Need an account?

ePro May Edition

Welcome to the May edition of ePRo, the electronic newsletter of the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Houston). As we head into summer, PRSA Houston offers a ton of great opportunities for growth, networking and professional development.

PRSA Houston Luncheons:
"The Rise of Cable News in Texas"

May 19: Brian Benschoter
General Manager, News 24 Houston and News 8 Austin

Benschoter joined Time Warner in 1999 to participate in the launch of News 8 Austin, Time Warner's fifth 24-hour local news channel. By the end of its first year of operation, News 8 had become the most watched source of local television news in the homes served by Time Warner. News 8 has garnered numerous national and regional journalism awards including two Sigma Delta Chi awards for breaking news coverage from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Walter Cronkite Award for political journalism and a first-ever honorable mention for series reporting from the prestigious duPont-Columbia Journalism Awards.

Since October of 2003, Benschoter also has served as General Manager of News 24 Houston, a joint venture of Time Warner Cable and Belo Company, owner of KHOU-TV. News 24 employs more than 100 journalists and support staff at its northwest Houston studios, downtown news bureau and Bay Area news bureau. News 24 has garnered rapid acceptance from cable viewers.

Register for this event at

May 19 Board Meeting and Luncheon

PRSA Houston meets the third Wednesday of each 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 May 17 at 5 p.m. are $25 for members, $35 for guests and $15 for students. Luncheon fees if reservations are made after May 17 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 attend for our next meeting, register online or call (713) 526-1089.

Save The Date! Mayor Bill White To Address PRSA Houston Members

On July 15*, Mayor Bill White will be PRSA Houston's guest speaker at our monthly luncheon, which will be at 11:30 a.m. at the Hilton of the Americas Downtown. We know you don't want to miss it. Register for this event at

*Note: this differs from our regular meeting schedule and location. (July 15th is the third Thursday in the month.)

“Give me your…theater tickets, crystal vases, dinners for two, wine baskets and more”: Public Relations Foundation of Houston Gears Up For Annual Auction

For the past several years, the Public Relations Foundation of Houston (PRFH) has hosted a silent auction in conjunction with the PRSA Excalibur Awards, which this year is June 17.

PRFH's vision is to enhance the quality of the public relations and communication professions by eventually providing scholarships and educational grants to deserving students and educational programs.

Because the silent auction is a major fundraiser for PRFH, our PRFH board is once again asking PRSA members to donate and solicit items for the silent auction. Items may vary in both value and type. Some suggestions might include wine baskets, calculators, theater tickets, athletic event tickets, dinners or lunches for two, golf outings, airline tickets, crystal vases, art pieces, photography and design services, etc. In addition to donating or locating items for the auction, members are invited to open their wallets and purses during the Excalibur Awards to support this important cause.

To donate an item, or to obtain more information, contact Cindy Suggs at
713-636-1783 or

C'mon PRSA, Nominate Your Best For Excalibur Legacy Award for 2004!

In every public relations practitioner's career, there's a mentor... a "hero"... a person whose legacy has greatly enriched the profession. Time is growing short for nominations for PRSA Houston's 2004 Excalibur Legacy Award, the chapter's annual recognition of a lifetime of professional achievement.

Chapter members are encouraged to nominate a colleague, mentor or role model who exemplifies the highest ideals of professional public relations practice. Candidates for the Legacy Award should meet the following criteria:

  • Candidates should be a PRSA member and either a current or former PRSA Houston Chapter member. The award may be given posthumously.
    • Candidates should have at least 25 years of experience in
      public relations
    • Candidates should be easily recognized as a leader and expert in the field of public relations as demonstrated by:
      • outstanding service to his/her company, community, organization or educational institution
      • outstanding service to PRSA Houston
      • honors, awards and recognition, accreditation
      • advancing the body of knowledge and public image of the profession through
      • teaching, writing, speaking mentoring
      • PRSA volunteer and/or leadership positions

Former Legacy Award Winners:

  • 2003: Gayle McNutt, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2002: Sabra Gill, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2001: Tom Stewart, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2000: Ralph Frede, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 1999: Jim Hart

Nominations and a brief rationale (no more than two pages) should be submitted NO LATER THAN MAY 21 to:

Kris Taylor
PRSA Houston Immediate Past President
Katy ISD/PO Box 159/Katy, Tx 77492-1059

PR Foundation of Houston To Announce Honors
The Public Relations Foundation of Houston (PRFH) will announce the winner of the 2004 Frede Scholarship at the May 19 PRSA meeting. The scholarship is annually given to a deserving University of Houston student who is pursuing a public relations degree. The $500 scholarship is named after William Frede, a long-time educator and supporter of PRSA, and its winner is selected by PRFH on behalf of the chapter.

In 2005, PRFH hopes to award its first scholarship. PRSA members are encouraged to direct their tax-deductible contributions to the:

Greater Houston Community Foundation-Public Relations
Foundation of Houston Fund
4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 317
Houston, Texas 77027

For more information contact Ben Wheatley, PRFH president,
at 713.627.2223 ex. 103.

PRFH's mission is to awards scholarships to students who are pursuing public relations/communication degrees and to distribute funds to educational programs that support public relations and communication.

Win a Free PR Day Registration!

Congratulations to Stacey Williams of CenterPoint Energy! Stacey won a free full-day registration to PR Day 2004, “Blueprints for Success in PR”, by entering a business card drawing at the April PRSA monthly luncheon and meeting. Drawings will also be held at the May, July and August luncheons.

A very impressive line-up of speakers will join headliner Jim Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, on September 22, 2004, at the Hyatt Regency Downtown. Lukaszewski will appear LIVE and IN PERSON!

Early-bird registration fees for PR Day 2004 will be available exclusively at the May, July and August monthly luncheons. Look for our registration table when you check in for the luncheon and pick up your nametag. Details on registration fees to follow shortly.

As well, the PR Day committee has lined up several fabulous door prizes for this year's event, including a 4-color digital press printing up to $2,000 value donated by CPY, a one-year subscription to the Greater Houston Partnership publications, a massage and manicure/pedicure donated by Etheria Day Spa and Salon, and a weekend getaway package donated by the Hyatt Regency Downtown.

Thanks to the PR Day sponsors, which include Swank A/V, Business Wire, Wise Consultants, Greater Houston Partnership, Chas P. Young, Etheria Day Spa and Salon and the Hyatt Regency Downtown. Several levels of sponsorship are available - for more information contact Terri Larson via email or call 713.831.6573.

For more information on PR Day 2004, including sponsorships, please visit us online at

PRSA Houston Member News

PRSA Houston member Liza Kayyal has recently joined Marion, Montgomery, Inc. as an assistant account executive. She will assist with account services, media relations, community relations and media events for MMI clients. Kayyal may be reached at 713-523-7900 or Liza tells us she found the job opening on the PRSA Job Bank.

The Children's Museum of Houston PR department Earns National Recognition as “Non-Profit PR Team of the Year 2004” by PRWeek:

The Children's Museum of Houston's (CMH) 2-person public relations team (1 PR Director, 1 bilingual PR Associate and no agency assistance) with a budget of $45, 423 to carry out all marketing and PR efforts, was named the Non-Profit PR Team of the Year by PRWeek at the fifth annual awards dinner held in New York City on March 4, in recognition of the team's successful PR efforts in garnering 327, 553, 983 media impressions in a one-year period and achieving news coverage with a publicity value of nearly $2.5 million.

The team was up against 29 entries in the category, including the American Petroleum Industry and US Oil and Natural Gas Industry, The Humane Society of The United States, March of Dimes and the Texas Association Against Sexual Assaul, judged by 7 of the industry's leading professionals. “What they lacked in manpower, they made up for many times over with energy and creativity," said one judge. "I can't believe it was only two people." In all, this year's event schedule, which included 10 exhibit openings, four major fundraisers, three new community outreach programs, and a dozen or so parent/education workshops, drew more than 534, 000 visitors and served over 108, 000 individuals off-site. And all this was done in one of the country's most competitive and diverse markets.

From training staffers as spokespeople to working with the media on using CMH exhibits as backdrops on features that didn't even involve the museum, the PR staff left no stone unturned. On 15 different occasions in the past year, the team met reporters at 5am for live morning segments. Even the museum's website, which the PR staff oversees, has turned into an invaluable media resource.

The staff also secured $22, 800 in donated advertising in the Houston Chronicle, along with $236, 260 in TV promotions. CMH exhibits were also featured prominently in regional and national outlets such as Southern Living, Texas Monthly, and The New York Times. And despite a down local economy, museum attendance increased 3% over last year, revenue was up 10%, and donations remained steady despite corporations tightening their purse strings.

News On The Excalibur Awards Front

On Saturday, April 3, more than 30 Houston-area public relations professionals gathered to judge the Knoxville Chapter's Excalibur Award entries. The great turnout of volunteers made it possible for the judging of more than 130 entries to be completed by early afternoon. The judging, hosted by Clear Channel Entertainment, also gave chapter members the opportunity to meet fellow professionals and visit over breakfast and lunch.

An enthusiastic group of students from the University of Houston PRSSA chapter also volunteered time and ensured the day went smoothly. The event provided students with a great opportunity to talk to professionals about the business and potential internships.

Thank you to Clear Channel and to everyone who volunteered!

2004 Excalibur Awards Dinner and Ceremony Sponsorship Opportunities

As a member of PRSA, we invite your organization to sponsor the 2004 Excalibur Awards dinner and ceremony on June 17, 2004 at the Hotel ICON. Sponsorship of this key event will give you visibility with influential decision makers who communicate to their employees and stakeholders every day.

There are still custom sponsorships available, as well as three different sponsoring levels, so there is a budget for every organization. Although the benefits vary with the sponsorship, they include reserved table seating, printed recognition in the program and acknowledgement during the event.

If you'd like to pass on a contact name for us to follow up with or need more details on this opportunity, contact Michelle Herskowitz at 713-241-4673 or via email

Has Your Address Changed? Visit MemberNet!

Be sure to tell us if your address, e-mail or other contact information has changed so your issues of Tactics, Strategist and other member benefits will always reach you. You can update your contact information 24-7 at

Forgot your login information? No problem, just click 'Retrieve your password' and it will automatically be e-mailed to you. You can also change your password and login; click 'Security' to do so. Or, send your new contact information to

Mark Your Calendars for Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

The summer season is chock-full of professional development seminars and activities. Scroll through and find something that fits you, and watch your PRSA membership reward you over and over again…

“Public Relations Programming: A Comprehensive Approach”
May 24-25, 2004
Minneapolis, MN

For complete details, visit or contact Genevieve DeLaurier at 212-460-1408 or via email

Professional Development Teleseminars:

“Learn Success Secrets from a Master Public Relations Writer”
(Yes, you can make your press materials creative!)
May 20, 2004 - 3:00 p.m. EDT

For complete details, visit or contact Genevieve DeLaurier at 212-460-1408 or via email

“Building Community Relationships: Gaining and
Maintaining Public Consent”
May 27, 2004 - 1:00 p.m. EDT

For complete details, visit or contact Genevieve DeLaurier at 212-460-1408 or via email

Professional Interest Sections:

“Perspectives on Pan-Global Public Relations”
Sponsored by the International Section
Hilton Québec Hotel, Québec City, Québec, Canada
June 10, 2004

For complete details, please visit
or contact James Abel at 212-460-1422 or via emaiI

“Travel & Tourism Public Relations: The Turn-Around Begins Here”
Sponsored by the PRSA Travel & Tourism Section
and Society of American Travel Writers
Oakland Marriott City Center
Oakland, CA
June 27-29, 2004

For more conference and registration information visit or contact Chris Tearno at
212-460-1420 or via email


“Reporting on Corporate Responsibility: A Case Study from Alcoa”
Sponsored by the Strategic Social Responsibility Section
May 19, 2004 - 2:00 p.m. EDT

For complete details, visit or contact James Abel at 212-460-1422 or via emaiI

“Travel Marketing: Partnering for Success”
Sponsored by the PRSA Travel & Tourism Section
Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 2:00 p.m. EDT

For complete details, visit

Search for 2005 National Leadership Underway

The 2004 PRSA Nominating Committee has begun its annual process of recruiting candidates for officer and director positions on the 2005 Board of Directors. The positions open for nomination are president-elect, treasurer, secretary and four director positions. One director position must be filled by a candidate from the Southeast District and one by a candidate from the Southwest District. The other two director positions are open to members from any District. In addition, the Committee will nominate three Assembly delegates-at-large and one Canadian delegate-at-large.

To be eligible for an officer or director position, an individual must be a member in good standing who is Accredited and has been either a voting delegate in at least one national Assembly, a Chapter president, a Section or District chair, or a national committee or task force chair. Starting this year, all officers and directors will serve concurrently on the PRSA Board of Directors and as members of the PRSA Foundation Board of Trustees. Candidates for Assembly delegate-at-large positions must be Accredited.

For more information on the 2004 Nomination process, visit or send your questions to Deadline for filing candidate application material is 5:00 p.m., EDT, Monday, June 28, 2004.

Be an AV Luncheon Sponsor

For the delivery and use of a computer and laptop at monthly luncheons (per month), PRSA Houston offers the following package:

  • Mention in promotional e-mail sent to database of subscribers
  • Text link on PRSA Houston Web site (
    for one month
  • Ability to distribute materials to all luncheon attendees
  • Table in back of room to talk with luncheon attendees before and after the event--value $150
  • One lunch registration --value $35-$45

Please call Paula Ruth, APR, at (281) 870-1717 to schedule your month. Thank you for helping us keep the cost of our services down!

Dave And Busters Sponsors PRSA Houston Luncheon
Whether you are planning an intimate business meeting, large corporate get together, regional sales event, important planning session or private celebration, there's no place like DAVE AND BUSTER'S.

We offer unique teambuilding events, happy hours, company picnics, serious business meetings or full-blown corporate festivities - including private rooms, A/V equipment, outstanding menus, unique entertainment and most importantly FUN! We will make it a memorable event!

Please contact Julie Schor for more information at 713-346-0707 or via email

Biz360 is a privately held company located in San Mateo, CA whose customers include Harley-Davidson Motor Company, PacifiCare Health Systems and Verisign Inc. Biz360 can be reached at (650) 373-3310 or on the web at

Shown in picture: Steve Squillace of Biz 360, the April luncheon sponsor, presents a basket of goodies to Priscilla Tinsley, public relations manager of Foley's and PRSA Houston's Alliances Committee chair, at the close of the luncheon.

What Can I Get For Being A PRSA Houston Sponsor?

PRSA members are influential leaders and opinion-makers all over Houston and beyond. We make decisions for collateral development, catering, printing, advertising specialties, entertainment, corporate philanthropy, meeting locations and incentive packages, to name a few. Put your product--or your client's products--before our 450 members and directly market to those attending a luncheon as a luncheon sponsor.

A luncheon sponsorship includes:

  • Mention in promotional e-mail sent to database of subscribers
  • Mention and text link in ePRo, the PRSA Houston newsletter
  • Text link on PRSA Houston Web site (
    for one month
  • Ability to distribute materials to all luncheon attendees
  • Table in back of room to talk with luncheon attendees before and
    after the event
  • Speak to the luncheon gathering (no more than 3 minutes)
  • One lunch registration
  • One set of mailing labels for all 460 PRSA Houston members

Luncheon sponsorship prices are:

  • 1x = $500
  • 2x = $900
  • 3x = $1,200
  • 4x = $1,400

Packages for special events such as Excalibur and PR Day are also available. Contact Paula Ruth, APR at (281) 870-1717 or vial email to reserve your spot.

IABC Upcoming Luncheon Feature Tips on “Clear and Simple PowerPoint!”

The Perfect Antidote for Toxic PowerPoint Presentations

It's time to throw out your bullet points and your PowerPoint templates, and learn how to start thinking visually as IABC/Houston presents its May luncheon program and special half-day seminar featuring communications expert Cliff Atkinson.

An estimated 30 million times a day, a hail of PowerPoint bullets paralyzes audiences with boredom, diminishes the credibility of presenters, interferes with business and education, and systematically drains intellectual assets.

Atkinson joins IABC Thursday, May 27, to offer the perfect antidotes to cure your PowerPoint ailments. He maintains that hidden inside toxic PowerPoint is the antidote to its poison, and that we all have the potential to quickly develop our visual thinking and communication skills. He will offer relief for the most common symptoms, and will help you learn how to:

  • Focus your thoughts.
  • Clarify and structure your story.
  • Select powerful visuals
  • Open up collaboration and creativity
  • Stimulate dialogue and conversation.

His luncheon presentation is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Brennan's, immediately followed by a half-day seminar from 1:30 to 4 p.m. for those who want to learn some step-by-step methods for enlivening presentations – whether they are for you or your company's leaders.

Luncheon-only prices will remain at regular meeting rates ($28 for members). The seminar-only cost is $75. Attend both the lunch and seminar for an even $100.

Cliff Atkinson is a leading authority on organizational issues related to PowerPoint. As an independent management consultant, his clients include companies ranking in the top five of the Fortune 500. He is a keynote speaker and writer, and president of Sociable Media in Los Angeles.

American Marketing Association (AMA) Luncheon May 12th, 2004

Featuring Jamey Rootes, Senior Vice President, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer of the Houston Texans, come out and hear his take on "Turning Customers Into Fans."

The Junior League of Houston, 1811 Briar Oaks Lane

11:30 a.m. - registration
12:00 p.m. - lunch
12:30 p.m. - speaker

Program Description:
Jamey Rootes, Senior Vice President, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer for the Houston Texans will discuss "Turning Customers Into Fans," how the Texans designed and implemented one of the most successful sports marketing programs in NFL history.

Register online at Simply click the link, and follow the directions. If you're getting an error message when you click this link, cut it and paste it into your browser. For questions or comments regarding registering online, email Erin Brau at

ONLINE Advance registration: $25 for AMA members, $40 for non-members, $18.00 for Students. Student ID will be checked at the door. DAY OF EVENT registration: $35 for AMA members, $45 for non-members. Please note: Walk-in's will NOT be guaranteed seating.

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 June newsletter is June 3, 2004 . We would love your thoughts and news, so send to

Schipul Technologies, Inc. - The Web Marketing Company

Powered by Tendenci™ Software from Schipul (   (<FONT class=body_copy face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-s
Lauren Hammit
() - none
Author: Lauren Hammit
Phone: () - none
Category: newsletter | Sub Category: epro