Monday, March 15, 2010

Calling All PR Mentors

It's that time of year again! The Dallas Chapter of PRSA is helping our next generation of PR pros learn best practices by connecting participating chapter members/organizations with eager, young PR leaders who are hoping to gain an inside scoop on a day in the life of a PR exec. All PR professionals can relate to this urge to figure out what a "typical" day looks like in the public relations industry.

PRSA's annual Pro-Am Day is one event that helps college students figure out just what it is that we do every day. Be sure to sign up to be a mentor.  It doesn't take much time or money on your part...only the urge to help out someone else early on in their career.  This is your chance to help teach Generation Y that a job in PR isn't all about chatting on the phone or Tweeting about your day-to-day activities. Who knows, you might learn a thing or two from this experience as well! 

Go to the PRSA Dallas Web site or see below for additional details on becoming a mentor on April 9th! The C. Pharr team has already signed on!

April 9: Annual Pro-Am Day – Call for Mentors

PRSA Dallas is calling all mentors and students to save the date for the annual Pro-Am Day on Friday, April 9. Pro-Am Day 2010 connects university students with seasoned PR practitioners through “shadowing” opportunities and a special luncheon program.

Professionals will host students in the morning, providing them with direct experience and insight into the public relations world. Then, participants will come together for the monthly PRSA Dallas luncheon featuring Stacy Cinatl, senior vice president of strategy and operations for the George W. Bush Institute.

Sign up to host a student!

We’re currently looking for volunteers. If you’re interested in hosting a student this year, please contact Christi Chesner at

For more information about Pro-Am Day and the 2010 program, visit


Monday, March 8, 2010

D/FW Health Care Journalists Offer Tips to Local Communicators

The upward shift from traditional media to online – from blogs to social media – has left us with fewer reporters to connect with and more competition for less space in print. To offer local PR pros an opportunity to learn current tips and best practices from journalists first-hand, we recently teamed with our client, Jim O’Gara, president of Dallas-based advertising agency OnMessage and leader of the D/FW American Marketing Association (AMA) Health Care SIG, to organize a panel of local health care journalists for the SIG’s second event: “How Your Company Can Secure Coverage in Healthcare Media.”

The panel, moderated by O’Gara, included Jason Roberson, health care business reporter, Dallas Morning News; Elizabeth Bassett, health care, science and technology reporter, Fort Worth Business Press; Chad Watt, associate editor, Dallas Business Journal; and Jan Jarvis, health care reporter, Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Panelists confirmed that when considering a pitched idea, the news that affects the largest number of people with relevancy to the area has a better chance of becoming a story.
“If a nationwide health trend can be localized, it becomes more significant to our readers,” Bassett said.

Watt added, “Health care is a complex topic. Bring it home to the people – make it accessible to many and keep it simple.”
The use of social media in terms of picking up story tips or connecting with PR pros was also discussed. We learned that despite the “buzz,” social media outlets do not rank high as a channel to find sources and story ideas for these individuals.
“The majority of my stories come directly from readers, so about 75 percent of my time is spent in the office,” Roberson said. “I want to brainstorm story ideas and angles with you on the phone.”
Jarvis added, “I prefer face to face. I’ve found that some of the best stories developed while I was out of the office, on the ground.”
As you know, having the opportunity to interact face-to-face with journalists and learn the specific topics that appeal to them individually is invaluable to our business. So, we encourage you to take advantage of these types of opportunities - you never know who you might meet and what tips you'll bring back to the office!