Dallas-Fort Worth Chapters Shine at PRSA ICON 2022

By Andra Bennett House, APR, PRSA ICON Local Host Committee Co-Chair 

We did it! The Dallas and Fort Worth Chapters knocked the hospitality at Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)’s ICON 2022 out of the ice park at the Gaylord!

More than 1,000 PR pros, speakers, exhibitors and sponsors gathered at the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine to learn and grow Nov. 12-15, and they got an extra helping of Texas hospitality on the side. And guess who brought the most money and peeps to the party? GFW PRSA! We had 54 registrants, more than any other chapter in the U.S. Dallas was second with 51 registrants.

I want to begin by thanking those who answered the call last year to be on the DFW Host Committee, co-chaired by Thomas Bennett, III and myself: Cambria Jones; Andrea Huguely; Christy Jones; Michelle Sing; Blake Lewis, APR, Fellow PRSA; Kim Brown, APR; and Maricar Estrella Hastings. We met virtually on a monthly basis to brainstorm potential sponsors, plan the welcome reception and hospitality booth activities, and promote the conference. Most worked the hospitality booth at some points during the conference as well.

We served up a spicy hot welcome at our Hospitality booth with dozens of jars of salsa donated by Mrs. Renfro’s, client of Balcom Agency. Those were gone by the end of Day 1! We also provided raffle items with a gift basket from Visit Frisco, Starbucks gift cards, 12 tickets to Dallas Wings 2023 home games, and pins and maps from Grapevine CVB, Visit Fort Worth and Visit Dallas.

Thanks to all the hospitality booth volunteers from the Dallas and Greater Fort Worth Chapters:

Alyssa Christian
Ashley Freer
Richie Escovedo, APR
Susan Schoolfield, APR
Lesley Dupre
Carol Murray, APR
Glenda Holcomb Moreno
Isabelle Scott
John Ponzio
Joy Donovan Brandon
Kathleen Sams
Lesley Mason
Linda Goelzer
Malinda Miller
Michelle Sing
Paula Cobler
Prescotte Stokes III
Taylor Bartley
Terry Allen
Tiara Tucker
Krista Roberts

And did you know Fort Worth brought the Hypnotoad to ICON when TCU PRSSA — out of all the PRSSA Chapters in Texas — stepped up to host PRSSA students at ICON? What an exciting and unique learning experience for all students involved in coordinating this major event. Thank you, Dr. Amiso George, APR, Fellow PRSA for leading that effort.

Finally, if you haven’t seen the photos from the welcome reception, go here to see PR People. Having. Fun. The dance floor was not large enough for all the folks wanting to learn line dancing! And Prowler the mascot from Panther City Lacrosse has surprisingly deft footwork, er, paw work.

Next time you see Ken Ross, APR from Lockheed Martin Aerospace, be sure to thank him for LM’s generous donation to fund the Welcome Reception entertainment and decorations, as well as Balcom’ssupport.

PRSA National staff and board members are all still singing the praises of our chapters and are glad they chose to return to North Texas after a 30-year absence. We should all be extremely proud of the way we represented the Lone Star state and our profession. Next year, Nashville has its work cut out to top the DFW team!

Flex Your Confidence, Stretch Your Soft Skills

Become the most effective version of yourself in communicating with clients and coworkers by finding and engaging your confidence muscles and developing your listening powers. Personal branding meets interpersonal communication in this program designed to boost your confidence and refine the critical soft skills we all need.

We’ve been told time and again that soft skills are important for our success. And we all assume we have them. But are you exercising your soft skills so they can keep growing along with you?

Join the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA as we begin 2023 with a “soft skill workout” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, at Ridglea Country Club in Fort Worth. Executive coach and TEDx Speaker Caytie Langford will help you discover and engage your confidence muscles and learn how they impact your soft skills. TCU Communication Studies Department Chair Melissa Schroeder will teach you how to use the often neglected but essential soft skill of listening in order to boost your interpersonal effectiveness. Altogether, you will walk away better equipped to be successful in your communications with clients, colleagues and coworkers.

Our presenters are:

Caytie Langford, founder of Bold Women SocietyTM, a personal and professional development company focused on helping women bust through the status quo. Caytie has a B.S. from Texas A&M University and is a graduate of the Junior League of Dallas T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute. In her role, she serves as a public speaker and consultant. She has coached over 200 executive women and trained over 1,000 women, helping them achieve their personal and professional goals. As a featured speaker at conferences, meetings, and workshops, her talks focus on engaging and building confidence, overcoming perfectionism, and how to go after your biggest goals.

Caytie also spent 13 years as a successful nonprofit fundraising executive, working with top executives and key philanthropists in Dallas to connect them to their philanthropic passions and legacy.

Melissa Schroeder, Communication Studies Department Chair at TCU. Melissa earned her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Buffalo. In addition to her administrative responsibilities as a tenured faculty member and department chair, she teaches classes in Conflict Management, Deception, and Communicating Effectively. An experienced mediator, Melissa uses her communication skills and knowledge to facilitate difficult conversations in workplaces, families, and close relationships. She has many opportunities to practice her skills at home – she has been married to an Aggie for 16 years and has two teenage children.

Buy your tickets by 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, the catering deadline for our venue.

We look forward to seeing you!

Generation Z Insights: What Public Relations Means to the Digital Crowd

Born after 1996, today’s young professionals are digital natives, having lived their entire lives in an online world. Authentic and independent, they communicate in bite-size, preferring video and images over text and influencers over traditional PR and advertising. What does Gen Z know that you don’t? Join the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Ridglea Country Club and hear from a panel of promising young communicators on what strategies and tactics best reach their peers.

Our final luncheon and program of 2022 is on Wednesday, December 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ridglea Country Club. I hope you can join us for “Generation Z Insights: What Public Relations Means to the Digital Crowd.” Get your tickets here by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, December 1.

Power of Influence: ICON Honorary Co-Chairs Panel Discussion

Join us for a FREE webinar on September 28. In this session, you will hear from four nationally recognized leaders who each have different views on what the power of influence over organizations looks like and how to best wield it for maximum results. Robert T. Hastings, APR+M, Fellow PRSA, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Communications, for Bell and a GFW Chapter member is one of our co-chairs.

Diverse Perspectives: Unleashing the Power of Culturally Competent Communications

In an era when politicians play to the extremes and verbal slights can lead to fatal conflicts, can we as professional communicators help shape more civil discourse? Can diversity and inclusivity in our campaigns better connect our messages with their intended audiences?

Please join the Greater Fort Worth PRSA Chapter from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, October 5, at Ridglea Country Club for a conversation with communications leaders about why cultural competency matters and how we can leverage inclusivity to achieve more powerful campaigns.

This session is being held in conjunction with PRSA’s national Diversity & Inclusion Month and will be moderated by Winifred “Wini” King, Diversity Chair for Greater Fort Worth PRSA and Senior Vice President and Chief of Communications, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Cook Children’s Health Care System.

Our panelists are:

Estela Martinez-Stuart, Director of Leisure Sales and Hispanic Partnerships, Visit Fort Worth

Bob Ray Sanders, Director of Communications, Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce; former Associate Editor and Senior Columnist, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Dr. Monica Zhan, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, The University of Texas at Arlington