Join Us for An Evening With Special Guest Kim Morreale

Kim Morreale, founder of Morreale Communications, joins us February 20th to provide her unique perspective on the impact of communications on policy, and address where we as communicators go from here. A former reporter and anchor for NBC-5 Chicago and CLTV News in Chicago and CBS News in Rockford, Kim founded Morreale Communications in 2006, blending her unique background in journalism and government to develop communications techniques that shape public policy, build consensus and educate the public. Kim has extensive experience in media relations, legislative outreach, public involvement, grassroots organizing, coalition building and event management. With a forward-thinking approach, Kim has led her firm to be recognized for national and international awards in setting the standard for excellence in communications.

Morreale Communications is a Chicago-based award-winning firm that utilizes a forward-thinking and innovative approach to deliver impactful communications techniques that garner the attention of opinion leaders and shape public policy. Whether it’s infrastructure, healthcare or disability advocacy, our strategic, thoughtful and tactical approach has been successfully applied to diverse industries in the public and private sectors. It is a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Female Business Enterprise (FBE) and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE). 

Prior to starting her own business, Kim was the Director of External Affairs at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) where she spearheaded a statewide effort to engage state and local lawmakers on key transportation and public safety initiatives while involving stakeholders and members of the public in the development process of infrastructure improvements. As the agency spokesperson, Kim was responsible for managing the public relations for the Dan Ryan, Kingery, I-74 and Mississippi River Bridge projects. She worked with the FHWA on raising awareness of the department’s public safety campaigns and led the charge in a progressive program to identify and build stakeholder groups to include them in the process of highway planning and construction. Kim has experience working with INDOT, MODOT and local transportation agencies throughout Illinois. She has worked with the Governor’s Office on special projects related to media relations and special events, community involvement, outreach to faith-based groups and developing a statewide plan for engaging targeted constituent groups.

Kim is a distinguished recipient of the German Marshall Fellowship Award where she was one of 14-emerging leaders selected to represent the United States to build alliances and improve relations between the European Union and the U.S. She lives in Chicago with her husband and two children.

Register now! 


Nonna Silvia’s Trattoria

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018
1400 Canfield
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068

Networking 6 pm
Dinner & Program 6:30 pm

Kick Off the Holiday Season With PRSA Suburban Chicago at Cooper’s Hawk on November 4th!

Join us to kick off the holiday season with our year ending party and Toys for Tots collection drive. We will be welcoming keynote speaker Brian Basilico, internationally recognized author of B2b Interactive Marketing and the author of “It’s Not About You, It’s All About Bacon! Interactive Marketing in a Social Media World.

B2b helps companies and non-profits market their products and services through the effective use of online tools including websites, blogs, eMail, social networking, Google, S.E.O., YouTube, and more.

Brian’s career spans over 30 years. Since his first production company in 1979, he’s produced thousands of projects for hundreds of companies, ranging from solopreneur to Fortune 100. Brian combines years of marketing experience with technical expertise, to build online campaigns that continue to produce measurable results. As a musician, technician, programmer, producer, and consultant, he has built a reputation for creativity, innovation, and translating “geek” into English. Brian is also an adjunct professor, trainer, speaker, and author of many marketing and social networking blogs and articles.

And Awards, of Course

Putting together the chapter activities for the year is a collective effort that involves many people. Each year the chapter recognizes a few outstanding members for their services to the chapter. Please join us as we recognize these members who give their time to make sure you have professional development opportunities to advance your career.

Toys for Tots Collection

Every year we invite attendees at our holiday party to bring toys to donate to Toys for Tots. Bring a toy and receive a coupon good for $5 any 2018 event. Bring 3 toys and we’ll give you a coupon worth $20 off a 2017 event!

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
798 W. Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
(Algonquin & Golf Roads)

Guests welcome at the Member Rate! Register now!

Saturday, November 4th, 2016
Networking 12 pm
Luncheon & Program 12:30 pm

Crisis Communications in a Natural Disaster: A Conversation With W. Patrick McSweeney, APR Fellow PRSA

PR practitioners are expected to know how to plan for and execute a crisis communications program. Not everyone has the misfortune to actually experience a major crisis like natural disasters, workplace violence, civil unrest, computer system hacking or a business bankruptcy. There’s only one thing guaranteed to happen in a crisis — the unexpected. 
Are you and is your organization prepared? Now is the time to find out with Patrick McSweeney, APR, Fellow PRSA.”

Patrick applies his experience as a newspaper, radio and TV journalist to help clients effectively connect with customers, employees, community leaders, vendors, investors and others.

During the past 25+ years he has served as the spokesperson for a government agency in Florida and worked with well-known automotive, high tech, retail brands, vacation destinations and others.

He serves as public relations strategist and counselor for C-suite executives, providing crisis communications planning, message development and media relations assistance to clients. 

McSweeney began working for a weekly newspaper while still in high school, then worked on the copy desks at two major daily newspapers in Ohio and also freelanced as a news and sports photographer for the Associated Press while attending college. He then worked as a radio reporter/anchor, freelancing for National Public Radio, NBC and AP Radio News before working at TV stations in Ohio and Florida as an anchor, reporter and producer covering the military, transportation, government and politics.

McSweeney earned the designation Accredited in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America in 2011 and was elected to the prestigious College of Fellows in 2015. He has won many awards for his work including a Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation from the Public Relations Society of America and was a finalist for the nation’s top Corporate Social Responsibility programs from PR News. 

He is currently the president-elect for the Southeastern Wisconsin chapter of PRSA and twice served as president of the North Florida chapter (1995 and 2013). Besides giving back through PRSA, he has served as an Adjunct Professor teaching PR writing and Writing for the Mass Media at the University of North Florida and mentored dozens of college students and young PR professionals.

A graduate of The Ohio State University, McSweeney earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. He is married to his college sweetheart, Jane, and is the father of two grown sons, David and John. 



Gene & Georgetti’s
Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017
9421 W. Higgins Road
Rosemont, Illinois 60018

Networking 6 pm
Dinner & Program 6:30 pm


Managing a Crisis – Canine Influenza Hits Chicago

Canine influenzaAs any public relations professional will attest, a crisis can take many different forms. Virginia Mann has dealt with a variety of crisis, from product recalls to plant closures to changes in corporate leadership. In the spring of 2015, Virginia played a lead role in an especially challenging crisis, one that provides a useful roadmap for communication professionals dealing with a rapidly changing crisis and multiple audiences.

In Spring of 2015, veterinarians in Chicago began seeing a large number of coughing dogs. Initially, they believed they were dealing with an unusually large outbreak of a contagious, but fairly common dog illness called Kennel Cough. It quickly became apparent that something much more serious was at hand as large numbers of dogs became critically ill, requiring extensive medical attention or hospitalization. In a matter of a few short weeks, more than 2,000 dogs, primarily in downtown Chicago and on the near north-side, contracted what turned out to be a highly contagious form of Canine Influenza Virus never before seen in the Americas.

For about eight weeks, Virginia worked with primary care, emergency and specialty care veterinarians, veterinary pharmaceutical companies and universities to address the crisis.

On behalf of her many veterinary clients, Virginia and her team rapidly created and implemented comprehensive communications to alert veterinarians, pet owners, the media and the public about this dangerous illness. Virginia and her clients were responsible for much of the media coverage worldwide on this topic, from CNN to Huffington Post to U.S. News & World Report, and virtually every Chicago media outlet.

Join us to learn how Virginia and her team managed the rapidly changing crisis while engaging a variety of audiences on behalf of multiple clients effected by the situation. Her learnings can easily be used as a roadmap for those dealing with a crisis.

Virginia Mann
Virginia Mann

Virginia Mann is an award-winning corporate communications, public relations and public affairs professional who heads up her own boutique agency. Her experience includes extensive work with CEOs, boards of directors, the media, employees and the public.

Her broad experience includes in-depth work with blue-chip, Fortune 500 and industry-leading consumer products companies as diverse as Astellas Pharmaceuticals; Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center; Diversified Real Estate Capital; Lou Malnati’s Pizza; United Airlines; and West Loop Veterinary Care; among others.

In addition to her clients, Virginia is an adjunct instructor at Loyola University in Chicago, teaching public relations courses in the School of Communication. She is the Treasurer of the Chicago Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, and is a former board member of the International Association of Business Communicators.

She and her husband Gary Dupuis are the proud pet parents of Spencer, an American Kennel Club Champion Tibetan Terrier.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
6 pm Networking, 6:30 pm dinner
Uno’s Pizzeria & Pasta
1160 Plaza Dr, Schaumburg, IL 60173
Corner of Meacham & Golf Roads (Woodfield Mall)

$25 Members, $35 Non-Members, $20 Students
Ticket includes dinner and program


Uno's Pizzeria Schaumburg
Uno’s Pizzeria Schaumburg

October 13th: LinkedIn – Warm-up Cold Leads With Dee Reinhardt!

Networking and LinkedIn expert Dee Reinhardt is coming to our chapter program in October to show us how to make the most of LinkedIn…without paying for the premium membership.

LinkedIn – Warm-up Cold Leads

You may have a LinkedIn profile, but how can you use it to find leads and then make them  warm” leads instead of resorting to that thing we all hate – cold calling!

We will cover a number of features in LinkedIn to help you understand more about using the tool instead of just collecting connections.  Bring your laptop if you would like to participate while I demonstrate. Come armed with your questions.

Dee ReinhardtDee Reinhardt

Right-brained.  That is a good description of Dee Reinhardt.  If it has to do with creativity, she is all about that.  When social media advanced into the marketplace, Dee embraced it with a passion.

Dee is a Type-A personality, energetic, gregarious, an extrovert, a planner and a leader.  As the marketing department for a workforce development agency, her “right-brain” kicked in with social media to help her develop new ways to reach out, new avenues to explore and new methods to exercise.

Dee is a certified social media strategist and the principal of her own company, Time2Mrkt, Inc. specializing in digital marketing.  In addition to helping small business optimize their digital strategy, teaching LinkedIn is one of her passions. It is only natural that she shares her knowledge with the community, teaching LinkedIn and other social media sessions for business owners and community members. She consults with small business and solopreneurs to help them plan, create, implement, maintain and/or train staff to market on their social media platforms.

Find out more about Dee on

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
6 pm Networking, 6:30 pm dinner
Uno’s Pizzeria & Pasta
1160 Plaza Dr
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Corner of Meacham & Golf Roads (Woodfield Mall)

$25 Members, $35 Non-Members, $20 Students
Ticket includes dinner and program


What Would You Do in a Social Media Crisis?

The worst part of handling a crisis isn’t always the ‘round-the-clock scrambling to maintain your reputation; it’s that they often happen when you least expect them. But with preparation and training in the best practices of crisis PR, you can minimize the damage—and stress—of what’s bound to happen in all our careers.

Jack Monson Headshot

On Tuesday, April 14, Jack Monson will share his expertise in social media strategy to prepare us for the worst over a delicious pizza party package at Uno Pizzeria in Schaumburg. He’ll start with ways to create an effective crisis plan before sharing tips and guidelines for implementation. Then things will get interactive as he puts us to the test, giving us worst case scenarios where participants will have to implement what they just learned in order to survive. Continue reading What Would You Do in a Social Media Crisis?

Planning and Executing a Media Tour de Force

Eventbrite - Planning and Executing a Media Tour de Force

Next Tuesday, March 10, Jim O’Reilly from D S Simon will share his knowledge and experience on conducting effective Satellite media tours (SMTs), both broadcasted and online. After a brief introduction for those who haven’t run one before, he’ll demonstrate the importance of structuring a good storyline, using solid talent, and getting additional value by re-using SMT content in the future.

Jim O’Reilly is Regional Vice President for the strategic video communications company D S Simon, where he has been for nearly 15 years working as a producer, then production manager in New York. This was a time when the Video News Release was a key tactic in public relations. Jim produced hundreds of highly successful VNRs as well as Satellite Media Tours. In 2006 Jim moved to Chicago to open D S Simon’s Midwest office. Continue reading Planning and Executing a Media Tour de Force

The Best Apps and Software for PR and Communication Professionals Roundtable Discussion

We’re going more casual for our February 10th meeting and hosting a roundtable discussion!

Are you curious about what Apps and Software are out there for PR, marketing, and communication professionals? Join our chapter as we discuss the different types of applications and software (free and paid) we use to make the most of our PR planning.

apps and softwareIf you are using a great app or software at your workplace, bring your suggestions to share. If you’re new to the field or aren’t tech savvy, this will be a great roundtable discussion to help you get started. Continue reading The Best Apps and Software for PR and Communication Professionals Roundtable Discussion