November 2017 Print

PRIME Awards

2017 PRSA Central Iowa PRIME Award Winners

Congratulations to the following 2017 PRIME Award Winners and Excellence Award Winners:

Suku Radia, Bankers Trust
Savana Morrison, Drake University
Erin Campbell, Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives
Darin Leach, APR, USDA Rural Development
Aaron Putze, APR, Iowa Soybean Association
Lessing-Flynn & Iowa Corn, E-15 Super Duper


PRIME: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Wellmarkability
MERIT: Bankers Trust, "READY" 2016 Annual Report
MERIT: Drake University MCL Capstone, YMCA Supportive Housing Campus Plan
MERIT: Cambridge Public Relations & Creative Marketing with Fiduciary Services, Cambridge Campaign to Adapt to New Fiduciary Regulation
PRIME: Banker's Trust, Centennial Publication
MERIT: Blue Compass, How to Create Your Own Geofilter on Snapchat
PRIME: Bankers Trust, Celebrating 100 Years of Trust
MERIT: Mercy Medical Center - Des Moines, LiveUp in Midlife: Launching Mercy Comfort Health Center for Women
PRIME: Lessing-Flynn & Vermeer, Makin' Hay Magazine
MERIT: Lessing-Flynn & AgLeader, Insights Magazine
PRIME: Mercy Medical Center - Des Moines, Mercy and Count the Kicks: Save a Baby's Life
PRIME: Lessing-Flynn & Iowa Corn, E-15 Super Duper
PRIME: Lessing-Flynn & Equipment Technologies, Applying Trends
MERIT: Lessing-Flynn & Sage Oil Vac, Sage Insights
PRIME: Lessing-Flynn & National Pork Board, Meet the Real Pig Farmers of America
MERIT: Drake University, #BringDrakeToDrake
PRIME: Bankers Trust, Centennial Celebration of Events
MERIT: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Grand Blue Mile
MERIT: Drake University PR Planning Class, USDA Farm to School Communications Plan
PRIME: Iowa Soybean Association, SCN Coalition: Take Two
MERIT: Blue Compass, Schema Best Practices for 2017 and Beyond
PRIME: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield,
MERIT: Bankers Trust, Bankers Trust Education Center

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OctoPRfest News

2017 OctoPRfest Recap

Thank you to everyone who attended our 2017 OctoPRfest Conference. We've recapped some takeaways from each presentation below.

Starting off the day, Nick Westergaard of Brand Driven Local talked about how you can do more with less in the session, Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He discussed how you can create and share content meaningful to your audeince. You can find his book here.

During the session, Managing your Growing Brand, Katy Michael of Comm Oddities, LLC, talked about the importance of a good crisis communications plan, and the steps to take when a crisis or issue arises for your brand, or a brand you represent.

Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute hit on some of the top points from his book, Killing Marketing, in his session, Killing Marketing, Turning Your Costs Center into a Profit Center. His takeaway for attendees? Find a content space where you are or could be the leading expert or voice in.

Do you ever feel like there is not enough time in the day? In the session, Run Your Day (So It Doesn't Run You), Dr. Christi Hegstad of MAP Professional Development, LLC gave attendees some tips and tricks on how with proper planning, you can set yourself up for a successful, and productive day.

Closing out the conference, Jennifer Konfrst, APR of Drake University took attendees through a whirlwind crisis simulation that put a real-world spin on how fast a crisis can arise, and the different levels of communications that could be needed depending on the audience you need to reach.

It was a stellar day thanks to the OctoPRfest Planning Committee! Thank you to all that attended.


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PRSA Luncheon

November Luncheon

Our November luncheon will feature short presentations from a variety of 2017 PRIME Award winners, as they share their work, best practices, and tips for implementation.

Join us to learn about some of the best work happening in Iowa and to put their strategies to use in your organization.

November 16, 2017

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, DuPont West Room
909 Robert D. Ray Drive
Des Moines, IA 50309




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Upcoming Events

PRSA PR and Communications Tour

Register today for the PRSA PR and Communications Tour. Attendees will tour three organizations from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9. The tour is a great opportunity for students and professionals alike learn more about how PR and communications function within different organizations. We’re excited to announce that this year the Tour will include:

  • Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) – An interfaith organization committed to meeting basic human needs, DMARC has 13 Food Pantry Network sites and distributes more than 1,000,000 food items to the Des Moines area every year.
  • Mercy Medical Center – The longest continually operating hospital in Des Moines, Mercy operates four hospital campuses with a total of 875 beds, along with more than 20 additional facilities.
  • Performance Marketing – From branding, media and PR to websites, apps and video, Performance Marketing is a full-service advertising agency. There will be a special guest.

Attendees are responsible for their own transportation. We recommend carpooling to reduce the amount of vehicles that will require a parking space.

$10.00 PRSA Member
$15.00 Non-PRSA Member
$10.00 Student

Register HERE

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APR Prep Course

Register Now for APR Prep Course

Earning your APR is one thing you can do to advance your public relations career, continue your professional development and join more than 50 other APRs in the state of Iowa. Be part of this group of public relations professionals who have demonstrated a set of knowledge, skills and abilities on a wide range of PR-related topics.

You may have already attended a short course, attended a long course or just indicated your interest. Don't let it stop there; plan now to attend our 5-week prep course. We'll provide an overview of the process, feature practicing PR professionals on a variety of topics and help you prepare for the panel review and accreditation exam. 

The course will begin January 20, 8:00 a.m. - noon. Learning sessions will be held in Meredith Hall on the Drake University campus. Parking is free and nearby. We'll start with an information overview and then we'll jump right in on the first lesson. Future topics will include communication models and strategies, PR plans, crisis management, media relations and more!

The fee for the course is $50 and it will be one of the best investments you've made in your career!

Ready to jump in? Great! Register here. 

Have questions and want to learn more? Contact Patricia Howard, APR at


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Leadership Assembly

2017 PRSA Leadership Assembly Recap

The Public Relations Society of America Leadership Assembly was held on Oct. 7, 2017, in Boston. Teresa Roof attended on behalf of the Central Iowa Chapter and also voted on behalf of Shawne Ungs with her proxy vote.  The following is a summary of the Bylaw votes and other highlights from Leadership Assembly:

Bylaw Votes

PRSA National Board proposed four bylaw changes, as noted below.
1. Document the requirement for district bylaws to comply with PRSA bylaws
This proposal corrects a loophole in the current bylaws and codifies existing practice.
•          There was no discussion on this amendment.
•          This vote was approved by the Assembly.
2. Add “or communication” is most locations
The objective of this amendment was to accurately reflect the composition of PRSA and the strategic plan by changing language throughout the bylaws from “public relations professional” to “public relations or communication professional,” and wording from “public relations” to “public relations or communication” when it refers to eligibility requirements, except in the case of education/degrees where it will include both.
•          This was a floor proposal from the governance committee based on feedback from
Leadership Assembly delegates prior to Assembly.
•          This vote was approved by the Assembly.
3. Eliminate requirements for district representation among directors
This proposal removes the geographic requirements for directors. It would allow the Nominating Committee to assemble a diverse mix of candidates that complements each other’s skill sets and experience. Geography would still play an important role in determining board service, but it will be equal to board needs for diverse representation balanced across industries, experience, diversity, etc.
•          This amendment received quite a bit of debate. Those opposed were afraid representation would falter for those states who don’t typically have representation and urged the board to consider adding more at-large positions, if needed. Those in support of the amendment stated public relations is changing and we should no longer define ourselves by geography – diversity is not defined by geography.
•          This bylaw was not approved by the Assembly.
4. Allow the board of directors to amend bylaws
This amendment would have allowed PRSA to adapt more quickly to meet member needs and realize the intent of changing from a Delegate Assembly to a Leadership Assembly by enabling staff and delegates to focus on issues facing the industry and the board to focus on governance.
Assembly Delegates would have a 30-day comment period prior to board action on proposed bylaws amendments. This preserves Delegate input and participation in the process.
The board shall not have the power to abolish the Leadership Assembly.  And the Leadership Assembly will have the power to overturn bylaws enacted by the board with a two-thirds vote.
•          The governance committee and the board of directors decided not to make a motion to consider this bylaw amendment at this time.
State of Society Report

During the state of society of report, it was reported more than 400 PRSSA students have been converted to PRSA members. This is the largest conversion to-date and puts the association on track to meet their goal of 600.  It was also shared more than 10,000 members are taking part in myPRSA forums.  Other highlights from a few of the various committees including:

  • Thought Leadership: PRSA took a stand on “alternative facts” by issuing a statement.  The storm support efforts after Hurricane Harvey is another example.
  • Professional Development:  The reputation management certificate program attracted three times more participants than expected.
  • Diversity: Eight scholarships were awarded for students to attend National PRSSA Conference.
  • BEPS Ethics: A chapter toolkit was developed, ethics moments and a PRSSA pod
    was created.

There is also a leadership academy task force that is developing a program that will be launched in 2018.  More to come from PRSA in the coming months.

Operational Update

The Leadership Assembly also received an operational update from CEO Joe Truncale. He provided an update on the PRSA eKG Competitive Index. This index measures satisfaction, importance and competitive position.  The code of ethics ranked first in satisfaction, the code of ethics appeared first in importance and the competitive index.

PRSA is also working on a strategic technology plan that overlays the PRSA three-year strategic plan. It is going to require a significant investment for the next 20-30 months. An early example is a speaker database that is tentatively set to launch in first quarter 2018.

What’s Ahead

National PRSA is continuing to focus on the challenges of membership growth and retention. In addition to membership, they also recognized other challenges such as chapter support, technology, and awards. Members can expect to hear more about these in the coming year. 

There are also several things that working well and they will continue to build upon those.  This includes section membership and benefits, certificate programs, PRSSA to PRSA conversion, myPRSA community participation, district conferences and group membership.

Please contact Teresa Roof if you have any questions or would like additional information about the bylaw votes or the assembly in general. 


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PRSA Code of Ethics Statement

PRSA’s Code of Ethics is one of the cornerstones of our organization and is well-respected in the industry. PRSA’s more than 21,000 members have agreed to follow the code which calls for them to conduct themselves professionally, with truth, accuracy, fairness, and responsibility to the public as core principles.


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Congratulations to the Drake PRSSA Chapter for being named a 2017 Star Chapter at the 2017 PRSSA National Conference in Boston.


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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

  • Amy Wiley, SHAZAM

Twenty-Five Years

  • Jennifer McCoy, Meredith Corporation


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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:

Media Relations Coordinator - HCI Care Services & Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa

Vice President, Corporate Communications - Central Iowa Power Cooperative

PR Supervisor - Two Rivers Marketing

Social Media Strategist - Principal Financial Group

Senior PR/ Content Strategist - Principal Financial Group

Communications Intern - Landus Cooperative

PR Assistant Account Manager/ Digital Content Specialist - Strategic America


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Contact Information

Make sure you're keeping your account information up-to-date. Login into your PRSA account to check or update your information.


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Upcoming Learning Opportunities

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

Case in Point

12/14: Leadership in the Age of Disruption - How GE Power is Transforming Its Communications and Culture to Adapt to the Digital Era


11/7: Supercharge Your PR Writing for Better Results

11/9: NEW! Writing For the Web and Mobile

11/16: How to Ignite (or Reignite) Your Career

12/5: Cut Through the Clutter in PR

Click here to view the entire library of on-demand webinars.


11/2: Reputation Champion's Roadmap Development

3/22/2018 - 3/23/2018: Secrets of a Media Relations Master

4/4/2018 - 4/6/2018: APR Boot Camp

Section Conferences

11/8 - 11/9: Corporate Communications: Strategic Collaboration Conference

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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