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“Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.”  — Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams made that statement in 1992 and it is even more relevant today. We are inundated with a tsunami of fake news, which circulates with unprecedented speed thanks to the power of the Internet.

Fake news has the power to destroy reputations overnight and no business is immune to its impact. New research conducted by Kroll and Forrester Consulting reveals that “84% of businesses feel threatened by market manipulation through the spread of fake news, most commonly fueled by social media.”

Fake news presents unique challenges when it comes to crisis communications. Do you know how to manage a crisis created by fake news? Do you wonder how it differs from other types of issues? What can you do today to prepare?

You have questions — and we have answers!

Please join us on Tuesday, Feb. 18 for the presentation “From Misinformation to Disinformation: Minimizing and Managing Fake News.”

Based upon analysis of 21 interviews with public relations practitioners who have first-hand experience with fake news accusations and/or crisis communication, this presentation shares insights about how to avoid falling prey to a fake news crisis and effectively manage a crisis originating from fake news.

Speakers include:

  • Michele Ewing, APR, Fellow PRSA, Associate Professor, Kent State University
  • Cheryl Lambert, Assistant Professor, Kent State University
  • Barbara Paynter, APR, Fellow PRSA, President, Paynter Communications LLC


  • 7:30 a.m. Registration, networking and breakfast buffet
  • 8:15 a.m. Program begins
  • 9:30 a.m. Event concludes

Tickets: $22 — $135


Lago East Bank

1091 West 10th Street

Cleveland, OH 44113

Greater CLE chapter concluding its APR candidate classes; looking for accredited members to help in portfolio review process

by Chris Lynch, APR Fellow PRSA

More than a dozen candidates in the CLE chapter will be completing the last of their classes this month in preparation for the accreditation exam later this year.

However – they all need to present and complete with their portfolio review in front of a panel of accredited members.

So, if you’re an APR member, and would like to assist in APR candidate review (probably 1-1/2 – 2 hours), we will be setting up the first round of review sessions the weeks of Oct 20th – Nov 18th.

Scheduling these sessions will be very flexible, based on availability of the candidate and the judges; If you’re APR and interested in helping during a session, please contact Chris Lynch to be added to our judges pool.

Thank you!

Great achievers are inspired by great mentors

by Kendra Davis, VP Membership

PRSA Cleveland wants to match you with a mentor or mentee! The members-only Mentor Program is open to new professionals, senior practitioners and anyone in-between. The program strives to build the strength of Greater Cleveland’s PR community by passing valuable wisdom and experience from one generation to the next.

If you’re interested, please review the guidelines below and complete the mentor application, mentee application or both.


  • Mentors and mentees must be members of the Greater Cleveland PRSA chapter.
  • Mentors must have a minimum of 10 years of professional experience in PR or related fields.
  • Both mentors and mentees must agree to not pursue their mentor/mentee for new business or job opportunity.
  • The mentor is not expected to provide tactical or program consultation.
  • Mentor and mentee must connect (face-to-face, over the phone, or via email) at least once per quarter. Mentor charged with reporting meetings to the PRSA Cleveland Mentorship Program coordinator.
  • The mentor and mentee relationship will have a defined one-year stop date. Any decision made by the pair to meet outside that time period is at their discretion.
  • Mentees may request a new mentor at the end of one year.
  • All conversations will be conducted with the expectations of the strictest level of confidentiality between the mentor-mentee.

Questions? Contact PRSA Greater Cleveland VP of Membership Kendra Davis.

Akron and Cleveland PRSA Chapters Will Offer APR Prep Classes This Fall

by Nora Jacobs, APR
Accreditation Chair

Have you been thinking about going for your APR?

The APR – Accredited in Public Relations – is awarded to individuals who have gone through a rigorous process to demonstrate their mastery of the knowledge, skills and experience unique to the public relations profession.  It consists of two steps: successfully sitting for a Panel Presentation (a one to two- hour meeting with a panel of APR colleagues to discuss your work in the profession) and passing a computerized exam focused on the topics and issues our industry deals with every day.

If getting your APR has been on your personal and professional bucket list, you’ll want to know that the Akron and Greater Cleveland PRSA chapters will be teaming up to offer a series of classes this fall specifically designed to prepare candidates for the APR testing process.  Classes will focus on the subjects that form the backbone of the computerized exam and provide guidance on preparing the questionnaire and case study that serve as the centerpiece for the Panel Presentation.  Classes are free to chapter members and only require the purchase of one textbook.

Marcus Thomas has graciously agreed to allow us to host our classes at its offices just off of I-271 at 4781 Richmond Road.  Each class will begin at 4:30 p.m. and end at roughly 6:30.  We’ve scheduled classes for four Thursdays in September and October as follows:

  • September 12
  • September 26
  • October 10
  • October 24

Classes will be led by Nora Jacobs APR and Christian Hunter APR. If you want more information, or would like to join us this fall as you prepare to take your APR, contact Nora at (216-321-7774), or Christian at (216-470-0623).

PRSA Cleveland & Akron Chapters Rejuvenate APR Classes

by Chris Lynch, APR, Fellow PRSA

Is obtaining your APR on your career “bucket list?”  You may have heard or thought that the preparation and studying process may be too hard, or confused by the requirements for the Readiness Review and the computerized exam.

Have no fear…

PRSA’s Cleveland and Akron Chapters are once again teaming up again this year to provide our members with a series of classes designed to help APR candidates prepare for both the review session and the computerized exam.  Our upcoming sessions will help candidates navigate the testing process specifically on the knowledge skills and abilities considered essential to achieving accreditation.

If you’re interested in learning more about accreditation, our introductory session will be held next month (in 3 weeks or so, but at a time mutually viable for all interested parties!) There is no fee to attend – any – of the classes. Please complete this online form.

In the first session, you’ll come away with:

  • An overview of the APR process
  • An understanding of the portfolio readiness review
  • Timeline for studying for the APR
  • Materials needed to succeed!

Based on interest, additional classes will be held 3-4 times throughout the summer, with our targeted goal to have the 2019 ‘class’ take their examination in early September.

Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) is the mark of distinction for public relations professionals – a visible and ongoing commitment to the knowledge, ethics and experience that define the public relations industry in today’s fast-paced environment. Earning the APR is a noteworthy milepost in any PR professional’s career and a personal mark of achievement you can proudly add to your credentials.

Act now and make 2019 the year you get your APR!  Note that any member of the profession is welcome to sit for the APR exam, but at least five years of experience is recommended in order to best prepare for the range of questions that will be addressed in both the readiness review and computerized exam.

6 Accredited PR Pros on Why They Pursued Their APR (reprinted from PRsay)


“Having been a practitioner for 25 years, I had always wanted to apply for my APR, but never found time to do so. Last year, at a PRSA meeting, Stacey Sunday and I were approached about it by Professor Alison L. Gaulden from the University of Nevada-Reno. With her encouragement and support, we are both proud APRs!”

— Suzanne B. Hendery, MA, APR
Chief Marketing Officer and VP, Marketing and Communications, Renown Health
Reno, Nevada


“As an independent communications and PR consultant, I felt that pursuing my Accreditation in Public Relations was vital for the integrity of my practice and for demonstrating to clients that I can deliver faithfully on the services I offer.”

— Catherine Brozena, APR
Owner and Creative Director, ColorThisWorld Communications
Oakland, Calif.


“After 13 years of professional practice, I believed it was important to demonstrate my knowledge and credibility in the profession by earning Accreditation. PR practitioners have a responsibility to counsel their organizations with an ethics-based approach, and I believe Accreditation signals a practitioner’s commitment to sound public relations strategies and practice.”

— Emily Finley, APR
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications at Marvin Windows and Doors
St. Paul, Minn.


“In hindsight, during my ten-year career I was flying by the seat of my pants, so I decided to look for the discipline and skills I needed. I now have an unparalleled sense of confidence because I have the tools I need. I can better craft messages and coordinate activities that affect my organization’s relationships with its publics. By developing strategic PR plans, I can be assertive, better align campaigns with the corporate goals, and serve my organization proactively, effectively, and consistently.”

— Marcia Brookey, APR
VP and Director of Marketing, Trust Company of Oklahoma
Tulsa, Okla.


“I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Because I believe in what it stands for, I value APR Accreditation tremendously.”

— Christopher Eric Vadnais, APR
Public Affairs Officer, VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System
Murfreesboro, Tenn.


“As a broadcast journalist turned PR professional, I pursued my APR as a source of formal industry education. Earning my APR has made me more confident in my daily work and challenged my strategic approach from research to evaluation.”

— Allison Williams, APR
Internal Communications Specialist, Greater Nevada Credit Union
Reno, Nev.