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PR Day 2014


Presented By:


Wednesday, October 8, 2014
DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Greenway Plaza
6 E Greenway Plaza, Houston, TX 77046




The #PRevolution is coming.

Do you have what it takes to rise up to the dual challenge of today’s public relations and marketing professionals?

Rapidly advancing technology and fundamental shifts in mass communication paradigms created enormous potential for innovation in:

     • Trends in PR • Media Story Techniques • Utilizing Online Platforms to Engage with Media
     • Going Viral • Crisis Communication in Today’s Digital Ecosystem • Public Policy
     • Shift in Internal Communications • Leadership and Management Strategies
     • Fundraising Tips • Employee Engagement • Responding to Negative Media
     • ROI – Measurement, Major Mentions, Monitoring • Corporate Communications
     • Changes in the News Industry • Blogging & Webcasting • B2B Communications

Join the ranks of communication industry leaders! Learn how to integrate traditional and emerging marketing platforms to exceed your company and clients’ unique objectives faster and more effectively than ever. 


Full day
Half-Day: Morning (with lunch)
Half-Day: Afternoon (with lunch)

Lunch only



Lunch Keynote Speaker:

People Are The New Channel

Anthony Shop is a digital strategist and co-founder of Social Driver, an award-winning digital innovation agency. Starting from a shared belief that the future is bright and people come before technology, Anthony and his team have helped more than 75 clients launch industry-leading projects using social, mobile and digital strategies. Under Anthony's leadership as Chief Strategy Officer, Social Driver was named the 7th fastest growing agency in the U.S. by The Agency 100 and one of “DC's Coolest Companies” by InTheCapital.

The members of the National Press Club recently elected Anthony to the Board of Governors. He founded the "Get It Online" digital media series for the Club, which is the world's leading professional organization for journalists and communications professionals.

Join us at noon to hear his talk on the fundamental shift in the marketing world: from a “broadcast mentality” to a people-oriented, “back-and-forth” conversational mentality, and learn how successful companies are using 21st century tools to stay ahead.
Read full bio here.

Closing Keynote Speaker:

2014 is the Year of PR: Social, SEO, Media, PR


For the last 20 years Serena Ehrlich provided guidance on investor and public relation trends, and implemented local, national and international social media marketing campaigns for clients such as Mogreet, LuxuryLink, Viking River Cruises, Kraft, Kohl's, Avon, Mattel and more. She spent over 14 years in the newswire industry.

As the director of social and evolving media at Business Wire, Serena gained a unique in-depth perspective on the entire content lifespan, from creation to consumption, and on the technological and sociological revolution that changed the face of customer communications.

Join her talk to find out how technology, human behavior, and public relations work together to make 2014 the Year of PR.

Follow Serena on Twitter (@serena) as well as a wide range of other emerging platforms.

Read full bio here.

Serena Ehrlich


Morning Session (8:45 - 9:45am)


Media Panel: How to Personally Target and Pitch To Earn Media Coverage


With nearly 92% of consumers ages 12 and older listening each week, radio stations and networks hold tremendous power to inform, educate and advocate, motivating listeners and influencing leaders. Discover secrets to using your time, skills and resources to more appropriately and efficiently earn media coverage for your organization or client. Join nationally-recognized media relations strategist for Pierpont Communications, Chris Wailes, as he moderates a media panel that includes: Susan Apgood, President and CEO of News Generation, Inc.; national freelancer and contributor, Michele Meyer; Radio-One Houston talk show host, Maria Todd; blogger and former KHOU anchor, Katherine Whaley; and Houston Business Journal's social engagement manager, Katy Stewart, to learn what type of media outreach is most suitable for each media story, and walk away with media training tips and industry knowledge to take back to your spokespeople and executives.

Susan_M_Apgoodcrop.jpg mariatodd.JPG Michele_Meyer.jpg Katherine_Whaley_headshot.jpg Stewart_Katy1_copy.jpg chris.jpg Apgood                  Todd                    Meyer                 Whaley               Stewart                Wailes



Session I (10:00 - 10:45am)


Who Are We? Building a Corporate Identity


Monica Silva serves as director, Employee Communications at Phillips 66. In her role, Silva leads the team responsible for communicating strategic initiatives within the company, and provides internal communications counsel and support for the leaders of Phillips 66. At the spin-off of Phillips 66 from ConocoPhillips, Silva led the initiative to build the vision and values of the company and managed the communications launch of the program, an endeavor recognized with several external awards including the 2013 IABC Houston Best in Show Bronze Quill Award, and a PRSA Silver Anvil Award of Excellence. Prior to her current role, Silva was in corporate and business unit communications with ConocoPhillips and was a member of the ConocoPhillips Repositioning Communications team formed to prepare for the spin-off of Phillips 66. Early in her career, Silva held positions with Vollmer Public Relations and Ximenes & Associates, Inc. She received her bachelor's degree in English & Communication Arts from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas.

Monica Silva


Ethical and Legal Issues Associated with Law Firm Public Relations


Did you know there are certain words, phrases and methods of communication prohibited by law that can get your law firm into trouble with the State Bar of Texas? Or that social media management for law firms is more complex than for the average client because of ethical and legal regulations?

Learn the essentials of working with legal clients from this year's outstanding legal panel featuring three of Houston's top lawyers trained in public relations, digital marketing and ethics. Panelists include law firm consultant Stacey Burke of Stacey E. Burke, P.C.; internet, media and marketing attorney, Travis Crabtree of Gray Reed & McGraw, P.C.; and Harry Potter III, managing partner at Potter Bledsoe, LLP.


        Burke                    Crabtree              Potter III



Where Art Thou, Richard Nixon?

Forty years ago, Richard Nixon resigned the presidency in the wake of his administration's disastrous handling of the Watergate scandal, shaking the country's faith in its government and threatening the credibility of the nation's highest office. At the time, this event was thought to change the world of public relations forever. Cover-ups were out, and honesty and transparency were in. So what happened? Drive West Communications Chairman, Terry Abbott, explores some of the scandals and negative media coverage shaking the faith in public leadership. He examines national crisis through the lens of public relations and focuses on some specific examples that are threatening the credibility of organizations.
Terry Abbott


Session II (11:00 - 11:45am)


Out of This World Grassroots Social Media Efforts at NASA

When it comes to modern communication technology, few experts can compare to the visionary NASA astronaut Colonel Douglas Wheelock, the first person ever to "check-in" from space which led to a historic partnership between NASA and Foursquare, allowing users to connect, explore, and rediscover the universe and Earth. His famous 178 days in space launched NASA on a path to strategic social media campaigns that spread the word about the depth and breadth of its activities throughout the universe. Wheelock will talk about capturing his experiences with social media for the world to see, and explore how and why NASA invests so much into its grassroots social media efforts. This session will share tips on how businesses can creatively incorporate social media into its awareness campaigns.
Doug Wheelock


Turning Data Into Donor Communications That Draw Dollars


Michelle Flippin is an inspirational author and speaker writing full-time for the Office of Development at Texas Children's Hospital. In over a decade of professional communications experience she learned that isolated bits and pieces of seemingly insignificant information become essential to creating effective fundraising communications pieces that draw dollars from donors when strategically combined. A storehouse of valuable information lies within every organization, and the right data must be sought and handled like a precious treasure. Discover the art of asking for, analyzing, and applying data to develop donor communications that draw dollars.


Michelle Flippin


Managing, Leading and Connecting That Leads to Innovative Results


Dave Cook, director of mentoring programs for the highly-ranked Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston, is a leading expert in taking ideas and people into markets. Cook works with organizations by helping them to understand their future, establish strategies and plans to successfully reach their goals and assist once the results are achieved. He has been recognized as a thought provoking creative speaker, a successful entrepreneur and consultant to universities and businesses of all sizes. Cook will offer his insightful suggestions to professionals in any stage of their career in how to develop entrepreneurial skills that lead to innovative business results.


Dave Cook

Session III (1:30 - 2:15pm)


Communications: It's Not What You Said...It's What They Think They Heard!


As a CornerStone Strategies LLC consultant, Dr. Shari Frisinger helped clients like Chevron, Pfizer, IBM, Pepsico, and many others to reduce conflict, increase team and individual productivity, and improve customer service that leads to exceptional results and soaring revenues. With her Doctorate in Executive Leadership, she knows that success relies on everyone engaged in the same conversation – at the same time. She breaks down the scientific processes of perception, realities, behaviors and outcomes, to deliver hard-hitting research results and pragmatic communication techniques to increase the success of interactions and improve communication results. Attendees will learn techniques for clearer messages and greater understanding, troublesome words to avoid (you’ll be surprised what is on this list!) and a process for feedback and questions to ask to insure clarity.


Dr. Shari Frisinger


U2 Should Do Good: A Guide to Community Collaboration & Cause Driven PR


President of The Black Sheep Agency, Aimee Woodall also serves on the Board of Directors for the Houston Interactive Marketing Association, the Advisory Board for Theater Under the Stars and the planning committee for TEDx Houston. Her philosophy is that credibility begins with the individual, and that brands, like celebrities, have the power to inspire their audience by using socially responsible publicity models: support of community events, collaborative projects, cause-driven organizations and civic movements — with grand results. Woodall will talk to attendees about the power of evolving communications strategies to a socially responsible model and showcase that it’s far more than just a “celebrity” tactic.



Aimee Woodall


Video Brand Journalism Grows, Even Those Who Never Get on TV


Dave Armon dedicated his career to the technology used by media and PR professionals, and spent 20 years in management at PR Newswire, growing the company into a $300 million global PR services powerhouse as president and chief operating officer. Now the president of Critical Mention, a firm known for its real-time broadcast intelligence platform, he has embraced today’s reshaped media landscape and is teaching professionals how to capitalize on the fact that videos keep readers on a page longer and get shared more than print-only content. The objective of this session is to showcase video brand journalism as a segment within content marketing poised for significant growth as PR professionals divert resources to telling their own stories versus past reliance on earned media. Those who know how to produce, crowd-source, curate and syndicate video content will distinguish themselves in the new paradigm.


Dave Armon

Session IV (2:30 - 3:15pm)


Preparing for the Unexpected


A two-time author and Chief Executive at Regester Larkin, Andrew Griffin is a specialist in strategic crisis preparedness and management. For 20 years he’s been providing senior counsel during live crises to the world’s largest and most respected companies. Organization’s leaders must be prepared to make career or even corporate history-changing decisions with little information, and with the world watching. As the communication team often aids as coach, adviser, guardian, and confidant to the organization's leaders in crises, it is often up to them to help prepare leaders to face the worst, however extreme or unexpected. Griffin will offer a deepened understanding of crisis management and crisis communication’s best practices.


Andrew Griffin


Trends for Engaging Today's Evolving Consumer


Founder, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of Bayou City Magazine, Becky Davis is a career trend-spotter who has built two multi million-dollar businesses by following consumer demand, embracing new technology and building new business models that win consumer spending. The good news is that today’s highest-spending consumers want to engage with brands within their daily lives, wanting content to be more, do more, and have more. Learn how lifestyle communities coalesce around local trend-setters, and the ways that innovators are rethinking content, community and their audience’s digital connections in order to entice and engage those consumers.


Becky Davis


Putting the Sizzle in Technical Content


Positioning a technical company or offering doesn't have to be boring. Christine Mathers currently serves as Director of Marketing and Communications for AFGlobal Corporation, an integrated systems manufacturer that provides a range of highly engineered products for the drilling and production segments of the oil and gas industry, and understands that customers are people, and people are emotionally connected to companies and their services. Previously the Director of Media Relations for Baker Hughes, where she led all external communication efforts for the company, as well as Corporate Communications Manager for Weatherford International, where she oversaw all Public Relations efforts for the company, Mathers has a significant amount of experience in the industry. This session will discuss how to promote industries such as oil and gas and the medical field in a more dynamic light.


Christine Mathers


A variety of sponsorship levels are available, ranging from Technology Sponsor and Breakfast Sponsor to Session Sponsor and Exhibitor Sponsor. For more information on sponsorship levels and benefits, CLICK HERE.

To arrange a sponsorship opportunity, please contact Dena Marks at or the PRSA Houston Chapter Administrators at


Breakfast Sponsor

   Conference Kit Sponsor
                       Lanyard Sponsor       Swag Bag Sponsor
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      Morning Food Sponsor

Afternoon Break Sponsor





In-Kind Centerpiece Sponsor
In-Kind Creative Sponsor

 In-Kind Videographer




In-Kind Sponsor
In-Kind Signage Sponsor

 In-Kind Printing Sponsor

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Call for Speakers


PR Day Committee

PRSA Houston 2014 President: Kelly George, APR
Co-Chairs: Allie Danziger and Dennis Nuss
Programming: Chairs - Ahna Gavrelos and Allison Huseman
Sponsorship: Chair - Dena Marks; Jerri Hamachek
Communications: Chair - Erica Holloway
Logistics: Chair - Steffanie Entralgo
Committee Members: Rob Cahill; Allison Ignacio; Aaron Kaufman; Elizabeth Novotny; Natalia Podosinnikova