Thursday, October 30, 2003

The PRSSA general meeting will be held on Monday, November 3rd, starting 6.30 pm in Eaton 148.

New members are always welcome! The deadline to pay dues for the fall semester has passed, however we encourage potential spring semester members to attend. Please bring your resume!

Saturday, October 25, 2003

No comment (or ask my parrot)

Mayor hires parrot to answer 'undesirable questions'

The mayor of Ecuador's biggest city has hired a parrot to speak on his behalf when he is asked "undesirable questions."

Jaime Nebot, Mayor of Guayaquil, presented the parrot to journalists at a press conference, reports

He said: "Here is the parrot that will be in charge to answer all the undesirable comments that I have no time to answer.

"Some people only approach me with nonsense talk so the parrot will answer back in the same way because I need to use my time to work."

Mr Nebot has been heavily criticised by the press and the public for his social security policies.

Source: Ananova

Florida Marlins win the World Series!

Thursday, October 23, 2003

PRSSA and PRSA National Conferences begins in New Orleans

The 2003 National PRSSA Conference, "Where Opportunity Meets Excellence," begins tomorrow in New Orleans. The program includes events presented by Florida chapters and practitioners:

Chapter Development Sessions
Florida International University: Multicultural/Diversity Awareness (October 26, from 2:30 - 6:00 pm)
University of South Florida: USF Students for Success: Mentorship Program (October 26, 2:30 - 6:00 pm)
Florida A & M: Avoiding the Blues: Using the Media to Promote your Chapter and Gain Experience (October 26, 3:45 - 4:45 pm)

General Session: PR Skills vs. Business Skills: What Matters Most to the Boss?
Speaker: Rosanna Fiske, APR (Sunday, October 26, 10:30 - 11:30 am). [NOTE: Ms. Fiske has recently been elected as a member of PRSA's 2004 Board of Directors.]

Also, the PRSA's 2003 International Conference, "Building Credibility, Confidence and Respect," will begin on October 25 in New Orleans.

Dr. Don Stacks will receive the PRSA's Outstanding Educator Award for his leadership in promoting PR research. UPDATE: The page dedicated to the award ceremony can be found here.

Dr. Stacks and Tina Carroll, doctoral student at University of Miami, will present the best and most current applied research papers in public relations competitively selected from the 2003 International Interdisciplinary Public Relations Research Conference in Miami ("Showcasing the Best of Public Relations Research" - October 27, 11:45 am - 1:00 pm)

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Highly recommended: Writing that works, by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson (from Ogilvy & Mather).

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Speaking of awards: don't forget about the Arthur W. Page Society's Case Study Competition in Corporate Communication. The deadline for application is January 14, 2004.

How to Win PRWeek Student of the Year Award

When was the last time you got milk? Right. You got the message.

Here is your chance to win:
(a) $5,000 cash, a paid internship with Weber Shandwick, and a paid trip to the annual PRWeek Awards in New York on March 4, 2004, or
(b) $1,000 cash prize and a paid internship with Weber Shandwick

All you have to do is create a new PR strategy to promote flavored milk to the teen market.

Entry deadline: November 21, 2003
Eligibility: any undergraduate student in the US between November 1, 2002 and October 17, 2003 (no restrictions on student's major)
Apply now: Here is the Application Kit [PDF format]

[via PR Week USA]

On Blogs, Bots and News Aggregators

# What: A blog-oriented event at UM -- Current Happenings on the Internet: Blogs, Bots and News Aggregators
# When: Tuesday October 21, 2003, 7 pm to 8 pm
# Where: Wesley Foundation at the University of Miami, 1210 Stanford Drive, Miami, Florida
# Who: Marcus P. Zillman, author, speaker and creator/founder of will be speaking on the latest happenings on the Internet with emphasis on the growing areas of blogs (weblogs), bots and intelligent agents and news aggregators. Mr. Zillman will be showing these new resources live on the Internet and how they will relate to helping you search and find the information you require for both personal and academic research. The Internet continues to change at a record pace, and discovering the latest tools to make your Internet search both easy and competent is the goal of this presentation. Will e-mail soon be replaced by RSS and news aggregators? Are blogs, currently the fastest growing area of the Internet, a fad or will they change the entire Internet landscape? [via Mr. Zillman's weblog]

Blogging at UM

UM can't resist the blogging wave. Here are a few UM bloggers I found using Technorati's Cosmos:

@ UM Students Community on LiveJournal:
@ Professor Michael Fromkin (UM School of Law) -- On the fringes of the public sphere (the only UM professor with a blog, as far as I know)
@ Ray Uzwyshyn (Webmaster, Web Services Librarian) -- Richter Library Web Services Dream Design: This weblog focuses on the University of Miami Richter Library's website and strategies for thinking about 'visionary' possibilities for web services. It encourages 'dreaming' about 'academic library' information architectures so that dreams become reality and Richter sets the model for a next generation of academic library web services
@ Journals from the Road -- a weblog maintained by UM School of Communication professors and students working in The Water Project, a "thoughtful and provocative media endeavors aimed at public education about the crisis facing the availability of clean and safe water in today's world"
@ Matthew Stein (Law student) -- Life as a 1L: Neither Fish Nor Flesh Nor Good Red Herring
@ The Scarlet Left: The life and times of an angry, young liberal
@ The Wesley Foundation at UM

A pre-blogmania weblog of a (current) student at UM: intellectualized, started back in 1998. Wow.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Robin Williams: You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.
(Thanks to Motivational Quote of the Day -- here is its RSS feed)

Thursday, October 16, 2003

PR joke

Beware management retreats! This is why. On a second thought: maybe something like this started the Eurotunnel :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

University of Miami launches MOMENTUM

1 billion dollars. This is the target of Momentum, The Campaign for University of Miami, the largest and most comprehensive fundraising in UM's history, scheduled for launch tomorrow, October 16. Here is a quote from President Shalala's article published in The Miami Herald:

Our goal, ambitious but attainable, is to move the university into the top tier of American research universities. That will take considerable investment in our enterprise. Not surprisingly, most institutions we consider peers now are engaged in billion-dollar campaigns or have recently completed such campaigns. Nationally, 25 universities are involved in campaigns of $1 billion or more.

Some people may wonder why we are launching a fundraising effort of such magnitude now -- especially given a bear market that seems relentless. Because the time is right for us. [...]

The university that emerges on the other side of this campaign in 2007 will be a vastly different institution. We will stay true to our core mission: providing an outstanding education for our students, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the community. But we will be fundamentally different in that we will be able to do all of these things on a much grander scale and with much more impact.

Momentum will be nothing short of transformational for our university -- and for our community.

Update: here is the Campaign's website,

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Scrips Florida project advances

Scripps Institute's project to open a major research center in Palm Beach gains momentum:

@ The Palm Beach County Commission voted to spend up to $200 million for the project
@ Key members of the Florida Legislature toured the Scripps Institute in San Diego, in an effort by Gov. Jeb Bush to land the political support needed to fund the new center. Besides Florida Atlantic University, the new project will likely benefit the University of Miami, according to Miami Herald:

The University of Miami, meanwhile, would get an opportunity to expand collaboration already underway on translational research, the process of turning scientific discoveries into practical medicines and treatments for patients, said Dr. Camillo Ricordi, senior associate dean for research at UM's School of Medicine and director of its Diabetes Research Institute.

''This is in line with the overall strategic plan of the National Institutes of Health, which has recognized as one of the major challenges in the next two decades how to translate the huge volume of information emerging from basic science into strategies to help people,'' Ricordi said. ``The establishment of Scripps in South Florida could create a tremendous opportunity to address this challenge.''

Scripps researchers have expressed interest in UM's expertise in the transplantation of insulin-producing eyelet cells, which offers hope to Type 1 diabetics. Scientists from both institutions are already working together with the NIH to create regional centers for the manufacture and production of eyelet cells, Ricordi said.

For updates: check the Palm Beach Post.

From newspapers

# The Miami Herald has an article about Publicis Sanchez & Levitan, one of the top 10 Hispanic advertising agencies in the United States. It's interesting (*) to note that the basis for agency's success is research, including qualitative research methods like participant observation:

Aida Levitan's dream was to teach the classics of Spanish literature. Fausto Sanchez wanted to make movies in Hollywood.

Neither ever imagined a career in advertising and now, two decades later, a perch on the crest of a huge Hispanic marketing wave sweeping the United States. [...]

While Sanchez has put his creative skills to good use in designing advertising, Levitan employs her academician's critical thinking skills in developing marketing strategies and teaching clients about the Hispanic market. He's the chief creative officer and president; she's the chief executive officer. They share the top title as co-chairmen.

''It works out very well, dividing the responsibilities,'' said Levitan, who assumed the yearlong presidency of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies earlier this year.

Sanchez and Levitan say the essence of their work is research, which includes their own ''grass roots'' studies of the Hispanic consumer -- attending Miami's Calle Ocho street festival every year, for example, to observe how people are interacting with sponsors and reacting to performers.

''Boy, have we learned about consumers, what people will line up for, the hot new acts, how people feel about their countries of origin,'' said Levitan, who has won numerous community awards for entrepreneurship and leadership.

That knowledge of the Hispanic market is key when handling national accounts, such as Chivas Regal's Hispanic public relations effort. [Read the article]

(*) This is not the kind of thing one can usually read in a newspaper article.

# The Performing Arts Center of Greater Miami has chosen Coral Gables-based Thorp & Co. as its public relations agency of record, South Florida Business Journal reports. "Scheduled to open for the 2005-2006 season, the PAC is to combine entertainment with arts education with performances produced by four resident companies - Concert Association of Florida, Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet and New World Symphony - plus hosting popular and classical entertainment".

New RSS feed

Because it seams that the old RSS feed for PR News doesn't work well (not in my aggregator, anyway), I made a new one. You can find both in the upper right corner of this page.

Hopefully, we will migrate soon to a Blogger Pro account, so we'll have a valid RSS feed.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Scripps Institute to open new research facility in South Florida

Scripps Research Institute, one of the world’s largest biomedical research institutes, announced recently its "plans to establish a major science center in Palm Beach County, Florida, focusing on biomedical research, technology development, and drug design."

According to San Diego Union Tribune, "Scripps will move into temporary laboratory space in Palm Beach County while it builds a permanent science center on 100 acres just outside West Palm Beach. The 364,000-square-foot facility is expected to be completed by 2006 and will be designed to house 300 to 500 researchers, graduate students and support staff."

The new research facility will increase Florida’s gross domestic product by $3.2 billion and will create about 6,500 jobs (and 50,000 jobs in related businesses) in the next 15 years.

Scripps Institute is expected to replicate in Florida the success it had in La Jolla, California, where it has attracteded major drug companies, like Merck, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Novartis.

The Miami Herald reports that Norman Altman, vice provost for research at the University of Miami, believe the arrival of Scripps will only help UM's research programs (UM has about $170 million annually in biomedical research contracts). ''It's going to have a very positive effect,'' says Altman, "not only in collaboration between the institutions, but in attracting scientists to South Florida."

Also, Scripps Florida will provide joint degree programs for all universities in the state and will place a special emphasis on identifying and recruiting students who are historically underrepresented in the sciences.

# Scripps Institute Facts-at-a-Glance
# Institute's major scientific achievements
# Scripps Florida News Coverage

PRSSA general meeting -- Speaker: Lee Zimmerman, CBS4

What: PRSSA general meeting
When: Monday, October 13, 6:30 pm
Where: University Center, Ballroom D
Who: Lee Zimmerman, Director of Communications for CBS4

Lee Zimmerman joined CBS4 as Director of Communications in April, 1997. He came to the position after an extensive 25-year career that encompasses public relations, promotion, entertainment and written communications.

Zimmerman began his career in the music industry, working as a promotion representative for such record labels as Chrysalis, Motown, ABC and Capitol Records.

After ten years in record promotions, he made the transition into public relations, and was named Public Relations Manager.

After heading up in his own agency, Zimmerman joined Susan Brustman & Associates, one of South Florida’s leading entertainment and hospitality publicity agencies. In the mid-’90s, he returned to the music industry, first as a writer and marketing specialist for Warner Bros. Music, and later as Promotion Manager for Hard Rock Cafe Miami.

In addition to his career pursuits, Zimmerman remains active as a freelance consultant, writer and critic. In addition, he teaches a music business course at Miami Dade Community College. [Source: CBS4]

# Don't forget: Dues of $55 will be collected. Checks may be made out to University of Miami PRSSA.

Monday, October 06, 2003

UM Professor Wins 2003 PRSA Outstanding Educator Award

Another great news (sorry for posting it so late):

Dr. Donn W. Stacks, Public Relations and Advertising Program Director at UM School of Communication (and, on a personal note, my former graduate advisor), has received recently the 2003 PRSA Outstanding Educator Award.

Here is a quote from the PRSA's press release announcing the award:

The Outstanding Educator Award recognizes excellence in teaching based on contemporary, research-based knowledge of public relations and contributions to the advancement of public relations education. This year's recipient, Don Winslow Stacks, Ph.D., professor of communications, University of Miami School of Communications, was recognized for his leadership role at research conferences in Miami for practitioners and educators alike - a valuable contribution that has made a dramatic impact on international research efforts. Stacks was lauded for his understanding of the importance of research and has cultivated this knowledge to the benefit of educators, students and other public relations professionals.

Other professionals honored with PRSA Individual Awards are John D. Graham, APR, Fellow PRSA, the chairman and CEO of Fleishman-Hillard Inc., and Victoria "Torie" Clarke, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and chief spokesperson for the Pentagon.

The Individual Awards winners will be honored at PRSA's 2003 International Conference, "Building Credibility, Confidence and Respect" in New Orleans, October 25-28.

Congratulations, Dr. Stacks!

Friday, October 03, 2003

Missed the meeting? Here's a summary

The UM Chapter of PRSSA had its second general meeting on September 29, 2003. The following is a short summary of the events of the meeting.

The theme for this meeting was Entertainment Public Relations with guest speakers Lisa Joseph (Zo's Summer Grove), Yvette Harris (Yvette Harris Public Relations), and Lana Bernstein (Ocean Drive Magazine). The speakers operated in a panel discussion format for students and members to ask questions concerning their own interests.

# Announcements for the chapter were made at the end of the meeting concerning membership forms and dues.
# The next meeting will focus on Corporate Public Relations on October 13 in the UC.
# Last day for dues and forms will be 10/13.

Kristina Joss, UM PRSSA Secretary

Former New York Times executive director will speak at UM

Howell Raines, former executive editor of The New York Times, will open the UM’s new President’s Lecture Series on Thursday, October 16, 2 pm, at the Cosford Cinema. [Source: UM School of Communication]

Update: here is an article from The Hurricane (one time registration required) on Raines's visit at UM (apparently, his first public appearance after the Jayson Blair case).

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Co-president of UM PRSSA chapter wins prestigious scholarship

Great news! Heather Solomon, Co-President of our PRSSA chapter, is the winner of the 2003 Ev Clay Scholarship for outstanding public relations students (the other two winners of the scholarships are Erica Galan from Miami-Dade College, and Maria C. Cabal from Florida International University). She received the award on September 26, at the 16th Annual Ev Clay/PRSA Miami Endowment Fund Luncheon.

The Ev Clay Scholarship, which provides three annual awards in amount of $2,500 each, is the largest and perhaps the oldest PRSA chapter endowed scholarship program, honoring the memory of Everett Clay, a pioneer of public relations practice in Miami.

The award was given at the 16th Annual Ev Clay/PRSA Miami Endowment Fund Luncheon on Friday, September 26.

Heather is a junior with a double major in Public Relations and Sociology and a minor in Marketing. Here is what the happy winner declared on this occasion:

I know it sounds cliche to say I'm honored to have received the scholarship, but it is true. Especially since there are so many great and talented PR students and PRSSA members at the University of Miami. Being a member of PRSSA certainly did help me get the scholarship. For one, it was a requirement just to apply for it and also I've learned so much valuable information about PR through PRSSA.

I'm so excited about Miami PRSSA chapter this year. We have a great e-board that includes 11 very intelligent and responsible girls and a wonderful and kind advisor, Dr. Tilson. We are looking forward to gaining new members and carrying out successful meetings and events.