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NFPW News Archive

Bid High...Bid Often

Bid high, bid often is a familiar refrain at any NFPW conference.

It's the unofficial slogan of the NFPW Education Fund, which provides education opportunities for NFPW members and students to broaden their knowledge and skills.

One of the biggest funders is the annual silent auction in which members donate items on which other members bid. Favorite items include books signed by authors and T-shirts and memorabilia from affiliate states. — Read more.

104 Students Take National Honors In NFPW's 2014 High School Communications Contest

The NFPW Education Fund Board is pleased to announce 104 students received national honors in the 2014 National Federation of Press Women High School Communications Contest. Download the winners list and press release

The annual contest, endorsed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and covered by the Dow Jones News Fund Adviser Update, is the only nationwide competition of its kind. — Read more.

NFPW Joins Journalism Groups Urging President To Stop Excessive Controls On Public Information

The NFPW board voted to join other journalism groups in urging President Obama to stop practices in federal agencies that prevent important information from getting to the public.

July 8, 2014 – INDIANAPOLIS — Thirty-eight journalism and open government groups today called on President Obama to stop practices in federal agencies that prevent important information from getting to the public.

The national organizations sent a letter to Obama today urging changes to policies that constrict information flow to the public, including prohibiting journalists from communicating with staff without going through public information offices, requiring government PIOs to vet interview questions and monitoring interviews between journalists and sources. — Read more.

NFPW Takes Communications Contest Online

"If you build it, they will come." We now bring you "Field of Dreams: The Contest." NFPW has built an all-electronic communications contest, with an allowance for a hard-copy component, for all of our members, and many have flocked to it.

We're excited about launching the first NFPW electronic communications contest and want to thank all of our members for being interested and supportive whether they chose to use the electronic framework or stay with the hard-copy contest for another year. Your questions have been helpful; your comments have been instructive; and your enthusiasm has been buoyed us along through the planning and development stages. And now we're moving to the next phase: the action we've all been waiting for.

The links to the three affiliate contests, each encompassing a number of affiliates with similar requirements, have been sent to the affiliate contest directors within the past few days. Several contests are up and running; others are at the starting line and will take off as soon as the call for entries is sent to the respective affiliate members.

Like traveling any road, old or new, there are bound to be a few potholes along the way, but anyone in need of road repair can check the FAQ page to see if an answer might be there. And for a tow truck, click on Contact Us for names and phone numbers to provide you with some ready help.

Lori Potter, immediate past president, wrote her most recent blog post about the new online communications contest. Let me share the headline and first two paragraphs of her blog:

If I can do it

I spent a couple of hours of this Saturday morning downloading entries for the Nebraska Press Women contest on the Omni contest site in hopes that some will qualify to advance to the National Federation of Press Women online contest.

I'm here, as one of the world's least proficient or confident computer and Internet users, to tell you this: It's easy and if I can do it, you can do it.

Read the entire blog post at: http://potterspix.wordpress.com/.

We're glad we built it; we're glad you came. Best wishes for successful 2014 communications contests all around!"

Importance of History Leads to Book on NFPW Leadership

Marianne holding book and smiling for the camera.

As Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas became more involved with the Illinois Woman's Press Association and the National Federation of Press Women she became intrigued by the women who created both organizations.

When NFPW celebrated its 75th anniversary, Marianne researched further about the history. It wasn't until her husband was diagnosed with a brain cancer, ironically, that the history of NFPW came to life.

"Early into his recovery period, I needed to find something to clear my mind," Marianne said. "During those hours when he was resting or asleep, I would find myself going through the boxes of material I had stored." — Read full story.

High School Columnist Honored at Conference

Alexis Vinton at the podium.
Alexis Vinton

Alexis Vinton of Nebraska won first place in the columns category for a set of three columns that tackled such subjects as how technology stifles imagination, the perks of being a wallflower and the negative connotations surrounding the word feminism.

The judge for the category wrote, "Best writing and readability in this entire category. (The writer) did a nice job of being witty while also making a point. Others (in the category) took on more emotional topics, but the writing here was moving."

Alexis attended Marian High School in Omaha, where she worked as a columnist and circulation manager for The Network, the school newspaper. She is attending Seattle University in Washington, where she plans to study creative writing.

Contest Sweepstakes Winners Announced
Karen Stensrud of North Dakota was the individual Sweepstakes Award winner in the 2013 National Federation of Press Women Communications Contest. Tammy Keith of Arkansas and Debbie Miller of Arkansas tied for the second place Sweepstakes Award. The Affiliate Sweepstakes winner was Virginia. (press release: doc | pdf)

Read the full story.

Communicator of Achievement

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas of Illinois Woman's Press Association was named NFPW 2013 Communicator of Achievement, the highest honor bestowed by NFPW upon members who have distinguished themselves within and beyond their profession. The recipient, chosen from nominees selected by state affiliates, is recognized for exceptional achievement in the communications field, service to NFPW and to the community. (press release: doc, pdf)

The following COA nominees were also honored at the NFPW Communications Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah:

  • Maria Hess, Delaware Press Association
  • Catherine Jelsing, North Dakota Professional Communicators
  • Rita Kohn, Woman's Press Club of Indiana
  • Carol Kreis, New Mexico Press Women
  • Gwendolynne Larson, Kansas Professional Communicators
  • Kathleen Magers, Press Women of Texas
  • Mary Alice Parmelee, Colorado Press Women
  • Sherry Thompson, Nebraska Press Women

Learn more about the Communciator of Achievement nominees in the Summer issue of Agenda.

New National Officers Elected

A new slate of National Federation of Press Women officers were elected to two-year positions (2013-2015) during the NFPW general membership meeting on Aug. 22:

  • President: Teri Ehresman of Idaho Falls, nominated by Media Network Idaho.
  • First Vice President: Marsha Hoffman of Council Bluffs, Iowa, nominated by Iowa Press Women.
  • Second Vice President: Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas of Chicago, nominated by Illinois Women's Press Association.
  • Treasurer: Ellen Crawford of Fargo, N.D., nominated by North Dakota Professional Communicators to serve a second term in the office of treasurer. (This is the only elected position eligible for more than one term.)
  • Secretary: Gay Porter DeNileon of Wheat Ridge, Colo., nominated by Colorado Press Women.

Learn more about NFPW's new officers in the Summer issue of Agenda.

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas of Illinois Named NFPW's 2013 Communicator of Achievement

Head shot of Marianne

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas of the Illinois Woman's Press Association was awarded the 2013 Communicator of Achievement (COA) award at the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW) annual convention Fri., Aug. 23, in Salt Lake City. The Chicago journalist, book author and writer was presented the organization's highest award at the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW) annual convention Fri., Aug. 23.

"You will never know how much this award means to me," she said. "NFPW is my family. I've learned so much about each of you doing research about the organization."

The national COA award is given to the individual nominated by his or her state affiliate for highest achievement in the communications field and service to the affiliate, NFPW and the community. (press release: doc, pdf)

Stensrud wins top honors in NFPW communications contest

Karen Stensrud

SALT LAKE CITY — Karen Stensrud of North Dakota has been honored as the individual Sweepstakes Award winner in the 2013 National Federation of Press Women Communications Contest.

Stensrud, vice president of marketing and communications for Bell State Bank and Trust in Fargo, N.D., received nine awards in the national communications contest, including four first place awards. As the top award winner in the communications contest, she received a $250 in cash and a beautiful plaque, according to Gwen Woolf of Virginia, NFPW contest chair.

Read the full story.

Past President Price is 2012 NFPW Communicator of Achievement

2012 COA winner Cynthia prices poses in between two former winners.

NFPW's 2012 Communicator of Achievement Cynthia Price of Virginia, center, is congratulated by two past COAs, Charlotte Schexnayder of Arkansas and Clara Cartrette of North Carolina. (Photo by Catherine Petrini)

NFPW Past President Cynthia Price was named the 2012 NFPW Communicator of Achievement, the organization's highest honor, at the annual conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., during the "Diamonds in the Desert" banquet celebrating the affiliate-nominated COAs and NFPW's 75th anniversary.

The nine of 10 nominees attending the banquet were introduced by COA Director Wilma Moore-Black of Kansas with a PowerPoint presentation prepared by Nagamani Chittem of Wichita State University.

Price, of Glen Allen, Va., is director of communications for ChildFund International, a global child development organization. She is known for pursuing new challenges, professionally, personally, and for her Virginia affiliate and NFPW.

Read more about Price in this in-depth Q&A.

group of friends sitting at a table in a restaurant posing for the camera. Two NFPW members dancing.

Communication Conference Recap

NFPW celebrated its 75th anniversary at its 2012 Communication Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Hosted by Arizona Press Women, the conference was a fabulous success and a good time was had by all. A big thank you goes out to the members of Arizona Press Women who planned and participated in the conference, pre-tour, and post-tour.

See more post-conference coverage in the Fall 2012 issue of Agenda, on the 2012 conference recap page, and in the Arizona Press Women's October newsletter.

Sweepstakes winner Tammy Keith receives award from NFPW President Cynthia Price

Tammy Keith, left, receives her sweepstakes award from NFPW President Cynthia Price at the 2011 conference in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

2011 NFPW Sweepstakes Winner Tammy Keith:
Contest awards thrilling, made her mother proud

The 2011 NFPW Contest Sweepstakes winner, Tammy Keith of Arkansas, says it's rewarding to have her hard work recognized by way of awards at the state and national levels. A member of APW and NFPW for five years, she has entered the contest every year and has twice been the Arkansas Sweepstakes winner.

"I had several first-place wins in the national competition," she said. "My mother had an idea I might win something in the national sweepstakes, so she was determined that I go — and she was going with me."

Keith said she keeps a list all year of stories she thinks are worthy of entering in the contest. That makes them easier to compile at the end of the year in plenty of time to meet the deadline. "It's rewarding to have your hard work recognized, though, and you can't win if you don't enter!" she said.

Read the entire feature on sweepstakes winner Tammy Keith, written by Cathy Koon, in AGENDA.

Galanaugh and Saltzman mug shots

Public Relations Ranks High as Stressful Job (Dec. 2011)

Turns out those of us who work in PR aren't exaggerating when we say we're stressed. According to Careers Cast, public relations officer is the second most stressful job.

The most stressful? Commercial pilot.

Marilyn Saltzman of Colorado Press Women and Karen Galanaugh of Delaware Press Association work in PR and share why PR is stressful and how to unwind.

Read more.

Facebook Account Hacked, Now What? (Dec. 2011): If you are the unfortunate victim of a "Facecrook," and your Facebook account gets hacked, there are several steps you can take to reclaim your account and your get your Facebook life back in order, according to Facecrooks.

1. Attempt to Reclaim your Account: If your account has been hacked, your best bet is to visit the Facebook Help Center and attempt to reclaim your account. For more information about keeping your account secure, visit this Facebook Faq.

2. Change your Passwords: The hacker obviously gained access to your email address and password somehow, so you need to make sure you change the password to your email address immediately.

3. Scan your Computer: It is likely that the hacker gained entry to your computer through a virus or other malware. Make sure you have a current and up-to-date anti-virus program installed on your computer, and do a thorough scan of your system.

4. Notify your Friends & Family: The hacker may use your account to send them malicious links and to phish for their personal information as well. By alerting them immediately, you can help them avoid the same situation you have found yourself in.

(Source: Facecrooks)

Authors Enthrall CPW Members (Nov. 2011)
Three Colorado authors with very different backgrounds and books nevertheless enthralled CPW members and their book club friends' annual authors' meeting. Full story.

Thumb of opening screen of video.
A Discussion of the National Women's History Museum
(May 2011) Click on image to see interview with museum president and CEO Joan Wages. Read more about the National Women's History Museum at http://wp.me/pEB4C-gm.
Karen Galanaugh
Working With Non-Disclosure Agreements (Feb. 2011):
This was a busy work year for me and my public relations company: lots of clients, lots of work produced — resulting in many projects to consider as entries in the DPA communications contest. However, I am restricted from submitting nearly ninety percent of my eligible work because of non-disclosure agreements with clients."
Mary Jane Skala
Ghost Ranch Rejuvenates NFPW Member (Feb. 2011):
By Mary Jane Skala: When I die, I hope I’m resurrected to Ghost Ranch, the rustic Presbyterian conference center in north central New Mexico where I spent eight months in 2010.
NFPW Featured In Insurance Article (Nov. 2010):
Before you get in your car, you purchase auto insurance; when you buy a home, you acquire homeowners insurance. Writers are notoriously concerned about health coverage policies, so why are so many writing without media (“writing”) insurance? Simply because most are not aware of its existence, affordability, and benefits. Read more about this important insurance that NFPW offers to its members at a reasonable price.
Marsha Shuler
Marsha Shuler Tribute (Oct. 2010)
When Marsha Shuler was asked to fill a secretarial term around eight years ago ... well, "the rest is history."
members attending conference for the first time
First-Timers Receive Royal Treatment (Oct. 2010)
Susan Ayers shares the experience of attending her first annual conference.
Julie Campbell with her book
Book Writing Tips
Julie Campbell provides some tips based on her experience writing a book.
Finding A Job in a Recession: Tougher Than Ever Before
Christina Motley shares advice for job hunting.
Get "Face Time" on Talk Radio
Radio interviews are easier than ever because you can do them by phone. That’s one of the things Arlene Uslander of Arizona Press Women discovered when she wrote a review about “Talk Radio Wants You: An Intimate Guide to 700 Shows and How to Get Invited” by Francine Silverman.