PRSA-Central Illinois Winter 2016 Issue


Josh Kauffman, PRSA-CI President

With the holiday season upon us, employers and colleagues are finalizing their strategic plans for 2017, reviewing and budgeting for hiring needs, and assessing skill gaps and training opportunities to help surpass their competition. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s provides us with ample social activities to enhance our professional development and expand our networks. The PRSA-Central Illinois (CI) chapter is also proud to highlight accomplishments, upcoming events, and opportunities for our members and guests.

Distinguished Silicon Valley PR Executive Featured at Sept. 20 PRSA-CI Event

Named a top 100 PR influencer in the world, Rebekah Iliff is a columnist for Mashable, Inc., Forbes, Huffington Post and Entrepreneur.
Rebekah Iliff, chief strategy officer at AirPR – a PR technology company from Silicon Valley, was the keynote speaker at our Sept. 20 conference at the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign (UIUC) campus. Iliff’s experience and knowledge of the technology industry, startup companies, leadership, and strategy correlated to the progressive innovation found at Illinois’ flagship university and industries and professionals across central Illinois. She highlighted best practices, challenges, and opportunities in today’s PR and media landscape.

Iliff is very active in PR and Tech think tanks, and speaks on the future of PR and marketing, social good, and women in tech for organizations, including the UN Foundation, PRSA, the National Retail Federation, Dell, Qualcomm, Experian and McGraw Hill. We’re proud and honored she accepted our invitation and presented to PRSA-CI members and guests on Sept. 20.

PR Executive from Largest U.S. Nonprofit Healthcare System to Speak on Driving Thought Leadership; RSVP Today

At Ascension, Johnny Smith has thought leadership responsibility for reputation management, media relations, and executive positioning for the $30 billion organization and its for-profit-subsidiaries.

As noted from previous emails, the PRSA – CI chapter would like to invite you to join us Thurs., Dec. 1, 2016 in Springfield with speaker Johnny A. Smith, senior director for public relations at Ascension – the largest health care system in the U.S. with more than 160,000 employees and 35,000 affiliated providers serving in 141 hospitals. Smith will highlight best practices, challenges, and opportunities with thought leadership in today’s most dynamic industries.

Smith spearheads change management communications inclusive of mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and transformational initiatives; and maintains relationships with top-tier media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, CNN, Washington Post, Reuters, Bloomberg, and POLITICO.

To reserve your seat, please register online by Mon., Nov. 28, and select your meal of choice.

2017 Slate of PRSA-CI Board of Directors

All PRSA-CI members were recently emailed our 2017 Slate of PRSA-CI Board of Directors to vote at our Dec. 1 meeting in Springfield. Please keep in mind that most of the officer positions, including president, secretary and treasurer, were elected for two-year terms Board of Directorslast year so they are not up for election this year. The positions listed below are for one-year terms. We will also be taking nominations from the floor if you would like to nominate someone else for these positions. We hope you will pre-register for the Dec. 1 event and participate in the election.

Slate of PRSA-CI Officers and Board Members for 2017:

  • President-elect – John Lyday, Fellow PRSA, APR, Morton Community Bank, Morton
  • Accreditation chair – Pete Smudde, Ph.D., APR, Illinois State University, Normal/Bloomington
  • Membership chair – Stefanie Santos McLeese, Santos McLeese, White Heath
  • Board member – John Wirtz, Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign
  • Board member – Jennifer Kaufmann, Carle Foundation Hospital, Champaign
  • Board member – Karen Brodbeck, OSF Healthcare, Peoria

Free Chapter Membership “Black Friday” Promo Under Way

The “Black Friday” Membership Promotion is currently under way.  When new members join PRSA between Nov. 21 and Dec. 5, they receive a complimentary PRSA-Central Illinois chapter membership. Ask a colleague or friend to RSVP to the Dec. 1 event and see if they would like to take advantage of this promotion.

Publishing Opportunities Available


Have a company press release, personal accomplishment, self-help or seasonable article to publish in our chapter newsletter? PRSA-CI members can email with their release or article.

PRSA-CI Social Media Engagement Levels on the Risefacebook-photo-for-website

We’re proud to report our Facebook engagement levels are at an all-time high, and the number of fans reached 127 (as of Nov. 23, 2016). Please continue to view our Facebook page for the latest information, and like, comment, and share our posts with friends and colleagues to invite them to future PRSA-CI events.

2017 PRSA-CI Strategic Planning Session Approaches; Member Feedback Welcomed

Every year, the PRSA-CI Board of Directors convene for several hours to discuss new programming, promotional and marketing opportunities,  added value for members, and to assess our strengths and areas to improve upon for the coming year.

PRSA-CI Board’s 2016  Strategic Planning Meeting

We also want to hear from our members. If there are specific topics, events or speakers you would like featured in 2017, please email by Jan. 1, 2017 for consideration. Also, if you want to take on a more active role in planning an event within your area, please let us know as well.

I wish you continued success, and quality time with your family and friends during our festive season.

Warmest regards and happy holidays,

Josh Kauffman, APR, MBA, OCM                                                                                                            President                                                                                                                                                                           PRSA – Central Illinois Chapter


Be APR and Become a Leader in the Field

As a mid-career public relations professional, you know that your success depends on staying relevant, resourceful, and inspired. Recognized worldwide, the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) integrates timeless communications principles with contemporary strategies and tactics, and distinguishes you as a leader in the field. Invest time now to position yourself for success.

The APR builds on the foundation of your educational degree, keeping you current on today’s best practices and applications in the ever-evolving communications world. Stay on the forefront of industry knowledge, continue to refine your skills and take your work to the next level by achieving—and maintaining—this important credential.

Preparation for the APR ensures you have the tools to properly navigate challenging responsibilities, the vision to execute a larger strategy and the expertise to be a thought leader. But where do you turn to get your questions answered? Where extra support is needed, APR candidates are introduced to a tremendously skilled and experienced network of mentors, providing a lifetime of guidance and expertise.

With so thorough a process, the APR credential is both a professional and personal achievement—a badge of drive, capabilities, and dedication. Receiving this Universal Accreditation Board (UAB)-administered recognition demonstrates your proficiency and alignment with the cutting-edge public relations practices and knowledge that will take you to the next level in your career. In the career market, you can distinguish yourself—communicate your superior breadth of experience, depth of industry knowledge, and passion for public relations with just three letters.

The APR process is an exercise in success. Self-assessment activities along the way—as well as the formal assessment elements themselves—inevitably communicate strengths, limitations, and requirements. You’ll come away with a clear understanding of your PR skills in the form of valuable personalized information to apply toward advancing your present role and future career.

It takes a professional—someone with exceptional experience, broad expertise, and strong dedication and values—to thrive at what you do. Profess what you know. Learn more and earn your APR today! Contact Pete Smudde, CI-PRSA’s APR chair, at or (309) 438-7339.


25 Job Openings in Central Illinois


1). Benefit Communication Specialist

Benefit Communication Insourcing, LLC

 A Benefit Communication Specialist (BCS) is responsible for the communication and enrollment of core, voluntary and supplementary group benefits with new hires and existing employees of Memorial Health Systems, as a full-time employee of BCInsourcing.

2). Graphic Designer

Statewide Association

Statewide Association is seeking full-time graphics designer to assist in planning, analyzing, and creating visual solutions for various association communications; including but not limited to: electronic monthly newsletter, membership promotions, conference promotions, publications, programs, Web, video and social media.

3). Senior Production Manager


This position will also be responsible for Production Planning, Liaison with engineering   and supply chain on a variety of continuous improvement initiatives and change management of advanced manufacturing projects.

4). Community Manager

FR MH Parks

The ideal candidate will be self-motivated, friendly, professional, with strong management and sales experience and excellent customer service skills, with at least 2 years of experience in property management. Must be computer-literate, and proficient in Microsoft Office applications.

5). Assistant News Director

Sinclair Broadcast Group

In this position, you will determine the content and flow of newscasts, direct producers, reporters, management and on-air staff in generating and writing stories, and also recommend content for our website.


6). Commercial Lines Marketing Specialist

Troxell Insurance

This position maintains extensive contact by phone and mail (electronic/postal), with agents, carriers, and division managers to facilitate appropriate and comprehensive…

7). Editor

Herald & Review

 The successful applicant will know how to practice great journalism and how to coach, mentor and develop an enthusiastic and energetic staff to create…

8). Volunteer Coordinator

Decatur Memorial Hospital

This position coordinates adult volunteers throughout the hospital and tasks and office responsibilities for the department.

9). Grant Writer

Webster-Cantrell Hall

This position will be responsible for conducting the full range of activities required to prepare, submit and manage…


10). Communications & Marketing Specialist

Cunningham Children’s Home

The appropriate candidate will have strong project management, writing, and communication skills. Cunningham Children’s Home in Urbana, IL seeks a full-time…

11). Promotion Producer


The candidate must be a highly creative and motivated person who possesses non-linear editing, good writing skills, photography, producing and storytelling capabilities….

12). Associate Director/Director of Foundation Relations

University of Illinois

The candidate must demonstrate exceptional written and oral communication skills. Engage in all aspects of proposal development, including research, writing, editing, budget…

13). Marketing Manager

Weed Man Lawn Care

The candidate must have excellent oral and written communication skills. North America’s Largest Franchised Lawn Care Company continues their successful growth and now is the perfect…

14). Community Relations Manager

Family Service Senior Resource Center

The candidate must have a professional presentation, strong organizational and communication skills. 22.5 hours a week. Part time position to promote programs for seniors in Champaign…

15). Graphic Designer & Photographer

Gameday Spirit Fanstore

The candidate must have effective communication, specifically with design team and screen printer. Gameday Spirit Fanstore is looking for a qualified candidate to bring many kinds of…

16). Creative Director

Agrible, Inc

The candidate must have excellent communication skills. Bachelor’s degree in industrial design, graphic design, interface design or related visual communications field….


17). Communication Strategist


The candidate must have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications or related field is required. The communication strategist develops and helps implement effective marketing…

18). Communications Specialist

Unique Advantage

The candidate must generate internal communications published through various channels in the weekly newsletter. Develop and update content on internal and external web sites….

19). Assignment Editor


The successful candidate will also be able to work across multiple platforms in this new era of journalism.

20). Communications Specialist

Talascend LLC

The position will support the senior communications rep providing assistance on a variety of internal and external communication assignments as represented in the communication…

21). Website Designer / SEO Specialist

POGO Marketing

The successful candidate will have strong communication skills, verbal and written. Establish and maintain communication with client to keep informed of project and results….

22). Graphic Design / Social Media Specialist


WebDesign309 is seeking a highly motivated individual for graphic design and social media. Candidate needs to have experience creating graphic design for both…


23). Marketing Analyst

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

The candidate must have 2+ years skilled experience in marketing and/or creative development process, including collaborating with external vendors (e-mail/ direct mail/sales material…)

24). Research Analyst

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

The successful candidate will have strong written and verbal communication skills. Conduct thorough and in-depth secondary research with internal and external resources….

25). Marketing Strategy Analyst

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

The candidate will travel to State Farm facilities, agents’ offices, and industry shows/meetings to identify future trends






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s