June 2020 Newsletter Print

Letter from the President

The past three months have not been easy for any of us. We’ve all had our business and personal lives disrupted by COVID-19. Some have asked, “When will we return to normal?” Probably not for a while, but there are certainly signs of it as businesses and attractions reopen. 

During the pandemic, we’ve been forced to change how, and likely where, we work. Perhaps some of these changes were for the better. Can you keep these positive changes in place when you return to your office? 

We’ve also changed how we offer programming to our members and nonmembers. We pivoted to online programming in May and had a successful event, based on registrations and survey results. We’ll continue to offer online programmingfor freeuntil it is safe for us to meet in person. 

PRSA National continues to offer free webinars for members. If you cannot participate in our chapter’s virtual programming, consider listening to a PRSA webinar. For APRs, these webinars count as continuing education toward maintaining your accreditation.  

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I may be of assistance. This is your chapter. We want it to benefit you. Let us know how we can make it better.  

Ryan R. Johnson, APR 

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Diversity and Inclusion

History Is in the Making, and We Can Help Shape It

Public relations professionals have the opportunity to use their skills to help form the future narrative about racism in America. Here are some key recommendations from Tara Deering-Hansen for how to respond to recent events.

She will cover:

  • Understand silence is complicity
  • Say you’re listening
  • Provide anti-racism resources
  • Be clear on where you stand

Read more here. 

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Upcoming Events

Join us for a virtual panel discussion from local communications leaders to hear how they've helped their companies address and pivot marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic (so far). We'll discuss their key learnings, including internal communication, media relations, and customer communication during this luncheon. Feel free to bring you lunch and learn from some of our top local organizations.

Panelists will include: 

  • Carly Flaws, Director of Marketing, Goodwill of Central Iowa
  • Christine Zrostlik, Senior Media Relations Specialist, Marketing & Communications, UnityPoint Health
  • Jordan Powers, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Des Moines Arts Center
  • Lauren M.G. Burt, Head of Worldwide Communications, Kemin Industries


Register here. 

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Awards Update

Mark your calendars for the opening of the 2020 PRSA Central Iowa PRIME Awards. Entries will open on June 22, 2020, and close for the early bird discount on July 24. The final deadline will be July 31. Keep an eye out for more information coming soon! 

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APR News

APR Renewal

Accredited professionals must renew their credential and commitment to the sound and ethical practice of public relations every three years. Accreditation Renewal can be achieved through lifelong learning, participating in industry events, giving back to local Accreditation programs or some combination of the above.

Consider the below activities, which both advance Accreditation and help you reach your renewal goals, such as:

  1. Mentoring candidates through the Accreditation process.
  2. Joining a panel for a candidate's Panel Presentation.
  3. Teaching an APR prep course class at the local level or be an APR Online Course facilitator.
  4. Speaking publicly or publish on the topic of public relations.
  5. Earn an advanced degree. In recognition of the mastery of strategic communication practice, competencies and ethical standards achieved by those who have earned APR, there are several universities that offer waivers for professionals that hold the designation.

To access the APR renewal application documents, visit

If you have questions, or need help brainstorming ways to virtually participate and earn renewal credit in 2020, contact Christina Gayman, APR, or Kelly Bruhn, APR.

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Ethics Column

As we navigate changing times, we have an obligation to help reach our publics with accurate, timely and useful information. Read more on the ethics of communicating as we adjust to new challenges with our ethics column from Kathy Krafka Harkema, APR.

Read more here.

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Member Profile

As we continue to deal with COVID-19 and its impact on our personal and professional lives, PRSA reached out to communications professionals in a variety of industries to hear about their experiences. This month, we're featuring Dawn Buzynski, Executive Director of Strategic Communications at Strategic America. 

Read what she had to say here. 

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Member Updates

Welcome, New Members!

Lindsay Black, Workiva
Baillee Furst, West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce
Kiana Brincks
Josh Hafner, Two Rivers Marketing

Member Anniversaries

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

Five Years
Katelin Brown, Performance Marketing
Laura Plumb, Lessing-Flynn
Taylor Rookaird, Lessing-Flynn

One Year
Erin Gruba
Anna Nielsen, EMC National Life
Molly A. Ryan, Cambridge Investment Research, Inc.

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Drake Offers Free Mini Sessions at Media Now Summer Camp

Drake's Media Now summer camp will be offered completely online in Summer 2020. Campers will immerse themselves in hands-on projects and build their skills in a variety of areas like Photography, Writing, Design, Podcasting, Social Media and many others.

In addition to these amazing courses, the faculty of the Drake School of Journalism and Mass Communication created nine FREE mini-courses for students and yearbook/newspaper advisors. Each is around 15 minutes and features a handout to use or "next step" instructions within the videos themselves. The free sessions include topics like "Crisis Communication," "5 Tips for Better Writing," "Fun with Adobe After Effects" and "Hands-Off Editing: Put Down the Red Pen." Please reach out to Kelly Bruhn at [email protected] with any questions.

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Upcoming FREE Webinars

While we can’t get together in person, you don’t have to give up on professional development altogether. Check out these webinars, FREE for PRSA members.

Nine Brainstorming Techniques to Add Creativity Into Your PR
June 9, 2020, 2 p.m.

Feel like you’re in a creative slump lately? Get some brainstorming strategies from an expert to help you break out of your rut. 

From Employee Engagement to Employee Activism
June 23, 2020, 2 p.m.  

For most companies, employee engagement is evolving. This webinar from PRSA can help you navigate the shift and better serve your employees.

Developing Cross-Channel Analytics Frameworks to Measure Digital Corporate Reputation
June 30, 2020, 2 p.m.

Strategic communication is always changing. In this webinar, you can learn how to use multiple channels to hone your message and reach your audiences.

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Connect With Us

Connect with Us

Right now, digital platforms are the best place to connect with PRSA Central 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.

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Membership Information

Not a member? Time to renew your membership? Now is a great time to join PRSA.

Now through the end of July, new and returning members will have their initiation or reinstatement fee waived, when they join National as a Regular member ($260 annual dues) and receive a FREE chapter membership. Save up to $130. Use code CHAPTER2020.

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