Special thanks to PRSA Southwest District Chair, Beth Lamb, APR, for all of her help in planning and leading the PRSA Southwest District Conference, and GFW PRSA President-Elect Jessamy Brown, APR, and the team from Cook Children’s for representing our chapter at the conference in Oklahoma City in June.
NEW YORK, July 13, 2022 – PRSA, the nation’s leading professional organization serving the communications community, announced today the election of 17 new members into the College of Fellows, comprised of more than 700 leading professionals and educators, each of whom has left a significant footprint on the public relations profession.
“I thank these members for their generous contributions to the communications profession,” said Dr. Felicia Blow, APR, 2022 PRSA Chair. “The process is rigorous for College of Fellows applicants, and I commend each of them for their superior efforts in attaining this achievement. I extend a hearty congratulations to the Class of 2022 for their inspiring service, leadership and commitment to our industry and their fellow communicators.”
The 2022 inductees are:
Ellen Averill, APR, Fellow PRSA, Vice President Communications & Strategy, Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc.; Tulsa, Oklahoma
Sandra R. Brodnicki, APR, Fellow PRSA, Partner, The S & G Group; Arlington, Texas
Jeremy C. Burton, APR, Fellow PRSA, Vice President for Connection, The Voice of the Martyrs; Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Clark P. Dumont, M.S., APR, Fellow PRSA, Principal & Counselor, Dumont Communications; Las Vegas, Nevada
Jamie D. Floer, APR, Fellow PRSA, Communications Manager, Toho Water Authority; Kissimmee, Florida
Kelly C. Gaggin, PhD, APR, Fellow PRSA, Assistant Teaching Professor, Syracuse University; Fayetteville, New York
Lauren Green-Caldwell, APR, Fellow PRSA, Vice President Communications, CCMO, National Jewish Health; Denver, Colorado
J. Elyse Hammett, APR, Fellow PRSA, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta; Atlanta, Georgia
Wendy Shill Kurtz, APR, Fellow PRSA, Founder and President, Elizabeth Charles & Associates, LLC; Winter Garden, Florida
Kena L. Lewis, APR, Fellow PRSA, Senior Director, Public Affairs & Media Relations, Orlando Health; Orlando, Florida
Debra Peterson, APR, Fellow PRSA, President, Comm365; Overland Park, Kansas
Sally Ridenour, APR, Fellow PRSA, Chief Content Strategist, Oregon Department of Transportation; Salem, Oregon
Tracy Schario, APR, Fellow PRSA, Senior Manager and Department Head, External Communications, MITRE; White Stone, Virginia
Bey-Ling Sha, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, Dean, College of Communications, California State University, Fullerton; Fullerton, California
Pamela Thompson, MBA, APR, Fellow PRSA, Manager of Internal Communications, AllianceRx Walgreens Prime; Wylie, Texas
Laura Moore Van Hoosier, APR, Fellow PRSA, Assistant Vice President, Public Relations & Communications, Cook Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth, Texas; Grapevine, Texas
Rebecca M. Villarreal, APR, Fellow PRSA, Executive Director of Communications, New Braunfels Independent School District; New Braunfels, Texas
The College of Fellows Class of 2022 will be honored during a virtual celebration on Sunday, November 6, and Inducted at the College of Fellows Induction Celebration at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center on Saturday, November 12.
Members of the College of Fellows serve in PRSA Chapter, District, Professional Interest Sections and National leadership positions. To qualify for admittance, the communications professional must be a current PRSA member, have at least 20 years of PR and communications experience, hold the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential and have demonstrated superior professional performance in the practice/teaching of public relations.
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) empowers its members to succeed at every stage of their careers through a wide breadth of professional development, networking and leadership opportunities. Guided by its Code of Ethics, PRSA is collectively represented by 110 Chapters and 14 Professional Interest Sections, as well as on nearly 375 college and university campuses in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Argentina, Colombia and Peru through its student organization, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). PRSA’s signature events include the Anvil Awards and ICON, the premier annual gathering for communications professionals and students. For more information, visit www.prsa.org.
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We’re excited to report that professional football icon Emmitt Smith, one of the greatest ever to play the game, has joined the keynote speaker lineup for , taking place Nov. 13-15 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas.
During his 15 seasons as a running back in the National Football League, Smith set records that still stand today. His impressive resume includes three Super Bowl championship rings with the Dallas Cowboys, induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010 and his 2019 selection to the prestigious NFL 100 All-Time Team.
“Emmitt Smith is a proven leader, mentor and role model both on and off the football field,” noted Dr. Felicia Blow, APR, 2022 PRSA Chair. “And while he’s most widely known for setting rushing records, running successful businesses, providing educational opportunities to underserved youth and, yes, ‘dancing with the stars,’ he is also an expert communicator. The advice and counsel Emmitt will share will provide valuable insights to all strategic communications professionals, and we look forward to having him share his expertise and experience.”
In a conversation at ICON 2022 with Gary McCollum, an author, activist, mentor and former SVP and GM at Cox Communications, Smith will share winning strategies on a wide variety of topics. He will discuss how communications professionals can protect, manage and enhance brand reputation; resources and tools he uses to positively and strategically impact and develop his businesses and charities; and the DEI challenges and opportunities communicators face in today’s fraught political climate, among other subjects of importance to all practitioners.
After his playing days, Smith served as a football analyst and then took his television career a step further when he won the third season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Smith also added author to his list of accomplishments, publishing “Game On,” which outlines the principles that helped him succeed both on and off the field.
Smith now runs several companies involved in real estate, construction and technology. He is active in charitable outreach in the Dallas area and on a national level, providing educational opportunities and unique experiences for underserved youth.
Last year, Smith became a co-owner of a NASCAR team partnering with Jesse Iwuji Motorsports for the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. A major theme of Smith and Iwuji’s partnership centers on STEM education for lower-income communities and diversity and inclusion initiatives within the sport of NASCAR.
At ICON 2022, Smith joins a dynamic keynote speaker lineup that also includes Academy Award-winning actress and trailblazing activist Marlee Matlin as well as award-winning journalist and bestselling author Katty Kay.
Sponsor a Fort Worth PRSA program for $250. Our average attendance at each meeting is approximately 45 PR and marketing professionals.
- Logo and link to your website included in the meeting invitation and Fort Worth PRSA monthly newsletter, which are distributed to approximately 500 PR/marketing professionals
- Logo and link to your organization’s website/social media placed on Fort Worth PRSA website/social media during month of sponsorship
- Organization introduction at luncheon by PRSA president, along with up to 2-minute time slot for organization representative to give elevator speech and/or giveaway(s)
- Information about company placed at attendee seats
- One complimentary guest lunch provided to the organization
For more information, contact Abbey Dudek via email here.
A light-hearted and incomplete roundup of PR hits and misses from recent weeks. Our only agenda is to remind everyone how hard it is to do PR well—and how easy it is to get it wrong. Written by Jeff Rodriguez.
CLEANUP IN THE PRODUCE SECTION: After a Trader Joe’s worker wrote to the corporate office asking for more COVID protections for employees, the company fired him. But after he posted the termination letter on his social media and drew widespread support, the company rehired him. Side note: One media outlet interviewed an independent scientist, who said the employee’s safety requests were appropriate.
AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE HIRE: After White House press secretary TJ Ducklo learned a reporter was working on an unflattering story about him, he said he would “destroy” her. Ducklo resigned after his actions made headlines.
LINCOLN, LOGGED OUT: The San Francisco school district announced it will rename Lincoln High School because Old Abe did not sufficiently demonstrate that “Black lives mattered,” or defend Native Americans. Schools named after Thomas Jefferson and Paul Revere also will be renamed. A district representative said that “only good can come” from eliminating the names.
COSINE OF THE TIMES: The Oregon Dept. of Education is drawing flack for encouraging teachers to take a training on dismantling racism in mathematics. The toolkit explains, “The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it even much less so.”
NON-BINDING AGREEMENT: Toymaker Hasbro has announced that Mr. Potato Head is becoming nonbinary. Henceforth, the toy will be known just as “Potato Head.” The company said the new name will be less “limiting” for gender identity and family structure. A side note: Actual potatoes possess both male and female flowers and are self-pollinating.
REALITY CHECK NO. 1: The Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team acknowledged having photoshopped masks onto the faces of fans.
REALITY CHECK NO. 2: A special effects editor created an amusing and stunningly believable “deepfake” video of Tom Cruise.
REALITY CHECK NO. 3: A Pennsylvania high school cheerleader’s mother is accused of creating some very unamusing deepfake photos and videos of other cheerleaders acting inappropriately, hoping to get the girls kicked off the team.
TWITS: Various tweets that were later deleted (or should have been):
- The Republic National Committee tweeted, “Keeping schools closed has DEVESTATING effects” on children.
- In the midst of the Texas ice storm, Sen. Ted Cruz was reminded that when California was suffering through rolling blackouts, he had tweeted that “California is now unable to perform even basic functions of civilization, like having reliable electricity.”
- On International Women’s Day, Burger King’s U.K. division announced a cooking scholarship for female employees by tweeting, “Women belong in the kitchen.” Follow-up tweets explained, “If they want to, of course. Yet only 20% of chefs are women. We’re on a mission to change the gender ratio.”
But the lag between the tweets was enough time for it to draw a whopper of criticism. Burger King later tweeted an apology, then later deleted the original tweet due to numerous inappropriate comments.
TASTIER: In the U.S., Burger King announced the scholarship program with a full-page ad in the New York Times. Although they used the same headline, the explanatory text was immediately evident, stating, “If there’s a professional kitchen, women belong there.”
BAD INFLUENCE? In advance of the murder trial of George Floyd, the Minneapolis City Council approved funding to hire six individuals to serve as social media influencers. Widespread criticism prompted the Council to scrap the plan.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS: Meghan, Harry went on Oprah to plead their case, Ted Cruz went to Mexico to warm up and ERCOT and the PUC went AWOL. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo acknowledged having intentionally and drastically under-reported the number of COVID deaths in nursing homes, but now is dealing with multiple allegations of sexual harassment. And three words we’ll never forget: Zoom kitten filter.
PET CEMETERY: Speaking of kittens, the New Hampshire House of Representatives announced it will no longer allow legislators’ pets to appear onscreen during Zoom meetings.
TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT (A recurring feature, unfortunately): In the midst of the winter storm, the mayor of Colorado City, Texas, posted these comments in Facebook: “The City and County, along with power providers or any other service owes you NOTHING! I’m sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout!! … Only the strong will survive, the weak will parish. … Bottom line-DON’T BE A PART OF PROBLEM, BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION!”
The mayor resigned, and in a later post, explained, “Things I said were taken out of context … if I had it to do over again I would have just kept my words to myself and if I did say them I would have used better wording.”
AND SOME HITS… Actor Jonah Hill (who is not exactly a Dwayne Johnson look-alike) was photographed by paparazzi on the beach with his shirt off and mocked for being chubby. Hill responded on Instagram by saying, “I’m 37 and finally love and accept myself. This isn’t a ‘good for me’ post. And it’s definitelynot a ‘feel bad for me post.’ It’s for the kids who don’t take their shirt off at the pool. Have fun. You’re wonderful and awesome and perfect. All my love.”
An Indianapolis middle school student refused to remove his hat because he was embarrassed by his haircut. Instead of disciplining the student, the principal offered to cut his hair for him. Another staff member posted a photo of the principal trimming away According to one local TV station, the post has been shared more than 26,000 times.
WORDSMITH: “PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.” – PR exec Ronn Torossian