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November | December Newsletter

November 8, 2010

Message from the President

Believe it or not…November is already upon us!  As we wrap up a busy and successful 2010, I wanted to highlight just a few remaining PRSA-CCC activities for the year: 

First, our final luncheon program of the year was held last week, and the topic focused on “Post Election Discussion: What Communication Strategies Worked.”  The program featured two of California’s most well-known and respected political communication strategists: Steve Maviglio, Principal at Forza Communications, and Kevin Eckery, President at Eckery Associates.  PRSA-CCC will be taking a break during the month of December, but we will be back at it in January so keep an eye out for information on our 2011 luncheons!

Second, the ballot for our 2011 Board of Directors will be emailed to all chapter members later this month, so please keep an eye on your inboxes for that.  If you could cast your votes and return your completed ballots as soon as possible, we would greatly appreciate it!     

Lastly, as you have all heard, PRSA-CCC lost a dear friend and colleague earlier this year with the passing of Lisa Fisher, APR.  Because Lisa is so respected in the PR community, a scholarship for communications/public relations students has been created in her name at her alma mater, California State University, Sacramento.  If you would like to contribute to the fund, please make checks payable to Lisa Fisher Fund/University Foundation, and in the memo line of the check please indicate “Lisa Fisher Fund.”  Checks can be mailed to the CSUS Development Office, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6030. 

Thank you all for your support and participation in PRSA-CCC during 2010.  I wish you all the best this holiday season, and a healthy and prosperous 2011!

Should you have any questions or suggestions for us, please feel free to contact me at

Best Regards,

Lindsay Pangburn
President, PRSA California Capital Chapter


There are many reasons to join PRSA and many more to be involved, participate and remain active. However, there are benefits to being a member that many don’t take advantage of or even know about. One of these benefits is the new member’s page on the updated PRSA National website.

If you haven’t already signed up for MyPRSA, I encourage you to visit the site and register. As a member, you already are an active part of MyPRSA, its just waiting for you to sign in. Once you are signed in, you can control how much you want to participate. Much of this is done in the profile page. From here you can create your own personal profile and be among the hundreds of other professionals who are part of PRSA. The profiles page lets you include things like where you work, social media links and even post a picture. Creating a profile is a great networking opportunity.

Another missed feature in MyPRSA is the incredibly resourceful Leadership Tools page. There are numerous links to documents and other resources that can provide you with the  leadership tools needed to achieve winning results for your district, chapter or even in your personal professional activities.  

And did you know that being a PRSA member provides you access to preferred rates on insurance, shipping, car rental and financial planning, to lower your professional and personal expenses? Well it does. So be sure to check out the Member Discount Programs page to access all the savings and benefits that come with PRSA membership.

And don’t forget to check out the MyPRSA e-groups where you can join and interact with other professionals about topics that are important to you. It’s a great way to stay on top of the issues, meet other professionals and be a leader in the industry.

All of this is already there, waiting for you to sign in and start taking advantage of your membership to PRSA.

The 2010 National PRSA Conference:  Three Take-Away’s

By John Frith

As always, there were far more interesting sessions at this year’s PRSA International Conference than there was time to attend them all. But here are the top three takeaways I got from the sessions I attended:

  • Tell persuasive stories. You can’t change public opinion with PowerPoint bullets.
  • Social media is a great PR tool, but it only works in conjunction with other tactics.
  • In today’s media environment, do as much of the legwork for reporters as you can and you’ll likely enjoy greater placement success.

This year’s conference, in Washington, DC, was the fourth one I’ve been fortunate enough to attend, and I’ve gotten great insights from each that have helped me grow and improve as a PR professional.

Interestingly, two of the best speakers I saw dovetailed significantly in their messages. Christopher Graves, Global CEO for Ogilvy PR, and Mahmoud Arafa, President and Creative Director for Designframe USA, gave dynamic presentations that had the same bottom line: people don’t change their minds based solely on facts. Emotion is a key player as well.

As Arafa put it, people make decisions based on their gut and their heart, then justify those decisions with their heads. Powerful stories, written concisely but with enough detail that the story sticks (“brain Velcro,” as Graves put it) reach the heart and bypass the hearer’s BS detector.

Mark Story, Director of New Media for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said social media serves the same purpose as taking clients to play golf: it builds relationships. But Facebook and Twitter are only effective as tactics that are part of a well-planned strategy. For public affairs success, you need to integrate them along with lobbying, grassroots programs, and traditional PR tactics.

And when it comes to media relations, PR pros need to remember that journalists today are busier than ever. Michael Smart, the head of Brigham Young University’s PR department and an independent consultant, said anything you can do to help them cover a story will increase the chances they’ll write about your issue.

Among other things, he suggested finding real people they can interview, and even feed them bullet points that can form the basis of questions. Also, give them names of third-party sources who will back you up. And finally, offer them art or visuals since even print journalists now frequently have to shoot video for their paper’s website.

Smart also talked about successful pitching. Among his tips:

  • Tie in your pitch to something the reporter or blogger has written about recently.
  • Write a compelling subject line that will get them to read your email.
  • Keep the e-mail pitch short enough to be read in Outlook’s preview screen. If it’s too long, most of us tend to move on to the next email intending to come back at some point, but usually we don’t.

Next year’s International Conference is in Orlando, and the year after that it will be back in San Francisco. These conferences are a valuable part of your PRSA membership and I’d urge all Chapter members to attend if at all possible. It’s worth the investment.


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Social Media Rules for Rush Hour?

Posted by Richard Teplitsky on October 19th 2010 

One of the modern benefits that arise when well-connected public relations professionals congregate is our thirst for reporting pertinent information on the proceedings   most frequently delivered via social media. What has amazed me in recent years when attending the PRSA 2010 International Conference: Powering PRogress (and other recent PRSA-sponsored events) is the volume of virtual participants who aren’t onsite.

Those following the event hash tag (#prsa_ic) are absolutely fervent with commenting, debating and retweeting posts that are originating from the gathering. In fact, I’ve noticed so many active event hash tag followers, it’s actually hard to determine if they are here in person or if they are participating remotely. And this two-way dialogue and sharing of information and education is a wonderful endorsement of the power of the “global village network” that the Internet has truly become.

That said, and after observing some of the voluminous amount of tweets here at the Conference, I thought I’d propose a few potential social media ethics and best practices that occurred to me during the past days. Since social media etiquette has always been informal, consider these just suggestions. It’s up to you to use your own good judgment:

Consider letting YOUR followers know you are attending an event, then simply retweet posts to them that aren’t redundant. Really. It’s OK   you’ll still get credit for sending along good content to your followers if you didn’t write the original tweet. And this year’s attendees at #prsa_ic have done a pretty good job of respecting the original tweets of others by simply retweeting. Think of the message overload that occurs when people pile on by sending exactly the same tweet that’s already been sent a dozen times with the same hash tag.

When adding your own editorial comments to a speaker’s remarks, consider making it clear where your point of view begins and ends in those tweets. It’s a more responsible approach and avoids putting words in someone else’s mouth.

Also, consider your PR and/or journalism education (if that’s your background) and cite by name the source of your tweets. That’s especially important for event attendees who may not be attending the same session you’re sitting in (or following along from miles away). Providing Web links and other pointers to source information is also helpful.

Well, it’s a start.  Anything else come to mind on group tweeting and social media etiquette that you have found helpful?

Rich Teplitsky

Rich Teplitsky

Rich Teplitsky is vice president, Lois Paul & Partners, in the agency’s Austin, Texas, office, and also serves as the current chair of PRSA’s Technology Section. A life-long early adopter of what’s new and what’s next, Rich believes the “cell-dividing” edge now trumps the leading and bleeding edges. He is also a contributor to the agency’s “Beyond The Hype” PR blog, with an eye and an ear for reporting on the challenges of tech, modern PR and the zeitgeist that was honed in his early career in broadcast journalism. Connect with Rich on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter @rteplitsky.

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Get Active

Want to do more for the public relations and marketing industry in our region? Join one of PRSA Sacramento’s committees and get more involved in what we do and how we do it. We are looking for individuals to help provide their creativity, experience and know-how on the Chapter’s Programming Committee, Membership Committee, Outreach & Communications Committee and Quality Time with PR Minds Committee. For more information contact Jon Myers at

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