Get Connected      Get Informed      Get Involved                                   April 2016

Letter from the President

Dan DunneSpringtime has sprung, and so have the dedicated members of our chapter whose actions have helped establish creative programming and networking events. In addition to what has already recently been publicized on the chapter's website, the board, committee members and others have been working hard to further expand this year's list of innovative events.

Keep reading to learn what's happening with the 2016 PRSA Maryland Conference, PRSSA Loyola University Maryland and PRSSA University of Maryland, Best In Maryland Awards 2016, and more.
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May 11:  Learn How to Live-Stream Using Periscope

PRSA-Maryland Chapter is proud to present a learning session on how to live-stream using Periscope. Live-streaming is now easier than ever to do right from the palm of your hand. Learn how to promote your own material using Periscope.

Join us as T.J. Smith, director of media relations for the Baltimore Police Department, discusses how his team uses the newest technology to communicate to the media and to Baltimore residents. The event will be held on May 11, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Registration opening soon. Visit our website for more information.

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Member Profile
Meet Nicole Cieslak

WebNotes turns the spotlight on new member Nicole Cieslak, a public relations associate at Tenable Network Security, Inc. In this Member Profile, you'll get to know Nicole, learn what makes her tick, and discover some of her favorite things in life.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa., where the people are as tough as steel, speak their own language, and wave their Terrible Towels wild and proud, Nicole Cieslak is a young PR professional with natural grit and inquisitiveness.

Currently resides:  Baltimore, Md.

Education:  A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, I studied international public relations and journalism. I also competed as a Division 1 athlete in cross-country.

Job responsibilities:  I support the implementation of Tenable’s global PR program. I work with my team to consistently drive corporate brand awareness and executive thought leadership among key audiences through targeted media relations campaigns. Prior to joining Tenable, I was an Alfred Fleishman Diversity Fellow with FleishmanHillard.

Why PR?:  I have a passion for writing and reading. I knew early on that I wanted to help change the world through way of the written (and sometimes spoken) word, which drove me to pursue a career in PR.

Why PRSA?:  Having recently relocated to Maryland, I wanted to continue...Keep reading.

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Member News:  Sheetz Names Planit PR Agency of Record

With more than 500 stores and 17,000 employees, Sheetz family-owned convenience store company has retained Baltimore’s Planit as its public relations agency of record.

Sheetz Public Relations Manager Tarah Arnold believes Planit will be able to position the Sheetz brand “not only as a game-changer in the convenience category, but also in the minds of consumers as the place to go for what you want, when you want it, 24/7.”

Planit is a recipient of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was named Small Agency of the Year and a Best Place to Work by Advertising Age.
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PRSA Maryland Conference Announces Keynote Speakers


PRSA-Maryland is proud to announce keynote speakers for the 2016 PRSA Maryland Conference. We hope you will join us for informative sessions featuring:

• TJ Smith, director of media relations, Baltimore City Police Department, on crisis communications and the Baltimore riots;
• Michael Buckley, public affairs, JHU Applied Physics Lab, on integrated marketing/PR and the New Horizons mission;
• David Harrison, owner, Harrison Communications, on pitching in the digital age.

Mark your calendars today and join your peers for a day of networking, learning and discovering how the communications and PR fields are evolving.

When:  June 14, 2016
Where:  Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore
Time:  8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Special thanks to our conference sponsors...
Emerging Media-Loyola University Maryland, A. Bright Idea, Coyle Studios, Baltimore Business Journal, and PCA.

Become a sponsor and be a part of this great event. Learn more.

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Presenters for the Visual Content Workshop, held April 1 at Towson University, shared great how-to tips for creating infographics and other compelling visuals for non-designers. This is just one of several educational workshops PRSA-Maryland has planned for its members this spring.

Check out what member Tracy Imm, APR, ABC, has to say about the workshop

Pictured left to right are:  Darren Easton, Anna Forbes and Kellie Elmerraji from The Cyphers Agency; Jeffery Davis, APR, of J. Davis Public Relations, LLC; and PRSA-Maryland Board President Dan Dunne, APR, of Erickson Living.

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Former Chapter Presidents are 2016 Silver Anvil Finalists

Congratulations to former PRSA-Maryland chapter presidents Jeffrey Davis, APR, of J. Davis Public Relations, LLC, and Judith T. Phair, APR, Fellow PRSA, of PhairAdvantage Communications, who are finalists in the 2016 Silver Anvil competition.

The two joined forces on a national social media and public relations campaign, “Securing America’s Future: The Power of Liberal Arts Education,” on behalf of the Council of Independent Colleges in Washington, D.C.

Other 2016 finalists from Maryland include Catholic Charities, for the “Power of 40 CRS Rice Bowl 40th Anniversary Campaign”; the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, with The Hannon Group of National Harbor and D.C.’s GMMB for “Promoting Health Insurance Enrollment to the African American Community”; and The Yu Crew of Potomac for work on behalf of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Winners will be announced at PRSA’s 2016 Silver Anvil Awards Ceremony on June 9 in New York City.

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Barb Clapp - Clapp Communications
Lori Gerstley - Outloud, LLC
Katherine Morris - Md. Dept. of Human Resources
Shery Yang - Choose Clean Water Coalition

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Thank You Imre for Hosting Coffee With


Imre brewed up a solid networking event for the chapter's first Coffee With session on April 5, 2016.

Attendees enjoyed fresh coffee, pastries and an informative presentation from Imre Senior Vice President Christine Pierpoint and Senior Account Executive Kristi Volke.

The duo showed how Imre uses brand journalism to build trust and gain exposure for their clients. After the presentation, attendees received a tour of the agency's office and had a chance to network.

If your firm is interested in hosting a Coffee With PRSA-Maryland, please
Emily McDermott at 410-568-8814 or

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April is APR Month


Now is the perfect time to explore Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). April is PRSA’s APR Month.

The program is an opportunity to differentiate yourself among your peers and in your workplace by demonstrating your commitment to the profession and your subject matter expertise.

PRSA-Maryland offers guidance and support to candidates who are seeking accreditation. Keep reading.


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Maximize Your Membership
Tip #49

PRSA-Maryland is a dynamic network of local pros that can help you expand your career opportunities. Learn more.
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Like Us Today and Get Social with PRSA-MD


Follow the PRSA-Maryland Chapter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to receive the latest information on what’s happening. Please like, share, retweet and comment to help spread the word and get social with us!
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Have news to share? Reading anything interesting? Send us an email at
Local Jobs
Looking for a job? Check out the PRSA-Maryland Job Board

Be sure to also visit PRSA National's JobCenter for non-local opportunities.

Looking for that one-of-a-kind employee? Advertise on PRSA-Maryland's Job Board.


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WebNotes is written and compiled by the PRSA-MD Communications Committee. Contact us at for questions and comments.

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