Program Recap - The Politics and the PR May 2011

wmprsamay2011programpoliticsandpr_047 (Medium) The Michigan Campaign for Smokefree Air, along with the American Cancer Society and many Michigan residents, recently celebrated the one year anniversary of Michigan’s smoking ban. Since the ban took effect on May 1, 2010, general support has continued to grow and compliance is high. Judy Stewart, state government relations director for the American Cancer Society and campaign manager of the Michigan Campaign for Smokefree Air, and Emily Gerkin Palsrok, managing director of public affairs at Lambert, Edwards & Associates, spoke with the WMPRSA group about the challenges and successes of the campaign.


The Campaign for Smokefree Air began the long fight to victory in 2005. At that time, there were only eight states smoke free and, with little emphasis on social media, the campaign had to find their power in grassroots organizations and the passion of Michigan’s residents. The campaign received high public support right away, with nearly two-thirds in favor of the ban. Legislative support, however, was a bit more difficult to come by. With new legislation being brought in every two years, re-education and consistent messaging was key for the campaign’s success.

A continuous push for messaging in media relations tactics was ultimately the key to the campaign’s success. Campaign members were adamant about producing studies and surveys that provided factual evidence that would quiet the opposition. Such studies included revealing results from local air quality testing, opinion polling and the Surgeon General’s report. The campaign also heavily relied on support and testimonials from individuals in favor of the bill. The committee took advantage of new social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to launch “Act Now or Forever Hold Your Breath,” an online campaign, in 2009.

The social media push seemed to be what was needed towards the end and, in December 2009, the bill passed. On May 1, 2010, Michigan was the 42nd state to go smoke free. Today, despite positive feedback, the campaign is still defending the law and is now working to help other states, such as Indiana, do the same. This program proved to be an excellent case study in public affairs.

Lambert Edwards & Associates Welcomes Emily Veltman to Firm

Lambert, Edwards & Associates (LE&A) recently welcomed Emily Veltman to the firm's Consumer Practice after a successful internship with the company. Read the full press release below the fold.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 14, 2011 – Lambert, Edwards & Associates (LE&A), West Michigan’s top-ranked public relations agency and the state’s largest investor relations firm, today announced it has promoted Emily Veltman to associate within the firm’s Consumer Practice.

Veltman was hired in Sept. 2010 as an intern, where she developed grassroots marketing concepts and performed media relations activities for select local and national brands. In her new role, Veltman will support the account teams for several of the firm’s key consumer clients.

“We are pleased to have Emily join our firm in a permanent role,” said Tara Powers, Partner/Managing Director of the Consumer Practice at LE&A. “She has excelled as an intern for the past several months and has impressed us with her work ethic, teamwork, positive attitude and eagerness to learn. I have no doubt she will be a terrific addition to our team.”

Prior to joining LE&A, Veltman completed a special events internship for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan where she gained experience in event planning, relationship management and public relations skills for non-profit organizations.

Veltman holds a bachelor’s degree in communications studies and a minor in music from the University of Michigan.

About Lambert, Edwards & Associates

Named the 2010 PRWeek Small Agency of the Year, LE&A ( is a top-10 Midwest-based PR firm and a top-20 investor relations firm nationally with approximately 100 clients based in 20 states and five countries. As Michigan’s only statewide firm – with offices in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit – LE&A serves middle-market companies and national brands in five practice areas: Automotive, Consumer, Financial Communications, Health Care & Technology and Public Affairs. LE&A has posted 11 consecutive years of growth and earned three Silver Anvil awards – the profession’s highest honor – in the past four years. Follow us on Twitter: @LambertEdwards.


Jeremy Bakken Lambert, Edwards & Associates 616-233-0500