Understanding Recent Graduates: How they think and how to survive working with them

Ron Culp speaks to PRSA Suburban Chicago chapter


Whether you graduated from college 30 years ago or 5 years ago, the public relations and communication profession has changed a lot and new graduates are entering the workplace. What did they learn in the last four years at college and how will this change the dynamics of the workplace? Ron Culp will explain the differences in today’s graduates and how to keep internal communication productive so external communication can achieve goals.

With over 35 years of experience, Ron has seen the changes in the communication industry and understands the impact of generational differences on the workplace. He will detail what new skills recent graduates bring to the table and how all generations can use their knowledge to work together on a common goal.

About Ron Culp

Ron Culp is an Instructor and Director of the Graduate Program for Public Relations and Advertising (PRAD) at DePaul University. In addition, he serves as a public relations consultant to individuals, agencies and corporations.

Prior to beginning his consultancy and joining DePaul, Culp was a Ketchum Partner and headed the global agency’s North America Corporate Practice. He also served as Managing Director of the agency’s Midwest operations.

Ron Culp speaks to PRSA Suburban Chicago chapter

Ron’s 35-year PR career spans a broad range of communications activities in government and business-to-business, consumer products, pharmaceutical and retailing industries. Prior to joining Ketchum, he opened and served as Managing Director of the Chicago office of Sard Verbinnen and Company, a leading financial communications firm.

Previously, Ron was Senior Vice President, Public Relations and Government Affairs, for Sears, Roebuck and Co. During his Sears career, Ron managed internal and external communications, marketing public relations support, state and federal government affairs and community relations, and crisis management. He also was chair of the Sears-Roebuck Foundation. Earlier in his career, Ron held senior communications positions at Sara Lee Corporation, Pitney Bowes and Eli Lilly.

Ron began his career as a reporter for The Columbus (Ind.) Republic before working for the Indiana House of Representatives and then the New York State Assembly where he served as Director of Member Services (the PR support unit)

Ron funded a PRSSA scholarship recognizing student mentors and he and his wife have endowed a scholarship at their alma mater, Indiana State University, for first generation college students.

Ron is active in several civic organizations including the Economic Club of Chicago where he is a former board member. He also serves on the boards of the Lincoln Park Zoo, Gilda’s Club Chicago, the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, and the Indiana State Foundation. For the past seven years, Ron has been listed in Crain’s “Who’s Who in Chicago Business.”

Ron blogs about PR careers at www.culpwrit.com. In 2006, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Arthur W. Page Society, and in 2011 he was honored with the prestigious John W. Hill Award by the New York Chapter of PRSA and in 2012 he was named PR Professional of the Year by Chicago PRSSA. He also is featured in the PRSSA book, “Legacies from Legends in Public Relations” (2007) and was named to the PR News “Hall of Fame” in 2008.

Where: DOC Wine Bar, Lombard, IL in Yorktown Shopping Center
When: Tuesday, May 21 (We are meeting the 3rd Tuesday this month)
Time: 6-9 p.m.

Register Now

From Rebecca Black to the Old Spice Guy; the Influence of Web Video: An introduction to the use of video for marketing and public relations efforts

Tom McPheron

“From Rebecca Black to the Old Spice Guy; the Influence of Web Video:An introduction the use of video for marketing and public relations efforts.”

Tom McPheron

Tom McPheron will give examples of effective videos applied for outreach efforts, client retention, branding, etc. He’ll discuss the importance of YouTube and other online video sites, the difference between them, and current research on the growing importance of video communications. Tom will follow this with a basic introduction to video production, and he’ll also introduce new developments in video that are expected later this spring, including video application on Twitter and changes made to YouTube.

Where: DOC Wine Bar, Lombard, IL in Yorktown Shopping Center
When: Tuesday, April 9
Time: 6-9 p.m.


Paradigm Shifts: A Revolution in Web Content and Communication

David Gunkel
Dr. David Gunkel
The Internet and World Wide Web constitute the first major mass medium since television.But the features and operations of this new medium have not remained fixed or static. The web, in particular, is a dynamic system that has changed considerably since the time of its initial introduction. And we now describe its various epochs with the terms Web 1.0, Web 2.0, Web 3.0, etc.

These developments are not necessarily different versions of the web (as would be the case with, for example, software releases), but are best understoodin terms of what the epistemologist Thomas Kuhn called “paradigm shifts”—changes in perspective that fundamentally reorient our understanding and employment of this new media technology. These paradigm shifts introduce unanticipated challenges to established procedures and approaches. But they also present innovative and intriguing opportunities for content development, management, and distribution.

In this presentation, David J. Gunkel, Presidential Teaching Professor in the Department of Communication at Northern Illinois University, will explain what these changes in the configuration of the web entail, why they are significant for both producers and consumers of Internet content, and how communication professionals can best respond to and leverage the opportunities made available by these innovations.

David J. Gunkel (PhD) is an award winning author and teacher specializing in information technology and new media. He holds the position of Presidential Teaching Professor in the Department of Communication at Northern Illinois University and is the author of Hacking Cyberspace (Westview, 2001); Thinking Otherwise: Philosophy, Communication, Technology (Purdue University Press, 2007); and The Machine Question: Critical Perspectives on AI, Robots and Ethics (MIT Press, 2012). He is also the founding co-editor of the International Journal of Žižek Studies, co-editor of the book Transgression 2.0: Media, Culture, and the Politics of a Digital Age (Continuum, 2011), and the founding co-editor of the Indiana University Press book series in Digital Game Studies. More information available at https://gunkelweb.com/gunkel

Where: DOC Wine Bar, Lombard, IL in Yorktown Shopping Center
When: Tuesday, March 12
Time: 6-9 p.m.

Register Now!

PR/MarCom Mixer at Northern Illinois University

Thursday February 28, 2013 – Thursday February 28, 2013

1312 West Lincoln Highway

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Join us for a Mixer with NIU Public Relations and Communication students. Even if you didn’t attend NIU, come out and talk to the next generation of professionals. Or, if you’re a student, come hear some advice from professionals in the industry. The entrance fee includes appetizers.

We’ll be meeting at Fatty’s Pub & Grille, 1312 West Lincoln Highway DeKalb, IL 60115.niu

The Details

When: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Where: Fatty’s Pub & Grille, 1312 West Lincoln Highway, DeKalb, IL 60115
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Cost: $5 for students, $10 for professionals


Developing Social Media Policies with Phil Gomes of Edelman Digital

Phil GomesBlocking social media sites can leave employees feeling like they have a noose around their neck. Why stifle free expression when writing a social media policy can set the guidelines for employees and actually encourage creativity?

Phil Gomes, Senior Vice President of Digital Integration at Edelman Digital, will provide information on how to develop a social media policy. Phil has led teams and companies to engage with online communities in ways that are compelling, persuasive, and parallel with “digital citizenship” expectations. These instincts for online community mores has also made Phil a consistent go-to resource at the firm for online crisis communications.

Phil Gomes’ successful career in the communications field is characterized by his passionate interest in technology, media, and emerging forms of communication. He serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman Digital, working from the agency’s headquarters in Chicago.

Phil is responsible for crafting the online engagement policies and standards for the agency and its clients, as well as serving as an educator and counselor with regard to online communities. The education and certification programs he has developed have provided the basis for social media integration for the firm and its clients worldwide.

Most recently, Phil co-founded Corporate Representatives for Ethical Wikipedia Engagement (CREWE), a group of PR professionals and Wikipedians who seek to cooperate in the public interest of accurate articles about corporations and organizations. Phil earned a B.A. in communications from Saint Mary’s College of California and anticipates his M.B.A. from Purdue University in February 2013.

Sign up today to reserve your spot.

New Monthly Program Location: D.O.C. Wine Bar in Lombard!

After several years in Elk Grove Village, the PRSA Suburban Chicago Chapter is changing locations to better serve our members. Based on a survey this past fall, the Lombard area was convenient for many members. With close proximity to several major highways and businesses, we are hoping to continue growing our chapter.

The chapter conducted a search with area chambers of commerce to find the best location that met our requirements for space and cost. The D.O.C. Wine Bar in Lombard was able to offer the best options for our monthly program. Instead of a set meal, attendees have the choice between three meals the night of the program. Also, the room has its own bar, allowing for better networking before and after the program.

Meeting Room at D.O.C. Wine Bar
The meeting room offers a fun, professional atmosphere for our monthly programs.

At this point in time, we are contracting with D.O.C. Wine Bar for four months. We look forward to your feedback on the new location.

Prices (includes program, meal, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverages) for 2013 are:
Members: $35
Non-Members: $45
Students: $30
Retired Members: $32

PLEASE NOTE: There is a $5 fee for walk-ins, please register online now.

D.O.C. Wine Bar
is located in the Yorktown Shopping Center at:
326 Yorktown Shopping Center
Lombard, IL 60148

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SEO for PR: A SEO Crash Course for PR Pros!

Scott Winterroth

Tuesday January 8, 2013 – Tuesday January 8, 2013

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Course Description:

Psst… I’ve got a good secret. (Public Relations Pros already make great search engine marketers and at my presentation I’m going to spill all!)

Scott Winterroth
Scott Winterroth, Front & Social

As a public relations professional, you probably already create, manage and curate great content. How many times have you published or released one of the following:

Press Releases
Company Newsletters
Corporate Blogs
Leadership Bios
Product Information
White Papers
Customer Testimonials
… to name a few.

…But are you “releasing” this information the correct way? The above “standards” are great examples of high-quality content that can assist with search engine strategy but the key is knowing how to publish them correctly onto the web. Most importantly the rules of SEO are changing and this is an opportunity to gain traction for you and your clients while securing a solid website search engine foundation for the future. Using content you may already have!

Search Engine Optimization for Public Relations Pros:

Presented by a seasoned public relations pro and digital marketer, Scott Winterroth will provide tactics and strategy that attendees can immediately start to implement (Literally, at the event!) to help build upon their company’s – or their personal website’s – search rankings.

Most importantly, after attending this “hybrid” workshop, attendees will leave with extra confidence knowing the new, new rules of SEO to help preserve their existing hard work and extend the usefulness of old press releases, case studies and white papers. Plus, we will debunk many misconceptions of SEO practice and how avoid “optimization services” you probably do not need.

Here are some topics that we will cover:

  • The anatomy of a Search Engine and how PR Pros should utilize them.
  • Understanding how PR pros already contribute to search engine optimization.
  • Your existing website and Google.
  • Understanding your business’ keyword searches.
  • SEO as a component of Reputation Management.
  • Should I still be optimizing press releases?
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising
  • Steps for better site rankings and search presence.
  • How to measure and track your performance.

Followed by an intensive “check-up” workshop for those who wish to stay.



A laptop (wi-fi is available)
A desire to learn a lot in a short amount of time!

About Scott Winterroth

Scott Winterroth is the founder of the Chicago-based Front & Social Media, a creative public relations and digital marketing firm and currently serves as the digital marketing manager for McCormick Place, the Nation’s largest convention center. Prior to his current position, Scott served as Public Relations Manager for the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority – owner and operator of Navy Pier, the Midwest’s top leisure tourist destination, and McCormick Place.

Scott is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, with a degree in Corporate Communications.

Information from this presentation will be available on his blog, SEO for Public Relations.



Join us for this event at our new Monthly Meeting Location at D.O.C. Wine Bar in Lombard.



PRSA Suburban Chicago Anniversary Party Tuesday, November 13th

Rex Havens

Join us for an evening celebration of our 20th Anniversary, Tuesday, November 13th, from 6 – 9 pm at the Sheraton Suites – Elk Grove Village, featuring our special guest, Rex Havens.  Advance tickets are $30 professionals/$25 for students. Bring a toy for our Holiday Toys for Tots collection, and be entered in a drawing for great prizes, including a one-year PRSA National membership.

We’re celebrating two decades of serving the suburban Chicago public relations community, and preparing for our next decade. Come out for a fun evening of food, networking, prizes and entertainment.

Space is limited, so reserve your spot now.

PRSASCC Using Social Media to Help Find a Kidney Donor

Dr. Ron Richman

Were you ever forced to quit a job you love? Do you treasure every waking moment you have with your family? If you have end-stage renal disease you would. Ron Richman is a 54-year-old primary care physician, living in Long Island, NY, that must face this disease head-on every day. And he has for a little over a year. His loving family – Karen, his wife of 31 years, and his children, Sami, Jordan and Jason – have been reaching out over social media in hopes of finding a kidney donor for Ron.

Ron’s social stats are as follows:

  • Facebook: Over 1,400 likes
  • Twitter: Over 430 followers

Our PRSA Suburban Chicago Chapter caught wind of this “Ron Richman Needs a Kidney Donor” campaign from a Facebook friend. Now, we are spreading the word for Ron through social media, as well as the buttons many of you might have received from the PRSA International Conference in San Francisco.

For someone who has helped thousands of patients over his 25 year career, we hope that someone will save Ron’s life. Please spread the word, so that Ron is able to find a match. He is looking for the following:

  • A living kidney donor (This is the best option in terms of quality of life. Lifespan is 20+ years.)
  • Anyone under 60 years of age, is healthy and a non-smoker
  • Male or female with O+ or O- blood type or with A2 (which is a subset of A blood type)
  • An individual on life support that has provided a directed donation in his name

Please help Ron in spreading the word about his need for a kidney donor. “Like” his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/RonRichmanNeedsAKidneyDonorToStayAlive), follow him @saveaNYlife and continue to share the content he shares on his social media platforms. Ron truly appreciates each and every share, “Like” and follow to lead him to his future kidney donor.

PRSA Suburban Chicago Hosts Media Panel October 9th

Facebook…Twitter…Pinterest….no matter what the latest craze is, good public relations always comes down to getting the right message, with the right information, to the right people in a format they can use. With the current evolution, or as some would say, revolution in “traditional” media, it’s more critical than ever to make sure that you can provide journalists with the information they need quickly. PR pros spend a lot of time obsessing over editors, so this month we’re turning the tables and speaking directly to reporters “on the streets” – those out gathering information and writing the stories we all read each day, the people who show up to our events or cover our companies.

Join PRSA Suburban Chicago for a panel discussion featuring  Chicago Sun Times reporter and Northbrook Star “Snapshot” columnist Kari Angel Lucl, sports reporter Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, and Christina Elizabeth Rodríguez with Extra Bilingual Newspaper in metropolitan Chicago. We’ll learn how they interact with PR people, and the best ways for PR people to reach and interact with them for the benefit of both.

Join us Tuesday, October 9 at 6 pm, at the Sheraton Suites in Elk Grove Village, 121 Northwest Point Boulevard at Arlington Heights Road. Registration is now available.

Networking starts at 6:00 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Free on-site parking is available.

Sheraton Suites – Elk Grove Village
121 Northwest Pointe Boulevard
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

Our Panelists:

Karie Angell Luc, Columnist, Northbrook Star (Pioneer Press/Sun-Times Media)

Karie Angell Luc, MALS considers herself a multimedia journalist who produces/directs/edits webisodes and writes a weekly column, “Snapshot,” in the Northbrook Star, a Pioneer Press/Sun-Times Media publication, which includes her photographs. Subjects for “Snapshot” have ranged from dialysis patients in dire need of a kidney transplant to “Rolling Stone” style interviews with rock stars (Ted Nugent). Her Snapshot column for 10/4 includes an interview with James Lovell, astronaut, about a Chicagoland 1970s park-displayed space module that Angell Luc located years later when NASA could not.

A 1984 graduate of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb with a double major in French and Broadcast News, Angell Luc holds a master’s degree (MALS) in liberal studies from Northwestern University at Evanston. Angell Luc began her career at KEVN-TV, Rapid City, South Dakota. Her stories canvassed the Black Hills and more. One five-part sweeps series “Neighbors Without Names” documented homeless individuals of Sioux heritage who showed cameras how they mixed Lysol with river water in plastic gallon milk jugs as their potable spirits of choice.

Angell Luc freelanced for The Daily Herald, Chicagoland. As a 1995 live moderator for “The Christian Recovery Hour” and “The Natural Grocer” on WYLL-Chicago, Angell Luc solo hosted live one-hour call-in talk shows. She is also a former Centel Cable/Jones Intercable reporter/co-news manager covering the Fox River Valley, Kane County/DuPage County government and courts.

As a producer of 10 years for the Village of Northbrook, IL, she enjoyed editing and shooting PBS quality documentaries on Avid, now on her own on Final Cut Pro. She co-authored the Arcadia history book, Northbrook, in 2008. Angell Luc’s one-man-band-style and downhome love of the Midwest are Heartland apparent.

Chris Kuc, Chicago Tribune Sports Reporter

Chris Kuc began working part-time for the Chicago Tribune in 1982 while attending Hinsdale South High School in Darien. He continued answering phones in the High School Dept. until college, when he began adding page design and copy editing duties. Upon graduation from Columbia College in Chicago, Kuc was hired full-time by the Tribune and added to his duties while working first in Sports and then with the Metro Section. A return to Sports came via a promotion to the management ranks where he was in charge of the High School Sports Dept. and also frequently contributed as a reporter/writer.

In 2007, Kuc was made beat reporter for the Chicago Blackhawks. During that time, he has covered hundreds of hockey games, including the 2010 Stanley Cup championship season. He also part of the Tribune’s coverage of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia. During his writing career, Kuc has covered a variety of events ranging from hockey to baseball, basketball, football, etc.

He is very active in Social Media with nearly 13,000 Twitter followers (@ChrisKuc) and is prolific both for the print and Web editions of the Chicago Tribune.

Christina Elizabeth Rodriguez, journalist and editorial director, Extra

Christina Elizabeth Rodríguez is a Mexican American journalist, writer and acts as the editorial director for Extra Bilingual Newspaper in metropolitan Chicago. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Media with a master’s degree in journalism.

In 2010, Rodríguez wrote for Arte y Vida Chicago, developed a social media strategy for RatioNation.com, edited the Fly Paper, an underground Hip-Hop publication, and lent her writing skills to public relations work for Christopher House, a nonprofit organization.

In 2011 Rodríguez was appointed as the editorial director for Extra, where she is in charge of all editorial content, including the weekly e-newsletter and social media outlets. In addition, she continues to freelance on a monthly basis for clients such as VidaLexus.com and EmpleosCB.com, a Latino branch of Career Builder.

Most recently, Rodríguez helped found Pícaro Media, a full-service media company committed to creating authentic compelling content for the New Generation Latino living in the mainstream world, where she is the head of business development among a team of seven.

In addition, Rodríguez hosts a blog on ChicagoNOW dedicated to diabetes and has been a guest blogger on Latinos in Social Media’s Salud Saturdays. Recently, she has been featured on Poco a Poco radio for her diabetes activism and has partaken in Proyecto Latina’s Reportera Series writing about diabetes among Latinas.