September 2016 Print

Letter from the President

With summer now in the rearview mirror, it’s time to start thinking about fall. And fall is the start of the school year.

It’s been 32 years since I started earning my degree in public relations. For those of us who have been in the profession for a long time, we often talk about how it has changed. That thought led me to wonder how much the curriculum has changed over the years.

To briefly set the stage, I am an alum of the University of Northern Iowa, a school that graduated its first PR students in 1978. I graduated a decade later. Out of curiosity I recently compared my transcript with the current course listing on UNI’s website. I was amazed to see how little the curriculum has changed.

Almost all the classes I took have survived the test of time: Principles of Public Relations, PR Cases and Studies, Communication Research Methodologies, Listening, PR Campaign Methods (then it was called Publicity Methods), Interpersonal Communication, Applied Public Relations, Business and Professional Oral Communications, Organizational Communications, Editing and Design, Advanced Reporting, Feature Writing…

The noticeable differences are the digital communications classes (5 different ones are offered today; none in 1986) and the offering of a Global PR class. But that is most likely due to the fact that UNI’s professor emeritus (who was my advisor when I was a student) went on to become the executive director of the Center for Global Public Relations at the University North Carolina at Charlotte. I also have to wonder if the currently offered History of Mass Communications class covers the same material as the class I took which was called Intro to Mass Media – just that what was then a forward looking class is now a retrospective class!

Regardless of the classes you took and when you took them, learning is an ongoing process. And it’s one of the greatest benefits you can take advantage of through your PRSA membership. We have several outstanding programming meetings coming up this fall that I hope you take advantage of including a media panel this month and a social media boot camp 2.0 in October. Read on for details.

One other point…

I took my own advice and did one of my PR vacations this year….I went off the grid – not to a beach, but to the mountains. My family and I spent a week in a cabin in Idaho, river rafting, mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding. While our cabin was only at 1,400 feet elevation, we were actually located in a river valley. The elevation quickly rose to over 5,000 feet in less than a mile from the river. Needless to say, there wasn’t much for cell phone coverage. It was a week without cell phones; a week without Internet; a week without television. It did test me some, but in the end it was nice to be “off the grid” for a week. It was kind of like going back in time (perhaps to my undergraduate years) – when vacation truly was vacation and people couldn’t get a hold of you. The unfortunate thing is that you pay for it when you get back home with a mountain of emails to plow through.

I’m hoping you all had a great summer and are ready for a fantastic fall of learning and growing professionally!

- Tom



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Upcoming Events

We have not one but TWO exciting programs on the approaching horizon!

Media Panel: SEPTEMBER 27

How does social media impact the news, behind-the-scenes? In today's world of 24-7 news coverage, how do media outlets determine which stories to cover? If you'd like to meet members of the media and ask these or questions of your own, this PRSA-NEW lunch program is for you!

The September professional development program spotlights a Media Panel, featuring members of the Northeast Wisconsin media. They'll briefly discuss the best ways to share story ideas with them, and other information helpful for PR professionals. Then the Media Panel will participate in a Q&A session, where you'll have the chance to ask questions.

If it's been a while since you've seen a media presentation, take this chance to get fresh insights into the ever-evolving world of news and features reporting.

Knowing the current news cycles and social media/news interactions can be invaluable, even if you don't work directly with reporters. Whether you're planning how to handle delicate corporate news, identifying risks in a developing situation or preparing large-scale crisis communications, up-to-date media relations knowledge can help you guide a tough situation toward the best possible outcome.

Registration, lunch and networking begins on Tues, Sept 27 at 11:30 a.m. at The Marq. The program will kick off by 12 noon and wrap up at 1 p.m. We're in for a great luncheon, and know you’ll leave with the latest information on how to best work with the media!


$25.00 PRSA Member
$30.00 after 05:00 pm September 22

$35.00 Non-member/Guest
$40.00 after 05:00 pm September 22

$15.00 Full-Time Student
$20.00 after 05:00 pm September 22

Register Now

Social Media 2.0 - An Advanced Social Media Workshop: OCTOBER 18

This class, which will be held in the Corporate Training Center located within Northeast Wisconsin Technical College's Green Bay campus, is not for beginners. If you have a working knowledge of social media (at least a personal account) and want more advanced strategies and tools to drive success, this workshop is for you. Bring your laptop or mobile device, and come ready to learn!

Morning Session: "This Just In!" 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. registration and networking
Includes a buffet lunch to follow from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

We’ll start with an interactive survey to find out what workshop participates already know and are doing on social media. This dialog will allow attendees to benefit from the real-life experience of local experts. We’ll also look at cutting-edge techniques, review case studies and examine how successful strategies used by others can be applied to our own organizations.

Then, we’ll answer, “What’s happening now?” The last five weeks have seen three major network changes. We’ll cover Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. Find out how network updates might impact visibility and engagement rates. Learn what you may have overlooked, what to do right now, and which settings need to be updated for optimal engagement.

Afternoon Session: "Application and Challenge!" 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

12:30 – 1 p.m. registration and networking
Includes a buffet lunch from 12 p.m. -1 p.m.

Are you prepared to handle social media during a crisis? The afternoon will kick off with a case study of a New York prison break and its social media impact. Then we’ll cover best practices, tips and strategies for getting the best outcome on social media during a crisis. We'll move on to complete a tabletop exercise of a realistic (but fictional) crisis situation that could occur in our area. Attendees will work in small groups to create a plan. Then we’ll come together as a large group to benefit from the wisdom of the collective.

The workshop will wrap up with ideas for creative content creation. We all know content is king, but continuously producing a high-quality content stream can be challenging! Chances are good that you stick to a few comfortable strategies for developing content, and expanding your approach can open up new horizons and result in greater engagement. The presenter will share a broad range of ideas for creating new, varied content for social media. You'll leave the session with ideas to generate content for months to come.

Reminder: Don’t forget to bring your laptop or mobile device for the opportunity to apply new knowledge and participate in a little friendly competition!

Additional time will be reserved for Q&A.

Register by October 11 to secure your spot today!


$65.00 PRSA Member - Morning Session or Afternoon Session

$75.00 Non-member/Guest - Morning Session or Afternoon Session

$25.00 Student - Morning Session or Afternoon Session

$100.00 PRSA Member - Full Day

$130.00 Non-member/Guest - Full Day

$50.00 Student - Full Day

Register Now


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Congratulations to Femi Cole, senior public relations specialist with BayCare Clinic in Green Bay, Wis., who has successfully completed the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, entitling him to use the APR professional designation. 

Cole’s background includes serving as a public relations specialist for Bellin Health Systems in Green Bay and almost a decade as a reporter and copy editor for the Green Bay Press-Gazette newspaper. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

The Accreditation program aims to improve the practice of public relations by assessing competence in 60 areas of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) associated with the profession. The Examination is designed for public relations professionals with five to seven years of job experience and/or a bachelor’s degree in a communication field. Candidates who successfully complete the rigorous process, including presenting their portfolio to a Readiness Review panel of three peers and sitting for a computer-based Examination, are granted the APR.

“Earning the APR reflects a mastery of the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to succeed in our increasingly complex profession,” said Felicia Blow, APR, chair of the Universal Accreditation Board. “Practitioners who achieve the designation are demonstrating their commitment not only to our profession, but also to a strong code of ethics and to the betterment of their organizations and clients.”

The computer-based portion of the Examination is administered throughout the year at more than 300 Prometric Testing Centers. The Readiness Review is conducted prior to the computer-based portion of the Examination by a panel of three Accredited members of one or more of the nine organizations participating in the UAB. Professionals earning the APR must maintain their credential through continuing professional development, providing leadership to the profession and serving their local communities.

Cole is the 12th member of the chapter to attain Accreditation. If you are interested in learning more about the APR process, please contact our chapter's APR chair, Cassie Wenzel, at



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PRemier Awards

2016 PRemier Awards: Still Time to Enter!

Are you looking for a way to get your best work recognized? Ever wonder how your research, planning, implementation and evaluation compares to your peers? Or do you want to recognize a fellow practitioner for developing the profession and the professional?

Now's your chance! Enter the Chapter’s 2016 PRemier Awards before the deadline closes Sept. 30.

This year, you’ll see a significantly revamped and refocused approach to preparing and evaluating your entries.

  • Revamped: The entry guidelines and judging criteria are completely new. These give clearer insight into what makes an excellent entry, one that contains all the information the judges are looking for.
  • Refocused: The entry criteria tie more closely to the four-step Public Relations process – Research, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation. The awards task force followed the PRSA Accreditation Study Guide (PDF) to provide more rigor around definitions and practices.

The PRemier Awards competition is open to PR professionals who live and work in Northeast Wisconsin or who have done work for clients located in Northeast Wisconsin. You do not have to be a PRSA member to enter.

We’re looking for work that was largely implemented and completed between January 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016. There are a dozen categories to consider and you can submit one entry in more than one category: (1) Media Relations, (2) Integrated Communications, (3) Issue Communications, (4) Internal Communications, (5) Special Events, (6) Branding/Reputation Management, (7) Miscellaneous Campaign, (8) Media Relations/Press Kits, (9) Corporate Publications/Marketing Materials, (10) Newsletter/Magazine, (11) Online Communications, and (12) Miscellaneous Tactic. These are more completely described in the Entry Categories <link> online.

The PRemier Communicator of the Year Award seeks to recognize one of the people who contribute to that great work. This is an individual from northeast Wisconsin who has demonstrated communications excellence, whose contributions have been particularly effective in the areas of public relations, marketing, media relations or general communications. There is no fee to nominate someone, so take a few minutes to consider it. Here’s how to submit a nomination.

Our PRemier Awards entry process is entirely online again this year as an aid to our judges in the Dayton Chapter. See our updated instructions to prepare your entry <link> and ensure proper submission. The early entry deadline is Friday Sept. 16; the final deadline is Sept. 30. Our entry fees are unchanged from last year and you can pay online or send a check, whichever is easier for you.

We’ll gather for lunch at The Marq on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 to bestow these PRemier Awards and to recognize our Communicator of the Year. Register online today. If you have questions about the 2016 PRemier Awards or Communicator of the Year, send an email to the awards committee (Angela Brumm, APR; Kristin Rabas; and Jim Streed, APR) at

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New Members

Meet new chapter member, Madeline Laviolette!

1) Where do you work? What is the role in your company?

I have been the Public Relations and Development Specialist for Stewart Manufacturing, LLC for a little over a year now. We are a growing company with about 120 employees, located in Hermansville, Michigan. I was the first person hired for this position, so I really had to create my own work and responsibilities when I started. I never saw myself in manufacturing, so it has been an exciting ride this last year, learning all about what the manufacturing has to offer.

Although my title is Public Relations, I do a little bit of everything! Starting with internal communications, I create our employee newsletter and also coordinate employee wellness activities that we try to do every quarter. We’ve grown a great relationship with the YMCA, so it’s been great coordinating activities with them and getting employees to focus on their overall health. I also handle all external communications, such as writing press releases, creating and distributing marketing materials, website content, and all sponsorships/partnerships with local businesses and organizations. 

2) Please share some of your education/employment background.

I graduated from Northern Michigan University in May of 2015 (go cats!), with a bachelor’s degree in public relations. While attending NMU, I was fortunate to hold two PR internships with non-profits that taught me effective writing and communication skills, and how to work under pressure. I was hired at Stewart Manufacturing about a month after graduation.

3) Describe your typical day.

What I love about public relations is your day is ALWAYS different! I knew I chose the right major when I started working because I am someone that gets bored doing the same thing constantly. Every morning when I get to work, I check my email and follow through with anyone I’ve been in contact with. Summer is typically busy when it comes to sponsorships and summer programs. This week we are sponsoring a robotics program for children ages 7-1 2 that is being put on by Bay College. It’s exciting to get out in the community and teach kids about the concept of engineering and how it plays a role within manufacturing. Like I said, every day is different and that’s what makes this career so exciting! 

4) What do you hope to get out of PRSA?

I will be honest and say I have yet to take advantage of my PRSA membership! I hope to get to a meeting soon and network with other members, while developing my skills and expertise.

 5) Any hobbies?

I enjoy being outside with my dog, traveling, and spending time with friends and family whenever possible. I also just recently started blogging which has been a fun experience! It’s great for networking and nice to be able to document special moments/projects when I find the time!

I am using a work computer - please save my Linkedin picture if possible (link below). If you are unable to save it I can try sending it from my phone. 

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Member Anniversaries

Congratulations to the PRSA Northeast Wisconsin members celebrating membership anniversaries in September & October!


Terry Charles, PMI - 1 year

Jean Giovanetti, UW-Oshkosh - 1 year

Mary Rhode, Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau - 1 year


Tara Brzozowski, Element - 6 years

Hollie Raab, Consolidated Construction - 3 years

Tammy VanDenBusch, Nsight - 7 years

Cassie Wenzel, Wenzel Properties - 9 years

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