April Bulletin 2011


Detroit Chapter Public Relations Society of America  |  April 2011


Learn more on April 26 about hyper-local news site Patch.com

Tuesday, April 26
7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.
The Engineering
Society of Detroit

20700 Civic Center Drive
Suite 450, Southfield

More people than ever before are going online for news. Nancy Hanus, regional editor, Patch.com, will discuss its footprint in southeastern Michigan and how to best pitch to this digital publication. Patch.com entered the southeastern Michigan market in 2010, and now covers 26 communities.

In addition to her role with Patch, Hanus is visiting editor-in-residence for New Media at Michigan State University. She is also the project manager and site editor for ItsMILife.com. Hanus worked in a number of positions at The Detroit News, including director, New Media, director of photography, features editor and MetroLife editor. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and math sciences from Ohio State University.

Cost is $10 for PRSA/PRSSA members and $20 for nonmembers. Make your reservation via PayPal at www.prsadetroit.org – you do not need an account to use PayPal.

If you have any questions, please contact Nancy Skidmore at 248-545-6499.

Mi Casa Es Su Casa at Strikes for Scholarships 2011!

VMS logo
Thursday, May 5

6 p.m.
Garden Bowl
4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit

Join PRSA-Detroit for the third annual Strikes for Scholarships bowling event – a Cinco de Mayo Celebration – on Thursday, May 5. The fun begins at 6 p.m. at Garden Bowl, 4120 Woodward Ave. in Detroit.

Strikes for Scholarships welcomes bowlers of all skill levels to network, socialize and raise dollars for PRSA-Detroit’s scholarship fund to support the next generation of public relations professionals. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, this year’s event also will include a full nacho bar, drink specials on margaritas and cerveza (beer), and maybe even a little piñata action.

Grab your PR colleagues, friends and family members and register for a team of five today! Even if you don’t have a team, you can register as an individual and we’ll pair you up with other bowlers for a fun and memorable networking opportunity. Individual bowlers are just $25, teams of five are $100 and students are $20.

Registration includes three games, shoe rental, refreshments and more.

If you are interested in a little extra marketing exposure, a variety of sponsorships are also available, including lane sponsorships for just $100! This year’s event is generously title-sponsored by VMS.

Since 1993, PRSA-Detroit has awarded roughly 30 scholarships totaling nearly $50,000. Help PRSA-Detroit reach our scholarship fundraising goal of $4,000 in 2011 by participating in Strikes for Scholarships!

Register today at www.prsadetroit.org via PayPal (you do not need a PayPal account to use PayPal). For more information, call Nancy Skidmore at 248-545-6499.

Mark your calendars – 2011 PRSA Open golf outing set for Sept. 7

Wednesday, Sept. 7
11:30 a.m.
Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center
8768 North Territorial Road, Plymouth

Building on the success of last year’s event, the 2011 PRSA Open will return to the Strategic Fox course at Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center in Plymouth. The 2011 Open will be held Wednesday, Sept. 7 and will follow a similar format to last year’s event – with a few twists.

Details will be announced in the coming weeks, but the Open will again feature a barbecue lunch, 11:30 a.m. shotgun start, beverages on the course and light hors d’oeuvres with beer and wine after play. This format will allow the cost of the event to remain affordable, while providing the fun and camaraderie that has made the Open one of the chapter’s most popular and anticipated annual events.

The mission of the PRSA Open also remains the same – to raise funds for the chapter’s annual scholarship program. So whether you participate as a player, a sponsor, or both, you will know that you are helping deserving public relations students further their educations and careers. The 2010 open generated $2,500 for the scholarship fund and the goal of this year’s event is to meet or exceed that amount.

The Strategic Fox is a full-featured, 18-hole par-3 course that has earned accolades from golf publications and from players in the 2010 PRSA Open. It provides a good test of those critical short-game skills while providing a good opportunity for players who don’t hit the ball a long way off the tee.

Board Perspective

Board Perspective is a column written by the PRSA-Detroit Chapter president or a member of the chapter’s board of directors.


By Dan Artman, APR

Dan Artman, APR

Dan Artman, APR, is an Allen Park-based communications consultant and longtime PRSA member. He is currently serving his second term on the Detroit Chapter board of directors. Artman serves as liaison to the Multicultural and Bulletin committees and the Senior Council.

Focus on: the Senior Council

Depending on how old you are and how long you have belonged to the PRSA-Detroit Chapter, you may either be a member of the Senior Council – or have no idea what it is and what its members do for the local organization.

The Senior Council is a group of PRSA-Detroit members who are at least 50 years old and have been practicing public relations for a minimum of 25 years. Membership is voluntary: you need to let us know you want to be a part of the council. To learn more, contact Senior Council Co-chair Pat Adanti-Joy, APR, or me. If you qualify and are interested in becoming part of the Senior Council, send a quick e-mail to Nancy Skidmore.

The council’s main activity each year is the election of the chapter’s Hall of Fame and Robert Hefty Distinguished Service awards. (A list of past award winners can be found on page 12 of your 2010 chapter Directory and on our website at www.prsadetroit.org under Awards.) Adanti-Joy and her co-chair Pam Young, APR, will solicit nominations and oversee the balloting for these awards later this year. Awardees will be honored at the chapter’s Annual Meeting dinner. Senior Council members have the opportunity to vote for these two prestigious awards. A number of Senior Council members are past chapter presidents and board members.

In addition, Senior Council members and their organizations support the chapter in a number of other ways, including:

  • APR oral judging
  • administering the annual statewide chapter education scholarship award program
  • sponsoring the chapter financially and funding events like the PRSA Michigan Conference
  • providing pro bono public relations counsel to nonprofits requesting assistance from the chapter
  • advising the board, Senior Council and president regarding chapter events and operations

Do 1 thing by September with PRSA-Detroit

As a chapter board member, I also would like to encourage you to do one thing with PRSA-Detroit by September. Join us at the May 5th bowling fundraiser (see calendar below), attend a chapter lunch or breakfast meeting or hit the links at the golf outing Sept. 7 at Fox Hills in Plymouth. Reconnect with friends and colleagues – and make some new contacts at the same time.

Getting a Summer Intern? Practice good PR ethics

By Linda Hagan, Ph.D., APR

College students jump at the opportunity to work with public relations practitioners, and given the marketplace and today’s economy, young people may be willing to work for free in order to gain experience and build their resume.

However, as public relations professionals, we should be particularly mindful of the responsibilities and ethics of mentoring young practitioners, especially as unpaid interns.

PRSA recently issued a Professional Standards Advisory (PS-17), Ethical Use of Interns, effective February 2011. According to PRSA, professional standards, advisories are “direct extensions of the PRSA Code [of Ethics] and have the same force and effect as any provision within the PRSA Code.”

In developing PS-17 on the ethical use of interns, the PRSA Board of Directors considered federal law, state legislative rules, student and institutional factors, and the public relations internship environment. In addition to the formal language of the advisory, a supplementary document on the PRSA website provides recommended best practices and the following hypothetical examples of improper practice:

  1. You are a sole practitioner and have five clients. You contacted a local university’s public relations department and agreed to hire two interns for the summer. While the internships are unpaid, the student will get credit. You charge the clients for the work these interns do.
  2. A for-profit company hires unpaid interns to help them get college credit for their graduation requirement. The interns perform work generally done by employees. In lieu of payment, the students receive “opportunities and connections” as compensation.
  3. Interns are asked to do unethical tasks, e.g., writing phony product reviews for websites, contacting a client’s competitor and pretending to be a consumer or customer, etc.
  4. You promise an intern that he will build writing skills while working with you but as soon as he’s on board, he produces electronic press kits, updates a database, and answers phones, gaining little experience that will be helpful in advancing knowledge of public relations.
  5. A prospective client questions your company’s ability to handle a special project because of your small staff. You instruct three interns to join you in a follow-up meeting with the prospective client and create the appearance that they are full-time staff dedicated to the assignment.

For more information about PS-17 on the ethical use of interns, click here.

Public Standards Advisories are “designed to keep the PRSA Code timely through a formal process [by providing] practitioners specific current guidance to deal with new situations and circumstances as they arise in the daily practice of public relations, thus keeping the Code intact as a basic instrument of practice guidance.”

Refresher on maintaining your Accreditation

By Liz Ford, APR

You earn your Accreditation in public relations from PRSA, proudly add those coveted letters to your business card and e-mail signature and relish in your accomplishment. Right? Well, while you can be very proud of earning your APR, growing as a communications professional doesn’t end there.

Being an accredited member of PRSA means you must also take steps throughout your career to maintain your industry knowledge and serve your community. PRSA National requires that you provide documentation of your continuing education, professional development and service every three years in order to maintain your Accredited status. The good news is that many of us are already so active in our field that we fulfill our requirements without worrying about it too much. It is something, however, to keep in mind and take note of through the years.

Maintaining your Accreditation requires earning 10 points every three years. Five of those points must be related to continuing education and professional development. Below is a partial list of common activities and their associated point values (visit PRSA.org for a full list):

  • A one-hour to half-day professional development seminar – 1 point
  • College or university course (4 credits) – 4 points
  • Presentation or speech on the practice of PR -1 point
  • Serving as an APR Readiness Review panelist – 1 point
  • Earning a local or regional award related to excellence in PR – 2 points
  • Serving on a PRSA committee – 1 point per year
  • Volunteer or pro-bono PR work outside normal work assignments –  2 points for under 20 hours; up to 5 points for 60 or more hours

PRSA National will reach out to you via e-mail several months in advance of your maintenance documentation due date. In the meantime, keep track of your activities to help make the APR maintenance process easier.

Salvation Army uses both PR and social media for maximum impact

By Dan Artman, APR

The Southfield-based Eastern Michigan Division of The Salvation Army maximizes exposure for its various fundraisers and initiatives through a mix of “traditional” media and social media channels, those charged with implementing the programs told attendees at the March 15 PRSA-Detroit breakfast meeting.

The team uses a combination of traditional PR ( i.e., media relations), telemarketing, direct mail and online/social media communications and e-commerce to integrate its campaign messages. The Salvation Army’s communications staff consists of Michelle St. Pierre, director of integrated marketing, and Andrew Dobney, e-commerce/brand manager. Their efforts are supplemented by the Franco Public Relations Group, led by Michelle Zdrodowski, senior vice president.

St. Pierre said finding stories, “that’s the hardest part of our job.” Zdrodowski stated that although most people think of the Salvation Army as providing food and shelter to those in need,, that is only part of the picture. They also offer after-school programs and drug rehabilitation services. The local Salvation Army Bed & Bread Club® feeds 5,000 daily, 365 days a year. St. Pierre said clients come to the mobile Bed & Bread trucks via cars, wheelchairs and by walking up from abandoned buildings. Additionally, they provide shelter to 600 men, women and children each night.

Dobney said they are fortunate to have some very high-profile media friends who retweet the Salvation Army’s tweets, spreading the message to thousands of people beyond the more than 1,400 Twitter followers of The Salvation Army. The media partners include Mojo of 95.5 FM’s “Mojo In The Morning” show and Stephen Clark, WXYZ-TV news anchor. Dobney said these retweets “reach people in seconds, it’s very powerful.”

Zdrodowski said social media outlets reach a much younger audience. “It’s such a great way to introduce the Army to a younger group of people.” She said Franco also sends the news releases to bloggers as well as traditional media outlets. St. Pierre said they maintain a database of 10,000 e-mail addresses, which they use, among other things, to issue an electronic newsletter six times a year. Dobney said Salvation Army supporters were able to host their own online Red Kettle campaigns during the holiday season, customizing them, posting pictures and providing updates on progress toward fundraising goals. He said the WCSX-FM disc jockeys participated in the campaign, which raised $7.9 million in 2010.

The Salvation Army’s 24th Annual Bed & Bread Club Radiothon, hosted for the first time by WJR-AM Feb. 25, also utilized e-mail campaigns (including videos), WJR’s and The Salvation Army’s websites and a texting option to make the first month’s donation. The event raised more than $1.5 million. Learn more at www.salmich.org.

Worth Noting

Berg Muirhead and Associates has been named one of “Michigan’s Best in Business” by the readers of Corp! magazine. The firm is the only public relations firm to receive the award in 2011.

Elizabeth Robbins joins GSTV (Gas Station TV) as the public relations and marketing manager. In this role she will oversee all public relations, marketing, advertising and promotional activities. Prior to joining the GSTV team, Robbins was a senior account executive at Weber Shandwick.

New members

Aja Carmichael

Morgan Drutchas

Liliana Medina

Andrea Stapleton
Signs Now


Calendar of Events

April 26 – Patch.com – Regional Editor Nancy Hanus offers insight about this hyper-local website 7:30 a.m.- 9 a.m. at The Engineering Society of Detroit, 20700 Civic Center Drive, Suite 450, Southfield

May 5 – Strikes for Scholarships – 6 p.m. at the Garden Bowl, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit

Sept. 7 – PRSA Open – 11:30 a.m. at the Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center, 8768 North Territorial Road, Plymouth