March 2018 Print

Letter from the President

Serving it up.

What does it mean to serve? As public relations professionals, we are often asked to give our time and talents to help our local communities. But how are you serving to better your career and your professional network?

In PRSA, we serve to help advance our profession in our local chapters by supporting our membership through a variety of programs from professional development to the PRemier Awards. The only way our organization exists is because of people serving behind the scenes to make things happen.

I have been a PRSA NEW member since 2006, and always thought that not living in the Fox Valley prevented me from playing an active role with the organization. However, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. If you haven’t considered serving on a committee for PRSA NEW, I ask you to think about how it might serve you and your goals. There are lots of options to fit schedules and strengths. Besides, without you – our members and our volunteer board and committees - our chapter doesn’t exist. Not sure what options are available? Learn more about the ways to get involved with PRSA NEW here, or reach out to me directly. (Interested in serving for PRSA National? Learn more here.)

Yours in service,

Melissa Sabel

PRSA Northeast WI Chapter President

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Upcoming Events

Mother Nature forced us to reschedule our February program on podcasting, so if you couldn't join us last month - good news! We've rescheduled this event for Tuesday, March 20! Join us from 12 - 1 p.m. at The Marq (3177 French Road in De Pere) for...                                            The Podcasting Renaissance!

Podcasts are episodic series of digital audio or video files which users can download and listen to, often through a subscription. They are distinct from Internet radio, which involves streaming rather than downloading.

But what does that mean to you, your brand, your clients and your communications plans for 2018? Podcasts are an emerging communication tool that brands are taking notice of and leveraging to attract specfic audiences, from healthcare to tourism, technology to consumer goods.

What are podcasts? How did they emerge as a communications channel? What are the best ways to produce a podcast and what channels do you use to promote them? Is a podcast good for your brand? What are the KPIs? How do I "sell" a podcast to my leadership team and/or decision makers? What sort of lasting impact will podcasts have on my brand?

This session will answer all these questions and more, providing an in-depth look into this medium - and help you determine when a podcast may be a good way to communicate to your audiences. 

About our speaker: Dan Trzinski, owner of Platypus Advertising + Design, is a nationally respected multi-media strategist and markting researcher. For more than 30 years he has studied how conusmers interact with brands and their reaction to various marketing efforts. He and his team have been early adopters of social, search and digital marketing. When he saw the renaissance in podcasting, he installed a new Pod Room to record and edit podcasts in-studio and remotely anywhere in the world. The company now offers podcasting as a service and has even created a weekly podcast series of its own on branding and marketing called "Brandstorm."


$25 PRSA Member
$30 after 9 p.m. March 15

$35 Non-Member/Guest
$40 after 9 p.m. March 15

$15 Full-time student
$20 after 9 p.m. March 15

Register today!

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Ethics Corner

Spinmeisters, Flacks and Liars – Oh, my!

It's a challenge to keep this 'corner' current when the news cycle spins so rapidly, but a recent (and evolving) news story is worth another look here because of its implications for our profession, our work and our ethics.

I'm talking about the actions of Hope Hicks, the former White House Communications Director and her testimony about telling occasional 'white lies' on behalf of President Donald Trump. I'm sure you know the story, as it continues to unravel.

My point in raising it here is to draw your attention to two articles I missed, and you may not have read yet, either:

  • The first article is from Tony D'Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA. It's a response to an op-ed that appeared Feb. 2 in the LA Times. Tony is Chair, Public Relations Society of America and Professor of Practice, Public Relations at Syracuse University, Newhouse School of Public Communications.

    Tony is advocating on our behalf by challenging some of the op-ed author's statements and underlying assumptions. Here is his letter to the LA Times as it appears on the PRSA website:

    As the chair of the largest association of public relations professionals in the U.S., I found Virginia Heffernan’s Feb. 2 op-ed, “Who is Hope Hicks, anyway?” to be a disservice to journalism, even as an opinion piece. To claim “lying to the media is traditionally called PR” is inaccurate (in reality, lying is traditionally called “unethical”) as well as insulting to the more than 21,000 members of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) who pledge to uphold a detailed Code of Ethics in order to join our organization.

    At the heart of what we pledge is “Truth, accuracy, fairness, and responsibility to the public.” We won’t lie or mislead. We play fair. Basically, we don’t do anything that we wouldn’t want to have widely reported by the news media. Operating that way is the right thing to do, and it builds trust with our clients, employers and the news media—which is good for business as well.

    Every profession can have bad actors, or good people who make mistakes, and calling them out is a journalistic responsibility worthy of public respect. Smearing an entire profession in the process of criticizing an individual practitioner is akin to equating Ms. Heffernan’s work and the standards of the Los Angeles Times with those of the National Enquirer. It’s the kind of cheap shot that gives unfortunate credibility to cries of “fake news!” There is actual evidence to suggest that the majority of journalism and public relations professionals are better than that.



Space limitations preclude including Amy's piece here, but I recommend you follow the link and spend 10 minutes with it. It's worth the read because it gives the view of someone working in our field who, like us, strives every day to do the right thing for her clients, her company and her profession.

If you have ethics questions or are looking for resources to help you with your ethics challenges, check out the PRSA Ethics website or email the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (

Jim Streed, APR
PRSA Northeast Wisconsin Ethics Officer

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Member Promotion

If you haven't become an official member of PRSA yet, now is definitely the time! Join by April 30, 2018 and you will receive a membership to our Chapter (a $60 value) for free!

Why Should You Join PRSA National...and Our Chapter?

The more involved you are with your profession and community, the more likely you are to be engaged in the workplace. PRSA Northeast Wisconsin provides our members with knowledge, training and the opportunity for professional growth and connections.

Need more reasons to take the next step? We've got a million, but here are the top four reasons why you should join PRSA Northeast Wisconsin today: 

  • Be with Your People – By attending our Chapter events, you get out of the office and are able to mingle with people who share your passion for PR and communications.


  • Networking – Our Chapter members are able to connect with other members and industry experts in a variety of ways, such as in-person meetings and by building one-on-one relationships.


  • You Are Not Alone – If you are an independent practitioner or work in a small communications/PR department you might not have many people around to bounce ideas off of. However you are not alone, we have many members that know what you’re going through and are more than happy to give you advice and feedback.


  • Career Connections  No one knows more about what is happening in the PR/communications industry with regards to career opportunities, job openings and potential future connections to advance your career than the members of our Chapter.


NOTE: You must have at least 2 years of experience to take advantage of this offer. 

Find out more by either visiting PRSA's membership hub (If you decide to take the leap, be sure to enter the code CHAPTERS18 at checkout!). You can also contact our chapter's membership chair, Erin Elliott, at (920) 592-3555 or 

We look forward to YOU becoming one of US!

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Tips and Tricks

Here's yet another great perk of being a PRSA member: access to top-notch professional development tools, such as webinars on today's hottest topics. Here are a bunch of upcoming ones that are free for PRSA members to attend. Learn more and register at the links provided!

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Member Anniversaries

Happy anniversary to these chapter members, who are celebrating membership milestones this month!

Lisa Cruz, Red Shoes PR - 20 years

Chad Doran, City of Appleton - 2 years

Aaron Popkey, Green Bay Packers - 12 years

Kimberly Stobb Bresser, KickinUpDust Communications - 10 years



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