November 2014  

Letter from the President

A few weeks ago, PRSA Central Iowa celebrated the PRIME Awards with a lovely evening reception and ceremony. On the following day, we hosted a large crowd for the 2014 PR Institute, which was themed “OctoPRfest.” Both events were great successes for our chapter and highlights of our year.

Suddenly, it’s November, and my time as your president is approaching its conclusion. Within a few days, our members will receive a ballot to elect next year’s board. So I find myself beginning to reflect on my year in this role.

The thing that will stick with me most is the truly unique perspective that the role of president offers. I have seen – in a way that I never fully appreciated before – the contributions of each and every board member, committee chair, and PRSSA liaison. Our chapter has a very dedicated and enthusiastic leadership team. Team members are supportive, creative, and always professional. And they genuinely welcome new ideas and active involvement by new members.

It has been a strong year for our chapter. As just a few examples:

  • Programming has been strong, and average attendance at monthly meetings has increased.
  • Our monthly newsletter has introduced new content and visual enhancements.
  • The chapter continues to offer strong APR prep classes and guides candidates through the accreditation process.
  • With the recent addition of Wartburg College, the Central Iowa chapter now sponsors PRSSA at six Iowa colleges or universities.


And the credit goes not to your president; rather, it goes entirely to the other board members, committee chairs and PRSSA liaisons. In this season of Thanksgiving, I am deeply grateful for the unique role each has played to generate the collective success we are experiencing. What a terrific group! That’s what I will remember most about this year.

I hope to see you at one or both of our upcoming events: the presentation about branding at our Nov. 20 luncheon meeting and the APR Interest Session on Dec. 4. And in between the two events, may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Christine Jensen, APR

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Board News

National Leadership Assembly Passes Bylaw Amendments

As shared in the September issue, two amendments were up for vote at the October Leadership Assembly. On behalf of our chapter, our delegates voted in favor of both.

  • Proposal 1401 impacts the composition of the Board of Directors, which will now allow for up to two non-APR PRSA members to serve in an at-large capacity. APR will continue to be required for the rest of the board positions.
  • Proposal 1402 added in language to clarify that voting members of the national board may not serve in other volunteer roles within the organization.

In addition, two Iowa chapters (Cedar Valley and Quad Cities) were officially dissolved and leadership for 2015 was elected by the Assembly.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact delegates Kelly Sankey, APR, or Jeanine Mixdorf, APR.

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PRIME Awards

Central Iowa PRSA Announces 2014 PRIME Award Winners

The Central Iowa Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Chapter celebrated the industry’s best and brightest at the annual PRIME Awards and Banquet at Drake University’s Levitt Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014.


We are extremely proud of all the 2014 PRIME Award winners,” said Christine Jensen, chapter president of Central Iowa PRSA. “Their dedication to creating and executing high-quality public relations work resulted in outcomes worthy of special recognition. We are very pleased to congratulate them on their accomplishments.”


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, 13 awards were given in 10 categories. Entries were judged and winners were selected by the PRSA Chapter in Tulsa, Okla.


Organizers also recognized individuals in four categories who made noteworthy contributions to the public relations profession in Iowa. Award winners include Outstanding New Member Jennifer Glover-Konforst, assistant professor of PR at Drake University; Outstanding Chapter Member Kristin Sunde, PR director at Trilix; Outstanding PR Professional Emily Abbas, chief of staff at Bankers Trust; and Outstanding Iowa Advocate Susan Ramsey, senior vice president of communications and marketing at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.


Internal Communications Program

  • Excellence Award: Principal Financial Group for “Movin’ It with Campus Blueprint”


Annual Reports

  • Merit Award: Mercy Medical Center for “Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines 2013 Annual Report”



  • Excellence Award: Lessing-Flynn for “Ag Leader Insights Magazine”


Media Relations

  • Merit Award: Strategic America for “Des Moines Home and Garden Show Media Relations”


Community Champion

  • Merit Award: Drake University for “Big Brothers Big Sister of Central Iowa ‘Little Changes for Big Impact’”


Crisis/Issues Management Campaign

  • Merit Award: National Pork Board for “U.S. Pork Industry Crisis Response Plan”


Integrated Communications Campaign

  • Excellence Award: Strategic America for “STEM Public Awareness Campaign”

  • Merit Award: Hanser & Associates for “ Receives Standing Ovation for Reserved Seats”



  • Merit Award: Hanser & Associates for “ Receives Standing Ovation for Reserved Seats”


Social Media

  • Excellence Award: Hanser & Associates for “Get Out Your Sunglasses – Social Media in the Sunshine State”

  • Merit Award: Lessing-Flynn for “Heritage Lace Social Media”



  • Excellence Award: Drake University PRSA for “Latinas Latinos al Exito”

  • Merit Award: Drake University PRSSA for “Des Money Bateman Campaign”


Best of Show

  • Strategic America for “STEM Public Awareness Campaign”


Click here to view the award winners on Facebook.

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3 Takeaways

What Did You Miss?

OctPRfest was held Oct. 23 at the UnityPoint Education Center. Michael Smart, independent communications trainer, MichaelSMARTPR began the day with a focus on media relations. See what some of the attendees had to say:

"I thought Michael Smart was not only an excellent speaker but offered valuable information and takeaways that I can apply to my career. I would love to see him back again next year."

"The morning sessions provided very useful and tangible information. I took notes that I could apply immediately."

"Mr. Smart set up the challenges his clients were facing, presented case studies and outcomes and then tied that information to actual takeaways that we can apply immediately."

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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

Although not required, pre-registration is preferred.

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Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Upcoming Events


 Upcoming Webinars

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New Members


Mike Fastenau, External Affairs / Economic Development, Black Hills Energy

Matt McConnell, Writer/PR Specialist, ChildServe
Alexa Guessford, Corporate Communications Coordinator, GuideOne Insurance
Abby Bottenfield, Communications Manager, Trilix

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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:

30 years
Ann F. Wilson, APR

20 years
Sarah Peters Buckley, APR, Vice President, Corporate Communications & Marketing, GuideOne Insurance
Nancy W. Doll, APR, Marketing Communications Vice President, FBL Financial Group, Inc.

1 year
Aaron David Steinmann
Amy E. Busch, Digital Marketing Manager, National Pork Board

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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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