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October ePRo

Welcome to the October 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.

Assessing the Political Landscape in 2006: Can Republicans Ward Off the ‘Six Year’ Itch?

With highly contentious gubernatorial, congressional and state legislature races in our state, Texans have a lot to talk about when it comes to the upcoming November election. On October 4, Dr. Richard Murray will discuss these and other hot election topics. Get your seat now for what is sure to be a lively presentation.


Wednesday, October 4, 11:30 a.m.

Where: Courtyard on St. James

Register: Visit or contact Paula Ruth, APR, at (281) 870-1717.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Paula Ruth, APR, at or (281) 870-1717.

Risk Mitigation: Building & Maintaining Community Trust

Does your company ever face opposition from community groups, coalitions or angry landowners? Is it possible that you’ll face such opposition in the future? Do you know how to effectively build community support while also diffusing a potentially negative situation?

Active opposition, community resistance, delays, and distortions are what usually greet anyone today who brings progress or change to any community. Please join us for a
PRSA Houston professional development workshop on November 8, as Jim Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA reveals the patterns of resistance, and the mistakes and errors that trigger or enflame opposition and counteraction.

Jim will detail the key strategies to control your own destiny, be successful and win, even with persistent bad news, angry people and opposition. He will provide you with a checklist for overcoming opposition and achieving the objectives you set in the community. The techniques, strategies and concepts will help you avoid making the kinds of mistakes that assure, and often predict, failure.

Jim will also serve as keynote speaker for the
PRSA Houston monthly luncheon following the workshop; the topic for the luncheon is “Becoming a Trusted Advisor.”

Overcoming Opposition: Building Community Support
Date: Wednesday, November 8
Workshop: 8:00 am – 11:30 am (breakfast buffet included)
Luncheon: 11:30 am –1:30 pm
Where:Doubletree Hotel, 400 W. Dallas (downtown Houston)
Workshop only: $75 – PRSA Members, $85 – non-PRSA members
Luncheon only: $30 – PRSA members, $40 – non-PRSA members
Workshop & Luncheon: $100 – PRSA members, $120 – non-PRSA members

Many thanks to the sponsors for this event: Fleishman-Hillard and ChemRisk. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available–please contact Paula Smead at 713-664-8526 or for more information.

Proceeds from the workshop and luncheon will benefit the PR Foundation of Houston, a non-profit organization that supports the growth and development of the public relations profession by awarding scholarships to college students and providing grants and awards to educators. More information on PRFH is available online at

Mark the dates

PRSA Houston’s Board of Directors agreed to support the Christmas Party that will gather the Houston Communications Alliance together. The event will be Nov. 30 at the Courtyard on St. James.

PRSA will celebrate its own end of the year by recognizing our sponsors and leaders at a party, Dec. 6, at the Plaza Club, 910 Louisiana. Sponsor prices will be the same as regular luncheon prices. For information, please call Paula Ruth at 281-870-1717.

Thank you, Volunteers!

We have asked a lot this month and you accepted the challenge.  About 12 public relations professionals gave up part or all of a Saturday, Sept. 9, to judge the entries from the Georgia Chapter, which had previously judged PRSA Houston entries in the spring. Some people worked 8 hours! Then, a few more took work home and finished it. Our thanks to Sullivan Group Productions for donating facilities and Pierpont Communications for bringing breakfast and lunch.  Among those pictured are (clockwise from left) board member Wendy Burkeen, APR; Rene Smith, Mari Pillar, Paula Ruth, APR; Stephanie Pertuit, and Chapter President Sally Ramsay.  Also judging were Kristin Pacheco, Terry St. John, Paula Smead, Krystal Castro, Laura Frnka and board member Bill Zander.

Stephanie Dedeaux, APR and her team of PR Day helpers gathered Sept. 16 to stuff the conference notebooks, after they had also gathered twice to label and sort mailings. Numerous volunteers paid to work at PR Day. We appreciate your help!

Thank you to PR Day Sponsors

We wish to thank our sponsors and exhibitors for helping to make PR Day so successful.

This year’s sponsors included
CenterPoint Energy (notebook sponsor and then some), Vollmer Public Relations (special event luncheon sponsor), BusinessWire (lanyard sponsor), Hill & Knowlton (presentation sponsor); David Grossman and Associates (donated David Grossman’s speaking fee to student volunteers); M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (design services sponsor) as well as Terri Larson and Paula Smead who sponsored students. Thanks also to the exhibitors: MediaLink, PR Newswire, VMS, Stage Directions, Bacon''s, U.S. Newswire, VCI Group, Inc. and A&E-The Graphics Complex. We also thank Houston Mayor Bill White (left) who addressed the luncheon audience at PR Day.

The media panel was a big hit with PR Day attendees. Among the panelists were Ernie Manouse of KUHT Channel 8''s "The After Party and InnerVIEWS, Megan McBride of "Modern Luxury," Johnny Bravo of 104.1 KRBE, Howard Decker of Houston Chronicle neighborhood editions, Kim Davis of KPRC, Rachel McNeil of KPRC and Jason Whitely of KHOU. Ryan Rice (right), Vollmer Public Relations, moderated the end of the day media panel which held an audience of about 60 people captivated through the end of PR Day.

Be a Luncheon Sponsor

Sponsorships are available for every PRSA luncheon. Our luncheon sponsors make it possible to bring in speakers from around the country, if necessary, and still maintain a break-even luncheon price for our members. To purchase a table for the Oct. 4 luncheon or be a sponsor at any luncheon, please call Paula Ruth, APR, at 281-870-1717. 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 430 PRSA Houston members or one-time use of electronically provided membership list (if desired). If you should choose to sponsor more than one luncheon in a calendar year, the sponsorship price for two luncheons is $900, three times is $1,200 and 4 times is $1,400. These multiple luncheon sponsorships do not include special events such as PR Day.

Market Your Business and Increase Your Sales

Are you a freelance writer, graphic designer or video production company or speechwriter? Are you responsible for marketing a public relations firm? Maybe you’re a photographer. These and more are some of the jobs that should benefit from a listing in the PRSA Houston Business Directory. For $100 per year, your ad may be viewed by any of the thousands of people who visit the PRSA Web site.  Include a logo or photo at no extra cost. Post the ad yourself at then choose “Business Directory,” “Add a Business Directory Listing.”

Thank You for Voting!

PRSA members who do not know the candidates wonder how important it is for them to vote. The answer: VERY Important. Even a vote to abstain counts toward the necessary quorum and we needed every last vote we got to make the previously required one-third quorum. All of the amendments passed. In every point, the majority voting for passeage was 75 percent or better. In most cases it exceeded 90 percent.

Those elected to three year terms on the board were Catherine Burch Graham, APR, of LifeGift Organ Donation Center; Mike Breslin, APR, Hill & Knowlton; Karen Blanchard, APR, The Padgett Group and Bill Zander, Texas Children’s Hospital. 

New Assembly Delegates are Sally Evans, APR, Public Relations Counsel, and Kay Kendall, APR, Texas A&M Health Science Center. 

Congratulations to those elected.  To those who weren’t, we continue to need committee chairs and workers on the committees. Please contact Lisa Martin-Walsh, president-elect, at or Paula Ruth, APR, at if you are interested.

Bi-Annual Fall 2006 Semester Internship Fair

The University of Houston-Downtown’s communication studies department is holding its bi-annual fall 2006 semester internship fair on November 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Over the past five years, since the inception of the UHD communication studies major, they have grown to encompass 160 communications majors. They are looking to grow as they ask the Houston community to partner with them and help build and shape our students’ futures. And as communication professionals, PRSA members are in a great position to help them.

Past communication internship fairs have hosted over 50 students and countless companies and have resulted in many satisfied company relationships with UHD students. By sponsoring UHD interns, you can gain help for your company and also be helping our community reach it’s fullest potential. This year, they are providing a free lunch and parking for their representatives in attendance.

If you have any questions, please contact Steve J. Wiggins at or phone (832) 265-3703.

PRSA Houston''s GSUSA Public Relations Interest Project Award Workshop at KHOU Channel 11 Studio

Sponsored by KHOU Channel 11

The Houston Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is helping local Girl Scouts earn the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) Public Relations Interest Project Award. The interest project encourages Girl Scouts ages 11-17 to learn about the public relations profession. To earn the GSUSA Public Relations Interest Project Award, Girl Scouts are required to complete activities entitled Skill Builders where they create press kits to publicize themselves, interview public relations practitioners about their daily responsibilities and role-play pitches as a spokesperson for a favorite cause.

We need volunteers! 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 & YOU!
Where: KHOU Channel 11 Studios, 1945 Allen Parkway
When:  Saturday, October 28, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
What to Bring: Examples of press kits, press clippings, promotional materials, etc. to share for inspiration.

For more details, contact Cheyenna Brehm, Pierpont Communications, 713-627.2223 or

First APR Candidates'' Open House

An Online Study Course Open House is planned for public relations professionals who are interested in or already pursuing the APR credential. Led by Online Study Course developer Michael Henry, the session will cover the Examination process and how the APR Online Study Course supports preparation for Accreditation in Public Relations. Presented in a Webcast format, the "Open House" will be held on Tuesday, October 3 at 5:00 pm EST [4 pm CST, 3 pm MST, 2 pm PST].  Participants will need either headphones or speakers on their computers. 

Registration is limited to 30 participants. Candidates can register at Additional information about the APR Online Study Course and enrollment is available at

New Pros Night with the Houston Aeros - Tickets Now Available! 

Calling all hockey fans!  Come join PRSA''s New Pros as they cheer on the Houston Aeros when they go up against the Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday, October 27, 7:35 p.m. at the Toyota Center. Take advantage of $20 tickets for PRSA members and $22 tickets for non-members. Your purchase will get you one ticket to the game and will help build support for the PRSA Houston Foundation and Houston Aeros.

Thanks to your contribution, the PRSA Foundation of Houston will further its commitment of supporting the growth and development of future practitioners and the PR industry by awarding scholarships and financing educational activities at surrounding colleges and universities. Through community spirit, new practitioners can be educated on the exciting opportunities and increasing challenges the PR industry faces in business and society.

Tickets are limited, so registration and payments must be made online only.  Please include your current mailing address so that tickets can be mailed to you two weeks before the game. The deadline to register is Friday, October 13. If you would like to make other arrangements for delivery of the tickets, please contact Suzanne Lammers at 832-661-7309. We look forward to seeing you at the game!


Friday, October 27, 2006, 7:35 p.m.

Where: Toyota Center, 1510 Polk Street, Houston, TX  77002

Sponsors: Houston Aeros

Register: Register for this event at

Welcome to These New Members!

Joyce Abbey, SAIC

Sheena Oommen, NASA

Leigh Akin, Amegy Bank

Amanda Farek, Vollmer Public Relations

Gregg Rodriguez, Burson-Marsteller Public Relations

Anna Marie Johnson Teague, Dawson/Duncan

Jorge Moya, de la Garza Public Relations

Katie Merlet

Marie Merle, Schlumberger

Member News

President-Elect Lisa Martin added Walsh to her name on Aug. 26.  The e-mail address for the new bride is

Karen Naumann Blanchard, APR has been promoted to Vice President of Public Relations of The Padgett Group.

Anne Mrok-Smith, Sr. Public Information Planner at the Houston-Galveston Area Council, received a master’s degree in business administration from Tulane University.

As of Sept. 18, Mabel Menefee joined Halliburton''s Energy Services Group as Community Relations Manager. Mabel can be contacted at

Ashley Wehrly recently joined Compass Bank Well Management Group as the Senior Vice President, Corporate Marketing Manager. She can be contacted at

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 November newsletter is October 18, 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