Vote for PR and Advertising students in Ford Motor Company video competition

Students from Grand Valley State University and Calvin College that are WMPRSSA and ADclub members have entries in a competition to find people that “go further” – Ford’s new tagline. It’s meant to create fresh, student-generated social media content for Ford.

It’s a great learning opportunity for these talented students. The contest is based on views, so vote for GVSU here and Calvin here.

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Volunteer opportunity! Help the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Great Lakes West Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is looking for PR Volunteers.

The JDRF Michigan Great Lakes West Chapter Communications Committee is seeking PR, marketing and advertising professionals/students interested in volunteering to support the non-profit organization’s communications efforts in the fight to cure Type 1 Diabetes. Committee members will be asked to support a variety of communications tactics, including: writing and distributing press releases, PSAs and media pitches; developing digital media/social media content; creating and designing ads; etc. Requirements include participating in a monthly conference call meeting (one hour) and assisting with the aforementioned tactics. The Chapter’s geographical coverage area ranges from Kalamazoo to Traverse City, so this is an excellent opportunity for students and new professionals to strengthen skills, develop new contacts and network with key voices across West Michigan. If interested, please contact Joe DiBenedetto, Communications Committee Chair:

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Job Opening: Communications Specialist

Ottawa County Parks and Recreation is seeking a communications specialist. Details, including how to apply, are below.

Job Description:

Under the direction of the Parks and Recreation Director, coordinates communication strategies, marketing and public relations activities to promote utilization of Ottawa County Parks’ facilities and services by the community. Takes the lead in maintaining website information, utilizing social media, developing the quarterly newsletter, creating parks brochures and print media, coordinating radio and television appearances, organizing special events, serving as spokesperson with the public on key parks issues, and coordinating overall public relations efforts of the department.

This is a full-time position based at the Fillmore Complex in West Olive, MI. Some travel to various Parks and Open Space land in Ottawa County.

$23.28 – $29.49/hr. (2014 Wage Scale)


·Thorough working knowledge of the principles and practices of communications and marketing.

· Working knowledge of the provisions and applications of the Freedom of Information Act and Employee Right to Know Act.

· Thorough working knowledge of media business practices, as well as knowledge of publishing practices and processes.

· Working knowledge of public relations principles and practices.

· Excellent English language skills, including spelling, punctuation, grammar, construction and usage.

· Ability to design and deliver professional-quality multi-media presentations to a variety of audiences.

· Up-to-date knowledge on social media and the ability and willingness to stay current with trends.

·  Excellent public speaking and presentation skills, along with excellent oral and written communications skills.

· Ability to interact positively and professionally with customers, community and business representatives, parks and recreation partners, elected officials, coworkers, supervisors, vendors, and members of the general public with widely diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds and varying levels of parks related knowledge and interpersonal communications skills.

Required Education, Training and Experience:
Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, journalism, marketing, or related field and at least three years of progressively responsible experience in media relations and communications, including at least one year in marketing in a parks and recreation or related organization. Master’s degree in communications, public relations or marketing strongly preferred.
On-line application, with resume and cover letter, accepted at
Ottawa County is an Equal Opportunity Employer


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MLive: All Access Event November 20, 2014

Two years after moving into the new format of, The Grand Rapids Press and its affiliate publications continue to grow and change. From entertainment news to business news, leveraging the largest print publication in Grand Rapids can help your clients reach their target audiences.  However, staying up-to-date with the latest changes at The Grand Rapids Press/ and pitching stories that meet the needs of the reporters can be challenging.

Join the West Michigan Public Relations Society of America and local media representatives for an exclusive panel discussion about The Grand Rapids Press and Members of the media will discuss new initiatives and changes at the hub as well as share their needs from PR pros.  A question and answer session will follow. Join us also on social media to further the discussion.

Panel Discussion:

  • Shandra Martinez, business reporter at The Grand Rapids Press/
  • Joanne Bailey-Boorsma, editor at On-the-Town Magazine
  • Zane McMillin, community engagement specialist at The Grand Rapids Press/
  • Heidi Fenton, crime, breaking news, general assignment reporter at The Grand Rapids Press/


Thursday, November 20, 2014
11:30 am – 1 pm


The BOB, “Top of the BOB”
169 Monroe Avenue NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Member $25.00
Nonmember $35.00
Student $20.00

Click here to register

RSVP by Monday, November 17

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The Four Rs of APR Achievement

halloranAPR 50th Anniversary Logo Outlines

By Katherine Halloran, APR

Having earned my accreditation in Public Relations two years ago, I wanted to pass along some key steps to those who are considering becoming accredited. Before you go down my list of prep items, please realize that I am a bit of a nerd and tend to overprepare. WMPRSA’s accreditation chair, Christine Hoek, APR, and the website can serve as great resources as you move through the process.

The entire process – from my attending an APR prep class until I sat down for the exam – took 14 months.

Online at, it states that the accreditation process is multi-faceted, yet straightforward. Let’s demystify the process through the “Four Rs of APR Achievement”:

1) Research the Process of Becoming Accredited – Is now a good time for you personally and professionally to become accredited?

  • Talk to accredited professionals about the benefits they have received from becoming accredited.
  • Does your employer support accreditation? Does your employer currently have a study group or other accredited members in its ranks?
  • Participate in an APR Prep Camp to see what the entire process will entail. The local WMPRSA Chapter regularly hosts these classes. You have the chance to listen to speakers who have recently completed the process, or who have expertise under some of the competencies with which you are less familiar.
  • Go to and find “Become an APR” under “Learning.” From there, you will find all the helpful tools, guides and resources that will take you through the process, step-by-step.

2) Readiness Review Preparation:

  • Write out your Readiness Review Questionnaire! This is a great time to think introspectively, philosophically and how things could be in an ideal world. Break the sections into chunks and give yourself false deadlines to complete each section. I began with the last few questions, as I found they were the easiest.
  • Have someone proofread and edit your readiness review questionnaire. Like any document, you want a second set of eyes on it.
  • Coordinate with the APR accreditation chair, Christine Hoek, APR, at, who will assemble a panel for you for your Readiness Review Questionnaire.
  • Coordinate with your panel on the date, time and location of your Readiness Review. Realize that although they are accredited, the panel will be simply composed of other professionals, eager to share, hear and learn. Their role is simply to assess your readiness for the computer exam portion. Your role is to share your understanding about public relations strategy and management.
  • Prepare your portfolio. Collect items that best represent your work to demonstrate to your panel.
  • Show up a little early, and get settled in before the panel discussion.
  • After the panel discussion, you will hear from the accreditation chair on whether or not you can proceed to take the computer exam.
  • Once you have finished your presentation and are approved, the clock starts ticking – you have one year to sit for your exam.

3) Review:

  • Study for the test!
  • Identify areas that you will need to become more familiar with, and focus on those areas.
  • Familiarize yourself with key terms.
  • Download the APR study guide if you have not done so already.
  • Read through the study guide.
  • Take notes, highlight key phrases, create flash cards of key terms, whatever will help you stay on task.
  • Take practice tests found online at
  • Join or form a study group or study partner.
  • Seek out other reading materials, listed online or at the back of the APR study guide. Some books may be difficult to find on amazon or other online sources. I was able to borrow some books from a student at GVSU.
  • Schedule your test. Go online and find out all the steps to do so. I even drove past the Prometric Testing Center a couple of days before my exam so I knew exactly where it was.

4) Relax!

  • As you prepare for test day, remember to relax and take deep breaths. It is just a test.
  • Bring as few items with you as humanly possible. Everything has to go into a locker.
  • The time you have to complete the computer exam is very long – three hours without water, so you will have to focus on the task at hand.
  • You find out if you have passed or failed right after you hit “complete” on your exam.

Step 5 should be Rejoice for completing your exam! Congratulations on setting goals and achieving them! If you did not pass the exam, at least you have learned how to complete the process and the information you have obtained while studying is very valuable. You can always schedule the exam again.

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Job Opening: Media Relations at Spectrum Health

Spectrum Health is seeking a full-time media relations consultant. This position will manage interactions with the news media on behalf of the Spectrum Health system including news releases, pitches, video and audio. The role will proactively work with internal clients and executives to identify potential stories and presents them to the media. For more details and to apply online, visit the website.


Basic Qualifications:
Education – Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, English, Communications, Public Relations or equivalent combination of education and experience
Experience – 8 years related experience, with 5 years of media relations experience OR sustained performance in Specialist 3 role that exceeds expectations
Preferred Qualifications:
Experience – experience in developing and executing strategic communications and marketing plans incorporating business goals and objectives, in consultation and collaboration with clients ,Background in health care communications, preferably with a large health care system ,Demonstrated experience and results in working with print and electronic media ,experience in reputation, crisis, and disaster communications planning and execution

Company Description

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit, award winning, integrated health system based in West Michigan. Our organization includes a medical center, regional community hospitals, a dedicated children’s hospital, a multispecialty medical group and a nationally recognized health plan, Priority Health.We invest in our people by supporting a dynamic, high-performing workplace. Our collaborative approach to patient care includes a commitment to provide an exceptional experience for patients and their families. Spectrum Health supports successful career growth, in an innovative environment.

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Job posting: marketing specialist at Spring Meadow Nursery

Proven Winners® (Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc.), a world-wide leader in plant branding, new plant development and introduction and seeks a professionally-passionate, motivated and results-orientated PR / marketing professional to join our team.

Qualifications: 4 year degree in marketing, public relations, journalism, advertising, horticulture or related field with a minimum 3 years of increasing experience. Must be highly motivated, organized, and possess strong communication, creative, interpersonal and computer skills. Excellent writing skills and an attention to detail are imperative, plant knowledge desirable. Responsibilities include: project management, public relations, media relations, direct mail, print advertising and other marketing materials. If you have the skills and want to be a part of Proven Winners, a world-class brand, send your resume to:

Spring Meadow Nursery c/o Tim Wood
12601 120th Ave.
Grand Haven, MI 49417
or email

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