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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.

August Luncheon: Managing PR in a Downturn Economy

When tough times hit, belts (a/k/a budgets) tighten. But during tough times, it’s perhaps even more essential that communication with key publics, whether that’s employees, investors, regulators, the general public, or specific segments of the general public, continues seamlessly. So how do you communicate effectively when your department budget has been cut or you’ve seen co-workers or employees laid-off?

Join PRSA Houston for our Aug. 5 luncheon, where we’ll hear from Claire Bassett – vice president of public affairs, Baylor College of Medicine, Carolyn Mayo, APR – president, Vollmer Public Relations, and Mark Singer – regional communications manager for North and South America, Exploration & Production, Shell Oil Company, on how they’ve each continued to manage the PR function within their own companies during the recession.

To register for the event, you can go here: Please contact
Paula Ruth, APR, for information on sponsorships.

September Luncheon: The Socratic Approach to Effective Organizational Communications

One primary flaw impeding the effectiveness of organizational communications is  communication that is created and delivered from an inside-out perspective vs. an outside-in perspective. Often overlooked...communications is about getting people to listen vs. hear when 90 percent of society (especially with today's speed of information) hears, but doesn't listen. How do we create more effective listeners?

On, Sept. 2, Alan Hilburg, President and CEO of Hilburg and Associates, will teach us how the 2000-year-old Socratic Method can be used to structure  and deliver more effective organizational communications to both internal and external audiences.  In 45 minutes you will learn how to use the Socratic Method to dramatically increase your personal and departmental brand equity with colleagues and stakeholders, and how to transform how organizational communications is valued within your organization. Hilburg is an award-winning author, filmmaker, teacher and senior advisor in organizational transition communications and marketing. He is perhaps best known as one of the world's leading strategic institutional branding counselors assisting senior executive teams and boards of directors survive organizational transitions (crisis, litigation and the introduction andsocialization of principles of values-based decision-making) while maintaining the continuity of their institutional brand objectives.
To register for the event, you can go here: Sponsors will be needed to cover speaker expenses for this luncheon. Please contact Paula Ruth, APR, for information.

PRSA Houstonians Around Town

PRSA Houston 2009 President Terri Larson (left) congratulates Julie Fix, APR as the Legacy Award winner at the PRSA Houston Excalibur Awards gala event, June 18, at the Hotel Derek. Fix is Instructional Assistant Professor of the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston. Photo: Shelly Porsch Chetty/SPCcreative

The Public Relations Foundation of Houston team celebrates the conclusion of a successful silent auction at Excalibur Awards. On the team were Tricia Bentley, Silent Auction Chair, Susan Schmaeling, APR, Foundation Vice President; David Casey, Foundation board, co-chair; Eydie Pengelly, APR, Foundation President, and Suzanne Lammers, PRSA Houston and Foundation Board Member.
Photo: Shelly Porsch Chetty/SPCcreative

Organizing the awards entries, including the order of presentation, were Amy Lamb (left) and Laura Frnka, APR, Pierpont Communications. Photo: Shelly Porsch Chetty/SPCcreative

John Sheptor, president and chief executive officer of Imperial Sugar and winner of the CEO Communicator of the Year Award, addressed the audience with a poignant story. Photo: Shelly Porsch Chetty/SPCcreative



 Ariana Montelongo, LifeGift, (left) was among those nominating Julie Fix, APR, for the Legacy Award. Both Ariana and Tom Stewart, APR, Fellow PRSA, were able to share tidbits from their association with the audience. Photo: Shelly Porsch Chetty/SPCcreative

Kelli Newman, APR, Newman & Newman, received the Grand Excalibur, the giant sword, from PRSA Houston 2009 President Terri Larson. Photo: Shelly Porsch Chetty/SPCcreative

Ashley Minor and Justin Concepcion were among the volunteers organized by David Casey for Excalibur Awards. Photo: Shelly Porsch Chetty/SPCcreative

Tricia Bentley, Vollmer, Silent Auction Chair, talks with Saki Indakwa, Excalibur Awards event chair, and PRSA Houston 2009 President Terri Larson, Enbridge Energy Partners, one of the sponsors. Photo: Shelly Porsch Chetty/SPCcreative

PRSA Houston 2009 President Terri Larson goes over the script with Ted Oberg, reporter for KTRK-TV ABC 13, before the Excalibur Awards dinner. Photo: Shelly Porsch Chetty/SPCcreative Photo: Shelly Porsch Chetty/SPCcreative



The Brookwoods Group was the Presenting Sponsor for Excalibur Awards and also provided magic wands that became collector's items. At the Brookwoods table were top row left to right: Andrew Van Winkle, Raegan Hill, Melissa Norcross, Kelly George, APR, Bill Stephens; bottom row left to right: Jim Schwartz, Trish Cunningham, Bill Tanner, Margie McAda and Liz Johnson. Photo: Shelly Porsch Chetty/SPCcreative

About 35 attended the media breakfast held at the United Way in June. These inexpensive breakfasts are scheduled once per month, except October, for the rest of the year. Watch the announcements for details.

Christine Hall, Marketing and Media columnist at the Houston Business Journal, carried the first of the returning media breakfasts solo. She talked about her use of Twitter, Facebook and social media as well as what she is looking for as an HBJ reporter.

Mentoring Mixer Fast Approaching

Remember your coach, or a teacher or professional colleague who took a special interest in you and helped you grow? Mentoring is one of life's important, long-term relationships -- the ability to talk with and receive honest feedback in a trust-filled relationship to become a better person and a better professional. PRSA Houston research showed that chapter members are interested in developing a mentoring program. However, our research also showed that the best, most meaningful mentoring relationships -- the ones that last and truly make a difference in one another's lives -- happen naturally, when people meet, like one another and decide to form a mentoring friendship. Fixed up relationships just don't work.

Therefore, PRSA Houston is hosting a series of Mentoring Mixers -- happy hours that will allow chapter members to mix and mingle in a "quick meet-up" format to help people self-select their own prospective mentors and mentorees. We're not going to arbitrary match you up -- but you'll have a chance to circulate and get to know colleagues better, in a fun-filled environment. The goal is to have prospective mentors and mentorees find and match up with one another. And, if at first you don't succeed, come to more Mentor Mixers to meet more people! (And don't be shy about approaching professional colleagues you admire at monthly luncheons as well!).

Our first Mentoring Mixer will be 5:30-7 p.m. at the Pagoda Bistro in the North Shepherd/Durham area. The "quick meet-up" program, including structured networking activities, begins at 6 p.m., so come early for drinks and nibbles and plan to stay to meet others and find a potential mentor match-up. Cost is $10 for members who are preregistered, $15 at the door and $15 for pre-registered nonmembers and $20 at the door. Costs include one drink ticket and light bites. Register now at

Upcoming Media Breakfast now a Panel

Molly Glentzer, Lifestyle Editor at the Houston Chronicle, Jeremy Desel, reporter for KHOU-TV Channel 11, and Kim Jordan, bureau chief at Bloomberg will speak on a panel from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., July 16, at the United Way. Register now at for this excellent media relations opportunity.

Get out of the Heat and Network with Houston's Hottest Communicators!

Want get out of the summer heat? Well, join PRSA Houston for a one or all of three Satellite Socials this July. So if you never been to a PRSA Houston function because of the traffic or the long drive, there no reason why you can’t stop in a light bite, a quick refreshing cocktail or good company with your fellow communicators. Just pick any of the three locations below and start networking and mingling with Houston’s best communicators!  For more information, contact Socials chair David Casey at 713.560.9721 or at

Satellite Socials, July 21-23, 2009
Sushi Nikko
July 21 @ 6-8 p.m.
1140 Eldridge Parkway Ste 190
Houston TX 77077
Please RSVP at

Pablo’s Pub
July 22 @ 6-8 p.m. 
19325 Gulf Fwy # 6
Webster TX 77598
Please RSVP at

Hubbell & Hudson
July 23 @ 5-7 p.m. 
24 Waterway Ave
The Woodlands TX 77380
Please RSVP at

PRSA Houston Recognized for Membership Growth

PRSA (global)  has recognized PRSA Houston for its 2008 membership growth among extra large chapters. In a new category that was added for chapters with more than 400 members, PRSA Houston increased membership by 9.3 percent, compared to the runner up National Capital Chapter with 6.2 percent. From Dec. 2006 until Dec. 2008, PRSA Houston grew 9.8 percent compared with National Capital's 7.8 percent in the number of national members. Congratulations to Priscilla Tinsley, Emilee Fontenot and Bill Zander who worked on this membership team in 2008 and to all who brought in staff members and friends.

If you have been thinking about joining PRSA, the initiation fee of $65 is being waived for new members and former members who have been inactive for a year through July 15. Mention the promotion code SPRING2009. It is the best promotion national offers, so it's a good time to join. 

The June New Member Promotion has been extended until July 15th. Become a NEW member of PRSA National, mention the promotion code SPRING2009, and the $65 initiation fee will be waived. You can take advantage of the promotion here: National dues are $225 and Houston chapter dues are an additional $55.

**This Month's Perk: a spotlight on PRSA benefits that are offered year round to members. ** Discounts on upcoming PR Day professional development registration in October see for details.

New Member Immersion

In August we will be holding our New Member Immersion prior to the regularly scheduled luncheon. It will begin at 11:15 a.m. at the Briar Club on Wednesday, August 5, 2009. New members and RE-INVIGORATED members are welcome to attend! It will be a quick way to (re)acquaint you with PRSA Houston and meet 2009 Board members, committee chairs and other new members.

Don't Miss this Opportunity to Spotlight Your Company to Houton's PR Pros!

So many companies are already taking advantage of the fabulous sponsorship opportunities PR Day 2009 has to offer. But we still need more! To learn more about PR Day 2009 sponsorships, log onto the PRSA Houston PR Day page. At the same time, take advantage of our Early Bird Registration! You won’t be disappointed!

PR Day 2009—Delivering Value: Maximizing the Role of PR—will take place at the Westin Galleria on October 7, and we are so excited that Peter Shankman will be this year’s keynote speaker and will also participate in two workshops. Shankman, founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., a Marketing and PR Strategy firm in New York City, is well-known globally for his radical new ways of thinking about social media, PR, marketing, advertising and creativity. For more information about PR Day 2009, contact PR Day 2009 Chairs Lisa Dimond Vasquez or Margot Dimond at 713-426-4111 or Many thanks to our PR Day 2009 sponsors so far: CenterPoint Energy, Verizon Wireless, Brookwoods Group, Business Wire, Marketwire, PremierIMS, PR Newswire, VMS, Zephyr-SalvoGoGo Business Communications and Kronberg’s Flags and Flagpoles.

A Few More Chances to Attend the Clear Lake APR Study Group

It's not too late to participate in the APR study group! A Clear Lake study group for those interested in pursuing Accreditation began June 4, 2009. This is the first in a series of events that will meet on the following dates with the topics designated. Registration for this event includes the entire series. Contact Kelly George, APR, for more information at

  • Thursday, July 23 – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Law and Ethics
  • Thursday, July 30 - 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Business Literacy

The study group will take place at:

Paradise Coffee Company
1606 Clear Lake City Blvd
Houston TX 77062
Phone: (281) 990-9001

Houston-Area APR Study Group

Were you tempted by the Clear Lake APR study group but the drive was a bit too far? Well, you are now in luck as there is a Houston-Area study group starting in August. The schedule will be as follows:

  • Thursday, Aug. 13 – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. – Basic Concepts of PR; Publics and Public Opinion
  • Monday, Aug. 17 – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. – Communications Theory and Diffusion
  • Thursday, Aug. 27 – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. – Research and Research Methods
  • Monday, Aug. 31 – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. – Planning Process
  • Thursday, September 10 – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. - Law and Ethics Thursday,
  • Sept. 17 - 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. – Business Literacy
All sessions will take place at the:
Looscan Neighborhood Library
2510 Willowick
Houston, Texas 77027832-393-1900

You can register for the study groups at

Excalibur Winners and Reorders on Web

If you missed the Excalibur Awards event (or it is all a blur), you can check out the winners now posted on the website. If you won an award and would like duplicates, you may order more awards using the form also posted on the Web. Both items may be downloaded at this link. Saki Indakwa, event chair, and Laura Frnka, APR, Pierpont Communications, awards chair, and their team did a fabulous job! Thanks to all who entered, sponsored, came and purchased auction items!

Thank you to our Excalibur Sponsors!

Hats off to Brookwoods Group the Presenting Sponsor for Excalibur Awards. Not only did Brookwoods Group sponsor this event, but they supplied the magic wands that were so much fun! Thank you also to Assembly Delegate Chris Bozman, APR, who arranged for Shell Oil Company to be the Throne Room sponsor during the reception. Coyne Public Relations, honored PRSA Houston with a King’s Court Sponsorship. In-kind sponsors include R!P Creative providing design work, Long Plan Printing, print, SPCcreative, photography. Knights of the Roundtable included GolinHarris, Noble Drilling Services, BHP Billiton Petroleum, CenterPoint EnergyBusiness WireEnbridge Energy Partners and Paula Ruth & Company Public Relations were Landed Gentry.

The PR Day team has already lined up following support: CenterPoint Energy will be CD-Folder Sponsor, Brookwoods Group is the Lanyard Sponsor, and Verizon Wireless is the keynote sponsor. Business WireMarketwire, PR NewswireVMS and Zephyr-Salvo are already committed as exhibitors. In-kind supporters for PR Day include PremierIMS, Inc., GoGo Business CommunicationsKronberg Flags & Flagpoles and JeffDesign (no website). Other opportunities remain.

PRSA Houston appreciates all this support which enables us to maintain prices for members.

Sponsorships are available for all the lunches this year. 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 2000-plus subscribers
  • Mention and text link in ePRo, the PRSA Houston newsletter sent to 2000-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; others available at member rate of $30
  • One time use of an electronically provided member list of physical addresses for all 450 PRSA Houston members.

Luncheon sponsorships do not include PR Day which has a separate sponsorship package available on the PR Day Page at

Market in a Downturn to Flourish in the Upturn

Bernstein & Associates recently renewed its ad on PRSA Houston’s Business Directory. Consider an ad in the PRSA Houston Business Directory as an inexpensive way to increase your site's organic ranking. For $100, you get one year of exposure on the premiere Web site for public relations in Houston.

Check Out the Job Bank, Resume Service

If you have openings or internships, please consider posting the job with PRSA Houston. June saw a slight uptick in new positions, offering a glimmer of hope to job hunters. PRSA Houston also has a resume service in which one may post his/her resume on the Web site at Employers may go to the same link and search the resumes posted. This is a completely free service that has been offered by PRSA Houston for more than one year.

New Members

Gretchen Krueger, Krueger Public Relations(reinstated)

Rebecca Flechsig, Sullivan Group Productions

Margaret McDonald, Schipul-The Web Marketing Company

Laura Prus

Kari Fluegel, United Space Alliance

Christina LaCanfora, ExxonMobil (transfer from Miami Chapter)

Member News

Trazanna Moreno is now Associate Superintendent of Community Relations, Klein I.S.D.

Ray Purser, vice president of government and public relations for Comcast Houston, has been elected chairman of the Texas Cable Association.

David Roznowski, APR is now Manager, State Government Affairs for LyondellBasell Industries.

Upcoming Events

Mark your calendar for PRSA Houston's upcoming events.

  • July 14: Mentoring Mixer, Pagoda Bistro
  • July 16:   Media Breakfast, 7:30 a.m., United Way, Molly Glentzer, Kim Jordan, Jeremy Desel
  • July 21: Satellite Social (West Houston), Sushi Nikko 
  • July 22: Satellite Social (Clear Lake), Pablo's Pub
  • July 23: Satellite Social (The Woodlands), Hubbell & Hudson
  • Aug. 5: Monthly Luncheon, Briar Club Panel on Managing in a Down Economy
  • Aug. 12-14: NIRI Southwest Regional Conference
  • Aug. 13: Accreditation Seminar begins in Houston
  • Aug. 13: Media Breakfast, 7 a.m., United Way, TBD
  • Sept. 2: Monthly Luncheon, Briar Club, Academy Award nominee Alan Hilberg, “The Socratic Approach to Effective Organizational Communications”
  • Sept. 9: HIMA’s Interacti
    Stephanie Pertuit
    (713) 663-0164
    Author: Stephanie Pertuit
    Phone: (713) 663-0164
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