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February ePRo - Sign Up Now for the February PRSA Luncheon

Welcome to the February 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.


February Luncheon: Your Reputation is Everthing

Mike paulMike Paul, whose blog, “The Reputation Doctor,” at has become well read in the public relations profession, will be our luncheon speaker on Feb. 7, at the Courtyard on St. James.  PRSA Houston 2007 President Lisa Martin-Walsh, Lyondell Chemical, heard Mike speak at the national leadership conference last June and knew she wanted him in the line-up for 2007.

You’ve seen him as a guest commentator on Fox News Channel, CNN, BBC, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC, CBS, Court TV, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Associated Press, Reuters, U.P.I., N.Y. Times, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio and many others. He is the president and senior counselor of MGP & Associates PR (MGP), founded by Mr. Paul in 1994. The New York-based boutique firm provides senior counseling services to top corporate, government, non-profit, sports and entertainment clients in both good times and bad. No junior employees work at the firm.

Mr. Paul is known for building excellent teams of senior PR counselors and exceeding clients’ expectations. A few of the clients Mr. Paul has counseled include: Citicorp, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, United Airlines, Verizon, Time Warner, Pfizer, Baxter Healthcare, Manor Care, Libby Ross Breast Cancer Foundation, Timberland, Dunkin Donuts, Duracell, The Jackie Robinson Foundation, boxing legends Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, NY Giant greats Phil McConkey and Rodney Hampton, NY Jet legend Mark Gastineau, The Queen of Soul-Aretha Franklin, New York University, State University of New York, New School University, The King''s College, American Red Cross, Young Life, City Covenant Coalition and Vigilante Advertising, BrightLine Partners, Stratus Environmental and M7 Turf.

Lyondell Chemical Company, Business Wire, AudienceCentral and Shell Deer Park have committed to sponsor Mr. Paul, but other sponsorships are available. 

Please call Paula Ruth, APR at 281-870-1717 or e-mail her at for more information.

Coming in April: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

What happens when the staff of a public official is charged with misdoings?  Does the official go down with the staff? Joe Householder of Austin-based Public Strategies and counsel to Houston City Councilwoman Carol Alvarado will provide some insight in dealing with tight situations on April 4 at the Courtyard on St. James Place. LifeGift Organ Donation Center has committed to sponsor this event and other sponsorships are available.

Please call Paula Ruth, APR at 281-870-1717 or e-mail her at for more information.


PR Day Committee to Kick Off Planning on Feb. 12

Interested in getting involved in PRSA Houston? Consider joining the PR Day Committee and help plan PRSA Houston''s premier professional development event. The year''s first meeting will be held 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, at Amazon Grill on Kirby.

Send a note to one of the committee chairs, Bill Zander at or Suzanne Lammers at, to express your interest.


Join PRSA--The Old Fashioned Way 

If you have been trying to join PRSA, the national website is under construction and the online registration form has not been available.  While we can only apologize for the inconvenience, please know that you can still join PRSA by using a paper application. These are available at our monthly meetings and by emailing Paula Ruth, APR at to have a copy mailed to you.

National assures us they are working on the problem, but in the meantime you won''t want to miss the benefits of membership including 1.) access to the online list of members; 2.) lower prices at lunches and all national and local PRSA events and awards competitions 3.) access to the national databases of case histories, and all the other benefits. Invest in yourself in 2007 by making PRSA (and PRSA Houston) membership a priority.


Mark Your Calendar for These Important Excalibur Dates

Excalibur 2007 launched with a breakfast at Le Peep organized by Sally Ramsay, Pierpont Communications. The group set April 11 as the date for entries with the drop off location at Pierpont Communications. The group will be looking for a venue for a June 21 presentation, so mark these dates on your calendar. Among those present were (left to right) Paula Smead; Michelle McCormick, Toby Stark Public Relations; Sally Ramsay; Christy Lee, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., and Eydie Pengelly, APR, Eydie Pengelly Marketing Communications, PR Foundatiion Silent Auction chair.  Also present but not pictured was Mike Breslin, APR, Hill & Knowlton Public Relations, and Paula Ruth, APR.


Short on Time? Big on Contacts? Support the PRFH Auction Committee

Your contact list could help generate items or contact details to secure items to the 2007 PR Foundation of Houston’s silent auction.

Held during June’s Excalibur Awards presentation dinner, this much-anticipated event is a great way to showcase Houston area restaurants, stores, salons/spas, museums, and sporting events/venues to one of Houston’s hippest/trendiest demographics – PR, Marketing and Communications professionals.

Plus, all proceeds from auction items go to a great cause. The PRFH is one of our community’s only scholarship funds dedicated to helping deserving high school and college students who are studying PR, journalism and communications. 

We’re currently seeking the following items or contact details to get them:

  • Golf packages at area courses
  • Tickets to Houston Symphony, Opera, Ballet
  • Concert tickets at Cynthia Mitchell Pavilion
  • Portrait photography packages
  • Certificates to area restaurants, wine bars, clubs
  • Salon and spa packages
  • Sporting goods
  • Electronics (iPods, cameras, PDAs)

Get involved. Get your clients involved. Contact Eydie Pengelly at or 713.467.2718 for more information.  


January Luncheon a Success

As you found out at the January luncheon, no longer is it sufficient for companies to obey the laws, pay taxes, be profitable and create employment. Citizens around the world want companies to contribute to broader societal goals as well. Amy Mifflin, manager of Corporate Social Responsbility at Marathon Oil, spoke to PRSA Houston on how Marathon Oil and others are meeting the challenge of CSR and diversity–and how doing good is good business. We want to thank Amy for her time and insight.

Luncheon Highlights

Friendly competition: Sally Ramsay (left), Pierpont Communications, 2006 PRSA Houston president, helped get the new year started by donating a door prize that Carolyn Mayo, 2000 PRSA Houston president, Vollmer Public Relations won.

Luncheon sponsor Ken Bailey, Image Resources Group, presents Robyn Howard, Employee Benefit Solutions, with a collection of calendars.

PRSA Houston 2007 President Lisa Martin-Walsh, Lyondell Chemical (second from left) thanks Aaron Long and Katie Laird, Schipul-The Web Marketing Company, AV sponsors, and Rody Kuchar, Image Resources, and Jackie Whitely, US Newswire, for sponsoring the January luncheon.

PRSA Houston 2007 President Lisa Martin-Walsh, Lyondell Chemical, greets Amy Mifflin, manager of corporate social responsibility for Marathon Oil Company.


New Pros Names 2007 Executive Committee 

PRSA Houston’s New Professionals group has named its Executive Committee for 2007. New Pros is a subcommittee of the PRSA Houston Chapter aimed at developing the careers of public relations practitioners with up to five years experience, as well as graduating students and professionals new to the industry. The group allows new practitioners opportunities to network, gain an insider’s view of the public relations scene, and engage themselves in Houston’s business community.

The executive committee is focused on building the programs and events that provide developmental and educational activities for future practitioners.  Through these programs, New Pros members are educated on the exciting opportunities and increasing challenges the PR industry faces in business and society.

The 2007 executive committee is as follows:

Chair – Todd Holloman, Mayor’s Office of Special Events

Todd is a graduate of Baylor University and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science. Upon graduation, he joined the staff at the Art Colony Association as a community relations and volunteer manager. Last May, Todd joined the Mayor’s Office of Special Events as an event coordinator.  

As chairman for 2007, Todd will lead the New Pros group by overseeing meetings, ensuring deadlines are met and serving as a contact for the group and other projects.  

Vice Chair – Emilee Fontenot

Emilee’s PR experience includes working as an intern, employee and contractor for non-profits, agencies, and small firms. Other experience includes administrative work in the oil and gas and printing industries.  A graduate of Louisiana State University, she decided to return to school by enrolling as a graduate student at the University of Houston, where she received her master’s degree in public relations. A native Houstonian, Emilee lives in west Houston with her husband of five years, Ryan.

Emilee previously served as the group’s director at large and will assume the role of vice chair in 2007. In her new role, Emilee will support the New Pros chair and contribute to the development of the group’s programs and activities.  

Director at Large – Ryan Rice, Vollmer Public Relations
After working for more than seven years at the American Heart Association, Ryan rejoined Vollmer as an account supervisor where he provides marketing and public relations services for clients in the non-profit sector. Ryan is a graduate of Texas A&M University. He volunteers his time to local and national causes including the American Heart Association and the Pride Committee of Houston. A PRSA member, Ryan also serves on the chapter’s program committee.

Secretary – Chris Lopez, Greater Greenspoint Management District
Chris is the public information officer for the Greater Greenspoint Management District where he oversees the coordination and production of the District’s publications, development of PowerPoint presentations, assists with media relations and event planning, and serves as primary resource of District information. An active member of the community, he also serves on the Aldine-Greenspoint YMCA board of directors and the North Houston – Greenspoint Chamber of Commerce marketing committee. Chris received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. He is currently working on his master’s of business administration degree in marketing from the University of Phoenix. Lopez is a native Houstonian and lives near the Montrose area.

As secretary, Chris produces the correspondence and coordinates the web site maintenance work for the group.

Treasurer – Erin Blatzer, Houston Museum of Natural Science

Erin is the assistant director of public relations for the Houston Museum of Natural Science. A PRSA member since 2004, she has won five awards for public relations campaigns at the museum and was recently honored as the 2006 PRSA Young Professional of the Year.  In addition to her work at the museum, Erin has lent her expertise to the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater and frequently speaks at Houston-area colleges, including the University of St. Thomas, where she is an alumna.  

As the New Pros’ treasurer, Erin is responsible for monitoring the financial activity of the group and advising the group on financial decisions.


Be a Luncheon Sponsor in 2007

We want to thank our January sponsors Image Resources Group, U.S. News Wire and our AV sponsor, Schipul-The Web Marketing Company, for underwriting our January luncheon. We thank Schipul for offering to provide AV at every lunch this year. We are also honored to have Lyondell, Shell Deer Park, AudienceCentral and Business Wire as sponsors of our February luncheon. Others are available for that and for every lunch. Our luncheon sponsors make it possible to bring in speakers from around the country, occasiionally, and still maintain a break-even luncheon price for our members. Please call Paula Ruth, APR, at 281-870-1717 if you are interested or email her at 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 450 PRSA Houston members or one-time use of electronically provided membership list (if desired).
For larger sponsorships, we can discuss tables.


Find Your Best Employees at

The New Year has meant new job opportunities posted on the PRSA Houston website at . Whether you are adding your first employee or filling a slate of new roles, the PRSA Houston job bank is the best place to find qualified people.  After registering on the site, click on “Job Bank,” then “submit a job.”  Payment is generally with a credit card, though checks may also be mailed and invoicing is available upon request for members. 


Welcome to These New Members!

Karen Weaver, Hilton Houston Westchase

Suzanne Haugen, Administaff

Katie Laird, Schipul-The Web Marketing Company

Member News

Susie McMichael, ABC, has joined Sabre Marketing as senior account executive.


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 March newsletter is February 15, 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 | Sub Category: newsletter