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PRSA Houston - May ePRo

Welcome to the May 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.

Excalibur Awards Approaching

Make your reservation today! Join us as we celebrate outstanding professional accomplishments at the annual Excalibur Awards Gala hosted by Brookwoods Group and PRSA Houston at 6 p.m. on June 18 at the Hotel Derek. This year's theme "PR: Our Own Brand of Magic" highlights the showmanship, creativity and dazzling technical skills used in our industry. Thanks to Presenting Sponsor Brookwoods Group, Throne Room Sponsor Shell Oil Company, Landed Gentry Sponsors Business Wire, Enbridge and Paula Ruth & Company Public Relations and in-kind sponsor R!P Creative. 
Register here for individual seats or tables or contact Paula Ruth at

Deadline Extended for 2009 Legacy Award Nominations

This June, PRSA Houston members and guests will gather at the annual Excalibur Awards not only to honor outstanding professional accomplishments, but to honor a lifetime of professional achievement with the 2009 Excalibur Legacy Award. Chapter members are encouraged to nominate a colleague, mentor or role model who exemplifies the highest ideals of professional public relations practice. Candidates for the Legacy Award should meet the following criteria:

  • Candidates should be a PRSA member and either a current or former PRSA Houston chapter member. The award may be given posthumously.
  • Candidates should have at least 25 years of experience in public relations.
Nominations should demonstrate the candidate’s leadership and expertise in the field of public relations through:
  • Outstanding service to his/her company, community, organization or educational institution
  • Outstanding service to PRSA Houston
  • Honors, awards and recognition, accreditation
  • Advancing the body of knowledge and public image of the profession through teaching, writing, speaking, mentoring and/or PRSA volunteer/leadership positions
Former Legacy Award Winners:
  • 2008: Phillip Taggart, APR
  • 2007: Dr. Bob Heath, APR
  • 2006: Graham Painter, APR
  • 2005: Guy Brown, APR
  • 2004: Will Osterloh, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2003: Gayle McNutt, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2002: Sabra Gill, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2001: Tom Stewart, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2000: Ralph Frede, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 1999: James W. Hart
Nominations and a brief summary highlighting why you’ve chosen this candidate (please limit to two pages) should be submitted by end of day May 15 to Priscilla Tinsley by e-mail at or by phone at 713-854-8555.

Financial Hardship Program Announcement

PRSA Houston is pleased to offer a Financial Hardship Program to members who face unemployment in 2009.

The terms of the plan are stated below.

Terms of the Financial Hardship Program:

  • Eligibility: The program is available to any established member of PRSA Houston who is - or becomes – fully unemployed in 2009. Additionally:
  • Members working temp or contract jobs are eligible to apply for consideration.
  • Members owning their own business and who have lost all or most of clients due to economic crisis are eligible to apply for consideration.
  • Members participating in the PRSA National Hardship Program are eligible to apply for consideration.
  • The plan will cover registration fees for PRSA Houston events, up to a maximum of 3 monthly luncheons between May and December OR 1 registration to PR Day OR 1 registration to the Excalibur Awards per member.
  • Members receiving assistance may be asked to help at chapter events, including assisting with registration and other tasks as appropriate.
  • The hardship benefit will end when the member re-joins the workforce in a full-time position.
  • The Financial Hardship Program is offered only in 2009 and benefits will end on December 31, 2009, unless the PRSA Houston Board of Directors votes to extend the Hardship Program into 2010.
  • The Chapter president, treasurer, and membership chair will review all requests for consideration.
  • This program is subject to changes and/or termination at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

Members utilizing the hardship program will continue to receive all PRSA Houston member benefits. The names of members requesting consideration for, and participating in, the PRSA Houston Financial Hardship Plan will be strictly confidential. The program will be funded from chapter reserves.

Members wishing to apply for consideration under the PRSA Houston Financial Hardship Program should contact Paula Ruth, APR, at 281.870.1717 or

PRSA Houstonians Around Town

PRSA Houston and its members have been very busy in the last month. Check below to see if you've been spotted.

Pauline Serice, King, Chapman & Broussard, led a lively interactive discussion with members and guests of PRSA Houston on generational differences at the April luncheon.
PRSA Houston Vice President Jen Evans thanked Ariana Montelongo, LifeGift, for their sponsorship and Pauline Serice, speaker, for her presentation after the April luncheon.

At the April luncheon, PRSA Houston Assembly Delegate Sally Evans, APR reminded the audience of protest efforts led by the Baby Boomers.

PRSA Houston President Terri Larson (left), Enbridge Inc., thanks Tony Lentini, Pixel Creative Group, the May speaker, and PRSA Houston Board member Suzanne Lammers, BAE Systems, who sponsored the May luncheon along with Business Wire.
Shannon Simonson , Business Wire, was one of the May luncheon sponsors. Leslie Caraway from Business Wire also attended.

Among those attending the May luncheon for their first meeting as new members were Sybil Scott, Zac Emmons and Kevin Cooper of the Houston Texans. The Houston Texans are among the donors of silent auction items that will be bid at the Excalibur Awards, June 18.
PRSA Houston President Terri Larson, Enbridge Inc., greeted Narasimha Murty Garimella, a former chapter chairman of the Public Relations Society of India. Mr. Garimella is from the Visakhapatnam Chapter and formerly worked for Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited .

The New Professionals enjoy a day of networking and a baseball game at the Houston Astros Bud Light Young Professionals Night in the FiveSeven Patio on April 4th. The New Professionals networked with other young professionals groups such as SEARCH Young Ambassadors and Houston Young People for the Arts. Pictured are David Casey, Katie Moyer and Katie Winslow.

Become a Sponsor for PR Day 2009

Get the best bang for your buck! Become a sponsor of PR Day 2009 where hundreds of PR professionals will learn about Delivering Value: Maximizing the Role of PR! You can also sign up to speak at this exciting event featuring keynote speaker PR and social media guru Peter Shankman.

Go to the PR Day page for more information. A special thanks to the businesses that have already committed to sponsor PR Day 2009: Brookwoods Group, VMS, Zephyr Salvo, LifeGift, GoGo Business CommunicationsPremierIMS, Inc.MarketWire and PR Newswire and JeffDesign.

Join One Park Place for PRSA Happy Hour

Looking for a palm tree-laden escape from the chaos of life, career and local economics? PRSA Houston's "membership monopoly night" offers you a FREE "get out of jail" card that will allow you to go directly to "Park Place". . .One Park Place, that is.
On Thursday, May 28, from 5:30-7:30 pm, PRSA members are invited to Houston's gleaming new 37-story high rise, One Park Place. With Discovery Green in the front yard and the downtown skyline in back, you can enjoy complimentary light bites and drinks provided by One Park Place while you receive an exclusive sneak preview of this beautiful new urban jewel. Make the most of your membership and your networking time by connecting with PRSA's leaders on topics such as new professional programs, mentoring, Excalibur Awards, PR Day and more!
Door prizes will include goodies from House of Blues, The Grove, Gravitas, The Houston Polo Club and Fleming's Steakhouse & Wine Bar-River Oaks. Complimentary valet is also being provided by our very generous host, One Park Place. A special thanks to Quattro Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel Houston for committing to be the food and wine sponsor
Admission is free to PRSA members with advance on-line registration at But, hurry, play your cards now to win!
For more information on the venue, please visit

Thank You Sponsors!

Thank you to PRSA Houston Board member Catherine Burch Graham, APR and LifeGift for sponsoring the April luncheon on The Generation Gap: The Psychology of a Changing Work Environment. 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 for Excalibur Awards on June 18. In addition, we have Shell Oil Company as a Throne Room Sponsor and R!P Creative providing design work. Business WireEnbridge and Paula Ruth & Company Public Relations have committed to be Landed Gentry Sponsors.

The PR Day team has already lined up following support: Brookwoods Group has committed as the Lanyard Sponsor. MarketWirePR Newswire, VMS  and Zephyr-Salvo are committed as exhibitors. In-kind donors include PremierIMS, Inc., GoGo Business Communications and JeffDesign. 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 1800-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.

Market in a Downturn to Flourish in the Upturn

Consider an ad in the PRSA Houston Business Directory. For $100, you get one year of exposure on the premiere website for public relations in Houston.

Check Out the Job Bank

The economy has taken its toll on the job bank. However, employers report brisk response to the postings they have made. If you have openings or internships, please consider posting the job with PRSA Houston.

New Member Special Offer for May & 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 are additional.

Member News

Richard Bonnin is now Director of Media Relations for University of Houston.

Toby Stark is now Vice President, Development and Communication, for Aids Foundation Houston.

Ann Doyle is now Ann Doyle-Herlocher.

New Members

Ruben Maestas, BAE Systems
James Bartlett, ConocoPhillips (reinstated)
Blair Matocha, Litton Loan Servicing
Kevin Cooper, Houston Texans
Felicia Griffin
Sybil Scott, Houston Texans
Tony Wyllie, Houston Texans
Jenn Blackmer, Golin Harris (reinstated)
Judi Martin, APR JM Group (reinstated)
Emmanuel Smart, Smart Expressions (reinstated)
Rick Austin, University of Texas School of Public Health, Institute for Health Policy
Scott LaBelle, Schlumberger
Cynthia Grove, Salvation Army
Vinnika Johnson, BP
Maggie Hawkins, Shell Trading in North America (reinstated)
Joel Byron Stark, (transfer from New Mexico)
Megan Mastal, Insights Strategic Public Relations (reinstated)

Upcoming Events

June 18: Excalibur Awards Gala and Silent Auction for the Public Relations Foundation of Houston,, Hotel Derrick
July 7, Monthly Luncheon, Briar Club (Please note date change.) TBD.
Oct. 7: PR Day, The Westin Galleria Hotel, Peter Shankman, and others

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 June newsletter is May 29, 2009. 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