Need an account?

PRSA Houston July ePRo

Welcome to the July 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!

Meet Neighborhood News Leaders at July Media Mixer

As the metropolitan area of Houston has grown, so has the need for more community news. Join PRSA Houston Thursday, July 29, for an insider conversation with Houston-area neighborhood news leaders.

Joining us to share their expertise are:


Register by July 28

Date:           Thursday, July 29, 2010

Time:           7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Location:     United Way Community Resource Center

                   50 Waugh Drive

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


Aug. 4: After Ike: Communicating UTMB's Recovery

How many PR professionals do you know who have ridden a bicycle through hurricane debris to deliver a message to the media? Following Hurricane Ike, a University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) staff member did just that.


At PRSA Houston's August 4 luncheon, UTMB director of media relations Raul Reyes will describe the role communications played in the crisis immediately following Ike, through the legislative challenges to the institution's survival and to its recent financial triumphs. Throughout, Reyes' team reminded key audiences of UTMB's vital importance not only to Galveston but also to patients throughout Southeast Texas. 


Reyes served as a reporter and editor at numerous organizations before joining UTMB in 2007. Most recently, he was an editor at the New York Times, national editor at the Dallas Morning News and assistant managing editor at the San Antonio Express-News. A graduate of the University of Houston, Reyes began his career at the Houston Chronicle, where he advanced from copy boy to become a city hall and Texas Capitol bureau reporter.

Register now



Date:        August 4, 2010

Time:        11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Location:   Briar Club

Contact:    Paula Ruth, APR, 281-870-1717, for event information
                 and additional sponsorship opportunities


Thanks to our August sponsor



Excalibur Reorder Deadline Extended

Congratulations to all of the 2010 Excalibur Awards for Excellence winners who were recognized at the 2010 Excalibur Awards Gala presented by Brookwoods Group, June 17.

View the complete list of winners

Order additional award copies by completing the paper form or make your payment online. Requests made by August 2 will be available at the August luncheon.



Nominating Committee Seeks Candidates

The PRSA Houston Nominating Committee is working on a slate of candidates for the 2011 leadership election. If you are interested in running on the ballot for an open Board of Directors or Assembly Delegate position, contact 2009 President Terri Larson by Wednesday, Aug. 4. 

Assembly delegates must be accredited in public relations.  Accreditation is not required to be a candidate for the Board of Directors.  The election will be held in August with the results announced at the Sept. 1 Luncheon and Annual Meeting.

Get Involved! Sponsor PR Day 2010


Sign-up to be a sponsor of one of the biggest PRSA Houston events of the year! PR Day 2010 is scheduled for Nov. 30 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown.


Special thanks go out to our early commitment sponsors - CenterPoint Energy, Conference Kit Sponsor, and Business Wire, PR Day Swag Bag sponsor. 


We also appreciate our in-kind sponsors Graphique, Flowers by Nino and Encore Printstore.


To learn more about becoming an official PR Day 2010 sponsor, visit the PR Day page on the PRSA Houston site, and click on our Sponsorship Guide. Sponsorship opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Presenting Sponsor (exclusive) $5,000 - Helps cover the operating expenses associated with providing a first-class professional development experience for PR professionals.
  • Technology Sponsor (exclusive) $4,000 - Underwrites the costs of all projector, laptop and wide-screen costs associated with PR Day 2010.
  • Breakfast Sponsor $1000 - Covers additional breakfast costs.
  • Keynote Speaker Sponsor (exclusive) $2,500 - Helps cover costs to bring in a high-level national speaker. Includes speaker travel & honorarium (if applicable), roundtrip airfare, meals and hotel accommodations.
  • In-Kind Sponsor - Covers the costs of printing invitations, save the date cards, programs, cds, signage, or other logistical costs for the event. 

Contact:       Osjetta Gascey:



About PR Day


Plan to attend PR Day 2010 November 30, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown.


The theme for this year’s one-day, action-packed conference and expo event is PRSA: Promoting Relationships, Surviving Adversity.

The popularity of social media and new technologies, such as smart phone apps, have added new ways to communicate to a broader audience. These new tools have also required PR and communications professionals to stay on their toes when crises occur. With just a click of a button, news, good or bad, can reach the public within seconds.


PR Day 2010 will focus on promoting networking with diverse audiences using these tools and other communication outlets. The program will also address how to avoid the adverse effects new technologies can produce.


Early speaker commitments include Houston's own PR pioneer and co-founder of Paper City Magazine, Becca Cason Thrash, our breakfast keynote, and Paul Taaffe, chairman and CEO of Hill & Knowlton, Inc., our luncheon keynote.

PR Day is Houston’s premiere annual professional development event. PR Day 2010 promises to have something for everyone, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve got your fair share of war stories to tell. It's a great time to get involved in PRSA Houston to build relationships crucial to your career. 


Interested in helping plan this year’s PR Day? Join the 2010 Planning Committee!


Contacts:    PR Day Chair Lady Oliver, 832-866-6608


Communications Chairs - promotions, media

Kristi Krupala: (713) 792-2096;

Kim Miller:


Sponsorships - 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;


Sept. 1: PR’s Role in the Future of Nonprofit Journalism

Can Evan Smith and his colleagues at The Texas Tribune save watchdog journalism in Texas? And what does its new nonprofit model mean for the state’s media relations practitioners?

Smith, CEO and editor of The Texas Tribune and former president and editor in chief of Texas Monthly, will discuss the year-old media outlet’s mission to promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government, and other matters of statewide concern. In addition to publishing the work of its seasoned staff online, The Texas Tribune partners with organizations such as the Houston Chronicle and the University of Texas on research and investigative reporting projects.

Smith joined The Texas Tribune in August 2009 after 18 years with Texas Monthly. A New York native, Smith holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University and is a founding co-chair of the Texas Film Hall of Fame.


Date:        September 1, 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


Oct. 6: Leading Real Estate with Communication

PRSA Houston welcomes one of Houston’s most PR-savvy chief executives to its Oct. 6 luncheon. Bob Hale, chief executive officer for Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), will address selling real estate and realtors through effective communication.


Despite a recession partially driven by a national real-estate bust, a month doesn’t pass without HAR making headlines with its home sales reports.


Hale not only champions HAR’s benefits to association members, he supports robust communications with consumers to help them understand the importance of including realtors in their real-estate transactions. Routinely recognized by trade media as one of America’s most influential people in real estate, Hale also received the 2010 Communication Leadership Award from IABC Houston.


Hale’s enthusiastic belief in all types of traditional and social media helps drive a million unique visitors a month to and makes HAR the largest organization of its type in the nation.

Register now


Date:        October 6, 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

Upcoming Events

Aug. 4: Monthly Luncheon, Raul Reyes, UTMB director of media relations Register


Sept. 8: Monthly Luncheon - Evan Smith, CEO/ editor-in-chief, Texas Tribune (former editor of Texas Monthly) Register


Oct. 6: Monthly Luncheon - Bob Hale, president and CEO, Houston Association of Realtors Register 

Nov. 3: Foundation Luncheon - Renu Khator, President of University of Houston


Nov. 30: PR Day, Hyatt Regency Downtown, followed by Holiday Party


APR Spotlight: Leigh Akin, APR

APR is a mark of distinction for public relations professionals who demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice. APR candidates are selected based on their broad knowledge, strategic perspective and sound professional judgment.

PRSA Houston talked to Leigh Akin, APR, vice president, Corporate Communications, Amegy Bank. Here, she shares her Accreditation story.

PRSA Houston:  What made you decide to become Accredited at this stage in your career?


Akin: Becoming Accredited has been a longtime goal of mine. Many of my mentors within the public relations field are Accredited and it was important to me that I earn the same designation. The APR Study Group sessions, hosted by Kelly George, APR, provided the motivation I needed to begin the process.


PRSA Houston: How did you prepare for the Readiness Review and computer-based exam?


Akin: The APR Study Group sessions were my first step in preparing to begin the process. The six sessions provided a clear framework as to what I could expect from both the Readiness Review and the exam. Following those sessions, I spent a lot of time compiling my Readiness Review questionnaire and campaign portfolio to present to the panel. Going through that process helped me to feel like I was well-prepared to sit for the exam.


Throughout the entire process, I read and studied both the APR Study Guide and Effective Public Relations, which I would recommend for anyone considering their APR. While I previously had learned many of the concepts in college, it was a great refresher and helped me to identify areas where I needed to put in additional hours of study.


PRSA Houston: What advice do you have for others who are considering Accreditation?


Akin: Don’t delay beginning the APR process because it seems scary or because you’re uncertain of what to expect. There are tremendous resources available both locally and nationally through PRSA to help you along your journey. In addition, any APR who I talked with was more than willing to share their personal experience, which gave me comfort as I prepared to take the exam.


PRSA Houston: Do you have any other comments or suggestions for people thinking of becoming accredited?


Akin: If you’ve been considering becoming Accredited, commit today to at least learning more about the process. Visit, which contains a wealth of information and helpful resources to start you on your journey.  


PRSA Houston Blog Bite


“While working in the mortgage industry during the now waning housing crisis, being informed is crucial to establishing and maintaining employee morale during these troubling times. It’s hard to put forth your best effort and focus on the job at hand when the possibility of unemployment and the terrors of job hunting loom over your head. Nothing is neutral; even to stay silent during periods of uncertainty sends a strong message to the workforce. I have no way of knowing whether our CEO is familiar with Grossman or the ideas he shared, but my company’s leader seems to understand how powerful the messages he sends to his employees can be.” Read more on PRSA Houston’s Blog site


An excerpt from a the blog entry “Why Leaders Can’t NOT Communicate – Even as a Mortgage Company CEO” by Jason Saenz, public relations writer/editor, Cornerstone Mortgage Company, about what he learned from PRSA Houston’s July luncheon.



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.


PRSA Houston's Julie Fix, APR Named PRSA Fellow 

PRSA Houston's 2009 Legacy Award Winner Julie B. Fix, APR has been accepted for induction into the PRSA College of Fellows.  The induction will be during a ceremony, Saturday, Oct. 16, just prior to the International Conference in Washington, D.C. this October.  Julie joins an elite group that in PRSA Houston includes Dr. Douglas P. Starr, APR, Fellow PRSA,  D. Gayle McNutt, APR, Fellow PRSA, and Tom K. Stewart, APR, Fellow PRSA, who have been inducted already.  Julie will be among those representing PRSA Houston at the Assembly as an Assembly Delegate.


Julie is an instructional assistant professor in the Jack J. Valenti School of Commuication at the University of Houston, where she teaches public relations and communications courses and mentors students.  She serves the School as Director of Undergraduate Studies and Internship Coordinator.  She is also president and principal of Fix & Associates, Inc. Public Relations.  Previously, Fix was a senior communications specialist in Baylor College of Medicine's Office of Public Affairs.  She also worked for The Houston Chronicle and Fort Bend Mirror.


A member of PRSA sincd 1991, she was accredited in February 1996.  Prior to being elected as an Assembly Delegate, Julie has served as the chapter's treasurer.  She has been an Oral Examiner and Coach for the Universal Accreditation program for the Houston Chapter for many years and has conducted a "Jumpstart Workshop" numerous times.


Julie is a past president of the Texas Public Relations Association, past chairman of the Public Relations Foundation of Texas and has been the manager of the Silver Spur/Best of Texas Awards program.  Earlier this year, she presented a workshop on how to win an award for PRSA Houston.  Julie has won awards from the Texas Press Association, TPRA, The Press Club of Houston as well as PRSA Houston.  She has a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the University of Houston. 

Member News

PRSA Houston Program Chair Sherri Green is now senior writer with Calpine Corp.

Kuriko Hasegawa is now account executive for Fleishman-Hillard.

Anna Kaplan is now Consultant, Communications and Community Relations for El Paso Corporation.


PRSA Houston Public Relations Chair Ariana Montelongo is now director of Media Relations for Neighborhood Centers.


PRSA Houston 2007 President Lisa Walsh is now director, Creative and Marketing Communications for Administaff.


Welcome to Our New Members 
(June 22-July 26, 2010)


Holly Cassard, Houston Symphony

Rhonda Sloan, SunAmerica Financial

Disney Hanka

Donna Wisk, Ph.D., New Vision Communications Group

Charles Butler, Prince of Peace Catholic Community

Kelly Kimberly, APR (reinstated)

Angelica Nelson, Fifth Ring

Thank You to Our Renewing Members 
(June 22-July 26, 2010)

Stacey Cox, APR, CenterPoint Energy

George Deutsch, III, International Facility Management Association

Kari Fluegel, United Space Alliance

Carolyn Garrard, Covenant House Texas

Jerry Heinold, DePelchin Children’s Center

Kami Huyse, APR, Zoetica

Roberta Ireland, Wood Group

Lizbeth C. Johnson, APR

Phil Morabito, Pierpont Communications

Kimberly Nichols

Sheila Ormand, STP Nuclear Operating Company

Marilyn Pippin, APR, Hopkins & Associates, Inc.

Ruth Rendon, BP North America

Michael Rosen, Air Liquide USA LLC

Andrea Sanchez, International Facilities Management Association

Tricia Singer, APR, Shell Oil Company

Lori Steiner, International Facilities Management Association

Ben Wheatley, ABC, APR, Ben Wheatley Public Relations (former President)

Luncheon Sponsorships Offer Good Marketing Value 

Are you a company looking for exposure to more than 2,000 communications professionals? PRSA Houston has monthly luncheon sponsorship opportunities available.

Thanks to MedTouch for sponsoring out August luncheon, featuring UTMB director of media relations Raul Reyes. Other sponsorships are available. Luncheon sponsors get the following benefits for $500:  

  • 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 subscribers
  • 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
  • speaking opportunity at the luncheon (no more than 3 minutes)
  • one free lunch registration at the President's table; others available at $30 member rate
  • One time use of an electronically provided member list of physical addresses for all 440 PRSA Houston members.

Luncheon sponsorships do not include PR Day, for which we offer several exclusive PR Day sponsorship packages. Read more about this premiere event on the PR Day Page. Multi-event sponsorship agreements are also available.

Contact:Source: Erin Schwartz

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