Chicago’s Fast Tracking Millennials in PR

BPRS Chicago invites you to join us for a panel with Chicago’s Fast Tracking Millennials in PR, marketing, and communications.When: February 28th, 2017
Where: Early Society, 77 W Wacker, Chicago IL
Time: 6-8 pmregisternowOur panel is talking careers, misconceptions, and driving change in an industry struggling with diversity on every level. If you’re looking for motivation, advice, inspiration, and real-talk you need to be part of this discussion.Are you thinking I’m not a millennial so this isn’t for me? Think again! There is a lot that veteran professionals can learn from millennials, but there is an even bigger need for the two groups to come together to impact our future visibility in this industry.  We want you in the room and hope to see you there.Our speakers include:L’Oreal Payton (@LTintheCity) – Media Relations Manager, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago & Northwest Indiana
Brian J. Packer, M.A. (@BPack2) – Account Supervisor, Flowers Communications Group
Martina L. Smith (@MartinaLSmith) – Marketing Manager, The Alumni Society & Founder, Social PixPod
Paul M. Patterson (@MrPaulPR) – Marketing and Communications Manager, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, American Bar Association
Kiera S. Ellis (@KieraEllis) – Deputy Press Secretary, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

$20 Members (All 2016 memberships expired Dec 31st, 2016)
$30 Non-Members
$15 Students

Not a member of BPRS Chicago yet, or need to renew? Do it today!  Reminder: All previous local memberships expired Dec 31, 2016.

By becoming a member you’ll get the best rates at our full line-up of programming for the entire year.

#PowerPR: NBPRS Conference Success

The 2016 NBPRS conference was a success.  Two full days of networking, programming and community advocacy.

PR practitioners from around the country joined us for this year’s conference held at the MidAmerica Club in downtown Chicago October 27-28th.

In the words of our organization’s National President, Neil Foote, “We learned. We networked. We laughed.”  If you missed out here’s a chance to take a social look back at #PowerPR: Playing to Win.   Then be sure to reach out to your local chapter leadership and get involved.  We’d love to have your help planning our next event.


BPRS, ColorComm and HPRA Come Together for Holiday Mixer

On December 8th BPRS Chicago invites you to celebrate the holidays with us and our newest industry friends. We have teamed up with the Chicago chapters of ColorComm and the Hispanic Public Relations Association for a bash like no other!
The holidays present a great time to celebrate the year’s accomplishments. It also provides a chance to look toward great things to come with a new year. We have much to be thankful for but as we look ahead we are even more excited about our future.

Space is limited and we mean limited
so do not delay. RSVP today!

Of course we always party with a purpose, so bring your canned goods for our food drive. Donations will benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository.


BPRS Wants Your Help For An Upcoming Promotional Video

We are excited to request your participation in our video to promote the National Black Public Relations Society #PowerPR Conference being held in Chicago this year!


Please record yourself with an Iphone or similar device with the following settings:

– Phone should be in horizontal landscape position vs. up and down
– Frame yourself from the waist up at 24sps, 1920×1080
– Provide final version in QuickTime Mp4 format

Start off each question by actually reading the question first. Pause before you answer the following:

1. How has BPRS helped you in your career?
2. What shifts in today’s PR landscape are keeping you up at night and what can NBPRS do to help you overcome this issue?
3. What do you hope to gain from attending the National Black Public Relation Society’s Conference this year?
4. What do you commit to doing after attending #PowerPR this Fall? Start each statement with “I will…”

Before sending, please be certain to check your sound level so folks who view this will be able to hear you!

Send your completed video to by 10/29/16.

A HUGE SHOUT OUT to Edelman Chicago and their video production team for their support in pulling this together.

BPRS Chicago 2016 Fall Networking Social



Tickets: $25 in advance
$35 at the door


BPRS Chicago invites you to our upcoming Fall Social.  As summer ends and agencies return to normal business hours, we want you to join us and fall into new possibilities through networking. Now is the time to reconnect with business colleagues and industry peers. Be inspired and find unlisted opportunities to spread your professional wings.

We’ve invited our friends from NABJ-Chicago to join us as well as other PR and journalism groups from around the city. We’re also raffling prizes and sharing an update on the NBPRS Annual Conference coming to Chicago October 27 & 28th. Register today!  Attendee rates increase on September 24th.


Join Us for the NBPRS 2016 Annual Conference Oct 27 &28


 This is learning and engagement for all levels. Whether you’re entering your first job, transitioning from another profession, or a mid- or senior-level communicator, the conference is designed to provide you with insights, skills, and networking opportunities to take you to your next level.

You will learn:

  • How PR strategists help newsmakers to deliver quote-worthy messages
  • Hiring secrets from top recruiters controlling the gateway between you and Fortune 500 companies
  • Strategies for building successful PR consulting practices in niche markets
  • Shifts being made by social media platforms that will energize your PR strategies and job hunt
  • How crisis communicators strategically move their clients out of the line of fire
  • Strategies used by top executives to navigate the political complexities of corporate and agency worlds and break through glass ceilings

Here’s just a peek of what we’re planning:

Thursday, October 27, 2016


303 W. Wacker Drive

Calling all non-profit organizations and community leaders! You’re invited to a daylong workshop on Thursday, October 27, to learn strategies for communicating during a crisis. Crises gaining national attention—such as Black Lives Matter, the Flint Water Crisis, the Orlando massacre, Dallas sniper attacks—require organizations and community leaders to unite. What happens next is in your hands…how will you respond? Learn strategies to ensure you and your organization are called upon as an expert, your message is being heard, and the media gets it right.

8:30 a.m.  Registration / Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.  – Opening Remarks.

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

  • Police and PR – Empowering police, community relations, and communications

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Lunch

12:30 pm  –2:30 p.m.

  • Small Business and African American Contractors, Advocacy & Diversity & Arbitration


3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

  • Presidential PR and 2016 Presidential Vote
  • Social Media Strategies for Community Groups and Nonprofits

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Meet and Greet Reception (Invitation only)

Meet our keynote speakers, presenters, and sponsors

Friday, Oct. 28

Mid-America Club

200 East Randolph Drive, 80th Floor, Aon Center, Aon

8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Registration

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. – Up Close and Person – Covering the White House

Award-winning journalist April Ryan shares insights and perspectives on covering the White House since 1987, particularly the historic presidency of Barack Obama.

10:00 a.m. – 11:00  a.m.

Recruiters’ Roundtables

Getting a job, keeping a job and rising through the ranks into senior management.

  • Senior Level
  • Mid Career   
  • Entry Level  


11:15 a.m.  – 12:15 p.m.


Here’s your chance to learn from leading executives who will provide strategic insights, case studies and strategies on the following subjects.

  • Social Media
  • Sports & Entertainment
  • Global PR

12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Network Awards Luncheon


CEO Perspective

2:45 P.M. – 3:35 P.M.

A conversation with senior executives of major PR firms to discuss strategies for success in the industry, how digital media and diversity is affecting their strategies.


3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Playing to Win Sessions

A series of fast-paced talks on best practices, tips and tricks

We’re bringing in experts so that you learn from the best. 

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Education & Development
  • Crisis Communications
  • Storytelling (in print, online, on air, via social)


5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Getting In, Moving Up, Making a Difference

Wrap up session with leading change management executive


BPRS June Enterainment PR Panel and Membership Meeting

Download the Meeting Agenda and Committee Details

UPDATED:  6/16/2016


When: June, 16, 2016
–NEW LOCATION —Where: Columbia College, 618 S. Michigan Ave, Stage #2
Time: 6-8 pm

Our speakers will include:

Dionne Williams (@dwilliamspr), D. Williams PR Group (moderator)
Tyra Martin (@TyraMartin), senior segment producer, WGN TV
Christina Steed (@CCSteed), executive vice president, Flowers Communications Group
Micaeh Johnson (@CarteBlanchePwr), publicist, Carte Blanche Ltd

If you have ever thought about working in entertainment PR, event planning or securing celebrity endorsements you will not want to miss our program. Our panelists are ready to give you the inside scoop on how to succeed, dispel industry misconceptions, and tell you the difference between a publicist and a PR consultant.


In addition to a great panel this is our Annual Membership Meeting so it’s FREE. We want to hear from you. Tell us what’s working, what’s not and what you want from your membership. You will hear all about our future plans for the year and get details on committees and Junior Board opportunities. Our Success is YOUR Success.  Iron sharpens iron. Let’s do this together.

BPRS CHICAGO Presents: Life Inside a Fortune 500

Update: May 12— SPEAKER ADDED
RSVP for this event is mandatory.


Come out to meet and hear more from our speakers:

—NEW— Morris Smith, Public Affairs and Communications Manager with Coca-Cola
Twitter: @msmit4940

Rahsaan Johnson, Director of Public Relations with United Airlines

Twitter: @rjgetsetgo

Rahsaan Johnson has a track record of corporate communications success — planning and executing communications strategies to support business growth and brand development. He has served as the Public Relations Director of United Airlines for nearly six years. Johnson leads development and execution of external communications initiatives to promote United’s investment in customer experience, marketing, sales, loyalty, eCommerce and network. He also has a passion for adventure and doing what others think can’t be done.

Markeisha Marshall, Senior Manager of Public Affairs of AbbVie

Markeisha Marshall has spent more than 12 years working with powerhouse brands, corporations and executive officers to craft traditional and digital communication strategies to launch products, reinforce ideals and drive target audience engagement. She recently joined AbbVie as a senior public affairs manager. She previously served as a senior strategic communications manager at Walgreen Co. leading communications as a core member of corporate executive’s leadership teams including Healthcare Commercial Market Development, Digital and Information Technology and Supply Chain.

Heidi Barker, Former VP of Global Media Relations of McDonald’s Corporation

Twitter: @heidibmedia

Heidi Barker was the Vice President of Global Media Relations for McDonald’s Corporation. She led the team in identifying bold ways to represent McDonald’s through traditional and social media by advancing McDonald’s reputation with influential journalists and stakeholders. Heidi helped manage some 20,000 media inquiries a year and is responsible for creating messages to elevate the McDonald’s brand. Heidi also specialized in crisis communications, prepares management for media events, and served as a McDonald’s spokesperson.

Additional speakers will be announced soon.

$20 Members
$30 Non-Members
$10 Students – (A current valid student I.D. must be provided at event check-in.)

The Secrets of Career Growth







By Tamara Foster

Last week I attended a panel hosted by the Black Public Relations Society of Chicago. The panel was titled, “Making the Right Strategic Moves for your Career.”  When you make the decision to go to college, you think that growing professionally happens naturally and in a linear, progressive path.  That was my expectation for my career at least.  After experiencing much indecisiveness, road blocks and speed bumps, it was refreshing to learn from the panel that every day can be a day of career revival as long as you have the right attitude, control and are equipped with necessary tools to navigate career opportunities and hurdles. The panel shared several nuggets that I refer to as the secrets of career growth but the two that resonated with me the most were – number 1, you need advocates and number 2, ask for what you want.


Life can get you down and so can the day to day responsibilities of your position. On some days you may hear more negative feedback than positive and this can take a toll. To keep your career energy up, you need advocates. You need a career team. You need a team of people who will give you honest feedback yet build you up, make you feel good and help you take advantage of those pivot points in your career. Advocates will help you see the silver lining and when it’s time to take advantage of career opportunities, they’ll advocate for you.

SuccessBPRSThe Ask

When people are overlooked for opportunities, we often think it is favoritism (which it could be, don’t get me wrong) or a complete injustice for whatever the reason. In reality, the person who is being recognized or promoted more than likely walks into that situation asking and expecting it. They often times demand it.  If you want or need something, you must ask for it. Ask confidently. Be intentional. Take control of your career.

Additional golden topics discussed were the value of your network, how to effectively develop and manage relationships and how to position yourself for your career goals; very valuable information. Unfortunately, I can’t share them all so I recommend that you stay committed to your growth through education, events and networking such as attending professional events like this one.

“If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission.” – Unknown

Watch the BPRS calendar of events and educational opportunities listed on Stay connected and follow BPRS on Twitter and Facebook.

Making the Right Strategic Moves for Your Career


 Wednesday, April 20th
5:30 – 7:30 pm
DePaul University – Daley Building
247 S. State
LL 102
Chicago, IL 60601

Whether you are weighing a choice between two job opportunities, deciding whether to strike out on your own, or considering if you need to change careers all together, there will come a time when most of us may find ourselves at a professional fork in the road. BPRS Chicago invites you all to join us for a panel discussion that will tackle things like:

How long should I stay in one position? At one employer?
Do I want to work in a PR agency or in-house with a company or organization?
How do you know if you’re ready to start your own agency?
How can I stay attractive to recruiters?
How do I ask for a raise?
Is it ok to quit a job without one? When?
When is it time to stop doing paid internships?

Members – $20
Non-Members – $30
Students – $10
Still not a member?  Join BPRS Chicago today and starting benefiting from our discounts and access to great content!

A good decision is an informed decision. Our panelists will tackle these questions and many more in an effort to help you learn as much about the various opportunities in PR and share insight on how their decisions have impacted their career paths. Our speakers will include:


MODERATOR AND PROGRAM SPONSOR – Tina Carroll Dugas, Sr. Associate – Bloom, Gross & Associates, Inc





Clarissa Beyah-Taylor, Global Communications Leader – GE Transportation





Travis Kessel, Vice President of Recruitment – Edelman Chicago





Melody Thuston, Manager,Connector – Golin




headshot Jetta

Jetta Bates Vasilatos, Managing Director – Twist Global




This panel is sponsored by: