Event Archives

 Spring Event Featuring Baltimore Ravens’ Vice President of Public Relations—A Big Success

At our March member and student event, Baltimore Ravens’ Kevin Byrne, senior vice president of public and community relations, shared his insights and experiences about the Ray Rice controversy and how he and his team managed this crisis that received worldwide attention.

The dinner at York College of Pennsylvania was hosted by the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in conjunction with the York College chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

“Public relations pros, students and guests learned about crisis communications and the importance of one cohesive message,” said Liz Smith, president of America (PRSA) Central PA and chair of the PRSA Mid-Atlantic District, with the most members in the entire country.

Ray Rice and his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, were involved in an early-morning fight on an elevator in an Atlantic City, New Jersey, casino in February 2014. When a video surfaced in September of Rice hitting Palmer, knocking her out, the Ravens terminated his contract. The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely, but this was later overturned and he is currently a free agent.

Byrne has been with the Raven’s organization for 34 years. During his NFL career, he has started team marketing, TV and website departments. Byrne has provided media relations assistance at 25 Super Bowls and two Pro Bowls at the NFL’s request. His duties have also included contract negotiations, directing the team’s marketing department and serving on committees to interview and select Ravens head coaches.

A special thanks to PRSA Central PA chapter leaders Chad Perry, Dwendy Johnson and Kim Brenner-Zerkle and York College PRSSA for orchestrating the event.

PRSA Mid-Atlantic District 2015 Quick Start Supports Chapter Leaders with New Ideas and Resources

PRSA Mid-Atlantic District officers and representatives met with chapter leaders to share ideas and best practices at Quick Start 2015 on Saturday, Feb. 7 in Springfield, Va.  Quick Start helps chapter leaders benchmark and make contacts with other leaders throughout the PRSA Mid-Atlantic District. Networking and round tables on programming, website development, online awards, Millennials, and membership and board development helped volunteer leaders develop new opportunities for their chapters.  A presentation on Millennials by Shira Harrington, president of Purposeful Hire, highlighted many important insights into the challenges and qualities of this demographic group and received accolades from Quick Start participants.

Many chapters in the district sent five or more participants to Quick Start to establish new resources and make contacts. “Many thanks to all the chapter and district leaders and round table hosts who devoted a Saturday to improving PRSA chapters throughout the Mid-Atlantic District,” said Liz Smith, PRSA Mid-Atlantic district chair and Central PA chapter president. “And a special thank you to leaders of our Central PA chapter, Chris Brand, Molly McGowan, Dwendy Johnson, Valeria Beussink, Liz Greenaway and Kim Brenner-Zerkle for traveling all the way to Springfield on a Saturday to learn new ideas to improve our chapter.”

Telling the Story of the Pa. Gaming Board

Doug Harbach (pictured), Director of Communications for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Commission, spoke to our membership at our January 22 luncheon about the successes, failures and lessons learned as he worked to change the public’s and legislators’ perception of gambling and the work of the board


Recap of our August Meeting

Michael R. Fraser, PhD, CAE, executive vice president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society presented “Advancing Missions of Pennsylvania Associations: Advocacy with Proven Media Results.”

Joint Communicators Social

August 6, 2014
Hershey Vineyard

Joint Communicators event at beautiful Hershey Vineyard was enjoyed by communicators across Central Pa. Great company, entertainment, wine and beer tastings, live music and a plentiful food buffet was enjoyed by all.

PRSA Mid-Atlantic Quick Start Meeting for chapter board members and committee chairs summary and pictures

Valeria, Molly and Liz

Check out the recap and pictures of the

Nonprofit PR and Communications: How to Turn Challenges into Opportunities?

Watch for your next issue of enews for details on our March 2014 PRSA Central PA educational and networking luncheon.

Brad Peterson, Director of Communications for Central PA Food Bank, and  Rae Lynn Cox, V.P. of Communications and Marketing for United Way of Capital Region, are seated in the center surrounded by area PR professionals following their presentation about Non-Profit PR Opportunities and Challenges. The luncheon was held February 12 at the Central PA Food Bank.

12 Judges Review Florida’s Golden Image Awards

Twelve Central PA PRSA members, and friends of the chapter, judged 120 entries for the Florida Public Relations Association’s (FPRA) Golden Image Awards on Friday, June 7. The Golden Image Awards have become a standard of public relations excellence in the state of Florida. From social media campaigns and printed materials, to events and campaigns, the winners represented the best in innovation, planning and design.

The two FPRA members who facilitated the judging process were impressed with the caliber of our judges and with how thorough they were in evaluating entries. Thank you to the following PR practitioners who volunteered their time and talent:

  • Janet Kacskos, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Pat Coulson
  • Bill Swanger, III, APR
  • Debbi Tingley, APR
  • Mike Lambert
  • Kim Lehman
  • Shane Swisher
  • Holly Pieper, APR
  • David Shoffner
  • Linda Burkley, APR
  • Cheryl Slavinsky
  • Sarah Douglass

How PR Pros Must Change and Adapt to a Digital Ecosystem

Social Media Panel Discussion and 2013 Officer Elections Recap

The chapter’s December 12 luncheon featured a panel of PR practitioners using social media who shared some tips and a case study with the 30+ communicators who attended. Here are a few points from each of their presentations along with some social media resources.

Dulcey Antonucci, director of communications at Lancaster Country Day School, suggested using www.nextdoor.com as a “listening tool” for the neighborhood surrounding a business. This site sets up an online community of registered users living in a neighborhood so they can share information and advice. By monitoring this, Dulcey can find out if neighbors are posting comments about her school and become part of the conversation. This site was promoted by the school to parents and by word-of-mouth from them to their neighbors. She recommends using a tool like www.hootsuite.com to manage multiple social media tools. She considers Facebook to be a day-to-day communications tool for people associated with the school.

Stephanie Hemmann, digital media manager with Pavone, talked about various ways she used social media to build brand loyalty for one of their clients, Ortega. She set up a give-away of coupon books for Ortega products, noting that the low-cost give-away results in more long-term “fans” that a high-cost one, like a recipe book, which may encourage people to join the page just for the contest and then drop out of it. Pavone created a cartoon character for the brand named “Taco” who appears in graphics posted on their Facebook page. Ortega’s page features recipes that can be prepared quickly in keeping with the brand image of Ortega meals being easy to prepare. It has holiday recipes like Mexican latkes with sour cream and salsa.

Kelly Herr, digital media specialist at Millersville University, explained how she protected the university brand across the various departments that had their own social media tools. To foster a uniform look, she is providing the background images, stock university photos and logos, as well as asking departments to use the university’s brand colors. She encourages cross-promotion between departments in their social media posts. She created social media guidelines for the departments to follow.

Some social media resources:

Books available at libraries:
“Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust” by Chris Brogan
“Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us” by Seth Godin
“Measure What Matters” by Katie Delahaye Paine
“Putting Public Back in PR” by Brian Solis and Deirdre K. Breakenridge
“Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs” by Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah and David Meerman Scott

May Breakfast Meeting: The Turkey Hill Experience

 PRSA Celebrates Excellence in Public Relations

Local Organizations Presented with Keystone Awards

The Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)  recognized six local organizations for excellence in public relations programs and tactics at an awards luncheon held today at HACC.

The Keystone Award is the highest honor bestowed by the local chapter, recognizing the creative efforts of public relations practitioners throughout Central Pennsylvania.   This year’s awards were judged by PRSA’s Pittsburgh Chapter.  Accepting awards this year in a variety of categories were the following organizations:

Non-Profit Public Relations Program
American Heart Association, Harrisburg

Special Events – Greater than $25,000
Housing Development Corporation, Lancaster

Media Relations
Pavone, Harrisburg

Annual Reports
Diakon Lutheran Ministries, Mechanicsburg

Marketing Communications (Honorable Mention)
Pavone, Harrisburg

Feature Stories
Ardis Communications, Harrisburg

Interactive Public Relations
The Hospital and Healthsystem of Pennsylvania

External Newsletters
Housing Development Corporation, Lancaster

According to Debbi Tingley, APR, current Chapter President, “The Keystone Awards program is an opportunity for local public relations practitioners to receive deserving recognition for the fine work they do on behalf of their clients—or for themselves.  “These awards are true testaments to the creative talent here in Central Pennsylvania and validates for our members their importance to their clients and to our profession,” she said.

PRSA is a national association made up of over 22,000 public relations practitioners.  The Central PA Chapter is one of three Pennsylvania chapters and has approximately 150 members throughout the area.  For more details on membership and upcoming programs, visit www.centralpaprsa.org.





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