February Bulletin 2012

Feb. 16 Ofield Dukes Diversity Summit: Building Dialogue with Diverse Publics

PRSA Detroit
Ofield Dukes Diversity Summit:
Thursday, Feb. 16
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
McGregor Memorial Conference Center
Wayne State University
495 Ferry Mall
Detroit, MI 48202

Three weeks after being sworn into office, Troy mayor Janice Daniels found herself defending her “gay slur” on Facebook. The Council on American-Islamic Relations decried Lowes’ decision to pull advertising from TLC’s “All-American Muslim.” Target’s newest model is Ryan, a six-year-old with Down Syndrome. Three-quarters of millennials have created a profile on a social networking site, and the typical Baby Boomer believes that old age doesn’t begin until age 72.

Join us as we explore this year’s chapter theme of “Embracing Diversity” at the Ofield Dukes Diversity Summit, presented by PRSA Detroit, General Motors and The Wayne State Department of Communication.

In honor of the late Ofield Dukes, APR, Fellow PRSA – a distinguished PR professional, educator and journalist – this engaging program for professionals of all levels will: redefine “diversity” beyond race and ethnicity and explore its meanings for the public relations profession; examine the role of diversity within the profession, publics and the process; and offer strategies and tactics for communicating with diverse audiences.

Summit Highlights:

  • Millennials, Gen X, Boomers and the Silent Generation: Explore the impact of generational diversity and tactics for building better dialogue;
  • Hear about successful local PR campaigns targeting diverse populations;
  • Dialogue with media and PR practitioners about diversity issues in crisis communication;
  • Learn how an “inclusion” mindset can lead to success for you, your organization and your clients;
  • Hear about the latest workplace diversity trends and the valuable role that communication professionals can play in these efforts; and
  • Experience special cultural entertainment, including a special performance by the Wayne State African Dance Workshop


  • Jocelyn Giangrande, M.A., SPHR, CCDP, President and Founder, SASHE, LLC and author of What’s In Your Sandwich? 10 Surefire Ingredients for Career Success
  • Bill Laitner, Writer, Detroit Free Press
  • Rodney Martin, Diversity Partner, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP
  • Georgella Muirhead, APR, Partner/President, Berg Muirhead and Associates
  • Alicia Nails, J.D., Director, Journalism Institute for Media Diversity
  • Matthew Seeger, Ph.D., Dean, College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, Wayne State University
  • Cristi Vazquez, Communications Manager, Chevrolet
  • Randy Walker, Chief Diversity Officer, Henry Ford Health System
  • More to come!

The Summit will take place Thursday, Feb. 16 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wayne State University’s McGregor Memorial Conference Center, 495 Ferry Mall in Detroit.

Cost: $30 for PRSA Detroit members and $45 for nonmembers (includes breakfast and lunch). Register by February 9, via PayPal, on the chapter website.

Career Resolution – Consider Accreditation in 2012!
Accreditation Prep Session is March 2-3

If moving your career forward is one of your resolutions for 2012, consider earning your Accreditation in Public Relations. Getting Accredited is a great way to polish your skills and knowledge and prove your PR prowess. Consider these important benefits to earning the oh-so-sweet APR credentials after your name:

A Recognized Standard – Established in 1964, the Accreditation Program is the profession’s only national postgraduate certification program.

Enhanced Knowledge and Skills – The APR process refreshes and/or enhances your public relations knowledge and skills. No matter what college degree you may have earned, when your earned it, or what practice area you specialize in, with Accreditation, it is back to the fundamentals! The process builds the knowledge critical to practicing PR effectively in today’s business arena.

Career Enhancement – Earning Accreditation provides a distinction sets you apart from your colleagues and open doors to career advancement and higher compensation. It demonstrates that you have both a high level of experience and competency in the field.

Positive for PR – Overall, the APR designation helps move the public relations profession forward, which benefits all of us in this industry. As more of us become Accredited, the overall perception and respect for our industry continues to improve.

Personal Satisfaction – Earning Accreditation is a challenge, and something you’ll be very proud of when you have completed the process.

This year’s Accreditation Program will officially begin March 2-3 with a prep session at Walsh College in Troy. The session will include an overview of the entire Accreditation process, as well as lectures covering topics tested by the APR Readiness Review and computer exam. The session runs from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, March 2, and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 3.

You can register, via PayPal, at www.prsadetroit.org. The cost is $75.

Also a wealth of information about Accreditation is available on National’s website www.prsa.org. Look for the “Professional Development” page under the “Learning” tab.

For questions or more information about Accreditation, contact a member of the PRSA Detroit Accreditation Committee:

Jamie Morris, APR
(586) 226-5013

Liz Ford, APR
(313) 471-6081

Anne Santori, APR
(248) 823-0908

From the President’s Desk

By Jennifer Flowers, APR

Perhaps you’ve recently joined PRSA; or, maybe you have been a longtime member but feel disconnected. You’ve paid the dues and now it’s time to get your PRSA membership to work for you.

Get Involved – Join a Committee!

As with most things in life, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This is especially true for belonging to a professional organization like PRSA. Serving on a committee, being an Accreditation panelist or writing an article for The Bulletin newsletter are key ways to network with fellow professionals and get to know the organization better. It is also a good way to move into a board or officer role — if you aspire to that.

Some of the PRSA Detroit committees that could use your help include: the 2012 Annual Meeting, Bowling Fundraiser, Diversity, Ethics, the Golf Outing, Internship and Student Development, Membership, New Professionals, Programs, Protégé, Publicity, Senior Council, Social Media, State Conference and Website.

We’re in special need of chairperson/editor (or two co-editors) for The Bulletin newsletter and a chair for the Ethics Committee. A full list of committees and contacts is available on the PRSA Detroit website at www.prsadetroit.org/about-us/committees or you may contact Nancy Skidmore at nskidmore@earthlink.net or (248) 545-6499 if you’re interested in any volunteer opportunities. This is also a good way to earn volunteer credits to renew your APR.

Attend PRSA Detroit Events

Being a member of PRSA Detroit gets you great registration discounts for many interesting programs. Take advantage of this great perk by regularly attending the professional development seminars offered by our chapter.

For example, the Ofield Dukes Diversity Summit on Thursday, Feb. 16, offers a $15 price discount–$30 for members and $45 for nonmembers. Take advantage of this wonderful program that includes breakfast and lunch, and a half day full of stimulating discussion around communications issues pertaining to diversity. PRSA Detroit’s annual Accreditation Prep Session is on March 2 and 3 at Walsh College in Troy. Even if you’re unsure about pursing your APR, it’s a great two-day crash course in public relations basics. Attendees are not required to take the APR exam upon completion of the prep session.

PRSA 2012 Michigan Conference, “CommLab: Where the Art and Science of Communication Meet,” on Thursday, May 17, at the Sheraton Hotel in Novi. This is another event you shouldn’t miss.Visit prsadetroit.org and watch member communications for more information on both events and other future programs.

Tap Into PRSA National Resources

PRSA’s National office provides a variety of helpful tools and resources that make your membership more valuable.

A full list of benefits is available at www.prsa.org/JoinUs/Member_Benefits.

Finally, stay connected to PRSA Detroit communications by liking our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PRSADetroit or following us on Twitter (@PRSADetroit).

Please email me at JFlower3@hfhs.org or Nancy Skidmore, our chapter administrator, if you have any questions about getting involved or your membership. See you at an event soon!

Member Profile: Jennifer Day, M.S., APR

Name: Jennifer Day, M.S., APR

Position/Employer: Great Lakes Regional Coordinator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Ann Arbor

How did you get the job? My professional network, expertise in Great Lakes public affairs, and specialization in intergovernmental collaboration. I would also have to say golf. Your work and reputation may inform a prospective employer of what you can do, but social activity – such as a golf league with industry colleagues – allows them know you as a person. I would say the same for active involvement in PRSA. Get out and get active with your network.

Why did you go into
I was in PRSSA at Otterbein College, my friends were all in it, and I really loved it! I had never heard of public relations until my college girlfriends encouraged me to get involved. I changed my major and never looked back.

What’s your dream job in our field? I am doing it. After graduation, I pursued environmental PR before it was a recognized area of expertise. Which is why I ended up in government and public affairs for environmentally-based agencies.

If you weren’t in the PR/marketing/communications/advertising field, what would you be doing? Nursing? That was my college major before switching to PR during my freshman year. My adviser said I would make a better doctor than a nurse. I said that I would make a better PR adviser.

What was your biggest success in 2011? Working with the states, tribal governments, coastal communities and other regional organizations in helping to make NOAA a leader in the Great Lakes restoration.

What do you wish you could do over from 2011? Nothing. I love looking out over the Great Lakes and working to protect them every day.

If you could accomplish one professional goal in 2012, what would it be? Finish my Ph.D.! But that is not going to happen. Not professional, you say? It is when the majority of your colleagues are doctors. It is a professional rite of passage in my world.

What/who has the biggest influence on your work ethic? The drive comes from within. Not hard when you love what you do.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in our field? Work in many different aspects of public relations so that you have a solid and broad foundation with which to specialize in the area of your choice. I had early jobs with PR agencies and the skills I learned gave me a foundation that has made me a leader in my industry.

Any professional role models? All my colleagues in PRSA. Working in government can be lonely, especially when you are in a one-man shop. The professionals in PRSA are my role models and sounding board for keeping me current, relevant and moving ahead.

If you could have coffee or drinks with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why? Since this is a PR questionnaire I would have to say Edward L. Bernays. However, based on much of the work I do now, I would love to have drinks with George F. Kennan, diplomat, political scientist and historian extraordinaire. I would love to get his take on politics and policy today.

MTV’s Scratch, GameChangers to Keynote the PRSA 2012 Michigan Conference

CommLab logo

In January, we told you that the PRSA 2012 Michigan Conference, themed “CommLab: Where the Art and Science of Communications Meet,” is sure to be a conference like never before – more interactivity, more diversity of topics, more networking opportunities, more value and more exciting keynote speakers than ever before. Staying true to our word, we’re pleased to announce keynote speakers for this year’s conference.

Mike Bonifer of GameChangers, LLC

In today’s networked world, Public relations and advertising’s quest to control messaging through a dominant and static narrative/story telling is fraught with inefficiency and futility. The reality is communication happens so fast, and on such scale, it cannot be entirely scripted. Mike Bonifer, author of GameChangers – Improvisation for Business in the Networked World, and the co-founder of GameChangers, LLC, will open the conference with a keynote address that explores how we can draw upon the techniques of improvisation theater to build more compelling, memorable brand narratives through real-time conversations, especially within social media channels. During his highly interactive presentation, Mike will explore how emergent story telling – where the narrative is living and ever evolving into existence – can help communicators, marketers and advertisers alike thematically align a brand to what’s happening in the world, in real time, to foster more authentic and powerful relationships with audiences.

Anne Hubert of MTV Scratch

At 100 million strong, the Millennials are the biggest generation in American history. They possess nearly a trillion dollars in spending power. And they’re flipping every social custom and convention known to man on its head. You can’t beat them. So how will you join them?

Join us at lunch for an engaging keynote discussion with Anne Hubert, Senior Vice President of Scratch at Viacom Media Networks, on how brands can connect, collaborate and create the future with the Millennial consumer. Scratch is a creative swat team that channels the reach, connection and creative force of Viacom in new ways to drive culture and commerce. Leveraging the power of MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and all of Viacom’s more than 170 channels and 500 digital media properties worldwide – their places in culture, creative talent, and audience connections – Scratch partners with brands on consulting, creative and consumer insights to create transformational results.

Save the Date

Did we peak your interest? Then save the date on your calendar for the PRSA 2012 Michigan Conference on May 17 at the Sheraton Hotel in Novi.

Sponsorships are still available, but going fast. Contact Don Tanner and PRSA Detroit board member at dtanner@tannerfriedman.com or 248-626-0006 to learn more.

Thank you to the following sponsors who are already on board:

General Motors Co., Oakwood Healthcare, Inc., Marx Layne & Company, Crain Communications, DTE Energy, Airfoil Public Relations, Tschetter & Associates, MarketWire, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Weber Shandwick, Johnson Controls, Inc., Tanner Friedman, Identity, The Quell Group, Eisbrenner Public Relations, Starrconstand Business Communications, Trinity Health, Hermanoff & Associates, Henry Ford Health System, Jemef Public Relations, Caponigro Public Relations, Federal-Mogul Corporation, Arbor Oakland Printing, On Location Photography, Digitalliance, Powermat, PR Newswire and Mort Crim Communications

Join Adcraft for My Most Embarrassing Moment on the Job Feb. 9

We’ve all had that embarrassing moment at work. You know, the one that makes you think “Did that really just happen?” while your body sweats like mad and your face turns tomato red.

Now, thanks to your friends at AIGA Detroit and Adcraft, you can put those moments to good use! It’s a story event of egg-tacular proportions. Because, you know, egg on your face, embarrassment…Ok.

Contestants will be given five minutes to tell the most awesome, hilariously embarrassing moment ever survived within their career. A panel of mock judges will score the stories, and winners will be given awesome prizes. Don’t feel like telling a story? Come anyway, take in a drink, cheer on our contestants and socialize with other industry dwellers.

We have already confirmed a few storytellers, including:

  • Nick Hageman, freelance video editor
  • Hubert Sawyers, owner of SORSAW and founder of #Tweetea
  • Don Tanner, partner, Tanner Friedman PR, and PRSA Detroit Board Member
  • Bela Kogler, sales manager, Time Inc.
  • Fotula Lombars, local fashion designer
  • Julie Bergesn, sales director, Hearst
  • Rebecca Sanders, creative talent agent, Aquent
  • Susan Pacitto, studio creative director, Mars Advertising
  • Jocelyn Gotlib, web designer, Washtenaw Community College
Our esteemed judges include:

  • Rick Dennis, ad creative guy
  • Dominic Arellano, founder/executive director of Forward Arts and founder/owner of The Few Records
  • Brandon Chestnutt, social media director, Identity Marketing & Public Relations

Think you have the perfect story for this? Reserve a storytelling spot by emailing Alex Harvilla.

Date: Thursday Feb. 9
Time: 6 pm – 9 pm
Location: Dino’s Lounge
22740 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale

$10 for members; $15 for non-members (includes your first drink FREE!) Register today or call 313.872.7850 for more information.

Generously sponsored by Videology Group

Internship Postings Needed

Does your company offer a communications internship? If so, we’d like to feature it on the PRSA Detroit website to help spread the word to interested college students. Please contact Internship and Student Development Chairs Jared Bryan (248.554.3514) or Jennifer Greenfelder (248.945.4767) by March 1 with the details.

HAPPO (Help a PR Pro Out)

If you’re active in the social media scene, you may have come across the acronym HAPPO on social networks or in blog posts. HAPPO stands for Help a PR Pro Out, a movement that seeks to use social media to leverage relationships and help connect those seeking jobs in the PR industry with employers.

PR pros Arik Hanson and Valerie Simon founded HAPPO in early 2010. Since then, they have built a team of champions all across the country. The movement has grown through quarterly Twitter chats, live events in markets all across the United States, daily Twitter conversations with the hashtag and conversations in the LinkedIn group and on the Facebook page.

One recent addition to the initiative is an e-newsletter called The HAPPO Report. It includes job opportunities, events, a featured job seeker and relevant articles and blog posts. The newsletter launched in Minnesota in 2011 and will expand to the Michigan market in the first quarter of 2012. Michigan HAPPO champ and PRSA Detroit member Nikki Little, social media strategist at Identity, is leading the charge. Nikki is looking for a few volunteers to help her gather the content that will be featured in the bi-weekly e-newsletters. If you’re interested in becoming involved with HAPPO in Michigan, email Nikki at nlittle@identitypr.com. You can sign up in advance to receive The HAPPO Michigan Report by subscribing here.

Auction Donations Needed to Fund PR Education
EMU establishes Melissa Faulkner Motschall PR scholarships

Eastern Michigan University is asking for donations (who are we kidding, we’re begging for donations) for its upcoming online auction to establish a new public relations student scholarship fund in the name of Dr. Melissa Faulkner Motschall, APR. Motschall passed away nearly two years ago after a long and distinguished professorial career at EMU. Auction proceeds will also benefit EMU’s Eleanor Wright PRSSA chapter and other program expenses.

The EMU public relations program online auction will go live Sunday, March 11 and end on Sunday, March 25 on biddingforgood.com, a charitable ecommerce company with an international community of more than 230,000 bidders.

To make the auction a success, (warning: this is where our begging comes in) we need your help. Unlike most folks today, we’re not asking for any money. What we do need, however, is a variety of items that will appeal to a wide range of bidders. As you can see, we’re not proud, so we’ll gladly take whatever you offer. Items with highest bids include airline tickets, hotel stays, condominium stays, restaurant gift certificates, tickets to sporting events and entertainment productions, electronics, corporate boxes and suites, jewelry, even time and unique experiences with you!

So ask yourself some questions: Do you have a client who could donate an item? Do you or a friend own a timeshare property you’d like to donate? Are you willing to spend an hour with a bidder talking about your business practices over lunch? Do you own season tickets to a professional sports team and would like to donate a couple of tickets? Would you donate an hour or two of your services for this worthy cause?

Do you know someone, who knows someone, who works for an airline or hotel and could make a donation? Does your company own a corporate box or suite that could be donated for an evening? Do you have a favorite restaurant or store where everyone knows your name and would love to show their appreciation for your loyal support by donating something to this auction? And remember, our bidding community is worldwide, so items need not be local.

If your answer to any of the above questions is yes, you could be our all-time hero. And, because EMU is nonprofit, all donations are tax deductible, to the extent allowed by law.

So, please consider helping us with this worthy cause. We’ll help secure items any way we can. We’ll even make personal appeals, if all you prefer to do is provide us with contact information.

For more information, and an address to mail your donations (see, we’re not only beggars; we’re optimistic beggars), please contact Lolita Cummings Carson, APR (formerly Lolita Hendrix), EMU public relations professor, at, 734.487.0952 – office or 810.423.1482 cell.

We really do appreciate your support!

PRSA National Membership Promotion – Join in February, Get Detroit Dues Free

When a new member joins PRSA National during February and uses promotion code FEB12, they will receive a free one-year membership to the PRSA Chapter of their choice. Visit www.prsa.org to join.

Worth Noting

Longtime PRSA Detroit member Jeff Caponigro, APR, Fellow PRSA, is serving a three-year term as one of PRSA’s representatives on the Universal Accreditation Board.

Caponigro is president and CEO of Caponigro Public Relations Inc. in Southfield. The agency also has an office in Florida.In addition to running the Accreditation program for PRSA Detroit in the early 1990s and later serving on, what was called at the time, the National Accreditation Board, Jeff most recently ran the Accreditation program for the Tampa Bay Chapter while going back and forth between his two offices.

The Tampa Bay Chapter went from nobody taking the exam for three years to 15 chapter members passing the exam and becoming Accredited during the two years he ran the program there.

Free PRSA National Webinars – All PRSA National webinars are now FREE to members. Learn more at www.prsa.org or call PRSA in New York at 212.460.1400.

Welcome New Members!

Connie Day
Ashley Lanagan

Upcoming Events

(Please see related stories in this issue for the first three events.)

Feb. 16: Ofield Dukes Diversity Summit, Wayne State University, Detroit.

March 2 and 3: Accreditation Prep Sessions, Walsh College, Troy.

May 17: PRSA 2012 Michigan Conference,
Sheraton Hotel, Novi.

Aug. 14: Golf outing: 2012 PRSA Open, Sycamore Hills Golf Club, 48787 North Avenue, Macomb. More details to follow.