Share the gift of PR knowledge!


Join GFW PRSA for happy hour!

Tuesday, December 10 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. • Times Ten Cellars
Located at 1100 Foch Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Share the gift of PR knowledge! Bring your favorite PR book (or an extra copy) to the GFW PRSA gift exchange.

Cost: $10 to cover appetizers & a wrapped book
Cash bar with drink specials.

To Register:
Contact Lisa Albert at by Dec. 9.

Remember the ladies – VaynerMedia stumbles on gender

By: Margaret Ritsch, APR

The front page of the New York Times business section really woke me up this morning. The photo showed a dozen guys — all white, one Asian — around a long conference table at VaynerMedia, the fast-moving Manhattan agency owned by social media genius Gary Vanuchek.

No women in the photo? This is the year 2013, right?


To view the full article, click here.

I got a fast response from Gary himself after tweeting about it. It seems the NYT photographer took a lot of photos that day. Gary was clearly upset — he explained his company’s top two executives are female and he sent me another company photo in which both women and men are jumping up and down in some sort of celebration.

It occurs to me that some good old-fashioned public relations might have been helpful to Gary and his firm during this important visit from the New York Times photographer (who, I noticed, was a guy).

Lesson #1
Stick with the photographer like white on rice. Make sure any photo that gets taken inside your company shows the picture you want the world to see. There’s no excuse in this day and age for 12 white guys to be sitting around a conference table, especially in a youthful industry like social media/digital. None.

Lesson #2
If you are uncomfortable “handling” the photographer because it feels too controlling, then let a public relations expert handle it. You have invested a lot in your company. You may not be able to control how the story turns out, or which photo runs, but you can supervise the photographer inside your company to make sure any images taken reflect well on your company.

Lesson #3
Finally, “remember the ladies.” We kind of don’t like it when all of a sudden we become invisible. Especially when we are doing so much of the work. “Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could,” wrote Abigail Adams in a letter to her husband, John, in 1776. “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation ….”

It is likely that Gary Vaynerchuk and his company’s fortunes will continue to soar despite this mishandling of a superb news media opportunity. But the ladies inside that company may need some TLC, Gary. I’d say, a mani-pedi day might be a good start this week. Visibility and recognition would be the better reward.

Article by Margaret Ritsch, APR, TCU faculty director at Roxo, a student-driven agency for strategic communication. @ritschapr

GFW PRSA Professional Development Program Pics

Dr. Joe Trahan spoke at the GFW PRSA Professional Development Program on October 9 at Colonial Country Club. During his presentation, Dr. Trahan said the three p’s of good speeches are people, purpose and passion.

From left to right: Richie Escovedo, Claire Bloxom, Dr. Joe Trahan, APR, Fellow PRSA, Brian Murnahan, Holly Ellman and Lisa Albert


Senior PR practitioners gathered around Dr. Joe Trahan at an Oct. 8 mixer at Lucille’s Bistro, where he made an appeal for mentorship of junior-level professionals and discussed the need for ongoing continuing education.

2014 GFW PRSA Slate of Officers Announced

Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA members held their annual election Oct. 9 and voted unanimously for the following 2014 slate of officers (includes unexpired positions):

    • President Richie Escovedo
    • Vice President of Membership / President-Elect Michelle Clark, APR
    • Vice President of Programs Sandra Brodnicki, APR
    • Treasurer Megan Force
    • Treasurer-Elect Lisa Albert
    • Secretary Claire Bloxom

Directors include:

  • Liz Heck
  • Jahnae Stout
  • Joe Stout

Assembly delegates include:

  • Gigi Westerman, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Holly Ellman



President’s Column – November 2013

Chris Smith, Greater Fort Worth PRSA President

ChrisSmithPortraitLRBeing president certainly has its strategic and operational challenges, but for me, the best part of the job is giving credit where credit is due. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that success was “to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.”

Recently, some of our members have gone above and beyond in their profession, giving back and setting the bar higher for us all. Gigi Westerman, APR, Fellow PRSA, is one such person. In her Fellows nomination letter for Gigi, Past President Allyson Cross wrote that Gigi “spent many hours meeting with potential APR candidates, encouraging their efforts and reviewing their Readiness Reviews . . . as a result of her efforts, several candidates within GFWPRSA are close to achieving APR status.” Gigi was inducted last month as a Fellow at the PRSA International Conference in Philadelphia and joins five other chapter members receiving this respected designation and honor.

Another member, Sandra Brodnicki, APR, is helping others in our profession understand and demonstrate the value of well-thought-out public relations through contribution of a recent article, “Identifying Roadblocks Key to Defining Objectives, Success.” The article appears in the latest PR Measurement Guidebook (Vol. 7) from PR News Press, and it stresses the importance of evaluation in communication efforts and in our industry as a whole. In the article, Brodnicki offers her thoughts and experiences on the pitfalls that we often face when dealing with internal and external clients who may have a fuzzy understanding of how communications fits within an overall business strategy. More importantly, she lays out processes for identifying and overcoming roadblocks and proving the merits of proactive, strategic communications.

We were also excited to learn that our own Julie Wilson, APR, recently received the Lloyd B. Dennis Distinguished Leadership Award. The award recognizes exemplary public relations practitioners who have used their skills in public affairs to promote truth while demonstrating high standards of integrity and honesty in business dealing, and who have helped affect positive change within an organization. Julie’s commitment to PRSA’s principles has set a solid example for practitioners that deal with public affairs and our industry as a whole and we’re honored to have her as a longtime member and role model for our chapter.

Many thanks to those who have given and continue to give back, helping pave the way for others in our profession.