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November ePRo: Luncheon Deadline Approaching

Welcome to the November 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.

November Luncheon: Teach for America

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, Gillian Smith, Vice President of Marketing for Teach For America, will share how the organization has used sound marketing and public relations strategies to ignite their explosive growth. Non-profits and for-profits alike can learn from this presentation.

Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity. This year, more than 5,000 corps members are teaching in over 1,000 schools and more than 12,000 Teach For America alumni continue working from inside and outside the field of education for the fundamental changes necessary to ensure educational excellence and equity.


When: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 11:30 a.m.

Where: Courtyard on St. James, 1885 St. James Place, Houston TX 77056


Special thanks to our sponsors Image Resources Group and PR Newswire. Additional sponsorships are available for upcoming PRSA activities. Please call Paula Ruth, APR at 281-870-1717 or e-mail her at for more information.

Jump Start 2007 — Accreditation Session

Have you ever wondered what it takes to become accredited in public relations? Here’s your chance to find out that and more in “JumpStart 2007.” Saturday, November 17, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. the PRSA Houston chapter will sponsor a one-day workshop to prepare anyone interested for the accreditation process. If you’re committed to pursuing professional Accreditation or simply contemplating it for the future, you probably have questions. Among the topics will be:

  • Review of Accreditation Process
  • Review of knowledge, skills and abilities to be tested
  • Review of reference texts
  • Discussion of Readiness Review
  • Examination fee and other costs
  • APR candidate’s checklist and schedule

The workshop is hands-on learning opportunity that will give candidates a jumpstart on preparing for the Readiness Review and exam. Please come prepared to share your questions and insights.

Accredited professionals are needed to help facilitate this workshop. Not only will you get a refresher on valuable information, but you can also earn APR maintenance credits.

A minimum of five years’ experience in public relations and related fields is recommended. If you plan to attend “JumpStart 2007”, or would like to but can’t make this date, please contact Stephanie Dedeaux, APR at or 713-420-5449. Information on the Accreditation process may also be found at Register here for the event.

Request for Judges

The Cincinnati chapter of PRSA was gracious enough to judge all the entries in this year's Excalibur awards competition, and now is our chapter's chance to pay them back. The Cincinnati chapter will stage their local competition next month, and volunteers are needed from the Houston chapter to judge their entries once they are shipped here. The judging will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 1, at Vollmer Public Relations, 808 Travis Suite 501, Houston, TX 77002. Members willing to judge should contact Mike Breslin at, 713.752.1938. Lunch and beverages will be provided by Hill & Knowlton.

Planning Meeting Set for Friday, Nov. 9

If you would like to be involved in PRSA Houston’s leadership, come join the 2008 Board in a planning session on Friday, Nov. 9, at Direct Energy, 12 Greenway Plaza, 4th Floor Conference Room. The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. and end at noon. Email Priscilla Tinsley at or Paula Ruth, APR, at to say you are coming. If you can’t make it, but are interested, please let Priscilla Tinsley know that, too.

Houston Communications Alliance Plans Big Huge
Holiday Mixer

PRSA Houston will again join with 17 other communications organizations for a holiday bash from 5-10 p.m., Nov. 29, at Courtyard on St. James. Tad Grow of BrandIt Marketing is again organizing the event. Entertainment will include Ezra Charles and the Works The King of Texas Blues, Harbor Lights Chorus and Watching Suits Try to Dance. For this event, RSVP by e-mailing PRSA members should watch their mail for the printed invitation.

Reminder! Luncheon Policy Change on Nametags

The PRSA Board has approved a policy change. Only the PRSA Houston members who have reservations should have a permanent name badge at the luncheon. All walk-ins will need to use handwritten paper nametags. So, PRSA Houston members have two reasons to register in advance: 1.) lower price; and 2.) permanent nametag available. Of course, we will continue to bill those who do not show nor pay for their reservations.

Check Out the Job Bank

New jobs are posted each week. Sometimes an employer will get enough resumes in the first day or so that they ask us to “turn off” the ad. So check the website frequently. You just might miss a great opportunity.

Advertise Your Business in the Business Directory

The newest addition to the Business Directory is Pixel Creative Group, a graphic design firm. If you want to reach the 2000/day (and sometimes more) who visit the PRSA Houston Web site, then consider advertising on our business directory. For $100, you get a year of exposure on a site that is among the top-ranked for public relations in Houston.

The Year Is Not Over Yet!

We have opportunities to be involved in both the November luncheon and holiday party. Image Resources Group and PR Newswire have committed to sponsor our November luncheon featuring Teach for America. Come greet Jackie Whitley and congratulate the new dad as father of Clover Skye. Sponsorships also are available for 2008. Our luncheon sponsors make it possible to bring in speakers from around the country 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, tables are available.

Did You Miss the New Pros Writing Seminar

More than 30 people turned out to participate in the writing seminar led by Doug Williams and organized by the New Professionals Committee.

Doug Williams of Fuse 5 donated his time to the help young people improve their writing.

Organizers of the highly successful writing seminar greet Doug Williams of Fuse 5 after the event. They include (left to right) New Pros Chairman Todd Holloman, City of Houston; Doug Williams of Fuse 5, speaker; Emilee Fontenot, Elmore Public Relations, and Erin Blatzer, Houston Museum of Natural Science. Not able to attend was Chris Lopez, Rice University, also an organizer.

A Great Turnout for the October Luncheon

The October Luncheon drew 74 public relations professionals to hear Harry Rhulen, chief executive officer of Firestorm, describe how his firm was brought in to help Virginia Tech several days after the April shootings. He presented his book, "Disaster Ready People for a Disaster Ready America" to each person attending. Greeting Rhulen afterwards are (left to right) Ed Schipul, Schipul-The Web Marketing Company, our October sponsor, PRSA President Lisa Walsh, Lyondell Chemical Company, Rhulen (with book) and Aaron Woods, APR, Lyondell Chemical Company, program chair. Firestorm does vulnerability analysis, risk mitigation and crisis management in preparing for crises, but not public relations. They work with public relations professionals to develop the communications messages related to emergency response.

Silent Auction Success

PRSA Houston President Lisa Walsh, Lyondell Chemical Company (right), presents Auction Chair and Public Relations Foundation of Houston board member Eydie Pengelly, Eydie Pengelly Marketing Communications, with the net auction proceeds of $8,508. The PRSA Houston Board of Directors voted to cover the auction expenses from funds they budgeted for Foundation Support, enabling a straight pass through of the total purchased by auction supporters at the Excalibur Awards event on June 21.

PRSA Houston Partners On 2008 Awards Contest

The PRSA Houston Chapter will partner once again with the Texas Public Relations Association (TPRA) to sponsor the 2008 Silver Spur/Best of Texas Awards Competition.

Chapter members may enter at the "member" rate, a savings of 50 percent from the non-member rate, and the chapter will receive a share of the contest proceeds as well as a portion of the entrance fees from Houston Chapter members.  

The Silver Spur/Best of Texas Awards Competition is the only statewide contest for Texas public relations practitioners and recognizes excellence in programs, projects and tactics.

This year’s contest has two entry “deadlines: “First Call” is 5 p.m., Jan. 17, 2008. “Last Call” is 5 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008, and each Last Call entry must be accompanied by a $50 late fee. Silver Spur and Best of Texas Awards will be presented at the annual awards banquet, Saturday, March 1 during TPRA's Annual Conference in San Antonio.

Information on the contest and conference should be available at by late October. In the meantime, for more information, e-mail or contact Julie B. Fix, APR, at 281-494-6097.

We Want You Back!
New for Year-End: Come Back Lapsed Members

During the fourth quarter, PRSA is waiving the $35 reinstatement fee for all members who lapsed during the past year (members who lapsed between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2006). If you have any questions, please contact Karen Blanchard, APR of Naumann Blanchard, LLC at

A Sincere Thank You
A Note From UH PRSSA President Heather Martin

On behalf of the PRSSA University of Houston Chapter, we want to say thank you for your generous donation and support in helping our members pursue their goals in attending National Conference and the chance to learn more about their chosen profession. With this opportunity, attending members will be networking with other PRSSA members from around the country and attending sessions that will help them in their careers.

Upon returning from the conference, each attendee is responsible for making a PowerPoint presentation on what they learned from the sessions they attended. These presentations will be presented at our first spring meeting in February. They will also be responsible for writing an article to go in our February issue of our newsletter.

Once again we appreciate your constant support and look forward to collaborating with your chapter in the future.

New Members

Thomas S. Baen

Mona Lugay, Wood Group

Sara Farris, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Tomise Martin, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Omar Ullah

Nicole Dixon, CanCare (transfer)

Wendy Baca, Cision, Inc.
Amy Pyle

Ruth Massingill, Sam Houston State University

Chris Jones, El Paso Corporation

Jacqueline Whitaker, Lee College

Ann C. Taylor (reinstated), Origin

Rick Rainey, EPCO

Member News

Stephen Gonzalez has been named manager of communications for Gulf South Pipeline Company.

David Edmonson has been promoted to director of marketing and public relations for the Houston Ballet.

Barney White is now vice president of investor relations for HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc.

Deedra Moe, public affairs advisor for ExxonMobil, has relocated to Baton Rouge, La.

Christine Miller has been promoted to director, North American Region Communications, for Rohm & Haas and relocated to Philadelphia, Pa.

Donna Parish is now marketing director for Navarro Junior College in Corsicana, Texas.

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 December newsletter is November 23, 2007. We love hearing your thoughts and news, so send generously to Stephanie Pertuit.

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