March 2020 Newsletter - REVISED Print

Letter from the President

This year, our Chapter has a special opportunity to host the PRSA Midwest District Conference. This annual event is similar to our OctoPRfest strategic communications conference; however, it will take place for three days. Please save the dates: October 6-8, 2020, and plan to attend this unique continuing education and networking event in our hometown.

The event will begin on October 6 with an evening reception to welcome out-of-town guests. There will be a variety of programming and speakers on the October 7. Then, on the morning of October 8, our Chapter will provide some additional programming before our annual PRIME Awards program held during lunch. These events will be held in downtown Des Moines at The Tea Room and the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.

This is our opportunity to showcase our Chapter to the PRSA members and guests from the following states: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Please join me in supporting president-elect Katelin Brown and her committee as she plans the conference.

Help Sponsor the Conference

With PR professionals from eight states expected to attend the conference, a conference sponsorship has a new audience for your organization. Plus, you’ll be supporting the Central Iowa public relations professional community. If you or your company is interested in sponsoring the 2020 Midwest District Conference, please contact Kelly Visser ([email protected]) at the Iowa Soybean Association. Thank you.

Ryan Johnson, APR

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Upcoming Events

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we are canceling chapter events through March 31. This includes the new member social originally scheduled for March 27 at the American Cancer Society.

We will continue to monitor the situation in Central Iowa and make decisions about postponing or canceling additional events on an ongoing basis.

Thank you for all the work you are doing for your organizations during these uncertain times. 

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Program Recap

Quarterly Luncheon Review

Data privacy laws are increasingly important for the work that communicators are doing around the country. And while Iowa has not officially changed its stance, changes from other states and around the world can impact the work Central Iowa PR professionals are doing.

Our first quarterly luncheon of the year aimed to help members better understand those laws. Attorney Shannon Holmberg of DavisBrown Law spoke on the data privacy and reviewed the basics of legislation that have passed in the last year, like the CCPA and GDPR.

She recommended action items members could take to help prevent issues later. Holmberg asked attendees to look at how their customer data is obtained, establish a plan in case of a data breach and urge their companies to create a data privacy and security team.

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Chapter News

Community Service Initiative Update

In 2019, PRSA Central Iowa announced a new community service initiative to offer pro-bono public relations services to a local non-profit. Everybody Wins! Iowa, an organization focused on increasing literacy for Iowa kids, was selected. Chapter members have now begun work on with their marketing team.

PRSA members have already captured a number of videos for use by Everybody Wins! Iowa. The videos are with the team for final sign off. The intention is to produce a social calendar with recommendations for curating and deploying content for the remainder of 2020. Members will manage this over the next few months.

The organization's main fundraiser—Trivia Night—will be held in April. Following the event, a thank you video will be distributed to event attendees via email asking them to consider becoming a mentor. The PRSA Central Iowa team should provide the majority of support needed by May.

Plans for further work or future community service projects will begin in the summer.

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APR News

Maintenance Credit Opportunity 

APRs who are currently in a maintenance period or who need to renew by the end of 2020 can earn up to five of the 10 points needed to renew through by dedicating hours to public relations service to the local/national community. This is defined by volunteer or pro bono work outside of normal work assignments.

Central Iowa PRSA has a fantastic opportunity for you to volunteer with Everybody Wins Iowa through early summer. If interested in volunteering, please contact Erica Turner, [email protected]

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Ethics Column

Endorsement and Ethics

Ever read a social media post, an online review or testimonial that sounds too good to be true? Wonder if the person was paid or received something in exchange for making an amazing comment or claim?

Sorting out fact from fiction and paid endorsements could become easier as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revises its Endorsement Guides that help regulate social media, advertising and marketing.

PRSA Central Iowa Ethics Chair Kathy Krafka Harkema, APR offers more information on the change on our blog. Find it here.

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Member Profile

The PRSA Central Iowa board is made up of professionals from a variety of industries and different experience levels. But each one is working to create meaningful opportunities for members to connect and develop as professionals.

Learn more about some of them in our newest blog post.

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Member Updates

Welcome, New Members!

Kent Davis, Optimae LifeServices, Inc.
Mariah H. Elbert, Shive-Hattery
Carly Jane Flaws, Goodwill Industries
Amber Gustafson
Trinity Kay Hopkey
Tara Kamin, Iowa Student Loan
Aileen Rojas, Farm Bureau Financial Services
Christine M. Stineman, Strategic Elements LLC

Member Anniversaries

We recognize our PRSA Central Iowa Chapter members who are celebrating their membership anniversaries with PRSA this month.

Ten Years
Kerry K. Koonce, Central Iowa Power Cooperative

Five Years
Heidi Farmer, Farmer Vision

One Year
Ashley Davis, Wyffels Hybrids

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Upcoming FREE Webinars

 Learn from incredible communication professionals without even leaving your office. PRSA members have access to live and on-demand professional development webinars. Covering a range of topics, these webinars are available for free to members.

The Shifting Tides of Brand in PR and Communications Today: How to Appeal to the New Consumer Market
March 12, 2 p.m.

This webinar will focus on how brands are working to appeal to Gen Z consumers in a changing brand landscape.

The Art of Managing Workplace Conflict
March 17, 2 p.m.

Webinar attendees will learn the difference between criticism and feedback, as well as strategies to navigate conflict in the workplace.

You Got This! Build a Social Media Presence to Align Message with Market
March 24, 2 p.m.

Learn from the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital team on how they create content that makes sense for their audience—and how you can too.

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Job Bank

Newest Career Listings

Check out the PRSA Central Iowa Chapter Job Bank for great jobs available now.

Public Relations Manager, University of Iowa Health Care
Director of Communication & Digital Engagement, Iowa Pharmacy Association
Strategic Communications Director, Two Rivers Marketing
Strategic Communications Specialist, Two Rivers Marketing
Content Marketing Strategist, Two Rivers Marketing
Account Director - Channel Marketing, Two Rivers Marketing

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Connect With Us

Get Social with PRSA Central Iowa 

You can amplify our message on social media by sharing our posts to your personal accounts. Help us show Central Iowa why you love PRSA. 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.

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Membership Information

Now is a Great Time to Join PRSA!

New and returning members will have their initiation or reinstatement fee waived, when they join National as a Regular member and receive their choice of:

  1. FREE 1-year Chapter (up to $100 value)
  2. FREE 1-year Section (up to $65 value)


National will reimburse Chapter and Sections for their dues. Chapters whose dues are more than $100 will only be reimbursed up to $100 and balance will be collected from member.


N/A for Associate member types ($200 or less annual dues) and current or renewing members. Refer to for details.

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