March 2017 Print

President's Message

Spring always seems to be a time synonymous with growing new skills and professional development, and this March and April are no exception!

March was a banner month for NuPros (our new professionals group)! Many thanks to our NuPros chairs Aisha Fletcher and Whitney Strittmatter, who hosted a sold-out crowd of 75 new professionals for a happy hour entitled “PR Essentials: Learn How to Build Lasting Relationships with Media Professionals,” featuring media pros Ron Ruggless, senior editor at Nation’s Restaurant News; Sonia Azad, health and wellness reporter at WFAA; and Tiney Ricciardi, reporter at The Dallas Morning News. It was quite an evening of networking.

On the heels of the March event, April will feature our annual ProAm Day, where students from across DFW will shadow PR professionals at businesses and nonprofits, then join PRSA Dallas members and guests for our monthly luncheon. We're excited to announce this year's luncheon will be held at Brinker International and will spotlight Michelle Smith, who leads AT&T's citizenship and sustainability for their global marketing organization and "owns" the voice of diversity for AT&T. She will share how she and her team are leveraging cultural diversity to be the social media "edge." It's a can't-miss opportunity. Don't forget to register!

Enjoy the warm—but not hot (yet!)—weather in Dallas, and I hope to see you soon. 

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Upcoming Events and Opportunities

April 21: The Social Media “Edge:” How AT&T is Leveraging Cultural Diversity to Get Ahead. Register here.

L. Michelle Smith, AT&T

Learn how a tech disruption nearly a decade ago turned social media into culture soup. You will take a walk down tech memory lane that will lead you directly onto the path that AT&T is forging as it is leverages culture to reach the hearts and minds of an increasingly more diverse population. Learn how the Fortune 10 is pioneering unique digital-and-social-first conversations that are keeping key segments and the masses engaged.

L. Michelle Smith is a consumer insights expert who is helping one of the world's most respected companies prepare for our nation's new reality – an unwired, digitally-driven, multicultural and global society. Michelle leads Citizenship & Sustainability efforts for the AT&T Global Marketing Organization and owns the voice of diversity for the company. Her insights-driven campaigns take on heavy issues and light-hearted topics that endear consumers to the AT&T brand. With campaigns like Inspired Mobility, Live Proud and It Can Wait, her teams have taken segment programs total market and general market programs to the segments.

Pro-Am Day
April 21 serves as PRSA Dallas’ annual Pro-Am Day. Students and professionals will be matched for a morning of shadowing and mentoring across the metroplex. All attendees will come together for the keynote luncheon. If you cannot participate in the shadowing opportunity, you can still register and attend the luncheon!

If your company would like to host a student, please email Emily Walsh by Friday, April 14: If you are a student and would like to attend, please email Meaghan Klitch by Friday, April 7: Additionally, please indicate your match preference: agency, corporation or non-profit. Professionals and students must email to participate and register for the luncheon online.

Free Webinar: The Value of Accreditation. What APR Can Do for You and Your Career

Live: April 4, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. CDT

On-demand: Available April 11

Join us on for this webinar lead by several Universal Accreditation Board members who will be discussing the value of accreditation from personal experience as well as discussing how pursuing accreditation can help you advance your career.

 By the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • Understand the value of the accreditation process
  • Understand why pursuing accreditation can benefit the public relations practitioner
  • Understand how to pursue accreditation
  • Understand how achieving the accreditation designation can help advance a career in public relations

Save the Date: Build Lasting Relationships with Social Media Influencers at the NuPros Happy Hour

As a PR professional, you not only have to build successful relationships with the media, but you must also build successful relationships with social media influencers. At this happy hour, we’ll address how you can build lasting relationships with different social media influencers and stay ahead of the changing media landscape.

This event is free and open to anyone interested in the topic. You do not have to be a PRSA member to attend.

Mark your calendars:

  • Date: Thursday, May 25
  • Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Location: Brinker International
  • Registration info coming soon

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PRSA Dallas Chapter News

Volunteers Needed for PRSA Dallas Nonprofit Workshop 

Mark your calendar: The third annual PRSA Dallas Nonprofit PR Workshop is scheduled for Friday, July 28, and we are seeking volunteers to help with the session, “Solving YOUR Marketing Challenges.” This 50-minute workshop will break up our tentative 100 attendees into small groups for a discussion led by a PR practitioner. We will provide real-time feedback to our guests, as many of them rarely work with consultants or PR firms. 

We are seeking around 10 to 15 PR pros with at least five years of experience who would be interested in chatting with the attendees about their nonprofit goals, current marketing problems and other topics. Breakfast will be provided. Please contact Nelli Tokleh at if you are interested in participating. More information about the workshop will be available soon.  

Join the Dallas Chapter Now!

Don’t miss your chance to receive members-only access and discounted rates at upcoming events!

Right now, there is a special offer for new spring graduates and young professionals. New PRSSA graduates or those with less than three years of experience can receive a free one-year new professionals section membership when they join national as an associate member ($60-$200 annual dues.) Use promo code AM17 when signing up to enjoy this promotion! This promo code is valid April 1, 2017, through May 31, 2017.

If you’re not yet a member of the Dallas chapter, check out for details about adding your local chapter membership or contact for help.

Putting PR on the Table for Minority Students 

PR is a great career field. Many of us enjoy the variety of responsibilities, writing, fast career trajectory, constant evolution of tools, and working around tight deadlines. As great as the profession is though, there’s no secret about the lack of diversity. Part of the solution is getting minority college students to consider PR as a career. As the diversity chair and co-chair for the PRSA Dallas chapter, Cambria Jones and Thomas Bennett recently shared their journeys into PR and the importance of mentoring college students. Read more here.

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Students of the Month

PRSSA Students of the Month spotlights students from our sponsored Public Relations Student Society of America chapters, in their own words. Meet UNT’s Jennifer Pache:

I’m a journalism student at the University of North Texas and currently serve as vice president of the UNT PRSSA chapter. I’m best a writing, reading and editing and am dedicated to improving the art of writing through the editing process. I have a deep interest in the publishing business. I’m a self-published author, world traveler and lover of all types of food. Feel free to contact me at

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New Members

Please welcome our new and reinstated PRSA Dallas members:

  • Anna Davis, public relations associate, Friedman Marketing and Public Relations
  • Christie Sparrow, marketing coordinator, OMNIPLAN Architects
  • Elizabeth Cies, account director, Idea Grove
  • Elizabeth Del Toro
  • Gina Hethcock, senior manager, Public and Community Relations, Rent-A-Center
  • Jacqi Moore Richardson, director, GOLIN
  • Jennifer K. Garcia
  • Madeline Ann Yeaman, communications specialist, SPCA of Texas
  • Meredith Chase York, assistant director of communications for the Office of Administration, The University of Texas at Dallas
  • Nikki Richardson, APR, senior director, reputation management, National Cattlemen's Beef Association
  • Samra Jones Bufkins, APR, lecturer, public relations and social media, Mayborn School of Journalism, University of North Texas
  • Vickie Yakunin, APR

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DFW Communicators Job Bank

Looking for a job? Need to fill a position?

Check out the DFW Communicators Job Bank, a collaborative project providing a single source of news, jobs, events and freelance listings for all sponsoring organizations.

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About PRSA Dallas

The Dallas Chapter of PRSA serves more than 400 practitioners of public relations in North Texas. The chapter was founded in 1950, just three years after the founding of the national society. The chapter provides members with a variety of professional networking opportunities and services, such as the Communicators Job Bank, a monthly newsletter, professional development programs, monthly luncheons, mentoring programs and college outreach programs.

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