November 2016 Print


The 2016 PRIME Award Winners

Kristin and Kelly

The Central Iowa PRSA chapter recognized individuals in five categories who have made noteworthy contributions to the public relations profession in Iowa. Award winners include:

Outstanding Student Member: Madison McConnell – Drake University
Outstanding New Member: Taylor Rookaird – Public Relations Account Coordinator, Strategic America
Outstanding Chapter Member: Laura Sprague, APR – Director of Communications, Johnston Community School District
Outstanding Public Relations Professional: Dr. Kelly Bruhn, APR – Associate Dean, Associate Professor – Public Relations, School of Journalism and Mass Communication Drake University
Outstanding Iowa Advocate: Representative Ako Abdul Samad - Creative Visions

The PRIME Award of Excellence and the PRIME Award of Merit may be given in each of the 16 categories, plus a Best of Show Award, the highest recognition of the PRSA PRIME Awards. This year, 22 awards were given in 12 categories. Entries were judged and winners were selected by the Hampton Roads, Virginia PRSA Chapter.

Annual Report
Excellence Award: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield for Promises Matter Report
Merit Award: Bankers Trust for Making Our Mark

Community Champion
Excellence Award: Strategic America for 2016 YESS Duck Derby: What A Duck Can Do
Merit Award: Drake University PR Capstone – Morgan Dezenski, Rachel Dupree, Meghan Jones, Katie Ramsey, Emily Sadecki, Shelby Van Slooten for Putting Manning on the Map

Feature Writing
Excellence Award: Principal Financial Group for A Room with a View
Merit Award: Blue Compass for Fareway Stores: Love in the Aisles

Integrated Communication Campaign
Excellence Award: Strategic America for A Brand New Beginning: The Role of PR in the Aureon Rebrand
Merit Award: Two Rivers Marketing for Vermeer: Ultimate Crew and Underground Showdown Campaign

Internal Communications
Excellence Award: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield for It Starts With Us
Merit Award: Bankers Trust for Leveraging Our Best Bank Win with Bankers Trust Employees

Excellence Award: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield for Blue Magazine

Media Relations
Excellence Award: Strategic America for STEM Media Relations
Merit Award: Two Rivers Marketing for 2015 Commercial Media Relations Program

Excellence Award: Strategic America for Greatness STEMs from Iowans: Dreaming of Tomorrow PSA

Social Media
Excellence Award: DART and Happy Medium for DART Garth Brooks Shuttle Ad
Merit Award: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield for Find an Agent Campaign

Special Event
Excellence Award: National Pork Board and Look East for The Bacon, the Barn and the Bachelor: Pass the Pork Tour
Merit Award: Bruno Event Team for 2016 Principal Charity Classic presented by Wells Fargo

Excellence Award: Drake University PR Capstone - Ali Felsenthal, Adam Graves, Hope Waggoner, Jenna Sheldon, Courtney Fishman, Rebecca Brown, Kelsey Rooney for SNAP PR: A Community that Cares
Merit Award: Drake University PR Capstone - Cassie Driskell, Cara Regan, Alyssa Zipperer, Megan Auren, Emma Frederick, Ashley Beall, Brennan Haymond for Compass PR: Manning Navigation Guide

Technical Writing
Excellence Award: Two Rivers Marketing for 6 Tips to Properly Maintain Your Excavator Undercarriage
Merit Award: Blue Compass for 508 Compliance Tips

Best of Show
National Pork Board and Look East for The Bacon, the Barn and the Bachelor: Pass the Pork Tour


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Mobile Video Tools Workshop

Chris Snider

November 17, 2016
7–8:30 a.m.

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
909 Robert D. Ray Drive
Des Moines, IA 50309

We'll introduce you to tools for stabilizing your video, adding external lights, adding external lenses and getting clear audio (and a few tools to add creativity to your videos). We'll also discuss the best apps for shooting and editing on your phone. Examples of the tools discussed in the presentation will be available, so bring your smartphone and test out how to get quality audio and stable video.

Chris Snider is an assistant professor at Drake University in Des Moines. He has a degree in journalism from the University of Iowa and an MBA from Drake University. He teaches classes on multimedia, web design and digital media strategies. He was previously assistant managing editor for digital innovation at the Des Moines Register, editor of Juice magazine, news design director at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and a designer at the Baltimore Sun.


$20.00 PRSA Central Iowa Chapter Member
$25.00 after 11 p.m. November 14

$30.00 Non-member
$35.00 after 11 p.m. November 14

$10.00 Student
$15.00 after 11 p.m. November 14


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Board News

Announcing the nomination slate for the 2017 Board of Directors

The following members have been nominated for the 2017 Central Iowa PRSA Board of Directors:

President: Ann Thelen, Thelen Public Relations
President-Elect: Dr. Kelly Bruhn, APR, Drake University
Past President: Kristin Sunde, APR, Principal Financial Group
Treasurer: Abby Delaney, Bankers Trust
Treasurer-Elect: Laura Plumb, Lessing-Flynn
Secretary: Abby Bottenfield, Trilix
Membership: Darin Leach, APR, USDA
Program Chair: Laura Sprague, APR, Johnston Community School District
Program Chair-Elect: Ryan Johnson, APR, Two Rivers Marketing
Accreditation: Jane Keairns, APR, Principal Financial Group
Accreditation-Elect: Pat Howard, APR, Iowa State University
Delegate: Shawne Ungs, APR, Karwoski and Courage
Delegate/Ethics: Teresa Roof, APR, Wellmark
Public Relations: Courtney Shaw, APR, Strategic America
Social Media: Alison Monaghan, Happy Medium

The following members have been appointed as PRSSA liaisons:
Drake University: Adam Lackey, Two Rivers Marketing
Iowa State University: Robert Schweers, APR, Iowa State University; Annette Hacker, Iowa State University
Simpson College: Jillian Sievel, Simpson College
University of Northern Iowa: Jacob Shultz, Qualmar Technology Group
University of Iowa: Morgan Von Ahsen, Cambridge Investment Research, Inc.; Steve Cherry, Cambridge Investment Research, Inc.
Wartburg College: Erin Campbell, Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives

The following members have been nominated for non-voting committee chair positions:
Awards Chair: Allison Hay, APR, Two Rivers Marketing
Networking/Social Co-Chairs: Lindsay Moeller, Two Rivers Marketing; Katelin Schwarck, Hanser & Associates
Technology Chair: Jane Murphy, Simpson College
Job Bank Chair: Erica Turner, APR, Two Rivers Marketing
Newsletter: Taylor Rookaird, Strategic America
Sponsorship: Amanda Laverman, Ruan Transportation Management Services

The voting ballot will be sent to all members on December 9. Voting will stay open until December 13. Questions can be directed to Central Iowa chapter president Kristin Sunde.


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Member Profile

November Featured Member: Amanda Wanke, APR

 Amanda Wanke, APR

Chief engagement and communications officer
Des Moines Regional Transit Authority (DART)

This month we are spotlighting Central Iowa PRSA member Amanda Wanke. Amanda and her family moved to the Des Moines area in 2013 from Mankato, Minnesota, having spent time living in the Twin Cities area and Washington, DC, prior to that. While living in Des Moines Wanke initially continued her position as the communications director for the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, a Minnesota nonprofit organization dedicated to finding new uses for the state’s agriculture commodities in order to create economic benefit.

Wanke has been a member of PRSA since 2012. She credits her involvement with the Central Iowa PRSA chapter as helping her adjust so quickly to the communications market here in Des Moines.

One of the first things Amanda did as a Central Iowa PRSA member was enroll in the accreditation in public relations (APR) prep course in the spring of 2015 and within the year achieved her APR designation

She is now participating in the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute and will be graduating from that program in May 2017.

To learn more about Amanda and her job as the chief engagement and communications officer with the Des Moines Regional Transit Authority, check out the October 14 issue of the Des Moines Business Record where she is featured on the cover with the headline “In the fast lane: Wanke juggles marketing, planning at DART as region’s transportation needs come to the forefront.” Inside that issue are five full pages describing her job duties, her background and what sort of options DART is considering for future expansion. The article begins with the reporter calling her a “polished communications professional,” one of the highest compliments for a public relations practitioner. Amanda goes on to say she really enjoys being involved in the Des Moines community, and she wants to make a difference in the lives of as many people as possible.

Indeed, DART, Central PRSA Iowa and all of central Iowa are lucky to have Amanda and her husband, Randy, and their two children, in our communities.

Congratulations, Amanda, for hitting the ground running and shaping the future of central Iowa in so many ways!


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Milestone Anniversaries

Members Who are Celebrating a PRSA Anniversary

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

1 year
Alison Monaghan, Happy Medium
Liz Sporrer, Corporate Communications, Vermeer Corporation
Alexander Rose, Digital Strategist, Sculpt, LLC
Emily In, Public Relations Coordinator, Mediacom Communications
Allison McGrew, Marketing Communications Specialist, UnityPoint Clinic
Jacob Shultz

5 years
Ashlee J. Sherrill, Public Information Officer, ATF, St. Paul Field Division

10 years
Amy Jo Smit, Communications and Event Director Institute for Character Development

15 years
Lisa Renae Crandall, Senior Marketing Communication Specialist, UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

20 years
Darin D. Leach, APR, Public Information Officer, USDA Rural Development

Correction: Last month we inadvertently listed William J. Brewer, APR, with 30 years of PRSA membership. He actually celebrated 20 years of PRSA membership in October 2016.


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Job Opportunity

New Job Opportunities on Our Careers Page

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 some of the listings on our website.

Copywriter - Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Communications Specialist - Iowa Association of School Boards

Digital Communications Specialist - Drake University

Strategic Communications Officer - United Way of Central Iowa

Community Health Communication Manager - Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield

PR Coordinator - Two Rivers Marketing

Social Media Coordinator - Two Rivers Marketing

Assistant Communications Director - Iowa Finance Authority 


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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" on the right side, then use the left-hand navigation to access "Board Meeting Minutes." Scroll down the page to find the most recent meeting minutes. The website 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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