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ePro - June edition


Welcome to the June edition of ePro, the electronic newsletter of the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Houston).  Join us this month as we kick off the summer with the best in awards events and rally through the heat with interesting programs and valuable professional development opportunities.

Join Us for the 2005 Excalibur Awards!

Don’t Do Another Thing Before You Register for the Excaliburs.
Before leaving the office for the long Memorial Day weekend, take a few minutes to reserve your seat at PRSA Houston''s don''t-miss event of the year – the annual Excalibur Awards
.  Log onto to make your reservation online.

The Excalibur Awards will be held Thursday, June 9, at The Downtown Aquarium with the reception beginning at 6 and dinner following at 6:30.  Prices begin at $75 for members with table and sponsorship opportunities still available. (The deadline for sponsor inclusion in the program is Friday, May 27.)

Attendees will receive two drink tickets, a three-course meal and complimentary wine served during dinner.  More than 80 professionals will be recognized during the ceremony, which will be emceed by Jerome Gray of KHOU Channel 11.

GCI Group is the Presenting Sponsor for the 2005 Excalibur Awards.  Other Excalibur sponsors include Vollmer Public Relations and Lopez Negrete Communications as King''s Court sponsors, and the following Knights of the Roundtables: Texas Children''s Hospital, Shell Oil Product U.S., Baylor College of Medicine, Pierpont Communications, Port of Houston Authority.  In-kind sponsors include Graphique, Page/International, Sullivan Group , Downtown Aquarium and Robert Allred Photography.

Congratulations to Guy Brown, APR, Winner of the 2005 Excalibur Legacy Award!

The Legacy Award Committee has selected Guy Brown, APR, for his lifetime of professional achievement with the 2005 Legacy Award.

Brown has been awarded because among his peers, he is considered invaluable for his experience and understanding of how to maintain integrity and an ethical backbone throughout the most trying of times.  His knowledge of public relations and belief in its power is unyielding, and he always offers help and guidance when asked. 

For PRSA, Brown continually shared his time and leadership.  His PRSA accomplishments include having served on and chaired the national accreditation board from 1979 to 1981 (chairmanship in 1981), serving on the national nominating committee in 1988, chairing the national educational institutions section in 1984, serving as Houston Chapter president in 1987, helping create the first continuing education program on public relations at the University of Houston in 1989, and serving on the national PRSA Board of Directors from 1990 to 1993.

Among his many professional accomplishments, Brown enjoyed a long career in public relations lasting from 1962 to his retirement in 1998.  He served 20 years as a U.S. Air Force public affairs officer in various assignments from base to headquarters-level, where his final assignment before leaving was official Air Force PR for the first three landings of the space shuttle Columbia from 1981 to 1982.  He retired as lieutenant colonel.

Brown created the first advertising and public relations program for the downtown campus of the University of Houston in 1982.  He finished his career as President and Treasurer of Brown, Nelson & Associates, Inc., Houston from 1984 to 1998.

Please share in PRSA Houston''s celebration of Guy Brown, APR, at the 2005 Excalibur Awards and help the chapter congratulate this year''s Great, the Legacy Award Winner.

JULY LUNCHEON: From Xer to Boomer to Geezer--Generational Differences in the Workplace

Join PRSA Houston on July 6 for Christopher P. De Santis, independent consultant specializing in the design and delivery of Management and Organization Development interventions.  He assists individuals or groups in identifying obstacles to effectiveness and subsequently works with them to create user-friendly solutions aligned with the company’s strategic initiatives.  He brings with him twenty (20) years experience in training and development, graduate degrees in Organization Development and Marketing, and work experience in manufacturing, service, and not-for-profit environments.

You know where:
Courtyard on St. James Place 
1800 West Loop South #1770
Houston TX  77056   

July 6, 2005
11:30 – 1:15

Register at the PRSA Houston site:

Watch Your E-mail: PRSA Bylaw Election Ahead

PRSA Houston''s Board of Directors seeks your vote on two proposed chapter bylaw amendments.  The election, which will be conducted through the chapter''s Web site in late June, requires that one-third of the membership cast a ballot.  So, when you get your e-mail, please respond to it.

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

The landscape of public relations is constantly evolving.  On September 14, PR Day 2005 will present new tools and theories that will break new ground in the PR field.  This full-day professional development conference will give you fresh PR direction and advice, networking with fellow professionals and one-on-one time with working media.  Be there, or suffer the embarrassing consequences….(tisk, tisk)

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 the changes they''re bringing to PR, to a discussion on branding and how PR can help your brand sizzle.  Conference favorite John Sturtevant is back this year with his popular writing workshop, and Tony Wyllie of The Houston Texans leads a luncheon panel on Proving PR Value.

The PR Day committee thanks the following sponsors: Business Wire, US Newswire, The Hauser Company, Bacon''s, A&E Graphics, Burrelle''s Luce, Schipul - The Web Marketing Company, RoadShow Media and VMS.

If your company is interested in sponsoring PR Day 2005, several sponsorship levels are available.  For more information, please contact Melanie Brenneman at (713) 871-1900 or Paula Smead at (832) 289 -1801.

Stay tuned! Detailed information on the program, speakers, topics and sponsorship opportunities will be available soon at

Don’t Get Scooped - Win a FREE Registration to PR Day 2005! 

The PR Day 2005 Committee says “Attend the July and August Monthly Meetings!” 

At each of these two PRSA Houston events, the PR Day 2005 committee will give away full-day and half-day registrations to PR Day 2005 – Breaking New Ground: PR Tools for Changing Times.  Make sure you’re there, business card in hand.

It’s time for Early Bird Registration for PR Day 2005, which once again will only be available at PRSA Houston’s July and August monthly meetings.  During Early Bird Registration, prices will be:

  • Full-day registration  $150 for members (reg. $165),  $170 for non-members  (reg. $185)
  • Half-day registration $100 for members (reg. $115),  $120 for non-members (reg. $135)

Students attending either meeting will also be eligible for discounted registrations:

  • Full-day $100 (regular $125) and half-day $75 (regular $100)

Stay tuned for more information on PR Day 2005.  A schedule of the day’s events as well as information on speakers, topics and sponsorship opportunities will soon be available at   If you’re interested in joining the PR Day 2005 Committee, please contact Co-Chair Melanie Brenneman at or (713) 871-1900. 

PRSA files form 990 with IRS

In compliance with the tax requirements for 501(c)6 organizations with total revenue over $100,000, PRSA Houston has filed a Form 990 for the tax year 2004 with the Internal Revenue Service.  A copy of this filing can be made available to anyone by calling (281) 870-1717.  A copy of this filing was also sent to PRSA in New York. 

PRSA Houston Member News

Welcome New Members!
PRSA Houston extends a warm and inviting welcome to New Member Amie Hulse with Savvy Connections Unlimited.

Congratulations to Award-winning Kelly Papinchak!

PRSA Houston congratulates New Professionals and Diversity Committee Chair Kelly Papinchak for being one of the 15 winners selected for the 2005 International Femtor Award honoring young women who demonstrate success and leadership capabilities of the future.  The recipients in the Emerging Leaders category are women in their twenties, in the process of launching their careers.

Winners receive registration, accommodations, stipend and travel for the 2005 Fifth Anniversary eWomenNetwork International Conference & Business Expo, July 14-17 in Dallas; recognition at the International Femtor Awards ceremony on Thursday, July 14; and a one-year membership to eWomenNetwork.

20K Group And Toby Stark PR Team Up

Two Houston agencies headed by PR veterans Deborah Fiorito and Toby Stark have affiliated to complement their existing client bases and position the firms for growth.   Effective March 1, 20K Group, LLC and Toby Stark Public Relations, LLC (TSPR) teamed up to expand the range of services the two firms provide to clients. 

Fiorito, who has more than 25 years of experience in media relations, crisis management and corporate communications, said the new relationship pairs 20K Group’s focus on the energy industry, medical and not-for-profit sectors, with Stark’s nearly 20 years of experience as a public relations and marketing professional in industries like telecommunications, environmental remediation, real estate, healthcare, international trade, and food and beverage. 

Father-Daughter Project Turns Into “Wicked” Novel
It started as a simple weekend project during a spring camping trip.  Stan Mays and his daughter Lindsay, then age 12, were sitting around the campfire at a state park near Houston when they decided to do a fun project together.  Stan would write a short story and Lindsay would illustrate it.  They planned to bind the thing in a scrapbook and be done with it before the weekend was over. 

About eight months later, Stan had a first draft of what would become a slick 248-page novel called Wicked Little Camp Story (, April 2005). 

For a good summer read, try the Houston Chronicle’s take:  More information on Stan and his novel Wicked Little Camp Story can be found at

PRSA Houston New Professionals’ “Meet the Media” Panel Provides Attendees with Valuable Media Advice

On May 12, PRSA Houston members and guests spent serious face time with representatives of Houston’s media to learn ways in which both professions work together.  Guest panelists included: Mark Garay, weekend news anchor, KTRK Channel 13; Christine Hall, Focus reporter, Media & Marketing columnist, Houston Business Journal; James Howard Gibbons, editor/opinion pages, Houston Chronicle; Tara Howard, assistant news director, KTRH Radio 740; and Paul Pendergraft, news director, KUHF-FM.

Guests learned to become familiar with the publication and the writer’s style before making a pitch, to pay attention to reporter deadlines, and to follow up in moderation on story ideas and pitches.

“Creating opportunities for new professionals to network and expand their knowledge base of the field are the goals for every New Pros event,” said Mari Pillar, PRSA New Pros Program Chair.  “For those that missed it, look for notes from the event that will be placed on the PRSA Houston Web site very soon.”

Many thanks to this event’s thoughtful sponsors – The Westin Galleria Houston, Baker Street Pub & Grill, Houston’s Museum of Natural Science and GolinHarris.


About 30 New Pros (and some experienced folks as well) gathered at the Westin Galleria, May 12, to hear an after-hours panel of media experts discuss more effective ways of working with them.  Among the panelists who gave of their time were (left to right) Tara Howard, assistant news director of KTRH, Mark Garay, weekend news anchor for KTRK-Channel 13, Christine Hall, Media and Marketing columnist and Focus reporter for Houston Business Journal, James H. Gibbons, editorial and opinion page editor of the Houston Chronicle, and Paul Pendergraft, news director for KUHF.



James Gibbons, Houston Chronicle editorial page editor.





Suzanne Lammers of Westin Galleria, host of the New Pros event.




Christine Hall, Media & Marketing Columnist & Focus Reporter of Houston Business Journal.




   Tara Howard, KTRH assistant news director.




    Paul Pendergraft, news director of KUHF.




Mark Garay, weekend news anchor, KTRK-13, at May 12 New Pros event.


New Pros who gathered for the May 12 after-hours media panel at the Westin Galleria.



PRSA National offers Free Professional Interest Section

If you’ve been thinking of joining PRSA, now may be a great time to do it.  If you join before the end of June as a regular member, you may receive a free year of a free section.   To get this offer, write SECT2005 on your application.   You can access this offer with a special application at

You also can join using our online form, but mention promotion code SECT2005.

There are special incentives for the chapters who bring in the most members under the contest, so members who know people who should join PRSA can bring a benefit back to PRSA Houston.  Sorry, only members joining at the full rate of $290 (including the initiation fee) are eligible for the free section.  Associate members are not eligible for this promotion. 

Attention Houston Members, It’s Time to Mix and Meet!

The PRSA New Professionals group is hosting a mixer at Baker Street Pub & Grill, 5510 Morningside Suite 100 in Rice Village, on June 7 at 6:30 p.m.   All PRSA members are invited to attend.  Baker Street Pub & Grill was a sponsor for the Meet the Media event.  For more information, contact Suzanne Lammers, (832) 661-7309, or visit the New Pros Web site: 

Oh, How We Spent Away the Month

Program committee members show off their yellow armbands with May speaker Michelle Milford of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  Pictured are (left to right) Wendy Burkeen of May sponsor KHOU-TV, PRSA Houston President Cindy Suggs, APR, of Suez Energy, Michelle Milford and Mark Hayden, Parker-Hayden Public Relations, also a board member.

Kim Miller of Graphique, who designed the CREATE ad for PRSA as well as the Excalibur invitation, talks with Jackie Whitley, U.S. Newswire, sponsor of both the April and May luncheons.

of Graphique, who designed the CREATE ad for PRSA as well as the Excalibur invitation, talks with , U.S. Newswire, sponsor of both the April and May luncheons.

of Graphique, who designed the CREATE ad for PRSA as well as the Excalibur invitation, talks with , U.S. Newswire, sponsor of both the April and May luncheons.


of Graphique, who designed the CREATE ad for PRSA as well as the Excalibur invitation, talks with , U.S. Newswire, sponsor of both the April and May luncheons.


Kelly Papinchak of Schipul - The Web Marketing Company talks with Jennifer Gee of Pogge Marketing Group.

Thank You to Those Who Make It Possible

PRSA Houston would like to thank KHOU-TV, U.S. Newswire and Southwest
for sponsoring our May luncheon along with Schipul--The Web
Marketing Company
, who came to the rescue as our A/V sponsor.  We also would like to thank PR Newswire for purchasing yellow bands for the audience.  U.S. Newswire has already committed to sponsor the August luncheon featuring Jackie Martin, United Way of the Gulf Coast CEO, making this their third luncheon sponsorship this year!

We also would like to thank GCI Group, our Presenting Sponsor for Excalibur
Awards.  Other Excalibur sponsors include Vollmer Public Relations and Lopez Negrete Communications, King''s Court sponsors, and the following Knights of the Roundtables: Texas Children''s Hospital, Shell Oil Product U.S., Baylor College of Medicine, Pierpont Communications, Port of Houston Authority and our inkind sponsors, Graphique, Page/International, Sullivan Group , Robert Allred Photography and Downtown Aquarium.

We are now booking sponsorships for July 6, when we are flying in CHRISTOPHER P. DE SANTIS from Chicago for a presentation From Xer to Boomer to Geezer: Generational Differences in the Workplace.

Other upcoming opportunities:
June 9:
         Excalibur Awards
July 6:          Christopher P. De Santis
August 3:      Jackie Martin, United Way of Gulf Coast CEO
Sept. 14:       PR Day (different sponsor levels apply)
Oct. 5:           Crisis Communications Panel
Nov. 2:          PRSA''s 2005 National President Judy Phair
December:    Holiday Party (no speaker)

For $500, 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.  These sponsorships help PRSA Houston 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 six 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 July newsletter is June 22, 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