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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.

August 6 Luncheon: How, As A White House Spokesman, I Survived Helen Thomas and Sam Donaldson!

With over 40 years of business, government, political and public relations experience, including two tours of duty in the White House under Presidents Reagan and Ford, Peter Roussel is an author, magazine columnist and television and radio commentator based in Houston. His remarks will offer insights into the press-Presidency relationship from one who lived that experience firsthand, and he'll discuss other aspects of his career as they relate to the public relations professional. Register today!

MetroMarketing and PR Newswire are the sponsors. Others are available by emailing Paula Ruth, APR, at

PRSA Goes Presidential!

In addition to hearing our great speaker, join your friends and colleagues on Aug. 6 when the Past Presidents of PRSA greet members and guests. Esteemed Past Presidents of PRSA will offer their insight and congeniality. Don't miss this special meeting! Bring a guest and enjoy networking with PRSA's savvy leadership!

Adopt a Good Cause: School Supply Drive for DePelchin Children's Center

Prove you're a teacher's pet by bringing school supply donations to the next PRSA luncheon on Aug. 6. The school supplies will be donated to DePelchin Children's Center, the largest provider of children's social and mental health services in the Houston area. Your contributions can help make a child's first day of school more comfortable and support DePelchin's dedicated foster families.

Checks made out to "DePelchin Children's Center" will also be accepted as well as gift cards from Target or Walmart.

Top Ten Suggested Donations:

  1. Composition books
  2. Kleenex
  3. Graph paper
  4. Markers/colored pencils
  5. Folders
  6. Tablets and loose leaf paper
  7. Calculators
  8. Plastic scissors
  9. Protractors
  10. Construction paper

Click to view a complete list of donations by grade. Questions? Contact Melanie Brenneman at

PRSA Houstonians Around Town

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

Mariah Mills, who earned the Public Speaking Interest Patch with the help of PRSA Houston  ( a team led by Kelly Papinchak, APR) and Shell Oil Company Toastmasters,  thanked the Chapter for its support.
PRSA Houston President Priscilla Tinsley, Direct Energy, received a check from former PRSA President and Legacy Award Winner Graham Painter, APR, Sterling Bank, as PRSA Houston's share of proceeds from the TPRA Awards competition. Graham is the president of TPRA this year.

Amy Barnes, APR, Little Rock, Arkansas (left), president of PRSA's Southwest District, visited PRSA Houston President Priscilla Tinsley, Direct Energy, and enjoyed the luncheon which featured Chris Bozman, APR, Shell Oil Company, as speaker. Barnes attended the July Board meeting of PRSA Houston.

Early Bird Savings Available Now for PR Day 2008!
Ch-Ch-Change: Leading it, living through it and loving it!

The Public Relations Society of America Houston Chapter wants YOU to have all the tools you need to thrive in an ever-changing marketplace. One of the greatest contributions to YOUR success is PRSA Houston's annual PR Day Conference.

On September 23, 2008, some of the finest public relations and communications professionals, educators and experts - including journalists, social scientists, business leaders, bloggers and technologists, as well as experts in technology, research and measurement — are on the slate to present at PR Day, themed Ch-Ch-Change - Leading it, living through it and loving it!

Start the morning off by picking up a modern, more high-tech conference kit, courtesy of CenterPoint Energy. Then, grab some caffeine and rev up with PR Velocity, a new, interactive opening session that will give you more than 10 topic and expert choices. Choose from a series of change-focused hot topics in the Breakout Sessions, visit with a dozen or more top-notch vendors in the EXPO and more. And, for the Luncheon event, which is always a hot ticket, treat yourself to yummy fare as you enjoy hearing from Keynote Speaker Victoria Clarke, courtesy of Comcast. Ms. Clarke is widely respected as one of the nation's most innovative communications strategists. She served most recently as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and previously served as Press Secretary for former President Bush's 1992 re-election campaign, as a close advisor to Senator John McCain (R-AZ), and as Assistant U.S. Trade Representative during former President Bush's administration.

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION IS AVAILABLE THROUGH AUG. 15. Click to register early and save money!

SPONSORSHIPS ARE GOING FAST, SO SIGN UP NOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ONE OF THESE TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITIES. Click to learn more about our Sponsorship Packages or to download the Sponsor Response Form. PRSA Houston is unable to issue refunds or waive pledged commitments after 48 hours.

Many thanks to those who have already signed up to sponsor 2008 PR Day!
CenterPoint Energy - Conference Kit Sponsor
Comcast - Luncheon Sponsor
Business Wire
Vollmer PR
Shell Oil Company 
The Ammerman Experience
Clearpoint Creative Co.
Kronberg Flags & Flagpoles
Pier Systems
PR Newswire
Vcall from Precision IR
Toby Stark Public Relations
Snapstream Media
Spectra Energy

For more information, please contact any one of the following:

Seeking Candidates for Leadership Roles

Are you a long-term volunteer who always wanted to take on a leadership role with PRSA Houston? Or are you a new member but anxious to make connections and contribute to our chapter's success? Perhaps you were active in the past and want to get more involved again? If so, PRSA Houston wants you.

Our election to fill open board of director and assembly delegate terms beginning in 2009 will take place in August. Chapter members in good standing are eligible to run for the positions, which will be selected by a vote of our members. This year, we have four director and two assembly delegate positions open.

Should you run for election? Before you put your name on that ballot, take a moment to consider the following questions.

How much time can you give to PRSA Houston? As members of a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization, our directors and delegates are expected to offer their service - not just their connections or presence - and serving requires time. You can learn more about the duties and responsibilities of each three-year position here.

What motivates you to serve PRSA Houston? Directors and delegates often view their service as a way to give back to an organization that has served them. Others view it as a means to gain connections and experience that will advance their careers or as an opportunity to learn or refresh skills that they may not get to practice in their professional roles.

How passionate are you about PRSA Houston? Passion is key when it comes to being an ambassador in the community, being an effective advocate and asking others for support. For nearly 60 years, PRSA Houston has focused on helping our members become more valuable to their organizations and clients, and therefore become more successful professionally, by providing peer-based support; encouraging professional growth through participation in educational programs and leadership roles; and promoting the highest standards of professional competence and ethics. Our directors and delegates help keep PRSA Houston one of the nation's largest and most active PRSA chapters.

So, how do I express my interest? If you are interested in running for a director or delegate position or have questions about the process, please contact Immediate Past President Lisa Walsh at 713-309-4890 or If you know of someone who would make a good candidate, please contact the individual to assess his or her interest in serving and then pass the candidate's contact information along to Lisa. Our Nominating Committee will contact all candidates to confirm their interest and obtain the information needed for our election ballot.

National Conference

Consider attending the national conference in Detroit, Michigan. The Chapter sending the most people will win a prize from PRSA. You can see more about the conference at the national PRSA Web site.

Call for new PRFH Board Members

Looking for a way to give back to your profession? Help create future communication professionals by serving on the board of the Public Relations Foundation of Houston, the education support arm of PRSA Houston. A number of board positions will become available in January 2009. Take this opportunity to practice fundraising or event management while assuring the continued growth and development of our profession.
Click to learn more about the PRFH and its work, then call Susan Schmaeling, APR, president of PRFH at (713) 349-0780 to place your name in the nomination for the Board of the Public Relations Foundation of Houston.

New Check Bouncing Policy

PRSA Houston’s board has agreed to charge a $25 fee to those bouncing checks. This means that the person who bounces a check for any reason will need to pay the amount owed plus the $25.

Sponsor a Luncheon for Houston’s Most Influential Group, PRSA Houston!

How do you get exposure for your company in front of people who talk to the “right” people? Sponsor a luncheon for PRSA Houston. Our members have the ears of chief executives and small business owners all over town and some even talk to the media. 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. MetroMarketing and PR Newswire will sponsor August and the YMCA  will sponsor October but we could use some others to cover travel costs for upcoming meetings. 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 1600-plus subscribers
  • Mention and text link in ePRo, the PRSA Houston newsletter sent to 1600-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

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.

Improve Your Web Site Standing in Search Engines

If Search Engine Optimization is important to you, then you’ll want your website linked to PRSA Houston at which typically ranks in the top five in searches for “public relations & Houston” on Google and other search engines. For $100, you get a year of exposure. Recently, a PRSA member questioned how certain firms rank so highly on Google when they happen to be members of our business directory. Now you know.

Save the Date: The Insider’s Guide to Internal Branding

Panel Discussion, Oct. 21, 7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.

How can you create and maintain a cohesive branding strategy? Start on the inside and work your way out.

PRSA and IABC have recruited some of Houston’s leading communicators for a panel discussion focused on effective internal and external branding. Moderated by Denise Patrick, Vice President, Marketing and Creative Services, Pierpont Communications, Inc., panelists include: Mark Schumann, Managing Principal of Towers Perrin and co-author of "Brand from the Inside"; Christine Mathers, Corporate Communications Manager, Weatherford International; Karen Love, Director, Practice Growth, PKF Texas; and Bethany Haley, President, Savage Design Group.

Discussion topics include:

  • The ABCs of internal branding
  • Common mistakes and how to avoid them
  • Internal branding ROI
  • How to win executive support
  • Case studies

Stay tuned for more event information, including registration and location. Be the first to sponsor this event. Contact Suzanne Lammers at for more information.

Check Out the Job Bank

Good people are always in demand and PRSA Houston is frequently the place to go for top talent. So, continue to check the job bank frequently and respond quickly when an interesting job is posted. You may also sign up to receive the monthly career newsletter listing jobs that have been posted in the previous month.

Upcoming Events

Aug. 6: Monthly Luncheon, speaker Peter Roussel-Sponsor: MetroMarketing, PR Newswire; others available
Aug. 28: New Pros event on “Knowing When to Leave a Job or Look for Another.”
Sept. 23: PR Day, The Westin Galleria, Comcast, CenterPoint Energy, many others. Opportunities remain.
Oct. 1: Monthly Luncheon, Dr. Rochelle Larkin Ford, APR, Associate Dean of Research and Academic Affairs, John H. Johnson School of Communications, Howard University, Sponsored by YMCA. Other sponsors needed!
Oct. 21: The Insider’s Guide to Internal Branding Panel Discussion, 7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. , Location TBA; sponsorships available.
Oct. 25-28: PRSA International Conference, Detroit, Michigan
Nov. 5: Monthly Luncheon, Benefit for Public Relations Foundation of Houston. Speaker: Dr. Roderick P. Hart, Dean, College of Communication, University of Texas on “Politics and Popular Culture.”
Nov. 21: Houston Communications Alliance Holiday Party
December: TBD Holiday Party

New Members

Laureen Lucas, Stevens/FKM

Danette Mozisek, Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (reinstated)

Prem Karunakaran, Karisma Communications

Jennifer Brandino, Service Corporatiion International

Melissa Foteh

Kellie Mery, CenterPoint Energy

Amanda Vitulli, Shell Oil Company (reinstated)

Sue-Ella Mueller, The Menninger Clinic

Lindsey Paulson

Lizbeth Johnson, APR, Klein Independent School District

Wade Walke, Lexicon Pharmaceuticals

Linda Wise (reinstated)


Member News

Congratulations to PRSA Houston's Vice President Kelly Papinchak, APR, who earned her accreditation and recently joined Halliburton as Senior Community Relations Representative.

Caitlin Bubela is now Manager, Employee Communications for Spectra Energy.

Cindy Suggs, APR, is now Manager, Community and Government Affairs for BASF in Freeport.

Retired member Patricia Vredenburg has moved to Virginia.

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 20, 2008. 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