Eighth Annual Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop - "Dirty Politics"

Akron Area PRSA is joining with nine other organizations to sponsor the Eighth Annual Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop, titled "Dirty Politics", on Thursday, September 20, 2012, at Kent State's Franklin Hall The focus of this year's workshop will reflect on the significance of fact-checking, polling and anti-gender bias in political reporting. A panel discussion will examine the ethics of political communication from the standpoint of the media and public relations professionals. References to how campaign communications regularly violate the ethics codes of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Public Relations Society of America. Akron Arae PRSA is sponsoring this workshop during PRSA Ethics Month as one of its three ethics program in 2012.

Speakers on the workshop agenda include keynote speaker Connie Schultz, Pulitzer Prize winner, author, TV commentator and former Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist; Bill Adair, founder of PolitiFact; Greg Korte, USA Today reporter; John Green, director, Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, The University of Akron; and seven other experts in political science, political campaigning and office holders.

The program will host 150 attendees and will draw a national audience thrugh live streaming and mobile devices. Sponsoring groups in addition to Akron Area PRSA include: the Poynter Institute, the Media Law Center for Ethics and Access, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the KSU College of Communication and Information, Kent State TeleProductions, KSU Dept. of Educational Technology, the Akron Beacon Journal, the Civic Commons and the Online News Association.

Details Include:

  • What -- Eighth Annual Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop titled "Dirty Politics?" focusing on ethics and politics.
  • When -- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012
  • Where -- FirstEnergy Auditorium in Franklin Hall, 550 Hilltop Dr., Kent State University, Kent, Ohio
  • Cost -- $25 for media and public relations professionals; $20 foe educators and FREE for students

Event Website for Details and Registration

Questions -- Contact Jan Leach, 330-672-4289 or jleach1@kent.edu

East Central District of PRSA 35th Annual Diamond Awards Accepting Submissions

The East Central District of the Public Relations Society of America is calling for shining examples of public relations campaigns and tactics for its 35th annual Diamond Awards competition. The Diamond Awards are presented to public relations practitioners who have successfully addressed a communications challenge with exemplary skill, creativity and resourcefulness. The Diamond Awards are open to any public relations professional who is a member of the 15 chapters in the PRSA East Central District or any nonmember whose place of business is within the district’s boundaries. The East Central District covers the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

This year’s contest is proudly hosted by the PRSA Dayton Area Chapter - Dayton, OH.

The 2012 Call for Entries is available here.

Entries are due on Monday, October 1. For more information, contact Natasha Baker, 2012 Diamond Awards Chair, at 937-545-1821 or by email at nbaker@nlbcommunications.com

Condolences to the Family, Friends and Colleagues of Fred Chapman, APR

Frederick "Fred" Chapman, APREarlier this week, Frederick "Fred" Chapman, APR passed away at the age of 82.  Fred earned his APR and was inducted into the Public Relations Society of America College of Fellows in 1991 - making him one of only a handful from the state of Michigan to earn that distinction. Many WMPRSA members likely remember him fondly as he continued to attend monthly programs until very recently.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, July 30, 2012, 11 AM at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Ionia. The family will receive friends and relatives on Sunday, July 29, 2012, from 2-4 and 6-8 PM at the Lake Funeral Home, 3521 S. State St. Ionia, and at 10 AM on Monday, July 30, prior to the 11 AM Mass. The family suggests donations to SS. Peter & Paul Education Trust or the Grand Valley State University School of Communications Scholarship Fund. Internment will be at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Ionia Township. On-line condolences may be made at www.lakefuneralhomes.com

From the obituary:

CHAPMAN, FREDERICK Frederick A. Chapman, age 82, of Orleans Township, passed away in Grand Rapids, MI on July 25, 2012. He was born in Detroit to Frederick A. and Aurelia Denk Chapman of Ionia, MI on May 13, 1930. He was predeceased by his wife of almost 55 years, Helen "Pat" Chapman. He married Neonila (Nila) Chapman in March of 2010 and gained a step-daughter, Irina Perry and her husband, Michael, and a step- grandson, Alexander (Sasha). [...] A graduate of Wayne State University with a B.A. degree in journalism and a Master's degree in social science from the University of Detroit. He served in Korea with the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Fred was a public relations executive and retired as press information manager from Mercedes-Benz of North America in Montvale, NJ, after 36 years in corporate advertising and public relations. Returning to West Michigan, he was an associate professor of communications at Grand Valley State University and retired from GVSU in 2000. Chapman was accredited and a Fellow in the Public Relations Society of America. He was president of the New England and the West Michigan chapters of PRSA as well as a national delegate to the association's national assembly. (More)

APR in April

West Michigan PRSA is pleased to announce an APR Prep "drop-in" day!Have you always wanted to gain Accreditation in Public Relations (APR)? Maybe you have questions about accreditation and how the process works? Now is the time to check it out! West Michigan PRSA is hosting an APR Prep "drop-in" day on Friday, April 13 from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. at Ferris State University's downtown Grand Rapids campus in the Applied Technology Center Room 180 (map available here). You can stop by at your convenience, ask questions, learn about the process, and pick up a hard-copy of the APR study guide. There's no pressure, no cost, and no reason why you should wait any longer to learn about gaining your Accreditation in Public Relations!

Questions? Email WMPRSA Accreditation Chair, Dr. Patrick Bishop, at patrickbishop@ferris.edu.

PRSA East Central District Diamond Awards Due Date Approaching

The East Central District of PRSA will hold their 34th annual Diamond Awards soon, and the deadline for submissions is September 19, 2011 (with a late deadline of September 26). More information is available here:

Six Tips to Craft a Winning Awards Entry

So, you want to write a winning awards entry but are not sure where to start. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Many pr professionals struggle to boil down their efforts into a concise, thorough summary with supporting documents.

With East Central District’s Diamond Awards season upon us, read these six tips to crafting a winning awards entry before you even hit “save as” on your summary Word doc.

1. Think Metrics

Without metrics, how is success defined? Strong entries start by identifying measurable goals and objectives and end by demonstrating their wins and shortfalls. Judges need to clearly understand what you set out to do (e.g. improve readership by 10%; raise $25,000; sell 1500 more tickets; increase Facebook followers by 20% in 3 weeks) compared to what was achieved.

While qualitative data is acceptable, hard numbers demonstrate this best. Stating that you “received several emails saying how great the music was at the event” frankly won’t cut it. If you must use qualitative results, do what you can to show how this was purposefully - even scientifically - gathered (e.g. fill-in-the-blank evaluations).

2. Don’t Assume

Keep in mind the judges do not have any history with your entry topic. Do not assume they will fill in the blanks. When writing, pretend you are explaining your logic - why you did what you did - to a stranger on the street. Keep it pithy and to-the-point - like the 30-second elevator pitch you may have seen on TV. Double check your explanation does not have any gaps by asking a colleague (preferably not from your organization) to poke holes in your entry.

3. Share your Challenges

Don’t count out your entry if your project did not reach the set objectives. Rarely is there a clear path to any goal. In fact, the twists and turns along the way often create heart in an entry. Take advantage of explaining the challenges showing how you adapted to changing circumstances and re-directed your project to accommodate them.

4. Enter the Correct Category

While it may seem simple, all too often excellent entries are entered in the wrong category. To avoid this embarrassing blunder, write your entry to make a case for achieving the category objective. For instance, Brand Management entries should demonstrate how your campaign helped your organization or client manage their brand. If you are not clear on the correct category, seek advice from the chapter or committee organizing the awards.

Also, be careful to enter into the correct division - for-profit, non-profit, government, etc. While you may work for an agency, if your entry is on behalf of a non-profit client, make sure you enter in the non-profit division.

5. Know the Criteria

The devil truly is in the details. Make sure you understand and follow the limitations and restrictions for things such as font size, page count, and supporting materials. It might seem tedious, but the last thing you want is to get disqualified for a silly oversight. Take the time to triple check your entry before shipping it for judging.

6. Check out the Competition

One of the best ways to improve your summary is to get inspired by reading past winning entries. Model their flow and format, modified to meet your unique entry. Like when you are conducting research for a new project, learn what the judges liked in past years and adapt those characteristics into your piece. Ask colleagues if you can read their winning award entries, or check out Anvil winners on PRSA National’s website.

Many of these ideas were adapted from PRSA’s Anvil Podcast series. For more information, download or stream the shows on PRSA National’s website.