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ePro November Edition

Welcome to the November edition of ePro, the electronic newsletter of the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Houston). Join us each month for great programs, networking and professional development opportunities that believe us, you just don’t want to miss.


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November Monthly Luncheon - The Public Relations Foundation of Houston Presents:
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Get Better Mileage; Research and Measurement Fuel Effective Communication

Research and measurement continue to be hot topics in communication today. To keep you abreast of best practices in this area, we are bringing in Chicago-based Louis C. Williams, ABC, APR, who will make a special presentation on research and measurement at our regular luncheon meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 17. Following the luncheon, Williams also will present a special half-day afternoon workshop based on his new book, Communications Research, Measurement and Evaluation.

Williams'' luncheon presentation will cover:

  • How communication results can be measured
  • The future of public relations research and the link between PR and the bottom line
  • How expectations in business have changed
  • How public relations practitioners can be "research ready" and able to measure their work

Williams'' afternoon workshop will cover the practicalities of communication research, including how to frame and scale research goals and logistics and how to sell them through your organization. He will include practical case studies from real research programs and guide attendees through the development of an effective survey instrument.

Williams is chairman and CEO of L.C. Williams & Associates, a leading Chicago-based public relations firm he founded in 1985. He has conducted hundreds of seminars around the world and is co-author of two textbooks on communication. Williams is past chairman of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and is an IABC fellow. In 2001, he served as interim President and CEO of IABC, managing the association''s business affairs and staff in San Francisco. He is currently a trustee of the Institute for Public Relations. Williams'' new book, Communications Research, Measurement and Evaluation, is considered by many to be the definitive guide to communication measurement.

Luncheon and workshop guests also will be able to interact with exhibiting sponsors for the event. Sponsors include: Business Wire, Houston Speaks, Ipsos-Insight, PR Newswire , Saurage Research and PRtrak/Surveillance Data, Inc. These firms will describe their offerings in measurement and research and provide company literature at their display tables. Please join us in thanking them for their support of this educational program.

Luncheon: 11:30 a.m., Courtyard on St. James Place
Workshop: 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 17
Reception: 4:45 p.m.
Members: $125 for luncheon/workshop, $35 for lunch only, $100 for
workshop only
Non-members: $150 for luncheon/workshop, $45 for lunch only, $125 for workshop only
Students: $50 for luncheon/workshop, $25 for lunch only, $35 for workshop only

This program is sponsored by the Public Relations Foundation of Houston. Formed in 2001 by PRSA Houston, the Foundation''s mission is to enhance the quality of education by creating a permanent educational endowment that will allow it to provide scholarships, grants and programs that benefit students and educators.

TO REGISTER: For information, call Paula Ruth, administrator for PRSA Houston, (281) 870-1717 or email pruth@houston.rr.com.

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PRSA Elects New Executive Board for 2005
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At the October PRSA Houston Board meeting, directors voted to approve officers for 2005. More details to come in further issues, but in the meantime, send your congratulations to:

President: Cindy Suggs, APR
President-Elect: Sally Ramsey
Treasurer: Aaron Woods, APR
Vice President: Petri Darby, APR
Secretary: Anne Bryan-Peebles, APR
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Mark these Important PRSA Houston Dates:
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December 15— Join us for PRSA Houston’s monthly luncheon, leadership recognition and holiday party at Bella Terrazza, 2840 Chimney Rock. Our speaker will be political analyst Robert M. Stein, Ph.D., dean of Rice University''s School of Social Sciences and the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science at a brand new location, Bella Terrazza. Watch the Web site for registration information.

January 5—Remember: NEW DATE AND LOCATION for PRSA Houston monthly luncheons—Join us at the Courtyard on St. James when our speaker will be Houston Chronicle columnist Ken Hoffman. Start the year off right by seeing your friends, enjoying a laugh (from Ken) and plugging back-in to your profession at a PRSA luncheon.
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Accreditation Preparation Seminar Cancelled
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The accreditation preparation seminar scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 13, has been cancelled. We have notified all the registrants. However, if you have additional questions or would like to be placed on the list for the next seminar, please contact Accreditation Chairs Aaron Woods, APR (Aaron.Woods@elpaso.com) or Amy Kaiser, APR (amy.kaiser@centerpointenergy.com).
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Come Plan with Us! Leadership Rally for PRSA Houston 2005 Volunteers
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PRSA Houston will be having its 2005 Leadership Rally on Dec. 3, 12:30 - 2-ish at Courtyard on St. James. If you are a PRSA member and would like to have input on chapter activities as we plan our strategy for 2005, please come or send your ideas to Cindy Suggs, APR, president-elect, at csuggs@tractebelusa.com or to Paula Ruth, APR, chapter administrator, at pruth@houston.rr.com . If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Cindy no later than Nov. 29. She would also like to hear from you if you are willing to volunteer in some capacity this year as a few spots remain on the team.
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PRSA Houston Delegates Attend Assembly, Cast Votes on Critical Issues
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  • Assembly Delegates no longer required to be APRs exclusively
  • Five-year requirement for APR exam abolished
  • PRSA hits record membership level of more than 20,000
  • Cheryl Procter-Rogers, APR, Fellow, PRSA, elected 2005 President

Five delegates from the PRSA Houston Chapter attended the 2004 Assembly of Delegates in New York on October 23 to hear presentations on the state of the association, discuss and vote on proposed bylaw amendments, and elect officers for 2005. Attending this year’s Assembly on behalf of the Houston Chapter were Chris Bozman, APR; Julie Fix, APR; Dan Keeney, APR; Larry Springer, APR; and Ben Wheatley, ABC, APR.

The most notable decisions made by this year’s gathering of approximately 260 delegates from around the country involved changes to the specific requirements for members to serve as assembly delegates and the requirements for members wishing to become accredited.

Now, members who are relatively new to the profession no longer are required to have worked in the field for five years (or the equivalent nine years without a four-year college degree) before taking the accreditation exam (beginning with the readiness review). The approved amendment now states that a …member with a recommended five to seven years experience, a bachelor''s degree or the equivalent who has devoted a substantial portion of time to the paid professional practice of public relations or to the teaching or administration of public relations courses in an accredited college or university shall be eligible to take the examination for Accreditation.

And members being considered for Assembly Delegate positions to represent their respective PRSA Chapters no longer are required to be APRs exclusively. Instead, a member must be either accredited – or a member of his/her chapter, district or section board in order to be eligible. Read the PRSA news release regarding the bylaw changes, and read the proposed Bylaw Amendments.

Del Galloway, APR, President & CEO of PRSA, provided a state of the society review by sharing a significant milestone for PRSA – membership levels have topped 20,000 for the first time with a 3.74% increase in 2004 over 2003. And for the third consecutive year, the association’s financial status is on track and solidly in the black. PRSA’s investment balance is $2 million, up 162% over the last four years.

PRSA’s Executive Director & COO Catherine Bolton reported that the move of the PRSA headquarters office from one New York location to another was a major accomplishment, generating $892,000 in incentives for the society, and that the online renewal of memberships is now available, thanks to improvements to the society’s web site. No dues increase will be required in 2005 from any membership level.

President-elect Judy Phair, APR, outlined the society’s 2005-07 Strategic Plan, sharing the goals of:

  • Advance the Profession
  • Advance the Professional
  • Advance the Society

Phair also explained the focus areas of Diversity, Ethics, Research, Professional Development/Education and Value to our Members.

Since the Assembly received no nominations from the floor, the full slate of proposed officers was elected by voice vote, including the election of Cheryl Procter-Rogers, APR, Fellow, PRSA as 2005 President. Read the PRSA news release.

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Dr. Weinstein Leads Thought-Provoking Ethics Seminar
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To those who think ethics are a "yawner," Dr. Bruce Weinstein, our speaker for the joint AMA-PRSA seminar, was anything but. Leading a lively discussion in which participants revealed instances when they questioned corporate decisions or had to make difficult decisions themselves, Dr. Weinstein kept everyone on the edge of their chairs in the interactive session. Topics ranged from what to include in meeting minutes to what constitutes sexual harassment and a bit of everything else. Ethics chair Frank Agraz of the FBI organized the program and encouraged audience participation. We want to thank our sponsors for making this interactive session possible: BP, Fulbright & Jaworski, PR Newswire as well as those of AMA: Business Wire, Halliburton, Sterling Bank and XL Films.

Chapter Member Marti Gazzier of BP was one of the ethics seminar sponsors:


(L-R) Matt Ross of AMA, Dr. Bruce Weinstein, speaker, and PRSA Ethics Chair Frank Agraz of the FBI plan the format for the morning

AMA Member Rodi Franco of Houston Grand Opera asks a question

PRSA''s incoming Treasurer Aaron Woods, incoming Vice President Petri Darby and Sam Paul of Business Wire, sponsor, participated in the ethics event

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PRSA Houston Welcomes New Members!
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A warm and inviting welcome from PRSA Houston to our fabulous new members:

  • Karen Gillen Allen of Halliburton
  • James Blakeslee of 3D/International
  • Melissa Carroll
  • Misty Cornelius of Vollmer Public Relations
  • Ann Crawford of ClubCorp/Houston Society
  • Dakin DuBroc of Entergy
  • Stan Edwards of Stage Directions Inc.
  • Shelly Horan of Communicators Federal Credit Union
  • Suzanne Lammers of The Westin Galleria & Westin Oaks
  • John David Powell
  • Donna Rander
  • Natalie Rivera of the Houston Association of Realtors
  • Robert Robideau of Texas A&M Engineering
  • Carlos Santos of TXU Energy
  • Angie Shortt of the University of Houston
  • Destin Singleton of Vollmer Public Relations
  • Emily Skaggs of Pierpont Communications
  • Rene Smith of Hill and Knowlton, Inc.
  • Wendy Wall of W Communications
  • Shannon Weaver of Vollmer Public Relations

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PRSA Houston Member News
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Kelly Papinchak, communications director for Schipul ­ The Web Marketing Company, will serve on the 2004-05 Editorial Board of Collegium Magazine for the University of Houston. Collegium is distributed to 100,000 alumni and friends of the University of Houston twice a year. Papinchak is a 2002 Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Houston, where she received a degree in public relations. She serves as chair of the PRSA Houston PRSSA Liaison Committee, chair of the PRSA Houston New Professionals Group and Chair of the Chapter Development Committee for PRSA National’s New Professionals Affinity Group. Her e-mail is kpapinchak@schipul.com.
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PRSA Houston Presents "What New PR Professionals Need to Know"
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Every new professional has questions: How do I ask for a raise? Who do I go to with an account problem? How do I make myself stand out for promotions and special projects?

As Vice President of the GolinHarris Houston office for six years, Stephanie Augenthaler knows the skills you need to get ahead in the PR world. Here is your chance to ask the questions that might make or break your career.

Please join PRSA Houston''s New Professionals Group for a professional development session on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2004 at GolinHarris Houston (1360 Post Oak Blvd #2020) from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

To RSVP for this free event, please visit http://www.prsahouston.org/en/cev/?108.

Parking information:

Please use the parking garage entrance between 1330 and 1360 Post Oak Blvd. and park in the Guest section. 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 and take the elevator to suite 2020. The main number is 713-513-9560 if you have any questions. You also may call Kelly Papinchak''s cell phone on the day of the event at (713) 416-2218.


The mission of the PRSA Houston New Professionals Group is to support PRSA Houston chapter goals while providing new professionals with a valuable outlet to expand their knowledge of public relations through networking and professional development opportunities.

New Pros programs and activities target PR professionals with up to five years of experience in public relations, as well as graduating students and professionals new to the industry. PRSA members and non-members are welcome.

For more information about the PRSA National New Professionals Affinity Group, click this link: http://www.prsa.org/_Networking/np/. If you are interested in learning more about PRSA Houston''s New Pros Group, please contact Kelly Papinchak at kpapinchak@schipul.com or (281) 497-6567, ext. 508.

About the Speaker:

Stephanie Augenthaler is a vice president in the Golin/Harris International (G/H) Houston office. She has over fourteen years of experience in advertising and public relations, with an emphasis on trade media relations and business-to-business communications. Presently, she oversees the Texas Instruments (TI) account, one of the best-known technology clients for G/H. She manages teams in both the Houston and Dallas offices and makes sure the account is provided with strategic and tactical direction. For her full bio, visit http://www.prsahouston.org/en/cev/?108.

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Seeking an Intern? Members: Post your Opportunities for Free!
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Put the chapter Web site to work for your organization. Try the online job listing service to help find interns. The cost to post an internship on the Web site is free for members and $25 for non-members for a 90-day listing. Listings appear in the Job Bank section of prsahouston.org in two places: Job Bank Listings and Intern Openings. Go to Submit an Internship (http://www.prsahouston.org/prsa/jobs/intern_opening.asp) to post your opportunity.

To help you contact area colleges directly about your organization and your internship program, you will also find PRSSA chapter contact information in the Submit an Internship section.

Contact Internship Committee Chair Shelli Manning at (713) 275-5031 or smanning@menninger.edu if you have any questions.
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SAVE THE DATE: Houston Communications Alliance (HCA) Celebrates New Partnership
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Wednesday, December 8, 2004, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., The Houston Communications Alliance will be celebrating its new alliance at The Dunstan, 2415 Dunstan.

In the holiday spirit and because we’re all “communicators”, we will be collecting new or gently used cell phones and/or donations in lieu of admission into this event. All donations will be given to the Houston Area Women’s Center to aid victims of domestic and sexual violence in times of trouble.

HCA Mission Statement:
To promote partnership among leading communications-based organizations in Houston, in order to leverage and promote relevant community events, professional development opportunities and cooperation among professionals in the industry.

Participating Houston Chapters:
AMA (American Marketing Association)
CCRC (Corporate Community Relations Council)
HAF (Houston Advertising Federation)
HPC (Houston Press Club)
IABC (International Association of Business Communicators)
PRSA (Public Relations Society of America)
TPRA (Texas Public Relations Association)
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PRSSA Chapters Thank PRSA Houston for Supporting Trip to National Conference in New York
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The PRSSA Chapters of Sam Houston State University, Texas A&M University and the University of Houston would like to thank the PRSA Houston Board for their financial assistance to attend the PRSSA National Conference in New York October 22-26, 2004. Approximately 14 students attended, with many paying for the trip from their own funds and those raised by their chapters, in addition to PRSA''s support.

On behalf of the Sam Houston State (SHSU) chapter of PRSSA, students would like to thank PRSA Houston for their instrumental role in our chapter''s success.

"While in New York, we sought out various media headquarters and had the pleasure of meeting the editor of Business Week in addition to making a cameo appearance on the TODAY show. We have returned to SHSU with a renewed energy and are ready take on new ventures,” said Janaeya Carmouche, president, SHSU PRSSA.

A video clip from the Today Show and other information from the conference are available at: http://www.prssa.org/conference/default.asp
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Mentors Needed for PRSSA Students
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Attention all communications professionals: Please consider donating your time and expertise to PRSSA students in need of mentors.

The PRSA Houston/PRSSA Mentor Match Program is designed to give students an advocate and a friend as they grow into public relations professionals and PRSA members. Mentors are asked to meet with their student once a month and be available for phone calls and e-mails.

Both students and professionals who are interested in participating in the mentor program can access the application at http://www.prsahouston.org/en/committees/display.asp?committeeid=19 . Applications can be returned to Kelly Papinchak at kpapinchak@schipul.com or fax to 281-497-1083.

The PRSSA Liaison Committee goal is to provide 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.

Mari Pillar , assistant account executive for GolinHarris Houston has joined the PRSSA Liaison Committee as co-chair. To join the PRSSA liaison committee, please contact Mari at 713-513-9574 or mpillar@golinharris.com
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SHSU Chapter of PRSSA to Engage Politicians in Speaker Series
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As part of its Speaker Series, the Sam Houston State University Chapter of PRSSA is hosting Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jerry Eversole on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2004 at 5:30 p.m. on the SHSU campus in the Lee Drain Building, room 214. Commissioner Eversole is an alumnus of SHSU and will speak to public relations and communications students about his work and how they should prepare for a career in the government sector. PRSA Houston members are encouraged to attend.

Entering its third year, the SHSU PRSSA Speaker Series focuses on "Excellence through Education" by providing students and presenters the opportunity to exchange ideas, learn about experiences first-hand and discuss the ever-changing world of public relations from the perspective of the speaker.

For more information about the event, please contact SHSU PRSSA President Janaeya Carmouche at jdcarmouche@hotmail.com or call (832) 275-0736.
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Fall Membership Promotion Continues – Don’t Miss This Chance to Join and Save!
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PRSA''s fall membership promotion continues through Nov. 30. Join PRSA during this period and receive membership in a professional interest section for free! Professional interest sections include technology, corporate, employee communications, a health academy, and educators academy and more. Log on to http://www.prsa.org for a membership application. Be sure to enter SECT2004 in the promotion code field to get credit for this special offer. Houston Chapter dues are $55, but you must join the national organization to be a member of the Houston Chapter.
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Get More Referrals!
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Thank you to Kelli Newman, APR, whose Newman & Newman video services company became the second to advertise in our Business Directory. Kelli also chairs our Public Service Committee and oversees the requests for help from the nonprofit community, so she knows how many visits our website receives. Thanks to the web marketing of our provider, Schipul-The Web Marketing Company, our website received nearly 22,000 visits (better than “hits”) in August and 22,367 visits in September. A listing on the Business Directory enables us to point potential clients towards those they might call for help in a way that is fair and impartial. In addition, if you serve public relations firms or provide services to corporate public relations departments, this directory will put your firm before all the qualified buyers. A listing is only $100 for 12 months and may be paid by credit card or by mailing a check to the chapter office. Call (281) 870-1717 for more information or list your firm directly at www.prsahouston.org.
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Planning to Add Staff?
Source: Lauren Hammit