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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.

Update: We will not have PR Day on Sept. 23

It is with sadness, but out of respect and compassion for our community and the resulting extraordinary pressure on our communications professionals, that we announce that PR Day 2008 will NOT take place next Tuesday, September 23. Alternate solutions for a rescheduled conference will be explored in the coming weeks. We will be in contact with all sponsors, registered attendees, speakers and partners once power has been restored to a greater portion of the region.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the masses as they begin efforts to restore their homes and businesses.


PR Day Committee 2008

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Even though we will not be having the event on Sept. 23, we would still like to thank the sponsors. Thank you first to our major sponsors:
Comcast - Luncheon Sponsor
CenterPoint Energy - Conference Kit Sponsor
Business Wire
Vollmer PR
Shell Oil Company 

For more information, please contact Jennifer Evans.

October 1 Luncheon: 5 Myths About Diversity That Deserve Debunking

Rochelle L. Ford, Ph.D., APR, is Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs of the John H. Johnson School of Communications at Howard University. She conducts research about diversity in advertising and public relations and supervises the new Center for Excellence in Advertising underwritten by the American Association of Advertising Agencies.  Her presentation will discuss some of the most common misconceptions and challenges regarding diversity communications and she will provide practical wisdom for developing successful multicultural programs.
An award-winning scholar and author, Ford writes "Diversity Dimensions," a monthly column published in Public Relations Tactics. Previously, she led a freelance consulting practice in the Washington, DC metropolitan area where she managed several public relations campaigns, events and programs for such organizations as AARP, Urban Partnerships, National Council of Negro Women and Arthur Schultz & Associates. In addition to teaching, she continues public relations consulting working with such agencies as Colabours Communications and Cordy & Company.
This event is sponsored by YMCA and will be at the Briar Club. Other sponsorships are available by e-mailing Paula Ruth, APR, at

PRSA Houstonians Around Town

Want to see how PRSA Houston members are staying busy? Showcased here are events from the month of August.

Former White House spokesman Peter Roussel spoke to an audience of 83 about his harrowing and satisfying experiences with the White House press corps.


Accreditation Chair Stephanie Dedeaux, APR (left), El Paso Corporation, and PRSA Houston President Priscilla Tinsley (right) congratulate Emily Oberton, APR, Shell Chemical, and Kelly Papinchak, APR, Halliburton,  for passing the accreditation examination and earning their APR.


Elena Chambers, MetroMarketing, joined PRSA Houston 2008 President Priscilla Tinsley, luncheon speaker Peter Roussel, Sherry Franke, APR,organizer of the Past President's Reception, and Travis Harper, PR Newswire
after the luncheon. PRSA Houston thanks MetroMarketing & PR Newswire for sponsoring this event!

Eight former presidents of PRSA Chapters joined PRSA Houston 2008 President Priscilla Tinsley to welcome new members and network with others at the August luncheon. They included (seated, front row) Kris Taylor, APR, Katy ISD; Carolyn Mayo, APR, Vollmer; Sabra Gill, APR, Sabra H. Gill and Associates; Lisa Walsh, LyondellBasell Industries; (standing, back row) Dr. Barbara Langham, APR, Renaissance House International/BD Langham Public Relations; Priscilla Tinsley; Jim Lowry, APR, ConocoPhillips; Graham Painter, APR, Sterling Bank; and Ben Wheatley, APR, Pierpont Communications. All of those gathered were presidents of PRSA Houston, except Jim Lowry, APR, current  member of PRSA Houston's Board of Directors, who was president of the Nashville, Tennessee, Chapter.


PRSA Houston Board member Melanie Brenneman (left), DataCert, and PRSA Houston 2008 President Priscilla Tinsley (right) delivered school supplies and checks to Za'ndra Jackson, manager of volunteer and community outreach for DePelchin Children's Center. These supplies were the proceeds of a collection effort at the August PRSA Houston luncheon.

PRSA Houston member Jerry Heinold, marketing and communications manager for Depelchin, carries the supplies to be sorted for the school

The PR Day mailing is on its way thanks to 10 dedicated volunteers who sealed, labeled and sorted the mailing for bulk delivery.  Among those who helped were Faith Thomas (seated), Delilah Oates, Kayla Schmidt and David Casey, who came two days!  Not shown, but helping at other times were Greg Clock, APR, Vanessa Wade, Nadia Baily, Rose Rougeau, Katrina Esco and PR Day Chair Jennifer Evans. You never know who you will see at a PR Day
event. The Friday volunteers all met Texas State Rep. Jim Murphy (R-133),
who happened to be campaigning door-to-door at the time.

About 15 people came to the free Career Development seminar sponsored by PRSA Houston's New Pros group on Aug. 28.

Trish Cunningham (left) and John Sweney (right) of Brookwoods Group join PRSA Houston New Pros Chairman David Casey for a career development event at the Leadership Houston offices. The Brookwoods team spoke about taking charge of your career and branding as well as how to know whether you should leave your job or stay.

The Insider’s Guide to Internal & External Branding

On October 21 from 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m, you can attend a breakfast panel discussion on how you can create and maintain a cohesive branding strategy. Start on the inside and work your way out.

PRSA and IABC have recruited some of Houston’s leading communicators for a panel discussion focused on effective internal branding. Moderated by Denise Patrick of Pierpont Communications, panelists include:

  • Mark Schumann, Managing Principal of Towers Perrin and co-author of "Brand from the Inside"
  • Christine Mathers, Corporate Communications Manager, Weatherford International
  • Karen Love, PKF Texas
  • Bethany Haley, Director, Savage Design Group
  • Margaret Henry, Director or Marketing Campaigns, BMC Software

Discussion topics include:

  • The ABCs of internal branding
  • Common mistakes and how to avoid them
  • Internal branding ROI
  • How to win executive support
  • Case studies

For more event information, including registration and location click here.

For sponsorship opportunities or questions, contact Suzanne Lammers or Travis Harper.

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.

Sponsor a Luncheon for Houston’s Most Influential Group, PRSA Houston!

Sponsor opportunities remain for PRSA Houston’s October luncheon featuring Dr. Rochelle Ford, as well as for the joint IABC-PRSA branding panel on Oct. 21 at the Briar Club. How do you get exposure for your company in front of people who talk to the “right” people? Sponsor an event for PRSA Houston. Our members have the ears of chief executives and small business owners all over town and some even talk to the media.

Our luncheon sponsors make it possible to bring in speakers from around the country and still maintain a break-even luncheon price for our members. Thank you to MetroMarketing and PR Newswire for sponsoring the August luncheon and the YMCA  for sponsoring October. We could use some others to cover travel costs for upcoming meetings. Please call Paula Ruth, APR, at 281-870-1717 if you are interested or email 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).

For larger sponsorships, we can discuss tables.

2008 PRSA International Conference

Consider attending the PRSA 2008 International Conference in Detroit, Michigan, from Oct 25-28, to expand your knowledge, meet some of the biggest names in the communications industry, network with thousands of your peers, and see the latest innovative products and advanced solutions. The Chapter sending the most people will win a prize from PRSA. You can find more details at the 2008 International Conference site.

Improve Your Web Site Standing in Search Engines

PRSA Houston welcomes SunNet Solutions, the latest advertiser 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 & Houston” on Google and other search engines. For $100, you get a year of exposure.

Member News

Best wishes to Mona Lugay on her marriage. She is now Mona Tolbert.

Emilee Fontenot has joined Fuse5 Communications as Director of Public Relations.

Ben Wheatley, ABC, APR, has opened Ben Wheatley Public Relations. 

Priscilla Tinsley's contact information has changed. You can e-mail her at

Eric W. Gage of RealTek Real Estate Services has successfully completed the REALTOR e-PRO course to become one of a select few real estate professionals to earn the prestigious certification offered through the National Association of REALTORS.®

New Members

Sonal Mehta, International Facilities Management Association

Dean Acosta, The Boeing Commpany

Michele Cowart, Leadership Houston

Katie Frantz, The Emery/Weiner School

Wendy Locklear, The Boeing Company

Ed Memi, The Boeing Company

Christopher Novosad, Houston Grand Opera

Tracie Darnell, Texas Petrochemical

Kari Kelley, The Boeing Company

Adam Morgan, The Boeing Company

Michelle Stephenson, VMS Communications (reinstated)

Nelson McCouch III, Mobility & Protection Systems BAE Systems

Lillian Riojas, LyondellBasell Industries

Misty Cornelius, Silver Eagle Distributors/Anheuser Busch (reinstated)

Greg Clock, APR, WPNT & Associates (reinstated)

Upcoming Events

Oct. 1:
Monthly Luncheon, Dr. Rochelle Larkin Ford, APR, Associate Dean of Research and Academic Affairs, John H. Johnson School of Communications, Howard University, Sponsored by YMCA. Other sponsors needed!
Oct. 21: The Insider’s Guide to Internal Branding Panel Discussion, 7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m., Briar Club; sponsorships available.
Oct. 25-28: PRSA International Conference, Detroit, Michigan
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. 21: Houston Communications Alliance Holiday Party, Courtyard on St. James Place.
December: 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 Wednesday, September 24, 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
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