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PRSA Houston - November ePRo

Welcome to the November 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.

November Luncheon: Politics & Popular Culture

Tomorrow, the 2008 presidential election will make history. Join PRSA Houston on Nov. 5, the day after the election, to hear an analysis of "Politics & Popular Culture" from Dr. Roderick P. Hart, whose area of special interest is politics and the mass media.

Hart has written more than 12 books and numerous articles, in which he takes a close look at the exchange of ideas through language used in campaign speeches, political advertising, public debates, print and broadcast news, and a wide variety of letters to the editor. He believes campaign process is good for Americans: campaigns inform us about issues, sensitize us to the concerns of others, and either encourage us to vote or at least heighten our sense of the political world. Hart is the dean of the College of Communication and holds the Allan Shivers Centennial Chair in Communication and Government at The University of Texas at Austin. He is also director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation, which conducts research into how civic participation and community understanding are undermined or sustained, and develops programs to increase democratic understanding among citizens.

BONUS: PRSA Houston will generously donate the proceeds of this luncheon to the Public Relations Foundation of Houston, the mission of which is to enhance the quality of education by providing scholarships for students studying communications and/or public relations at local universities.

When: 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 5
Where: The Briar Club, 2603 Timmons (Corner of Westheimer & Timmons)
Register now:
Sponsor: PR NewswireDow Jones and SnapStream Media Inc. Other sponsorships are available.

December 3 PR Day Conference Wraps Up with Holiday Celebration sponsored by Brookwoods

Thanks to new sponsor Brookwoods Group, we are pleased to announce that the PR Day conference will end with a celebration. The annual holiday party will take place immediately following the conference on Tuesday, December 3 at The Westin Oaks Hotel in the Galleria.

Online registration for PR Day and/or the party is now available. If you were already registered for full or half day, prior to our date change, you may come to the Holiday Party for free (as long as you remained registered)! If you haven’t registered yet, check out the PR Day page at, because the updated schedule is available. Even with the change in dates, all the speakers are still coming! You can register online between now and Dec. 1 at reduced Early Bird rates. Give yourself something to look forward to as you wrap up 2008 and look to the future and all those new ch-ch-changes!

As always, we thank keynote speaker Victoria Clarke and sponsors Comcast, CenterPoint EnergyBusiness Wire and Vollmer PR. We also want to thank The Ammerman Experience, Clearpoint Creative Co., Kronberg Flags & Flagpoles, LyondellBasell, MetroMarketing, Pier Systems, PR Newswire, Vcall from Precision IR, Toby Stark Public Relations, Snapstream Media, Spectra Energy, Venue-BambouVMS and holiday party sponsor Brookwoods Group.

January Luncheon

With 2009 just around the corner, it is time to start thinking about next year's luncheons. The January 7 luncheon will feature a speaker from CenterPoint Energy on Hurricane Ike.  Zephyr Salvo has committed to be a sponsor, but others are available! E-mail for more details on sponsorships.

Foundation Seeks Board Members

Looking for a way to give back to your profession? Help create future communication professionals by serving on the board of the Public Relations Foundation of Houston, the education support arm of PRSA Houston. A number of board positions will become available in January 2009. Take this opportunity to practice fundraising or event management while assuring the continued growth and development of our profession.

Learn more about PRFH and its work; then call Susan Schmaeling, APR, president of PRFH, at 713-349-0780 to place your name in the nomination process for the Board of the Public Relations Foundation of Houston.

PRSA Houstonians Around Town

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

In this photo from October's luncheon, you can see PRSA Houston 2008 President Priscilla Tinsley (right) thanking Alicia Alaniz, YMCA, October luncheon sponsor; Shanta Mauney, Mauney Business Communications, Diversity Committee Chair; and Dr. Rochelle Ford, Howard University, the luncheon speaker.
Among those networking at the October luncheon were long-time PRSA members Lee Vela, Clear Channel Communications, and Pamella Thorne, The Thorne Group, Inc.
PRSA Houston's New Pros Committee sponsored a free seminar in October on selling social media to your boss. These students were treated to websites with statistics and advice offered by Aaron Long of Schipul-The Web Marketing Company.
In this photo, New Pros Chair David Casey thanks Aaron Long of Schipul -The Web Marketing Company for sharing his insight on social media hurdles and solutions.

PRSA Houston Board member Melanie Brenneman, DataCert, thanked Shannon Simonson of Business Wire for sponsoring the joint IABC-PRSA Houston branding panel.
Panelists for the "Insider's Guide to Internal and External Branding" included (left to right) Mark Schumann, Managing Principal of Towers Perrin and co-author of "Brand from the Inside;" Christine Mathers, Corporate Communications Manager, Weatherford International; Moderator Denise Patrick of Pierpont Communications; Bethany Haley, President and Brand Director, Savage Design Group, and Karen Love, Practice Growth Director, PKF Texas.

Sponsors of the joint IABC Houston and PRSA Houston branding panel were thanked by the leadership of both organizations. Shown are (left to right) Margie McAda and Andrew Van Winkle, Brookwoods Group; Theresa Parker, 2008-2009 IABC Houston President; Priscilla Tinsley, 2008 PRSA Houston President, Katy Dunham, Art Squad; Beth S. Miller, Beth S. Miller Marketing Communications. Business Wire and Houston Wellness Association also were sponsors.
Suzanne Lammers, professional development chair and newly elected board member of PRSA Houston, talks with Andrew Van Winkle, one of the sponsors. Suzanne co-chaired the branding panel along with Travis Harper of PR Newswire, who represented IABC Houston in the planning.

PRSA Houston had a board mixer in October. The event was at Fox Sports Grill, and was the first joint IABC and PRSA event featuring board members and committee chairs from both organizations. In this photo, you can see Travis Harper, PR Newswire, Theresa Parker, 2008-2009 IABC President, Priscilla Tinsley, 2008 PRSA President, Suzanne Lammers and Melanie Brenneman, DataCert.

Nov. 11: PRSA Houston and AMA Host Rohit Bhargava

The American Marketing Association and Public Relations Society of America invite you for conversation and a book signing opportunity with internationally renowned marketing and branding expert, Rohit Bhargava, from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 11, at Capone's, 4304 Westheimer Road. RSVP to: www.personalitynotincluded/ AMA will host Bhargava on Nov. 12 for a luncheon on 'Why Personality Matters . . .The Untold Secret Of Marketing In The Social Media Era.' For more information please visit the AMA Houston Web site:

Rohit Bhargava is a co-founder of the 360 Digital Influence practice at Ogilvy Public Relations; a pioneering group dedicated to helping clients understand social media and word of mouth marketing, and evolve their marketing to better connect with consumers in an authentic and powerful way. He has served as lead strategist on projects for many of Ogilvy's largest accounts, including Intel, Ford, Lenovo, Virgin America, and multiple Unilever brands.

He publishes an award winning personal blog about marketing called Influential Marketing ( and is often featured as an expert in media worldwide including The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Fast Company, The Globe & Mail (Canada), Marketing China (China) and Ad Week (Australia).

He is a guest columnist and writer for multiple industry publications, including Digital Media Wire and WebProNews. Additionally, Rohit is an industry leader and speaker on marketing and social media. He is generally credited across the marketing industry with inventing the concept of Social Media Optimization (SMO) on his blog. He is also a frequent keynote speaker at industry events such as: Ad:tech, SXSW, and Wharton Business Summit, American Marketing Association, and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).

Membership Notes

It has been a busy two months for everyone in the area due to Hurricane Ike. National extended memberships that expired in September until the end of October to allow members more time to get their lives back in order. We have gained six new members and reinstated six members in September and October. The September/October new members promotion -- pay for National membership and initiation fee and receive local chapter membership free for one year ended October 31. The November new member promotion will be announced soon -- keep an eye on the Web sites and for more information. As always, feel free to call membership chair Emilee Fontenot with any questions or concerns at 281-253-3635.

Call for Judges

The Nebraska chapter of PRSA was gracious enough to judge all the entries in this year's Excalibur awards competition, and now is our chapter's chance to pay them back. The Nebraska chapter will stage their local competition this month, and volunteers are needed from the Houston chapter to judge their entries. We will be holding a mass judging on Saturday, November 8, from 9 am to 3 pm, and we are in need of members to help with judging on this day. Please contact Michelle McCormick at if you are available to judge, either for the whole time or part of the day. Lunch and beverages will be provided.

HCA Mixer on November 21

Watch your mail for an invitation to the next Houston Communications Alliance Mixer on Friday, Nov. 21, at the Courtyard on St. James.

Improve Your Web Site Standing in Search Engines

John Sturtevant at The Writing Workshop recently renewed his ad in the PRSA Houston Business Directory. If search engine optimization is important to you, then you’ll want your Web site linked to PRSA Houston at which typically ranks in the top five in searches for “public relations and Houston” on Google and other search engines. For $100, you get a year of exposure.

Check Out the Job Bank

Good people are always in demand and PRSA Houston is frequently the place to go for top talent. So, continue to check the job bank frequently and respond quickly when an interesting job is posted. You may also sign up to receive the monthly career newsletter listing jobs that have been posted in the previous month.

Thanks Sponsors!

Thank you so much to the YMCA for sponsoring our October lunch with Dr. Rochelle Ford. Thank you also to the sponsors of our joint IABC Houston-PRSA Houston branding seminar including Brookwoods GroupBusiness WireArt SquadBeth S. Miller Marketing Communications and Houston Wellness AssociationPR NewswireDow Jones Factiva and SnapStream Media Inc. are sponsoring the Foundation luncheon with Dr. Roderick Hart on Nov. 5, and more opportunities are available. See the PR Day article for a list of all the sponsors for our premiere professional development event. Spots are available for luncheons in 2009. 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 1600-plus subscribers
  • Mention and text link in ePRo, the PRSA Houston newsletter sent to 1600-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
  • One set of paper mailing labels for all 450 PRSA Houston members or one-time use of electronically provided membership list (if desired).

New Members

Priyanka Goel, PR Consultant

Courtney Pfleger, Kelsey-Seybold (reinstated)

Karen Watassek, Society for the Performing Arts

Lindsey Threlkeld, EnerVest

Jennifer Johnson, Total Safety

Kellie Morley, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Faith Thomas (transfer from Puget Sound)

Kristy Blosch (reinstated)

Ed Davis III (reinstated), United Way

Heather Martin, Communities in Schools Houston

Katie Moyer, San Jacinto Girl Scouts

Member News

Best wishes to Kelly Papinchak, APR on her marriage. She is now Kelly George, APR.

Scott Edwards, Veolia Water Indianapolis, has moved to Chicago.

Pam Tragesser is now Director of Communications for NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage.

Brad Leone is now PR Leader for Pennebaker fifthring.

Ed Davis III is now Director of Media and Public Relations for the United Way of Greater Houston.

Eric W. Gage of RealTek Real Estate Services has successfully completed the REALTOR e-PRO course. He has joined The Metropolitan – Keller Williams Realty in the Galleria area as an independent agent.

Kelli Newman, APR, has relocated Newman and Newman to 14800 St. Mary’s Lane, Suite 210, Houston, TX 77079.

Upcoming Events

Nov. 5: Monthly Luncheon, Benefit for Public Relations Foundation of Houston. Speaker: Dr. Roderick P. Hart, Dean, College of Communication, University of Texas on “Politics and Popular Culture.”

Nov. 11: Joint AMA Houston-PRSA Houston Reception

Nov. 21: Houston Communications Alliance Holiday Party, Courtyard on St. James Place.

December 3: PR Day and Holiday Hurricane Party

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 December newsletter is November 20, 2008. 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