July 2016 Print

Letter from the President

We’re smack in the middle of summer vacation season, a time dating back to our childhood of gallivanting and playing – with learning being a distant memory. Our chapter has long honored this tradition, taking the months of June, July and August off from our monthly programming meetings. I want to change that tradition…sort of.

This year I want to combine the idea of vacation and learning, in case you’re looking to earn some extra credit. With the intent of giving you places to vacation that have a tie to public relations, I’ve researched various places you can go. I give you:

Tom’s “Top 6 PR-Related Vacation Destinations”

#6: The University of Wisconsin at Madison

While there are schools with older publicity bureaus, the University of Wisconsin is recognized for opening one of the first and most successful ones in 1904. Willard Bleyer, a pioneer journalism educator, organized a press bureau at the school at the direction of public relations minded President Charles Van Hise. (Not sure what there is to see, but maybe just tour the campus.)

#5: The Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, CT

Phineas Taylor (P.T.) Barnum has long been credited as one of the first press agents – an early adaptation of today’s public relations practitioner. Check out much of his promotions work at the Barnum Museum, located in Bridgeport, CT. If you don’t want to go as far as Connecticut, you can also take a weekend trip to the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wis., where you’ll likely see many of the same types of promotions used to excite crowds and get them to attend Ringling Bros. shows.

#4: The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

It has been written of Henry Ford that he was “perhaps the most astute self-advertiser in the whole history of a land that has produced its full share of promoters and showmen.” From 1908 on, Ford pioneered in the positive use of public relations in the automobile industry, seeking publicity in sharp contrast to his publicity-shy business contemporaries of that era. See for yourself at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn.

#3: Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, NY

Theodore Roosevelt was a master in the art and power of publicity, and he used his knowledge and skill to gain his political ends. It has been written he ruled the country from the newspapers’ front pages. As one historian observed, “Roosevelt’s colorful, outgoing personality and shrewd sense of publicity had his name constantly in the papers, and in ways to make him a national hero.” To learn more about this politician who learned early on the power of the press and how to use it to his advantage, visit Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, the Summer White House of Theodore Roosevelt,.

#2: The Public Relations Museum in New York City

No PR vacation list would be complete without mention of the Public Relations Museum located in Baruch College’s Newman Library Archives and Special Collections in New York City. Founded in 1997, the museum is considered the primary repository for documents covering the evolution of public relations over the last century. Its archives include more than 600 significant books (many first editions and signed), dozens of artifacts, correspondence, photographs of historically significant people and events, examples of old media technologies, and a digital archive of videotaped oral histories. It’s considered the world’s largest collection of materials documenting PR history.

#1: On a beach, far, far away from cell towers and the Internet

Then again, maybe our PRSA chapter has had it right all these years, and the best vacation is to just “get away.” Find a beach or a mountain far, far away from any cell towers and with no access to the Internet; no reporters; and no social media. It may just be the thing to recharge your battery!

Regardless of your choice for a vacation this summer, I hope you find it refreshing and enjoyable, and that you come back ready for some great programming this fall!

 - Tom

Back to top

APR Prep Course

What’s this whole APR-thing? How much time does it take? And, ultimately, what are the rewards? Join a couple of APRs for an informal chat. Bring your questions and let’s talk about getting Accredited in Public Relations (APR) through PRSA.  

  •       Thurs., July 28 at 8 a.m. at New Moon Café, 401 N. Main St., Oshkosh
  •       Tues., Aug. 9 at 8 a.m. at Copper Rock, 210 W. College Ave., Suite B, Appleton
  •       Mon., Aug. 22 at 8 a.m. at Kavarna, 143 N. Broadway St., Green Bay


Send an email to Cassie Wenzel, APR ( at least 2 days in advance to let us know if you’re planning to attend.

 Whether you’ve been on the fence for a while, have only heard about APR recently, or just really need some coffee, we look forward to seeing you!

Back to top

PRemier Awards

Dust off your best work and get it ready for prime time! The Chapter’s 2016 PRemier Awards are ready to showcase it.

This year, you’ll see a significantly different approach to preparing and evaluating your entries.

  •        Revamped: The entry guidelines and judging criteria <link> are completely new. These give clearer insight into what makes an excellent entry, one that contains all the information the judges are looking for.
  •        Refocused: The entry criteria tie more closely to the four-step Public Relations process – Research, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation. The awards task force followed the PRSA Accreditation Study Guide <link> to provide more rigor around definitions and practices.

The PRemier Awards competition is open to PR professionals who live and work in Northeast Wisconsin or who have done work for clients located in Northeast Wisconsin. You do not have to be a PRSA member to enter.

We’re looking for work that was largely implemented and completed between January 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016. There are a dozen categories to consider and you can submit one entry in more than one category: (1) Media Relations, (2) Integrated Communications, (3) Issue Communications, (4) Internal Communications, (5) Special Events, (6) Branding/Reputation Management, (7) Miscellaneous Campaign, (8) Media Relations/Press Kits, (9) Corporate Publications/Marketing Materials, (10) Newsletter/Magazine, (11) Online Communications, and (12) Miscellaneous Tactic. These are more completely described in the Entry Categories <link> online.

We are also looking for the people who do that great work so we can recognize one of them as Communicator of the Year. This is an individual from northeast Wisconsin who has demonstrated communications excellence, whose contributions have been particularly effective in the areas of public relations, marketing, media relations or general communications. There is no fee to nominate someone, so take a few minutes to consider it. Here’s how to submit a nomination.

Our PRemier Awards entry process is entirely online again this year as an aid to our judges in the Dayton Chapter. See our updated instructions to prepare your entry <link> and ensure proper submission. The early entry deadline is Friday Sept. 2; the final deadline is Sept. 16. Our entry fees are unchanged from last year and you can pay online or send a check, whichever is easier for you.

We’ll gather for lunch at The Marq on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 to bestow these PRemier Awards and to recognize our Communicator of the Year. Register online today. If you have questions about the 2016 PRemier Awards or Communicator of the Year, send an email to the awards committee (Angela Brumm, APR; Kristin Rabas; and Jim Streed, APR) at

Back to top

Member Profile

Meet Laurie Krasin, one of PRSA Northeast Wisconsin's newest members!

1)     Where do you work? What is the role in your company?

I was named the regional director of communications for the University of Wisconsin Colleges Northeast Region in January 2016. The region includes three UW campuses: UW-Fond du Lac, UW-Fox Valley and UW-Manitowoc. UW Colleges is the UW System’s network of 13 freshman/sophomore campuses across the state and UW Colleges Online.

This is a newly created position for our organization, developed as part of the recent reorganization of the UW Colleges. I plan and implement local, regional and state-wide communication strategies, both internal and external.

2)     Please share some of your education/employment background.

While I’ve only been in my current position less than a year, I have been in higher education with the UW Colleges for almost 16 years in various roles. Most recently I was the director of marketing and communications for UW-Fond du Lac. I’ve also worked in special event management and retail marketing for other organizations.

I earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UW-Oshkosh and held various editorial roles with the Advance Titan student newspaper. I haven’t worked as a professional journalist, but what I learned about writing, interviewing, researching and working under deadline pressure on the student newspaper are skills that have been invaluable.

3) Describe your typical day.

Typical days in communications and public relations are far and few between, as we all know! And, that’s what I love about the job. I enjoy connecting with professors, students, staff, alumni and donors in three communities. I find out about the great things they are doing and tell the world about it.

My day might include posting content to social media sites, updating website content, interviewing a professor about their latest research, helping find an expert on a topic for a news story or providing advice on communications strategy to a colleague.

4)     What do you hope to get out of PRSA?

I’m looking forward to the educational and networking opportunities through PRSA. The webinars available have been great for refreshing skills or learning something new. I’m hoping to attend more in-person events when possible.

5)     Any hobbies?

I love to travel and capture special moments through photography. After I get home and the laundry is done and I’ve caught up with all of the emails at work, I revisit the great travel memories by creating printed photo books/journals as my souvenir. 

Back to top

Member Anniversaries

Congratulations to the PRSA Northeast Wisconsin members celebrating membership anniversaries this summer!


Jocelyn Berkahn, Georgia-Pacific - 3 years

Janet Bonkowski, UW-Green Bay - 19 years

Femi Cole, BayCare Clinic - 10 years

Krista DeBruin, Faith Technologies - 8 years

Todd Weber, Kohler Co. - 13 years


Andrea Alstad, American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery - 2 years

Marilyn Bazett-Jones, Integrys Energy Group - 14 years

Cindy Durand, Nsight/Cellcom - 8 years

Erik Koenig, Medical Care Access Coalition - 11 years


Back to top