February 2021 Newsletter Print

President's Corner

Can you believe we are in month two of 2021? January flew by. Now, the cold and snow are here to stay.

A lot has changed in the last 11 months. One thing that has remained true for PR folks is our connection with one another. I remember in the early days of the pandemic, connecting with my fellow PRSA Northeast Wisconsin members regarding COVID-19 messaging. It was new territory for all us, but we embraced it together and moved forward.

We leaned on each other for assistance, guidance and a friend who understands all about responding to Facebook messages at 2:00 a.m. or knowing the feeling of sending out an all-staff email with a typo, even though 10 people proofed it. It happens. Who hasn’t been there?

I can’t help but smile when I think of the great connections and friendships, I’ve made through PRSA Northeast Wisconsin. PRSA has changed my life. Erin told me PRSA was something special and she was right. I am forever grateful. I am looking forward to this year and the great work, collaboration and learning we will do together.

On February 9, we have an exciting virtual programming event. Chef Jyll will share her tips, tricks, lessons learned and best practices for creating a successful virtual experience for your organization. She will share how out-of-the-box thinking, use of technology and social media platforms aided her business during a difficult time. Join us at noon for this “can’t-miss” program! Register today: https://prsanewis.org/meetinginfo.php.

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The PRSA-Detroit Chapter Ethics Committee has developed a quiz for its members to test their knowledge and show their commitment for upholding the ethical standards of PRSA and the public relations profession. The questions were developed by chapter members and are based on practical situations and real-world dilemmas. I have been granted permission to use their questions on a monthly basis so you can test your knowledge. Each month I’ll be posing one of the quiz’ questions. In addition to selecting the right answer, I urge you consider why it is the correct answer. Good luck, and may the ethics be with you!

Ethics Question:

You are the public relations official for your university’s athletics department. The athletics director has decided to suspend a high-profile, popular student-athlete for a series of games due to a violation of the athletics department policy. The violation has not been released publicly. The athletics director has told you in confidence that the athlete tested positive for a banned substance. The athletics director is facing increasing criticism on social media and talk radio, among other media, and is receiving pressure from alumni and Administration to reinstate the student-athlete. The head coach of the team has been silent, only referring to the student-athlete as someone who “would help us win.” The head coach told you the negative publicity is impacting recruiting and tainting his program and is asking you for help. What should you do?

  1. Go off-the-record with local reporters to tell the media that the suspension was warranted because the student-athlete tested positive for a banned drug.
  2. Restate the athletics department policy to the public and media with supporting information about how it is intended to positively impact student-athletes.
  3. Go on social media and post that the team will be OK and the student-athlete violated a rule and must suffer the consequences.
  4. When visiting with the media, talk about how great the second-string student-athlete is and that the high-profile, popular student-athlete must pay the price.

Question credit: Shelly Najor, PhD, and Jamie Ward, PhD, co-chairs PRSA-Detroit Ethics Committee

Answer is below.


  1. Restate the athletics department policy to the public and media with supporting information about how it is intended to positively impact student-athletes.

Explanation: We are required to protect the privacy rights of clients, organizations and individuals by safeguarding confidential information. This also avoids a violation of HIPAA laws.

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Upcoming Events

Reflections on the Pandemic: Best Practices & Lessons Learned 


Wednesday, March 24, 2021
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has been part of our daily lives for a year, it’s time to reflect on what this global crisis has taught us. PRSA Northeast Wisconsin is proud to offer members and guests the chance to hear lessons learned and best communication practices from Susan Finco, President of Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc. Join us for a lunch hour meeting on March 24 at noon - no cost! 

Finco’s public relations agency worked with a variety of clients during the pandemic, in industries ranging from healthcare to non-profit. Finco will reflect on what it was like to guide her clients through a pandemic, what communication practices and strategies worked best, lessons learned, and more. 

On March 24, Finco will share how her clients implemented their crisis plans, tips for communicating during times of crisis, and how her clients leveraged relationships with the media to their advantage. Don’t miss this special opportunity! 

About the Presenter: Susan Finco

Susan Finco is the owner and president of Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc. (L&F), an award-winning public relations firm, with a national client list and a strong reputation for its expertise in strategic, integrated communications; social, digital and online media; issues management and crisis planning and communication.  

Finco is also a member of the 7-person Green Bay Packers Executive Committee; responsible for the NFL team’s strategic direction, major business initiatives and topline personnel. 

Prior to co-founding her business more than 25 years ago, Finco was an award-winning broadcast journalist working in several Wisconsin cities as well for a national TV news syndication company. 

Finco serves on a number of corporate and nonprofit boards, including Society Insurance, First Business Bank, Bellin Health System and UW-Green Bay.


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Member News

Thanks to our members for contributing $125!

Thanks to our PRSA Northeast Wisconsin Chapter members for contributing to our December fundraiser to support Literacy Green Bay. We are proud to report that we raised $125! Literacy Green Bay helps adults and families acquire the reading, writing, math, English-language, computer and workforce skills needed to become effective employees and community members. 

Literacy Green Bay Executive Director Robyn Hallet said, “Thank you for your recent generous donation of $125. Your support is greatly appreciated, so we can continue to provide the resources learners need to acquire the reading, writing, math, English language, computer and workforce skills they need to be successful!”

Donations to Literacy Green Bay support tutor training workshops, curriculum, provide learners with the proper assessments, and more. We are proud to support Literacy Green Bay, an organization providing life-changing services to people in our community.

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Member Anniversaries

2/11 Montie Chavez, Communication Manager at St. Norbert Abbey—since 2020

2/27 Michael John Kawleski, Public Affairs Manager at Georgia-Pacific—since 2012

2/9 Todd McMahon, Project and Media Relations Manager at O'Connor Connective, LLC—since 2018

2/5 Megan Mulholland, Director, Marketing and Communications at Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region—since 2009

 2/10 Jen Rogers, Communications & PR Manager at Destination Door County—since 2017

2/23 Melissa Sabel, Director of Marketing at Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau—since 2006

 2/7 Katie Sharratt, Public Relations Strategist at Element—since 2020


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