July 2016 Print


PRSA Awards Deadline Extended — Submit Your Entry by Friday!

Got a project you'd like to submit for Central Iowa PRSA's PRIME Awards, but missed last week's deadline? You're in luck! We've extended the deadline to this Friday, July 15. Visit our website to view all of the categories, and consider entering your work today. Please contact Kelly Bruhn with any questions.

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PRSA Luncheon

Who is Aureon?


That was the very question answered by Lisa Holtorf and Ben Handleft of Strategic America at the June Central Iowa PRSA meeting. The two paired up to explain the three-year process of helping launch the Aureon™ brand, combining six companies that provide 600 jobs in central Iowa, and bringing the businesses under one brand. The company was previously known as INS Family of Companies.

Aureon serves customers in the business support service field, providing information technology, contact center and human resource services.

Attendees heard from Lisa and Ben about the various stages in helping the company launch its new brand, including research (customers and employees), legal consultation, naming and media relations to launch the brand.

Part of the brand launch included the introduction of a new custom magazine — Back Office. The bi-monthly publication provides “thought leadership issues” for business leaders needing assistance with human resource solutions, technology and business operation trends. The magazine targets small to medium-sized business decision-makers. The first issue was published in September 2015 and features 12 pages of insightful leadership articles and a distinct design.

Did you know?
Ninety-eight percent (98%) of businesses in Iowa are small businesses.

Next meeting
We will be back at the Cub Club at Principal Park for our next PRSA luncheon: Wednesday, August 17, 2016. Note the change to Wednesday. Look for more details coming soon to register for the luncheon.

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Member Profile

July Featured Member: Aaron Putze, APR

Aaron is the Director of Communications & External Relations at the Iowa Soybean Association.

You recently celebrated your 20th anniversary with PRSA. What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a member of PRSA and your involvement in the Central Iowa chapter?
Making connections with other professionals and continuously learning tactics and strategies to improve what you do and how you do it. No one person can do it all or know it all. The expertise of Central Iowa PRSA members is extremely varied and valuable – it’s a tremendous asset to tap.

How has your PRSA APR accreditation been useful in your professional career? Describe when you achieved APR and how it has been beneficial.
I earned accreditation in 2001. I’ll always remember that special time in my life as it was also the year Crystal and I married and bought a home; big, life-changing events, to say the least! Accreditation expanded my list of professional contacts. More importantly, it deepened my knowledge of the many facets of public relations and how to apply it in the real world, benefiting my employer, the profession and my career. Two examples of the benefits of accreditation include truly understanding the value of research and the necessity of two-way communications (this includes first seeking to understand).

Talk about how your PR degree from UNI and your years of experience have served the agriculture industry.
Food and agriculture topics are timely, fluid and intensely complex. Examples: Human health, safety and security; environmental (water, air, soil quality; sustainability); energy (renewable including bio-based, wind and solar); transportation (rail, road, barge); international and global relations (via trading of agricultural commodities including soybeans, corn, pork, beef, poultry etc.); policy and regulatory; and employment and economics (one of every five Iowans are directly employed because of agriculture).

While just two percent of Iowans live and work on a farm, everyone (rural and urban) is impacted by these issues. My education (particularly serving as editor of the Northern Iowan while at UNI) and experience in the profession has helped me combine my passion for agriculture with a love of public relations and communications. Effectively communicating issues vital to the welfare of our people and planet while improving the competitiveness of Iowa’s 38,000 soybean farmers takes passion, strategic thought, a tremendous work ethic and a relentless drive to stay informed. I relish working at these, striving to improve every day.

What advice do you have for public relations professionals, new or experienced?
Write. Write some more. Then write some more. Understand issues impacting your business and constituents. Remain current on local, national and global affairs by continually monitoring the news. Be an idea person and share your ideas with others. Work hard and have a passion for your work. Share success, own setbacks. Listen. Volunteer.

How or why did you become a Pittsburgh sports fan?
The year was 1979, I was nine and the Pirates were facing the Baltimore Orioles in the Fall Classic. My two older brothers were diehard Orioles fans and Baltimore jumped out to a 3-1 World Series lead. I took the side of the underdog in an effort to annoy them. It worked better than I could have ever imagined, with the Pirates winning the final three games to take the series 4 games to 3. A few months later, the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 14. As a result, I’ve been a fan of the Pirates, Steelers and Penguins ever since.

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Member News

Congratulations to Emily Abbas

Bankers Trust is proud to share news that our Chief Marketing Officer and Chief of Staff, Emily Abbas, has been recognized by the Des Moines Business Record as the “2016 Emerging Woman of Influence.”

Emily is very deserving of this honor. Her commitment to the community – including supporting outstanding organizations, like PRSA – is impressive and meaningful.

Submitted by Scott Valbert, Corporate Communications Officer at Bankers Trust.

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New Members

Central Iowa PRSA Welcomes Two New Members

Tressa Glass
Lynn Porter, Community Affairs Manager, Black Hills Energy

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Milestone Anniversaries

Members Who are Celebrating a PRSA Anniversary in July

In each issue of this newsletter, we recognize Central Iowa PRSA Chapter members who are celebrating milestone PRSA anniversaries that month. A special congratulations goes to the following individuals who will celebrate anniversaries this month:

1 year
Patrick William Dix, Senior Public Relations Manager, Shazam

5 years
Patricia Howard, APR, Communications Manager, ISU Extension and Outreach

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Save The Date

Mark your calendars to attend the annual PRSA Central Iowa OctoPRfest on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. Look for more details in upcoming newsletters.

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Corporate Sponsorships

OctoPRfest Sponsorship Opportunities

The Central Iowa PRSA’s annual OctoPRfest attracts more than 100 professionals who are often the decision makers in regards to vendors, advertising, event locations and business partnerships. These individuals are also often interested in pursuing advanced degrees and further training. All chapter members are encouraged to reach out to their employers, vendor partners and other contacts about sharing sponsorship opportunities.

Central Iowa PRSA offers a number of different packages to reach and engage with attendees during OctoPRfest and beyond. The price range of these packages are $500 to $5,000 and include a variety of benefits such as social media posts, signage, free attendance, logo placement and more. There is also the option to be a trade show exhibitor for $500 — a great option for higher education institutions to promote their master’s degree programs. A full list of sponsorship packages is available on the Institute section of PRSA of Central Iowa’s website. We are also open to any new ideas and forming custom packages for interested sponsors.

For any questions or more information, please contact Amanda Laverman at

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Job Opportunity

Visit the Careers Page for New Job Opportunities

The Central Iowa PRSA Job Bank has a list of many current positions available in the Des Moines metro.

If your organization is interested in posting a position, rates are $25 for member postings and $50 for non-member postings. Members can also post unlimited jobs for an annual cost of $100. For posting your job or getting Job Bank questions answered, contact Erica Turner. 

Below are a sample of the listings on our website.

Communications Specialist - The Stanley Foundation

Project Manager - Lessing-Flynn Advertising

Media Relations Manager - Athene

Communications & Member Relations Specialist - Central Iowa Power Cooperative

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Social Media

Get Social with PRSA Central Iowa

Keep up with chapter news, announcements, and industry news by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, and liking our new page on LinkedIn.

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General News

Keep Your Contact Information Up-to-Date

Have you changed jobs, updated an email address or changed a phone number? Be sure to update your contact information with All contact information is maintained by the national PRSA organization and then shared with our chapter. If you update your information at the national level, it will be automatically updated at the state level. Updates completed at the state level are not provided to the national organization and you may be missing out!

Go to Use your membership number and password to log in.

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Meeting Minutes

To access minutes, you must be logged in to the Central Iowa PRSA site. From there, go to the "Member Area" in the upper right corner, then use the left-hand navigation to access "Board Meeting Minutes." It will prompt you to download the minutes.

This is a great way to stay informed of chapter happenings.

View available minutes

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Ideas or comments? Email

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