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PRSA Houston ePRo March 2011

Welcome to the March 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:
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.



Excalibur Award Call for Entries

PRSA Houston invites you to participate in the 2011 Excalibur Awards for Excellence Program. This annual competition honors outstanding professional accomplishments in the development and execution of comprehensive public relations programs, individual communications tactics and recognizes outstanding individual and team achievements.


Bigger, Better Than Ever

Based on feedback from last year, PRSA Houston has improved the Excalibur Awards for Excellence program to provide an even bigger bang for your buck:


  • $20 discount for Early Bird entries (Deadline has past.)
  • No charge for PRSA members to make Special Award nominations
  • Simplified nominating process for Special Awards
  • Expanded Special Award categories to include awards for agencies and teams
  • Special Award winners will be recognized in the Houston Business Journal
  • Average minimum scoring to qualify for an award
  • Streamlined the entry binder from 3" to 1"
  • Special recognition logo for Special Award winners to use in their email signatures or on their Web sites 

Low-cost Participation

While other awards competitions entry fees and awards dinner ticket costs have increased, thanks to our sponsors' support, PRSA Houston has been able to steadily maintain participation costs for the last several years.



The April 8 deadline is quickly approaching so get your entries in today!


·         April 8, 2011 – On-time entries due by 5 p.m.

·         April 15, 2011 – Late entries accepted until 5 p.m. assessed a $60 late fee per entry. (No entries will be accepted after 5 p.m., April 15.)

Call for Entries Packet

2011 Excalibur Awards website



Contact:       Meagan Stangle, 713-243-8879.
Thanks to our presenting sponsor

Ten Steps to Award Winning Contest Entries

Want to ensure your entry will be award-winning? Review these tried and true tips presented by Julie Fix, APR Fellow PRSA.


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.


April 6: PRSA Houston Monthly Luncheon to Feature H-E-B's PR Leader
Learn community relations the H-E-B way


Join PRSA Houston at its April 6 luncheon to meet Cyndy Garza-Roberts, director of public affairs, Houston Division of H-E-B.


Garza-Roberts will share how the Texas-based supermarket chain has developed a stellar community relations campaign that has made tremendous inroads in dozens of Texas neighborhoods. Luncheon guests will also learn how the popular grocer influences customer impressions and how some of H-E-B’s major community relations programs began.

While she began her career in broadcasting at KTRK, Garza-Roberts’ vast communications experience has also included leadership positions at the University of Houston, the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston and Reliant Energy.


Read Garza-Roberts’ bio. (Under the Speakers tab)


Register for the luncheon.



Date:           Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Time:           11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Location:      The Briar Club


Contact:       Paula Ruth, APR, 281-870-1717. 

Sponsored by 

Other opportunities are available throughout 2011.
Contact Paula Ruth, APR, 281-870-1717.  



Tonight: Learn More on Law, Ethics at APR Study Group


Is becoming Accredited in Public Relations one of your 2011 goals? No matter where you are in the process, study group sessions are being offered to boost your exam performance.


This series of session topics includes:


Tuesday, March 1

Basic Concepts of PR; Publics and Public Opinion

Tuesday, March 8

Communications Theory 
and Diffusion

Tuesday, March 15

Research and Research Methods

Tuesday, March 22

Planning Process

Tuesday, March 29

Law and Ethics

Tuesday, April 5

Business Literacy


Registration for this event includes the entire series. Please register in advance as materials will be sent only to those registered.

Click here to register



Date:           Every Tuesday between March 1 and April 5

Time:           6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Location:      The Ammerman Experience

4800 Sugar Grove Blvd. Suite 400, Stafford, 77477

(Free visitor parking available on the top level of the
          parking garage.)


Contact:       Kelly George, APR, 281-575-4009.

April is Accreditation Month at PRSA

If you are interested in earning your APR, April is full of opportunities to learn and get started.


April 12. 2 p.m. - Free APR Online Prep Course

Click here to sign up.


April 28, 2 p.m. - Free APR Webinar

Learn how to Accelerate Your Career in Public Relations. RSVP here.


Getting Ready for the Readiness Review is available for playback through June 8. (Affordable and eligible for maintenance points!)

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


All April - Four Half-price PRSA Webinars

During the month of April, PRSA is offering deep discounts on select professional development webinars. Get access to some of the industry’s thought leaders
for 50 percent off the original price of the event!

Register now (Use promotion code PDSL411.)

The limited-time promotional rate of $75 applies to webinars:

April 12, 3–4 p.m.

Mobile Marketing: A Primer for PR Professionals

Find out what you need to know before you take your product or brand mobile. Learn who is mobile and how you can reach them, and how to develop a mobile strategy. Also, develop an understanding of trends that will impact mobile marketing in the near future.


April 14, 3–4 p.m.
Master the Art of the Storyteller: Move People to Act With ‘the Most Powerful Form of Human Communication

Gain insight into how to make your message memorable and enhance communications to create a buzz for your ideas. Learn how to reframe the five W’s to tell a story, a seven-second rule that will help determine whether your material is really an anecdote and the secret to organizing your material into a powerful story.


April 19, 3–4 p.m.

Creating Your Own Measurement Dashboard: Identifying the Right Metrics and How to Display Them

Learn how to develop your own key performance indicators (KPIs), establish baselines, collect and evaluate all available measurements and set realistic targets for the metrics you select.

April 26, 3–4 p.m.

Grow Word-of-Mouth Movements: People are the Killer App

Discover how your brand can build and grow a movement. Also, learn how to turn product conversations into passionate conversations, encourage your customers to be brand ambassadors, measure word-of-mouth ROI and allow your fans to share brand ownership.

All webinars are on East Coast time.

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

PRSA Houston is pleased to announce that we will host a Career Day and Internship Fair on May 6, 2011 at the Lone Star College University Center in The Woodlands.
Open primarily to college juniors and seniors from area universities, 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 teams at the Internship Fair.


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 too.


Contact: Melanie Kania, University Relations Committee, to participate in this event. 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.

Return to Top

Member News

Mabel Menefee is now Fund Development Director for Volunteer Houston.


PRSA Houston Board member Trazanna Moreno, APR, has returned to the YMCA as Chief Communications Officer.


Welcome to Our New Members 

(Feb. 22-March 27, 2011)


Susan Ganz, Schlumberger (reinstated)

Cathy Mann, Halliburton (reinstated)

April Lynch, FKM

Michelle Hundley, Port of Houston Authority

Diane Labelle

Lindsey Lewis, University of Houston (reinstated)

Frances Jeter, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP

DeDe DeStefano, U.T. MD Anderson Cancer Center (reinstated)

Stanley Mays, Shell Oil Company (reinstated)

Valarie Patterson Hawkins (reinstated)

John David Powell (reinstated)

Jessie Lauren Spielvogel, Poseidon Diving Systems


Thank You to Our Renewing Members

(Feb. 22-March 27, 2011)


Lisa Ashley-Whitlock, Port of Houston Authority

Crawford Bunkley, III, APR, ExxonMobil Global Real Estate and Facilities

Charles A. Butler, III, Prince of Peace Catholic Community

Guy Cantwell, Transocean

Source: Erin Schwartz

Erin Schwartz
(713) 563-4920
Author: Erin Schwartz
Phone: (713) 563-4920
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