May 2018 Print

Letter from the President



In my world, the students are buzzing with plans for the summer, which often include internships, travel and online classes. Their preparation includes a conversation about reputation, focusing on the choices they make and how those choices may affect their future work. As Eileen Wixted highlighted numerous corporate crises at our quarterly luncheon, it reinforced to me how critically important our work in reputation management is to our organizations and our team members. Are you having critical conversations with your leaders and team? Are you asking the right questions? 

Read this month's letter from PRSA Central Iowa President, Dr. Kelly Bruhn, APR here. 


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Friday FYI

Attend the upcoming Friday FYI event at the Food Bank of Iowa on the topic of nonprofit storytelling. 

To learn more and register, click here. 


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Save the Date

2018 OctoPRfest on October 18!

OctoPRfest, Iowa’s Communications Conference is Oct. 18 at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield downtown Des Moines. The OctoPRfest committee is excited to announce another speaker has been confirmed – Paul Furiga with WordWrite Communications LLC.  Here is a sneak peek on what he will be discussing:

Even online, it’s all about the headline

While the days of screaming tabloid headlines may be (mostly) in the past, as a PR pro, you still need to grab attention for your words. And in the 21st century, that attention must be seized in more environments than ever, from social media to blogs or email subject lines. The common denominator to all that attention-getting is still a sharp, smart headline. In this interactive, hands-on session, Paul Furiga will share tips, tricks and strategies to grab attention in an era of information overload. You’ll learn to how to write for real people while honoring SEO algorithms and considering multiple platforms. In two decades as a journalist, Paul wrote more than 10,000 stories and wrote headlines for another 10,000 as an editor. In two decades a PR pro, he’s navigated the transition from faxed press releases to email and text alerts with a healthy dollop of Twitter mixed in. Come ready for fun and bring a sharp pencil and wit to match (or maybe even a laptop).

Furiga, joins Andy Gerlt, Senior Director of Global Innovation Communications for Visa in the OctoPRfest line up.  More to come on his presentation as well as other speakers next month!

For more information or sponsorship opportunities, contact Teresa Roof, APR at [email protected].

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Interested in sharing your expertise and thoughts on industry trends, current events, and PR and communications strategies? We’re looking for contributors to the Central Iowa PRSA blog.

If you would like to share an article or topic idea, contact Abby Delaney, PR Chair.


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Ethics Column

As a PR professional, protecting your organization's reputation can be one of the most important things you do.

Read more about the importance of reputation in our ethics column by PRSA Central Iowa board member, Kathy Krafka Harkema here. 


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Silver Anvil Finalist

Congratulations, Bankers Trust!

Bankers Trust has been named a Silver Anvil finalist for its “100 Years of Trust” integrated marketing campaign, led by Central Iowa PRSA members Emily Abbas, APR, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, and Scott Valbert, Corporate Communications Officer.

To celebrate Bankers Trust’s 100th anniversary, the campaign used a variety of marketing and communications tactics to instill pride and engage employees, support the Bank’s financial goals, strengthen brand awareness, deepen customer relationships and strengthen the communities where the bank does business.

The Silver Anvil Award is PRSA’s highest honor granted in the public relations industry. Entries are judged on their research, planning, execution and evaluation, while also considering factors such as creativity, ethics and budget. Winners will be announced in June.


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Awards Update


Each vignette sought to correct the farming stereotype some consumers may have. The key messages centered on the We Care Ethical Principles to which pig farmers are committed in their day-to-day work on the farm. The goal of this campaign was to reach 500,000 people throughout the year via social media, digital tools and the #RealPigFarming blog.

Read about the PRIME Award-winning social media campaign here.


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PRIME Awards

The annual PRIME Awards will be here before you know it. In the coming weeks, be sure to check your mail box and your email inbox for details on how you can submit your entries.

Exclusive sneak peek!

New this year, awards entry categories will be divided into two areas: campaigns and tactics. Click here to see the full list of award entry categories!

Although this is a limited list, it should get you thinking about the work you’d like to enter. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to be recognized for your incredible work!

For more information or questions, please email [email protected].



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Member Updates

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
  • Kelly Marble, Orchestrate Hospitality


Five Years

  • Jessica Lown, ZLR Ignition


Twenty-Five Years

  • Erin Wilgenbusch, APR, Iowa State University


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Support a Drake Student’s PR Certification Exam

Upon graduation, senior public relations majors may now take the “Certificate in Principles of Public Relations” exam, a national benchmark designation in public relations for entry-level professionals. To successfully complete the exam, administered by the Universal Accreditation Board at Prometric testing sites nationwide, students must demonstrate a significant degree of knowledge of PR principles and ethics. The catch: The exam costs $l50, and the cost is prohibitive for many students. You can support a Drake student today by covering the cost of this important exam. And, your donation will help continue to build the reputation of the Drake public relations program—a CEPR-certified program recognized as a global leader in public relations education. Thank you for your support!


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General News

Eastern Iowa Update

PRSA Central Iowa hosted a planning session in Cedar Rapids on April 25. Plans are underway to survey Eastern Iowa PRSA members to better understand the needs of communicators in the region. The team also discussed a possible networking event this summer to be held at the rooftop garden of the Cedar Rapids Public Library. If you are interested in helping with survey design/implementation and event planning, please contact Kelly Bruhn at [email protected].


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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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Job Bank

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 Manager - Iowa Soybean Association

Public Relations/Content Marketing Specialist - Red Dot Advertising + Design

Communications Specialist - Renewable Energy Group

Digital Content Writer - Principal

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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