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PRSA Houston - July ePRo

Welcome to the July 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.

July Luncheon--Putting a Human Face on Big Oil
An in-depth look at a reputation management program at Shell Oil Company

In the aftermath of accusations of "excessive prices and profits," leaders of Shell Oil Company launched "A National Dialogue on Energy Security" in the summer of 2006 to talk to Americans about three key points:

1. Our challenge is one of supply and demand;
2. Shell is working toward sustainable solutions based on access to supply, diversity of fuel sources and energy efficiency/conservation; and
3. We all have a role to play in shaping our energy security.

In what became known as the "50-City Tour," top leaders of Shell businesses in the United States, led by then President John Hofmeister, visited 50 cities across the country to speak with everyday Americans about energy security. They not only discussed what Shell is doing to address the energy challenge, but also asked what Americans think energy companies, such as Shell, should be doing.

Join us on July 2, 2008 to learn about the impact of the tour -- on Shell, on its reputation and on the industry overall from Chris Bozman, APR, Deputy Director, U.S. Communications. Register now! Sponsor this event by contacting Paula Ruth, APR, at

Excalibur — A Toast to a "Picture Perfect" Ending

On June 12, public relations professionals from across the area gathered at the Junior League of Houston to honor the best in PR strategies and tactics at PRSA Houston Chapter's Excalibur 2008 Awards banquet.
It was a "picture perfect" evening from the silent auction that benefited the Public Relations Foundation, to Melissa Wilson, KRIV-TV anchor who served as mistress of ceremonies. 
A new addition to this year's event was the presentation of the "Top 10 PR Hot Water Awards." Ben Wheatley, ABC, APR, of Pierpont Communications and Aaron Woods, APR, LyondellBasell Industries, added some humor to the evening by presenting the most memorable PR blunders that over the past year.
Click here to see a full list of winners

PRSA Houston would like to thank all of its sponsors for making the evening possible:

Cutting Edge Presenting Sponsor
The Brookwoods Group

Sword in the Stone CEO Communicator of the Year Sponsor
Pierpont Communications 

Court Jester Top 10  Hot Water Awards
Renaissance Public Relations Group  

Throne Room/Reception Sponsor
Shell Oil Company
King's Court
El Paso Corporation
Shirley Barr Public Relations
Phil Taggart, APR
Trinidad Munoz

We also would like to congratulate all of this year's winners, including John Hofmeister, CEO Communicator of the Year and Phil Taggart, APR, Legacy Award Winner.

A special thanks to all of the volunteers who assisted in the event coordination and the Excalibur Committee who did a fabulous job with the details.

Until next year ...

Don't Miss Your Chance

Did you win big at the Excalibur Awards? Want to order additional copies of your award to share with staff or to display? Now’s your chance. Reorders are available at a cost of $40, but only until Friday, July 11.

The reorder form is available on the PRSA Houston Web site. E-mail your completed form, along with payment information to no later than July 11.

We will notify you when the award reorders are available for pick-up.

PRSA Houstonians Around Town

Want to see how PRSA Houston members are staying busy? Showcased here are events from the month of June.
Several professionals gather around the Brookwoods Group's table. Seated from left include Margie McAda, John Sweney, Trish Cunningham and Tracee Evans. Standing from left include Andrew Van Winkle, Gregory Jones, Raegan Hill, Priscilla Tinsley, Mike Stargel and Patrick Cassidy. Photo: SPCcreative.

Phil Morabito (left) and Ben Wheatley, ABC, APR (right) of Pierpont Communications, sponsor of the CEO Communicator of the Year Award, share a laugh with Chris Bozman, APR, Shell Oil Company, Throne Room Sponsor, who accepted the award for retired Shell CEO John Hofmeister. Photo: SPCcreative.
Grand Exalibur winners Sarah Stubbs, Senior Account Executive; Stefanie Taylor, Assistant Account Executive and Patricia Bernstein, President of Bernstein & Associates, Inc. pose by their award. Photo: SPCcreative.

Legacy Award winner Phil Taggart, APR, Taggart Financial Group, chats with Don Young, APR, who was among those who nominated Phil for the award and presented it to him at Excalibur Awards.  Phil, 77, was president of PRSA Houston in 1983 and the founder of Churchill Group where he provided communications for 58 initial public offerings, more than 3,000 analyst meetings, 200 other new issues and more than 75 annual reports for his clients all over the world before selling the firm to provide investment advice to many of his public relations clients.  He co-authored the book, Taking Your Company Public, for which he also was designated a "lifetime
APR" from PRSA.  In his acceptance speech, Phil challenged all public
relations practitioners to become accredited. Photo: Shirley Barr Public Relations.

Members of PRSA Houston were among those of 18 other communications
organizations gathered for a huge networking event of Houston Communications Alliance on June 20.  Among them were PRSA Houston Board member Melanie Brenneman, DataCert, who oversees PRSA Houston's participation, Larry Springer, APR, Enbridge Energy Company, and former PRSA President Graham Painter, APR, Sterling Bank.

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 is the sponsor. 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!

Sign up Today to Sponsor PR Day 2008
Ch-Ch-Change: Leading it, living through it and loving it!

The 2008 PR Day Conference is just a little more than two months away - September 23 at the Westin Galleria! Sponsorships are going fast, so sign up now to take advantage of one of these tremendous opportunities:

Presenting Sponsor
Technology Sponsor
Eco-Friendly Conference Kit Sponsor

A PR Day Sponsorship will spotlight your organization to more than 200 local and regional communications professionals in one day. Victoria C. “Torie” Clarke, acclaimed author and communications technology expert, will serve as our luncheon keynote speaker. Click to learn more about Sponsorship Packages and download the Sponsor Response Form.

Early bird registration is now open. Click here to register early and save money!

Many thanks to those who have already signed up to sponsor 2008 PR Day:

Comcast – Keynote Address/Lunch Sponsor
Business Wire – Lanyard Sponsor
Shell Oil Company – Scholarship Sponsor

Additional sponsors/partners include: Kronberg's Flags & Flagpoles, Kumon, LyondellBasell, MetroMarketing, Pennino & Partners, Shell Oil Company, Spectra Energy and Vollmer PR.

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

Check Out the Job Bank

Good people are always in demand and PRSA Houston is frequently the place to go for top talent. New jobs are being posted often. Continue to check the job bank frequently and respond quickly when an interesting job is posted.

Improve Your Web Site Standing in Search Engines

If search engine optimization is important to you, then you’ll want your Web site 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.

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 will sponsor August and the YMCA will sponsor October, but we could use some others to cover travel costs (in October). 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.

New Members

Irena Hixson, Litton Loan Servicing

Melanie Rushe', Houston Humane Society

Ann Holdsworth, University of Houston

Celeste Zamora, University of Houston-Downtown

Kristina Hardwick, Houston-Galveston Area Council

Tanya Doescher

Kerry Gregg

Anna Kaplan (reinstated)

Kami Watson Huyse, APR

Member News

Best wishes to Valerie Bernardino who is now Valerie Cesari.

James Myers, APR/CBC, is now Director of Community Services for Brays Oaks Management District.

Chuck Smith, APR, is now Senior Marketing Communications Specialist for Baker Hughes Drilling Fluids.

David A. Harpole is now Director of Public Affairs at LyondellBasell Industries.

Upcoming Events

July 2: Monthly Luncheon, speaker Chris Bozman, APR, Shell Oil Company—Sponsorship available.
July 11: Deadline for Excalibur Reorders
Aug. 6: Monthly Luncheon, speaker Peter Roussel-Sponsor: MetroMarketing; others available
Sept. 23: PR Day, The Westin Galleria, Comcast (others available)
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. 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

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 August newsletter is July 24, 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