Free PRoof Award Entry Workshop - 1/26/12

Each year, the West Michigan Public Relations Society of America confers PRoof Awards to honor and celebrate the outstanding achievements of West Michigan's public relations professionals. PRoof Award entries are due March 1. If you have never considered entering the PRoof Awards or have questions about the process, we invite you to a FREE workshop on January 26. The workshop will teach you what qualifies for an entry and how to put an entry together. Brian Burch, public relations director for ArtPrize, will teach the workshop as he has won multiple awards and also judged entries for other chapters.Bring your interns or co-workers to help you learn how to put together a great entry that will impress the judges!

Bring your own lunch and eat while you learn.There will be time for Q. and A. and additional help along the way as you compile your entries.

Register Here

Location:  Hagar Conference Room (Administration Building) Cornerstone University 1001 E Beltline Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525

Save the Date for the PRoof Awards

[Date Corrected] We invite you to save April 25, 2012 for the PRoof Awards, where we will network with other public relations professionals, announce the winners, laud their achievements and enjoy a special guest speaker.  Please join us at the formal awards event scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Goei Center. Watch for an upcoming announcement!

WMPRSA Half-Day Nonprofit Workshop - The ABCs of Marketing & Public Relations for Nonprofit Professionals

The West Michigan Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America invites you to attend a half-day workshop tailored specifically for those who work in the nonprofit world. This low-cost workshop is packed with relevant and informative programs that will provide you with the necessary tools to enhance your communications campaigns and strategies. (Register Here) The workshop targets those who have five years or less experience in public relations and/or anyone who may be responsible for communications in a nonprofit organization.

This workshop features three one-hour sessions. Session offerings are below; see the event website for schedule and presenter information.


Media Relations Messaging Getting media coverage can be challenging, especially for nonprofit organizations. Plus, it's important to go beyond just 'getting publicity' and work to get your desired message to your publics via the news media. The key is matching organizational objectives to the needs and interests of the news media. This session will help you do that. Presenter: Timothy Penning, Ph.D., APR, Associate Director/Associate Professor, School of Communications,Grand Valley State University

Utilizing College Student Interns to Achieve Your Communications Goals College students have the time, talent and desire to gain real-world experiences through professional internships, but nonprofit organizations sometimes face barriers to utilizing student interns. This session will provide a framework to help nonprofit organizations (1) develop viable projects for student interns, (2) create a supervision model that works for the organization’s staff and the student, and (3) identify area resources that can assist organizations recruit students who have the talent to meet communications needs. The presenters will share recent success stories and will allow time for audience questions and consultation. Presenter: Michelle Burke, APR, Director of Student Life, Grand Valley State University

Strategic on a Shoestring: Plan Your PR for Pennies, Reap the Rewards PR shouldn’t be scattershot – it should be strategic – especially if you’re on a shoestring budget. In this session, presenters Susan Ledy and Tatum Rucker from the Literacy Center of West Michigan and Terri Howe and Molly Klimas of WMPRSA walk you through the strategic PR planning process, with a special focus for nonprofits. Learn the formula that works – and how to apply it and get results. Information from the Literacy Center’s “power PR planning session” and resulting strategies and tactics will be explored. You’ll learn from their success stories. Plus, you’ll learn how the Literacy Center received and benefited from WMPRSA pro bono PR counsel – and how your organization can apply to be considered for the same. Presenters: Susan Ledy, Executive Director, Literacy Center of West Michigan; Tatum Rucker, Public Relations Specialist, Literacy Center of West Michigan; Terri Howe, APR, Howe Marketing & Communications; and Molly Klimas, APR, Intent Public Relations

Communicating During a Crisis: How to Protect Your Reputation When Bad Things Happen Public trust is crucial to a nonprofit. Anything that damages an organization’s reputation can result in falling donations and loss of other vital support. Are you ready for a crisis? Do you know how to assess bad news and determine response? The best crisis communications begins before any crisis hits. The planning process forces an organization to assess its vulnerabilities and determine its weaknesses. In this session we will look at what constitutes a real crisis, determine the levels of response and examine the best methods to handle communications. There will be practical, real-world examples, along with role-playing exercises. Presenter: Steve Ruppe, Public Relations Director, Russ Reid Company

From Bland to Buzzworthy: Creating a Winning Social Media Strategy Are you frustrated watching other organizations get all the attention on the social networks, while your organization seemingly flies under the radar? It's time for the frustration to end! This presentation will teach you the necessary elements to address while creating a winning social media strategy. Learn how and when to listen to what's being said about your cause online. Learn how to identify and connect with the "influencers" in your market. Most importantly, learn how to generate massive buzz about your cause and leverage that awareness to create lasting emotional connections with your support base. Presenter: Pete Brand, Co‐Founder, Mindscape at Hanon McKendry

Partying for a Living! So you think it's cool to 'party for a living'? Attendees will learn the dos and don’ts of social and corporate event management. Hold on tight as event mogul Jessica Ann Tyson explores the necessary steps in the planning and execution process to take your event to the next level. This is an interactive class full of high energy so grab your cup of joe......and let's go! Presenter: Jessica Ann Tyson, Owner, Events by Jessica Ann

FEE: $60 Includes continental breakfast and session materials. Luncheon Series subscribers: Please note this is a special event not included in your subscription.

  • WHEN: Thursday, September 15, 2011 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • WHERE: The Eberhard Center, GVSU, 301 W Fulton, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • ATTIRE: Business Attire
  • RSVP by: 5 pm, September 12

Register here.

Call for Presentation Proposals for WMPRSA Nonprofit Workshop

The West Michigan chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (WMPRSA) invites presentation proposals from PR professionals – particularly APRs – for its Nonprofit Workshop on September 15, 2011, at the GVSU Eberhard Center in Grand Rapids. The workshop is geared towards employees and volunteers of nonprofit organizations who have responsibilities for public relations or other related communications duties. Relevant session topics include: social media, event management, strategic planning, crisis communications and writing.

Please provide a 75-100 word description of your presentation, including two to three learning objectives that identify what attendees will learn in your session.

  • Your submission should also include the following information:
  • Speaker name, organization and title
  • Address, phone number and email
  • Presentation title

Deadline for proposals is Monday, August 1.  Please submit your proposals via email to Sandra Gaddy at