Accepting Nominations for the 2016 Summit Award

2016 Summit Award

“Excellence in Community Engagement”

The Yankee Chapter PRSA Summit Award recognizes excellence in a specific area of focus, which varies year-to-year, based on trends, behaviors, and new technologies in the public relations field. Prior awards have included:

“Special Event Excellence” — 2013 – Families in Transition, Manchester, NH
“Employees as Ambassadors”   2012 – Dyn – Manchester, NH
“PR Miracles – PR in Times of Challenge” — 2011 – The NHHEAF Network Organizations, Concord, NH
“Excellence in Social Media” — 2010 – Kelliher Samets Volk, Burlington, VT

2016 Summit Award Focus: Community Engagement

The 2016 Summit Award recognizes excellence in achieving strategic public relations objectives through a community engagement strategy. The results of an organization’s community engagement strategy may have informed policy decisions, improved the targeting of services, built community ownership, or involved those who might not normally be included, resulting in increased community spirit and empowerment of individuals. The award winner (individual, team, or business) will be recognized for effectively planning and executing a community engagement strategy to support specific public relations goals.

Within the application, please demonstrate how your community engagement strategy:

  • Involved and engaged a broad range of people and sectors,
  • Created movement and/or change related to specific public relations goals; and
  • Focused on collaboration and inclusion.

Award Criteria

Entries will be judged on the following factors:

  • Situation analysis (context and key stakeholders)
  • Strategic organizational objectives
  • Goals and benchmarks for success
  • Execution
  • Results


  • PRSA Yankee Chapter members; or
  • Public relations businesses, organizations or individuals with a primary address within the Yankee Chapter PRSA region (Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont)
  • The winner (individual, team, or in the case of an organization, its CEO, or functional organizational head) must agree to be present at the award presentation

Application Fee

  • New! For 2016, Yankee PRSA is waiving the application fee.

How to Submit Entries

Entries may be submitted in a variety of ways, as long as the entry includes the award criteria previously described. Electronic presentations, videos, documents, binders etc., are all welcome. Choose the format that best displays and explains your work. Entries can include links to existing work, content or articles that support your entry. The award will be presented at the Yankee Chapter PRSA Annual Meeting in late November 2016. Updates will be provided on the Yankee PRSA website at

Submit entry electronically to: or mail it to:

Yankee PRSA Summit Award, 53 Regional Dr., Suite 1, Concord, NH 03301

All entries must include

  • Name & Title
  • Organization Name & Mailing Address
  • Telephone Number and Email

Submissions must be postmarked by October 10, 2016

Questions? Email:


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Reflections on the Value of the APR

By Seth Wheeler, APR

Having sufficiently recovered from earning my Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in November of 2015, I’ve begun to notice the many ways in which the experience has influenced my work life and the way I think about my job.

Seth Wheeler, APR

Seth Wheeler, APR

As anyone who’s gone through the process will attest, the APR exam covers a lot of ground. What does the Agenda Setting theory tell us about the impact of media messages? What’s the difference between a tactic and a strategy? What the heck is Irving Fang’s Easy Listening Formula? I haven’t studied for anything like this since college, and frankly, a lot of the minutia has already settled down deep in the memory vault. What remains fresh and relevant every day, though, are the broader lessons the APR teaches about the values of our profession and how we can maximize them for ourselves and the organizations we represent.

I thought when I started the APR process that I’d be learning new and creative ways to “manage” information and “shape” the public’s perception of my company. How refreshing it was to learn straight away that the ultimate goal of public relations was to serve the public good by simply telling the truth. I’m fortunate to work for a member-owned cooperative. I work with good people who want the best for this organization and the members it serves. When the company’s policies or procedures are perceived to be in conflict with a member or group of members, my first instinct is not to batten down the hatches and go on the defensive. My first instinct is transparency. We have good people with good intentions. Let’s explain how we arrived at this point and get to work on a solution.

It’s this simple clarity of purpose that I return to time and again. I notice these days that there are fewer situations at work where I’m uncertain about how to proceed. There are fewer judgement calls and hunches. Instead, decisions are made based on established processes, the goals they support and the professional ethics established by the APR. In short, the APR provides much-needed clarity when the water gets murky.

Seth Wheeler is a Yankee Chapter Board Member and the Communications Administrator at New Hampshire Electric Cooperative in Plymouth, NH.



The Value of Membership

When you join PRSA you join a vibrant network of practitioners, focused on sharing insights and best practices. Our members understand the realities of practicing public relations and offer solutions for all career levels. As the world’s leading advocate for public relations and communications professionals, PRSA represents a diverse cross-section of the industry, including corporate institutions, agencies, independent practitioners, public affairs organizations, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit.

Through various membership types, PRSA provides the support you need by connecting you with top industry experts at conferences and events. Discover up-to-date strategies and tactics as well as the latest industry news. PRSA’s communities focusing on specific industries, geographies and career levels, also help share your career. If you are new to the profession or a seasoned professional, PRSA has a benefit for you. Get started and join today.


Yankee Scholarship – DEADLINE EXTENDED!

Do You Know a Student in a Public Relations-related field?

We’re Still Accepting Applications for the 2016 Yankee Chapter PRSA Scholarship Sponsored by EDvestinU; Eligible Students Should Apply by August 1, 2016

The 2016 Yankee Chapter PRSA Scholarship, sponsored by EdvestinU, will be presented in August to an undergraduate student who will achieve “sophomore,” “junior,” or “senior” grade level by fall 2016, or to a graduate student, at an accredited, degree-granting college or university in Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont. The student should have a declared major in a public relations-related field.

The $500 scholarship will recognize the student’s academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, and commitment to public relations.

Click for more information and to download the application.

Applications should be submitted by August 1, 2016 to:

Yankee Chapter PRSA Scholarship Committee
The Yankee Chapter PRSA
53 Regional Dr., Suite 1 Concord, NH 03301


All applicants, including the recipient, will be notified in August 2016.

For questions or comments, please contact Donna Eason at


Omelets & APRs on St. Patrick’s Day


APR Appreciation Breakfast in Newton, MA: (l-r) standing: Mark McClennan, PRSA National Board Chair; Mark Elliott; Joe Truncale, PRSA CEO; Shane Perry; and Seth Wheeler. Seated: Liz LaRose, Mary Ellen Hettinger, Robin Schell, and Jane Law

On St. Patrick’s Day, CEO of the Public Relations Society of America Joseph P. Truncale, PhD, CAE spoke about the future of PRSA at a breakfast for Accredited Public Relations professionals (APRs) at the Newton Marriott Hotel.

At a time where there is so much overlap between public relations, communications, marketing and content marketing, how can we set ourselves apart as professionals, Truncale asked? This identity crisis is one of the challenges facing our industry.

In his 30 years as a leader in printing, Truncale took the industry from centuries of tradition into the digital age. Mark McClennan, APR, President of the PRSA board and a Boston PRSA member, also spoke about upcoming changes for the Society.

One major change is a complete overhaul of the national website by InterlinkONE, Inc. of Wilmington, Mass. Truncale emphasized that as the Society moves forward, he’s interested in hearing from members. Watch for an upcoming email survey about the future of PRSA. — Mary Ellen Hettinger, APR


Home Ice: How the Manchester Monarchs Keep Their Edge

Enjoying an afternoon and game with the Monarchs

Yankee PRSA at Manchester Monarch

Enjoying an afternoon and game with the Monarchs.

There’s a lot more to managing public relations and marketing for a minor league hockey team than press releases and free tee shirts. That was the takeaway from the Yankee Chapter professional development session hosted March 23 by the Manchester Monarchs at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

Putting fans in seats on game nights is just one of the many priorities the two-person PR/Marketing team handles for the Monarchs. Managing the club’s community relations and social media, arranging access for media, daily reporting of player stats and transactions, and guiding a small army of game night volunteers are just a few of the other tasks that keep them busy.

It was particularly interesting to hear how Marketing, Community & Public Relations Manager Mackenzie Fraser and Public Relations Coordinator Matt Johnson managed communications last year following the announcement that the AHL Calder Cup-winning Monarchs would be moving to California, to be replaced by a new team in Manchester playing in the ECHL. The support and attendance the team continues to enjoy in Manchester is a testament to Mackenzie’s and Matt’s skill in managing a potentially difficult transition.

Though the Monarchs lost 4-2, it’s clear that this is an organization with a winning strategy for the team and the community it calls home. — Seth Wheeler, APR


International PRSA Awards Have a Strong Tie to Yankee Chapter

By Liz LaRose, APR

President, Yankee Chapter PRSA

stacey smith presents JJW Award

Stacey Smith presented the Jackson Jackson & Wagner Behavioral Science Prize to Ansgar Zerfass at the PRSA International Conference in Atlanta.

Yankee Chapter’s own Stacey Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA, and senior counsel and partner at Jackson Jackson and Wagner (JJ&W) gave out one of two awards at the PRSA International Conference in Atlanta with ties to the late Patrick Jackson, APR, Fellow PRSA. Jackson, who founded the New Hampshire-based behavioral public relations firm JJ&W, was a highly-respected and nationally sought out visionary in the PR field.


Ansgar Zerfass, Ph.D.

Smith presented the Jackson Jackson & Wagner Behavioral Science Prize  to Ansgar Zerfass, Ph.D., professor and chair of strategic communication at University of Liepzig. The award, established by JJ&W in 1991, recognizes leadership in behavioral science research and its application to public relations practice.


Gary D. McCormick, APR, Fellow PRSA

The Patrick Jackson Award for Distinguished Service to PRSA was presented to Gary D. McCormick, APR, Fellow PRSA, director of corporate communications, Scripps Networks Interactive. This award recognizes a PRSA member who has significantly contributed to advancing PRSA from the Chapter to National levels, as well as furthered the Society by inspiring fellow practitioners professionally and personally.

Congratulations to both recipients!

And look for an announcement later this year on how to nominate individuals for the Yankee Chapter’s own Patrick Jackson Award. Our award recognizes a professional who is not in the public relations field, but successfully uses PR principals to benefit others.


PR & Presidential Politics and Annual Meeting

IMG_1341At our annual meeting November 5th, we had a dynamic panel discussion about NH’s powerful role in presidential politics, featuring Neil Levesque, NH Institute of Politics, Andy Smith, UNH Survey Center, Scott Tranchemontagne, Montagne Communications, and moderated by Amy Coveno, WMUR reporter.

In 2016, it will be 100 years since New Hampshire held its first presidential primary. Our panelists talked about this year’s primary candidates, and how historically the primary outcomes have reflected on the results of the national general election. A networking opportunity afterwards rounded out the event.


At the YPRSA annual meeting held before the discussion, members elected officers for the coming year, thanked outgoing chapter president Erin Holt (left), and welcomed incoming  president Liz LaRose (right).

See all the 2016 officers.

The board wishes to extend special thanks to our long-time annual meeting sponsor, Northeast Delta Dental.

Your YPRSA board wishes all its members a very happy and healthy holiday season and new year!


PRSA — Advancing the Profession and the Professional

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the nation’s largest community of public relations and communications professionals. We provide training, set standards of excellence and uphold principles of ethics for the global public relations profession. As a leading voice in the PR industry, we also advocate for greater understanding and adoption of public relations services.

PRSA’s 21,000 members represent nearly every practice area and professional and academic setting in the public relations field. In addition, more than 10,000 college students are members of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

If you want to make contacts, be recognized for your work, enhance your professional skills, stay on top of emerging trends and otherwise accelerate your PR career, PRSA is the organization for you.