WMPRSA 2012 Holiday Mixer (12/13/12) at the CitySen Lounge - Win an iPad Mini

wmprsa2012mixer Drinks, Food and the Chance to Win a Free iPad!

Last year's event was a hit, so we're doing Ver. 2.0: join WMPRSA for cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and conversation with your colleagues. Also like last year, you'll be entered in a drawing to win an iPad Mini for every WMPRSA prospect you bring to the mixer!

Hors d'oeuvres and two drink tickets are complimentary to all WMPRSA members and their guests.

When: Thursday, December 13, 2011 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


CitySen Lounge, CityFlatsHotel 83 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Parking is available in the Monroe Center Ramp and free for the first hour.

RSVP here 5 pm, Wednesday, December 12, 2011:


Registrations are encouraged but not required. And feel free to bring guests, even if you only register yourself.

WMPRSA Program Recap - Lights in the Night - How PR launched lanterns into the ArtPrize Top 5

wmprsaprogramlightsinthenight10-15-12_048 (Large) On November 15, 2012, WMPRSA hosted a panel of four speakers, Dan Johnson, who is the managing partner of Six Voices LLC, Mark Carpenter, an entrepreneur, currently engaged in digital app collaborations with clients across the world, Kim Bode, owner of 834 Design and Marketing, and Adrienne Wallace, a project manager at 834 Design and Marketing. Wallace helped lead the discussion. [Slides From the Presentation Available Here]


The panel discussed how the ArtPrize entry Lights in the Night made it into the Top 5. Dan and Mark spoke about how they developed the idea, while Kim and Adrienne discussed how 834 Design and Marketing handled all of the promotion.

Carpenter explained that before he came up with the “lantern” idea he knew that he wanted to be involved with ArtPrize in some way and participate in the “risk taking roll.” He wanted to show his children that you can start with a small idea and turn it into something larger than you could have ever hoped for. Carpenter also knew that he wanted to involve the community in his entry.

Johnson said that after he and Carpenter decided to enter “Lights in the Night” into ArtPrize, they discussed how they needed to find great advertising and marketing. Thats when they hired 834 Design and Marketing.

Wallace and Bode went on to discuss how 834 led the Lights in the Night campaign:

  • Name selection
  • Descriptive of what the event truly was
  • Content creation
  • PR pitch to local media
  • Weekly blog posts to Facebook notes
  • Postcard (included in Gilmore Collection restaurant checks)
  • Weekly email (2,000 on list)
  • Advertising
  • The Lights in the Night ad on GRNow.com had the highest click through in the history of the website
  • Street teams that passed out post cards, and QR codes to help drive the public to the website
  • Word of mouth- The community had a lot to do with this, they became advocates for Lights in the Night.
  • Instructional video
  • Poster with instructions on how to light a lantern
  • In order to get the media involved and interested in the event it was important to have a mini-launch so they could all see the lanterns first-hand.

Johnson discussed the process they took to receive all of the proper permits with the city and then went on to explain the difficulties they had with the city a week before the lanterns were scheduled to launch. The main issue they had with the city was the fact that they pulled several locations that were scheduled launch spots. They were also give the green light to purchase 20,000 lanterns, but after they were purchased were told they could only launch 2,500. At the end of the event the final count came to 15,000 lanterns that had actually been lit and launched.

Lights in the Night entered the Top 25 within a day, from there it moved to the Top 10, and ultimately into the Top 5. Brian Burch, public relations director at ArtPrize said that he had never seen anything like it before and it was a testament of the community’s engagement.

WMPRSA Program - Lights in the Night: How PR launched lanterns into the ArtPrize Top 5 (11/15/12)

WMPRSA Program – Lights in the Night: How PR launched lanterns into the ArtPrize Top 5 (11/15/12) Lights in the Night, a PR story from concept to ArtPrize Top 5 as the first community organized and executed performance piece to make the Top 10 in ArtPrize history.

On September 28, 2012, thousands of paper lanterns were lit and took flight over the Grand Rapids skyline, representing the hopes, dreams and wishes of our community.

PR efforts netted over 75,000 participant volunteers and spectators, 200,000+ crowdsourced photographs and unique video, and over 5,000 earned multi-media mentions both domestically and internationally on a shoestring budget.

Register Here

WHEN: Thursday, November 15, 2012 from 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

WHERE: University Club of Grand Rapids (111 Lyon Street NW, 10th Floor of Fifth Third Bank Building, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503)


  • Event Registration
  • Member $25.00
  • Non-Member $35.00
  • Student $20.00
  • Please note: Day-of registrations and walk-ins will be assessed an additional $5 surcharge.

RSVP by Wednesday, November 14, 2012 by Registering Here

[Corrected] Program: WMPRSA Meet the Media - 10/18/12

WMPRSA Meet the Media Speed Pitching - 10/18/12 [Update: Location Modification] WMPRSA’s annual “Meet the Media” event has always been one of our most highly attended programs. Next month, we will welcome the return of our popular “speed pitching” format.

Throughout the program, participants will meet one-on-one with members of the media during timed speed pitching sessions. For a few minutes, you will have the undivided attention of news directors, editors, reporters and producers from local television and radio stations, daily, weekly and monthly publications and online outlets.

Please note, the time for this program is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The appointment sign-up sheets will be available at 11 a.m.

These brief meetings go fast – so, be prepared, plan your story pitches and maximize your time. In the coming weeks, WMPRSA will publish the list of expected media in event notices and on our Facebook page, Twitter and website.  Register Here: http://bit.ly/wmprsameetmedia2012


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cornerstone University | Wood Seminary Building, 3000 Leonard Street NE | Grand Rapids, MI 49503

  • 11 A.M. – Registration, book media appointments, boxed lunches
  • 11:30 A.M. – 1 P.M. – Speed Pitching


  • Member $25.00
  • Non-Member $35.00
  • Student $20.00

Register Here: http://bit.ly/wmprsameetmedia2012

Crisis Management in Today’s Internet World - June 21, 2012

wmprsaprogramcrisiscomminternetage06-21-12_062 (Medium) On June 21, 2012, WMPRSA hosted Dan Spaulding, APR, a principal with SeyferthPR for the program "Crisis Management in Today's Internet World."


Spaulding has nearly 25 years counseling clients in the development of media and long-term public relations strategies to address issues and crises as well as prior experience as a television news director and journalism faculty member.

Spaulding has seen plenty of change over the course of his career, which has allowed him to distill crisis communications to some important key points that stand the test of time:

  • Do your crisis planning now - there won't be time when a crisis hits.
  • Don't overreact: the last thing you want to do is prolong the crisis. Take conversations offline if possible.
  • Don't forget to document things as they happen: documentation is an important and oft-forgotten part of handling a crisis.