July 2015  

Upcoming Events

July Luncheon: How to Use Infographics to Boost Your Brand's Digital Marketing

Infographics have grown to be a major marketing tool used by top brands everywhere. Learn how your brand can create effective infographics and use them to gain online attention, shares, conversions, and even increase your search engine optimization. 

July 23, 2015
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Drake University Olmsted Center - Room 311
2875 University Ave
Des Moines, IA 50311
Presented by Drew Harden and Melissa Harden of Blue Compass Interactive

$20.00 Member Ticket
$25.00 after 11:45 pm July 17

$30.00 Guest Ticket
$35.00 after 11:45 pm July 17

$15.00 Student
$20.00 after 11:45 pm July 17 

Register here

About Drew Harden

President and Co-Founder of Blue Compass Interactive, Drew Harden has grown and guided Blue Compass from a two person start-up in 2007 to one of the Midwest's leading digital marketing companies today. 

Drew is actively involved in company direction, client relationships, and the management of the Blue Compass team. In addition, he offers creative direction on projects, designing websites that have been honored by prestigious organizations such as Adobe, American Design Awards, the Addy Awards, and Design Firms. Drew closely follows the latest web trends, has a deep knowledge of web design and search engine optimization, and is active in digital marketing conferences around the country. He has been cited and featured as an expert in digital marketing by PR News, USA Today, and the American Advertising Federation of Des Moines. 

With degrees from Iowa State University in Advertising and Design, Drew worked in the radio and television industries before transitioning full time to the web. He loves thinking positively, motivating people and has a passion for faith, family, and freedom.

About Melissa Harden

Blue Compass' Digital Marketing Director, Melissa is a digital marketing expert recognized nationally for her deep knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing. Melissa helps brands understand their current online standings, then builds a solid digital marketing strategy to reach the brand's goals. Her focus isn't to bring more traffic to a site, but to bring in more conversions, recognition and revenue for the brand.

Her SEO knowledge, combined with her writing and development background, gives clients a distinct advantage. Melissa has written content for multiple websites and continues to write articles across several industries for SEO, social media, and online branding purposes. 

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Job Opportunity

A New Career Awaits!

Summer is a great time to look - and land - a new career. The Central Iowa PRSA Job Bank has new job postings on a regular basis. Find your next opportunity here! Or, share a job with a friend looking for their next adventure.

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! June/July 2015 listings

Account Director, Two Rivers Marketing

Communications Specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

PR Intern, Hanser & Associates

Vice President of Public Relations, Greater Des Moines Partnership

Education & Outreach Coordinator, Metro Waste Authority

Social Media Manager, AKC Marketing

Public Relations, AKC Marketing

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Professional Development

Save the Date for August Professional Development

The August professional development luncheon will be on the topic of social media strategy with Josh Krakauer, CEO of Sculpt, a creative and social media agency in Iowa City.

Thursday, August 27, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

More information will be available on soon.

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Education and Professional Development Scholarships

Don't miss the opportunity to submit your application for a chapter scholarship. 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 included on each of the applications. If you have 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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APR Prep Course

Participate in the APR Short Course, September 2015

Mark your calendars for a special APR prep “short course” this September, hosted by the Central Iowa PRSA’s accreditation committee. The course will be held Thursday, September 17 to Saturday, September 19 and condenses the typical eight-week APR study course into a three-day intensive study program. The course will be a great refresher for anyone who has taken APR classes in the past or if committing to an eight-week course in Des Moines is too difficult.

Please let Dr. Kelly Bruhn, APR, or Darin Leach, APR,  know if you are interested in participating. There will be an information session on Thursday, August 6, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Drake University.

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Persuasive and Crisis Communications, Media Relations, Leadership, and More

OctoPRfest is back again this year — a one-day conference packed with practical tips and ideas to become a better communicator. Scheduled for Tuesday, October 20, 2015, at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, the day's lineup will include Under Armour's Corporate Strategy Leader Bill Besselman as well as a host of experts on topics including persuasive and crisis communications, media relations and leadership. We'll also celebrate the year's best work by our chapter members and colleagues with the 2015 PRIME Awards luncheon.

 Watch for more information coming soon, including a call for entries for the PRIME awards. For more information or to become an OctoPRfest sponsor, contact Kristin Sunde ( or Courtney Shaw (

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New Members


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

Kelsey D. Roehrich, Iowa State University

Laura Plumb, Project Manager, Lessing-Flynn Advertising

Kelli Bloomquist, Coordinator, Professor, Iowa Central Community College

Lindsay Allen, Account Executive, Hanser & Associates

Taylor Rookaird, PR Account Coordinator, Strategic America

Katelin Schwarck, Account Manager, Hanser & Associates

Erin Campbell, Communications Manager, Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives

Breehan Gerleman Lucchesi, Communications Specialist, Ames Laboratory, Public Affairs

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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.

View available minutes

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Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Upcoming Events

7/29-30: Art of the Storyteller Master Class With Ann Wylie

7/30-31: Ragan’s Content Marketing Summit at LinkedIn

8/4-5: Ragan’s PR Writing Summit

Upcoming Webinars

7/14: Creating Smarter Content for Bigger Results: Essential Tips on How to Make Content More Relevant

7/15: What the Trend?: 2015 Trends You May Have Missed and 2016 Trends on the Horizon (Travel and Tourism)

7/16: Business Essentials for Strategic Public Relations Success: Learn How to Increase Business Acumen for You and Your Team

7/21: Play With Your Words: Spice Up Your Headlines, Leads and Sound Bites With Wordplay

7/23: Show What You Know: Charting Your Path to APR+M

7/28: The Rise of Predictive Scanning: PR Isn’t Dead; It’s Poised for a Comeback

8/4: Changing the Conversation: How Independent PR Professionals Can Differentiate Themselves in a Crowded Marketplace

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