Top 3 PR Articles of the Week: Friday, January 16, 2015

It’s an especially happy Friday in southeast Wisconsin today! Not only did we all wake up to 30 degree weather this morning, but it’s supposed to be 40 degrees tomorrow and the Packers are playing in the NFC championship on Sunday! While this has nothing to do with PR, I couldn’t contain my excitement. So, before you start to enjoy the weekend ahead, check out the articles below pertaining to Target’s PR nightmare, must-have marketing tools and resources for better writing. Enjoy!

Milwaukee Business Journal
Target’s latest PR nightmare: The ripple effect of a bad business decision Read>>>

15 must-have marketing tools for 2015 Read>>>

50 awesome resources to help you be a better writer (and content marketer) Read>>>

Kristin Rabas (@krabas)
Sr. Public Relations Advisor
Aurora Health Care

Top 3 PR Articles of the Week: Friday, January 9, 2015

Well, we’re nine days into 2015 and I’m wondering how many of us have already broken our New Year’s resolutions. While I’m sure everyone made a comprehensive list of how they’re going to work differently, more efficiently or more happily this year, here are some tips and pointers for ways to make 2015 the year that helps boosts your career to the next level. Enjoy!

5 things we learned about content in 2014 Read>>>

2015: Social HR becomes a reality Read>>>

10 surefire ways to boost your productivity in 2015 Read>>>

Kristin Rabas (@krabas)
Sr. Public Relations Advisor
Aurora Health Care

Top 3 PR Articles of the Week: Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy 2015!! To kick off the New Year, the Top 3 PR Articles of the Week focus on ways to improve some of our public relations skills. Enjoy!

How to cut the ‘ums,’ uhs,’ and ‘literallys’ when speaking Read>>>

PR Daily
The introvert’s guide to working in communications Read>>>

Social Times
Social media has changed how consumers shop online Read>>>

Kristin Rabas (@krabas)
Sr. Public Relations Advisor
Aurora Health Care

A letter to my friends, esteemed colleagues, PRSA Southeast Wisconsin members and supporters:

Samantha-AndrewsThree words sum up how I feel today: blessed, grateful and thankful.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for allowing me to serve as president of the PRSA Southeast Wisconsin chapter this year. It’s truly been a privilege and my honor.

PR Palooza a success; thank you!

I can’t wait to see the photos from our PR Palooza fundraiser event last night at the Miller Caves; check back soon on our website: and Twitter @prsawis (follow us!). The presence of our photographer, Scott Patrick, was a wonderful addition to our event. Hopefully you had a chance to check out his photo booth and take home some fun photos. Here is a photo of me, Sara Rude and Annie Gentil I hope will make you smile.
Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 2.37.03 PM

The holiday spirit is truly among us. Sara Rude, who served as chair for our fundraiser last night, dropped off all the leftover food from the event to The Guest House of Milwaukee, a homeless shelter for men who are looking to rehabilitate back into society and get jobs with vocational skills. She said she “just couldn’t think of another better place to put all that food.” What a nice gift Sara … thank you. Thank you to Jackie Hribar of BVK for helping to take back our linens and candles (and for a ride back to my car!).

Our 50/50 cash raffle winner Tom Gubbins of Marketwired in Chicago, who Don Klein reached out to and gained sponsorship support from this year, even donated back his $70 in cash winnings back to our chapter. Thank you ,Tom! We were able to raise $6,500 this year in sponsorship funds.

Two years ago, our past president, my friend and colleague, Mike Pflughoeft, APR, founded PR Palooza, an event that brought our economically challenged chapter “back in black.” His vision was to have an annual networking event that also helped to raise funds for the chapter. Thank you to all of our sponsors for their generosity: presenting sponsors–Big Shoes Network; Mueller Communications, Inc.; Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, Laughlin Constable and Nelson Schmidt. Supporting sponsors–Marketwired; Group 1 Marketing and Boelter and Lincoln. In-kind sponsors are Scott Patrick Photography, STIR, Business Journal and Staples Marketing.

I also would like to thank our PR Palooza chairs and volunteers: Sara Rude at Nelson Schmidt, Sarah Kikkert at Wisconsin State Fair, Meg Hemmelgarn at STIR and those who helped with planning efforts: Chantel Kuczmarski of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino and Mike Pflughoeft, APR. I’d also like to recognize our 2014 board of directors who also helped with this event and have shared their time and dedication this past year to PRSA: Bill Bussler; Don Klein; Phill Trewyn; Annie Gentil; Tim Olsen, APR; Karren Jeske, APR; Heidi Fendos; Sara Rude; Carol Weber, APR; Ann Knabe, PhD, APR+M and Kelly Savage, APR.

2014 PRSA Southeast Wisconsin Chapter successes

I’d like to briefly share successes our chapter has had this past year. We are holding steady financially with nearly $30,000 of chapter net worth. Thanks to Annie Gentil, our treasurer, for keeping us on track.

We are the largest PRSA chapter in Wisconsin with 323 members, including 37 associate members, which is up about 10 percent from last year. Local dues are only $75 a year for members, $25 for associate members, and new this year, we introduced a new membership rate for retirees of $25. Thank you to Tim Olsen, APR, our membership chair.

We have a continued partnership with the Eisner Foundation (thank you, Bill Eisner!) and our Pro Day in April. In 2015, Kelly Savage, APR, our accreditation chair has introduced a new Path to APR event, with the goal to encourage at least three to five members to successfully travel the “Path to APR” in 2015. This is under way now and begins in January, so please contact Kelly Savage, APR at today to sign up. Details can be found on our website.

Welcome new 2015 board members

Bill Bussler, our new president, and our new members to our 2015 board of directors (W. Patrick McSweeney, APR and Meg Hemmelgarn) will surely lead our chapter to more successes in the coming year. It is my pleasure to be among so many talented and fun individuals.

Personal story

In closing I’d like to share a personal story with you that has had a big impact on me and so many others this week. It is a story about the power of life, the spirit of giving, PR and social media.

I lost a high school friend and classmate this week whose family members were good friends of my family. I’m from a small town called Rosendale, which is about 10 miles from Fond du Lac. You may know of this town as many tell me they received speeding tickets driving through Rosendale!

My friend, Jason Czoschke, was only 41 years old. He passed away Sunday in a hunting accident, falling 15 feet from a deer stand in front of one of my other high school friends. Jason gave people so many laughs growing up; he was our class clown. He would often have these hilarious outbursts during homeroom and blurt out inappropriate words that even made our teachers laugh. I will also never forget the day Jason and I got into a spaghetti fight in our lunchroom. I was so mad at him for throwing spaghetti sauce all over my outfit!

While I have not seen Jason and many of my other friends from high school since our reunion a few years ago, I stay connected with them on Facebook, as I’m sure you do with your friends and family. His wife has been keeping all of us up-to-date on latest details about Jason. She shared yesterday how Jason chose to donate most of his organs to help others who are struggling to live. She said Jason will be helping eight people with these gifts of life, including a man in Chicago who will be receiving Jason’s heart. The man had only had a couple of days to live. What an impact Jason’s life has made on so many people! His wife and two daughters are more gifts he leaves behind. His jokes and laughter will be passed on to others for years to come. While it is tragic that he died so young, I’m happy he was at least doing something he loved–being outdoors and hunting. Losing friends and family members makes you realize how short life is and made me realize I should be kinder and more giving to others, so that’s my new goal, starting today!

I hope the holidays are safe and happy for all of you and your families. Let’s all enjoy this beautiful gift of life. Thank you again!


Samantha Andrews, MBA, APR, immediate past president, PRSA Southeast Wisconsin

Top 3 PR Articles of the Week: Friday, December 5, 2014

Somehow we’re less than one month away from a brand new year already! As 2015 looms near, it’s time to look at new and improved ways to implement our public relations, marketing and social media plans. As we look ahead, consider some of the tips and information in the Top 3 PR Articles of the Week. Enjoy!

Fast Company
Eight surprising tips on getting more retweets backed by science Read>>>

Seven social media resolutions for 2015 Read>>>

How messaging apps are changing media distribution Read>>>

Kristin Rabas (@krabas)
Sr. Public Relations Advisor
Aurora Health Care

Take 5: Annie Gentil

Chapter position: TreasurerAnnGentil
Current position: Corporate communications coordinator at Standard Process Inc.

What do you find most beneficial about our chapter? I really like all of the opportunities there are to get involved with the chapter. Since becoming the chapter’s treasurer, I have met so many new people in PR. In fact, at a recent seminar, I looked around the room and recognized over half the people in the room from PRSA functions. That is awesome!

What do you like best about being a professional communicator? As a professional communicator I enjoy how much I can help make a difference. From being a part of a team that raises awareness for what our company does, to volunteering to create communication materials for my children’s school, I have a lot of opportunities to make a difference. I also like how much I can continue to learn as I work on different projects. Working in PR, there is always a chance to learn from others how to do something better, bolder and bigger. Learning helps me sharpen my skills and keeps me on my toes.

What do you like to do outside of work? I enjoy spending time with my family. With two kids, 9 and 7, we are constantly on the move. We like going to baseball games and playing baseball. We also all like swimming and watching movies. I love to read … sometimes a little too much! Before I know it, it’s 2 a.m. and even though I need to get up for work in the morning, I cannot put the book down!

What’s your favorite restaurant in Southeastern Wisconsin? Even though pizza is my favorite food (and there are so many great places to get a pizza pie around here), hands down my favorite restaurant in the area is Samano’s in Cudahy. It’s a family-owned restaurant offering delicious Mexican food and the margaritas are awesome … on the rocks of course! I highly recommend you drop in if find yourself passing by it on S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Ask for Michelle and tell her “Annie Gentil” sent you!

What’s the best vacation you’ve taken? One of the best things I’ve ever done on a vacation is visit Ellis Island. I visited with my mom, and we got to see where my great-grandparents came into the country. The tour the park service offered was one of the most moving experiences I’ve ever had. We looked up the manifests from the ships they came on and saw their names and signatures. If you’re in New York City, take a day to go to Ellis Island.

Take 5 is a recurring set of questions designed to get to know our chapter’s board members.

Top 3 PR Articles of the Week: Friday November 28, 2014

Happy (Black) Friday! I hope everyone had an excellent Thanksgiving. As the year comes to a close, news starts to dwindle and it’s a time for reflection. Motivation might slow but we have to remember to stay committed even during the holidays. The Top 3 PR Articles from this week present ways to think outside the box and look back on the year. Enjoy!

Fast Company Tricks to help with brainstorming.

PR Newser 10 social media myths.

PR Daily What PR pros should be thankful for.

Zach Hindes (@zachindes)

Thanks to our PR Palooza 2014 sponsors

Our PR Palooza wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the sponsors listed below. Thanks to each and every one!

Miller Dec 2013Presenting sponsors:

Supporting sponsors:

In-kind sponsors:

Please be sure to thank our sponsors next time you see them!

Register for the Dec. 10 event here.

Top 3 PR Articles of the Week: Friday, November 21, 2014

Whether you’re watching the news, having lunch with friends, sitting in a bar or watching football on a Sunday afternoon, there always seems to be a buzz about social media. Did you see the picture of Jane’s new house on Twitter? Did you see the Black Friday coupon code for big screen TVs on Facebook?

However, it’s important to remember that there are some down sides of social media as well. Therefore, the articles from this week address whether social media is a waste of time for brands, what we get wrong about social media and ways to hide your personal life by building a professional Facebook page.

Fast Company
Brand are wasting time and money on Facebook and Twitter, report says Read>>>

What boomers and Gen Xers get wrong about social media Read>>>

Facebook developing a professional website ‘Facebook at Work’: FT Read>>>

Kristin Rabas (@krabas)
Sr. Public Relations Advisor
Aurora Health Care

Top 3 PR Articles of the Week: Friday November 14, 2014

Happy Friday! Social media can be used in a number of ways in helping grow a business. Unfortunately, it can also be used in the wrong way and hurt your company’s reputation or stunt its progress. Choosing how and when to use social media is vital for fostering a successful relationship with your market. The Top 3 PR Articles from this week display how you can utilize social media in effective and beneficial ways. Enjoy!

Mashable Have more control your Facebook newsfeed.

Fast Company Discover what mistakes your company is making on Twitter.

PR Daily How to have a PR strategy on Instagram.