December 2018 Print

Letter from the President

What an amazing year 2018 has been. Our PRSA Central Iowa board of directors worked hard to deliver high-quality programming, networking opportunities and professional development sessions to hundreds of professionals this year. 

Read the final letter of the year about our chapter's successes from our 2018 president, Dr. Kelly Bruhn, APR. 

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APR News

APR Information Meeting

Are you ready to take your career to the next level? Public relations professionals who earn the APR designation have shown a mastery in strategic communications and commitment to the profession. Earning the APR can help make your case for a salary increase and a job promotion. Or, it can put you in a position for a new role by demonstrating that you have the broad perspective to move from a tactical role to a managerial and/or strategic counselor role.


Join us for an information session on November 29, 2018, 6 - 7 p.m., at Strategic America, 6600 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines. Please park and enter on southwest side of building

We'll provide information, answer questions and lead a discussion on the APR process.

The Central Iowa PRSA Chapter has more than 50 accredited members and we'd like to add your name to the list!

Contact Dawn Buzynski, [email protected], for more information.

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Programming Updates

Holiday Social

Please join us for the Central Iowa PRSA Holiday Social on Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 5 - 7 p.m. at Lessing-Flynn at 220 SE 6th Street, Suite 210 in Des Moines, Iowa 50309. 
Come enjoy a fun and relaxing get together with fellow PR colleagues while enjoying snacks, beverages and games. 
This event is FREE to all. Register here. 

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APR Prep Course

Classes begin January 19

Earning your APR is one thing you can do to advance your public relations career, continue your professional development and join more than 60 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 six-week prep course. We'll provide an overview of the process, feature PR practitioners speaking on a variety of topics and help you prepare for the panel review and accreditation exam.

The course will begin Saturday, January 19, 8 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 get started? Great! Register here. 

Have questions and want to learn more? Contact Dawn Buzynski, APR at [email protected].

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Ethics Column

It's almost December, the last month of the year. It's the month we squeeze more than a month's worth of work into our schedules, and then enjoy time away from work or school as the holiday season and New Year arrives. 

As you reflect on 2018, did you accomplish everything you had hoped and planned to professionally? If not, now's the time to start making your professional goals for 2019. 

Read this month's ethics column by Kathy Krafka Harkema, APR here. 

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Scholarship Information

This November, the Central Iowa PRSA chapter awarded three scolarships: The Ferne Bonomi & Dr. Henry Milam Scholarship, a second student scholarship and the Advanced Degree Scholarship.

Read about the three deserving recipients of these scholarships here. 

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PRIME Awards

Check it out!

The 2018 PRIME Awards program may be over, but it’s not too early to start thinking about your entry (or entries) for next year! After hearing your suggestions, the 2018 PRIME Award winning entries have been posted for you to view at The entry summary and supporting materials for PRIME Award winners in each category are available for you to review and provide inspiration for future award entries!

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Member Profile

Central Iowa PRSA member, Jennifer Phan, APR, was recently featured in PRSA Strategies & Tactics online and print editions. Read about it here. 

Phan was also one of our very first member spotlights in 2018, read it here. 



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Bookmark This

We are only one month away from 2019 and you're probably thinking, "How is this even possible? We just started 2018!"

It's no secret this year has flown by. And while 50 percent of Americans prepare to write their new year resolutions, only 8 percent will be successful in accomplishing. 

Check out how you can make your perosnal and professional resolutions the SMART way here. 



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It's the holiday season. As a college student this can be one of the best (or maybe worst) times of the year. While your mind may be ready to go home or travel somewhere warm, finals are in full swing and you are spending your mornings, afternoons and nights in the library studying away. 

While you're preparing for a good grade, you're also thinking of all the relaxation and down time you're about to have at home. 

Here's a challenge for all you college students heading home for a near month-long break this winter: BE PRODUCTIVE. Check out these 4 tips to make the most of your time this winter break. 

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Event Recap

The 2018 Communciations Tour was successful with stops made at at Lessing-Flynn, The World Food Prize Foundation, and Metro Waste Authority. Approximately 18 individuals from area universities and businesses participated in the East Village and Market District tour. 

We learned about effective B-to-B event marketing and digital marketing/targeting at Lessing-Flynn. At the World Food Prize, we got a tour of the former downtown Des Moines library-turned-World Food Prize headquarters, and how Director of Communications and Events Nicole Barreca manages the annual October events on top of renting the building for private functions. And at Metro Waste Authority, we learned how Leslie Irlbeck and her communications team help educate customers in Polk County about what to do with their waste, compost, and recycling products. 

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Member Updates

December 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 celebrated or will celebrate milestone anniversaries.

One Year

  • Belle Du Chene, MA, Principal


Five Years

  • Jen Sorenson, Iowa Select Farms
  • Laura Sprague, APR, Johnston Community Schools


Ten Years

  • Sharyl Sauer, Corteva Agriscience


Twenty-Five Years

  • Brenda Jones Wiarda, APR, Wells Fargo & Co.

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