April 2019 Newsletter Print

President's Corner

If you work in public relations, chances are good that the people in your life don’t really understand what we do all day. I’ve been in this profession about 20 years, and I’m certain the people in mine still don’t really “get it.” My parents are retired from the accounting profession. My brother is a CPA. My husband works in financial analysis. To them, managing numbers feels more concrete than what we manage: relationships.

Relationships may be harder to define, but you can argue with their importance – or their value to an organization. And some of the most important relationships we as PR professionals manage are with members of the media.

No matter where you are in your career, it’s crucial to keep your media relations skills sharp. All relationships grow and change, and media relationships are no exception. When I think back to how I engaged with reporters in my first real job (when faxing news releases was all the rage!), it seems so strange and foreign. Of course, there are elements of the dance that remain the same. But how do you know what the fast-paced pros in today’s newsrooms prefer if you aren’t asking them?

Lucky for you, we’re making it super easy to brush up on the basics! Next Tuesday, Stacy Engebretson, anchor/reporter at NBC 26, and Tara Brzozowski, Element’s director of public relations, will join us for lunch at The Marq to share insights and answer your questions. It’s sure to be a fascinating glimpse into the minds of those in the fourth estate!

More info can be found below. Be sure to register today – and we’ll see you on April 23!

- Erin Elliott

President, PRSA Northeast Wisconsin

Back to top

Upcoming Events

Dear PR Pro

Have you ever wanted to get inside the mind of a reporter? By taking the time to understand reporters’ perspectives, PR pros can work more effectively with media as we have the same goal: to share stories.

Through an open discussion with Emmy award-winning journalist Stacy Engebretson from NBC26 and Element Director of Public Relations Tara Brzozowski, you’ll learn the latest dos and don’ts for pitching the media, securing coverage and building mutually beneficial relationships with reporters. You can also expect to learn what today’s reporters find newsworthy in a story, along with tactics and strategies PR professionals can use to help increase media coverage.

We will see you on April 23 at The Marq! Register today!

About the Presenters:

Stacy Engebretson – Anchor, Assistant News Director, WGBA

Emmy award-winning journalist Stacy Engebretson joined the NBC26 team in 2000 and anchors NBC26 Live at 6:00 p.m. It was evident right away that Stacy was going to make her mark on the Green Bay/Fox Cities market. Coming to NBC26 after working in Wausau, she quickly made a name for herself with her on-air presence. Born in Bloomington, Minnesota, Stacy graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in Mass Communications. Stacy has also worked as an anchor/reporter for WAOW-TV in Wausau and KSAX-TV in Alexandria, Minnesota.

Tara Brzozowski – Director of Public Relations, Element

A self-described chatterbox, it’s rumored that Tara was born with a phone in her hand. It was only natural that she ended up in the marketing communications industry. With more than 15 years of industry experience, Tara specializes in strategy, media relations, event planning, social media and content marketing. In addition to socializing with just about anyone, Tara enjoys running, yoga and watching her beloved Wisconsin Badgers.


$25.00 PRSA Member
$30.00 after 5:00 p.m. April 18

$30.00 Guest
$35.00 after 5:00 p.m. April 18

$15.00 Student
$20.00 after 5:00 p.m. April 18

Back to top

All About APR!

Did you know… April is APR month?

In the world of communication professionals, the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) is a credential earned by public relations and communication practitioners who commit to the profession through ethical practices and sound judgment, strategic perspectives, knowledge of best practices and the use of the research/planning/implementation/evaluation (RPIE) process.

Accreditation is a mark of distinction and is achieved through a rigorous process. Practitioners are required to present their knowledge to Accredited peers for review. This is followed by a comprehensive examination that tests a candidate’s knowledge of the field. Perhaps most importantly, the credential signifies an understanding and commitment to a Code of Ethics, and ability to think and plan at the strategic level.

Learn more about APR and explore the resources available at www.praccreditation.org or contact our APR Chair Femi Cole, APR.

Back to top

Membership Promotion

April Promotion: Free Section (Apr. 1 – 30, 2019) + waive initiation / reinstatement fee (up to a $65 value)

New and reinstated members receive a free 1-year Section membership (up to $65) AND waived $65 initiation fee or the $35 reinstatement fee when they join National as a Regular member ($260 annual dues).

Use code: APRIL19

Spring Graduates Promotion: $20 Amazon Gift Card (Apr. 1 – 30, 2019) + Free New Pros Section

New members receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card AND a free 1-year New Pros Section membership (a $20 value) when they join National as an Associate member ($60 annual dues).

Use code: GRAD19

Join PRSA today!

Back to top


Psssst: Can you keep a secret?

When I was in high school, my best friend’s parents divorced. My mother, who was also friends with his mom, pulled me aside a few weeks after they had told their sons (who told me, of course) and asked me why I had not said anything about it.

“It wasn’t my story to tell,” I told her. (Well, that’s how she told the story years later). I think I developed that cautious approach to telling others’ stories because of my dad, but, regardless, that level of discretion has served me well in my career and in my personal life.

Safeguarding confidences is one of PRSA’s core principles (see the Code of Ethics). It is based on a number of values, as described in PR Ethics Case Study #4:

  • Honesty – We adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public.
  • Independence – We are accountable for our actions.
  • Loyalty – We are faithful to those we represent, while honoring our obligation to serve the public interest.
  • Fairness – We deal fairly with clients, employees, employers, competitors, peers, vendors, the media and the general public.


Have you been asked by a client or an employer to keep something confidential? Have you slipped up and accidentally spilled the beans? What happened? Why? What did you learn?

Misery loves company, as the expression goes, and if you’re looking to commiserate with someone who might understand your story, navigate to the case study above and see how one junior AE faired when the wine and conversation got the better of him!

And if you ever need someone with a sympathetic ear, tight lips and a fondness for California cabernet, drop me a line anytime at [email protected].

Jim Streed, APR

2019 Chapter Ethics Adviser

Back to top

Member News

Give a warm welcome to one of our newest members, Alicia Kahl!

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

I work at my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, as a Web Marketing Specialist in the University Marketing & Communications department.

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

I graduated from UW Oshkosh in May 2018 with a degree in public relations. While in college, I received various internship opportunities that helped shape my experience as a young PR professional! During my senior year, I was a public relations intern with the Wisconsin Herd, the NBA G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks. Prior to that, I worked with the university's Continuing Education department as a communications intern where I developed marketing material and photographed various youth camps. Additionally, I served as vice president of administration for UW Oshkosh's PRSSA chapter and held a position on a national subcommittee – both during my senior year. I was also the chief photo editor for The Advance-Titan, UW Oshkosh's student-run newspaper for two years.

3) Describe your typical day.

A typical day for me starts with a cup of coffee, of course! I spend my days designing websites and writing web copy for various clients around campus. It's a really creative position where I'm still able to apply various public relations skills I learned while in school. A win-win situation, if you ask me!

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

As a recent graduate and new PR professional, I hope to establish more connections with other passionate and hardworking industry professionals. I'm looking forward to being a sponge and soaking in all of the wisdom and knowledge of my fellow PRSA members!

5) Any hobbies?

I greatly enjoy traveling (take me back to Nashville, please!), exploring new restaurants in different cities, all things fashion (shoes, especially) and cheering on all of my favorite Wisconsin sports teams!

Back to top

Member Anniversaries

Thomas Schoffelman, APR, 30 years

Jessica Adelle Wettstein, Faith Technologies, 12 years

Noelle Marr, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, 3 years

Katie Hermsen, Green Bay Packers, 2 years

Dorreen Dembski, DD Communication Services, LLC, 1 year

Mercedes Tucker, 1 year

Back to top