Nov
12
5:30 PM17:30

Signature Event | Own Your Privilege: ‘West Michigan Nice’ Is Not An Inclusion Strategy

  • GVSU DeVos Campus - Loosemore Auditorium (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

As communicators we are responsible for starting and maintaining key conversations within our community. This event is designed for communication leaders, to grow with tools and perspective, to truly support equity in our community and step away from “West Michigan Nice.” Hear real-life stories, learn about equity work gaining traction locally, and unpack your own privilege and think through what you can do to promote equity in our community.

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Nov
19
6:00 PM18:00

Speed Networking with PR Pros

We’re bringing PR pros and students together for a FREE, fun and laid back evening of great conversation, speed-dating style. What’s it really like in the real world? What are the biggest challenges facing PR pros today? Get tips for launching and planning your career and much more.

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Jun
1
to Jun 30

Experienced-Based Roundtables

Due to popular demand for peer support, WMPRSA brings you a test program for all levels of practice arranged into “cohorts” of similar experience. WMPRSA members will lead these experience-based groups in a discussion of modern issues in PR. The topics will be fueled by each cohort to customize the experience and value for each member in each group.  

Dates, time and location vary by cohort. Space for each is limited, so register quickly!

Please note: These are "pay your own tab/BYO" events with no further event fee. 

ROUNDTABLES/COHORTS

  • Senior-Level Practitioners (20+ years experience)
    Led by:
     Karen Kirchenbauer, APR, Vice President and Principal, SeyferthPR, and Kim Skeltis, APR, Owner, Blue Blaze Public Relations
    Date: Thursday, June 27
    Time: 
    8-9:30 am
    Location: 
    SeyferthPR, 40 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
    More details: Bring your coffee and join this informal, collaborative conversation to explore ways senior-level practitioners may strengthen our collective PR muscle, help others, share best practices and more.

  • Mid-Level Practitioners (11-19 years experience)
    Led by: Amanda St. Pierre, APR, Owner, SaintPR, and Andrea Finnigan, Communications Specialist, Spectrum Health
    Date: Friday, June 14
    Time: 8-9 am
    Location: The Factory, 38 Fulton St W, Suite 400, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (above San Chez)
    More details: Bring your coffee and conversation to this PR discussion with practitioners of similar experience.

  • Mid-Level Practitioners (6-10 years experience)
    Led by: Andria Romkema, VP Marketing & Communications, The Right Place, and Jessica Meldrum, Senior Communications Specialist, National Heritage Academies
    Date: Thursday, June 27
    Time: 6:00 pm
    Location: Stan Diego Baja Taco Kitchen, 355 Wilson Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49534 (corner of Wilson and Lake Michigan Dr.)
    More details: Join your fellow PR pros for a lively happy hour to discuss the opportunities and challenges at this stage in your career. Topics may include day-to-day functions of various PR roles, mentorship, leadership, and more.

  • Entry-Level Practitioners (0-5 years experience)
    Led by:
     Taylor Fleck, Marketing Coordinator, Our Full Attention, and Lisa Levandoski, Associate, Sabo PR
    Date: Thursday, June 20
    Time: 7:30 am
    Location: Roots Brew Shop, 600 7th St. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
    More details: Enjoy coffee and conversation with practitioners of similar experience. We will engage in casual conversation, share good advice we have learned early in our careers and other topics that come up.



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Apr
18
11:30 AM11:30

Storytelling Lessons From Health Care

In the health care industry, it seems the flow of newsworthy stories is constant with everything from changing technology, joint ventures and expansions, new medical equipment and heartwarming patient success stories. Join us as we hear from a panel of experts to learn their best storytelling practices for reaching the communities they serve.

Confirmed panelists include (please check back for further development):

  • Tonita Cheatham, Group Director of Communications, Detroit Medical Center

Tonita Cheatham serves as the Group Director of Communications for the Detroit Medical Center. In this capacity, she is responsible for all system and hospital communications (internal, external), issue management strategy and implementation, executive and reputation communications as well as community engagement and outreach initiatives across DMC's eight hospitals and institutes. Before transitioning to her current role, Tonita served as the director of public relations, marketing and business development for DMC’s Harper University Hospital, Detroit Receiving Hospital and Hutzel Women’s Hospital. Her background comprises an interesting blend of management experiences in television, newspapers, finance, politics, agency and non-profit institutions. Prior to joining the DMC, she served as a communicator with various media (television and newspaper), finance, political and non-profit organizations.  

  • Adam Barr, freelance copywriter

Both directly and through agency partners, Adam Barr has done work for dozens of healthcare clients. In that time, he's been tasked with many types of storytelling—in the form of videos, campaigns, presentations, and more. He's technically a copywriter, but likes to think of himself as a "copythinker"—someone who spends the bulk of his time observing and strategizing before doing the actual writing. See Adam's work at copybyadam.com.

  • Jen VanSkiver, Chief Communications Officer & Director of External Affairs, North Ottawa Community Health System

Jen VanSkiver is NOCHS' first-ever chief communications officer and director of external affairs, charged with developing growth strategies and strengthening the system's core competencies. NOCHS employs 750 throughout the system: the 81-bed hospital at 1309 Sheldon Road in Grand Haven, the attached Harbor Dunes professional building, nearby Heartwood Lodge with its 8-bed Hospice Care center, an urgent care center downtown, and labs and physical rehabilitation sites throughout the area.

  • Tiffany Aldrich, Director of Communications, Cherry Health

 Tiffany Aldrich is the Director of Communications for Cherry Health - Michigan’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center. It is based in Grand Rapids, and serves 19 other sites across West Michigan. Tiffany has over 15 years of experience in marketing and communications, with eight being in the health care industry. In her six years at Cherry Health, Tiffany has spearheaded the re-branding of Cherry Health, created a new website and social media platforms and won awards for her work on a creative campaign to introduce the community to the Affordable Care Act. Cherry Health has been delivering quality, comprehensive health care for underserved communities for more than 30 years -- serving over 70,000 patients each year regardless of income or insurance status.

Please register by April 15.

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Apr
9
4:30 PM16:30

WMPRSA Mock Interview Workshop

  • Grand Valley State Universtiy- Downtown Campus- DEV 309E (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

WMPRSA is looking for 20 PR professionals to volunteer an hour and a half of their time to conduct mock interviews with local college students. Let’s help them get ready to land their first job!

Tuesday, April 9 from 4:30pm to 6:00pm at GVSU’s Downtown Campus room DEV 309E. Sign up NOW.

Sign up form: https://goo.gl/forms/Z0yoD2l9unJmdm252

APRs: This is a perfect opportunity to earn maintenance points towards your continued accreditation!

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Mar
21
11:30 AM11:30

Changing Media Landscape: Connecting with Niche Publications and Citizen Journalists

Newsrooms continue to evolve and change. As a result, we are seeing a rise in niche publications and citizen journalism providing comprehensive and curated, on-the-ground coverage from neighborhoods and beyond. As PR pros, what can we do to partner with the journalists in our community to share relevant news related to the organizations we serve? Join your WMPRSA colleagues as we engage with journalists from several local publications to learn about what they’re doing and how we can amplify our work.

Moderator: Amanda Jarrett;

Panelists:

Please register by March 18.

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Feb
28
4:30 PM16:30

WMPRSA + GVPRSSA Networking Event

WMPRSA and GVPRSSA invite you to a combined networking event! We will be bringing PR pros and PR students together for a FREE mixer at creative agency Our Full Attention, located on Plainfield Ave. This event is an opportunity for WMPRSA members to catch up and connect, and an opportunity for students to network and learn from West Michigan PR pros.

Mark your calendars and stop by for an evening filled with conversation, a first look at the new OFA office, and a prime time to meet new people. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Feel free to bring a prospective new member to this mixer.

Please note: Additional parking is available in the lot directly behind OFA, on the corner of Eleanor and Edgewood.

About our host:

OFA is a Grand Rapids based full service creative agency made up of strategists, creatives, designers and doers. Together, we listen to client needs and help connect the dots to push beyond effective marketing solutions. We are not about the number of players on our roster, but focus on the offerings and experiences we have as a team. We combine our expertise to make what matters most to you, matter most to us.

For more information, visit www.teamofa.com.

Please RSVP by Tuesday, February 26.

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Jan
17
11:30 AM11:30

How PR Practitioners Can Be More Effective Communicators Through Design Thinking

Research is step numero uno in any good public relations plan. Our college courses taught us to engage our audiences, survey, conduct focus groups, etc. to develop our messages, tactics and metrics.

Fast forward to today and you’ve likely heard about design thinking. At a quick glance, it has strong similarities to what we learned about research—but it takes it to a whole new level.

Join us on January 17 to learn how design thinking could be used in your organization. Our guides for this session will be Kirk Eklund and Brandy Arnold, program managers with Public Agency, WMCAT's social-impact design firm.

What to expect:

  • Intro to Public Agency

  • Overview of design thinking + story

  • Learn about empathy tool/posture/behavior

  • Case study: How does this work IRL

  • Q&A

Please register by January 14.

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Jan
17
9:00 AM09:00

PRO.5 Mentoring & Shadowing Event

WMPRSA would like to invite you to consider signing up to host one or more students for PRO.5, scheduled for Thursday, January 17th.

The goal of this event is to provide GVPRSSA students the opportunity to learn from PR professionals at agencies, nonprofits and corporate offices, as well as provide them with and the chance to network with WMPRSA Chapter members.

Immediately following PRO.5, we’d love for hosts to attend the January WMPRSA Chapter Luncheon and network with students that participated in the program. 

Sign up by clicking HERE before Friday, December 7th.

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Dec
4
6:00 PM18:00

One Bourbon. Two Chapters. Countless Possibilities

Together, AMA-WM and WMPRSA invite you to a night of collaboration and conversation over drinks on the West Side (Best Side) of Grand Rapids.

Whether you're a Marketing or Public Relations professional, join us as our two chapters come together for some networking and bourbon sipping. Each chapter will give a brief overview of what they do.

First drink is on us!

Chapter Members are free to attend. Future members are welcome with a $10 registration.

This event has a capacity of 50 attendees. Register a.s.a.p. to not miss out!

Parking Tips:
The Dash lots along Seward are only $2 for the entire day.

Don't plan on staying long? The Bridge St Market's parking is free for the first hour.

Link to Facebook Event.

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Nov
15
11:30 AM11:30

Insider's Guide to Earning National Press Coverage

Learn how to pitch to national outlets in 2018: Forget everything you learned about PR in college. It’s 2018 and everything is different. Learn how to find the best contacts without Cision, get the scoop on a proven pitch formula that works with editors, learn more about national media timelines, and more. Discover new ways to reach your audiences with different tools.

This workshop is great for everyone from aspiring students to experienced professionals. You’ll walk away with:

  • A better understanding of how to navigate the national press landscape (what’s the difference between market editor and associate editor? What’s up with contributors and how can I pitch them?)

  • New resources on where to find contacts quickly and easily without having to rely on overpriced, unwieldy Cision.

  • Austin’s proven pitch formula that’s concise, personal and quick to write.

  • How to personalize your pitches in a non-creepy, casual manner that sheds the cliche “loved-your-article-on-dogs-here’s-a-dog-pitch” method.

  • Austin’s list of 300 national media outlets (some you probably haven’t worked with before) to reach out to with your client’s news.

About Austin Langlois

Austin is a communications consultant, freelance writer and photographer. He currently resides in Bali where he serves as marketing director for Outpost, an Asia-Pacific coworking company. He's landed clients in many of the world's most sought-after publications, from The New York Times and Outside Magazine to Buzzfeed, The Boston Globe and Forbes. His editorial work has been published in Bon Appetit, DRIFT Magazine, AskMen, Time Out Miami, Grand Rapids Magazine and more. Austin earned a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising / Public Relations from Grand Valley State University, and is currently working on on his master’s in public relations and corporate communications at Georgetown University.

Please register by November 12.

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Nov
2
to Nov 30

Chapter Member Special - Sign Up Now!

Join PRSA now to take advantage of our best membership deal of the year!!!

If growing your professional network is important to you, then you won’t want to pass up this amazing deal!

When you join PRSA from Sept. 1-Nov. 30, 2018, you will have three surefire ways to make industry connections. In addition to your national PRSA membership (with no initiation fee, a $65 value), you will also receive a Free Section* membership (a $60 value) and Free Chapter* membership (up to $100)!


Go to:
https://www.prsa.org/2018tripleplay/ Use the code FALL18 at checkout!

  • PRSA National Membership: Access to more than 21,000 public relations and communications professionals 24/7 via the members-only online community MyPRSA. Plus, you have access to dozens of other member benefits!

 

  • PRSA Chapter Membership: PRSA has more than 100 local groups across the United States, known as Chapters. These Chapters are run by local PRSA members who host networking and educational events to connect you to industry professionals and ensure you are staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends and skills. Click here to find your local Chapter.

 

  • PRSA Section Membership: PRSA has 14 professional interest groups, known as Sections. Each Section focuses on a specific industry that public relations and communication professionals serve, and a few of the Sections are geared towards career level and business owners. Members of these Sections are able to connect with industry peers who have similar needs and share the same challenges. These groups share important and relevant information about their area of interest through a variety of channels throughout the year. Click here to view all 14 Section.

 

*RESTRICTIONSThe Counselors Academy and New Professionals Sections are not included in this offer.  Chapter dues are covered up to $100. N/A for Associate member types ($200 or less annual dues) and current or renewing members. Refer to https://www.prsa.org/membership/membership-categories for details.

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Oct
31
to Nov 9

WMPRSA Board Member Nominations

WMPRSA is looking for new board members to serve starting in January 2019. Board terms are three years in length. Board members are expected to attend monthly meetings and serve in the areas of membership, programming, communications, mixers and more. 

We’re looking for active and engaged professionals who want to roll up their sleeves and help enrich the public relations profession in the West Michigan region. Candidates must be current West Michigan chapter members while serving on the board.

Nominees should be current chapter members.

Nominate someone or apply here: https://docs.google.com/forms/u/1/d/18EiuE8M2o-KgxCLsKiX1l-Y6bdsutaiX5oi_pISqr-U/edit?usp=drive_open

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Oct
18
11:30 AM11:30

Trends in PR Panel

Join three PR pros representing health care, corporate and agency settings to talk about the PR industry trends they’re seeing. Glean information from the experts on how you can navigate the changing landscape in your own work place. Get ahead of the game and impress your boss with these tips from area professionals. 

Panelists:

Andrea Clark, APR 
Associate Director of Communications 
Kellogg Company

Clare Wade, APR
Manager of Corporate Communications
Spectrum Health

Jeff Gaunt

Director
Lambert 

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Sep
20
11:00 AM11:00

Meet the Media

We’ll welcome back the popular speed pitching format where PR pros will have four minutes with members of the local media to introduce themselves, share a bit about their organizations/clients and to pitch away! These four-minute meetings go fast - so be prepared, plan your story pitches and maximize your time. 

CONFIRMED MEDIA:

La Mejor GR
Angie Morales, Director
Chuy Morales, Host

Michigan BLUE
Howard Meyerson, Managing Editor

MLive
Eric Gaertner, News Leader

Rapid Growth
Lauren Fay Carlson, Managing Editor

West Michigan Woman
Amy Charles, Editorial Director

WOOD Radio
Phil Tower, Program Director

WOOD TV8
Marvis Herring, Reporter
Diana Willsie, Senior Producer 

WXMI Fox 17
Brooks Blanton, News Director
Michael Martin, Dayside Assignment Editor

WZZM 13
Brent Ashcroft, Reporter/Storyteller/Anchor
Julie Flynn, News Director

Registration is open for Chapter Members only through 9/10. General registration begins 9/11.

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May
17
11:30 AM11:30

A New Age in Media: Working with Bloggers

Media continues to evolve in the 21st century! Bloggers are the new media trend influencing upcoming generations that have started to rely more on the people they follow on social media rather than traditional media outlets. Learn more about working with influencers and bloggers at the upcoming WMPRSA event. This event will feature three Grand Rapids-based bloggers who have a range of interests and audiences.

Our panelists:

Sara Visser
As a Grand Rapids girl born and raised The GR Guide is a true passion project. Sara spent five years in Chicago after attending Calvin College working in advertising & fashion and started a lifestyle blog Project Soiree that featured interviews, restaurant reviews, recipes and the latest fashion trends. After returning to Grand Rapids she was thrilled to see the growth from local entrepreneurs who are making their mark on the City, and came up with the idea for The GR Guide to showcase these unique boutiques, fun events, delicious restaurants and more!

Ashley Wierenga
Ashley is a marketing consultant and lifestyle blogger behind Sincerely Ashley. In her free time you can find her spending time with her husband and sweet pup, snapping photos, cheering on her favorite sports teams, jamming to Hamilton, and soaking up everything this beautiful city has to offer. Connect with her on Instagram: @ashleywierenga.

Liz Della Croce
Liz is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl®, a healthy food and travel blog. Since 2010, she has grown a loyal following of health-conscious readers from all over the world. Focusing on seasonal ingredients and whole foods, her collection of recipes is inspired by ethnic flavors from around the globe and the Lebanese dishes of her childhood. Liz has appeared live on the TODAY Show and tapes regular cooking segments on her local NBC affiliate station.  Liz appeared on the cover of Woman’s World and has been featured in various publications including Real Simple Magazine, Shape Magazine, Food Network blog, Fitness Magazine, The Cooking Channel, TODAY Food and more.  Through healthy eating and regular exercise, Liz achieved long term weight loss success and has a passion for helping others reach similar goals. In 2013, Liz Liz graduated from Boston University with a degree in Hospitality Administration and a minor in Marketing Management.  She and her husband reside in Grand Rapids, MI along with their two young boys. Connect with Liz directly on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or via email: Liz@thelemonbowl.com

 

Please register by May 15.

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May
1
6:00 PM18:00

PRoof Awards: Be Enchanted

Wander into the woods and get lost in the PR campaigns and tactics that charmed West Michigan in the past year. The 2018 PRoof Awards, presented by the Public Relations Society of America, West Michigan Chapter, shines a light on the best PR work of the year and highlights the highest standards of performance in the region. 

Please RSVP by April 24.

Ticket Information Here

Sponsorship Information Here

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Mar
15
11:30 AM11:30

Politics, Protests & PR

Lisa Carr, Public Safety & Operations Director, and Tara Hernandez, Marketing & Communications Director at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, speak to how they dealt with the protesters, attorneys, anti-protesters, tenants, passengers, and the media.    

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Feb
15
11:30 AM11:30

Keeping Your Head Above Water: Lessons from the Flint Water Crisis

We'll be joined by Mary Jo Herbig, APR, Director of Communications and Alexandria Dawson, Development and Program Associate from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint to hear how they responded to the Flint water crisis. They'll share what it was like building PR capacity during a crisis, managing the media mania, and helping guide donors to make the best possible impact.

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How to elevate your stories to a national level: A conversation with a NBC Nightly News producer
Jan
18
11:30 AM11:30

How to elevate your stories to a national level: A conversation with a NBC Nightly News producer

Join NBC Nightly News associate producer Brooke Fraser for tips to successfully pitch a national news outlet, ideas on how your stories can be elevated to the national level, and more. Ample time will be reserved for Q&A so you can ask those burning national media questions.

      FEES:

      Chapter Members $25
      Nonmembers $40
      Students $20 

      RSVP here by January 15.

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      Creating Content That Connects
      Sep
      21
      11:30 AM11:30

      Creating Content That Connects

      Learn 20 tips for creating content that gets read, viewed and remembered by your target audiences from a seasoned journalist and a veteran corporate communicator. Shandra Martinez, business reporter for MLive, and Beth Dornan, who leads content strategy for Amway North America, will share tips to help you create and place content that connects your organization with your target audiences.   

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      Nonprofit REMIX
      Aug
      17
      11:30 AM11:30

      Nonprofit REMIX

      • Grand Rapids Community Foundation (map)
      • Google Calendar ICS

      From reaping low-hanging social media fruit (while avoiding "poison apples") to how to make your next event the community’s hottest “go to,” we’re bringing together award-winning, seasoned PR experts who understand the unique communication needs of nonprofit organizations.

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      The changing media landscape: How to keep your story alive
      Mar
      16
      11:30 AM11:30

      The changing media landscape: How to keep your story alive

      • Grand Rapids Community Foundation (map)
      • Google Calendar ICS

      With the rise of content marketing and social media, it's hard to know how exactly to pitch to the media these days. Lucky for us, we have a TV news veteran joining us to help sort things out. Steve Kelso spent years as an assignment desk editor at WOOD-TV8 and is now the communications and marketing manager at the Kent County Health Department. He'll be sharing with us a few actionable items to help the rest of us navigate this changing media landscape.

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      Jan
      19
      11:30 AM11:30

      Keeping it Fresh - The Evolution of ArtPrize

      • Grand Rapids Community Foundation (map)
      • Google Calendar ICS

      For 19 days, ArtPrize takes over three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, transforming the city into an open playing field where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about what is art and why it matters. Drawing hundreds of thousands to the region from both near and far, the ArtPrize team takes a very strategic approach to communications, branding, public and media relations, and leveraging video and social media year-round. Join Todd Herring, director of creative and communications, to learn how ArtPrize (now in its ninth year) continues to evolve, how his team works to keep it fresh year over year, and how you can apply lessons from the world's largest public art event.

      About Todd Herring

      Todd Herring is the director of creative and communications for ArtPrize. He joined the ArtPrize team in 2011 after 10 years in marketing, public relations, product development and event production. At ArtPrize, he oversees the annual event design, visitor engagement strategies and all public relations and communications. He's earned two EMMY® nominations for his work as executive producer and host of the 2014 and 2015 ArtPrize Awards broadcasts. As a performer, Todd performs regularly with River City Improv, has been featured twice in LaughFest with his Johnny Cash-inspired show Cash Box, and has hosted the annual ArtPrize Awards since 2011.

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