment.  PRSA Houston APR chairs Amy Kaiser and Aaron Woods, APR, are proud to present Scott Scheffler, APR, external communications specialist with Marathon Oil, and Dennis Winkler, APR, president of Winkler Public Relations, as Accredited Professionals following their successful completion of the APR examination process. The designation “Accredited in Public Relations” signifies a high professional level of experience and competence, and Scott and Dennis personify that distinction.

The Houston Chapter will schedule its next study course in the Fall, but there is no excuse to keep you from preparing for the examination now. Please visit for complete information about preparation tools, facts, and procedures for taking the Accreditation exam.  Contact Amy or Aaron if you have additional questions. 

Scott Scheffler, APR, (left) external communications specialist with Marathon Oil, and Dennis Winkler, APR, (right) president of Winkler Public Relations, are newly accredited professionals and members of PRSA Houston.


So, The Excalibur Awards Pretty Much Rocked…

Many thanks to all who attended the PRSA Houston Excalibur Awards on June 9, 2005, and to our sponsors. I''m sure you''ll join me in commending Excalibur committee chairs Bill Zander of Texas Children''s Hospital and Kristin Pacheco of Sullivan Group for an absolutely fantastic event.  Congratulations you two..and Congratulations to all winners!

In particular, Guy Brown, APR, PRSA Houston president in 1987, was the recipient of the 2005 Legacy Award.  Wendy Hall was recognized as Public Relations Professional of the Year for her work with Halliburton.  Kelly Papinchak, communications director of Schipul--The Web Marketing Company, earned the Young Public Relations Professional AwardThe Grand Excalibur Award was presented to Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, L.P. and practitioners Scott Scheffler, APR; Stan Sehested, Christy Lee and Kammy Reece for "The Medallion Awards."

And speaking of winners…the Silent Auction benefiting the Public Relations Foundation of Houston raised over $5,000 to be used for education.  The Chapter''s congratulations to Sabra Gill, APR, and her committee of volunteers for organizing and leading this super, successful auction.   This amount is double the amount previously raised.  The Foundation appreciates the generous donations and the spirited bidding.  Great items - 63 in all - were available to the highest bidder.  Many items were one-of-a-kind.

The complete winner''s list is available at

Photos from the event are now available online, thanks to Robert Allred Photography!  Look for them here:

To download an order form and prices for photo prints, please visit

Additional copies of Excalibur awards or corrections may be ordered by completing the Excalibur Awards reorder form no later than July 29.

Excalibur Awards Can Be Reordered
Attention Excalibur Award winners: If you would like to change the award copy or order a duplicate, you can receive a framed certificate for $50. A free correction is available if the award copy does not match the copy on your entry form. The deadline for reorders is July 29. Visit and click on Excalibur Awards to complete the order form.  

Awards not picked up at the Excalibur ceremony may be retrieved at the July 6 luncheon.


Thank you Excalibur Sponsors!

It would not have been possible to have such a remarkable event without GCI Group, our presenting sponsor for the 2005 Excalibur Awards, and King''s Court sponsors Lopez Negrete Communications and Vollmer Public Relations.   We are also thankful for our inkind sponsorsArt Attack, Graphique, Page/International, Sullivan Group, Evigna, Robert Allred Photography, Catch the Moment Photography, Staging Solutions, Downtown Aquarium and Businesswire. We also would like to thank PR Newswire as the dessert and coffee sponsor.

And a serious muchas gracias goes to those who supported the Knights of the Roundtable: Texas Children''s Hospital, Shell Oil, Port of Houston Authority, Pierpont Communications, Tessada & Associates and Baylor College of Medicine.  Finally, thanks to those who donated or purchased auction items for the PR Foundation of Houston.

Excalibur Award entrants: Please Check Binders
If you picked up a stack of binders during the awards banquet, please check to make sure that you did not accidentally pick up an entry from Pierpont Communications. They are missing an entry, “The Libyan National Oil Company is Open for Business.” If you find the entry, please e-mail Bill Zander.

Watch Your E-mail: PRSA Bylaw Election Now in Play

PRSA Houston''s Board of Directors seeks your vote on two proposed chapter bylaw amendments.  The election, currently ongoing through the chapter''s Web site, requires that one-third of the membership cast a ballot.  So please respond to this important email.

The proposed amendments would eliminate the requirement that the chapter''s Assembly Delegates be accredited.

"The 2004 PRSA National Assembly amended PRSA''s national bylaws to eliminate accreditation as a requirement for Delegates, and the PRSA Houston Board of Directors strongly supported the change," Chapter President Cindy Suggs, APR, said.  "Our views on this issue were based on the consensus that accreditation is an extremely valuable experience that further underscores one’s knowledge of and dedication to our profession.  However, the board also recognizes that there are many outstanding PRSA members with leadership potential who would be excellent assembly delegates, and that accreditation should not be part of the scorecard that is used when determining a member’s eligibility to serve in this capacity.  And obviously, if the Houston PRSA bylaws changes are approved, it would further ensure alignment of the local chapter bylaws with that of PRSA National.”

"Your vote on these amendments is important," Suggs added.  "The nominating committee will work in July to prepare a slate of candidates for our 2006 board, so it will be critical for the nominating committee to know if non-accredited members can be considered for Assembly Delegate positions."

Amend Article III - Membership Section 6. Rights and Privileges of Membership:

  • Change from: The right to serve as an Assembly Delegate or Alternate Delegate is limited to accredited members who have served at least one year as a Chapter officer or board member.
  • To:  The right to serve as an Assembly Delegate or Alternate Delegate is limited to accredited members or members who are serving as a Chapter officer or board member.

Amend Article V - Board of Directors Section 3. Assembly Delegate:

  • Change from:  The Assembly Delegate(s) shall be accredited and shall serve as the Chapter''s representative(s) at the meetings of the PRSA Assembly and shall be elected by the Chapter membership for a three-year term in accordance with provisions of the Bylaws of the Society.
  • To:  The Assembly Delegate(s) shall serve as the Chapter''s representative(s) at the meetings of the PRSA Assembly and shall be elected by the Chapter membership for a three-year term in accordance with provisions of the Bylaws of the Society.

PR DAY 2005... Breaking New Ground: PR Tools for Changing Times - Free Stuff and Discounts

The landscape of public relations is constantly evolving and we are less than two months away from breaking new ground and looking at PR tools for these changing times.  On September 14, PR Day 2005 will give you fresh PR direction and advice, networking with fellow professionals and one-on-one time with working media.

On-line registration is available through the PRSA Web site for this full-day professional development conference. There is an early registration discount of $15 off all packages if you sign-up for PR Day at either the July or August PRSA monthly meetings - you will get $15 off any type of registration - full-day, half-day, Luncheon-only and the Masters'' Breakfast.

And now for the free stuff: during each of the July and August luncheons, a drawing will be held to award one free full-day pass for PR Day 2005, which will be September 14 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown.  You must attend the monthly meeting to be eligible.

The PR Day 2005 speaker''s lineup is headlined by James Arnold, APR, Fellow PRSA, who will lead us in exploring the differences in being a leader vs. being a manager, and how PR and communications strategies can make or break your company.  He is joined by a list of PR professionals speaking on topics ranging from web logs and branding to PR on a small budget. Conference favorite John Sturtevant is back this year with his popular writing workshop, and Tony Wyllie of The Houston Texans leads a luncheon panel, Proving PR Value, which includes several senior PR leaders from Houston-area companies.

Special thanks to PR Day 2005 sponsors:
Printing Sponsor: CenterPoint Energy,
Conference Notebook Sponsor: Aquent,
Additional Sponsors: A&E Graphics, Bacon''s, Burrelles Luce, Business Wire, Enbridge Energy Company, Inc, MediaLink, Piland Design, PrimeZone, PR NewswireRoadShow Media, Schipul - The WebMarketing Company, The Hauser Company, US Newswire, and VMS.

To register for PR Day, or for more information including Sponsorship opportunities and a complete speaker lineup, visit us online.

The Communications Committee Needs You!

You’re a member, you like the feeling of being part of something.  You like feeling productive, maybe you want to get a bit more involved in a manner that comes naturally to you…consider helping to promote the great organization that you’re part of, PRSA Houston.  The Communications Committee is responsible for a lot of easy, fun projects like event promotion and ePro, PRSA Houston’s monthly newsletter, and needs volunteers to help spread the word about the cool things that the Houston chapter is up to.  Join fantastic committee members Liza Kayyal of Marion Montgomery Inc. and Yadira Gonzalez of GolinHarris Houston, and help get this show on the road.  We’d love to have you.  Contact Lauren Hammit to get onboard.

Use Your Member Benefits!

Attention all PRSA members!  On page 3 of the Professional Development Resources Guide for Summer 2005 that arrived in the same bag as your June issue of "Tactics," find a coupon worth $35 off any national PRSA July or August teleseminar registration fee.  This offer is not transferable.  Any member registering by credit card will be charged $35 less with the coupon, or if you are mailing a check, you will simply pay $35 less.   Of course, if you are not a member, you may become a member online at or pick up a form at the luncheon.  Angela Young, membership chair, can answer your questions, or you may call (281) 870-1717.

Give Yourself a Bonus in July and August and Save $20

Members and Associate Members:  Join a Professional Interest Section during July and August and save $20 off the first year dues of $60, and pay just $40 instead. Membership in a Section gives you access to networking and learning opportunities in your specific practice area. Whether you were a member of a Section in the past, have never been a member of a Section, or are a member of one (or more) now, you can take advantage of this offer to join a Section.

Choose from:  Association/Nonprofit, Corporate, Counselors Academy (special requirements, dues are higher), Counselors to Higher Education, Educators Academy, Employee Communications, Entertainment and Sports, Environmental, Financial Communications, Food and Beverage, Health Academy, International, Independent Practitioners Alliance, Military and Public Safety, Multicultural Communications, Public Affairs and Government, Strategic Social Responsibility, Technology, and Travel and Tourism.

To join a Section, visit:  (Note: the form will display the full dues rate but when you join a Section in July or August, you will only be charged $40).  This offer is limited to one bonus-priced section per member. Offer may not be used for renewal of an existing section membership. Bonus cannot be used if renewing online.  For more information about Sections visit Networking Groups at

New Pros: Find Your Future - Tips for Successful Job Hunting, Sponsored by Business Wire

So you know how to pitch a company, but do you know how to pitch yourself? From looking for your first job to updating your resume, Cristina Tolpo has advice for you and your blossoming career!

Please join PRSA Houston''s New Professionals Group for a professional development session on Thursday, June 30, 2005 at GolinHarris Houston from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Use the parking garage entrance between 1330 and 1360 Post Oak Blvd., and park in the section labeled “guests”.  Enter the building through the glass doors marked "1360" and follow the walkway to the lobby. Check in at the desk and proceed to the 18-25 floor elevator bank, then take the elevator to Suite 2020.  The main number for GolinHarris is (713) 513-9560 if you have any questions.  You also may call committee member Holly’s cell phone on the day of the event: (713) 828-6619.  Additional information found here:

PRSA Houston to Help Girl Scouts Earn Girl Scouts of the USA Public Relations Interest Project Patch
Interest Project Encourages Girl Scouts ages 11-17 to Learn About the Public Relations Profession

The Houston Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is helping local Girl Scouts in the San Jacinto and South Texas Councils earn the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) interest project patch in public relations.

The Public Relations Girl Scout Award Project is sponsored by PRSA Houston’s New Professionals Group, which supports public relations practitioners who are in the first five years of their careers.

To earn the GSUSA Public Relations Interest Project Patch, Girl Scouts are required to complete activities entitled Skill Builders where they create press kits to publicize themselves, interview public relations practitioners about their daily responsibilities and role-play pitches as a spokesperson for a favorite cause.

Girl Scouts also are required to complete one or more service projects before earning the GSUSA Public Relations Interest Project.  Such projects include volunteering to help a local organization publicize its services to the community or writing an article for media placement.

“PRSA Houston is committed to educating our community about the importance of our profession. We welcome Girl Scouts to learn as much as they can from our members and to consider public relations as a profession,” said Cindy Suggs, PRSA Houston Chapter President.

PRSA Houston’s New Professionals Group will coordinate requests to interview PR professionals to assist Girl Scouts with the different activity categories, which include:  Skill Builders, Technology, Service Projects and Career Exploration, to earn the Patch.

Girl Scouts who want to earn their GSUSA Public Relations (PR) Interest Project Patch (page 104 in Girl Scouts of the United States of America’s Interest Projects for Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts) are invited to contact PRSA Houston New Pros Community Service Liaison Cheyenna Smith at (713) 627-2223 or, or visit

PRSA Houston Member News

Congratulations to members who are making changes and moving up ladders.  Scott Scheffler, APR, is external communications specialist for Marathon Oil, Angela Young is new employee communications manager at Continental Airlines, Ira Perry is at the Holocasut Museum and Mari Pillar is account executive for GolinHarris.

Welcome, New Members! 
We’re so glad to have you…

  • Camille Bryan of Locke Bryan Productions, Inc.
  • Christy W. Lee of Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP
  • Kim S. McClung of Brookshire Brothers
  • Kim L. Murray of SABIC Americas, Inc.
  • Lorrie Oaks of Wells Fargo
  • Michael B. Rosen of Air Liquide
  • Rochelle Rucker of Texas Southern University

Public Relations Foundation Awards Scholarship

Texas A&M student Lacey Barlen was awarded the first Public Relations Foundation of Houston scholarship at the Public Relations Society of America-Houston Chapter Excalibur Awards June 9 at the Downtown Aquarium.

Barlen received her undergraduate journalism degree in May and will return to A& M in the fall to pursue a master’s degree in human resource management and will serve a second term as the PRSSA chapter president.  She plans to eventually work in corporate or agency public relations. 
The Public Relations Foundation
was established in 2001 by the PRSA Houston chapter to build an endowment to support educational excellence and the future of public relations by awarding student scholarships and supporting other educational programs that advance the profession.  More information about the Foundation and how to contribute is available on the chapter Web site.

The Foundation accepts applications for the $1,000 scholarship from January through March. Preference is given to Houston-area students attending any college or university or to students attending Houston-area institutions.   Applications will be available for downloading during that time at and from Houston PRSSA chapter advisors at area schools.   The scholarship is awarded based on grade point average, participation in organizations, financial need, community and collegiate activities and work experience.

PRSA Houston''s PRSSA Liaison Committee Renamed University Relations Committee to Serve Additional Colleges and Universities

The PRSA Houston Liaison Committee has become the University Relations Committee to expand its reach to students at colleges and universities that do not yet have established PRSSA Chapters.

The University Relations Committee provides public relations students with access to public relations professionals, activities and programs that will strengthen their skills and prepare them for a career in public relations or a related field.

The committee is working with students and professors at Texas Southern University to establish a PR Club on campus. The University''s Department of Communication is short three courses that are needed to establish a PRSSA chapter on campus. The PR Club will allow students to increase learning opportunities in public relations and developing leadership skills while these courses are considered.

The PRSA Houston chapter supports PRSSA students at Sam Houston State University, Texas A&M University and the University of Houston.

The University Relations Committee members include Kelly Papinchak, chair; Mari Pillar, co-chair; and Cheyenna Smith. For more information, contact Kelly Papinchak at or (281) 497-6567, ext.508.

Market Yourself in the Business Directory
The biggest request the chapter office receives is for the names of suppliers and public relations firms that do this specialty or that.  Help us turn your PRSA membership or affiliation into a marketing opportunity by purchasing a business directory listing that identifies your expertise.  Recent new advertisers include The Ammerman Experience, Darby Darnit and Toby Stark Public Relations.  Not only will you help us refer you, but search engine traffic through PRSA Houston has successfully moved some of our advertisers into the top echelons.  Both Dan Keeney, APR, of DPK Public Relations and Sharon Dotson, APR, Bayou City Public Relations, report enough new site-generated business to make advertising on PRSA Houston "very worthwhile."  Create your ad yourself at, then select "Business Directory" then "Add a Business Directory listing." 

AEFH “Breakfast with a Leader” Series Featuring Rance Crain of Ad Age

Mark your calendars, PRSA Houston members!  Rance Crain of Crain Communications, which includes Advertising Age, will be the breakfast speaker at an Advertising Education Foundation of Houston fundraiser on Friday, October 7, 2005 at the Junior League of Houston.

Attendance fees are: $250.00 for four people or $75.00 for individual tickets.  Make your reservations by sending checks [only] to:  Advertising Education Foundation of Houston, P.O.  Box 27592, Houston, Texas 77227. Include names of attendees please. For questions, phone (713) 237-9999.


Press Primer with Melanie Brenneman

Press Primer goes cyber this edition, as Dwight Silverman, blogger, online news editor and computer columnist for The Houston Chronicle, explains blogs.  His technology blog is posted at:

For anyone left on the planet who doesn’t already know what a blog is: A “blog,” short for “weblog,” is a frequently updated document/site focused around a specific topic and presented as a web page that usually includes an area for reader discussion. 

Even if a company decides that keeping up a business blog is not practical, blogs should not be ignored.  Constant monitoring provides a good insight to customer needs and interest.  For monitoring, Dwight suggests PubSub,

Dwight’s Blog Technology Terms:
A Google-owned blogging tool that is free to use and user friendly as well.


With Trackback, bloggers can see who is reading their blog and what people are saying about it. The blogger can also see who is linking to their blog. Companies can track what is being said about them, their products, their services and their business news.

RSS, or Real Simple Syndication:
RSS is a “feed” that provides a short description of blog content along with a link to the full content of the entry. If a blog is distributed through an RSS feed as it is published, readers can pick the feed up on their RSS readers, accessing the blog content quickly. 

RSS Readers:
RSS readers provide a convenient way for companies to keep track of the syndicated blogs which focus on their market or industry by compiling all of the blog links through one program.  Dwight prefers Feed Demon.

Dwight’s recommended PR blogs:

Thank You to Those Who Make It Possible

Ipsos Insight has stepped forward to sponsor the July 6 program featuring Christopher P. De Santis’ talk, "From Xer to Boomer to Geezer: Generational Differences in the Workplace."   We are currently seeking sponsors for the August 6 luncheon with Jackie Martin, former president of the United Way of Texas Gulf Coast.  Additional sponsorship opportunities are available for these or any of our upcoming events.

Upcoming opportunities:
August 3:  Jackie Martin, United Way of Texas Gulf Coast 
Sept. 14: PR Day (different sponsor levels apply)
Oct. 5: Crisis Communications Panel
Nov. 2: PRSA''s 2005 National President Judy Phair
Dec.: Holiday Party (no speaker)

For $500 as a luncheon sponsor, 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 at 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. Not every luncheon promotion includes a mailing, but we have done seven so far this year.

Discounts are available for sponsoring multiple luncheons.

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 August newsletter is July 20, 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