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PRSA Houston - August ePRo

Welcome to the August 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.

September Luncheon: The Socratic Approach to Effective Organizational Communications

One of the primary flaws impeding the effectiveness of organizational communications is too often communication is created and delivered from an inside-out perspective vs. and outside-in perspective. The implication is that one of the fundamental principles of effective communications is overlooked...
communications is about getting people to listen vs. hear. 90 percent of society (especially with today’s speed of information) hears but doesn't listen. How do we create more effective listeners? The Socratic Method (nearly 2,000+ years old) has a great deal to teach contemporary communication professionals about structuring and delivering more effective organizational communications to both internal and external audiences. In 45 minutes you will learn how to use the Socratic Method to dramatically increase your personal and departmental brand equity with colleagues and stakeholders, and how to transform how organizational communications is valued within your organization. Join PRSA Houston on Sept. 2 at 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Briar Club to listen to Alan Hilburg, President and CEO of Hilburg and Associates, discuss these topics.

Alan Hilburg is an award winning author, filmmaker, teacher and senior advisor in organizational transition communications and marketing. He is perhaps best known as one of the world's leading strategic institutional branding counselors assisting senior executive teams and boards of directors survive organizational transitions (crisis, litigation and the introduction and socialization of principles of values-based decision-making) while maintaining the continuity of their institutional brand objectives.

Alan is a leading pioneer of modern day organizational development and communication strategies and has helped navigate companies through high-risk, high-visibility, outcome-dependent situations with a particular expertise in bridging stakeholders. He has been a leader in the mitigation of environmental crises including Exxon Valdez, Love Canal and a number of major international environmental disasters. Alan has authored more than 200 organizational transition strategies, crisis management and crisis mitigation plans for both U.S. and international clients and pioneered litigation communications and its relationship to reputation management.

Known for his senior perspectives and judgment, Alan established himself as one of the world's leading authorities on mitigating organizational crises, the alignment of institutional brands, organizational deployment and reputation management as a management and organizational asset. He was identified by the London Times as a "leading corporate brand architect." Alan also was recognized as the "Red Adair of corporate crisis management" by the New York Times and was acknowledged by the Wall Street Journal as the "earliest practitioner of reputation management in litigation contexts."

His substantial branding credentials include leading the creative team in developing GE's "Bringing Good Things to Life" branding initiative, Wendy's "Where's the Beef" campaign, AT&T’s "Olympic Torch Run," various national launches of Gillette shaving products and more recently, work in the technology and healthcare sectors.

Alan has co-authored two New York Times best sellers on leadership including "Russell Rules...Eleven Lessons on Leadership from the Greatest Winner of the Twentieth Century," and W.F. Rockwell, Jr.'s bestseller, "Twelve Hats of a Corporate President.” He is currently writing a book for Penguin Putnam on the relationship between organizational transitions, decision making, communications and institutional branding. Alan is also teaching a course in the University of California’s Executive MBA curriculum, and is the recipient of five Silver Anvils, three Clios, one Academy Award and an Emmy nomination.

In collaboration with Fortune magazine, Alan created the Business Hall of Fame and co-developed the America’s Most Admired Companies program.
Sign up for this event at

PRSA Houstonians Around Town

Want to see how PRSA Houston members are staying busy? Showcased here are events from the month of July.

At the July luncheon, practitioners of all ages wanted to hear the latest research presented by Angela Jeffreys, APR, VMS. Among those shown are Tom Stewart, APR, Fellow PRSA, Judi Martin, APR, Lauren Lucas, Shirley Barr, APR, Rickie Rosenberg, APR.
PRSA 2009 President Terri Larson, Enbridge Energy Partners (left) congratulates Angela Jeffreys, APR, formerly a PRSA Houston member, who was in town to present her newest research discoveries.
Breakfast Chair Gretchen Krueger, Kruegerand Public Relations presents Astros tickets from R!P Production to a very excited Carol Wittman, Texas Children's Hospital, as Sharon Dotson, APR, Bayou City Public Relations (seated) watches.

Jeff Share, editor of Pipeline and Gas Journal, and Molly Glentzer, LifeStyle Editor of the Houston Chronicle shared news tips, likes and dislikes with an audience of about 34 at the July media breakfast.
Chiku Somaya (left) won the Astros Baseball tickets donated by R!P Design and presented by Mentoring Chair and Board member Gretchen Weis, APR and co-chair David Casey.

PRSA Houston 2009 President Terri Larson, Enbridge Energy Products, chats with Aaron Woods, APR, LyondellBasell at the Mentoring Mixer. Part of the program for the Mentoring Mixer was informal networking in the traditional way, while at other times the group sat down for some intense speed networking with the person across the table.

Early Bird Catches the Best Rates for PR Day 2009!

Don't miss Early Bird Registration for PR Day 2009, which has been extended in order to get the word out to ePRo readers. Make sure you take advantage of the discounted rates you will receive if you register before August 22. You can save up to $35 dollars! To register, simply log onto the PRSA Houston Web site. PR Day 2009-Delivering Value: Maximizing the Role of PR-will take place at the Westin Galleria on October 7, and we are so excited that Peter Shankman will be this year's keynote speaker and will also participate in two workshops. Shankman, founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., a Marketing and PR Strategy firm in New York City, is well-known globally for his radical new ways of thinking about social media, PR, marketing, advertising and creativity. For more information about PR Day 2009, contact PR Day 2009 Chairs Lisa Dimond Vasquez or Margot Dimond at 713-426-4111 or

Many thanks to our PR Day 2009 sponsors so far: CenterPoint Energy, Verizon Wireless, Brookwoods Group, El Paso Corporation, Shell Oil Company, Business Wire, Customer Research International, GVP MediaMarketwire, PremierIMS, Inc., PR Newswire, Schipul-The Web Marketing Company, VMS, Zephyr-Salvo, GoGo Business Communications and Kronberg Flags & Flagpoles. To find out more about how you can be a sponsor of this premier event, log onto:

Houston-Area APR Study Group

Were you tempted by the Clear Lake APR study group but the drive was a bit too far? Well, you are now in luck as there is a Houston-Area study group starting in August. The schedule will be as follows:
Monday, Aug. 17 – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. – Communications Theory and Diffusion
Thursday, Aug. 27 – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. – Research and Research Methods
Monday, Aug. 31 – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. – Planning Process
Thursday, September 10 – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. - Law and Ethics
Thursday, Sept. 17 - 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. – Business Literacy
All sessions will take place at the:
Looscan Neighborhood Library
2510 Willowick
Houston, Texas 77027

Register today for the study groups!

You Could Win a Free PRSA Membership this Summer

If you are not yet a member of PRSA but would like to be, here is your opportunity. In August, PRSA will give away a free one-year PRSA National membership, along with other prizes including: a black leather backpack with drawstring top, travel clock with calculator and calendar, a blue and black nylon messenger bag, and a baseball visor cap.

PR Day Sponsors will get Early Exposure

The PR Day team has already lined up following support: CenterPoint Energy will be CD-Folder Sponsor, Verizon Wireless will be Keynote Sponsor. Brookwoods Group  is the Lanyard Sponsor. El Paso Corporation is sponsoring multiple sessions. Shell Oil Company is sponsoring 10 students. Schipul-The Web Marketing Company is sponsoring 5 students and LifeGift is also sponsoring students. Business Wire, Customer Research International, GVP Media, Marketwire, PR NewswireVMS and Zephyr-Salvo are already committed as exhibitors.

In-kind supporters for PR Day include PremierIMS, Inc., GoGo Business CommunicationsKronberg Flags & Flagpoles and JeffDesign. Other opportunities remain. PRSA Houston appreciates all this support which enables us to maintain prices for members and offer hardship packages for those out of work. You can still get on board for sponsorship by contacting Margot Dimond, APR or Lisa Dimond Vasquez at

Sponsorships are available for all the lunches this year. 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 2000-plus subscribers
  • Mention and text link in ePRo, the PRSA Houston newsletter sent to 2000-plus
  • Text/Logo link on PRSA Houston Web site for one month
  • Ability to distribute materials to all luncheon attendees
  • Table in 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; others available at member rate of $30
  • One time use of an electronically provided member list of physical addresses for all 450 PRSA Houston members.

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.

Omni Spa hosts PRSA Houston on Aug. 20

It's been "hot in the city." So let PRSA Houston and Omni Houston Hotel treat you to a relaxing and complimentary mixer.

Thursday, August 20, PRSA members are invited to the Omni Houston Hotel'sMokara Spa for a night of cocktails and mingling with your fellow colleagues. The Mokara Spa is a full-service spa with premium treatments and services designed to indulge the senses. Take in complimentary light bites and drinks while you enjoy a private and exclusive preview of Mokara Spa Complimentary 15 minute massages, oxygen facials and consultations will be available. Any member who books any service will get 25% off that service.

Door prizes will be given. Complimentary valet is also being provided by our very generous host, Omni Houston Hotel's Mokara Spa.

Admission is free to PRSA members with advance on-line registration (link is ) But hurry, space is limited.

Help your Search Engine Ranking with a Business Directory Listing

What usually ranks in the first two places for the terms for public relations and Houston? Would you believe that PRSA Houston is usually there? Consider an ad in the PRSA Houston Business Directory. For $100, you get one year of exposure on the premiere Web site for public relations in Houston. See if it doesn’t help your search engine ranking.

Check out the Job Bank, Resume Service

If you have openings or internships, consider posting the job with PRSA Houston. Jobs continue to be posted and receive such great response that the advertisers often ask us to take them down early. PRSA Houston also has a free resume service in which one may post his/her resume on the Web site at Employers may go to the same link and search the resumes posted. This is a completely free service that has been offered by PRSA Houston for more than one year.

Member News

Petri Darby, APR is now partner at BrightBox Inc.

New Members

Kim Miller, Graphique

Stacey Cox, CenterPoint Energy (reinstated)

Carrie Stallwitz, Witz!PR (transfer from another chapter)

Jaa St. Julien, St. Julien Communications Group

Rachel Graham, Greater Houston Partnership

Rose Molina

Ruth Rendon, BP North America

Upcoming Events

Aug. 20: Omni Spa Mixer

Sept. 2: Monthly Luncheon, Briar Club, Academy Award nominee Alan Hilberg, “The Socratic Approach to Effective Organizational Communications”

Sept. 9: HIMA’s Interactive Strategies

Sept. 17: Media Breakfast, 7 a.m., United Way, TBD

Oct. 7: PR Day, The Westin Galleria Hotel, Peter Shankman, and others

Oct. 17: Media Breakfast, 7 a.m. United Way, TBD

Oct. 22-24 IABC Southern Region Conference

Nov. 4: Monthly Luncheon benefiting Public Relations Foundation of Houston

Nov. 7-10 PRSA International Conference

Nov. 19: Media Breakfast, 7 a.m., United Way, TBD

Dec. 17: Media Breakfast, 7 a.m., United Way, TBD

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 September newsletter is August 28, 2009. 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