April 2018 Print

Letter from the President


For me, spring always brings a renewed passion for my work. I congratulate seniors on successful client presentations and celebrate as they walk across the stage to accept their diplomas. I re-engage with alumni who join us for Drake Relays events, and we share stories, memories and the latest industry trends. However, there is a lot more than these celebrations included in sPRing cleaning. 

Read more from our 2018 chapter President Dr. Kelly Bruhn, APR here.  


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PRSA Luncheon

Crisis communications in today's media landscape

When the unthinkable happens and a reporter is suddenly on the scene wanting an interview or shooting video, anxiety and panic can take over. Learn how to successfully interact with today’s reporters, how social media changes the landscape and how to manage risk through effective and transparent communication.

This program will include case studies, discussion and video examples to prepare participants to communicate more effectively – especially when faced with a crisis.

Date: Thursday, April 19th from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

FFA Enrichment Center
1055 SW Prairie Trail Parkway
Ankeny, IA 50023


About Eileen: Eileen Wixted is a nationally recognized strategic communications and crisis management veteran with core competencies in the financial services, nuclear energy, agribusiness, and healthcare industries. As a strategist and communication trainer, she has helped clients navigate brand damaging issues as well as coaching them to face hostile media interviews and government investigations.



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APR News

In April, the Public Relations Society of America reocgnizes the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) creditial. 

On March 29, six Central IA PRSA members were recognized for earning their Accreditation in Public Relations. Read more about it here. 





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Member Profile

After nearly 30 years in the public relations industry, Bill Brewer, APR, has made a significant impact. And, even after he gives up the office lifestyle, he will continue to hold public relations close to his heart. 

Read more about this month's member spotlight on Bill Brewer here.

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Bookmark This


Central IA PRSA chapter member, Carol Bodensteiner, recently released her new novel, Simple Truth, which tackles contemporary issues in public relations. 

Read more about the inspiration for the novel here. 




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PRIME Awards

We're all waiting for that one story that could mean media coverage jackpot. Mercy Medical Center in Des Monies recived that opportunity after helping save the life of an unborn baby and working with her parents and the organization "Count the Kicks" to share the story.

Learn more about their PRIME Award winning media campaign here. 



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Program Recap

Friday FYI: Reputation Management in the Digital Age Recap

PRSA held the first professional development opportunity of the year on March 23.  Members and friends of PRSA kicked off Friday morning with breakfast and reputation management conversations. Pros shared best practices related to brand reputation. Thank you to Lessing-Flynn for hosting the event.

PRSA Central Iowa Chapter is committed to providing professional development opportunities to our members. Keep a look out for upcoming events on the PRSA Calendar.

If you are interested in hosting a professional development event at your organization or have questions, please contact Katie Stanley at



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Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks made light of telling “white lies” for her former boss, President Donald Trump. PRSA members know better than to stretch the truth. 

Read more about this in our ethics column by PRSA Central Iowa member, Kathy Krafka Harkema here. 


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Milestone Anniversaries

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
  • Staci Hupp Ballard
  • Reid Chandler, Trilix
  • Morgan DeBoest
  • Casey Lynn Levigne
Five Years
  • Samantha Kampman
Twenty-Five Years
  • Steven L. Miller, APR, Welland Laike Communication


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Tips and Tricks

Summer is just around the corner — are you prepared to make a lasting impression at your internship?

Learn more about steps to internship success here. 

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PRSA Tactics

While many of the PR classics such as press releases and videos might still provide the information your public needs, it's important for us to also adapt to a world of shrinking attention spans and constant social media usage. 

Check out this PRSay article to figure out which strategies you should keep, which ones you should tweak and which ones you should discard. 


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From the PRSA Board

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and iPR Software  launched  "Content Connection," a one-stop digital portal designed to help communications professionals find the information they need to advance their careers.

The hub, located on, provides news, research, trends, tips and must-read articles on a wide variety of need-to-know subjects, including Content Marketing, the PESO model, Crisis Communications, Case Studies, and Data and Analytics. As it evolves, "Content Connection" will also include podcasts and videos.  

We also created a Content Marketing Community in MyPRSA where you can share your thoughts, concerns and challenges around implementing an effective content marketing strategy.

Laura Kane

Chief Communications Officer, PRSA


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Mentor Program

Central Iowa PRSA is partnering with the Drake University PRSSA chapter to establish a mentorship program.

Starting this semester, we’re looking for local public relations professionals interested in mentoring 2-3 Drake PRSSA students.

Mentors would be expected to do the following:

  • Schedule and lead a kick-off meeting with mentees
  • Be willing to keep up an email correspondence with the individual mentees
  • Hold at least one group meeting with mentees per semester (spring and fall)


The students are interested in partnering with mentors who have experience in agency, non-profit, sports, and entertainment public relations. Mentors will be paired with mentees who are interested in their area of experience.

If you have experience in these industries and you’re interested in becoming a mentor, please contact the Drake PRSSA liaisons:



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In only six months, students at Simpson College and Simpson PRSSA have successfully founded the first student-run communication firm in the Greater Des Moines area. 

Read more about C Street Agency and how they plan to move forward in the future here.


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Save The Date

2018 OctoPRfest on October 18!

Save the date for OctoPRfest, Iowa’s Communications Conference on October 18! The event will be held in downtown Des Moines at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. You won’t want to miss Andy Gerlt, Senior Director of Global Innovation Communications for Visa. More to come on his presentation next month.

Also new in 2018, are a few new PRIME award categories. Based on last year’s feedback, the PRIME Awards committee has created two distinct types of award entries: campaigns and tactics. As a result, the following new entry categories will be available in 2018:


  • Marketing Business to Business
  • Marketing Consumer Products
  • Reputations/Brand Management



  • Advertorial
  • Blog
  • Brochure
  • Direct Mail
  • Public Service Announcements 


Additional information regarding all the award categories, the timeline for submission and the cost will be available on the Central Iowa PRSA website as soon as details are finalized.

If you have any questions or would like to be a sponsor for OctoPRfest, please contact Teresa Roof, APR at  

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Volunteer Opportunity

Was one of your new year’s resolutions to volunteer more? Central Iowa PRSA has an opportunity for you!

The professional development/social committee is looking for volunteers to work alongside the programming committee to create additional professional development/networking events for all members.

If you would like more information or are interested in volunteering, please contact Kelly Bruhn, APR, at

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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 Erin Campbell.

Below are the current job postings:

Public Relations Coordinator - Athene 

Social Media Coordinator/Specialist - Two Rivers Marketing 

PR & Content Specialist - Two Rivers Marketing 

Public Relations Account Supervisor - ZLR IGNITION


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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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