2023 is right around the corner and it’s officially circle back season. We have one ask for you before you head out for a well-deserved holiday break: mark your calendars to join us on the third Thursday of each month for lunch, networking and professional development. We’re bringing back our monthly luncheons and we can’t wait to see you again. From leveraging award recognitions to our highly anticipated media panel and everything in between, we’ll be helping you further your career throughout 2023. Additional details, including registration, coming in the new year.
Thank you to all who joined us this month for our annual holiday party and awards celebration. Your presence not only made for a fun evening but a meaningful awards ceremony for our distinguished and deserving recipients (see more below).
This year’s holiday party, as well as all of our 2022 programming, was made possible by an all-volunteer group of Board members and committee members. It takes a village and I truly appreciate mine. I want to thank outgoing Board members Past President Elyse Jones, Community Outreach Christy McGee, APR director of communications with Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, and Awards Chair Erin Connolly, manager of marketing and human resources with Active Release Techniques, for their leadership and work the past few years, especially during the pandemic as we pivoted over and over. Their contributions are many and beyond appreciated by my fellow Board members and me.
I also want to welcome our incoming Board members, Krista Heinicke, director of public relations with The Broadmoor, and Mayo Davison, communications specialist with the Space Foundation. If you’re interested in joining a committee to help our Board this year, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love your participation.
Wishing you a peaceful and relaxing year end. We’ll see you in 2023.
2023 President, Pikes Peak PRSA Board of Directors
Congratulations to our award recipients honored at this year’s holiday party on Dec. 9:
2023 Fred Morgan Scholar: Mayo Davison, Space Foundation
Fred W. Morgan Scholarship is awarded to a new professional who has been in the PR field between one and five years and is not yet a member of PRSA. Scholarship covers the dues ($300 value) for the first year and provides an opportunity for Board service.
Pinnacle Award: JP Arnold, APR, Bridgers & Paxton
The Pinnacle Award is awarded for lifetime achievement in the field of public relations. Recipient must be a member in good standing of PRSA and the Pikes Peak Chapter with a minimum of 20 years of experience in the field of Public Relations.
PeakPRo Excellence in PR Awards
The Peak Pro Award is awarded to an individual or organization for PR work that stands out as exceptionally effective, creative and/or inspiring, and exhibit personal and professional qualities that make them role models for other PR practitioners.
It is with much respect and gratitude that we recognized the outstanding work of several individuals and organizations for demonstrating the highest level in professionalism for their work as PIOs following the tragedy at Club Q. Their commitment to excellence reflects great credit upon themselves, their organizations, our community and the public relations sector.
Colorado Springs Police Department
City of Colorado Springs Communications
El Paso County
Colorado Springs Fire Department
Office of the District Attorney, Fourth Judicial District
El Paso County Sherriff’s Department
El Paso County Public Health
Visit Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs Utilities
Fountain Police Department
Honoring Two of Pikes Peak PRSA’s Best
It was great to see so many of you at our Holiday Mixer earlier this month! In case you missed it, we honored Mark Murphy, APR, with our 2019 Pinnacle Award for lifetime achievement in the field of public relations. In his role as Customer and Workforce Communications Manager at Colorado Springs Utilities, Mark has long exhibited what it means to be a PR professional, serving as a role model and mentor to many. Congratulations, Mark!
A Huge Thanks to Fred Morgan
On behalf of the Pikes Peak PRSA Board of Directors and members, we salute Fred Morgan, APR, Fellow PRSA, for his years of board service to our PR community.
Fred joined our chapter shortly after moving here from New Mexico in the mid-1990s and served in a number of roles including President, APR Chair, Treasurer and Community Outreach. He’s been instrumental in building the Pikes Peak Communications Network to enhance coordination among Pikes Peak-area public information officers and will continue his work with this group in 2020.
Take a moment to watch this video JP Arnold put together to honor Fred.
*** The Fred Morgan New PR Professional Scholarship ***
We are still taking applications for the Fred Morgan Scholarship! This is the third year of this very successful scholarship. Our two previous Fred Morgan Scholars have shown great leadership on our board and our team has benefitted from their help and advice.
Click here to apply or visit www.prsacoloradosprings.org/scholarship for this free one-year PRSA membership and join our 2020 Board of Directors! What a wonderful PR gift and a fantastic way to start 2020!
Looking Ahead to 2020
It’s official: here’s your Pikes Peak PRSA 2020 Board of Directors!
President/Assembly Delegate: Allison Cortez, Director for Communication, Academy District 20
President-Elect/Advocacy: Andy Sinclair, Communications Advisor at Penrose St-Francis Health Services, Centura Health
Vice President/Programs: Elyse Jones, Community Partnership Coordinator, Pikes Peak Library District
Treasurer: Janet Stevens, APR, Retired
Secretary: Michaela Collins, Public Relations Specialist, Academy District 20
Past President/Ethics: Andrew Montgomery, APR, Manager of Organizational Development and Communications, Focus on the Family
Membership: Andrea Mensink, Communications Coordinator, Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC
Community Outreach: Christy McGee, APR, Director of Communications, Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8
Communications: Carolyn Stephen, Communications Specialist, Widefield School District 3
Awards: Erin Garcia, Utilities Communication Specialist, City of Fountain
Accreditation: JP Arnold, APR, Marketing and Business Development Manager, Bridgers & Paxton
Thanks to each of you for being a part of the Pikes Peak PRSA. It’s been an honor to serve as your President in 2019, and I can’t wait to see you all in the new year!
Your Chance to Hear from Local TV News Directors
Come hear about the state of TV news on Wednesday, November 13, at The Warehouse! KOAA’s news director Ryan Hazelwood and KRDO reporter Dani Fried are confirmed so far. Our panelists will talk about what’s new, what’s changing and what challenges their industry is facing. They’ll also offer their perspective on how PR can partner with media in today’s climate and culture. Pay online or RSVP to pay at the door.
And please save the date for our December Holiday Mixer at The Warehouse on Monday, December 2, between 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Are You Interested in Serving with Our Board of Directors in 2020?
A nominating committee is in the process of recommending a slate to be put before our membership for a vote in November. If you’re interested in being considered, please email email@example.com by Friday, November 8.
Help a Student Out
Christina Mascarenas, a former member of our chapter, is doing an M.A. in Journalism with an emphasis in Strategic Communications: Public Relations at the University of Missouri.
She’s looking to interview government public information officers for her graduate project. Interviews will be conducted between January and March 2020 and will be semi-structured. You can take part in them over the phone or on Skype. Your name and agency and responses will be kept anonymous.
Please email Christina at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Not a PRSA Member Yet? The Best Promotion of the Year Ends on Oct. 31
For only a few more days, those joining the PRSA will receive a free one-year membership to the Pikes Peak PRSA chapter, a free one-year section membership and a free initiation fee. Use the promo code FALL19 at https://www.prsa.org/membership/join-or-renew.
Crisis Communications Workshop a Success
Before closing, I want to thank everyone who joined us for our crisis communications workshop earlier this month! I want to especially express appreciation for our speakers: Fred Morgan, Chris Valentine, Amy Sufak, Kim Melchor and Bill Fortune. We heard great feedback from attendees who shared they walked away with practical crisis communications takeaways from all of the presentations. And KRDO stopped by to cover the event.
I hope to see you on November 13!
Andrew Montgomery, APR
President, Pikes Peak PRSA
Pikes Peak PRSA is packed with activities and opportunities for professional development in the fall, and it all starts on September 11 with our upcoming luncheon on accessible communications. Don’t forget to save the date for our annual workshop on October 16 – the program is being designed to give you the tools you need to be ready for the next PR crisis that comes your way.
September Luncheon – Accessible Communication for All
Are your communications reaching the entire community, or do individuals with disabilities face barriers in accessing your content?
Join us for a conversation with Sadie Martinez, the Access and Functional Needs Coordinator for the Colorado Division of Homeland Security Emergency Management, as she covers strategies and tips to promote inclusive, accessible communication.
RSVP today, and we’ll see you at 11:30 a.m. at The Warehouse on Wednesday, September 11!
Last Call for APR Class
Ready to take the next step in your public relations career? If so, becoming Accredited in Public Relations (APR) may be right for you! We’re still looking for a few people to join our September cohort workshop. Contact Catherine Creppon, APR Chair, at email@example.com for more details!
Save the Date – Crisis Communications Workshop
Crisis Communications – PR to the Rescue
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at D11 Tesla Professional Development
2560 International Circle, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Fred W. Morgan Scholarship Opportunity for New Professionals
If the criteria below describes you, please apply for the Fred W. Morgan Scholarship!
The deadline to apply is September 30, and you can download the application at http://www.prsacoloradosprings.org/fred-morgan-scholarship.html.
• 1-5 years of experience in Communications/Public Relations field
• Willing to serve in some capacity on Pikes Peak PRSA board or within committee structure
• Not a current member of PRSA
Vista and Pinnacle Awards
Our Vista Award, recognizing a community leader, and Pinnacle Award, honoring lifetime achievement in public relations, will be awarded at our November luncheon. Go to http://www.prsacoloradosprings.org/awards.html to read more about these and send your nominations to PikesPeakPRSA@prsa.org.
September is PRSA’s Ethics Month. Check out these resources at https://www.prsa.org/ethics/resources/
Thanks for being a part of the Pikes Peak PRSA. Hope to see you soon!
Andrew Montgomery, APR
President, Pikes Peak PRSA
With July winding down, PRSA events are starting back up! It’s been too long since we’ve gotten together, but there are opportunities to fix that over the next few weeks. And there’s a chance for you to take the next step in your PR career coming soon, as well.
Read below to find out more about how you can be connected with the Pikes Peak PRSA.
Happy Hour Next Tuesday
Next Tuesday, July 30, join your PRSA colleagues for a drink at the Cork & Cask. It all gets started at 4:30 p.m., and there’s no RSVP necessary – just show up to meet with a great group of PR professionals in your city. Cork & Cask is located at 60 E. Moreno Street.
August Luncheon: “Courage to Speak Truth to Power”
We’ve got some fantastic speakers on tap for our August 14 luncheon at The Warehouse!
Colorado Springs Utilities CEO Aram Benyamin, P.E., will present along with Customer and Workforce Communications Manager Mark Murphy, APR.
Listen to Aram and Mark discuss how they work together on the leadership team, what Mark's role is and how he counsels Aram and the Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) leadership team during tough decisions and challenges that CSU faces.
This luncheon will feature an open and honest dialogue from a team that leads in ethical decision-making, and Aram and Mark will be happy to take any questions about how attendees can do the same in their own organizations.
RSVP today at http://www.prsacoloradosprings.org/monthly-luncheons.html!
APR Class Around the Corner
Are you ready to take the next step in your public relations career? If so, becoming Accredited in Public Relations (APR) may be right for you! Our next APR cohort workshop will begin in September (exact dates to be determined based on availability of attendees).
What you need to know?
So are you ready? If so, email Catherine Creppon, APR Chair, by August 15 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for being a part of the Pikes Peak PRSA community - I look forward to seeing you in person at our upcoming events!
Andrew Montgomery, APR
Pikes Peak PRSA Chapter
Pikes Peak PRSA Celebrates Our 25th Silver Anniversary!
Throughout our Silver Anniversary Year, we’ll be sharing photos and memories from past chapter presidents to mark 25 years.
And we’d love to hear from you! What do you hope to see from the Pikes Peak PRSA as we begin our next quarter century of connecting and preparing communications professionals in the region? Feel free to send me your thoughts at Andrew.Montgomery.PR@gmail.com.
While we’re on the subject, if you feel your video creation and editing skills are more 1994 than 2019, do yourself a favor and register for our May 8th luncheon where Richard Praytor and Emma Brokaw will offer strategies and tips that anyone can implement immediately to create better videos. All the information for registering online or RSVPing and paying at the door can be found on our website.
Hope to see you there!
In every PR professional’s life, there are unforgettable campaigns that leave you stronger in your public relations skills and abilities.
While there’s nothing quite like going through one of these campaigns yourself, we can glean great insights from others’ experiences – and one of our own Pikes Peak PRSA members just wrapped up a crucial phase of a major effort that’s helped her significantly stretch and grow professionally.
Pikes Peak PRSA Vice President Andy Sinclair played an integral role in announcing
a new partnership between the MD Anderson Cancer Network and Centura Health, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center.
At Wednesday’s monthly luncheon, Andy plans to share highlights including the following:
· Effectively collaborating with communications professionals across multiple organizations
· Evaluating and selecting the best communications channels
· The lessons she learned as the campaign unfolded
Also, as you’re considering how you’ll invest in your career this year, APR Chair Catherine Creppon will host a brief panel featuring Christy McGee, JP Arnold and me to discuss what becoming Accredited in Public Relations (APR) has meant to us and why we’d recommend the journey.
Hope to see you at The Warehouse on Wednesday! You can register and pay online or RSVP and pay at the door.
All the best,
From Your PRSA President
As we head into March at the Pikes Peak PRSA, there are a few things I want to share with all of you.
Our March 5 coffee event would be better with you there!
For just $5.00, join us for coffee, conversation and pastries on Tuesday, March 5, from 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. at Peak Place. Best of all, you’ll get to talk with fascinating public relations people – I’ve seen the RSVP list so far, and I can vouch for this.
Save the Date for March Happy Hour and United States Olympic Museum Tour
Get a sneak peek tour of the United States Olympic Museum downtown on Monday, March 18, at 4:00 p.m.
RSVP here - space is limited to the first 20 people who respond. There’s no cost for this tour.
Immediately after at 5:00 p.m., everyone is welcome to join us at Streetcar520 for a happy hour. Cash bar.
Online payment option coming?
We’re working to set up an online payment option for our events to make registering more convenient for you. If you have experience setting up an events payment platform and have any advice as we explore options, feel free to email me at Andrew.Montgomery.PR@gmail.com.
Recognizing excellent work in Colorado Springs
I want to once more recognize two of our members for stellar work in our community:
We’re proud of both you – well done!
And thanks to everyone for being a part of building a strong community of public relations professionals in Colorado Springs. Hope to see you at our March events!
All the best,
Andrew Montgomery, APR
Pikes Peak PRSA Chapter
Three Ideas for Getting the Most Out of the PRSA in 2019
On June 2, 2015, I emailed the Pikes Peak PRSA for the first time:
“I just joined the PRSA Pikes Peak chapter and am planning on attending the lunch on Thursday. Do you have any advice for a first-time attender of a PRSA event?”
I don’t remember exactly what advice JP Arnold, then the vice-president/programs chair, offered, but it must have been good! Attending my first PRSA luncheon was the first step in becoming involved with a group of people I’m extremely grateful for. Over the past three-and-a-half years, I’ve made friends, gained opportunities and received education and training that I’d never have gotten without the PRSA.
As I begin my term as president, I’ve given some thought to how I’d answer an email like the one I sent in 2015. Here’s my advice for anyone considering attending an event for the first time or wanting to connect to the chapter more deeply in 2019.
1) Attend an event. And then another one. And another one after that.
I remember how it felt in June 2015 to walk in to my first luncheon with a notebook, a handful of business cards, and a sense that there was still time to abandon the plan and go have lunch at Chipotle by myself.
I got out of my comfort zone, met several people and enjoyed the luncheon. But to really feel connected, there’s no substitute for persistence. Just keep showing up.
I’ll put in a plug for starting now – RSVP for our January 16 luncheon where the UCCS Communication Department's Laura Austin Eurich will give you insights on what PR and communications students are learning and explain how you can best relate to the next generation of PR professionals in the workplace.
And if it’s your first time attending, I look forward to meeting you!
2) Be curious. Ask questions.
With more than 70 PRSA members in our region, we can be incredible resources for one another. I’m a firm believer that asking good questions of the right people powerfully unlocks potential. We’re all facing public relations opportunities and challenges in our organizations, and it’s very likely that someone in the chapter has experienced something similar and has ideas to share.
We’re planning morning coffees and evening happy hours in addition to our luncheons in 2019 – all perfect chances to ask questions and gain wisdom from your PRSA colleagues.
3) Share your time and talents with us!
For me, joining the board in 2017 deepened my connection with the PRSA and strengthened my relationships with others in the chapter, but there are other ways to become involved. We’re already looking for volunteers to assist in planning our annual workshop in October – please let me know if you’re interested in pitching in!
Welcome from the Entire 2019 Board!
With that, I want to introduce you to the 2019 Pikes Peak PRSA Board of Directors. We’re here to bring value to the Pikes Peak PR community and look forward to carrying on the strong legacy built by Immediate Past President Christy McGee and those who served before her. And with Allison Cortez as president-elect and Andy Sinclair as vice-president, the chapter’s future is in good hands for years to come.
If you have any questions or ideas to share, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me by emailing Andrew.Montgomery.PR@gmail.com or calling or texting 719-238-3018.
May 2019 be the year you decide to go deeper with the PRSA!
Andrew Montgomery, APR
Pikes Peak PRSA Chapter
Thankful for our PRSA Chapter!
As we enter the Thanksgiving season, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for where our chapter has been and where we are going. I am extremely proud to be a part of our PR family and each of you who have played a pivotal part in our collective efforts.
First, I want to personally invite you to hear Mayor John Suthers and his Communications Chief Jamie Fabos discuss effective communications this Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 11:30 to 1 p.m. at The Warehouse. The mayor has demonstrated what it takes to inform our community in times of crisis, change and celebration. You see him on the news, at events and on his Twitter account… seems like daily! This takes planning, time and coordination. With this, the mayor will be awarded our annual Vista Award for outstanding communications. Well deserved! See you this Wednesday!
Next, it was simply amazing to have such a distinguished speaker list at our annual professional development workshop this past Oct. 25th. I want to say a special thanks to our National Chair Jane Dvorak for sharing her insights on strategy and for speaking with our PR and communications students. We had a great turnout as we all learned a lot about the PRSA’s four-step planning RPIE process. School district 11 provided an excellent venue and food services! Thank you for a wonderful workshop!
Do you like to be part of a stellar team? Of course you do! We have a few more spots on our 2018 chapter board. Christy McGee, APR is slated to be our 2018 board president. She is a dynamic PR pro and leader! Our 2017 Fred Morgan Scholar Elyse Jones will be part of next year’s board and we want you to join us as well!
Finally, we will celebrate the past year and the 2018 at our annual evening holiday mixer at The Warehouse, Dec. 7. We will have more details in the upcoming weeks.
Wrapping up, I want to thank you for being part of our PR family! I hope to see you this Wednesday as our mayor talks about effective communications.
JP Arnold, APR