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PRSA Houston News, Events Aug. 24, 2010

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2011 Leadership Election Closes Aug. 30
The online voting system for the 2011 PRSA Houston leadership election will close Aug. 30. Every vote is important, so get your vote in today! Winners will be announced at the Sept. 1 luncheon and Annual Meeting.
You should have received your ballot on Aug. 12 from Katrina Kokoska. If you did not receive it, contact Paula Ruth, APROnly one vote per member will be permitted. Once a ballot ID has been used, it may not be used again. 
Voting has been strong and evenly spread among the highly-qualified candidates. Before casting your ballot, take time to look at the candidate biographies, reflect on what you would like from the Houston Chapter and identify those people you think can lead it best over the next three years. 


Voters must select four directors and one delegate. 

There are nine members running for election to one of four open three-year Board of Director terms beginning in January 2010.

Pictured in top row, left to right: David Casey, Stacey Cox, APR, Kami Huyse, APR. Middle row:  Dr. Barbara Langham, APR, Rob Lazaro, APR, Trazanna Moreno, APR. Bottom row:
 Meagan Stangle, Bronwyn Wallace, Don Young, APR.


Two members are seeking to be elected to one open three-year Assembly Delegate term beginning in January 2010.

Pictured left to right: Laura Frnka, APR and Aaron Woods, APR.

The Board thanks the Nominating Committee, under the direction of Terri Larson, for producing an excellent slate of candidates. Each candidate’s enthusiasm is appreciated.  

Election Information

Under PRSA Houston's bylaws, at least 25% of a chapter’s membership must participate in the election process for the election to be valid. 


The election candidates are being considered for positions that will determine the direction of PRSA Houston for a three-year period. In choosing a candidate, remember that a good Board requires a diverse mixture of people who work hard as well as those who will bring prestige, connections or financial support to PRSA Houston.  


All Board candidates are members in good standing with PRSA Houston. Assembly candidates are accredited or are serving as a current chapter officer. 


About one-third of the Board positions change each year.  In the case of the Assembly Delegates, these are the members who represent us at the General Assembly of PRSA which is held just prior to the International Conference. 


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



Sept. 1: Texas Tribune Editor on 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.

A New Member Orientation will take place prior to the luncheon. Houston Chapter President Stephanie Dedeaux and key committee chairs will share how being involved benefits your career and the profession.


We encourage you to attend this orientation and enrich your knowledge, contacts and involvement in the Houston chapter.


Please RSVP to Paula Ruth, APR, 281-870-1717; you must register for the luncheon separately.


Date:           September 1, 2010

Time:           11 a.m. New Member Orientation
                   11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Luncheon

Location:      Briar Club

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



Free ‘September Sipper’ Member Mixer


Start celebrating Labor Day weekend a little early with your PR pals Sept. 2 at PRSA Houston’s fun, free September Sipper event.
Admission is free to PRSA members with advance on-line registration. Hurry, as space is limited.


This member mixer is generously provided by Flora & Muse Bistro and Bar, who will welcome members with light bites, a complimentary first beverage and door prizes.


Flora & Muse is a new bar/lounge/café concept with a whimsical, neo-Victorian setting encompassing numerous indoor and alfresco seating vignettes. Opening mid-August, PRSA Houston members will be among the first Houstonians to experience this soon-to-be Houston hotspot.


Register to Attend (it's free!)


Date:           September 2, 2010

Time:           5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Location:      Flora & Muse 
                   (Town & Country CITYCENTRE) Directions


Contact:       David Casey, 713-560-9721



PR Day Keynote Speakers Announced


PRSA Houston has confirmed two of the PR and communications industry’s finest to headline its annual PR Day event Nov. 30 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown.


Becca Cason Thrash, a Houston PR pioneer, philanthropist and co-founder of Paper City magazine, will be this year’s Breakfast Keynote speaker. (Photo credit: Dave Rossman, Houston Chronicle) 

Paul Taaffe
, global CEO and Chairman of Hill & Knowlton, will be the Lunch Keynote speaker.


Read more about Thrash and Taaffe on the PR Day page.


Attendees of this year’s PR Day event, themed: PRSA: Promoting Relationships, Surviving Adversity, will be able to gain great insight into communications and public relations strategies from these two dynamic industry professionals. Both keynotes will be speaking to this year’s theme but will bring different perspectives based on their unique knowledge and expertise within the industry. 


PR Day is one of Houston’s premiere annual professional development events, offering 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. 


Special thanks go out to our early commitment sponsors:


Conference Kit - CenterPoint Energy

Lunch Keynote - Hill and Knowlton

Swag Bag - Business Wire

Scholarship - Shell and Disc, Inc.

Exhibitor - PR Newswire

Lagniappe - Whitney and Eyelit Designs


We also appreciate our in-kind sponsors Graphique, Flowers by Nino, Perfect Touch Linens, DiscPro Printing & Graphics and Encore Printstore.


Several PR Day sponsorships are still available, including the Breakfast Keynote Sponsor! Download our Sponsorship Guide for details, and visit the PR Day page for complete event information.


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:


Sponsorship Chairs - sponsorships, vendor exhibits, donations

Osjetta Gascey:

Angela Randolph:


Programming Chair - speakers, program

Cynthia Miller: (225) 610-0592;


Venue Logistics - exhibits, logistics, speaker travel

Meagan Stangle: (713) 243-8879;


Oct. 6: How PR-savvy CEO is Leading HAR

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


Thanks to our October Luncheon sponsor



Nov. 4: UH's Road to Tier One: What's Helping Pave the Way?

Bring your friends and colleagues to hear the inside story about UH’s campaign to achieve Tier One status.
University of Houston System chancellor and University of Houston (UH) president Renu Khator, Ph.D., will share these insights, as well as the importance of The Jack J. Valenti School of Communications and the growth of communications majors with Public Relations emphasis at UH.


Appointed in January 2008, Dr. Khator is the first Indian immigrant to head a comprehensive public research university in the United States. Under her leadership, the University of Houston has experienced record-breaking research funding and private support. In 2009, UH brought in $110 million in research awards and began construction on a 75-acre Energy Research Park, the Cougar football team ranked among the Top 25 and a pathway to Tier-One status was created by the state legislature and approved by Texas voters.


UH serves more than 61,000 students, has an annual budget that exceeds $1.25 billion and generates a $3 billion impact on the Houston area’s economy, annually.


PRSA Houston will generously donate all luncheon proceeds to the Public Relations Foundation of Houston (PRFH), whose mission is to enhance the quality of education by providing scholarships for students studying communications and/or public relations at local universities.


You can make an individual contribution to support the PRFH by making a donation at the luncheon with your check or credit card. Visit the PRFH site for more information.


Register today  



Date:        November 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 sponsorship opportunities
Thanks to our November Luncheon sponsor

APR Spotlight: Christine Ruiz Hopkins, 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 Christine Ruiz Hopkins, APR, public relations manager, Mitchell Historic Properties. Here, she shares her Accreditation story.
PRSA Houston: What made you decide to become Accredited at this stage in your career?

 Accreditation has been a long-term professional goal of mine, but I just kept putting it off. Early in my career, I felt like I didn’t have enough experience, then later, it seemed I was too busy to commit the time to studying. This year I turned 40, and getting Accreditation in my profession was one of my goals for this milestone in my life. I thought if not now, when?


PRSA Houston: How did you prepare for the Readiness Review and computer-based exam?
Hopkins: Last year, I participated in an APR study group PRSA Houston coordinated. This weekly meeting gave me the confidence to realize I had the necessary experience, and it served as a good review for the process. I also read the recommended study guide and Public Relations Strategies and Tactics (Ninth Edition). I really enjoyed this book and the case studies. I also participated in PRSA's APR Boot Camp immediately before the exam. It forced me to focus on studying, taking my readiness review and the test all in a week.


PRSA Houston: What advice do you have for others who are considering Accreditation?
Hopkins: Both the study group and the boot camp were very helpful. This is a great service to PRSA members, and it helped me make the time to become Accredited.


PRSA Houston: Do you have any other comments or suggestions for people thinking of becoming accredited?
Hopkins: The exam was a good test of work experience and knowledge base. I’ve been out of college since 1992, so I was really intimidated about taking the test. During the boot camp, one of the speakers told us to consider the test as research. This gave me a better perspective and reduced my anxiety.



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.


Follow PRSA Houston




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Erin Schwartz
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Author: Erin Schwartz
Phone: (713) 563-4920
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