Saturday, March 14, 2009

President's Column from the March eChaser

PRSA National HeadquartersImage by hyku via Flickr

From GFW PRSA President, Andra Bennett, APR:

Do you think President Obama is saying, “Only 3 years, 11 months to go”? Well, it’s one heck of a first quarter, that’s all I know.

As every level of government, every business and every organization is reviewing its business model and budget right now, so is your GFW-PRSA. Your volunteer elected Board has been diligently reviewing every aspect of the Greater Fort Worth Chapter, from our programs, special interest groups, and service projects to our registration software and luncheon expenses.

Bottom line: we want to provide the best value and benefits to YOU, the member. And we want to be good stewards of the chapter’s funds and come out in the black!

A survey from National PRSA is on its way, to determine your priorities. The GFW Chapter may also be conducting our own survey with “all things Fort Worth” included as well. We will respect your time and make it short, but please be on the lookout for these survey e-mails in the coming months.

Of course, feel free to let the Board or the committee chairs know your opinions / suggestions at any time. All of our e-mails are at

Our April 8 program will feature Brian Pierce, ad copywriter and creative guru, speaking on “How to make your PR writing stand out.” That’s also our Pro-Am Day with ACU, TCU and UTA. Please sign up when you get the e-mail from Jahnae Stout or Mary Dulle, APR, Fellow PRSA for a student shadow that morning. More details will be in the next E-Chaser or online at

Also in April, mark your calendars for Saturday, April 11 for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the non-competitive 5K run/walk. We need 10 members to field a team!! Please contact Cindy Vasquez, , community service chair, ASAP if you’d like to join us in a fun walk for an important cause!

Friday, March 13, 2009

INVITATION: Honoring Dr. Doug Newsom at TCU on April 4th


Anyone who knows PRSA legend, Douglas Ann Newsom, PhD, APR,
Fellow PRSA, who is retiring this year from the Schieffer School of
Journalism at TCU, is invited to attend her retirement celebration this spring.

April 4, 2009
6 p.m.
Brown Lupton Student Center, TCU campus

Cost is $8 per person.

RSVP to Doris Wallace in the TCU journalism office:
(You can pay by credit card by calling the number above or mail a check payable to "TCU" to the attention of: Doris Wallace, Schieffer School of Journalism, TCU Box 298060, Fort Worth, TX 76129.)

Dr. Newsom has been a public relations educator for more
than 40 years, and has a long list of firsts, outstandings, bests and
mosts on her resume.

Among other things, she was a co-founder of the PRSA Educators Section, and its first female Educator of
the Year.

To send a congratulatory message to Dr. Newsom, please write her here:

Dr. Douglas Ann Newsom, APR, Fellow PRSA
Professor, Schieffer School of Journalism
TCU Box 298060
Fort Worth, Texas 76129


Douglas Ann Newsom, Professor

Schieffer School of Journalism
Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, Texas

Douglas Ann Newsom, PhD, APR, Fellow, PRSA, is professor of journalism at the Schieffer School of Journalism at Texas Christian University. She is director of the school's advertising and public relations graduate programs.

Professional and academic activities
• Chair, PRSA College of Fellows, 1992
• Co-founder, Educators' Section, PRSA
• Educator of the Year Award, first female recipient, PRSA, 1982
• President, Dallas chapter, PRSA
• President, Greater Fort Worth chapter, PRSA
• President, Texas Public Relations Association
• Golden Spur Award for contributions to the profession, Texas Public Relations Association, 1996
• Charter and life member, Public Relations Foundation of Texas
• Educator of the Year, inaugural award, Public Relations Foundation of Texas, 2008
• Outstanding Public Relations Alumnus of the Year, the University of Texas at Austin, 1982
• President, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (second woman and first public relations educator)
• President, Fort Worth Professional Chapter of Women in Communications, Inc.
• Headliner of the Year, Women Communications, Inc., 1996
• President, Southwest Education Council for Journalism/Mass Communication
• Chair, public relations division, AEJMC
• Co-founder, minorities division, AEJMC
• Vice-president, ASJMC, the organization of mass communication administrators
• Chair, accrediting committee, Accrediting Council on Education for Journalism and Mass Communication, 1981-1983; member, 1979-1983

International public relations
• Fulbright lecturer, India, 1988; Singapore, 1998-1999
• Workshops, South Africa, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Poland and Vanuatu, sponsored by the Cox International Center for Education and Training in Journalism and Mass Communication and the International Center for Economic Growth
• Workshop, Latvia, sponsored by the George Soros Foundation and the United States Information Agency
• Faculty, TCU London Centre
• Chair, Fulbright discipline committee
• Selection committee, International Research and Exchanges Board
• Elected member, Council of the International Public Relations Association
• Board member, International Public Relations Research Conference

• Founder, J. Willard Ridings Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.
• Scholarships established in her honor, 1993, 2001
• Jon Riffel/PRSSA Championship Award, 1968-1992
• National PRSSA coordinator, 1979-80
• Friends of PRSSA

Books, publications
• This Is PR: The Realities of Public Relations (with Judy VanSlyke Turk. PhD, APR, Fellow PRSA and Dean Kruckeberg, PhD, APR, Fellow PRSA) in its 9th edition in 2006
• Public Relations Writing (with the late Bob Carrell) now with Jim Haynes, APR, Fellow PRSA (9th edition 2008)
• Media Writing, 2nd ed. (with the late Jim Wollert)
• Numerous articles, book chapters, collections, including The New Decade for Women, a collection of papers presented an international colloquium coordinated by Dr. Newsom, and a book about media and government relations published in Hungarian by the government of Hungary.

The two writing books were the first in the field.

Honorary organizations
• Kappa Tau Alpha
• Phi Kappa Phi
• Phi Beta Delta
• Mortar Board

Academic degrees
• Bachelor of Journalism, cum laude, University of Texas at Austin
• Bachelor of Fine Arts, summa cum laude University of Texas at Austin
• Master of Journalism, University of Texas at Austin
• Doctor of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin

Other activities
• Board of directors, ONEOK diversified energy company.
• Former member, advisory council, GRI (now GTI)
• Member, Graduate Scholarship Committee, Delta Delta Delta Foundation
• President, Episcopal Women's Caucus, 2002
• President Tarrant Area Community of Churches, 1996
• Board member, Catholic Charities
• Stephen Minister, Trinity Episcopal Church

Mailing address:
Schieffer School of Journalism
TCU Box 298060
Fort Worth, TX 76129

Main Phone:
(817) 257-7425

Friday, March 6, 2009

Public relations being hurt by public's cynicism about business

There were more than a few cringe-inducing moments in last night's diatribe against public relations on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC. It is illustrative of the populist sentiments of the moment fueled by the tsunami of bad economic news and unfortunate business practices.

I hear and understand what Ms. Maddow and others who are raising their voices in criticism of investing in PR are saying. She is not alone by any stretch. Chicago Mayor Richard Daily thisweek took steps to cancel 11 PR contracts with the city. His administration had come under criticism for wasteful spending and PR was the poster child.

It is important that we as a profession listen to these scathing critiques. It is clear that there is a difference between what we believe we do and what the public believes we do. That is a fact.

So what did Rachel say? Take a look:

Rachel Maddow does her best impression
of Keith Olberman

Well, at least I'm not part of Burson-Marsteller! I'm sure they didn't like to see their brand linked to virtually every bad thing that's happened in this decade.

Michael Cherenson, who heads the national board of the Public Relations Society of America has written on this subject as well in his post, "An Ill-Considered View of AIG and Public Relations," on the PRSAY blog.

"I...doubt very seriously that AIG is engaging public relations firms to soothe the taxpayers’ souls, or portray the company as just another innocent victim in the current economic meltdown. My guess, as it would be in any crisis, is that the reputable and highly qualified public relations firms working on AIG’s behalf are tasked with explaining what happened, what AIG is doing to fix it, why such steps will be effective, and why those steps will prevent future such occurrences. Only then can the process of rebuilding AIG shattered image begin."

Even with the laundry list of "evil" that Maddow read, public relations can play an important role -- not in seeking to manipulate or distract attention -- but in helping an organization understand how it needs to change in order to rebuild trust. We help organizations align what they do with what they say they do. And we provide a clear understanding of what the public wants and needs from them so they can make the necessary adjustments in their attitudes and behaviors.

In times of trouble, organizations have a tendency to turn inward, which is almost never in the best interests of their communities. Public relations can be a catalyst for positive change and greater openness. How do we get that point across in an era of growing cynicism and distrust?

Using Wikis In Marketing And Media Relations

This is cross-posted from PRSA member Kay Colley's Community blog. It is her presentation from the Best of the Southwest Communicators Conference last weekend. The conference was put on by the Texas Public Relations Association and PRSA Southwest District.

Wikis are really good tools to create community. Far better than blogs because they offer a more open environment and an egalitarian approach to participation. Check out this SlideShare presentation and let me know if you agree.
Go to Kay Colley's presentation wiki.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Nuts and Bolts of Twitter Presentation

This is cross-posted from the Next Communications blog:

Here is the Twitter presentation for the Best of the Southwest Communicators Conference. The conference was put on by the Texas Public Relations Association and PRSA Southwest District.

As promised to the attendees, here is the presentation:The Nuts and Bolts of Twitter
The session went well. Unfortunately, we got a little side tracked a few times and the timing was a little off. I hope the attendees take a moment or two and check out the final few slides. Thanks go to my partner in crime and co-presenter, Terry Morawski. I would also like to extend a special thanks to our volunteer from the session (@mayday08) who set up her profile live for the group to see.

Let me know what you think especially if you were able to attend the session.
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