Upcoming workshops and training opportunities

Meet the Houston Business Journal Newsroom on Thursday, February 9th at 3:30pm at III Forks. I’ve attended this event previously and it’s a very good opportunity to meet some of the names (and voices) behind the news at HBJ:

Ever wonder how companies make the news? We’re happy to tell you.

Join the Houston Business Journal newsroom Thursday, February 9, 2012, to meet the editors, researcher and reporters who follow Houston’s breaking business news every day. Find out what we’re looking for in a hard-hitting news story and how you could be a part of that. Our 40-year-old, award-winning publication and website feature Houston’s top business leaders every day

Join us at III Forks, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., enjoy drinks, appetizers and conversation with HBJ’s editors, researcher and news team.

Valet Parking-$6.00 phone:713-688-8811 ext. 31703

Find out How to Get a Publisher’s Attention at next month’s IABC Houston ESIG meeting, on Thursday March 8th at 11:30am. Of course, I try to attend these as often as I can because I love the food at La Griglia, but the topics are often very good too. Cost is $32 if you’re a member or $37 if you’re a perpetual guest, like me.

Arielle Eckstut, agent-at-large with The Levine Greenberg Literary Agency and co-author of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, will appear from New York via the magic of Skype.

The book, written with her husband, David Henry Sterry, grew out of a book publishing workshop the couple has presented to rave reviews across the country.

If you’re a business communications professional in Houston, and if you are writing or thinking about writing a book — or if you have a client or boss or colleague who is dreaming of their book on The New York Times bestseller list — join other Houston entrepreneurs March 8 to find out the insider story on how to get there. Learn how to define your own path to book publishing success.

The Entrepreneurs Strategic Interest Group (ESIG) is chartered by IABC/Houston to address the challenges and rewards of small business ownership in the field of business communications. Houston entrepreneurs in the area of business communications are invited to visit and learn about the benefits of IABC membership.

The next Houston Social Media Breakfast will be held on Friday, February 10th at 8:30am. Meetings are normally held at Canopy Restaurant and this month is no exception. (Canopy has great breakfasts and their staff do a very good job of dealing with the massive attendance at these events.) This month’s topic is “How MD Anderson Makes Its Content More Like Health Magazines.” Cost is whatever you spend on breakfast.

Most consumers aren’t visiting hospitals websites to health advice. Instead, they’re looking largely to commercial health websites and magazines like “Men’s Health” and “Women’s Health.” Likewise, all businesses and organizations are competing against mainstream infotainment to gain readership.

So what are magazines doing that we aren’t? Our speakers will talk about how MD Anderson used insight gained from magazines to make the information in their award-winning, healthy living online newsletter

Some of the things they have learned and will share with us include how to:

  • Write headlines that woo search engines and consumers ,
  • Tweak the editorial process and style to create more magazine-inspired content,
  • Spin one stale topic into several dazzling stories,
  • Package content so that it speaks to real, everyday people’s concerns, and
  • Implement these suggestions in spite of a small staff and/or small budget.

We’ll also look at how magazines use social media to reel in followers and keep them hooked.

And, we’ll discuss how this model could work in other industries. Prepare to be inspired give your digital content a facelift — or, as the magazines would say, create “your best content yet!”.


Our presenter this month is Adelina Espat. Adelina is the Communications Program Manager in the Public Education Office at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

SpaceUp Houston, an unconference, is being held on February 25th and 26th. If you’ve never been to an unconference, you have to check this out just to get the experience. Tickets are $25. From the news release:

SpaceUp Houston (, a community outreach organization focused on education and innovation in the aerospace sciences, began selling tickets this week for the second annual SpaceUp Houston Unconference. The event is scheduled for February 25th and 26th, 2012 and will be held at The Lunar & Planetary Institute (LPI) near Johnson Space Center.

A private reception will be held Saturday evening, February 25th, followed by the Explore the Solar System Panel where aerospace experts discuss manned and unmanned missions and plans for the future. Seating is limited for this exclusive evening presentation.
Tickets to participate in the 2nd Annual SpaceUp Houston Unconference are $25 for adults. Students ages eight to 18 are free with adult registration. Breakfast, lunch, soft drinks and snacks are included. Admission to the private reception on February 25th is $10 per person. Those wishing to attend the Explore the Solar System Panel without participating in the full unconference can do so for $10 per person.
More details and tickets are available at
About the Unconference
The SpaceUp Houston 2012 Unconference will feature spontaneous sessions created by attendees.  Participants will decide the topics, schedule and structure of the event. An unconference is also known as a user-generated conference or BarCamp.  Learn more about the unconference format at
About SpaceUP Houston
SpaceUp Houston, a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2010, brings the Houston-Clear Lake community together in sharing and discussing the possibilities for space exploration covering NASA programs, hobbyist projects, start-up companies, research, and the arts. SpaceUp events are designed as catalysts for future science, technology, engineering, and mathematics development.  SpaceUp Houston is made possible because of generous sponsors including The Boeing Company, Thinkgeek, and HGK Asset Management.   Our supporting partners include NASA, Lunar & Planetary Institute, Schipul – The Web Marketing Company, and Yuri’s Night. The official SpaceUp Houston Twitter stream can be found at  For more information visit the SpaceUp Houston website at  Questions can be directed via email to SpaceUp Houston at

The Houston Chapter of the American Marketing Association is holding the 2012 Nonprofit Marketing Bootcamp on March 20 & 21 (more info; cost is $860 for non-members and $600 for members):

Courtyard by Marriott Houston Galleria
2900 Sage Road 
Houston , TX  77056 

3/20/2012 8:00 AM  – 3/21/2012 12:00 PM 

In today’s challenging economic climate, every nonprofit needs an organization-wide commitment to a comprehensive marketing strategy so it will stand out among the growing number of nonprofits competing for funding, programs and volunteers. The American Marketing Association (AMA) Nonprofit Boot Camp® will give nonprofit leaders the tools needed to create and enhance an organization’s marketing strategy. Facilitated by an experienced AMA instructor, the AMA and the AMA Foundation offer this training in marketing fundamentals with a strategic overview of what marketing involves and how it can be applied to nonprofit organizations.

What You Will Learn
This intensive 1 ½ day workshop will equip participants with critical knowledge and skills they can use immediately. It provides training in marketing fundamentals with a strategic overview of what marketing involves and how it can be applied in nonprofits.

Topics Include

  • Defining nonprofit marketing
  • Positioning your organization in a competitive marketplace
  • Strengthening stakeholder relationships
  • Applying the elements of marketing
  • Understanding who your customers are
  • Developing and implementing an effective marketing plan

Who Should Attend
This program is designed primarily as an introduction to marketing fundamentals for staff new to nonprofit marketing. Those with more marketing experience may also want to attend for a back-to-basics refresher course.


About Sandra Fernandez

Sandra Fernandez is a professional communicator, tech enthusiast, book lover, and blogger. You can find her main blog at and more of her writing at

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