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PRSA Houston ePRo October 2010

Welcome to the October 2010 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!

Nov. 3: How is UH Paving the Road to Tier One Status?


Wear red and bring your friends and colleagues to hear the inside story about UH’s campaign to achieve Tier One status. University of Houston System chancellor and University of Houston (UH) president Renu Khator, Ph.D., will share these insights, as well as the importance of The Jack J. Valenti School of Communication and the growth of communication majors with Public Relations emphasis at UH.


Appointed in January 2008, Dr. Khator is the first Indian immigrant to head a comprehensive public research university in the United States. Under her leadership, the University of Houston has experienced record-breaking research funding and private support. In 2009, UH brought in $110 million in research awards and began construction on a 75-acre Energy Research Park, the Cougar football team ranked among the Top 25 and a pathway to Tier-One status was created by the state legislature and approved by Texas voters.


UH serves more than 61,000 students, has an annual budget that exceeds $1.25 billion and generates a $3 billion impact on the Houston area’s economy, annually.


PRSA Houston will generously donate all luncheon proceeds to the Public Relations Foundation of Houston (PRFH), whose mission is to enhance the quality of education by providing scholarships for students studying communications and/or public relations at local universities.


You can make an individual contribution to support the PRFH by making a donation at the luncheon with your check or credit card. Visit the PRFH site for more information.


Register today 



Date:        November 3, 2010

Time:        11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Location:   Briar Club


Contact:   Paula Ruth, APR, 281-870-1717, for event information

      and sponsorship opportunities.


Thanks to our November Luncheon sponsors


Nov. 18: Media Relations ‘Stars’ Shine at Media Breakfast


You've heard from the media; now hear from Houston's media relations super stars at the next Media Mixer breakfast Nov. 18, 7:30 a.m., at the United Way Community Resource Center.


This year for the first time in Excalibur Awards history, the awards committee reached out to the local media and asked, “Who stands out in the crowd of PR professionals you work with on a regular basis?” The committee received responses from more than two dozen editors, reporters and journalists from all over Houston. Kim Padgett, principal and founder of The Padgett Group, won the distinction of Media Relations Professional of the Year.


Awards also were given to two additional shining stars - Alicia Cahill, public information officer for the City of Galveston, and Heather Saucier, assistant division manager of communication and spokeswoman for the Harris County Flood Control District.


Register Now


Registration is $5. Refreshments will be served.



Date:           Thursday, November 18, 2010

Time:           7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Location:      United Way Community Resource Center

50 Waugh Drive, Houston, TX 77007


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



PR Day Conversations About Personal Branding, Being Too Opinionated 


Join us for PR Day 2010 Nov. 30, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency Downtown, for an exciting, one-day, action-packed conference and expo focusing on PRSA: Promoting Relationships, Surviving Adversity.
Being an “opinionator” is getting some of us into trouble. Journalists have been asked to step down for presenting personal viewpoints, and PR practitioners are under fire for their Facebook and Twitter posts.  How do you create a balance between personal and professional communication? Monica Danna, social media expert, avid blogger and founder of colab, will explore answers to this question in Opinionated? When To Speak Out.
In BYOB: Build Your Own Brand, social media and technology expert, Ed Schipul, CEO, Schipul The Web Marketing Company, will walk PR practitioners through the importance of personal branding and share best practices for mastering this growing trend. With the economic recession and dire unemployment rate, personal branding is not just valuable; it’s essential.


These are just two of 10 hot industry topics offered! PR Day will have something for everyone, whether you’re just starting your career, or you’ve got your fair share of war stories to tell.


Other Sessions, Speakers,  Presenters 


Keynote Speakers 


Becca Cason Thrash,
a Houston PR pioneer, philanthropist and co-founder of Papercity magazine, will be this year’s Breakfast Keynote speaker.  

Paul Taaffe
, global CEO and Chairman, Hill & Knowlton, will be the Lunch Keynote speaker.


Register online now


Download the Registration Form

Meet the Press Mixer

A Meet the Press Mixer has been added to the action-packed PR Day program. Scheduled to take place after the last breakout sessions, the Mixer gives PR Day participants a chance to mingle and network with several of Houston's leading journalists.


PRSA Houston thanks its generous PR Day 2010 sponsors






PR Day Chair Lady Oliver, 832-866-6608


Communications Chairs - promotions, media

Kristi Krupala: (713) 792-2096;

Kim Miller:


Sponsorship Chairs - sponsorships, vendor exhibits, donations

Osjetta Gascey:


Programming Chair - speakers, program

Cynthia Miller: (225) 610-0592;


Venue Logistics - exhibits, logistics, speaker travel

Meagan Stangle: (713) 243-8879;



After PR Day, Celebrate the Season at PRSA Houston Holiday Party


PRSA Houston cordially invites you to celebrate the holiday season at its Let it Glow Holiday Party Tuesday, Nov. 30, immediately following the PR Day Meet the Press Mixer at the Hyatt Regency Downtown.

This cocktail reception will take place 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.


Register now

Cost includes two drinks and hors d'œuvres.

Sponsorships Available

Several glowing opportunities to sponsor are available to help make this year’s event a success:

Star Bright Sponsor - $1,500

Glowing Embers Sponsor - $1,000

Candlelight Sponsor - $500

Download sponsorship details


Thanks to our early-commitment sponsors


Volunteers Needed

Spread a little cheer, and volunteer to help plan PRSA Houston’s ‘Let it Glow’ Holiday Party. This is a great opportunity to flex your creativity and event-planning muscles with other PR professionals.



Date:           Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010
          5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., immediately following the Meet
                    the Press Mixer on PR Day
     Hyatt Regency Downtown

1200 Louisiana St., Houston 77002


Contact:       Mike Wysatta, 713-751-5557, for all holiday 
                    party-related inquiries.


Survey Participants Needed, Effort Helps Chapter Earn Funds

Complete the survey, receive a free personalized career assessment report valued at $250!


PRSA Houston and Birkman International, one of the world’s leading behavioral research companies, are collaborating to provide our eBlast readers with a free career assessment and the chapter with much-needed funds.

Birkman needs 44 qualified* individuals to complete an online assessment to update its public relations specialist career assessment. Qualified individuals who complete the survey will receive a free personalized career assessment report valued at $250. PRSA Houston will receive $25 for each completed survey. Test results are completely confidential.


*Qualified Individuals:

·         Are 18 years of age or older, an English speaker who can read and write in the English language and who validly complete the questionnaire;

·         Are employed as a public relations specialist as defined by the US Department of Labor: “engage in promoting or creating goodwill for individuals, groups or organizations by writing or selecting favorable publicity material and releasing it through various communications media; and may prepare and arrange displays and make speeches;” and


·         Hold one of the following job titles: Account Executive, Public Affairs Specialist, Public Relations Specialist (PR Specialist), Public Information Officer, Communications Director, Communications Specialist, Public Information Specialist, Public Relations Coordinator, Corporate Communications Specialist, Marketing Director.


Take your free assessment, now.

For more than 50 years, Birkman International’s The Birkman Method® survey results have helped companies maximize human potential and achieve superior, sustainable results. More than 2.5 million individuals have taken The Birkman Method®. Clients include corporate human resources professionals, independent consultants, executive coaches, educational institutions and other not-for-profit organizations.

Contact Birkman International.



Join ‘Big, Fat’ ISES Meeting on Internship Benefits for Employers, Students


Join the International Special Events Society (ISES) Houston Chapter in the Empire Room of the Rice Lofts, November 3, 2010, 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. for Our Big, Fat Greek Meeting: From the Classroom to the Industry.


Attendees will learn how ISES members can benefit from interns and how interning can impact a students’ careers. This special event is planned and executed by the ISES Houston Student Chapter.



Date:           Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Time:           5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Location:      Empire Room at the Rice Lofts

909 Texas Ave., Houston, TX 77002


Valet parking available for $10; self-parking available across street in the JP Morgan Chase Parking Garage for $5 (Cash only; ATM located on 1st floor)


Admission:  $35 Members; $10 Student Members

$45 Non-Members, $15 Non-Student Members


Register Now


Participants registering later than 3 days prior to and the day-of event, will incur a $10 additional fee.



October Luncheon Photos Posted


Stephanie Dedeaux, APR, 2010 President of PRSA Houston, thanks Matthew Burrus, chief communications officer for Houston Association of Realtors, October sponsor, Bob Hale, president and chief executive officer of HAR, speaker, and Hal Gordon, Ringing Words, sponsor, after the October luncheon. Travis Harper, PR Newswire, also sponsored, but was not available for the photo.

Blog Bite: Changing Consumer Mindset about HFCS


“PR pros, I ask you, ‘What would you do if Corn Refiners of America was your client and your task was to rebrand high fructose corn syrup as “natural?’ I’m not a scientist or a doctor, and don’t pretend to understand how different types of sugars react in the body, but what interests me, here, is as HFCS gets rebranded as corn sugar, how can we, the public, even though we know better, be influenced by a good marketing campaign?”


Read more on PRSA Houston’s blog site.


An excerpt from a the blog entry “High Fructose Corn Syrup’s PR Problem” by Esther Steinfeld, public relations manager,, about her research on food PR.


Passionate About PR? Bloggers Wanted


Have an opinion on a PR issue you want to share?  Share your viewpoint with hundreds of PR professionals in the Houston area, and blog for PRSA Houston.  Become a trusted resource on some of the great PR issues of our time — from BP to teabaggers and beyond.  PRSA provides the forum.  You provide the thought leadership. Your followers provide the dialogue. 


Contact:         Mike Wysatta for more information.


PRopel Your Career at


Wednesday, Oct. 27 (Free)

Dubbed a 'dream market' two decades ago by the Wall Street Journal, the gay and lesbian market is brand loyal, influential and economically resilient. In this webinar, Steve Roth will discuss characteristics that make this segment so appealing to companies and organizations across a variety of industries. He will also provide insights on how to most effectively target this lucrative market.


Tuesday, Nov. 2
Journalists’ Changing Requirements for ‘Newsworthiness’ in the New Media Landscape: Eight Ways to Go From Snooze to News


This webinar will teach you eight proven ways to transform your routine story into content that grabs their attention in the first sentence. You will learn:


  • How to meet journalists’ changing requirements for newsworthiness.
  • New hooks for old or recurring events and issues.
  • An approach to revitalizing “snoozers,” such as groundbreakings and check-signings.
  • How to make your trend story the one reporters pick up — while leaving your competitors out.
  • Specific examples of how these approaches have worked for outlets such as the Washington Post, the New York Times and USA Today.

On-Demand Seminar

Gulf Spill Communications: Behind the Scenes with First Responders


Take a behind-the-scenes look at communications management for the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill with Neil Chapman, head of communications for BP Global Refining and Marketing, and Gerald Baron, founder of PIER Systems, a Web-based crisis communication management service operating as the primary platform for Unified Command. This webinar will explore the changing role of BP in Unified Command communications as the response transitioned from a traditional Joint Information Center to the national disaster model of Emergency Support Function 15 (ESF 15) for external affairs. Chapman and Baron will also discuss their approach to meeting the communications challenges of the largest environmental disaster in US history, from managing nearly 60,000 inquiries to orchestrating interactive Web tools, including the Deepwater Horizon website.

More learning opportunities



Member News


Lindsey Brown is now director, Marketing and Public Relations at the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Congratulations to Felicia Griffin, APR, on earning her accreditation.


Amy Self, APR, is now Director of Public Relations for Belmont Village Senior Living.


Sarah Watson was promoted to program manager, External Communications at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.


Welcome to Our New Members 

(Aug. 24-Oct. 25, 2010)


Sarah Passarelli, DS Simon Productions

Kimberly Baker, Greater Houston Partnership (reinstated)

Ellen Engeleman Conners, APR, NASA Johnson Space Center

Source: Erin Schwartz

Erin Schwartz
(713) 563-4920
Author: Erin Schwartz
Phone: (713) 563-4920
Category: newsletter | Sub Category: newsletter