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  • prsawis 2:51 pm on October 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Crisis, Crisis Communications, , PRSSA, Whitewater,   

    Young Pros Learn Crisis Comms 

    ImageOn Wednesday, September 25, fifteen students from UW-Whitewater attended “PRSA Young Pros Discuss: Crisis Communication in Milwaukee.” The purpose of this event was to inform, teach and help college students in the field of public relations understand how to handle a crisis in communication.  The people who attended were divided into three groups and given a different crisis communication case to work through as if they were the PR coordinator. 

                The PRSA Young Pros had three seasoned professionals that attended as well and jumped into the groups to help evaluate and understand the crisis communication process.   Carol Weber, Matthew Wisla and Alan Gaudynski, all PRSA members, led each group discussion.  Each has many years of experience in public relations and was happy to pass along knowledge and advice.

             The event had excellent attendance and the students who attended all were able to walk away with new people to network with, advice to take home, and more knowledge about what crisis communication is and how to go about managing crises. 

    — Justina Kruser, UW Whitewater student


  • prsawis 11:08 pm on May 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2013 Paragons, agencies, agency, awards, banquet, , Paragon Awards, Paragons, , SE Wisconsin, SEWISPRSA,   

    2013 Paragon Awards–An impressive display of PR Prowess! 

    The majestic Empire Room at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center was THE place to be on Tuesday, May 21, as we celebrated the 2013 Paragon Awards and more than 50 area communications professionals were honored.


    Laughlin Constable was honored with the Best in Show award for the agency’s work with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (even the Governor tweeted his congratulations). The Best in Show award-winning submission – “Travel Wisconsin Helps Keep Wisconsinites Warm with ‘The Big Bundle Up’” – served to promote the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s annual community relations campaign to collect warm clothing items for needy families. The campaign – spearheaded by Lisa Todd of Laughlin Constable and Danielle Johnson of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism – utilized multiple communications platforms resulting in a 550 percent year-over-year increase in the total number of items collected. Judges, comprised of a panel of PR experts from around the country, were impressed with the project’s excellent results on a relatively small budget and its solid, measurable objectives. 

     “We had many outstanding submissions this year,” said Don Klein, chapter president. “It’s truly a testament to the quality of communications work going on in the region.”

    This year’s Communicator of the Year is Jeff Sherman, president and co-owner of A vital part of since 2000, Jeff uses his love of sports, community building and all things Milwaukee to bring colorful stories and content to the site, which has become a Wisconsin institution over the last 15 years.

    This year’s winner of the Dorothy Thomas Black award is Dale Brown, APR. Dale led the firm Brown and Martin for more than 30 years before his recent retirement. His use of ventriloquism as a serious communications tool has gained him national attention. Dale is a past president of the chapter and brought out his dummy for a truly memorable acceptance speech.

    So who else received awards for their hard work? Lots of people, lots of agencies. Far too many to name here (you don’t want to read a blog post that long, trust me)! 

    Congratulations to ALL the award winners. We’re so proud of the Chapter’s members’ accomplishments. And a special thank you to all those who worked diligently behind the scenes to get this event happen. Excellent job! 

    We’re looking for event planners to help with next year’s Paragon Awards–great experience and a terrific way to give back to the Chapter. If you’re interested, please contact President-Elect Samantha Andrews, APR at

    See a few photos from the event in the PRSA Facebook gallery.

  • prsawis 8:00 pm on May 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: paragonawards,   

    Show us your Paragons! 

    The 2013 Paragon Awards are less than two weeks away! As they approach we thought it would be fun to share some winning entries from previous years.

    Here’s where you come in.

    If you have an award winning case study from a previous year that you are proud of (and why wouldn’t you be) please send it to us and we will share it with the world!

    Show everyone what you’ve got and submit your winning case studies to now!

    The Southeastern Wisconsin chapter of PRSA’s annual Paragon Awards luncheon is at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 21 at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.

  • prsawis 10:50 pm on April 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bussler, mentor, mentor program, teach, young pro   

    Eager to Mentor 

    Like many folks, I sometimes wish I had the ability to travel back in time so I could give some friendly advice to the younger version of myself. Of course, there are the obvious tips that I’d try to pass along: study harder…eat healthier…get more sleep…say hello to THAT girl. But, there’s also something less obvious that could have benefited me tremendously – connecting with a professional mentor.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with some incredibly talented professionals through the years. Many of these people helped “show me the ropes” and offered critically important career guidance when it was needed. But, I never had a formal mentor relationship and would have enjoyed having access to an industry veteran to discuss PR best practices, career growth, and the countless other challenges young pros often encounter.

    Unfortunately, I can’t jump into a time-traveling DeLorean and magically produce a mentor for the younger version of myself. But, I can help today’s young PR pros avoid this same regret. That’s why I’m participating as a mentor in the PRSA Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter’s new mentor program.

    Through this program, I’m eager to give back to the PR profession while helping to shape the future of the industry. I’m also thankful for the opportunity to potentially enhance my own coaching and leadership skills. And, most importantly, I look forward to building a new and mutually-beneficial relationship with a young and talented PR practitioner.

    For more details about our chapter’s new mentor program – or to join me as a program participant – simply email

    –Bill Bussler

    mentor 2

  • prsawis 1:35 am on March 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Admirals, Greenburg, hockey, , Milwaukee Admirals, promotions, skating, Wojchiechowski, Wojo   

    Free skating lessons at upcoming luncheon? 


    Rumor has it that the speakers at the March 20 luncheon (Milwaukee Admirals marketing gurus) will be giving ice skating lessons to all who attend. Better register now!

    Well, maybe the “Dynamic Duo”  of Jon Greenburg, president of the Milwaukee Admirals, and Mike Wojchiechowski, vice president of business development, won’t be donning skates for their presentation, but these marketing magicians will reveal their secrets of Integrated marketing, promotions and publicity. Find out how the Admirals use these tools to build their brand, create a fun fan experience, and, most importantly, increase sales. You’re sure to learn tips to apply to your own clients and brands. Register NOW!

  • prsawis 7:19 pm on February 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advice, , , , , PRSA Wisconsin, PRSASEW, , , viral videos, YouTube   

    Want Your Videos to Go Viral? The Packard Brothers Show You How 

    Getting Viral With The Packard Brothers

    Getting Viral With The Packard Brothers

    On an unassuming Wednesday afternoon in February, two young men stood before a room of PR pros and demonstrated how to use shock, awe, humor and above all, creativity, to help online videos go viral.

    Jack and Nick Packard of Packard Brothers, a Milwaukee-area video production agency, shared their knowledge, experience and examples of creating Web videos that get noticed and passed along.

    Here are a few takeaways from the presentation:

    The most successful videos on the Web tend to be one of these three types:

    • Craft (DIY instruction)
    • Co-op (leveraging existing entities, i.e. making a real-life Angry Birds game)
    • Idiocy (self explanatory)

    Successful online videos need:

    • Simple premise
    • Catchy music synched with action
    • Short length (2 min or less is ideal)
    • Relatable format (viewer says “I could have shot that!”)
    • Great editing

    Successful videos (for brands) should be built with:
    A clear call-to-action (give the viewer something to DO after viewing)

    Measuring online videos’ success:

    • YouTube Analytics
    • Google Analytics
    • Unique visitors to the site your video pointed them
    • Offer redemption if the video led to a coupon/promotion

    How many views will a successful comedy video have? The Packards believe the number is 100,000. (Real/organic views – not purchased)

    Advice to brands/clients/businesses/executives:

    • Be willing to take risks
    • Have patience – success doesn’t come overnight
    • Good creative ideas trump production quality, every time

    Everyone hopes their clever videos go viral, but a communications strategy that sounds like “We will produce a viral video …” is absurd and a recipe for disaster. Jack Packard demonstrated that point with perhaps the most salient advice of the presentation by saying, “Calling a video on the web a viral video is like calling anyone with legs a marathoner.”

  • prsawis 12:17 am on February 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Milwaukee PRSA, , , , PRSA SEW, video, ,   

    Videos Will Rule at the Feb. 20 PRSA SEW Meeting 

    Jack and Nick Packard

    These Brothers Know Viral Videos

    Have you ever watched an internet video that had gone truly viral and thought to yourself… How do they come up with this stuff? And how did it get so popular? And how can I do that?? Then register to attend the Feb. 20, 2013 PRSA Southeast Wisconsin Chapter’s next luncheon to learn the secrets of creating and marketing viral videos (

    Coming up with a great video involves more than just thinking you are funny or have a clever idea. It is all about how it is shot, when it is released, quality of the content, and most importantly: What does the video give the viewer?

    As business professionals we see these seemingly simple videos get millions of views and want to translate that into views to our companies. Unfortunately it isn’t that simple. The two biggest reasons why is because, 1. Viewers are smart and can spot a commercial a mile away. 2. Businesses are afraid to take risks and want to follow brand guidelines.

    The Packard Brothers are Milwaukee-based writers and video producers that specialize in Viral Marketing. They are the creative force behind numerous viral video hits and have grown an international audience because of their out of the box ideas and ability to connect with their audience.

    See their work:

    Each of the brothers has their unique expertise, one in Business and Marketing and the other in Internet and Video. They are hosting this special PRSA lunch to talk about Viral Videos, how to make them, how to market them, and how to not look stupid… by looking stupid. High Five! 

    Register now, or regret it later!

  • prsawis 4:27 am on December 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: PR Palooza   

    PR Palooza 2012: See the photos of our attendees! 

    Thanks to everyone who attended PR Palooza at 2012 at Fred’s Pub in the MillerCoors Complex. It was a great way to end the year and look forward to 2013. A special thank you to all of our sponsors!


  • prsawis 4:45 am on November 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Miller Coors, networking,   

    PR Palooza: You have to be there! 

    There are networking events. And then there is PR Palooza! Join us from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, at Fred’s Pub in the Miller Coors Complex. Cheers!

    PRSA Southeastern Wisconsin networking opportunity on Dec. 4, 2012.

  • prsawis 1:58 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    New Social Media Platforms: Should you be (P)interested? 

    Seasoned social media veterans and those interested in learning about the latest and greatest social media trends are invited to attend SE Wisconsin PRSA’s presentation New Social Media Platforms: Should you be (P)interested? The luncheon will be held March 21 at 11:30 a.m. at the Pfister Hotel.

    Presenters include Dennis Jenders, Vice President, Digital + Communications Strategy at Laughlin Constable, Katie Klein-Murphy, Social Media Strategist at Boelter + Lincoln, Carol Voss, PR & Marketing Director at Independence First and Tim Cigelske, Senior Communications Specialist at Marquette University.

    Click here to register by March 19.

    I recently caught up with Tim Cigelske for a quick question and answer session about his life and what you might expect to learn about his presentation.

    Tell me a little about yourself.

    I’m married (to Jess) with an almost 2-year-old daughter (Clara) and a beagle (Bella). I work at Marquette where I handle the main university social media accounts. On the side I sell used T-shirts at and blog about beer and running — yes, both together — at I’ve been running and drinking beer every day for 528 consecutive days.

    What is your favorite aspect of working in social media?

    The constant innovation is mind-blowing. It feels like you get the chance to be on the cutting edge of history and get to help author one of the first chapters of these technologies. But it’s not all fun and games — the challenge is then how do you harness new media to deliver your message in a creative, lasting and meaningful way.

    How do you identify a new social media platform as having PR potential?

    In a nutshell, it has to meet three criteria: 1) It has to show significant growth and growth potential — not just a fly-by-night platform. 2) Our audience has to be there and want us to be there. 3) It has to be doing something new or innovative. If those criteria are met, we devise a plan of how we fit in and deliver what our audience wants.

    Let’s focus on Pinterest. Why should PR pros take note of this platform in particular?

    Let’s start with the fact that it’s the fastest growing website in history. That’s good reason to take notice. Beyond those numbers, its ability to generate traffic back to your website at an increasing rate makes it worthwhile. How could you NOT want to help people showcase their favorite things about your brand on their Pinterest boards?

    What key takeaways will attendees gather from the presentation on March 21?

    I know that social media fatigue is a real thing, and people often don’t want to hear about the new new thing because they’re content with the status quo. But a little education goes a long way. Those who don’t know about the powerful next wave of social media tools are missing out on opportunities to beat their competition — or they’ll get beaten by their competition. So come and learn how Facebook, Timeline, Pinterest, Tumblr and other platforms can help your clients or businesses win.

    By Bryan Michaels

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