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PRSA Houston ePRo April 2011

Welcome to the April 2011 edition of ePRo,
the electronic newsletter of the Houston chapter
of the Public Relations Society of America (
PRSA Houston).

Dive in and let us know your thoughts!

In this issue:
May 4: How Do You Create Customer Evangelists?
Nothing is better than word of mouth advertising, but how do you get your customers to say good things about you? Find out how Southwest Airlines does it from Linda Rutherford, vice president of Communication and Strategic Outreach.

Rutherford oversees Employee Communications, Public Relations, Creative Services, Emerging and Multi-Media, Corporate Outreach and Preparedness, Community Relations and Charitable Giving. Prior to joining Southwest Airlines in 1992, she was a reporter for several Dallas-area suburban newspapers as well as with the Dallas Times Herald, and she began her career with Newsweek magazine in New York. More about Rutherford




Date:           May 4, 2011
Time:           11:30 p.m.
:     Briar Club 2603 Timmons Lane, Houston, 77027
Sponsorships are available for this and every event in 2011. Contact Paula Ruth, APR, for more information.
April 28: Media Mixer Postponed
We regret to inform you that it has been necessary to postpone the Media Mixer scheduled for KUHF.  We are working with our hosts to reschedule a new event.  If you have registered for the event and would like a refund (and have not yet requested one), please contact Paula Ruth, APR, and one will be processed.  Otherwise, you may apply your registration to a future event.

April 29: Deadline for 2011 Legacy Award Nominations
Don't miss the chance to submit a worthy candidate for the 2011 Legacy Award by Friday, April 29, 2011. This prestigious annual award recognizes a distinguished professional for outstanding lifetime achievement in the field of public relations. The award will be presented at the 2011 PRSA Houston Excalibur for Excellence Award Gala, Thursday, June 23 at the Intercontinental Hotel.


Candidates for the Legacy Award should meet the following criteria:


  • be a current or a former PRSA Houston chapter member; and
  • have at least 25 years of experience in public relations.

Chapter members are encouraged to nominate a colleague, mentor or role model who meets these criteria. The award may be given posthumously. Nominations should demonstrate the candidate's leadership and expertise in the field of public relations through:


  • outstanding service to his/her company, community, organization or educational institution;
  • outstanding service to PRSA Houston;
  • honors, awards and recognition, accreditation; and
  • advancing the body of knowledge and public image of the profession through teaching, writing, speaking, mentoring, and/or PRSA volunteer/leadership positions.
Nominate a candidate
Submit a letter or brief summary highlighting the candidate’s qualifications by Friday, April 29, 2011 to Stephanie Dedeaux, APR. Submissions should not exceed two pages in length and will be reviewed by committee appointed by the PRSA Houston board of directors. 


Former Legacy Award Winners

2010: Kris Taylor, APR

2009: Julie B. Fix, APR, Fellow PRSA, Fix & Associates

2008: Phillip Taggart, APR

2007: Dr. Bob Heath, APR

2006: Graham Painter, APR

2005: Guy Brown, APR

2004: Will Osterloh, APR, Fellow PRSA

2003: Gayle McNutt, APR, Fellow PRSA

2002: Sabra Gill, APR, Fellow PRSA

2001: Tom Stewart, APR, Fellow PRSA

2000: Ralph Frede, APR, Fellow PRSA

1999: James W. Hart

May 6: PRSA Houston to Host Career Day, Internship Fair

PRSA Career Day and Internship Fair will take place at the Lone Star College University Center in The Woodlands, May 6, from Noon to 5 p.m.


The event will be open primarily to college juniors and seniors from Texas A&M, University of Houston and Sam Houston State University. Attendance is limited to the first 45 who register.


Participants will be able to attend workshops designed to build résumés, move cover letters to the top of the HR pile and hone interview skills. Attendees will then get the chance to put those new found skills to the test as they meet with Houston area PR firms and corporate communications and nonprofit communications teams at an Internship Fair.



Date:           Friday, May 6, 2011

Time:             12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Location:       Lone Star College University
3232 College Park Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77384


Contact:       Ed Davis, 281-250-4871.


Internships, Presenters and Sponsors Still Needed

If your company is planning to hire summer interns, looking to add additional junior staff or need to fill positions with graduating students, you won’t want to miss this opportunity. Reserve your booth now, and plan to meet some of the best and brightest aspiring communicators from area universities.

Do you have cover letter, resume and interview pet peeves? We’re still seeking panelists and speakers for the workshops.

Do you have a great product or service 20-25 year-olds just shouldn’t live without and want a low-cost marketing opportunity? Contact Ed Davis to discuss marketing opportunities at this event.



June 23: 2011 Excalibur Awards Gala – A Night with the PR Stars of Houstonwood
Lights. Camera. Action! All year you’ve worked hard to meet deadlines and complete projects with excellence. You’ve set the stage and beat seemingly impossible challenges. Now, it’s time to take your place in Houston’s walk of public relations fame. It’s time for you to shine as the star you are at the 2011 PRSA Excalibur Awards Gala, A Night with the PR Stars of Houstonwood.
This is your year! We are waiting on you.


Date:           June 23, 2011

Time:           6 p.m. - Cocktail Reception/ PR Foundation Auction

7 p.m. – Excalibur Awards Gala


Location:      The InterContinental Houston


The Excalibur Awards for Excellence and Gala applauds the visionaries who make it all happen, the movers and shakers behind the scenes. Gold, Silver and Bronze Excalibur Awards will be presented to talented PR professionals. Additionally, one entry will receive the 12th Annual Grand Excalibur Award, an engraved steel sword recognizing the highest professional standards we strive to attain on behalf of our customers, clients, corporations and shareholders.


Contact: Tricia Bentley, 832-247-6539.
Thanks to our presenting sponsor...

..and to all other sponsors for your generosity:


Seeking Sponsors to Share Our Stage

Discounts available until May 1


PRSA Houston is thankful for its business partners whose sponsorships have helped shape the Excalibur Awards for Excellence into Houston’s premier public relations awards program. Your company can demonstrate its commitment to the future of communications by participating as a sponsor.


Act before May 1, and receive a discount on your sponsorship or table.


Contact:       Ed Davis, 281-250-4871.


PR Foundation Auction Supports PR Future Leaders
A Silent Auction is held during the Excalibur Gala and benefits the Public Relations Foundation of Houston. Contact Ania Czarnecka if you are interested in contributing an item for the auction.
Aug. 17-20: APR Bootcamp in Houston
Register by July 13

Register today for the APR Boot Camp in Houston, Aug. 17-20, 2011. This four-day intensive program, brought to you by PRSA, in conjunction with PRSA Houston, will present and allow qualified candidates to prepare and take part in the Readiness Review™.

If advanced from the Readiness Review™, candidates may then take the computer-based Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations on August 20 at a local Prometric testing site.

The bootcamp is designed to provide a setting that will meet the needs of busy professionals whose schedules don’t permit extensive preparation time. The first three days of the Boot Camp will take place at the United Way of Greater Houston.


Candidate pre-requisites include:

  • Must be a PRSA member and/or a member of a Universal Accreditation Board participating organization
  • Approved application and Examination fee of $385 must be received by PRSA National
  • Must register for the Boot Camp one month in advance (required to clear Prometric examination authorization)
  • Download and complete the Readiness Review Questionnaire one month in advance of the Boot Camp
Register by July 13!

Registration fees for members of UAB Participating Organizations:

Day 1
– Readiness Review Preparation                        $80

Day 2 & 3 - Computer-Based Examination Preparation   $270

Full three days                                                     $350

More information about the Accreditation process


Contact:       Kelly George, APR
Vendor Selected for Website Redesign


PRSA Houston is pleased to announce that Schipul-The Web Marketing Company has been selected to redesign the site.


The Board of Directors and Communications Committee appreciate the time and effort of all of the companies that submitted bids for this project, especially the other finalists, whose proposals were extremely competitive.


A soft launch of the redesigned site is scheduled to be revealed at the Excalibur Awards Gala, June 23.


PRSA Houston would like to especially thank the Communications Committee members for their dedication to this process:


Erin Schwartz, Chairman, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

Keefe Borden, WKB Communications

Justin Concepcion, City of Houston, Mayor’s Office

Ed Davis, United Way of Greater Houston, President-Elect

Stephanie Dedeaux, APR, Hess, 2010 President

Christy Dunn, Spectra Energy

Michelle McCormick, Bracewell & Giuliani, 2011 President

Eydie Pengelly, APR, CenterPoint Energy

Paula Ruth, APR, Paula Ruth & Company PR, Chapter Administrator

Rhonda Sloan, American General Life Insurance


If you’re interested in learning more about the selection process, contact Paula Ruth, APR.
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PRSA's 2010 Financials in Perspective

William Murray, CAE, PRSA president and COO of PRSA

PRSA’s recently concluded 2010 financial audit is now available online. Please take a moment to review it, when you can.


The “bottom line” shows that PRSA realized a modest surplus from operations of $73,000 last year. In addition, investment returns added $197,000 to PRSA’s reserves, otherwise known as its net asset balance or “rainy day” fund. This information is supported by the unqualified opinion issued by certified public accounting firm PKF, PRSA’s independent auditor.


As a result, PRSA was able to meet its annual financial goal of returning 1 percent of budgeted expenses to the Society’s financial reserves. Will we be able to meet this goal again in 2011? I’m not sure.


Returning even this small surplus amid a difficult economy and increased market pressures required aggressive cost-cutting, which we did by rebidding contracts, reducing staff, freezing salaries and implementing cost-efficient technologies. Over the past several years, we’ve cut $1.5 million from our operating expenses.


At the same time, we continued to increase the scope and number of member benefits. We also kept the cost of our member dues constant, despite a more than 21 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) since our last dues increase.


For now, our 2011 budget forecast anticipates being unable to afford the minimum 1 percent contribution to our financial reserves in 2011. It’s for this reason that the Business Model Task Force, engaged by our Board of Directors, is currently evaluating the Society’s financial condition and will be recommending ways to ensure our financial health into the future. I hope to have an update on their work for you in the weeks and months ahead; if you have any thoughts or question in the interim, I encourage you to email me directly.

Check Recent Job Posts on PRSA Houston's Job Bank, Subscribe to RSS


Summer 2011 PR Intern
Company: Children's Museum of Houston

Want a fun internship which will give you real-world experience while also letting you use your writing skills to make a positive... More


Marketing / Communications Specialist

Company: United Community Credit Union

United Community Credit Union is now accepting applications for a full-time Marketing Specialist. The Marketing Specialist... More



Company: Young Harmonies ofHouston

Assist non-profit, one-person organization in improving image and attracting donors and board members. This organization... More


Public Relations Intern

Company: Intl Facility Mgmt Association

The candidate will be responsible for a variety of public relations/communications assignments related to press releases, editing, article... More



Company: Houston Christian High School

The Marketing and Communications team is under the Advancement Department, which also contains Admissions... More


Communications/Public Relations Position

Company: Design At Work

Design At Work is continuing to grow! Quick. Now's your chance. It's what you've been waiting for. It's the opportunity of a.... More



Member News

Former PRSA President Terri Larson has been promoted to Senior Manager-Communications for Enbridge Energy Company.


PRSA Houston Board member Julie B. Fix, APR, Fellow PRSA, received a Distinguished Service Award for her work as Director of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Houston. The award was presented by Dr. Beth Olson, Director of the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication at the April 14 Awards Luncheon.


Source: Paula Ruth, APR

Paula Ruth, APR
(281) 870-9939
Author: Paula Ruth, APR
Fax: (281) 870-9939
Category: newsletter | Sub Category: newsletter