January 2021 PRSA Iowa Newsletter Print

Letter from the President

As we enter into a new year with plenty of uncertainty, I’d like to focus on things that are certain.

  • We have a strong Chapter, thanks to our members and past leadership.  
  • We have a strong board that cares about the future of the profession and the Chapter. 
  • We have a strong community that worked hard and learned a lot in 2020 and is committed to continuing to learn and improve to do their best work.

I am certain we can find success in helping members achieve their goals in 2021 for all the reasons listed above. We are starting strong. 

This month we have two important opportunities for communicators:

  1. A webinar, Public Relations During a Pandemic, organized by Aaron Putze and Laura Plumb.
  2. Our APR prep course, offered for free for the first time to PRSA Iowa members, organized by Kelly Bruhn.

Looking forward to 2021 with all of you. Be well.

Katelin Brown

Back to top

Upcoming Events

Public Relations During a Pandemic
Serving publics, projecting confidence during a time of panic and fear

Janury 21, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Planning for a crisis is what public relations and communications professionals do. 

And then there are pandemics. 

Where do you start when one strikes? When consumer habits and behaviors molded over generations change in two weeks. When panic and fear drive decisions. When expectations about how (and how quickly) we communicate evolve overnight. 

When the ground shifts beneath us, what proven processes guide decision making? What strategies, tactics and activities are deployed to effectively manage relationships, credibility and customer and employee relations? 

PRSA Iowa members representing retail, finance and education will share how they've adapted their public relations and communications plans to effectively manage ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19.


  • Christina Gayman, APR, Director, Public Relations, Hy-Vee, Inc.
  • Laura Sprague, APR, Director of Communications, Johnston Community School District
  • Kevin Waetke, APR, Fellow PRSA, Asst. VP, Corporate Marketing, Sammons Financial Group

Register here. 

Back to top

APR News

Free APR Prep Course for Members

PRSA Iowa is pleased to offer our annual Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) prep course 100% online via Zoom. This six-week, online course will be delivered in weekly, four-hour sessions on Saturday mornings from January 30 to March 6, 2021. 

Topics will include research, legal and ethical issues, communication models and strategies, PR plans, crisis management, media relations, prep for the computerized APR exam and more. 

The best part? Registration is free for PRSA Iowa members, members of the Iowa School Public Relations Association and PRSA Educators Academy, and just $50 for PRSA members outside of Iowa. Questions? Contact Kelly Bruhn or Ryan Hanser

Reserve your seat today!

Back to top

Ethics Column

As public relations professionals, there’s no room for “do as I say, not as I do.” In her latest ethics update, Kathy Krafka Harkema highlights how saying one thing and doing another leads audiences to lose trust.

In our field, that trust is essential. Find out more about how authenticity and ethics are related on the PRSA Iowa blog.

Back to top

Member Profile

This month, hear more about PRSA Iowa member Aaron Putze. He keeps busy as the senior director of information & education at the Iowa Soybean Association, PRSA Iowa board member and author of two books.

Hear more about his career, his journey to authorship and his advice for other communications professionals on the PRSA Iowa blog.

Back to top

Chapter News

Members Only: PRSA Leadership Assembly Delegate Report

Review the delegate report from Aaron Putze, APR, who attended the PRSA Leadership Assembly in December. To review, log into the member portal at PRSA Iowa Chapter. When logged in, select downloads from the left menu.

Back to top

Member Updates

Welcome New Members! 

Carrie Ann Johnson
Brandi Snyder, Iowa Corn

Member Anniversaries 

Congratulations to all our members celebrating anniversaries this month, especially those celebrating the following milestones!

Twenty-Five Years
Jane M. Keairns, APR, Principal Financial Group

Ten Years
Alyssa Jo Young, Two Rivers Marketing

One Year
Kelsey Arganbright, Farm Bureau Financial Services
Tracy J. Smith, Wellmark
Ivy A. Sprague, Hy-Vee, Inc.

Back to top

Job Bank

There are great communication jobs all around Iowa. See current openings on our Job Bank.

Adult Programming and Library Information Coordinator
City of West Des Moines

Regional Communications Lead

Director of Marketing
HomeServices of Iowa - (Iowa Realty)

Back to top

Connect With Us

Right now, digital platforms are the best place to connect with PRSA Iowa and other members. Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Looking for advice, a sounding board or a professional resource? Join our LinkedIn group. To request membership, log into your LinkedIn account and click on the “Ask to Join” button.

Back to top

Membership Information

Did you make a resolution to focus on professional development? Now is a great time to join PRSA Iowa! 

Now through the end of February, new and reinstating members will have initiation or reinstatement fees waived and receive a FREE Chapter membership. This promotion applies to Regular National memberships ($260 annual dues). 

Learn more and join at

Back to top