Tag Archives: PRSA Cleveland



A note from PRSA Greater Cleveland chapter President Chris Lynch: 

Greetings All – We have a lot going on and wanted to provide some quick links to ensure you, valued members of the Greater Cleveland PRSA chapter, have easy access to information and immediate availability to sign up and attend one of our great upcoming programs, and/or submit yourselves or others you’d like to nominate for our nonprofit prospective members and student scholarships.

Back in October of last year, I contacted Kent State’s PR Department and asked if someone would like to talk to the chapter about planning the 50th commemoration of the May 4, 1970 campus shootings. I figured it would be a pretty big media day, probably a lot of live feed news trucks on campus – how was their team going to handle all that? Might be a pretty good story for you, our members, to hear! 

Rod Flauhaus, who is the project manager for the entire weekend program(s) of remembrance, put together an exhaustive and detailed plan for the event. And now that it’s been announced that Jane Fonda will be giving the keynote address – Rod told me that back in October (and he said don’t tell anyone – and I didn’t!), I figured we might have some ‘you-know-what’ it the fan, like it did last week with the Ohio Secretary of State openly opposing the choice. So, now add, ‘What’s it like planning to host an event with a controversial’ keynote speaker to the presentation’s Q&A session!!

What’s the program entail? Well, to fully grasp what it was like to have our own government troops come onto an American campus, and ultimately kill four young people, and what it was like for the PR professionals to manage the events that took place – you truly have to understand the landscape of the country at that time. So Rod, joined by Dr. Chic Canfora, will be telling their story – the planning, protesting, messaging, media, candlelight vigils, even coordinating the concerts (Joe Walsh, who was on campus that day, and David Crosby – yes they will be playing “Ohio”), and Jane Fonda, too; should make for a fascinating communications discussion.



Every year PRSA National offers some special offers that should not be overlooked.

Check these out:

January 1 to March 31, 2020

  • Free Chapter dues ($70 value)
  • Free Section dues (There are 12 PRSA sections, most at $65)
  • Associate Members (three years or less in PR) (From $60 to $200)

April 1 to June 30

  • $25 Amazon Gift Card for new regular members ($260 duesz0

July 1 to August 31

  • Free one-year Chapter dues ($70)
  • Initiation fee for new members waived ($65)


  • Free one-year Chapter dues and $65 initiation fee waived—$125 savings
  • TRIPLE PLAY— Free one-year Chapter dues ($70)

Free one-year Section dues (most at $65)

Free Initiation/Reinstatement fee ($65/$35)


  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • Waive one-year Chapter dues ($70)

Contact Ed Stevens, APR, VP Membership for details—estevens@stevensstrategic.com



“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

PRSA Greater Cleveland Chapter Recognizes Northeast Ohio’s Best in Communications

CLEVELAND – December 5, 2018 – The Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Greater Cleveland Chapter recognized the area’s best in marketing and public relations at the 16th annual Cleveland Rocks Awards on Tuesday, December 4, at the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park.

This year, more than 65 Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were given to corporations, nonprofits and agencies and their clients in recognition of excellent communication programs and tactics.

The Cleveland Foundation’s community relations campaign, “Common Ground 2018” won the coveted Best in Show award.

Falls Communications, an integrated marketing and communications agency, won the Judge’s Choice Award for its press release entry titled, “Erie Insurance Reveals Surprising Driving Distraction.”

“We were excited to celebrate another year of the PRSA Cleveland Rocks Awards at Rocksino,” said Bob Rotatori, president of PRSA Greater Cleveland. “This year’s awards recognized the best work in public relations and communications being done right here in Cleveland.”

Annually, the PRSA Cleveland Rocks Awards acknowledge Northeast Ohio’s outstanding PR programs, which incorporate research, planning, execution and evaluation. Award winners demonstrate leadership in public relations and contribute to advancing the profession locally.

The San Diego chapter of PRSA judged this year’s award entries.

Falls Communications served as the platinum sponsor for the 2018 Cleveland Rocks Awards and the Hardrock Rocksino served as presenting sponsor and host for the awards banquet. The event’s Gold Rocker sponsor was First Energy and

Gold Rocks Award winners:
Campaigns: Community Relations
Common Ground 2018, Cleveland Foundation

Campaigns: Events
Amplifying the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Campaigns: Integrated Communications
My Body Matters Campaign on Behalf of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Prosper for Purpose

Campaigns: Media Relations, Local/Regional
Bridgestone Invitational: Maximizing Local and Charitable Impact, Falls Communications

Campaigns: Media Relations, National
Vitamix Media Relations: Reaching new audiences, communicating a “better me”, Falls Communications

Tactics: Annual Reports
MAP to Growth: RPM International Inc.’s 2018 Annual Report, Roop & Company

Tactics: Best Paid B2C Social Media Campaign, >$500
Behr Color Clinic 2018, Marcus Thomas LLC

Tactics: Best Social Media Campaign for a Non-Profit and/or Governmental Agency
Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2018 Social Media Campaign: Listen. Believe. Support., Cleveland Rape Crisis Center

Tactics: Best Use of B2B Blog
Blogging the Way to Small-Business Growth, Roop & Company

Tactics: Best Use of Influencer Promotion
FrogTape® Paintover Challenge® Room Makeover Influencer Campaign, Falls Communications

Tactics: Best Use of Twitter Account
Cleveland State University Announces 7th President on Twitter, Cleveland State University

Tactics: Books, Guides or Resource Directory
Digger Dog Storybook: “Digger Dog Uses His Nose and Becomes A Safety Hero”, Fahlgren Mortine with Columbia Gas

Tactics: eNewsletter
Sherwin Williams Aerospace Coatings ‘E-Finish’ Electronic Newsletter, Falls Communications

Tactics: Op-Ed
Vocational Guidance Services Op/Ed, Falls Communications

Tactics: Press Release
Erie Insurance Reveals Surprising Driving Distraction Press Release, Falls Communications

Silver Rocks Award winners:
Campaigns: B2B Campaigns
Eriez Exceeds 90% Placements in Tier One Publications, Stevens Strategic Communications

Campaigns: Brand and Reputation Management
ADA Becomes Relevant Again, Stevens Strategic Communications

Campaigns: Community Relations
The Cleveland Museum of Art – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan, The Cleveland Museum of Art

Campaigns: Crisis Communications
Personally Responding to Employees When Their Identities are in Danger, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Campaigns: Events
2017 Open House is the Number One Event in the Number Two Business, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Campaigns: Integrated Communications
Helping Californians Beat the Beep – Kidde Educates Consumers on CO Safety, Fahlgren Mortine with Kidde

Campaigns: Internal Communications
Martin Senour 2017-2018 Internal Sales Promotions Guide, Falls Communications

Campaigns: Media Relations, Local/Regional
Vocational Guidance Services Local Media Relations Program, Falls Communications

Campaigns: Media Relations, National
The North American Menopause Society National Media Relations Program, Falls Communications

Campaigns: Pro Bono Program
15th Annual PRSA Cleveland Rocks Awards, Falls Communications

Tactics: Best Paid B2C Social Media Campaign, >$500
Improvements Catalogue Social Media Campaign, Falls Communications

Tactics: Best Social Media Campaign for a Non-Profit and/or Governmental Agency
“Let’s Ask” Video Series, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Tactics: Best Use of B2C Blog
Cleveland Plus Living Here Blog, Citrus Social

Tactics: Best Use of Influencer Promotion
Troy-Bilt Flip the Yard Challenge: 4 experts. 4 projects. 1 weekend., Marcus Thomas LLC

Tactics: Best Use of Instagram
The Ohio Lottery Instagram Challenge, Marcus Thomas LLC

Tactics: Best Use of Twitter Account
KeyBank Tweets Its Way to Fans’ Hearts with the Off-Season’s Greetings Tweetstakes, Marcus Thomas

Tactics: Best Use of YouTube Channel (or other video-sharing site)
Erie Insurance Sheds Light on Dangers of Daydreaming While Driving, Falls Communications

Tactics: Books, Guides or Resource Directory
CORDURA® Brand Takes Media on Global Journey, Sweeney

Tactics: Feature Article
Adapting to Automatic Payments: KeyBank takes accounts receivable processes digital, Roop & Company

Tactics: Multimedia Content Online Newsroom or Digital Media Kit
Cleveland Clinic Performs Its Third Face Transplant on Youngest Recipient in U.S.: Katie Stubblefield’s Story, Cleveland Clinic

Tactics: Multimedia Content, Podcasts/Audio
“Prescription for Hope”, The MetroHealth System

Tactics: Press Release
CORDURA® Brand Teams with Carhartt on Full Swing Steel Workwear Line, Sweeney

Tactics: Website/mobile application
Tech Air Launches Rebrand with Revamped Website, Sweeney

Tactics: Whitepaper
What the Top 1% of Small-Business Owners Do to Achieve Sustained Growth, Roop & Company

Bronze Rocks Award winners:
Campaigns: Brand and Reputation Management, Modernizing Service Assurance: Monolith Software and Product Rebrand, Roop & Company

Campaigns: Community Relations
Kidde Helps Educate Missouri Community About Fire Safety in Wake of Tragic Fire, Fahlgren Mortine with Kidde
GOAT with the Flo, Progressive Insurance
Shack Opens First Ohio Location on Cleveland’s East Side, Sweeney

Campaigns: Integrated Communications
Redefine Campaign on Behalf of the Ohio Department of Liquor Control, Prosper for Purpose
Team NEO Digital Lead Generation Program, Team NEO

Campaigns: Media Relations, Local/Regional
Dunkin’ Spotlights Youngstown Employee Through Anniversary Celebration, Fahlgren Mortine with Dunkin’
Paving the Way for a New Construction Leader in Northeast Ohio: Rudolph Libbe Group, Falls Communications
Duck Tape Festival – Local Media Relations, Falls Communications
The Making of a Big Ash Deal, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
Book Launch Publicity for The Company of Demons, Roop & Company
Cantina Laredo Debuts in Cleveland, Stevens Strategic Communications
Shake Shack Opens First Ohio Location on Cleveland’s East Side, Sweeney

Campaigns: Media Relations, National
Media Relations Program Shines Light on North Dakota’s Legendary Travel Offerings, Fahlgren Mortine with North Dakota Tourism
Duck Brand Stuck at Prom National Media Relations, Falls Communications
U by Moen™ Shower with Voice Activation Launch Campaign, Falls Communications
Cleveland Plus: Bolstering National Coverage of Northeast Ohio to Benefit the Region, Team NEO – Dix & Eaton

Campaigns: Pro Bono Program
Media Relations Helps Increase Annual Event Attendance by More Than 50 Percent, Fahlgren Mortine with Cuyahoga County Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument

Tactics: Best Social Media Campaign for a Non-Profit and/or Governmental Agency
North Dakota Tourism Uses Social Media to Share State’s Legendary Sunflower Bloom, Fahlgren Mortine with North Dakota Tourism

Tactics: Best Use of B2C Blog
WOAH: Your goldfish become giant monsters if you release them into the wild, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Tactics: Best Use of Influencer Promotion
Dunkin’ Northeast Ohio Uses Influencers to Share the Brand’s New Dunkin’ Run Menu, Fahlgren Mortine with Dunkin’
Shake Shack Opens First Ohio Location on Cleveland’s East Side, Sweeney

Tactics: Best Use of YouTube Channel (or other video-sharing site)
Erie Insurance Shows Generational Differences, Falls Communications

Tactics: Feature Article
Viega “Go with the Flow: Best Practices for Maintaining Water Movement in Plumbing Systems” Feature Article, Sonnhalter
CORDURA® Brand Teams with Carhartt on Full Swing Steel Workwear Line, Sweeney

Tactics: Promotional Content, Media Kit
Union Bank & Trust Mingles with New Market, Sweeney

Tactics: Website/Mobile Application
Reinventing the Bernzomatic Digital Ecosystem, Fahlgren Mortine with Bernzomatic

About PRSA Greater Cleveland
The PRSA Greater Cleveland Chapter is the professional organization that brings together public relations, communications and marketing practitioners throughout Northeast Ohio. For more information, visit prsacleveland.org.

New in Town? Tips for Cleveland Newbies

By Rachel Burns, Coordinator of Communications & Operations, University Hospitals

Moving to a new city can be exciting and challenging for many reasons. Here are a few professional tips that I learned after moving to Cleveland from Chicago a year ago.

Settle in and explore.

You just moved to Cleveland. Take a moment to settle into your new home, neighborhood and city. You’ve likely heard Cleveland has changed and grown over the years, use this time to explore all that it has to offer. I love to read Cleveland Scene for local news and events.

Become involved.

Once you’re settled in and have had a chance to see Cleveland, take the time to research professional or volunteer opportunities. A new city is a new chance to explore your interests and become involved with an organization and meet like-minded people. Reach out to members to learn more about the opportunity, it’s a great way to build your professional and personally network. Also, Engage! Cleveland is popular among Cleveland’s young professionals and is a resource for getting them connected and established in Cleveland.

Looking for a job?

If you’re new to Cleveland and looking for a position, there are a variety of resources at your fingertips. Be sure to check out the current jobs posted on PRSACleveland.org. Also, HunterComm is an e-newsletter you can subscribe to and receive the latest communications and marketing jobs in Northeast Ohio. In addition to online research, networking and attending professional events is a fantastic way to learn about opportunities or a new company that might not appear in your online searches.

Build a network.

Be sure to engage with others and build your network beyond the period of your job hunt. Take the time to schedule meetings with individuals that share similar interests or careers and try to stick to regular meetings with them. This is also a great opportunity to develop a mentor and/or mentee relationship. Looking for a place to meet? The West Side Market Cafe is in a popular Cleveland destination and has available parking, which is always a plus.

Lastly, PRSA always welcomes professionals that are new to the Cleveland area. Check out our events or reach out to any of the board members if you’re interested in learning more about the Cleveland chapter.




By Matthew Cummings, assistant director of online programs for West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media

“At the end of the day, it’s all about ROI.”

Our time and money are simply too valuable to invest in opportunities that do not provide a positive return — whether it’s a business deal, a client relationship or hiring decision.

At the WVU Reed College of Media, we believe a student’s decision to pursue an online master’s degree should be no different. The WVU IMC Master’s degree program is an award-winning, 33-credit program with more than 30 online courses. And it’s always evolving based on industry innovations and best practices.

At the center of the curriculum are core courses, which provide all students with a solid marketing communications foundation. The core is enhanced by a wide variety of specialty courses and more than 20 electives that allow students to focus on individual areas of interest. The degree can be completed online in as little as 18 months, and no residency is required.

As an administrator and instructor in West Virginia University’s Integrated Marketing Communications online graduate program, it is my job to help students achieve ROI on their master’s degrees — and I’m not only talking about the “soft” ROI many think of such as improved knowledge, skills and abilities.

To calculate quantifiable ROI, we regularly measure the direct impact our master’s degree is having on individuals through alumni and student success surveys. In our most recent survey conducted this fall, we learned that WVU IMC students highly value their education and that our program has offered a significant ROI:

  • 98% of respondents said they have or would recommend the program to a friend/colleague;
  • 88% believe that their IMC master’s degree directly led them to a better position and/or promotion;
  • 55% of all respondents had seen an income increase of more than 15%; and
  • 71% of respondents who graduated three or more years ago indicated that their income increased 15% or more and 50% of those report an increase of 25% or more.

In fact, we have partnered with the Public Relations Society of America and local chapters like the Greater Cleveland Chapter of PRSA because IMC meets an important PR industry need. PRSA members around the country have consistently identified IMC as one of the top five competencies public relations and communication professionals will need in the future, according to PRSA CEO Joe Truncale.

As you know, Mr. Truncale will be in Cleveland April 27 to discuss the changing demands on the profession, ethical issues and the importance of sharpening skill sets and competencies. WVU College of Media Assistant Dean Chad Mezera and I will be there too and we invite you to learn more about how an online IMC master’s degree can help prepare you and make a positive investment in your future.

We are proud of the fact that so many IMC students have been able to apply the skills they learned to move ahead professionally — and the industry tells us this need will continue to grow.

We look forward to meeting you!

Matthew Cummings teaches IMC 610, the WVU IMC graduate program’s introductory course.