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July ePRo - PRSA Houston July Workshop Deadline Approaching

Welcome to the July 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.

July Workshop: “Social Media and Public Relations”

If you’re not already blogging or monitoring blogs for mentions of your company, odds are good that you will be doing exactly that in the near future. Blogs and other Internet-based technologies are quickly changing the face of business communications and public relations and how we go about measuring the impact of a PR campaign.

So mark your calendar for July 11, 2007, when Josh Hallet, an internationally recognized expert in the use of Web and Internet-based technologies for business communication, leads a workshop on social media and how it can be used effectively and strategically in public relations. Hallet will also speak at PRSA Houston’s July luncheon following the workshop.

Hallet has been involved in emerging internet communication technologies for over ten years and works closely with PR practitioners and corporate communicators to integrate these technological tools into organizations’ public and media strategic planning. He is a Fellow/Board Member of the Society of New Communications Research, a member of the Information Architecture Institute, and the Florida Public Relations Association. Find out more about Josh Hallet at


What: Workshop and luncheon

Who: Josh Hallet, social media consultant, Hyku, LLC

When: Wednesday, July 11
Workshop: 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Networking: 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Luncheon: 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Where: The Courtyard at St. James Place, 1885 St. James Place

How: Register online at

Pricing: Workshop and luncheon: PRSA members/$100, Non-member/$115; Workshop only: PRSA members/$75, Non-member/$85; Luncheon only: PRSA member/$30, Non-members/$35

Sponsorship: BusinessWire has committed to sponsoring this event. Sponsorships are available for the workshop and luncheon. For more information, contact Paula Ruth at 281-870-1717, or Shelli Manning at 713-275-5031,

Coming in August

What is “Automobile Energy Diversity?” Find out how General Motors focuses its public relations campaigns on the critical energy issue to persuade stakeholders when GM’s Craig Eppling speaks at our Aug. 1 luncheon at the Courtyard on St. James. Sponsorships are available.  Please email Paula Ruth, APR, at

Don’t Miss Early-Bird Savings for PR Day!

If you sign up for PR Day 2007 before Aug. 15, you will save $35 off the regular registration fee. The price of $130 is a bargain for a premier local professional development opportunity, compared to the hassle of travel and other expenses if you attend a national professional development event. PR Atlas: Navigating Beyond Borders will be held Sept. 13 at The Westin Galleria. Sign up on the PRSA Houston Web site now.

The PR Day committee is actively seeking sponsors. There are many different sponsorship levels to fit different budgets. If you are interested in sponsorship, please contact Suzanne Lammers or Bill Zander for more information.

Excalibur Award Wrap-up: Another Successful Year

The Excalibur Awards were the place to be on June 21, as roughly 247 practitioners, clients, chief executive officers and Public Relations Foundation of Houston supporters gathered in The Westin Galleria Ballroom for the gala. The Practice Growth Team of Pannell Kerr Forster of Texas, P.C., captured the Grand Excalibur Award, the highest award given by PRSA Houston. PKF Texas Practice Growth Team also won the Communications Team of the Year.  David McKinney, APR, manager of external affairs for Shell Chemical Company (Deer Park), was named Public Relations Professional of the Year. Sam Holtzman, president and chief executive officer of LifeGift Organ Donation Center (West University), received the CEO Communicator of the Year Award.  Dr. Robert L. Heath, professor of communications at the University of Houston, earned the Chapter’s Legacy Award for lifetime achievement.  

Isiah Carey, reporter for KRIV-TV Fox 26 and creator of a blog called “The Insite,” was master of ceremonies for the event. Event chairs were Sally Ramsay, Pierpont Communications; Christy Lee, InkSpot Communications; Michelle McCormick, Toby Stark Public Relations, and Michael Breslin, APR, Hill & Knowlton. A 75-item silent auction that benefited the Public Relations Foundation of Houston (PRFH) raised about 33 percent more than previous auctions. Eydie Pengelly, APR, Eydie Pengelly Marketing Communications, chaired the silent auction.

Top sponsors included Hill & Knowlton, presenting sponsor, and the King’s Court: Brookwoods Group, BusinessWire, Coyne Public Relations, LifeGift Organ Donation Center, Shell Oil Company and Sterling Bank. The Houston Chronicle was the media sponsor. Stimulacra provided graphics and Wright’s Printing, the printing. Knights of the Roundtable included Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Edelman Public Relations, Lyondell Chemical Company, Marion, Montgomery Inc., Noble Drilling Services, Inc., Pierpont Communications (2), PKF of Texas, University of Houston, Vollmer Public Relations, Ward Creative Communications, Waste Management, Inc.  Paula Ruth & Company Public Relations was the dessert sponsor.

Photos may be ordered here:

Thank you to the Excalibur team for all your hard work.

Photo highlights include:

The PKF Texas Practice Growth Team, who won the Communications Team of the Year Award, took a moment to pose for a quick picture. From left to Right: Karen Love - Director, Practice Growth; Raissa Evans - Marketing/Practice Growth Manager; Greg Price - Director, Consulting Solutions; Kenneth Guidry - President; Jen Lemanski - Practice Growth Associate ; and Undrea Miller-Hines - Practice Growth Administrative Assistant.

Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Holtzman talk with Excalibur Co-Chair Michelle McCormick. Mr. Holtzman, president and chief executive officer of LifeGift Organ Donation Center,
received the CEO Communicator of the Year Award. He arrived early, equipped
with LifeGift pins. Courtesy of Alexanders' Photography.

Volunteers and board members for the Public Relations Foundation of Houston and its silent auction included Julie Fix, APR, Fix & Associates; Suzanne Lammers, Cyrus One; Eydie Pengelly, APR, Eydie Pengelly Marketing Communications; Alice Brink, APR, A Brink & Co., and Susan Ann Schmaeling, APR, Susan Schmaeling PR & Marketing. Courtesy of Alexanders' Photography.

PRSA Houston 2007 Chapter President Lisa Martin-Walsh, Lyondell Chemical Company,  talks with Excalibur co-chair Christy Lee, InkSpot Communications; Emilee Fontenot, and PRSA 2006 President Sally Ramsay, Pierpont Communications, coordinating director for the event. Courtesy of Alexanders' Photography.

Mrs. Ginger Heath and Dr. Robert Heath, winner of the Legacy Award. Courtesy of Alexanders' Photography.

Membership Special Extended

Although the Think Bigger membership promotion closed officially on July 1, you can still get the special through the end of July. New members who join through Think Bigger get a free first-year Chapter membership with their payment of $290 to cover National dues of $225 plus the $65 initiation fee. PRSA National will cover all Chapter costs. This offer is valid for new members or for members who have been inactive for at least one year.

HCA Huge Summer Mixer

PRSA Houston sponsored the Houston Communications Alliance Big Huge Summer Mixer on June 14. More than 900 people turned out for the Houston Communications Alliance summer networking event at the Courtyard on St. James Places. PRSA Houston Job Bank Coordinator Mike Wysatta, Ryder Scott, was among those

Find Your Best Employees at

Job opportunities have been posted on the PRSA Houston website at every week. 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.

Be a Luncheon Sponsor in 2007

We have opportunities to be involved in all of our upcoming luncheons and professional development events. Our luncheon sponsors make it possible to bring in speakers from around the country, occasionally, 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.

Leadership Positions Opened

We are still seeking accredited members as chairs of the Professional Development Committee and the Ethics Committee. Please contact Lisa Martin-Walsh at or Paula Ruth, APR, at if you interested. And, if you would like to be nominated to run for the Board of Directors of PRSA Houston, please contact Sally Ramsay, Pierpont Communication at As past president, Sally chairs the nominating committee. The terms are three years beginning in January 2008.

Is an APR in Your Future?

Congratulations to Laura Frnka, APR, Pierpont Communications, for earning her accreditation. We are delighted to report that Stephanie Dedeaux, APR, has agreed to chair accreditation.

Several members of the PRSA Houston chapter are exploring professional accreditation, and discovering candidates' need will be critical to designing a preparatory curriculum. Anyone interested in accreditation is asked to complete an Accreditation Assessment, surveying the candidate's level of knowledge and preferences.

If you're considering accreditation, the prep courses will help you gain confidence and be prepared for the Readiness Review panel and subsequent four-hour computerized exam. The prep courses aren't limited to those pursuing accreditation. The study process is an excellent professional development opportunity.

Feedback is critical to designing a prep course best suited to this chapter. For more information about the accreditation process, contact Stephanie Dedeaux, APR at

New Pros Mixes It Up at Belvedere on July 12

Summer is here and the New Pros group is kicking off its "Summer Social Series" just for you! The series is designed to give our members a chance to mix and mingle during their busy schedules. If you're looking for your own "summer vacation," this series is a great way to kick back and relax. Our third event is scheduled for Thursday, July 12, 6:30 p.m., at Belvedere in the Galleria's Uptown Park area.

Register today at All events are free to members and non-members. The costs of beverages and food will be the responsibility of the individual. We'll see you this summer!

New Members

Mike Emery, University of Houston

Valerie Bernardino, Interface Consulting International, Inc.

Kimberly A. Nichols, CAMAC

Brian Cain, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company

Michael Courtney

Tracie Copeland, Dow Chemical Company

Melbourne Scott, Calpine Corp.

Member News

Joy Partain is now director of community relations for Amegy Bank.

Marti Gazzier is now Marti Powers. She is General Manager, Government and Public Affairs for BP.

Suzanne Lammers is now with Cyrus One.

Karen E. Weaver is meeting services manager for Hotel Zaza Houston.

Burson Marsteller's office has moved to 1001 Fannin, Suite 500, 77002.

Christy Lee has opened InkSpot Communications. Her new email address is

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 August newsletter is July 20, 2007. 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
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