April 2014  

Letter from the President

There is one thing that I have heard public relations colleagues say repeatedly that still makes me cringe. And that is any version of this statement: “I can’t do math; that’s why I’m in PR.” The admission is often accompanied by a self-deprecating chuckle.

If I had a magic wand, I would make this sentiment disappear from our profession. Think about it: Why would any business leader want to take advice from someone who readily admits that he or she knows nothing about business?

In the past few years, PRSA has mounted a campaign to promote the business case for public relations. If you go to, there is an entire section devoted to the topic. One of many features in the section is the relatively new ability to search Silver Anvil Award case studies by business outcome at I encourage you to check it out.

When I am asked to speak to PRSSA students or young professionals, I always try to remind them how important it is to understand the basics of business. And to my way of thinking, “business” includes not-for-profits, all of which need to operate like a business. The only difference is that their “profits” are returned to the organization to further the mission, as opposed to paying dividends to stockholders.

Another reason math skills are important to our profession? You really do need those skills to analyze the quantitative results of surveys and to converse intelligently with leaders about those results.

I’m not suggesting that you need to go out and get an MBA. What I would recommend is picking up one of many quick-to-read books that will help you gain a basic understanding of business fundamentals. Or just start reading the business section of the newspaper regularly. Or when you travel, consider reading an issue of The Economist or the Harvard Business Review once in a while, instead of HGTV Magazine – which happens to be my personal favorite for reading on an airplane!

I would so love to never hear that cringe-worthy sentiment again.

Christine Jensen, APR

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APR News

April is Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) Month

To help celebrate Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) month PRSA is hosting a free webinar at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 10 titled “How the APR Can Boost Your Career."

If you would like to learn more about the APR credentialing process, please contact Darin Leach, APR at or Dr. Kelly Bruhn, APR at

The APR program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Central Iowa PRSA ranks in the top five percent of all PRSA chapters in our percentage of members who have successfully achieved their APR designation.

Check out a special PRSAY blog post from Mitchell Marovitz, Ph.D, APR who is president-elect of the PRSA National Capital Chapter and a member of the Universal Accreditation Board.

Read Mitch's blog post here:

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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.

Education Scholarships
For more than 25 years, the chapter has recognized a student with the Ferne Bonomi and Dr. Henry Milam Undergraduate Scholarship. Four 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 onsite conferences that further your public relations expertise
  • Fund your pursuit of the APR process. The money can be used to buy books, pay for study courses and the testing fee.
  • Pay for your national and chapter memberships.

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

All scholarship applications are due on Friday, Aug 29, 2014. Mailing information is found on each of the applications. If you have any questions, please contact Dawn Buzynski at or 515.557.2047.

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PRSA Luncheon

Mobile Video Tools Workshop

Join us for networking, lunch and a professional development workshop. The event will begin at 11 a.m., with the presentation running from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


This hands-on workshop will teach you how to create and edit high quality video with your iPhone. 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.

You’ll work in a small group (with a kit of add-ons for your phone) to create and edit videos. So bring your iPhone (if you have one) and be ready to shoot.

Thursday, April 24, 2014
11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Central Library - Wells Fargo Room, Meeting Room #1
1000 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

Register now.

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3 Takeaways

What Did You Miss?

A great time was had by all at the creativity session held March 13 led by Tim Read, 5 Fingers Creative. With airplanes, crayons, and Play-doh in hand, participants had an opportunity to let their creative juices flow. See what some of the attendees had to say:

"I learned a new “crumpled ideas” brainstorming technique, and I enjoyed the opportunity to play and tap into the childlike creativity we tend to set aside as we grow up." Kathy Coady, Communications Manager, the Principal Financial Group

"One thing I took away from the PRSA luncheon program was changing up your processes and throwing all ideas on the table will produce better, more creative results than sticking to your normal routine." Abby Bedore, PR Graduate Intern, Strategic America

 "The PRSA luncheon on creativity helped to expand my perspective on how to approach every day tasks, and I'm excited to apply it to team building and brainstorming activities." Samantha Kampman, Senior Account Executive, LS2group

Check out Tim's website for some fun ideas. And, download these freebies.

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Volunteer Opportunity

The Awards and Professional Development & Social Committees are seeking volunteers to assist with all facets of planning and execution of the:

2014 Prime Awards, which will be held in the fall in conjunction with PRSA Institute.
If you are interested, please contact Ann Thelen, or 515-720-8907.

PRSA Social taking place in June and the PR Tour taking place in the fall.
If you are interested, please contact Amy Myers,, 515-535-0234.

Call for Volunteers!

Attention all PR & Marketing Pros: Various community initiatives are in need of PR & Marketing professionals to serve on their boards.

  • Solidarity Microloan Committee for Iowa Community Capital
  • Metro Waste Authority’s water clean-up site
  • Conference on energy and affordable housing
  • A Garden for Every School campaign

If you’re interested or would like more information please contact Adam Hammes,, 515.491.0706.

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Membership Benefits

Make the most of your PRSA membership, and to help position you for greater success through our career-enhancing tools and resources. Through member participation, PRSA is able to build on the value of our profession in the marketplace and fortify our industry’s commitment to excellence!

Benefit #2                                        
Grow Your Skill Set with Free and Discounted Professional Development Opportunities

PRSA's educational initiatives are designed to keep you on top of industry trends and help you advance your career!

The best and brightest in public relations produce user-friendly professional development resources for members through different media and formats, including:

  • Webinars
  • Seminars
  • Boot Camp
  • Conferences

Don't forget, PRSA members receive special discounted prices for all events, and free access to webinars.

PRSA training opportunities

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New Members

A Warm Welcome to PRSA’s Newest Members

In an effort to welcome new members to PRSA, each month, we highlight individuals who have recently joined the Central Iowa PRSA Chapter. We are pleased to welcome the following professionals to our chapter:

  • Sandra Cannon, Communications Manager, Iowa Energy Center
  • Andrew Jay Gillman, Public Relations, Performance Marketing

Current members are encouraged to introduce themselves to new members at future luncheons or events and make them feel welcome.

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Milestone Anniversaries

Happy Anniversary!

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:

Recognizing 10 years
Katie Lynn Guess, APR

Recognizing 1 year
Samantha Kampman, Senior Account Executive, LS2group

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Upcoming Learning Opportunities

4/8   Real-Time Marketing: How Brands Successfully Culture-Jack the Big Moments
4/9   2014 PRSA Southeast District Conference
4/9   PRSA 2014 Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) Senior Summit: Disruptive Innovation and Strategic Counsel: Keeping Your Institution (and You) Relevant
4/9   Ragan Communications PR & Media Relations Best Practices Summit

View the Full Event Calendar

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