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February EPRO--PRSA Houston Newsletter


Hello [firstname],

Welcome to the February edition of ePro, the newsletter of the Houston Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.  To opt out of this newsletter, please contact Paula Ruth, APR, at .  Thanks to Orlandria Handy for her help with this month''s newsletter.


 Crisis Communications: Testing Your Plan on March 3rd

   Is your organization’s Emergency Management Plan primarily geared toward mobilizing resources and responding to the operational aspects of emergency response?  Does it provide adequate focus and guidance on managing the company’s image and reputation?

On Friday, March 3, 2006, (Please note this will replace the regular monthly luncheon!) Neil Nixon will provide and lead you through the testing process. He will change your mindset (and that of your management) with his different perspectives:

- How to focus on strategic management of emergency events
- How to express concern for public perception
- How to plan effectively in anticipation of a crisis
- How to examine the crisis from the outside looking in

Neil Nixon, President of Nixon & Associates, a Washington D.C. area Crisis Management firm, focuses on managing an emergency event strategically with an eye toward perception as well as reality. A frequent speaker on crisis communications, Neil has authored numerous emergency response programs and actively counsels a number of Fortune 500 companies in the areas of emergency preparedness and response.


PRSA Houston''s Professional Development Committee,  El Paso Corporation and The Creative Group. 


Additional sponsorships available! Please call Terri Larson at (713) 553-5049,  Paula Smead at (713) 664-8526 or Paula Ruth, APR, at (281) 870-1717.

LOCATION: Doubletree Hotel Downtown, 400 Dallas, Houston, TX 77002 
WHEN: Friday, March 3, Seminar:
8:00 am - 11:30 pm Lunch: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm. (Fish is on the menu.  Please request an alternative if food allergies or dislikes are a concern.)

To Register
You can register for the seminar only, seminar & lunch or lunch only .


PRy 2006-Public Relations for Generation Y

Are you new to the Public Relations Profession?  A recent graduate with a PR degree?  You cannot afford to miss this upcoming professional development program designed to help new professionals and PR students stay ahead of the latest trends, hear experts in related fields, and prepare yourself for the future of the public relations profession.


Featured speakers include Tony Wyllie, Vice President of Communications for The Houston Texans, Cheryl Procter -Rogers, APR, Fellow PRSA, President and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America and Corporate Affairs Director-North Central Region for Home Box Office (HBO), Yolanda Green, Community Affairs Director and Host of Outlook Houston for KHWB and many more!   Topics include Branding, Tips and Tactics to Double Your Press Coverage, Writing that Sells, Products, Services, Ideas, Big Results on a Tight Budget: A Public Relations Challenge, and Event Planning



DATE: Friday, March 31, 2006

TIME: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

LOCATION: University of Houston- University Center,

                  4800 Calhoun Rd., Houston TX 77004


Register at


Registration deadline is March 24, 2006. Thanks to Stage Directions for being an AV sponsor for this event.


Student registration is $20  Professional registration is $30 for members; $40 for nonmembers. Saki Indakwa, Texas Southern University, is the chairman of this event.  Please contact her at or Paula Ruth, APR, at for sponsorship information.

PR Day 2006: We Need Your Feedback!

As a valued member of the PRSA Houston chapter, your feedback is needed.

Give Yourself an Accreditation Jump Start

Accreditation Jump Start will be held Friday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is free, but please register in advance.

Speaker: Karen Blanchard, APR, PRSA Accreditation Chairman, The Padgett Group

This six-hour workshop is a framework for further study. It is designed to give you a basic understanding of the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations introduced in 2003, to acquaint you with some essential subject matter and to demonstrate the four-step planning process by working through a case problem.

Location:  Corporate Office Centers

2100 W. Loop South, Ninth Floor, Houston, TX  77027 

Interested in accreditation but can''t make the jump start?  Begin the process by applying for eligibility at There you will also find answers to frequently asked questions, a short bookshelf of textbooks and a candidate’s preparation guide. Karen Blanchard, APR, accreditation chair, is available to guide you through this formal credentialing process.   She can be contacted at



Get Excalibur Entries in by April 12


Mark your calendars now to enter your work in the Excalibur competition on April 12. This annual competition honors outstanding professional accomplishments in the development and execution of comprehensive public relations programs and individual communications tactics.

The 2006 Excalibur Award entries are due by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 12. Late entries are due by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, and will be assessed a $25 late fee. The Call for Entries packet is available online.  


Sponsorship of this key event will give your organization visibility with influential decision makers who communicate to their employees and stakeholders every day. For more information on table, custom and in-kind sponsorships opportunities contact Paula Ruth, APR, at (281) 870-1717. Donations are also needed for our Silent Auction, which benefits the Public Relations Foundation of Houston and its scholarship programs. Contact Susan Schmaeling, APR, to make a donation at (713) 349-0780.

The next Excalibur Committee meeting is at 6:30 p.m., March 14, at GolinHarris. This is the time to get involved in this key event for the chapter. For more information, or to join the committee, contact Excalibur Co-chair:

Mari Pillar (Awards)
(713) 513-9574

Can you help with AV?


PRSA Houston is assembling a Request for Proposals for AV equipment at

our meetings and professional development events.  If you would like to be

included in this RFP, or better yet, are willing to supply all needs

for free, please contact Paula Ruth, APR, at .




Get More Business by Listing Your Firm in our Business Directory


Do you own a public relations firm?  Are you a freelance writer?  A

graphic designer?  A photographer?  Do you do research?  Media Training? No

matter what your firm does for PR firms and buyers, use PRSA Houston''s website

to promote it.  For the low advertising price of $100/year, your firm can

be featured on a website that gets about 25,000 visits/month of bona fide

buyers of your services.  Because of our web marketing, PRSA Houston

ranks in the top five of most search engines bringing traffic to your site

through ours.  Find out why those who list in the business directory are

renewing! Design your own ad and choose your category.  Pay with a credit card.

Questions?  Call Paula Ruth, APR, at 281-870-1717.




New Members


Leslie Gerber

Dir, Pub Affrs

Mental Health Association of Greater Houston, Inc.

2211 Norfolk, Ste 810

Houston, TX 77098

tel: (713) 520-3470 fax: (713) 522-0698



Roy R. Reynolds

Media Rel Rep

Haynes & Boone, LLP

1221 McKinney St, Ste 2100

Houston, TX 77010


tel: (713) 547-2098 fax:


Connie Chavez Villarreal

Media Rel Spec

Harris County Hospital District

2525 Holly Hall, Ste 125

Houston, TX 77054

tel: (713) 566-4370 fax: (713) 566-5490


Linsi Crain

Global Rep


1500 Louisana, 37th Fl

Houston, TX 77002

tel: (832) 854-6190 fax: (866) 741-5151


Holly Hagerman Caughron

Fund Devel Spec

United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast

PO Box 3247

Houston, TX 77253

tel: (713) 685-2320 fax:


Sarah Watson

Sr Commun Spec

M.D Anderson Cancer Center

1515 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 229

Houston, TX 77030

tel: (713) 745-6109 fax: (713) 563-9735


Wanda Reyes

Asst Prof, Mass Commun

Sam Houston State University

Box 2207

Huntsville, TX 77341

tel: (936) 294-1344 fax: (936) 294-1888




Taste of PRSA Membership Offer Continues


If you join as a new PRSA member in February or March, you will not only save, but you will also get a complimentary taste of what PRSA has to offer as well.


Member News


Julie B. Fix, APR,  PRSA Houston secretary, is a panelist for PRSA’s Feb. 28 teleseminar, “The Write Way: Tips for Becoming a Better Writer,” sponsored by the New Professionals Affinity Group.  She is also presenting a “mini” “Tighten Up Your Writing” workshop at the PRSA Southwest District Conference in Fort Worth, March 3.



Melanie Brenneman, PRSA Houston membership coordinator, is now with DataCert.

Suzanne Lammers, PRSA Houston New Pros chair, is marketing assistant for Nevada Gold & Casinos.




UH PR Students Want To Hear True Stories From PR Pros


Some 43 University of Houston public relations students taking the Principles of Public Relations course from Julie B. Fix, APR, this semester have asked to hear from “real” practitioners about what you do, what challenges you have and what gets you up and to work every morning.


Fix has reserved two class days, Thursday, April 20, and Tuesday, April 25, for PR panelists to interact with her students.  The class meets from 2:30 to 4 p.m.


Anyone interested in volunteering to share “true stories” should contact Fix at or 281-494-6097.






PRSA Houston and GSUSA Cancel Public Relations Interest Project Award Workshop on Feb. 18 Event to be Rescheduled in March


Sponsored by KHOU Channel 11


PRSA Houston cancelled the Feb. 18 event at KHOU Channel 11 Studios with the Girl Scouts of America.  The event will be rescheduled in March.  Please check the PRSA Houston event calendar for updates. 


We are calling all interested volunteers to come out and join us!  Give back to the public relations profession and the community by volunteering for this educational and fun event!  The event will allow our volunteers to apply their knowledge of public relations to the work of tomorrow’s leaders.


Who:        Cadette & Senior Girl Scouts

Where:     KHOU Channel 11 Studios, 1945 Allen Parkway


For more details, contact Kelly Papinchak, PRSA Houston, 713-507-2034 or 



 A Look at PRSA Houston in February



Harris County Judge Robert Eckels described actions by the Joint Information Center during Hurricane Katrina and the efforts used to communicate evacuation plans during Hurricane Rita at the February PRSA. (Photo courtesy of Lori Richard, director of publications for Judge Eckels.)




   PRSA Houston Chapter President Sally Ramsay greets County   Judge Robert Eckels after his speech. (Photo courtesy of Lori Richard, director of publications for Judge Eckels.)













PRSA Houston President Sally Ramsay (left), Pierpont Communications, greets the February sponsors after Judge Robert Eckels'' speech. Sally thanks Jackie Whitley, U.S. Newswire; T. Ray Purser, Time Warner; PRSA Houston treasurer Aaron Woods, APR, and Kim Foley, Lyondell Chemical Company, Judge Eckels, Mike VanDerSnick, Gayden Cooper and PRSA Houston President-Elect Lisa Martin, all with Lyondell.















Suzanne Lammers, chairman of New Pros, presents a certificate to PRSA Houston Board member Wendy Burkeen, APR, of KHOU after the New Pros briefing on the new show, "Great Day Houston," which will debut on March 6 at 9 a.m. The show features a live studio audience and encourages groups to book their seats ahead by calling 713-533-5206.

The rest of the KHOU Great Day Houston set viewed by PRSA Houston New Pros.  Photo courtesy of Chris Lopez.


Thank You Sponsors!

Thank you to to Lyondell Chemical Company, Time Warner Corporation and

U.S. Newswire for sponsoring the February luncheon with Judge Eckels and also buying

tables.  We also would like to thank El Paso Corporation and The Creative Group as sponsors of our March 3 luncheon and LifeGift Organ Donation Center for its early

commitment to sponsor our April 5 luncheon (back at the Courtyard on St. James).  


Our luncheon sponsors make it possible to fund post cards to the membership

and to bring in other speakers and still maintain a break-even luncheon

price for our members.  To purchase a table for the March 3 luncheon (please

note this is a Friday at the Doubletree Downtown) or be a sponsor at any

luncheon, please call Paula Ruth at 281-870-1717.   


Sponsorships also are available for the PRY event at the University of Houston on March 31.  

At that event, we are trying to keep registration costs extremely low for

students and young professionals and could use your support.




(photo deleted)

Michael Bybee, Time Warner Corp., a sponsor of the Feb. luncheon, presents a year of free cable service to Rodolfo Guerra, LifeGift Organ Donation Center, after the luncheon. The original presentation was made by T. Ray Purser, vice president of public affairs for Time Warner, and June Lohman, manager of community relations.  (Photo courtesy of Lori Richard, director of publications for Judge Eckels.)


During this special promotion, PRSA will waive the $65 initiation fee and award you a $20 voucher towards professional development programs or gift items from the PRSA store. This offer is valid for those joining as full members only. To download a membership application, please visit

If you would like more information on membership and membership benefits, please contact Melanie Brenneman at Source: Paula Ruth, APR

Author: Paula Ruth
Fax: (281) 870-9939
Category: newsletter | Sub Category: newsletter