June 2016 Print

PRSA Luncheon

A Brand New Beginning: The Role of PR in a Brand Launch

Note: Meetings in June, August and September are moving to Wednesdays and will be held at the Cub Club at Principal Park. Free parking is available in the lot just north of the stadium.

June 15, 2016
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Cub Club at Principal Park
1 Line Drive
Des Moines, IA 50309
Cub Club restaurant

This meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 15, at the Cub Club restaurant, which is located on the north side of Principal Park, 1 Line Drive, Des Moines. Lunch starts at 11 a.m. with the program following at 11:40. The meeting will end no later than 12:30 p.m.

Join Joel Duncan, SVP of Business Development/President, Aureon HR, along with Lisa Holtorf and Ben Handfelt of Strategic America, as they present some of the challenges and successes of their three-year rebranding journey, along with the ever-evolving role that PR played in the process.

Tickets / Register
$20.00 PRSA Central Iowa Chapter Member
$25.00 after 11 p.m. June 12

$30.00 Non-member
$35.00 after 11 p.m. June 12

$10.00 Student
$15.00 after 11 p.m. June 12

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3 Takeaways

ISU Athletic Department Cultivates Cyclone Content

The PRSA Central Iowa meeting in May moved north to Ames for an educational and interesting session with three communication professionals in the Iowa State University athletic department. PRSA member John McCarroll, APR, welcomed us with some eye-opening statistics about how the university is growing. For example, there were 36,001 students enrolled at Iowa State University for the 2015-2016 school year. John said enrollment has grown by 40 percent in the last 10 years, and the university has the largest enrollment in the state.

Mike Green, Matthew Shoultz and Tyler Rutherford discussed how they create content for a variety of channels to promote ISU athletics. Mike shared several stories about how the PR industry has evolved from when he started, specifically how the university does not solely rely on traditional media channels, such as The Des Moines Register, to deliver its content. Mike shared several examples of infographics and social media posts that the department uses to promote athletes and garner attention.

Tyler Rutherford shared his story about the creation of, which reaches more than 500,000 households and provides programming 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The channel is available to Mediacom subscribers. It is also available online for individuals with mobile access for $8 a month, so you can stay connected with the Cyclones even if you're away from home.

What we learned during the meeting:

1. Although the ISU athletic communication department produces a tremendous amount of content for its own channels, the department still maintains a strong relationship with the sports department at The Des Moines Register and other media outlets. In other words, traditional PR still has a place in collegiate athletic communication departments.

2. Matt Shoultz spends time before each men's basketball game, prepping the TV announcers about the ISU men's basketball team. He attends every home and away basketball game.

3. The communication department produces more than 100 live broadcasts a year with the help of students working for Tyler Rutherford.

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Website News

A Fresh New Look for PRSA Central Iowa

If you haven’t visited our chapter website in awhile, you may want to pop by for a visit. The website recently underwent a face-lift to make it responsive and easier to navigate. With nearly two thirds of Americans using smart phones, the chapter’s board of directors recognized the importance of ensuring the chapter’s website is compatible with mobile devices. The board worked closely with StarChapter — an association software management company — on the layout and logistics for the new design.

The process for the redesign took only a few months. While most of the content remains the same, the functionality of the site has improved, as well as the organization and graphics. You may also notice a slight change to the newsletter as it now reflects the new design.

We hope you enjoy the new look and feel of Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the new design, please feel free to reach out to our technology chair, Abby Bottenfield, at

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Social Media

Get Social with PRSA Central Iowa

Keep up with chapter news, announcements, and industry news by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, and liking our new page on LinkedIn.

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New Members

Central Iowa PRSA Welcomes a New Member

Morgan Chicchelly, Social Media Coordinator at Farm Bureau Financial Services

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Milestone Anniversaries

Members Who are Celebrating a PRSA Anniversary in June

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 anniversaries this month:

1 year
Laura Plumb, Project Manager, Lessing-Flynn Advertising
Kelsey D. Roehrich, Project Manager, Flying Hippo
Kelli Bloomquist, 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, Iowa State University

5 years
Jamie Thomassen, Account Manager, Lessing-Flynn
Elaine Watkins-Miller, Director School Community Relations, West Des Moines Community Schools

25 years
Kelly I. Sankey, APR, Communications Director, The Principal Financial Group

30 years
Lisa Marie Reisen

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A Celebration of Central Iowa's Best Work

The annual PRIME Awards present the perfect opportunity to raise a glass to Iowa’s most outstanding public relations campaign and individual projects. From media relations and special events to writing and websites, it’s time to enter your most toast-worthy work.

Who can enter?
The PRIME Awards are open to any individual or organization that has executed a public relations program in Iowa or has conducted a program in another market but is a member of Central Iowa PRSA. It is also open to those who have completed work for clients based in Iowa. Work must have been completed between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.

Eligible entries
Materials entered in previous PRIME competitions are not eligible. Entries should be submitted by company representatives or agencies that had direct input in the end product.
Each entry must include:

  • Entry form (visit to access) 
  • Any supporting material 
  • Payment either via check made payable to Central Iowa PRSA or online via credit card

No entry may be submitted in more than one category. However, individual pieces of an overall campaign may be split up and entered into individual categories, as well as the overall campaign category. Any entry not meeting the above requirements will be disqualified.

Online submission
All entries must be submitted via email to by 5 p.m. CDT Friday, July 8, 2016. Alternatively, upload files to a folder in your Dropbox. If you do not have a Dropbox account, please go to to open one.

Once successfully uploaded, invite to share your folder and then email to inform us of your entry so we can download it.

Entry fees
Members: $35 per entry; Non-members: $50 per entry; Students: $15 per entry
Payment methods:

1. Check payable to Central Iowa PRSA mailed to: Kelly Bruhn, Awards Chair, Drake University SJMC, 2507 University Ave., 107 Meredith Hall, Des Moines, IA 50311. Include a copy of your entry form with payment.

2. Credit card at Awards page

For more information, visit Awards.

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Save The Date

Mark your calendars to attend the annual PRSA Central Iowa OctoPRfest on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. Look for more details in upcoming newsletters.

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Corporate Sponsorships

OctoPRfest Sponsorship Opportunities

The Central Iowa PRSA’s annual OctoPRfest attracts more than 100 professionals who are often the decision makers in regards to vendors, advertising, event locations and business partnerships. These individuals are also often interested in pursuing advanced degrees and further training. All chapter members are encouraged to reach out to their employers, vendor partners and other contacts about sharing sponsorship opportunities.

Central Iowa PRSA offers a number of different packages to reach and engage with attendees during OctoPRfest and beyond. The price range of these packages are $500 to $5,000 and include a variety of benefits such as social media posts, signage, free attendance, logo placement and more. There is also the option to be a trade show exhibitor for $500 — a great option for higher education institutions to promote their master’s degree programs. A full list of sponsorship packages is available on the Institute section of PRSA of Central Iowa’s website. We are also open to any new ideas and forming custom packages for interested sponsors.

For any questions or more information, please contact Amanda Laverman at

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Job Opportunity

Many New Job Opportunities Listed Online

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 a sample of the listings on our website.

Project Manager - Lessing-Flynn

Marketing Communications Lead - Mercy Medical Center

Digital Strategist - Principal Financial Group

Senior Communications Consultant - Principal Financial Group

Media Relations Manager - Athene

Account Manager - Lessing-Flynn Advertising

Assistant Communications Director - Iowa Finance Authority

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Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Upcoming Public Relations Training Events

6/23: Public Relations Strategic Planning Workshop

6/23: Turn Lame Quotes Into Killer Sound Bites (Webinar)

6/28-6/29: “Catch Your Readers” Writing Workshop

7/12: Media Training for Media Trainers (Webinar)

7/14: Key Message Development (Webinar)

7/21: Craft Content Marketing Pieces that Almost Write Themselves (Webinar)

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General News

Keep Your Contact Information Up-to-Date

Have you changed jobs, updated an email address or changed a phone number? Be sure to update your contact information with All contact information is maintained by the national PRSA organization and then shared with our chapter. If you update your information at the national level, it will be automatically updated at the state level. Updates completed at the state level are not provided to the national organization and you may be missing out!

Go to Use your membership number and password to log in.

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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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