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April luncheon

Wednesday, April 14

Uncovering the plans, pinnacles
and pitfalls of staging
significant events

Indianapolis Athletic Club,
350 N. Meridian St., 3rd floor

Registration, 11:30 a.m.
Lunch & Program, Noon
Program ends by 1:15 p.m

Members, $20
Guest, $25
Student, $15

Register at:


Uncovering the plans, pinnacles and pitfalls of staging significant events

Conducting special events is a critical component of every public relations professional's portfolio at one point or another. So, how can you maximize an event with outstanding media coverage? How do you keep annual events fresh while relying on time-honored traditions? What about volunteers? What about sponsors?

The April luncheon program will feature the 500 Festival's President and CEO Kirk Hendrix and Melissa Mann, director of communications. The two will explain how to uncover the plans, pinnacles, and pitfalls related to staging significant events. The 500 Festival was created in 1957 to organize civic events celebrating the Indianapolis 500, which is right around the corner.


Chapter News: Ethics Minute
Indiana Public Relations and Communications Conference
Michigan invites Hoosiers to 2-day May conference
Applause, applause ... Make way for your Pinnacle Award
Friendly Reminders
Members Update


Ethics Minute

The Hoosier Chapter's leadership has committed itself to extending an ethics discussion from one monthly meeting (February) to an "Ethics Minute" at the beginning of each meeting as well as an item in each newsletter. Thus, this is the first of what I will diligently try to provide as a regular feature in each newsletter.

The core values of PRSA members and, more broadly, of the public relations profession provide the foundation for the Member Code of Ethics and set the industry standard for the professional practice of public relations. These values are the fundamental beliefs that guide our behaviors and decision-making process. There are six core values in the Code of Ethics: advocacy, honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty, and fairness.

At the February meeting, almost every table received a scenario presenting an ethical dilemma that it would not be unusual for a public relations practitioner to face. The scenario dealt with a multi-family development, constructed on a former landfill with low levels of contaminants present. You have advocated open communications regarding the site, but your boss has told you not to mention the landfill in any of your communications. What do you do?

Step one, according to the five-step Board of Ethics and Professional Standards model for ethical decision-making, is to identify the ethical issues. In this case, there are two: do you follow your boss' instructions, and should potential renters have this information? The core values in conflict in this case are honesty, independence, fairness, and loyalty.

In future columns, we'll discuss more specifically how each of these values come into play in this scenario.

For more on the PRSA Code Provisions, visit

Robert Pritchard, APR, Ball State University


Indiana Public Relations and Communications Conference

Come learn more about "Ethos, Pathos and Logos: Advancing the Practice of Public Relations" at the 22nd Indiana Public Relations and Communications Conference. The conference will be held for the first time in state-of-the-art facilities on the campus of Ball State University on May 13, 2004.

James Lukaszewski, ABC, APR and Fellow PRSA, will speak about prevention, response and recovery in crisis management. His last 25 years of experience have helped him become one of America's most recognized crisis management counselors. Dr. James Grunig, the nation's leading public relations researcher, will host a noon session on how to measure relationships.

Each year, more than one hundred public relations professionals from across Indiana and the Midwest attend the conference for professional development and networking opportunities. This year's conference is strongly focused on the practical development of professional skills in new software and technology. The classroom and physical facilities at Ball State are among the top in the nation and provide the perfect hands-on and interactive environment.

Early bird registration continues through April 9 at the price of $89. Visit the conference website at to learn more.


Michigan invites Hoosiers to 2-day May conference

The 2004 Michigan Public Relations Society of America Conference will host hundreds of public relations professionals May 6 and 7 at the Marriott at Centerpoint in Pontiac. White House veteran Dee Dee Myers and Dateline NBC's Chris Hansen will share their insights as its two keynote speakers.

The two-day conference, "Leadership PR: From the Breakroom to the Boardroom," will offer a variety of topics on public relations, media relations, corporate communications, and marketing communications applicable to professionals at all levels in their careers. The conference is the second-largest gathering of public relations and communications professionals in the nation.

Myers, the first woman and youngest person to serve as White House press secretary during the Clinton administration, will speak at Friday's luncheon. Hansen, a correspondent for Dateline NBC, will speak at the Thursday dinner general session.

The conference is $275 for members and $325 for non-members, which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner general sessions. If you have any questions, please contact Nancy Skidmore at (248) 545-6499 or For the most up-to-date information on the 2004 Michigan PRSA Conference, please visit


Applause, applause . . . Make way for your Pinnacle Award

Greece may or may not be ready for the Summer Olympics, but never fear: You'll be able to bring home the gold with a 2004 Pinnacle Award from the Hoosier Chapter of PRSA.

Pinnacle Awards recognize medalists at all levels of public relations - from tacticians to master strategists and from corporate, nonprofit, and agency promoters. (Let us dispel a myth: Agencies are not the only entrants that receive awards; for the past two years, agencies have won fewer than half the awards.) Entries are judged by impartial PRSA members from an out-of-state chapter. Awards are presented at the Hoosier Chapter monthly luncheon meeting in September.

The deadline for entries is Friday, June 18. Entries received on or before 5 p.m. June 18 will qualify for the early bird rate of $50 for PRSA members, $75 for non-members and $25 for undergraduate students. All entry fees increase by $25 ($75 members, $100 non-members and $50 students) after the early-bird deadline and will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, June 25, 2004.

An official entry form will be mailed and posted to in May, or contact Jamaison Schuler, (317) 631-6400,, or Courtney Tuell, (317) 940-9807,

Wouldn't your desk be a great spot for a Pinnacle?


Job bank

Don't forget, you can view job openings at Job bank openings are listed under the Resource section. For more information, contact Holly Huffman at (317) 481-2868 or

Chapter Policies & Procedures

All members can access the Hoosier Chapter's Policies & Procedures at
. The P&P were updated earlier this year, so please feel free to review them.

Invoicing for monthly luncheons

Our finance team -- Holly Raver Vonderheit, APR, and Craig Koven -- has informally offered invoicing for monthly luncheons as a convenience to members who forget to bring a checkbook or have their company cut a check. However, this isn't standard practice since it requires an additional effort on their behalf. This reminder to bring your luncheon payment to the meeting should help prepare you for April's gathering. Holly and Craig look forward to seeing you at the registration table.

PRSA Health Academy Spring Conference set for April

Now in its 15th year, the PRSA Health Academy Spring Conference, set for April 1-2 in Washington, D.C., provides senior-level healthcare public relations practitioners with the opportunity to discuss the most pressing issues with leading experts from all sectors of the healthcare community. Attendees typically come from pharmaceutical and medical technology companies, professional and advocacy associations, hospital systems, and public relations agencies. In this open exchange of ideas, participants will gain perspective on policy, regulatory, and industry trends that will directly impact the way they practice healthcare communications. Visit to download the conference details and registration form for the conference.

Indiana PRSA Media Guide

Updated and published annually, the Indiana PRSA Media Guide is a comprehensive resource that provides a variety of contact information for print and broadcast media throughout Indiana. You can order yours today. Cost (includes shipping and handling) is only $35 for Hoosier Chapter PRSA members; $55 for non-members. Contact Michelle Greenwalt-Vackar at (317) 260-4439


New members

Michael C. Burrows
Coordinator, Communications
Indiana State Museum & Historic Sites
650 West Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 233-0450
Fax: (317) 232-7090

Bridget M. Graf
Account Executive
Dittoe Public Relations
6055 N. College Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46220
Phone: (317) 202-2280
Fax: (317) 202-2290

Mark D. Land
Director, Public Relations
Cummins Inc.
500 Jackson St.
Columbus, IN 47201
Phone: (812) 377-7719
Fax: (812) 377-3613

Kristian M. Little
Public Relations Associate
Borshoff Johnson Matthews
47 S. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 631-6400
Fax: (317) 631-6499

Ashley M. K. Petry
Account Associate
Borshoff Johnson Matthews
47 S. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 631-6400
Fax: (317) 631-6499

Member updates

Dan Henkel, APR
Executive Director of Communications
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Phone: (317) 232-1936

Beth King, APR
Market Research and Public Relations Manager
13085 Hamilton Crossing Blvd., Suite 500
Carmel, IN 46032
Phone: (317) 815-1100

David Ayers
Sr. PR Consultant
Avatar Communications Group Ltd.
Phone: (317) 858-4676

Barbara Quandt
The Quandt Group Inc.
8103 East US Highway 36, #252
Avon, IN 46123
Phone: (800) 288-4030
Fax: (800) 288-4030


Katherine Coble (pictured at right), the newest member to earn accreditation, received her pin at the March luncheon.

"The APR process was enlightening. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on why I chose this career in the first place, and it reinforced my desire to constantly improve myself, not only for my career, but for the benefit of my clients," Coble said.

Already earned your APR? We need you!

Readiness reviews for the current group of APR candidates are in the works for mid-April, and the Hoosier chapter will need a great group of professionals to ask them all those tough questions. If you have been a past panelist, you can expect a call from one of our current APR "coaches" to encourage your participation. However, we still need new readiness review panelists. The process is easy and comes with full instructions. Each panel is composed of three team members; it's just like "American Idol" without the singing. It only takes a couple hours of your time, and most importantly, you can earn national re-accreditation points that can help you keep your own professional credentials renewed.

Contact Myra Cocca, APR, at (317) 631-6400 or if you would like to volunteer your time to serve as a readiness review panelist.

April 2004

President: Jennifer Dzwonar, APR
Director, Internal Communications: Beth King, APR
Editor: Michael Schug
Production assistant: Barbara E. Cohen

PRofessional is published monthly by the Hoosier Chapter of the PRSA, Indianapolis, and is distributed to its members. To submit articles and story ideas for PRofessional, contact Michael Schug at (317) 417-0709 or before the 10th of each month prior to publication.

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