May 2015  

PRSA Luncheon

May 21 Luncheon in Ames: The PR Behind Record Growth at Iowa State

A panel of three Iowa State representatives will discuss the enrollment growth of the University over the past eight years and the public relations work associated with the many issues tied to this record growth.

This exciting program will be held on Iowa State's campus in Ames, Iowa.

Parking will be available in the Memorial Union ramp, which is located on the east side of the building. You can enter the ramp off Lincolnway, one of the main east-west roads in Ames, or from Union Drive, on the north side of Memorial Union.

May 21, 2015
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Iowa State Memorial Union, Campanile Room
2229 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50011



Presenter Bios

John F. McCarroll, APR

Executive Director, Office of University Relations

McCarroll joined Iowa State in April 1997 after more than seven years at MidAmerican Energy Co. Prior to that, he worked for the Iowa Association of Business & Industry, Gov. Robert D. Ray, Cedar Rapids Gazette and KRNT and KFRU (Columbia, Mo.) radio stations.

He reports to the president of Iowa State and serves on the President’s Cabinet. University Relations is Iowa State’s central communications office with a staff of 15 persons involved in media relations, internal communications, issues management, strategic communications planning, photography and videography.

McCarroll joined PRSA in 1983 and received his accreditation in 1993. He served as Central Iowa Chapter president in 1992-93. He is a 1972 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Rob Schweers

Schweers, director of communications in the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, joined Iowa State University in 2011. He served as director of Engineering College Relations before taking his current position in 2012.

Schweers holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Iowa, and a master’s in public relations and organizational communication from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. His career includes leadership positions at Wellmark, Principal Financial Group, Iowa Heart Center, and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.

Schweers joined the Public Relations Society of America in 1993, and earned accreditation from the Society (APR) in 1997. He served as president of the president of the Central Iowa chapter in 2003, and currently serves as a professional liaison to Iowa State’s PRSSA chapter.

Annette Hacker

Annette Hacker is director of Iowa State University News Service, the university's primary media relations unit and central source for ISU news and information. Previously, she served as senior vice president of West Des Moines-based Hanser & Associates. She also has worked for Strategic America, the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives and as a print and broadcast reporter.
Hacker received a B.A. in journalism and mass communication (broadcast emphasis) from Iowa State in 1990. She earned a master's in public administration (MPA) from ISU in 2008.
A 20-year PRSA member, Hacker serves on the university’s Critical Incident Response Team, among other roles. She has received more than two dozen awards for writing and communication excellence.



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APR Prep Course

New: APR Prep Short Course in September

Central Iowa PRSA’s accreditation committee  is starting to make plans for a special APR prep  “short course” in September.  This course would condense the typical 8-week APR study course into a three-day intensive study program.  This September course will be a great refresher for anyone who has taken APR classes in the past or if committing to an 8-week course in Des Moines is too difficult.

Specific “short course” dates and location are still being developed. Please let Dr. Kelly Bruhn, APR, or Darin Leach, APR,  know if you are interested in participating in this special September APR study program. We would like to have a minimum of eight participants in the course.



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Regional News

Registration now open for Midwest District Conference

Just as American pioneers came to the “Gateway to the West” to acquire necessities, PR trailblazers will come to expand their knowledge base and discover emerging communications trends at Gateway to the Best, the 2015 PRSA Midwest District Conference. Registration is now open.

Regular Registration Rates
PRSA Member: $275     |     Non-Member: $325

Student Registration Rate
Current Student: $75  *must be full-time student at time of registration and provide proof upon request

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Next Platinum Award winner could be from Central Iowa

The Midwest District of PRSA is looking for nominations for the The Platinum Award. This is the highest individual honor bestowed by the PRSA Midwest District. Its purpose is to recognize outstanding career achievements in furthering the practice of public relations. It has also been created to honor personal service.

Platinum Award criteria:

  • Service to PRSA, particularly to the member chapter or the PRSA Midwest District, but may also include contributions to other chapters and PRSA National
  • Perpetuates the highest standards and ethics of the profession in the practice of public relations


The Midwest District Executive Committee will select the award recipient. Only one nomination will be accepted from each chapter. If you want more information or have a nominee in mind, please contact Lori Vodraska at


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Education and Professional Development Scholarships

Don't miss the opportunity to submit your application for the chapter's scholarships. Available to students and professionals, these scholarships aid in the pursuit of public relations education.

All scholarship applications are due no later than Friday, Sept. 4, 2015. Mailing information is found on each of the applications. If you have any questions, please contact Christine Jensen at or 515.724.2046.

Education Scholarships
For more than 25 years, the chapter has recognized a student with the Ferne Bonomi and Dr. Henry Milam Undergraduate Scholarship. Five years ago, the chapter added a graduate degree scholarship for practicing public relations professionals.


Professional Development
The chapter also provides PRSA members a $500 professional development scholarship that can be used in many different ways to further your career. Here are just a few ways the professional development scholarship can be used: Reimburse your expenses for attending PRSA chapter or national events, such as National Conference, monthly luncheons, webinars and teleseminars, or on-site conferences that further your public relations expertise

  • Fund your pursuit of the APR process. The money can be used to pay for books, study courses and testing fee.
  • Pay for your national and chapter memberships.


Be creative and give us your proposal for this scholarship. Complete scholarship application.

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New Members


We’re happy to welcome our newest member to the Central Iowa PRSA chapter!

Valerie A. Taylor Hill, Public Information Specialist, Grant Wood Area Education Agency, Cedar Rapids

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Milestone Anniversaries

Member 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 individual who will celebrate an anniversary this month:

5 years
Jennifer Glover, APR

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UNI PRSSA attends regional conference and holds elections

(submitted by Mallory Feeney, VP of Communications)

The University of Northern Iowa’s (UNI) Chapter of PRSSA had a very eventful spring semester. On April 10-12, eleven members traveled to Des Moines to attend the ‘Expect the Unexpected’ Regional PRSSA Conference, hosted by Drake University PRSSA. UNI PRSSA members attended seminars from public relations experts including Tamra Strentz, Senior Vice President of Edelman and account manager of Starbucks. During their time in Des Moines, UNI PRSSA members also had the opportunity to participate in a crisis simulation presented by the LS2Group. Participants were asked to respond as a fictional spokesperson, encouraging everyone to think on their feet! At the end of the weekend, UNI PRSSA students had enhanced their networks and learned new public relations trends.

As the 2014-2015 academic year is coming to a close, UNI PRSSA hosted their Annual Spring Banquet on April 20. At the banquet they elected their new executive team. President and Vice President for 2015-2016 are Mallory Feeney and Dalaney Langel. Both women served on the 2014-2015 PRSSA executive team and were ready to take on the leadership opportunity. The newly elected PRSSA executive team consists of nine separate positions, each responsible for enhancing UNI PRSSA in a different way. A new position to the executive team is Vice President of Recruitment which entails engaging community knowledge and support for PRSSA. With the new executive team elected, UNI PRSSA cannot wait to see what is in store for the future!


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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 if you cannot make the meetings.

View available minutes


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Job Opportunity

Looking for a New Career?

 The Central Iowa PRSA Job Bank has new job postings on a regular basis. Find your next opportunity here!

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.

New April 2015 job listings

Marketing Manager - Choice Genetics

PR Supervisor - Two Rivers Marketing

Account Manager - Lessing-Flynn

March 2015 listings

Copywriter - Two Rivers Marketing

Social Media Director - Two Rivers Marketing

Account Executive - Two Rivers Marketing

Videographer/Photo Journalist - Iowa State University College of Human Sciences


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Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Upcoming Events

5/3-5: PRSA 2015 Counselors Academic Spring Conference

5/7-8: Adavanced Crisis Communication Strategy

5/13-15: PRSA 2015 Health Academy Conference

5/14: Managing Intense Media Scutiny

5/18-19: PRSA Connect 15 Conference

Upcoming Webinars

5/5: The Art of Managing Workplace Conflict

5/12: Master the Art of the Storyteller

5/21: Copyright Compliance

5/26: Competing Fairly and Winning







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