An Epic Event

May 30, 2008

Last night, the Phoenix Chapters of IABC and PRSA joined forces to host a co-networking event for communications professionals. What a success! Members from both associations joined in for America’s favorite pastime. Valley Communicators Night proved to be an evening filled with all the best a ballgame had to offer – peanuts, crackerjacks, hot dogs, beer and networking at the Diamondbacks’ final game in a series against the San Francisco Giants. Although the Dbacks weren’t victorious, attendees won raffles, new contacts and airtime…finally the people behind-the-scenes got a shot in the spotlight.



Members from IABC and PRSA mix and mingle while enjoying the luxury of the Diamond Club.


Root! Root, root! For the home team! Members from IABC and PRSA in all their glory, on the stadium jumbotron (now in HD).


Let’s hope this co-networking success becomes a trend! Did you attend? Do you feel it was beneficial to network with members from another association? Comment below.    


Tragic Loss

May 30, 2008

Many of you have already seen reports in both the Arizona Republic and Tribune about the death of Chris Page, who worked for the Tribune until recently, primarily as a theater critic.

HMA would like to extend its deepest sympathy to the friends and family of Page.

I personally had the pleasure of working with Page for the past three years on the Circle K Tempe Music Festival media coverage. This past year, he and I even created a makeshift office in the back of one of our production trailers so Page and his team could blog 24/7 from our event. He was a wonderful journalist and a fantastic, insightful, funny man.

Tough Duty

May 29, 2008

Coming from a guy whose knee and elbow surgeries reach double figures (this x-ray is from my 2004 broken elbow), I was interested to see one of the Valley’s top reporters, Melissa Blasius of Channel 12, sporting a cast on her left arm during a recent live report.

She slipped while trying to get into a live truck and broke her forearm.

While I’m sure typing is an issue for Melissa, the full-arm cast hasn’t detracted from her solid reporting, as she continues to handle the station’s top stories.

She says she’s switching to a brace soon.  Believe me, that’s a milestone she’s looking forward to and one that goes a long way in helping one handle the mental aspect of healing from an injury.

No need here for the standard show biz line:  “Break a leg.”  Sort of been there, done that.

Changes at Ch. 3

May 29, 2008

Was at a meeting at 3TV today – looks like AZ Family’s 10 p.m. news is going away and the 8 p.m. news is moving to 9 p.m.  Going head-to-head with Fox 10.  The change happens Monday, June 23.

Breaking Through

May 27, 2008

It seems every meeting I attend leads me to the same conclusion:  the Arizona public relations community is on the verge of breaking through into the international PR scene.

The potential is certainly there.  With organizations such as the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Arizona Department of Commerce, to name a couple, along with entities such as Global Arizona, Arizona International Growth Group and others relentlessly beating the bushes to attract international business to the state, it is only a matter of time.

Astute economic developers who understand public relations, and who may even incorporate it into their business-attraction plans, will emerge as clear leaders in their field.  The public relations component to international business should be essential to operations in both the exporting and importing market.  It is too important to ignore.

That’s why organizations with resources such as the Public Relations Global Network are poised to capitalize on this emerging trend.

We’ve got everything in place.  Now if we can just catch the wave.  Or at least grab a coattail.

One For The Team

May 23, 2008

The baseball talent from Arizona shows up time and time again in prominent collegiate programs both in the state and across the country.  


One such product is Braden Wells.  Braden starred at Brophy Prep before moving on to Dixie State College of Utah.  He’s now in his second season with the two-time defending NCAA champion Oregon State Beavers.


It’s fun to see kids you know gain some national recognition as Braden did in ESPN The Magazine for “keeping his eye on the ball.”




He’s a quality kid from a quality family.  His dad, Donny, plays on my men’s baseball team, the Players, and on my men’s softball team, the Polaris Players.  Braden’s mom, Lynn, and I went to high school together.  She was a prep swimming star at Washington High School.


Don’t know if Braden’s baseball career will extend beyond college, but he’ll always be known for being able to turn the other cheek…

AIA Baseball

May 22, 2008

The high school baseball season in Arizona has finally come to an end.  Arizona features seven different classifications, typically based on school sizes.

The 2008 Arizona state baseball champions are:  Valley Union Blue Devils, 1A; Bisbee Pumas, 2A; Safford Bullgogs, 3A; Mingus Marauders, 4AII; Chaparral Firebirds, 4A, I;

Horizon Huskies, 5A, II; and Hamilton Huskies, 5A, I.

As an umpire, I had the good fortune of seeing many of these teams throughout the season, as well as in both the regional and state tournaments.  Lots of well-played baseball, for sure.

I think the Arizona Interscholastic Association does a tremendous job of instilling its “Victory With Honor” approach into the heads and hearts of coaches statewide.  Most of the coaches, especially the good ones with successful programs, in-turn, teach their student athletes how to compete with class – win or lose.

Some would say a high school ball field is essentially an outdoor classroom.

Time for summer ball!

What Are The Odds?

May 21, 2008

We see it often.  The media serves as a go-between to settle a dispute.  And when it happens, there is usually plenty of collateral damage. 

That’s the case in Wynn Las Vegas Resort vs. Charles Barkley. 

The Wynn has now gone public with news that it has filed a civil complaint against the TNT broadcaster and former NBA star seeking $400,000 in gambling debts – dating back to last October.


Barkley’s immediate public response, his outgoing personality and his iconic presence will, in-time, help him repair his image as an upstanding, honorable guy who just happened to make a lot of money playing basketball.  He’ll, no doubt, get through this, although shedding the reputation as a cheapskate and deadbeat will take some work.


And one thing this does without doubt is reinforce the reputation that Las Vegas plays for keeps, even if you are Charles Barkley. 

And the winner is…

May 21, 2008

The Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED), of which HMA is a proud member, has recognized its top members with the annual EDDE Awards.

The prestigious Economic Development Distinguished by Excellence awards honor those who have made significant contributions to the advancement of AAED and also to the economic growth within the state of Arizona.

This year’s winners are:  Richard C. Ireland, manager of business development at PSI, William Lampkin Award for Long Term Excellence in Economic Development; and Brad Smidt, CEdC, vice president of business development for the Greater Phoenix Economic Development Council, Economic Developer of the Year, Large Community.

Teri Drew, regional director of the Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG) and Rick Hansen, associate director of the Center for Workforce Development, Maricopa Community Colleges, each received Workforce Practitioner of the Year awards.

Pat Dryer, manager of new business development with Cox Communications  was singled out as Member of the Year and Amanda Elliot, public relations manager with Barton Malow Company was named New Member of the Year.  We’re proud to say Amanda is also recognized as top public relations professional in our industry and an active member of PRSA.

The award for Large Organization of the Year was presented to the Barton Malow Company, while the The Best of Arizona award, which is given only in cases where the economic development impact of the achievements by an individual or organization stand out so significantly that they garner regional or national attention, was presented to The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority.

Glad to be part of such an important organization.




Hello Folks and Fellow Bloggers!

Tuesday, the PRSA Counselors Academy Spring Conference provided another day of insight and education in Florida. Make sure to take a look at a second fabulous blog by Matt Kucharski, all about the organization’s brilliant partnership with students from the College of Charleston.

Enjoy and Happy Wednesday!