PRSA Southwest District Conference

AustinPicFrom an exciting and informative speaker line-up to the uniquely-Austin Happy Hours and networking events, the 2013 PRSA Southwest District Conference, hosted by PRSA Austin Chapter, is full of activities to keep attendees busy June 5 through 7.

Don’t forget to book a room at the Omni Hotel Austin Downtown! What better way to stay in on the action than to book a room at the conference location and right in the heart of downtown? Conference attendees who reserve accommodations at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown by May 16 will receive the discounted room rate of just $199 per night and then it goes up to $249 per night. A limited number of rooms are available at this rate, so be sure to make your reservation today! No special group code is needed – just visit the PRSA Southwest District Conference group booking page to receive this special rate.

Hotel amenities include a heated rooftop swimming pool, complimentary full-service fitness center, 24-hour business center, full service restaurant and high-speed wireless Internet access. The hotel is located in the middle of downtown Austin, within walking distance to a number of Austin hotspots and landmarks, making the conference the perfect opportunity for an added weekend vacation…or even stay-cation! Austin has attractions for everyone, including Barton Springs Pool, the Congress Avenue Bridge bats, Town Lake hike-and-bike trail, Zilker Park, the historic 6th Street District, Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Texas State Capitol and much more. And while you’re here, don’t forget to try one of the many raved-about restaurants or food-trailers Austin has to offer, from barbecue and Tex-Mex to sushi and gourmet donuts!

Visit http://prsaswconf.org for more information and a detailed schedule of events. Join the Conference conversation on Twitter: #KeepPRWeird.

For information on the conference host, PRSA Austin Chapter, visit http://www.prsa.austin.org.  Follow the PRSA Austin Chapter on Twitter @prsaaustin and Facebook http://facebook.com/PRSAAustinChapter.

Philanthropy in Action Conference

The Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA has signed on as an Association Partner for the 33rd Annual DFW Philanthropy in Action Conference, hosted by the Greater Dallas and Fort Worth Metro Chapters of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Beth Lamb, along with other board members, will represent PRSA June 7 at the Irving Convention Center.

This partnership provides an opportunity to introduce the services of public relations professionals to hundreds of non-profit leaders in the Metroplex.

GFW PRSA Introduces LAMP: Local Accreditation Mentorship Program

APRLogo-LRThe Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA is committed to helping APR candidates achieve their goal of accreditation. That’s why the chapter’s Accreditation Committee has created the new Local APR Mentorship Program, or LAMP.

The purpose of LAMP is to shine a light on the benefits on obtaining the Accredited in Public Relations designation. At the same time, the chapter will be positioned to offer mentorship and guidance to those who are interested in obtaining their APR.

Accreditation Committee co-chairs Sandra Brodnicki, APR, and Linda Jacobson, APR, will roll out the program throughout the coming year to culminate in the official 50th anniversary in 2014 of the profession’s only national post-graduate certification program.

With the help of PRSA members Chip Hanna, Margaret Ritsch, APR, Richie Escovedo, Chris Bryan, Bill Lawrence, APR, Fellow PRSA, and Andra Bennett-House, APR, the pair introduced the program during the chapter’s April 10 luncheon. Andra Bennett-House, APR, brought down the house with “I Want You After My Name,” which was performed to the tune of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” (See video below.)

In addition, the team presented its case via a Saturday Night Live-inspired presentation, the Accreditation News Network (ANN), at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth. Special thanks goes out to Roxo Student LyTer Green, a senior at Texas Christian University, who provided much-need b-roll that answered the question, “What is an APR?”

If you are a prospective APR candidate and would like more information, visit http://fortworthprsa.org/accreditation or contact Sandra at 817-572-1556 or Sandra@brodnickipr.com or Linda at 817-228-1862 or Ljacobson@ctcinc.com.

President’s Column – May 2013

Chris Smith, Greater Fort Worth PRSA President
csmithcommunications@gmail.com

ChrisSmithPortraitLRWith another successful Worthy Awards competition and gala behind us, our next focus will be on program evaluation.

Evaluation, often the most overlooked part of the strategic communications process, asks the big questions:

•    What worked?
•    What didn’t work?
•    How can we improve next time?

Of course, evaluation can be applied to much more than one public relations program. How about your current job: What’s working, what isn’t? Is there room for improvement? Apply that as well to your career: What worked well for you in the past year or decade? What have you learned from that didn’t work? How can you improve your current situation?

Here’s what I know about the Worthy Awards program. It worked well the first year, it worked even better the second year, and when our committee meets soon to document opportunities for improvement, I have no doubt next year’s committee will exceed expectations once again.

Admittedly, there were hiccups along the way – as there are with planning any kind of event. Already, for example, some committee members are suggesting ways of formalizing the process, now that we have two successful years under our belts. However, we learn from these hiccups and frankly, given feedback since this program began two years ago, we’ll simply be making a good thing even better when we apply all that we’ve learned.

Finally, never ever overlook a most important part of the evaluation process, which involves thanking all of those who contributed to the success of your program.

In this case, thanks goes to all of those who participated, deeming a local public relations competition valuable and “worthy” for continuation. A heartfelt thanks goes to the Worthy Committee members, who should be acknowledged once again for their tirelessness and outstanding execution: Margaret Ritsch, APR; Holly Ellman; Jahnae Stout; Megan Murphey; Liz Heck; Megan Force; Carolyn Bobo, APR, Fellow PRSA; Joe Stout; and Rita Parson.

And the winner is…Worthy!

Worthy-AwardsSiteCongratulations to all 2013 Worthy Awards Winners!

Approximately 150 members of the Greater Fort Worth Public Relations Society of America and honored guests assembled at the Fort Worth Club April 25 for the Worthy Awards, and to honor the Greater Fort Worth Public Relations Society of America chapter Communicator of the Year – Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.

The chapter is honoring Price for her “open, constant communication” and her “push to make city processes and procedures more transparent,” said Chris Smith, the chapter’s president. The chapter established the Communicator of the Year recognition in 2012 as part of the annual Worthy Awards, which honors excellence in the strategic communications field in the Fort Worth region. Sponsored by the Fort Worth Business Press, the Communicator of the Year recognizes a community member outside the public relations profession who demonstrates leadership and effective communication when involved in a major event or issue affecting the Fort Worth region.

The chapter’s board of directors considered a number of nominations before voting, and Price won by a significant margin. “Since she was elected Mayor in June of 2011, Mayor Price has been listening to the people and putting ideas into action,” Smith said. “She’s been out there, literally and figuratively. She’s ‘out there’ in the media and speaking at numerous local events. She’s ‘out there’ with her Walking Town Halls. She’s ‘out there’ on the Fort Worth trails – usually on her bicycle.” For more information, visit http://fortworthprsa.org/prsa-recognizes-mayor-price.

The Worthy Awards competition received 100 entries this year in categories ranging from videography and website content to crisis communication and media relations. Judges for Programs and Tactics categories were members of the Las Vegas Valley Chapter of PRSA from Las Vegas, Nevada. Judges for Academic categories were members of faculty of the Gaylord School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma.

Please see below for a list of 2013 Worthy Awards winners. To access a PDF of the information below, click here. To view the list of 2012 Worthy Awards winners, click here.

Best of Show

Gigi Westerman, Strategic Image, Inc., Shannon Wingo, Tarrant County Public Health, Ann Salyer Caldwell, Tarrant County Public Health

STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM: Breastfeeding WORKS – A strategic internal communications campaign designed to train supervisors, educate expectant parents and families and garner support for a new Tarrant County Public Health worksite lactation policy.

Programs

COMMUNITY RELATIONS

  • Worthy Award: Balcom Agency – NTE Mobility Partners and LBJ Express
  • Award of Excellence: Beth Hutson, Sohana Kutub, Hutson Creative Group, Inc. – Advocacy campaign, Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County
  • Award of Achievement: Lisa Lankes, Tom Feller, Tassie Munroe, Justin Brands – Calf Scramble at the Fort Worth Stock Show

CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS

  • Worthy Award: Yolanda Walker, Cash America – Ohio Reimbursement Program reputation management

INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS

  • Worthy Award: Balcom Agency – Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible-Ancient Artifacts, Timeless Treasures Exhibition, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Award of Excellence: Margaret Ritsch, APR, TCU Schieffer School of Journalism – Purple in Portuguese-Branding a New Student Agency at TCU
  • Award of Achievement: Lisa Lankes, Megan Force, Lauren Quiroz, Justin Brands – Call of the Wild, Chippewa Boots promotion

INTERNAL RELATIONS

  • Worthy Award: Gigi Westerman, APR, Strategic Image, Inc., Shannon Wingo, Tarrant County Public Health and Ann Salyer Caldwell, Tarrant County Public Health-Breastfeeding WORKS, Tarrant County Public Health
  • Award of Excellence: Lisa Lankes, Donna Lasater, Monica McCall, Justin Brands – Justin Disaster Recovery Memorial Fund for Joplin Tornado

PUBLIC SERVICE

  • Worthy Award: Liz Heck, Jennifer Henderson, J.D., Jennifer Wersal, Susan G. Komen for the Cure’ Greater Fort Worth Affiliate – Susan G. Komen for the Cure ” Greater Fort Worth Affiliate Race for the Cure
  • Award of Excellence: Barbara Griffith, Fort Worth Independent School District – It’s Not OK anti-bullying initiative

SPECIAL EVENTS & OBSERVATIONS

  • Worthy Award: Sarina Klaver, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control – Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award
  • Award of Excellence: Taylor Huynh, Julie Hoppe, Brenna Witt, Trinity River Authority of Texas – Employee Recognition Event to Build a Positive Work Culture
  • Award of Achievement: Cosmin Ghiurau, Ricky Cadden, Paige Guyton, RadioShack – Radio Shack Cyber Monday

SPECIAL PUBLIC RELATIONS PROGRAM

  • Worthy Award: Gigi Westerman, Strategic Image, Inc., Sandy Knott, Graphic Artist, Ann Salyer Caldwell, Tarrant County Public Health – College in Color, Tarrant County Public Health
  • Award of Excellence: John Kent, Mark Lewis, Lockheed Martin – Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Engineering and Mechanical Development contract support
  • Award of Achievement: Claire Bloxom, Concussion, Richard Maxwell, Joan Hunter, The T – Transport Yourself, Trinity Railway Express and Main Street Arts Festival, Fort Worth Transportation Authority

TACTICS

ADVERTORIAL

  • Award of Excellence: Liz Heck, Jennifer Henderson, J.O., Kathie Russell, Plaza Medical Center – First Percutaneous Clot Removal Without Open Heart Surgery in Texas, Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth

ANNUAL REPORT

  • Worthy Award: Shara Kelley, Jennifer Perez, Rebecca Slack – Singleness of Purpose/2011-2012 Fort Worth ISD Annual Report
  • Award of Excellence: Julie Payne. Jill King, Randena Hulstrand – UNT Research, University of North Texas
  • Award of Achievement: LifeGift Team, Balcom Agency – LifeGift Annual Report / Calendar

ARTICLE/ COLUMN

  • Award of Achievement: Andra Bennett House and David A. House, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce – AA Is on a Return to Profitability Op/Ed

BLOG

  • Worthy Award: Balcom Agency – A Fit for Every Foot (or Calf), Justin Boots

E-NEWSLETTER

  • Award of Excellence: Balcom Agency, Texas Health Resources – TEX employee newsletter

BROCHURE

  • Worthy Award: Balcom Agency – Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible-Ancient Artifacts, Timeless Treasures, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Award of Excellence: Balcom Agency -Brand book, Professional Compounding Centers of America Pharmaceuticals
  • Award of Achievement: Shara Kelley, Jennifer Perez -2013-14 Choices, Fort Worth Independent School District

COMMUNITY RELATIONS, ONE-TIME EVENT

  • Worthy Award: Balcom Agency – Tarrant County Non-Profit Awareness
  • Award of Excellence: Susan Frye, Norman Robbins, Joe LaMarca, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics – Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Employees Reaching Out (AERO) Club employee giving campaign
  • Award of Achievement: Barbara Griffith, Fort Worth Independent School District – Singleness of Purpose/ State of Education Superintendent’s Report

MEDIA EVENT

  • Worthy Award: Liz Heck, Jennifer Henderson, J.D., Kristen Bostick, Goodwill – Mortgage-free home for deserving veteran, Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth
  • Award of Excellence: Liz Heck, Jennifer Henderson, J.O., Jennifer Wersal, Susan G. Komen for the Cure’ Greater Fort Worth Affiliate – Concert for the Cure
  • Award of Achievement: Liz Heck, Jennifer Henderson, J.O., Jennifer Wersal. Susan G. Komen for the Cure’ Greater Fort Worth Affiliate – Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo Goes Pink

MEDIA RELATIONS ONLINE NEWSROOM

  • Worthy Award: Lisa Albert, TCU Marketing and Communications Online Newsroom Redesign
  • Award of Excellence: Yolanda Walker, Cash America – Cash America News Site Overhaul

NEWS RELEASE, PITCH, STORY ANGLE

  • Worthy Award: Liz Heck, Jennifer Henderson, J.O., Kathie Russell. Plaza Medical Center – First Percutaneous Clot Removal Without Open Heart Surgery in Texas, Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth
  • Award of Excellence: Bill Lawrence. APR. Fellow PRSA, Pam Lawrence, Lawrence and Associates – Violent Motion-Frederic Remington’s Artistry in Bronze, Sid Richardson Museum
  • Award of Achievement: Liz Heck, Jennifer Henderson, J.O., Kristen Bostick, Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth – End of Year Donations

MAGAZINE, EXTERNAL AUDIENCE

  • Award of Excellence: Julie Payne, Jill King, Randena Hulstrand – The North Texan alumni magazine. University of North Texas

NEWSLETTER, INTERNAL AUDIENCE

  • Worthy Award: Christina Kuhl, Jeffrey Neu, XTO Energy, Allyson Cross, GCG – The Flowline newsletter, XTO Energy Inc.

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Worthy Award: Balcom Agency – Tomlyn Lend a Paw shelter program
  • Award of Excellence: Balcom Agency – The Inner Gypsy Facebook promotion, Justin Boots
  • Award of Achievement: LyTer Green, Gage Grammer,  Allen Kellogg,  Roxo/ TCU Lone Star Film Festival
  • Award of Achievement: Balcom Agency – digital billboards, Justin Boots

VIDEO-INTERNAL

  • Worthy Award: Charles Ellis, Scott JuVette, Rebecca Slack, Fort Worth Independent School District – Words to Wheels
  • Award of Excellence: Paige Blankenship, Cash America – Behind the Solution employee spotlight
  • Award of Achievement: Barbara Griffith, Scott JuVette, Rebecca Slack, Fort Worth Independent School District – Gold Seal Schools and Programs of Choice

VIDEO-PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

  • Worthy Award: Bud Force, Ultralight Films -Texas Wildlife Company, water feature designers
  • Award of Achievement: Charles Ellis, Scott JuVette, Edward Spears, Fort Worth Independent School District – print services promotion

VIDEO-PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

  • Worthy Award: Liz Heck, J.O., Matt Munson, Red Productions, Jennifer Wersal, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Fort Worth Affiliate – Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Fort Worth Affiliate Race for the Cure
  • Award of Excellence: Carol Murray, APR, Sharron Conrad, Vishal Malhotra, Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza – Vote on Tuesday Nov. 6
  • Award of Achievement: Jenny Sanders, Tracy Bristol, TCU, Red Productions, Schaefer Advertising – Big XII Inaugural Season

VIDEO-EXTERNAL

  • Worthy Award: Yolanda Walker, Cash America – I Am a Cash American
  • Award of Achievement: Balcom Agency – MetGuard Shield, Justin Original Work Boots

SPECIAL WRITING PROJECT

  • Worthy Award: Chris Smith, Smith Communications – White Paper: Environmental Non-Government Organization Perspectives on Carbon Capture and Storage
  • Award of Excellence: Judy Everett Ramos, Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District – Crisis Communications Guide
  • Award of Achievement: Lisa Lankes, Scott Milden, Lauren Quiroz, Justin Brands – Original Chippewa Press Kit

WEBSITE

  • Worthy Award: Viqui Litman and Dan Purschwitz, Freese and Nichols – Freese and Nichols Intranet
  • Award of Excellence: Balcom Agency, Balcom Agency  – Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
  • Award of Achievement: Andra Bennett House, Minh Phan – Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce

Academic

REFEREED PUBLICATION

  • Worthy Award: Sarah Maben, PhD, Tarleton State University, and Kathleen Whitson, PhD, University of North Texas – A research project resulted in a better understanding of student-run public relations firms on U.S. college campuses. Advisors provided data about firm characteristics, such as years in operation, funding, workspace, hiring, clients and student involvement.
  • Award of Excellence: Margaret Ritsch, APR, Schieffer School of Journalism, TCU – A poster publication at the Educators Academy of the PRSA International Conference explained techniques to empower students with knowledge of industry practices.

SERVICE LEARNING INITIATIVE

  • Award of Excellence: Shelley Wigley, PhD, Tom Christie, PhD, Charla Markham Shaw, PhD, University of Texas at Arlington – Students in Dr. Wigley’S class developed and implemented campaign tools and tactics on behalf of Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County. Results revealed an increase in awareness in the Arlington and UTA communities. The campaign also raised more than $450.
  • Award of Excellence: Amiso M. George, PhD, APR, Fellow PRSA, Schieffer School of Journalism, TCU – VITALS PR campaign, supported with a $50,000 grant from the Century Council, was prepared to help students recognize symptoms of alcohol poisoning and get help. VITALS succeeded in exposing one half of the student body to the issue.

Worthy Advertisers:

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