Storytelling vs. Stories in Public Relations with Guest Speaker Jon Ratliff

Eventbrite - Storytelling vs. Stories in Public Relations with Guest Speaker Jon Ratliff

Jon Ratliff, APR
Jon Ratliff, APR

We’re all about stories in PR. But stories and storytelling aren’t the same thing. We know that storytelling is critical to the persuasion that is the basis of what we do for our clients and employers. So why aren’t we more successful at it?

Telling stories to communicate and persuade is at the heart of all business activity. We tell stories to persuade audiences to buy our products or services, to explain to employees and colleagues what our strategic plan is, to communicate with investors, analysts and the media about our stock, our new products and what our mission is. But despite the critical importance of storytelling in communication, many of us struggle to with it. We have trouble communicating our stories, much less make them inspiring. Too often, we get lost in the bog of PowerPoint slides, formulaic news releases, and overworked statements vetted and sanitized by corporate executives and legal counsel until the story is lost. Even our most creative and carefully planned efforts are routinely dismissed or greeted with skepticism. Continue reading Storytelling vs. Stories in Public Relations with Guest Speaker Jon Ratliff

Pat Hansen: Outstanding Member of the Year

pat hansen prsa suburban chicago

Pat Hansen received PRSA SCC’s “Outstanding Member of the Year” award for 2013. The Suburban Chicago Chapter is fortunate to have Pat on the board of directors. As the chapter continues to change and grow, Pat offers her insight and ideas to help members create an organization that benefits the profession.

pat hansen prsa suburban chicago
Pat Hansen, APR
Thank you for the chapter’s recognition as the 2013 Outstanding Member of the Year. I’m very humbled.

Contributing to the Suburban Chicago PRSA chapter and being on its board of directors for three years has been rewarding. That’s why I make the extra effort to travel some 60 miles each way to chapter meetings and have committed to another three year term on the board. You see, I enjoy the dynamic group of individuals in the chapter and feel that each adds to the chapter experience.

In addition, our local Suburban Chicago PRSA Chapter simplifies networking. It supports the development of individual skills. It helps individuals prepare for PRSA Accreditation, an important recognition of their talents and abilities. It provides a supportive setting for professionals who enjoy being with others in the field.

That is very important on a personal and professional level. The introduction of new technology and new tools is driving the evolution of public relations at a rather quick pace. Staying current is critical. Being a part of the PR community is essential.

Pat Hansen, APR, Counselor, Hansen Communications, Kankakee, IL

Live Webinar:The New Secrets of Media Pitching Success with Michael Smart

Eventbrite - Live Webinar: The New Secrets of Media Pitching Success with Michael Smart

You’ve heard Michael Smart talk about how to transform your pitch from snooze to news. Now, hear more about how to get journalists’ and bloggers’ attention, and turn it into action.

Some PR pros are consistently landing top-tier coverage for products and services across all industries. In many cases, journalists thank them for reaching out and following up. How do they do it? During this webinar, you’ll find dozens of practical tips that will immediately boost your media and blog coverage. You’ll also learn what to say or write to grab journalists’ and bloggers’ attention every time.

Hear about:

    Actual pitches from several industries that landed top-tier coverage.
    How to shape routine or mundane facts into angles that journalists and bloggers crave.
    Follow-up emails that spurred journalists to action.

Michael Smart, principal, MichaelSMARTPR
Smart has trained more than 4,500 communicators around the world on how to boost their media and blog placements, including pros from Aflac, Disney, Hilton, Honda, Edelman, Wells Fargo and many other organizations. He has twice been a top-rated presenter at the PRSA International Conference.

Thursday, April 17 from Noon-1 p.m.
This webinar will not be available for playback.

FREE for Chapter Members
$10 for Non-Members

Eventbrite - Live Webinar: The New Secrets of Media Pitching Success with Michael Smart

April is Accreditation Month

APR_logoApril is Accreditation month at PRSA, a time to learn how Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) can take your career to the next level. APR is a voluntary certification program for PR professionals. Earning your APR demonstrates your commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice by advancing the Readiness Review process and passing the computer-based APR Examination. Continue reading April is Accreditation Month

Put Me in Coach! Successfully Coaching the Non-PR Executive

Eventbrite - Put Me in Coach! Successfully Coaching the Non-PR Executive

Josh Kaufmann, APR
Josh Kaufmann, APR

Ever had to deal with a non-PR boss that just doesn’t “get it?” Finding yourself teaching and coaxing your company’s executives to prepare for media interviews and crisis communication situations, only to run up against overconfidence and a lack of understanding just how important advance preparation is before going into interviews? Or are you just needing to perfect your counseling techniques? Now’s your chance! Preparing the non-PR executive for that encounter can be one of the most difficult tasks we encounter, and can set the stage for a successful campaign….or a disastrous one.

Join PRSA Suburban Chicago Tuesday, April 8th as we host Josh Kaufman, APR, presenting “Successfully Coaching the Non-PR Executive.” Josh will tackle one of every PR executive’s main headaches, how to prepare and coach non-PR executives for media interviews and crisis communication situations, and will highlight the evening with examples and best practices.

Josh Kauffman is a senior strategic communications consultant at NTT Data, a subsidiary of a Global Fortune 32 company and the largest information technology and telecommunications service company in the world.

Josh provides strategic communications, public relations, organizational change management, internal communications and business analysis service to Fortune 100 clients in financial and insurance industries.  In addition, he is also the global marketing communications advisor and publicist at Zukunft Group (ZG) Worldwide, an international contracting company that provides media training, process management and health care services to mid-size companies.

Prior to recruitment by NTT Data and ZG Worldwide, Josh worked at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and was promoted three times in four years – from public relations staff assistant to marketing communications coordinator to public information officer and spokesperson. 

Tuesday, April 8th
Networking – 6:00 pm
Dinner and program – 6:30 pm

Eventbrite - Put Me in Coach! Successfully Coaching the Non-PR Executive

PRSA Midwest DistrictThe 1980s, rock ‘n’ roll, bad hair and PR have more in common than you might think. But don’t just take our word for it. Join the Midwest District Conference in Springfield, Missouri, June 18-20 to hear breakout session speaker Rodger Roeser share how his experience as a 1980s rocker proved insightful for running successful PR programs today. Continue reading

Search Engine Optimization and What PR and Communication Pros Need to Know

Eventbrite - Search Engine Optimization and What PR and Communication Pros Need to Know

Presentation description:

PR’s impact on SEO has completely changed in the last year. Press releases have lost their luster and guest blogging has now become a sticky subject when it comes to link building. So what’s a PR to do? Join Brandon Andersen, Director of Marketing at Cision, for a discussion on what works, what doesn’t work, and what to focus on in 2014 and beyond.


Brandon Andersen is the Director of Marketing at Cision US. In his role, Brandon leads Cision’s US marketing team and develops strategies for engaging marketing and PR professionals. He is a host of the popular Cision Social Media and SEO Webinar series, and blogs about everything from SEO and content marketing tactics to future trends in communication and technology on Cision’s blog.

Eventbrite - Search Engine Optimization and What PR and Communication Pros Need to Know

Tax Preparation Issues for Public Relations and Communication Professionals

Eventbrite - Tax Preparation Issues for Public Relations and Communication Professionals


In the mad rush that today’s PR profession has become, are you overlooking important tax deductions that could sweeten your refund? Or are you claiming deductions that could earn you a nasty letter and fine from the IRS? As we gear up for tax season, it’s important to know what is deductible and what is not. Whether you are wondering if you can deduct professional expenses like PRSA dues that your employer doesn’t cover, or you’re an independent contractor or small agency owners, your individual professional tax circumstances are unique. Don’t wait for April to figure out what you– join us for a conversation with Anthony Colletti, a CPA and professional tax accountant, and learn what you need to know to prepare for tax season.

About Anthony Colletti, CPA

Anthony Colletti PRSA SCC
Anthony Colletti is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, USA. Anthony has seventeen years of experience in public accounting and has managed his own tax practice since 2001. He is a CPA that has dedicated his life to helping clients understand the complicated tax law and is of the belief that all taxpayers should have an understanding of how the taxing system works.

Among his many professional affiliations, he maintains memberships in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Lions International, the United States Junior Chamber and Junior Chamber International.

Over the past twelve years as an active member in the Junior Chamber (also known as the Jaycees or JCI), Anthony has held numerous volunteer positions such as Local Chapter President, District Director, State Financial Advisor, and National Treasurer with the United States Junior Chamber. He has spent most of his time in the organization developing other members’ skills in financial management and other training topics. He has trained well over 150 hours on behalf of the organization. Anthony has been recognized on the national level four times for his outstanding work for the Jaycee movement. In 2014 Anthony will be serving the Illinois Jaycees as State President.

In August 2009, Anthony was named one of the Ten Under Forty in McHenry County, Illinois for his involvement in the Jaycees and other charitable organizations within his community, including serving as Treasurer for the Wiseman Philanthropy Fund which focuses on assisting in the positive transformation of the lives of children in the United States and abroad through the use of time, talents, and treasures of the board. In 2010, he was nominated for Crain’s Chicago Business’s 40 Under 40 award.

Ticket price includes program, dinner, and nonalcoholic beverages. Cash bar available.

Eventbrite - Tax Preparation Issues for Public Relations and Communication Professionals

Call for Womenetics POW! Awards

Sponsored Post
Womenetics Announces Call for Nominees For the 2014 POW! Awards


Womenetics calls on the Chicago community to nominate female leaders of extraordinary purpose and impact for the 2014 POW! Awards. Honorees are identified as women who transform vision into action, surmount challenges, break down barriers, spark innovation and attain success in the workplace and the community.

Past POW! Award honorees are at the helm of notable organizations such as CNN, Popeyes,Edelman, The Coca-Cola Company, Merrill Lynch, Ernst & Young LLP, Zurich, Northern Trust and the Women’s Business Development Center.

POW! Award recipients are key forces of nature and prudent risk-takers in business, public policy, academia and society. To date, 57 women have been inducted into the Womenetics POW! Awards hall of fame, and through sharing their success stories and career insights, Womenetics continues to inspire women to stay in the pipeline and take a seat at the table. Womenetics is eager to induct the next group of game changers, trailblazers and catalysts and appreciates the support of the Chicago community in
helping us recognize these women.

Nominees will be evaluated for the following criteria:
• Business acumen
• Demonstrated leadership ability
• Documented impact in the workplace and/or community
• Record of achievement that demonstrates intentionality and goal setting
• Distinguishing personal qualities

Womenetics will recognize award recipients for their purposeful leadership at the 2014 POW! Awards community luncheon to be held on March 19, 2014 in Chicago and April 30, 2014 in Atlanta.

Womenetics is accepting nominations through Friday, January 10 for Chicago nominees. Nomination forms are available at the Womenetics website,