March 2017 Print

3 Takeaways

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Going Live: Tips and Tools for Facebook, Instagram and More last month with Happy Medium. We had 50 PR and communications professionals join us for the event!

Alison Monaghan and Grace Wenzel from Happy Medium talked about the best tips and tricks for taking your brand live. If you were unable to join us, here is what some attendees had to say about the event:

  • "Great, engaging programming! Relevant for any PR/marketing professional." 

  • "I found it useful when advice was given for when to start a live video and strategies for how to conduct a live video. The speakers made some great points while allowing engagement from the audience. Overall, I think I can really benefit from the tips shared in the presentation and apply them." 

  • "Great programming choice with lots of great tips!"


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PRSA Luncheon

PR Tips From The Blue Oval

First held in 1910, the Drake Relays has established a reputation as one of the nation's premier track and field events, attracting thousands of fans for a weekend of intense competition by elite, collegiate, and high school athletes. 

At the same time, Relays Week also serves as a centerpiece for alumni reunions, a study break for students, a time for pet lovers to identify the world's most beautiful bulldog, and a time of celebration for the Des Moines community. These diverse audiences may or may not have a passion for track and field, but participate in the Relays through a variety of community events that occur in advance of (and parallel to) the events in Drake Stadium. 

During this lunch hour presentation and Q&A session, we'll explore how Drake's offices of University Communications, Alumni Relations, and Athletics tailor messaging to diverse audiences while retaining a cohesive brand image for the Drake Relays and maximize affinity for America's Athletic Classic.

Luncheon attendees get the chance to win two all-session 2017 Drake Relays passes!

March 23, 2017

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Drake University Olmsted Center
2875 Univeristy Ave

Des Moines, IA, 50311



Blake Boldon, Director of the Drake Relays 

Blake Boldon is the 12th Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee. Prior to joining the Relays team in October 2016, he served as executive director of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. A native of Osceola, Iowa, he has an extensive background and record of success as a competitive athlete, collegiate coach and event director. Blake will also be joined by:

  • Dave Remund, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, Office of University Communications

  • Ty Patton, Drake Athletics

  • Aaron Jaco, Office of University Communications 

  • Niki Smith, Office of University Communications


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Upcoming Events

Public Relations Bingo Social

March 16, 2017

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Confluence Brewing Company
1235 Thomas Beck Road
Des Moines, IA 50315

Join us for a rousing game of PR Bingo at Confluence Brewing Company on Thursday, March 16, 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM. You might even win a prize! Treat yourself to local craft beer and enjoy food from Miss Molly's Jamaican Patty.* Learn more.

*Event is free, food and beverage are not supplied by PRSA Central Iowa.



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APR News

2017 brings changes to the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) testing process

Over the past two years, the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) updated the computer-based Examination (CBE) for Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). The fruit of this labor was the launch of the updated 2016 examination, which is the second step in a two-part process. The first step was known previously as the readiness review. As of January 1, 2017 it’s now called the panel presentation.

The panel presentation is designed to evaluate 16 knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs), which were determined as untestable on the CBE. Following the submission of a detailed written communications plan, the candidate delivers a live presentation to a three-member panel of accredited professionals who assess and score the candidate’s portfolio, presentation skills and other KSAs.

When considering changes, the UAB looked at the areas of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) being tested; the logistics; the questionnaire; the role of the panelists; its purpose and its name. Data showed that advancement from the panel presentation was not an accurate indicator of a candidate’s ability to pass the CBE, so the UAB removed the “readiness” descriptor entirely. They also removed some of the KPIs and questions which were no longer applicable. For members outside of the City where a local chapter exists, the decision was made to allow for asynchronous, virtual Panel Presentation at the discretion of the local accreditation chair.

If you’ve completed the Central Iowa PRSA APR study session, but haven’t started preparing for the panel presentation and test, please join us for the preparatory session on at Drake on Saturday, March 18 at 8 a.m. Contact Jane Keairns, APR at or Patricia Howard, APR at with any questions about the APR program.


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Update from our PRSSA Chapters

The UNI PRSSA Chapter is participating in the 2017 PRSSA Bateman Case Study Compeition. The Bateman Case Study Competition is PRSSA’s premier national case study competition for public relations students, and gives you an opportunity to apply your classroom education and internship experiences to create and implement a full public relations campaign.

The 2017 campaign challenges participants to develop a campaign on behalf of the Campaign to Change Direction, to change the culutre of mental health in America.

As part of the competition, the chapter is hosting a mental health awareness discussion panel in an effort to change the culture of mental health at UNI. Learn more about their event here


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Prime Awards & Institute

SAVE THE DATE: OctoPRfest Slated for Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Central Iowa PRSA will host OctoPRfest, a daylong professional development conference at Mercy Medical Center Conference Center in Des Moines on Wednesday, October 25. The annual PRIME Awards luncheon will be held during OctoPRfest, honoring the top public relations campaigns of the year. More information will be coming soon, but mark your calendars for this valuable day of learning.

Contact Kelly Bruhn with any questions at


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Milestone Anniversaries

In each issue of this newsletter, we recognize PRSA Central Iowa Chapter members who are celebrating milestone PRSA anniversaries. Congratulations to the following individuals who will celebrate milestone anniversaries this month:

One Year

  • Troy Johnson, Performance Marketing
  • Samantha Borcherding, Athene

We would also like to welcome our newest members

  • Aaron Potter, Cambridge Investment Research, Inc.
  • Christina Gayman, Hy-Vee, Inc.
  • Mallory Riffel, Bees Knees PR, Inc.


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The PRSA Central Iowa 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 some of the listings on our website:

Director of Marketing and Audience Development - Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Communications and Development Coordinator - University Museums, Iowa State University

PR Assistant Account Manager/Social Media Specialist - Strategic America

Social Media Strategist - Principal

Manager Corporate Communications - Meredith Corporation

PR Supervisor - Two Rivers Marketing

PR Manager - Two Rivers Marketing


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Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Plan your 2017 career advancement and training with the following professional development opportunities:


On-Demand: Cut Through the Clutter

3/16: Anatomy of a News Release


3/22 - 3/23: Catch Your Readers Writing Workshop

3/27 - 3/29: Social Media Conference for PR, Marketing and Corporate Communications

3/30: Building Media Relationships

3/31: Pitching Boot Camp

3/31: Crisis Social Media When "It" Hits the Fan

4/5 - 4/8: APR Boot Camp

4/10 - 4/11: PR Boot Camp

You can check out all PRSA professional development opportunities here.


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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" on the right side, then use the left-hand navigation to access "Board Meeting Minutes." Scroll down the page to find the most recent meeting minutes. The website 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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Connect With Us

For timely news and updates all month, connect with us via our social media channels:


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