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PRSA Houston - September ePRo

Welcome to the September 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.

PR Day 2009: Don’t Miss this Premier Event Featuring Some of the Nation’s Top PR and Marketing Pros!

It’s just a few weeks away! PR Day 2009 – Delivering Value: Maximizing the Role of PR will take place at the Westin Galleria on October 7 and will offer a top-notch lineup of speakers, including social media guru Peter Shankman. Not only will Shankman serve as keynote speaker, he will lead two breakout sessions!


Check out the PR Day 2009 lineup—(panelist info at

8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.: Media Roundtable: Social Media’s Role in Newsgathering; Moderator: Garth Jowett, professor of Communications, University of Houston

10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.: Breakout Session #1

  • The Media Minefield: Do’s and Don’ts for Communicating During a Crisis; Terri Ammerman, president and chief executive officer of The Ammerman Experience
  • PR: Forget About 44% of What You Know; Peter Shankman, founder, CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc.

11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.: Breakout Session #2

  • Why You Deserve a Big Piece of the Advertising Budget; Angela Jeffrey, vice president of editorial research, VMS
  • Panel Discussion: Diversity: A Business Imperative; Moderator: L.M. Sixel, business reporter, columnist, The Houston Chronicle.

12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Luncheon and Keynote Address: It’s Not Web 2.0. It’s Not Web 3.0. It’s Simply Life; Peter Shankman, founder, CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc.

1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Breakout Session #3

2:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Breakout Session #4

  • Panel Discussion: Proving PR’s Value to the Executive Suite; Moderator: John Sousa, vice president for communications and community relations, El Paso Corporation.
  • He Stuck Cheese Up His Nose? The Brand Impact of Web 2.0 and Social Media; Robin Tooms and Stephen Banks, Savage Branding +Corporate Design.

3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. New Pros Roundtable: The Changing Face of PR: Understanding Generational Differences; Moderator: David Casey, PR consultant and PRSA Houston New Pros Chair.


Major Sponsors
CenterPoint Energy, Verizon Wireless, Brookwoods Group, El Paso Corporation, Shell Oil Company

Breakout Session Sponsor

Scholarship Sponsors
Schipul-The Web Marketing Company, LifeGift

Business WireCISION US, INC., Customer Research International, Globe Newswire, GVP Media, Marketwire, PR Newswire, VMS, Zephyr-Salvo

In-Kind Sponsors
GoGo Business CommunicationsPremierIMS, Inc.Disc, Inc., Kronberg Flags & Flagpoles, JeffDesign

Again, you can register for PR Day 2009 at: .

For more information, contact PR Day 2009 Chairs Lisa Dimond Vasquez or Margot Dimond, APR, at 713-426-4111 or e-mail:

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.
An audience of about 25 turned out to hear tips from the media panelists at the August Media Breakfast.

(L to R) Nissa Darbonne, executive editor of Hart's Oil & Gas Investor; Capella Tucker, program director for news at KUHF, and Kim Davis, senior producer and host of "Beyond The Headlines" at KPRC-TV Channel 2, provided insight on how to deal with them best at the PRSA Houston August media breakfast. These informal sessions tend to cover everything from nuts and bolts of press releases to the needs for blogs and other less promoted media with which the media executives are involved.

PRSA Houston's leadership conducted an orientation session prior to the August luncheon. PRSA Houston Board Secretary Laura Frnka, APR, PR Day Co-Chair Lisa Dimond Vasquez, President-Elect Stephanie Dedeaux, APR, listen as Board member and Membership Chair Emilee Fontenot provides an overview of the chapter.
Former President and PR Day Co-Chair Margot Dimond, APR, chats with former President and Assembly Delegate Dr. Barbara Langham, APR,  during lunch. PRSA Houston offers opportunities for people at all levels of their career and welcomes continues participation.
Carolyn Mayo, APR, Vollmer Public Relations, Claire Bassett, Baylor College of Medicine and Mark Singer, Shell Oil Company led a lively discussion on managing public relations in a downturn.

Past presidents Sally Ramsay, Pierpont Communications, and Carolyn Mayo, APR, Vollmer Public Relations, chat during lunch.


Crawford Bunkley, III, APR, ExxonMobil, moderated the August luncheon on "Managing PR in a Downturn."

New (transfer) member Carrie Stallwitz and Travis Harper, PR Newswire, chatted at the August luncheon.

Panelist Claire Bassett, Baylor College of Medicine, greets PRSA Houston Board member Gretchen Weis, APR, Weis Communications.



PRSA Houston's David Casey (right) thanks Suzanne Gibson, spa director of Mokara Salon and Spa, and Desiree Tapping, special events manager, for Omni Houston who hosted the August mixer in the spa. PRSA members and guests were treated to facials and brief massages as well as lots of good food and drink.
(L to R)Keefe Borden, Barbara Novoa and new member Diane Sager networked in the spa.

(L to R) Mike Hoelscher, Stephen Gonzalez and Magen Singleton checked out the spa food and services at the Omni Mokara Spa Event.

2009 Leadership Election Results

The votes are in…thanks to all of the members who voted in the very exciting election for PRSA Houston Chapter leadership. According to chapter bylaws, there is a required quorum of 25 percent of our members who need to vote in order for the election to be considered valid, and this was achieved prior to the September 2 luncheon. Elected to three-year Board of Director terms beginning in January 2010 include:

  • Tricia Bentley
  • Ed Davis, United Way of Greater Houston
  • Leslie Friedman, The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa
  • Eric Herrera, FrogDog Communications
  • Lisa Dimond Vasquez, DoubleDimond Public Relations, LLC

Elected to three-year Assembly Delegate terms, also beginning in January 2010, include:

  • Kelly Papinchak George, APR
  • Judi Martin, APR

Many thanks for the enthusiasm and willingness to serve from all of the candidates. And thank you to the nominating committee for helping to select the candidates, and for their overall assistance with the election process.

PR Day Sponsors Underwrite a Great Program!

Thank you to Schipulcon09 for sponsoring the September luncheon with Alan Hilburg. The PR Day team has lined up following support: CenterPoint Energy will be CD-Folder Sponsor, Verizon Wireless will be Keynote Sponsor. Brookwoods Group is the Lanyard Sponsor. El Paso Corporation is sponsoring two sessions. Comerica is the Breakout Session sponsor. Shell Oil Company is sponsoring 10 students. Schipul-The Web Marketing Company is sponsoring 5 students and LifeGift is also sponsoring students. Business Wire, CISION US, INC.Customer Research International, Globe NewswireGVP MediaMarketwirePR NewswireVMS and Zephyr-Salvo are already committed as exhibitors. In-kind supporters for PR Day include PremierIMS, Inc.,GoGo Business Communications, Kronberg Flags & Flagpoles, Disc, Inc. and JeffDesign. Other opportunities remain. PRSA Houston appreciates all this support which enables us to maintain prices for members and offer hardship packages for members who are out of work. You can still get on board for sponsorship by contacting Margot Dimond, APR or Lisa Dimond Vasquez at

Sponsorships are available for November and December. 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 440 PRSA Houston members.

Luncheon sponsorships do not include PR Day which has a separate sponsorship package available on the PR Day Page at

Help your Search Engine Ranking with a Business Directory Listing

What is the number 1 or 2 organic ranking for the term "public relations and Houston"? Would you believe that PRSA Houston is usually there? Consider an ad in the PRSA Houston Business Directory to increase the ranking of your own site. For $100, you get one year of exposure on the premiere website for public relations in Houston. See if it doesn’t help your search engine ranking.

Check out the Job Bank, Resume Service

Job openings continue to be posted. If you have openings or internships, please consider posting the job with PRSA Houston. Many employers receive such great response that the advertisers must ask us to take them down early. PRSA Houston also has a free 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 that has been offered by PRSA Houston for more than one year.

New Members

Lauren Lovell

Carol Ward, APR, Carol Ward Public Relations (reinstated)

Stephanie Nelson, Marathon Oil (reinstated)

Kim Abey, Spotlight Creative, L.L.C.

Nina Provenzano, Unleaded Communications

Member News

Robin J. Davidson Parker is now director of communications for the YMCA of Greater Houston.

Retiring from the Texas A&M University System after 16 years, PRSA Houston Assembly Delegate and former President Kay Kendall, APR, will continue with her communication career by writing a series of murder mysteries and then publicizing them herself.

Upcoming Events

Oct. 7: PR Day, The Westin Galleria Hotel, Peter Shankman, and others

Oct. 22-24: IABC Southern Region Conference

Nov. 4: Monthly Luncheon benefiting Public Relations Foundation of Houston

Nov. 7-10: PRSA International Conference

Nov. 19: Media Breakfast, 7 a.m., United Way, TBD

Dec. 17: Media Breakfast, 7 a.m., United Way, TBD

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 October newsletter is September 25, 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
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