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June ePRo - Excalibur Is Fast Approaching

Welcome to the June 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.

Rub Elbows with Houston''s Top PR Professionals!

On June 21, the Houston Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and Hill & Knowlton will host the PRSA Houston’s 2007 Excalibur Awards, celebrating an evening of “A-List” strategies and results.

List-topping communications professionals and teams will be honored with the Gold, Silver and Bronze Excalibur Awards for their development and execution of comprehensive public relations programs and tactics. And topping this year’s “A-List” is  the Grand Excalibur Award – the top honor bestowed at this exclusive event.    

Other A-List honorees of the evening include:   

CEO Communicator of the Year: Sam Holtzman - LifeGift President and CEO  Legacy Award Winner: Dr. Robert Heath- University of Houston Professor  


What: Excalibur Awards

When: Thursday, June 21, 2007
6:00 pm  - Silent Auction to benefit the Public Relations Foundation of Houston Don’t forget to bring your credit cards or checkbook and your competitive spirit!
Dinner and Awards Ceremony to follow

Where: The Westin Galleria Ballroom
5060 West Alabama
Houston, Texas 77056

How: Don’t miss this event and end up on the D-list, register today! Online registration before 11:30 a.m., June 18 at

Self parking is complementary. Valet parking is available for $12.

2007 Excalibur Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor: Hill & Knowlton

King’s Court:   
    Brookwoods Group   
    Coyne Public Relations
    Shell Oil Company   
    Sterling Bank   

Knights of the Roundtable:   
    Edelman Public Relations 
    Lyondell Chemical Company
    Marion, Montgomery Inc.   
    Pierpont Communications (2)   
    Vollmer Public Relations   
    Ward Creative Communications     

In-Kind Contributions:   
    The Houston Chronicle   
    Wright’s Printing   

For additional information, contact Paula Ruth, APR at or 281-870-1717.

“GoodBuys” Silent Auction to Benefit PR Foundation of Houston

We’ve collected an array of “GoodBuys” just for you. Bring your shopping list and credit cards to this much-anticipated June 21 event at The Westin Galleria Hotel. Bidding starts at 6:00 p.m.

Early contributions include:

“Good” for your body:

  • Apple iPod Nano
  • Bliss Spa Basket
  • YMCA Family Membership
  • Arbonne Makeup Basket
  • Manicures
  • Facials
  • Pedicures
  • Sweet Leaf Tea Baskets

“Good” for family fun:

  • Continental Airline Tickets   
  • Astros Tickets
  • Museum of Natural Science Tickets
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Wings Over Houston Tickets
  • Sweet Leaf Tea Baskets
  • Texas Renaissance Festival Tickets
  • Houston Tennis Association
  • Alexander’s Portrait

“Good” for your mind:

  • Apple Video iPod
  • Aveda Spa Certificate
  • Houston Grand Opera Tickets
  • Wine Tasting Parties
  • DiverseWorks
  • Afternoon Sailing
  • Golf Outings

“Good” for you:

  • Wine Baskets
  • Houstonian Resort Stay
  • Tennis Lesson at the MET
  • Financial Planning
  • Restaurant Certificates
  • Beer Tasting Party
  • Shopping at Harold Powell
  • Greg Biggio autographed baseball

PRSA Houston Presents “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 a luncheon following the workshop. This will serve as PRSA Houston’s July luncheon and meeting.   

Hallet has been involved in emerging internet communication technologies for more than ten years and works closely with public relations 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, as well as a member of the Information Architecture Institute, and the Florida Public Relations Association.


What: Social Media and Public Relations

Who: Josh Hallet

When: When: Wednesday, July 11

Who: Workshop: 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
    Networking: 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    Luncheon: 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

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

How: Register online at
  Workshop and luncheon: PRSA Houston members: $100; Non-members: $115  Workshop only: PRSA Houston members: $75; Non-members: $85  Luncheon only: PRSA Houston members: $30; Non-members: $35    Pre-registration is recommended as seating is limited.   

Sponsorships are available for both the workshop and luncheon. For more information, please contact Terri Larson at  More information on Josh Hallet is available online at

PR Day Sponsorships Available

The PR Day planning committee is developing a dynamic program and signing up sponsors. PR Day will be held Sept. 13 at The Westin Oaks.

Opportunities range from sponsoring a master’s breakfast ($350) to an exclusive sponsorship of the event ($4,000). If you are interested in raising your company’s visibility among a group of influential communicators, e-mail Suzanne Lammers or Bill Zander for more information.

The Big Huge Summer Mixer

PRSA Houston is part of the Houston Communications Alliance, sponsoring this huge networking event from 5-10 p.m., June 14, at the Courtyard on St. James. Please RSVP to for this free event.  A second event will be Nov. 29.

New Pros Kick Off “Summer Social Series” in June

Summer is just around the corner and the New Pros group is ready to kick of its “Summer Social Series” just for you!  Join us as we will host six social events throughout June, July and August to give all PRSA members a chance to take some time off from their busy schedules. If you’re looking for your own “summer vacation,” come be a part of our series.  Each event is scheduled on a Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.  The dates and locations are as follows:

  • June 14 – Gravitas, 807 Taft 
  • June 28 – Sake Lounge at Bayou Place, 550 Texas
  • July 12 – Belvedere, 1131 Uptown Park Blvd.
  • July 26 – Laff Stop, 526 Waugh
  • August 9 – Max’s Wine Dive, 4720 Washington Avenue, Suite B
  • August 23 – Dave & Busters, 6010 Richmond      

Sign up today by visiting the PRSA events calendar at  All events are free to members and non-members. The costs of beverages and food will be the responsibility of the individual.

Calling all APRs

We are still seeking accredited members as chairs of the Accreditation Committee, Professional Development Committee and the Ethics Committee.  Please contact Lisa Martin-Walsh at or Paula Ruth, APR, at if you interested.

What Do Petri Darby, Sharon Dotson & Toby Stark Have in Common?

They have recently renewed their business directory listings, placing their Web site on PRSA Houston’s top ranked site. Just google “public relations & Houston” and see what happens. For $100, you can advertise your firm for a year on our Web site at Register on the site, if needed, then simply pay with a credit card.

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 e-mail 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, tables are available.  Sponsorships also are available for other events. We thank Hill & Knowlton Public Relations for stepping forward as the Presenting Sponsor for the Excalibur Awards and to the Brookswoods Group, BusinessWire, Coyne Public Relations, Shell Oil Company and Sterling Bank for being King’s Court sponsors. We already have been getting inquiries from prospective sponsors for other top sponsorships, some of which are out-of-state, so please commit today to be in the invitation for the June 21 event. The levels are posted on the Web site.

PR Foundation Board of Houston Awards Annual Scholarships

The Public Relations Foundation of Houston (PRFH) announced today that its board of directors has awarded the third annual Public Relations Foundation of Houston scholarship to Amy Leigh Sckittone, a student at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Sckittone is majoring in public relations and begins her senior year at A&M this fall

In this photo (from left to right), PRSA Houston President Lisa Martin stands with Amy Leigh Sckittone and PRFH President Susan Schmaeling, APR.

The scholarship committee of the PRFH also has selected Charlotte Hutchinson as the winning candidate for the Ralph Frede Scholarship at the University of Houston. Hutchinson, who also will be a senior this fall, is majoring in public relations.    

The PRFH is a dedicated fund within the Greater Houston Community Foundation, serving as the scholarship arm of the Houston Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. PRFH aims to enhance the quality of education by creating a permanent educational endowment that provides scholarships for students studying communications and/or public relations at Sam Houston State University, Texas A&M University and the University of Houston.

Join PRSA in June!
Think Bigger
Think Career Growth
Think PRSA

Take your profession to a whole new level—and get a PRSA Houston Chapter membership FREE for one year when you join PRSA National during May or June 2007 at the full member rate of $290 ($225 national dues plus $65 initiation fee). As the world’s largest organization for public relations professionals, PRSA puts you in a better position to advance your career and stay up-to-date with issues that affect your profession.

Not only do you get all the benefits of your local Houston Chapter, plus you''ll enjoy a host of PRSA member benefits, including:

  • Professional Development - Access on-site seminars and conferences,  teleseminars, e-Learning and the International Conference, the most dynamic annual gathering in the industry.
  • Network - Build new business relationships with your peers through Chapters, Professional Interest Sections, Affinity Group, leadership and social activities, e-Groups and the online Membership Directory.
  • Subscriptions - Learn about the latest PR strategies, technologies and trends in our award-winning publications, The Strategist and Public Relations Tactics.    
  • Information and Research Services - Find answers to your most challenging public relations questions 24 hours a day with PRSA''s Professional Resource Center and PRC Search. Also receive our news monitoring service PR Issues and Trends via e-mail.  
  • Career Development - Accelerate your career with our online JobCenter, an Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), mentoring services and Career ToolsTM.  
  • Industry Recognition - Participate in our programs, including Silver and Bronze    Anvil Awards, that recognize the best in public relations practices and tactics.
  • Members-Only Offers - Enjoy special rates on teleconferencing services, car rentals, office supplies, air freight and items from the PRSA Store. Members can also apply or a PRSA member credit card, as well as business and general liability insurance. 

Join online today at and be sure to enter Promotion Code CHAP2007 or use this specially marked application (PDF). For more information about the Houston Chapter, visit Chapter dues are only $55.

PRSA Satellite Social Fun in the Kingwood Area

On May 23, about 10 PRSAers and guests gathered at Amedeo''s in the Kingwood area for the second satellite social of the year. A great success, the bash had a little mixing and a mingling, a little gossip and lots of "professional" networking. And let''s not forget the terrific appetizers provided free from Amedeo''s!  In the photo to the left, you can see Priscilla Tinsley and Danielle Schaaf enjoying a visit. A good time was had by all. And the group agreed...there should be more events like these!

Don''t miss our third-quarter destination in Sugar Land. More information to come on the date and location so stay tuned!

Learning the Secrets to Making Fortune''s "100 Best Companies to Work For" List

Each year companies and non-profits strive to be on Fortune Magazine "100 Best Companies to Work For" list. Being selected to this elite group is one of the hottest promotional tools companies are using to attract the best workers, increase employee retention rates, and solicit new customers and shareholders. At this past month''s luncheon, representatives from Texas Instruments, 2007 #87; EOG Resources, 2007 #83; and The Methodist Hospital System, 2007 #9; shared with us their secrets about what it takes to make the Fortune "100 Best Companies to Work For" list.

Among the speakers were (left to right) Patricia L. Edwards, vice president, Human  Resources, Administration and Corporate Secretary, EOG Resources; Betty  Purkey, manager, Work/Life Programs, Texas Instruments, with Assembly  Delegate Carolyn Mayo, APR, Vollmer Public Relations, moderator; PRSA  Houston President Lisa Martin-Walsh, Lyondell Chemical Company; and Stefanie  Asin,  director of communications, The Methodist Hospital System, who spoke about  ranking in the top 10.

New Members

Andrea Dahlke

Katherine Powell, Sr. Acct. Exec, Sheepdog Inc.

Nicole Scanlin, Vollmer

Dave Scallan

Jeffrey C. Wade, HP

Tricia Bentley, Vollmer

Richard Bonnin, University of Houston

Henry A. de La Garza, APR, de La Garza Public Relations

Melissa Fouts, The Menninger Clinic

Christian Riepe, RTS Marketing Research

Anne Deuermeyer, BusinessWire

Emerson Darbonne

Aisha Toote, Harris County

Dawne R. Proffitt, Randall''s Food Market

Chester Jacinto, University of Houston Bauer College of Business

Chevalier Roshel Mayes, Reliant Energy

Melodie Francis, Houston Museum of Natural Science

Robin Lebovitz, Consulate of Israel in Houston

Kimberly Lacayo, Anadarko Petroleum

Robert C. Newberry, El Paso Corp.

Member News

Kelli Newman, APR, vice president and co-owner of Newman & Newman, Inc., was invited again this year to contribute to the annual Broadcast Public Relations edition of PR Tactic''s. Her article, "The Experience Factor of Broadcast Public Relations" appears in the national publication''s June issue.

PRSA Houston board member Petri Darby, APR, and former PRSA Houston board chair Dan Keeney, APR, recently co-authored an article for the Houston Business Journal titled "Technology tears down barriers to create new, ‘virtual’ PR firms."

Susan Richardson is now director of policy and corporate affairs for BG-Group.  

Jennifer Friedmann is now vice president and director of public relations for The Point Group.

Board member Kelly Papinchak is now in internal communications at Shell Oil Company.  Her new contact info: 713-241-4263  and e-mail is

Marcie Hysinger has opened Pivot Advisors. Her phone is (713) 412-0840.

On a sad note, we mourn the passing of two of our former members. Gretchen Truitt, former member and program chair of PRSA Houston, has passed away. We also mourn for former PRSA President John Robert Rowley, who passed away on April 19 at the age of 87 in East Lansing, Michigan, from complications of a stroke. Mr. Rowley served as president of PRSA Houston in 1974. He also served as president of the Miami, Fla., Chapter.

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 July newsletter is June 23, 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
Category: newsletter | Sub Category: newsletter