In this issue

Upcoming Events

January Meeting
Save the Date

The January PRSA Tulsa meeting will be Jan. 8, so be sure to mark your calendar! The topic will be, “Getting Coverage in Unfamiliar Markets” and attendees will hear from a panel of members of the media. Watch the PRSA Tulsa website and your email inbox for more details coming soon! 


December 2014  

President's Message

I have so enjoyed serving as president and working with a talented and invaluable PRSA Tulsa Board of Directors. Thank you to the Board and everyone who led or served on a committee this year. PRSA Tulsa wouldn't be possible without the volunteer leadership.


You will want to read below about some of the highlights of the latter half of this year including the 50th Anniversary APR Dinner, the PRSA International Conference in Washington, D.C., the inaugural PRSSA Shadow Week, and our own Steve Turnbo's exciting award. Our city and our chapter were well represented at the International Conference. Christopher Payne, APR was officially inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows and Steve Turnbo, APR, Fellow PRSA, was honored with the Paul M. Lund Public Service Award. 


I've been working closely with Melissa Clark, 2015 PRSA Tulsa president on plans for next year and I can say with confidence that they will not disappoint. There are some very exciting things on the horizon for our chapter, so don't miss out on the opportunity to be a part. And, while we're on that topic, be sure to let Melissa know if you would like to get more involved. Our volunteer committees are where the magic happens, so be sure to sign up!


Thank you again for allowing me to serve the chapter as president this year. It has been an incredible experience and I can't wait to see what's ahead.

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Member Shout Out

PRSA Honors Steve Turnbo with National Award for Community Service

The Public Relations Society of America honored our own Steve Turnbo, APR, Fellow PRSA, with the national Paul M. Lund award recognizing his long commitment to public service. Turnbo received the honors at PRSA’s international conference Oct. 13.

The Paul M. Lund Public Service Award recognizes someone who is “not only an accomplished leader in public relations, but also a leader in the community…demonstrating an extraordinary commitment to public service…whose participation as a volunteer in important public activities has increased the common good and reflected credit to the Society.” This is a very apt description of Steve.

He has served in leadership positions for PRSA Tulsa, as well as with various other non-profits and on some of the city’s most influential boards. His contribution to education is mind-boggling - through mentoring countless public relations professionals and supporting public education. Since 1996, he and the firm he helped to create, Schnake Turnbo Frank, have worked on six bond initiatives with a combined financial impact of $898.4 million. If Tulsa Public Schools is successful in passing a proposed school bond issue in 2015, this number will exceed $1 billion.   Across the city and state, Steve has been recognized and honored for his efforts to build bridges among people of different backgrounds including racial, ethnic, gender, age, socio-economic  status, faiths – the list goes on.  This humanitarian commitment for reconciliation and goodwill runs deep and is especially meaningful – and admired – in a city long recognized for its racial strife and historical burden of having had one of our nation’s worst race riots.   

As a peacemaker and key influencer, Steve has served as vice president for Public Relations of the Tulsa Region of the National Conference of Christians and Jews (predecessor of the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice), as president of the Tulsa Region of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and as a member of the National Board of Advisors of the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), and was widely regarded throughout NCCJ for his commitment to the organization’s work, both locally and nationally. He was also instrumental in managing a peaceful resolution when the Ku Klux Klan came to Tulsa and threatened to picket and parade through downtown Tulsa.

Steve remains engaged deeply with PRSA at the local level and was the mastermind behind the PRSA Tulsa 50th Anniversary APR Dinner in September. His goal was to keep senior practitioners involved in the chapter and build mentor relationships between younger and more seasoned public relations professionals.  The celebration was marked with a full-page advertisement acknowledging all of the APRs, which significantly raised awareness of the profession among the business community and underscored the value and importance of the accreditation process.

Steve’s work has helped to create a strong base of accredited professionals in our city. Many professionals across the city can remember learning the basics of strategic communications planning – along with the importance of research and evaluation – from Steve Turnbo. Steve has recently expanded his service to promoting the profession by playing a direct role in mentoring two local PRSA members through the College of Fellows application process, resulting in their acceptance into this prestigious group.

Steve is the regional “go-to guy” for public relations.  Professionals young and old seek his advice on career development, direction and transition, and he’s always there to counsel college students looking to enter the profession. 

Steve is a highly respected leader, a consummate professional and a selfless, giving soul who has changed our community and state for the better because of his volunteer work and commitment to others.

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PRSSA Shadow Week Provides Mentoring Experiences

PRSSA Shadow Week Provides Mentoring Experiences

Thank you to everyone who took part in the first PRSA Tulsa PRSSA Shadow Week in November! We had nearly 40 students and professionals who took time out of their busy schedules to learn from each other. Each student was matched with a professional in an industry of interest to him or her. The pair scheduled time during the week to meet together and discuss the public relations profession and the professional’s specific industry, the student’s resume, the professional’s career experiences and any other helpful advice. Special thanks to Erin Jacobs, 2014 PRSA Tulsa PRSSA Liaison, for organizing this event.

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50th Anniversary APR Event A Time to Honor and Celebrate

50th Anniversary APR Event A Time to Honor and Celebrate
by: Tracy Kennedy, APR

As a community, PR people are always busy and working hard to promote their clients or businesses. Mix in personal lives that are often just as busy with families, volunteer work and daily life and there are not many opportunities for the Tulsa PR community to come together to honor our own. Silver Links is a fabulous event, but often we are hosting clients and bosses and don’t get time to just be social with our friends in the industry. 

Too often, we also do not do a good job of promoting ourselves and congratulating ourselves on a job well done. That was certainly NOT the case on September 30 as local PR professionals came together to celebrate their APR’s and honor two of the most outstanding professionals in our field. Co-chairs Melissa Clark, APR,  Steve Turnbo, APR, Fellow PRSA  and their committee including Charlene Bassett, APR; Dana Birkes, APR, Fellow PRSA; Andrea Myers, APR; and Kristen Turley, APR worked hard to put together an event that honored new PRSA Fellow Chris Payne, APR , the nine newest APR recipients, the existing APRs, and Steve Turnbo who was named the recipient of this years’ national Paul M. Lund Public Service Award from PRSA.  In addition to the celebrations, there was plenty of time to network and see old and new colleagues and friends whose paths don’t cross that often except on social media.

One of the proudest accomplishments of my career is getting my APR. Tulsa Chapter PRSA has one of the highest percentages of APRs in the nation. I’m proud to be a part of that group and am honored that chapter leadership understands the importance of this credential. Both the dinner and the full page ad in the Tulsa World drew attention to the APR process and the professionalism that is associated with it. It was a great evening – I can’t wait to do it again.

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PRSA International Conference

 ?A Report on the PRSA International Conference

By: Tim Landes, 2014 PRSA Tulsa National Delegate

In October, the annual PRSA International Conference was held in Washington, D.C. I represented our chapter as an assembly delegate. It was a great way to learn more about the state of our industry and have a voice in changing bylaws. The most interesting issue was changing the bylaws to allow a non-APR professional to hold a leadership position on the PRSA National Board of Directors.


Delegates from across the country spoke on behalf of their chapters to try to sway votes. A majority of supporters for the change at the assembly spoke about declining numbers of APRs, and how many who do not have the APR delegation feel marginalized when it comes to being a leader in PRSA. Those against the change felt it would weaken the APR brand.  For the bylaw change to be approved, it would take at least a two thirds vote of the more than 200 delegates. While the vote appeared close, the outcome was a landslide, with a successful bylaw change vote 185 to 57.  (For the record, the PRSA Tulsa board recommended we vote for the bylaw change.) I’d like to thank Kristen Turley, our chapter’s other delegate, for guiding me through the Assembly process.


If you’ve never attended the International Conference, I highly suggest going to one. The sessions are informative, giving you an opportunity to learn new tactics and hear case studies from those who have been in national news. The other great thing about the conference is the networking with peers and mentors from our own chapter, our district and from across the country. I spent a lot of time with the other attendees from Tulsa, which allowed us to better get to know each other. The Washington, D.C., conference was a lot of fun, and I’m already looking forward to going to Atlanta in 2015.  

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