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PRSA Houston - June ePRo

Welcome to the June 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.

Register Today for the Excalibur Awards!

Join us this Thursday as we recognize the best of the best at this gala event as well as bid on silent auction items in support of the Public Relations Foundation of Houston and its efforts to raise scholarship dollars for public relations professionals of the future.

Highlights of the evening will include the awarding of the Grand Excalibur. We also will honor our Legacy Award winner Julie B. Fix, APR and our CEO Communicator of the Year, John Sheptor, president and CEO of Imperial Sugar. Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor Brookwoods Group, our Throne Room Sponsor Shell Oil Company, King's Court Sponsor Coyne Public Relations and Landed Gentry Business Wire Enbridge Energy Partners LP. and Paula Ruth & Company Public Relations. In-kind sponsors include R!P Creative Services, Long Plan Printing, SPCcreative. Early table buyers include BHP Billiton PetroleumCenterPoint Energy, City of Houston, GolinHarris and Noble Drilling Services as Knights of the Roundtable. Sponsorships and tables are still available. Contact Paula Ruth, APR or Marlene Weyand.

Many thanks to this year's Excalibur Awards Committee, led by Saki Indakwa, event chair, and Laura Frnka, APR, Pierpont Communications, awards. Register today!

Magic Marketplace Silent Auction Just Days Away...

Wave your magic wand and say “abracadabra” for good buys for .. great cause. Bring your shopping list to Thursday's annual silent auction event benefitting the Public Relations Foundation of Houston to be held in conjunction with the Excalibur Awards celebration, June 18, at the Hotel Derek. Bidding starts at 6:00 p.m.

Big Deals:

  • Continental Airlines – Two coach tickets to U.S. 48, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Central America or Caribbean
  • Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa – Deluxe weekend hotel stay
  • PRSA-Houston Board of Directors – Kindle 2
  • Houston Rockets – Ron Artest autographed basketball and Tracy McGrady autographed jersey
  • Spectra Energy – RCA digital camcorder
  • YMCA of Greater Houston – One year city-wide household membership
  • Halliburton – HP PhotoSmart printer

Houston Happenings:

  • The Health Museum – Six general admission tickets
  • Houston Dynamo – Four VIP tickets and team-autographed soccer ball
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science – Four tickets to Genghis Khan, Cockrell Butterfly Center, Burke Baker Planetarium and the exhibit halls
  • Houston Symphony – Two tickets to Fidelity Investments Classical or Weatherford Family Concert Series at Jones Hall
  • LyondellBasell Industries – Four tickets plus parking to Astros vs. Mets on July 26
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston – Individual Membership
  • The Quillian Center – 20 swimming passes
  • Rice Gallery – One friend membership with t-shirt designed by artist Michael A. Salter
  • Wildcat Golf Club – Round of golf for four, including green fee and cart rental
  • DiverseWorks - One DiverseWorks 3D membership, 25th anniversary video, t-shirt and tote bag

Gotta Haves:

  • Newfield Exploration – Two sets of steak knives and two cutting boards
  • Robin Jackson Photography – Portrait session and 11x14 family portrait and Portrait session and 8x10 family portrait
  • Sweet Leaf Tea – A summer of Sweet Leaf Tea (96 bottles)
  • The Wine Man – Wine tasting luncheon for 12 and wine tasting party for 20
  • Bliss Spa – Body Beautiful package including spa-strength bath, body and skin care products

July Luncheon: Measuring the Power of PR to Impact Advertising & Business Outcomes

As Tom Collinger, Associate Dean of Medill’s Integrated Marketing Communications Program at Northwestern, puts it, “We are in a world today where it is not PR or advertising, not qualitative or quantitative, not traditional media or new media, but PR AND advertising, qualitative AND quantitative, traditional media AND new media.” Join us at the July luncheon as Angela Jeffrey, APR, presents some very new research on the intersection of Paid- and Non-Paid Media, and the power of news coverage to impact, or virtually un-do, advertising effectiveness.

Learn how to ensure the success of your client’s or organization’s marketing spend by looking beyond your own PR silo! The session will include new research findings; mini case studies; sample TV spots deemed affective and ineffective through in independent panel; and ‘how to’ steps for measuring these elements on your own! Guaranteed to be stimulating and fun!

Please note: PRSA Houston’s July Luncheon will be held on July 7 (note the different date) at the Briar Club. We’ll see you there! Register for the luncheon today.

PRSA Houstonians Around Town

More than 100 PRSA members, friends and residents of One Park Place gathered on the eighth floor of the new upscale highrise near Discovery Green to mix and mingle after work on May 28.  The event, provided entirely free to the guests by One Park Place and organized by PRSA Houston Vice President Jen Evans and Irena Hixson, PRSA member, On the Mark Communications, provided an excellent opportunity to tour the units, pool and party facility as well as enjoy food, drink and fellowship. In the photo above, PRSA Houston Vice President Jen Evans (left) and 2009 President Terri Larson (right) chat with Marvy Finger, Finger Companies, the developer of One Park

Joe Olickan, Ryan Small and Pete McConnell chat with PRSA Houston Assembly Delegate Sally Evans, APR.


PRSA Houston Vice President Jen Evans and Irena Hixson of On the Mark
Communications show off the posh facilities.
Marvy Finger, Finger Companies, described the amenities available and how the land was purchased for One Park Place and then was recognized by 2009 PRSA Houston President Terri Larson, Enbridge Energy Partners.
David Harpole, LyondellBasell, long-time PRSA Houston member, chats with Kim Miller, Graphique.
Photos by:

Mentoring Match-Up Event on July 14

We did our homework. And you told us what you wanted in a mentoring program. Save the date - Tuesday, July 14, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at a location to come for our first Mentoring Match-Up Mixer. Come learn more about fellow chapter professionals and match yourself up for mentoring. More details to come.

Nearly 30 members of PRSA Houston participated in one of three focus groups to help the chapter explore how to create a meaningful mentoring program for our members. Focus group participants represented a variety of ages, ethnic backgrounds, for profit/non-profit and number of years of experience. And, as you can imagine, if you put eight to 10 PRSA'ers in the same room, add drinks and snacks, the discussion gets lively. And, very, very helpful.

Focus group participants emphasized that because the most successful mentoring relationships are self-selected, PRSA wouldn't be successful arbitrarily matching people up with one another. PRSA Houston would have greater success if we thought of ourselves as the venue -- the catalyst that brings people together to meet one another to see if there's a mentoring match-up fit. Similar to a singles happy hour event model, PRSA Houston can host Mentoring Match-Up Mixers and allow members to meet one another in a fun "mixer" environment that encourages people to move around the room and interact, especially with someone they haven't met before.

Once a Mentoring Match-Up is made, the individuals would define for themselves the time commitment and format needed to develop a mentoring relationship between them. If you don't meet someone the first time, or if your initial Mentoring Match-Up doesn't work out, then just like a singles happy hour, you would attend more chapter Mentoring Match-Up Mixers until you find the right match-up.

Thanks to Our Wonderful Focus Group Participants

Many thanks to the wonderful folks who took time out of their busy professional lives to come together and share their thoughts about what mentoring means to them and what they would like to see PRSA Houston help in fostering more mentoring relationships between chapter members. Your insights will help to create ongoing match-up activities for PRSA Houston throughout the year. Hope to see all of you there.


PR Day 2009 is the perfect opportunity to spotlight your company to Houston’s top PR and marketing pros. Please spread the word about this year’s event, which will take place at the Westin Galleria on Oct. 7!

The PR Day 2009 theme is Delivering Value: Maximizing the Role of PR, and we are so excited that Peter Shankman will be this year’s PR Day 2009 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. To learn more about PR Day 2009 sponsorships, log onto the PR Day page.

For more information, contact PR Day 2009 Chairs Lisa Dimond Vasquez or Margot Dimond, APR at Many thanks to our PR Day 2009 sponsors so far: CenterPoint Energy, Brookwoods Group, Business Wire, MarketWirePR Newswire, VMS, Zephyr-SalvoPremierIMS, Inc., GoGo Business Communications, JeffDesign and Kronberg’s Flags and Flagpoles.

Pass the Accreditation Exam and You May Be Rewarded a Bonus

PRSA’s Southwest District Board has approved a new scholarship application for members upon passing the APR exam. A total of five scholarships will be awarded for $100 each to the first candidates to pass the exam and apply for the scholarship each year.

Applicants must have served in a leadership role with a PRSA Chapter for a minimum of one year. Examples of these positions include president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, treasurer-elect, director, officer, assembly delegate, board member, chair or active member of a committee or special interest group (i.e., professional development, programs, membership, newsletter, Web site, ethics, professional development, scholarships, awards, student liaison, publicity, community service, etc.). For more information and to apply, please visit the PRSA site.

New Members Special Continues in June

National PRSA is waiving the $65 initiation fee for prospects who join and mention the promotion. New members would pay $225 for their national dues and Houston chapter dues of $55 are additional.

Save the Date for PRSA Houston Membership Orientation

The next PRSA Houston Member Orientation will be Wednesday, August 5th prior to the 11:30 lunch at the Briar Club. Contact Emilee Fontenot, membership chair, or Paula Ruth, Administrator, for additional information.

Clear Lake-Area 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. Please register in advance as materials will be sent only to those registered. Please RSVP at here.

June 25 – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Planning Process

July 9 – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Diffusion

July 23 – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Law and Ethics

July 30 - 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Business Literacy

All sessions are scheduled to take place at Coffee Oasis (4650 NASA Road 1, Seabrook TX 77586-5414). If you need more details or have any questions, please contact Kelly George, APR, at  281-575-4009  or

A Houston series will be scheduled in the future.

Check Out the Job Bank, Resume Service

If you have openings or internships, please consider posting the job with PRSA Houston. 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, so sign up today!

Market in a Downturn to Flourish in the Upturn

PRSA Houston Board member Karen Blanchard, APR, heads the latest firm to advertise its services on PRSA Houston’s Business Directory.Consider an ad in the PRSA Houston Business Directory. For $100, you get one year of exposure on the premiere Web site for public relations in Houston.

Sponsors are helping PRSA Houston!

We thank PRSA Board member Suzanne Lammers for bringing BAE Systems as a May sponsor, along with Business Wire, a strong supporter. 

Brookwoods Group has committed to be the Presenting Sponsor of Excalibur Awards 2009. Shell Oil Company will be the Throne Room sponsor during the reception. The King's Court Sponsor is Coyne Public Relations. In-kind sponsors include R!P Creative, Long Plan Printing and SPCcreative. Knights of the Roundtable include BHP Billiton PetroleumCenterPoint Energy, City of Houston, GolinHarris and Noble Drilling ServicesBusiness Wire, Enbridge Energy Partners LP.  and Paula Ruth & Company Public Relations as Landed Gentry.

The PR Day team has already lined up Brookwoods Group as the Lanyard Sponsor  and CenterPoint Energy for folder sponsor.  Business WireMarket WirePR Newswire, VMS and Zephyr-Salvo are committed as exhibitors. In-kind supporters for PR Day include PremierIMS, Inc.GoGo Business Communications, JeffDesign and Kronberg’s Flags and Flagpoles.

But, even with all of the above, other opportunities remain for all of these events! PRSA Houston appreciates all this support which enables us to maintain prices at the levels set in 2005. Other 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 Excalibur packages are also available on the Excalibur page of

Member News

PRSA Houston 2000 President Carolyn Mayo, APR, Vollmer Public Relations, has been elected President of IPREX The Americas. IPREX is the worldwide corporation of independent public relations firms. Carolyn was elected from among the 43 independent partner firms throughout North and South America.

Irena Hixson is now with On the Mark Communications.

Marti D. Powers is Senior External Affairs Manager, Government & Public Affairs Remediation Management for BP America Inc.

Hal Gordon is back in Houston.

Alicia Alaniz is now Communications Coordinator for Neighborhood Centers, Inc.

Paula Ruth, APR
(281) 870-9939
Author: Paula Ruth, APR
Fax: (281) 870-9939
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