October 2014  

Letter from the President

October in Iowa: harvest season. Time to gather and measure the yield of a year’s planning and hard work.

In agriculture, there are inputs the grower can control – seeds, fertilizer, agronomic practices—and there are inputs that are out of the grower’s control, such as: timing of the spring thaw, rainfall, temperatures, damaging winds, etc. And at the end of the growing season, there is a harvest. Although the yield may be big or small, high quality or not, there is no faking the ultimate yield.

Likewise, the planning and work that we devote to our careers also yields results. This time of year, solo practitioners are beginning to project year-end revenue. Colleagues who work in organizational settings are probably thinking about what they are going to write in their year-end self-assessments. For PRSSA members, most career decision still ns lie ahead of them. And some of us are either in the midst of a career transition or contemplating making some sort of career change.

Wherever you are in your professional “growing season,” there are inputs you can control, and inputs that you cannot. You are in control of how much you get out of your education, and similarly, how much you get out of your PRSA or PRSSA membership. On the job, you are in control, to a large extent, of your own job performance.

The inputs you cannot control include: the economic landscape, available jobs, number of candidates competing for each position, mergers/acquisitions, and layoffs.

But we are very different from agriculture in the sense that we choose how to define our own harvest. For some, total income is most important; for others, it’s all about their titles and span of control. Most of the colleagues to whom I am drawn measure their harvest by the work they have done: Have they measurably helped their clients or employers accomplish their goals? Have they consistently done high-quality work, and have they done it ethically? Have they kept learning from every opportunity?

As your career progresses, how will you measure your harvest?

Christine Jensen, APR

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Prime Awards & Institute

Register Now for Prime Awards and OctoPRfest

Join us for a festival of communications on Wednesday and Thursday, October 22 & 23, 2014.

Celebrate with fellow PRSA members at the Prime Awards

October 22, 2014
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Guest emcee: Terry Rich, CEO, Iowa Lottery

Drake University’s Levitt Hall
2nd Floor Old Main, 2507 University Ave.,
Des Moines, IA

Register now.

Five reasons you should attend OctoPRfest:

5) You’ll learn the secrets of media relations superstars from Michael Smart

4) The CEO of the 2013 Advertising Age small agency of the year is presenting

3) You can meet the “Iowa Nice Guy”

2) You’ll leave with actionable ideas you can use starting Oct. 24

1) Blank pieces of paper will no longer stand a chance because you’ll have found your inner creative genius

If you’re looking for new ideas, want to broaden your network, or want to learn from others’ award-winning work, OctoPRfest is for you.

Learn more or register now.

The 2014 PRSA Institute is guaranteed to be a one-day extravaganza of ideas, insights, tips, trends and fun. Not your typical PRSA Institute, this year’s lineup features local, national, and even international experts.

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Board News

Nomination Committee to fill 2015 Board Slate

The Nominating Committee, chaired by president-elect, Lori Vodraska, and members Jeanine Mixdorf and Courtney Shaw, is seeking interested members to serve on the 2015 PRSA Board.

Please take a few minutes to review board officer positions and consider your involvement for the upcoming year. Can we count on you to serve as a board member?

If you are contacted by a member of the nominating committee, please consider their request. But, why wait? Email Lori Vodraska at by October 10.

Learn more at 2014 PRSA - Iowa Chapter Board.

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PRSA Luncheon

Beyond the Logo: the PR Behind Good Branding

“Branding” is unquestionably at the epicenter of marketing today. A meaningful, creative logo and strategic ad campaign can be the start that catapults a product or organization from obscurity to the “it thing” in a very short time. But even the most experienced marketers are often guilty of ignoring the bigger picture beyond simply a great brand look —the role public relations plays from start to finish in creating a successful and resilient brand.

Andrea Love will share her experiences as a public relations practitioner working on various branding projects with organizations of all sizes, and how understanding the people and effectively communicating the messaging behind good branding can make or break the entire effort.

November 20, 2014
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Drake University Olmsted Center - Room 311
2875 University Ave
Des Moines, IA 50311


About Andrea Love

Andrea Love is the president of Love Scott & Associates and (c)3 Marketing. Love Scott was started by her father, Bill Love, more than 40 years ago and remains a reputable small advertising agency built on quality creative products. After (literally) growing up in the halls of the agency, Andrea graduated from the University of Iowa with a dual degree in Journalism and English, with an emphasis in PR. She lived in Arizona and St. Louis, working in marketing for nonprofit organizations before returning to Iowa in 2006 to join her dad’s agency — this time as a professional.

With her father on the brink of retirement, Andrea envisioned the creation of (c)3 Marketing, an arm of the agency that would provide full-service marketing communications specifically for nonprofits. For more than five years now, (c)3 Marketing has helped brand nonprofits of all sizes —each requiring the approval and buy-in of boards, committees and (especially in the cases of local high schools) the judicious public. More than ever, Andrea has come to understand the critical role public relations plays in the success of all branding efforts.

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APR News

APR Interest Session to be held Thursday, December 4, 2014

Searching for ways to stand out and grow professionally in 2015? Central Iowa PRSA will host another prep class for candidates interested in earning their Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in early 2015. If you'd like to learn more about the process or what the APR can mean for you and your career, join us on Thursday, December 4, 2014, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Central Iowa PRSA ranks third in the nation for the percentage of members earning the designation, and some of the chapters APRs will be available at the session to share their stories and advice. The session will be held at Drake University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Meredith Hall, Room 104. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, please contact Darin Leach, APR at or Dr. Kelly Bruhn, APR at

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3 Takeaways

How to Think Like A CEO - What Did You Miss?

Understanding the mind of a CEO can help you take stock of what you're good at, and where you can improve.  When you know the practical behaviors and skills that work for the most effective leaders, you can decide which strategies might work for you.

See what some of the attendees had to say:

“Too often we get tunnel vision and find ourselves responding to what’s in front of us instead of stopping to think about how we’re adding value. David Grossman’s presentation was a good reminder to pause and think about what your elevator speech  is (how you’re adding value) and how you’re executing on it." Lori Vodraska, The Principal

"David Grossman's presentation on How to Think Like a CEO was fantastic. He tells the best stories about his experience and where it's lead him in his career. My favorite quote from the luncheon was, "Do something every day for your career." Danielle West, Iowa Realty & BHHS First Realty

Learn more about David Grossman, ABC, APR Fellow PRSA and Founder of The Grossman Group at


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Member Promotion

Group Membership for Businesses

Take advantage of the “Summer’s Not Done Group Membership Promotion” through October 31, 2014.  Any new groups joining during this time will have a choice of either:

  1. Free Chapter (1st year dues) for New Members or
  2. Free one Professional Interest Section (1st year dues) for the entire team, including renewing members.
  3. All New Members in the Group will have waived Initiation fee.

PRSA's Group Membership Process is Set Up to Support You!

If you're considering enrolling your team in the Group Membership Program, we've set some criteria to ensure that this program provides the greatest return on investment. We require that a minimum of 5 employees* join at the same time. Also:

  • All employees must join as the same member type.
  • A Group Member Application for all new members is needed, along with payment.
  • Payments methods accepted are credit card (MasterCard, VISA and Discover) or company check.


Once you've become a PRSA Group, our straightforward process includes:

  • One convenient renewal date for the entire team.
  • One invoice detailing payment for each member, which will be sent to the Group contact.
  • The ability for additional members to join the group at any time during the year. Dues will be prorated accordingly.
  • Easily-transferable memberships for when an employee changes departments or leaves your organization.
  • Annual billing for renewals, after the first year.
  • Availability of multi-year memberships at an additional discount.


Need more info: Contact Danielle West.

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Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Upcoming Events

More events

 Upcoming Webinars

More online training

View the Full Event Calendar

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New Members


Ben Handfelt, Director of Media Relations, Strategic America

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Milestone Anniversaries

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 an anniversary this month:

25 years
Catherine A. Huggins, MBA, APR

20 years
Leigh R. McGivern, APR, Owner, BasicLeigh Communications, LLC
Mara Bernson White, Director, Public Relations, Flynn Wright

15 years
Gregg W. Lagan, Com & Media Rel Mgr, Mercy Medical Center

5 years
Brescia Berg, Marketing and Communications Manager, Wright Service Corp

1 year
Katie Melson, 1 year

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Job Opportunity

Looking for a New Challenge?

Check out the PRSA job board on our website. The Central Iowa PRSA Job Bank includes a variety of opportunities for PRSA members and other public relations professionals.

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 Dick Tremain.

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