May 2018 Print

President's Message

It is hard to believe that summer is just around the corner. We’ve had great programs this winter and spring. At our February luncheon, we heard Nan Banks, Director of the Toyota Center for Communication, discuss Toyota’s move to Plano. Toyota’s “Plan, Do, Check and Act” cycle, along with transparency with employees were key in their move being a success. Our first members-free breakfast on “Webtools to Better Understand Target Audiences” was the first week of March and a sell-out. Thanks to Steve Lee, APR, Professor of Practice, SMU and Chief Pathfinder, QSI Group, for leading the discussion on how to listen, watch, monitor and understand. A big thanks to Half Price Books and Emily Bruce for the venue and support.

We also held our first boot camp of the year, “Developing Your Influencing and Persuasive Skills,” on March 23 led by John Millea, Principal and Founder of the leadership ring. John helped us all recognize our own influencing “style” and move beyond a reliance on positional power. Thanks to Dean Foods, Jamaison Schuler and Reace Smith for graciously hosting this event. At our April luncheon, Prachi Purohit, head of corporate communications at Capital One, shared how they use the PESO approach (paid, earned, shared and owned) for all communications from ideation to execution to measuring results.

I hope to see you at our May luncheon on May 10, at the Clubs of Prestonwood, to hear Jason Treu speak on how teambuilding and strong group connections can lead to productivity, innovation and job satisfaction. Jason is an executive coach who spent 15+ years in marketing leadership positions in the Silicon Valley working with Steve Jobs, Mark Cuban and Mark Hurd (HP).

Finally, a big shout out and congratulations to Greg Elam, who celebrates 50 years as a PRSA member this month. Thanks to our board of directors and committee members for the work you do for the PRSA Dallas Chapter. If you aren’t on a committee, then I encourage you to contact me and join one. It is an effective way to grow your local network. And as always, send me your thoughts and ideas on how to strengthen the chapter.

Donna Coletti, APR

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Monthly Event

May Luncheon: The Secret to Strong Teamwork and Collaboration

Register by May 7!

Have you worked on a team that just didn't function well? Or are you a manager who is dealing with one or more employees who aren't connected to others or performing well? Join us for the luncheon on May 10 to hear how strong group connections and teambuilding can lead to productive results and job happiness.

We aren't talking about spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on teambuilding shenanigans or retreats. Leadership and executive coach Jason Treu will share the approach that you can immediately begin implementing to improve the team experience.

You'll learn:

  • Why disengagement and lack of trust is killing team success
  • The "secret" strategies for building high performing and innovative teams
  • The simplest way to inspire others and work well in group settings
  • Specific activities you can do quickly make working in teams a positive experience
  • Tips for managers who need help engaging one team member or many

And every attendee will receive a teambuilding game that can build team relationships in 45 minutes or less!

Thursday, May 10

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

The Clubs of Prestonwood - Creek Clubhouse
(15909 Preston Road, Dallas, TX 75248)

For more details and registration, visit our website.

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Member Spotlight

Congratulations to Greg Elam and his 50 years of PRSA membership!

 Greg Elam, a long time PRSA Dallas member, hit a huge milestone this month with 50 years of PRSA membership. Congratulations to Greg! Greg has had a storied PR career since coming to Texas from South Carolina in 1961. His first role in Texas was as part of a team of five PR professionals in Fort Worth managing the PR needs/opportunities for a Texas oil millionaire’s 63 corporations. Greg next joined Pioneer American Life Insurance Company, a then locally headquartered national company, and he also joined PRSA in Dallas and was a founding member of the Fort Worth PRSA Chapter.

Eight years later, Greg joined Great American Reserve Insurance Company (GARCO) in Dallas, recently purchased by JC Penney, where he worked for 18 years. During his tenure at GARCO, Greg became Dean of the Life Insurance Communications Association’s week-long industry-wide PR, Sales Promotion and Advertising workshop held annually in Williamsburg, Virginia, and was named International Meeting Planner of the year. Greg’s last career move before retirement was 14 years as Senior VP of Communications for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Greg is a regular attendee at most PRSA events “because of program quality and for the opportunity to get to know these ever-so-alert-and-clever younger members.” Please be sure to congratulate Greg at an upcoming meeting or send a personal note to [email protected]. Greg has some sage advice for us all: “To be effective in communicating, one must first become a professional listener. It does no good to be self-proud and just talk or recommend, unless you understand who your target is and what words and thoughts they would hear. Otherwise all energy is wasted.”

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Other News

Student Volunteers Needed

PRSA Dallas is looking for several student volunteers this summer and in the fall semester, open to undergrads and post-grad students.

As our committees are planning events and other projects for the rest of the year, this is a good opportunity for students and recent graduates to get some hands-on PR and marketing work experience. It’s also a strong networking opportunity for those looking to make connections before launching their job search.

The time commitment varies but will be around 5 hours a week, and most of the work can be done at home. Interested applicants should send their resumes and any questions to [email protected].

Sponsors needed for annual Nonprofit PR Workshop:

The committee for the fourth annual Nonprofit PR Workshop is looking for event sponsors now through early summer. The half-day workshop is slated for July, and sponsors are needed to help cover catering costs to continue making this a free event for guests, who come to learn how they can leverage marketing and PR tools to support their charity and nonprofit. Sponsor requests are $250/company or individual. Sponsors will be included in the event program, social media posts from PRSA Dallas and more. Those interested may contact committee chair Zakiyah Johnson at [email protected] for more information.

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Upcoming Events and Opportunities


Don’t let another month go by without checking out the APR Prep and Study Session. We know the road to accreditation can be intimidating. We’ve designed a program to support those interested in taking their career to the next level to navigate the three-step accreditation process a little easier.




Each session is held monthly on Saturdays at no cost to participants. The next session will be held on Saturday, May 12 at the following location:

10 a.m. - noon

La Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe
11930 Preston Rd #100
Dallas, Texas 75230

(In the back meeting room located at Forest Lane and Preston Road)

To register for the APR Prep and Study session, please email Malizy Scruggs at [email protected].

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Calendar of Events

Opportunity for APR Credits

APR volunteers are needed to serve on presentation panels for candidates pursuing accreditation. The next panel is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22, on the SMU Campus Umphrey Lee Center, Room 228 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Contact Malizy Scruggs at [email protected] to sign up and for more information.

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New Members

Welcome New PRSA Dallas Members for March and April:

  • Daniel Alan Armbruster, AAA Texas
  • Ming-Jou Chen, Toyota
  • Ellen Fishpaw, Texas Instruments
  • Mindy Frink, McCarthy Building Companies
  • Laila Dar
  • Jamaal Duane Hightower, Turnt Nation PR Group
  • Lauren Little, National Math + Science Initiative
  • Bryan Bateman, TDIndustries
  • Cathryn McClellan
  • Andrea Wehler, TRANSWESTERN
  • Jennifer Janicki 
  • Kathleen Vaught, North Texas Municipal Water District 
  • Annabelle Baxter, Alliance Data 
  • Lisa Farrimond, Arlington CVB 
  • Jacy Hirschfeld 
  • Ellen Marsau, HALL Group 
  • Gwendolyn Schuler, City of Dallas
  • Mallory Brooke Cross, Beaumont Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Kristin Cole, A. Larry Ross Communications 
  • Eddie Miranda 
  • Stacey Sullivan, FedEx Office 
  • Candice Wilson

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