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ePRo - September Edition

Welcome to the September 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 can’t be beaten. 

PR Day 2006: Plan! Prepare! Execute! Evaluate!

Whether you are an entry-level or seasoned practitioner, PRSA Houston’s PR Day 2006, held at the Double Tree Allen Center on Thursday, Sept. 21, will have something for everyone. The line up is packed with sessions to send participants back to the office with energy and ideas that will make it a day to remember.

Recognizing the growing synergy between public relations and marketing, the Houston chapter of the American Marketing Association teamed up with the PR Day committee to present a panel discussion of marketing best practices.

For more information about PR Day 2006, visit and click on “PR Day.” You can also e-mail Stephanie Dedeaux, APR at or Paula Ruth, APR at Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Contact Paula Smead at to find out how your business or organization can support PR Day 2006. Thanks to all of PR Day''s sponsors, including CenterPoint Energy, Vollmer Public Relations, Hill & Knowlton, BusinessWire; exhibitors A&E-The Graphics Complex, Bacon''s, MediaLink, PR Newswire, U.S. Newswire, VMS; and in-kind sponsors Stage Directions and M.D. Anderson.

PR Day Program

This year, PR Day''s popular media discussion has been expanded to 90 minutes to offer more time to meaningful interaction with journalists whose bylines are well-known. Also, you won''t want to miss Houston Mayor Bill White, our keynote speaker, and David Grossman, ABC, APR, our Afternoon Keynote Speaker. Be sure to check the PRSA Day 2006 Web page for an up-to-date schedule.

October Luncheon: What''s in Store for the November Elections

With highly contentious gubernatorial, congressional and state legislature races in our state, Texans have a lot to talk about when it comes to the upcoming November. On October 4, Dr. Richard Murray will discuss these and other hot election topics. Get your seat now for what is sure to be a lively presentation.


Wednesday, October 4, 11:30 a.m.

Where: Courtyard on St. James

Register: Visit or contact Paula Ruth, APR, at (281) 870-1717.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Paula Ruth, APR, at or (281) 870-1717.

November Luncheon: Risk Mitigation: Building & Maintaining Community Trust

Join us on Wednesday, November 8 for a professional development workshop featuring James Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA.

Overcoming Opposition: Building Community Support

Wednesday, November 8, 8:00 – 11:30 a.m. (breakfast buffet included)

Where: Doubletree Hotel, 400 W. Dallas (downtown Houston)

Following the workshop, Mr. Lukaszewski will serve as keynote speaker for PRSA Houston’s November monthly luncheon.

Becoming a Trusted Advisor

11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (networking); 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. (luncheon)

Stay tuned! Registration for the workshop and luncheon will soon be available online at

To sponsor this event, please call Paula Ruth, APR, at 281-870-1717 or e-mail her at

Polls Open Now for PRSA Houston Board of Directors and Assembly Delegates; Proposed Bylaw Amendments

PRSA Houston is electing four new members to the Chapter''s 12-member board of directors, as well as electing two new Assembly Delegates. A total of eight Chapter members are seeking the four open board positions, and five others are competing for the two open Assembly Delegate spots. In addition, the Chapter also seeks approval of several amendments to our bylaws. To review the proposed bylaw changes, click here. Chapter by-laws require one-third of PRSA Houston members to cast ballots in order to have a valid election, so your vote is extremely important.

To protect the integrity of the election votes, all members are asked to login with their user name and password when prompted. If you do not know your username and password, click here.

To log in and access the ballot, which here is called "survey," click the following link. You will need to enter the code: ect2006 when prompted. This code must be typed in, as doing a cut and paste adds extra spaces the computer will not recognize. You must have "cookies" enabled, so that one vote can be registered from every member number. All votes are anonymous. If you have problems voting, please contact or send your vote to Paula Ruth, APR, at or at 281-870-1717. All votes must be cast by 5 p.m. on Friday, September 15. Election results will be announced at PRSA Houston''s annual meeting on September 21.


August Luncheon: Toughest Job in PR

Soaring gas prices, oil industry profits, executive compensation and retirement packages. Our August luncheon focused on the toughest job in PR: the oil business. Many thanks to our sponsor for this event, ExxonMobil.

In this photo, board member and Program Chair Wendy Burkeen, APR greets ExxonMobil sponsor Len D''Eramo and luncheon speaker Mark Boudreaux, manager of media relations for ExxonMobil, after the August luncheon.

Only a few days remain….

The Member Get A Member Campaign of PRSA’s will end with August.  Members who refer a member who joins get $40 PRSA dollars for every full member and $25 PRSA dollars for every associate they recommend. These “dollars” can be used in the PRSA store for gift items or, better yet, used to discount seminars and teleseminars that PRSA national offers. The new member gets a copy of the latest Associated Press Stylebook and $25 gift voucher in the PRSA store. To take advantage the new member must use a special MGAM2006 code in the promotional code area of the application and name the member who referred him/her. For more information, see the Web site at

Mark the date

PRSA Houston’s Board of Directors agreed to support the Christmas Party that will gather the Houston Communications Alliance together. The event will be held Nov. 30 at the Courtyard on St. James. This will not stop PRSA Houston from having its own party to celebrate the year end. More on that later!

Be a Luncheon Sponsor

Sponsorships are available for every PRSA luncheon. Our luncheon sponsors make it possible to bring in speakers from around the country, if necessary, and still maintain a break-even luncheon price for our members. To purchase a table for the Oct. 4 luncheon or be a sponsor at any luncheon, please call Paula Ruth, APR, at 281-870-1717. In return for your $500 at lunch, we offer the following opportunities:
  • Mention in promotional e-mail sent to database of subscribers
  • Mention and text link in ePRo, the PRSA Houston newsletter
  • Text/Logo 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
  • Opportunity to speak to the luncheon gathering (no more than 3 minutes)
  • One lunch registration at the President''s table
  • One set of paper mailing labels for all 430 PRSA Houston members or one-time use of electronically provided membership list (if desired). If you should choose to sponsor more than one luncheon in a calendar year, the sponsorship price for two luncheons is $900, three times is $1,200 and 4 times is $1,400. These multiple luncheon sponsorships do not include special events such as PR Day.

Market Your Business and Increase Your Sales

Are you a freelance writer, photographer, graphic designer or video production company or speechwriter? Are you responsible for marketing a public relations firm? These and more are some of the services that should benefit from a listing in the PRSA Houston Business Directory. For $100 per year, your ad may be viewed by any of the thousands of people who visit the PRSA Houston Web site.  Include a logo or photo at no extra cost. Post the ad yourself at then choose “Business Directory,” “Add a Business Directory Listing.”

Our Chickens Have Roosted
A Call for Awards Judges

The time has come for us to return the favor of judging entries for the Georgia Chapter. We will be meeting at 8 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 9, at Sullivan Group Productions to judge the best those Georgians can put together. Pierpont Communications is graciously providing breakfast and lunch. We will need both senior staff and young professionals to team for this learning experience. If we can get 40 people, we should be done for kickoffs. If you can help, please email Paula Ruth, APR, at

Since the early 1990s,
PRSA Houston has traded entries with another chapter. This year, we elected to team with Georgia (including Atlanta) which has a fall contest while they judged ours in the spring.

New Pros Meet with Local Media on Public Relations Strategies

New Pros members recently pitched questions to local media and received informative feedback on how to implement effective and lasting media relations efforts. A panel of well-known media representatives fielded questions that ranged from the best methods of sending press releases to differentiating between news pitches and sales pitches. The panelists included Bob Dunn, Fort Bend Now ; Leslie Gastineau, KPRC Local 2 News; David Ellison, Houston Chronicle; and Paul Pendergraft, KUHF Houston Public Radio.

This photo shows Anne Deuermeyer (left), Business Wire, facilitating the Meet the Media panel which included Bob Dunn, Fort Bend Now; Paul Pendergraft, KUHF; David Ellison, Houston Chronicle and Leslie Gastineau, KPRC-TV Channel 2.

A special thanks goes out to Business Wire for moderating the event.  Congratulations to Kirsten Davis with the World Affairs Council of Houston and Mary Ellen Becker of Baker Botts for winning complimentary admission tickets to the upcoming PR Day event on September 21 at the Double Tree Hotel downtown. We look forward to seeing you at our next event in September. Stay tuned!

Thank you sponsors!

Venue Sponsor – Greater Houston Community Foundation

Event Sponsors – Business Wire and Fort Bend Now

Food Sponsor – Dessert Gallery – Post Oak

Beverage Sponsor – Sofitel Houston

Welcome to These New Members!

Ryan Rice, Vollmer Public Relations

Timothy C. Thompson, Burson-Marsteller Public Relations

Pamela A. Rosen, Shell Oil Company

Deedra J. Moe, ExxonMobil Corporation

Tina Saalwaechter, Turner Motorsports LLC

Cynthia Abbott Donaldson, CenterPoint Energy

Christine M. Miller, Rohm & Haas Texas Inc.

Courtney A. Votaw, Tenaris

Member News

Courtney Middleton is now Courtney Middleton Pfleger.

Board member Terri Larson, Enbridge Energy, earned her MBA.

Board member Pricilla Tinsley, Direct Energy, recently had a little boy. His name is Ty Phillip.

DeDe Okin is now DeDe DeStefano.

Susannah Moore Griffin, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Sterling Bank, received a master''s degree in business administration from Our Lady of the Lake University.

Jamie O''Roark is now Jamie Roark. Her firm is "Simply Communicate."

Margaret Cooper is corporate media advisor, Global Gas for Chevron U.S.A.

Melanie Hillis is public relations specialist for Bracewell & Guiliani LLP.

Jack Barnett is director of external affairs for Southern Union Company.

Ashley Wehrly is head of marketing for Compass Bank''s Wealth Management Group as of Sept. 1.

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 October newsletter is September 20, 2006  We love hearing your thoughts and news, so send generously to Stephanie Pertuit at

Stephanie Pertuit
(713) 663-0164
Author: Stephanie Pertuit
Phone: (713) 663-0164
Category: newsletter