By Posted in - Counselors Academy & Professional Development & Public Relations on April 22nd, 2013

Our very own Dana Hughens is the PRSA’s Counselors Academy Conference Chair for the 2013 conference June 9-11 in Austin, Texas. As conference chair, she has the privilege to work with other members of the conference planning committee, which consists of senior-level PR counselors and agency owners from across the United States and Canada. We caught up with these PR pros to find out their secret to success and what they love most about Counselors Academy.

Introducing Dennis Winkler, Co-owner of Winkler Public Relations in Houston, Texas. Dennis  has been achieving great things in PR for 35 years and will assist with planning the dine-arounds for the 2013 Counselors Academy Conference. Keep reading to find out a little more about this Texan:

Getting to know you…
Name: Dennis Winkler

Agency: Winkler Public Relations

Position: COO and co-owner

First job in PR: Director of PR and Assistant Director of Development and Alumni (I also taught English),  Brother Martin High School, an all boys Catholic high school in New Orleans – a great first job!

Your insights…

Most loved thing about being in PR: There are so many great things to love about PR – the most stimulating is working with clients on media or crisis communications issues and watching their immediate feedback of accomplishment when interviews and crisis situations go well! It is the next greatest sense of pride and fulfillment to that a parent feels when your own child succeeds.

Best source for breaking PR news: As a news junkie, I tune in constantly to news radio and have a television playing in the office – but now that is “old school”. Today Twitter is a constant source of breaking news. Does anyone else panic when Twitter is over-loaded, such as during Super Bowl XLVII media day?

Number one recommendation to new PR professionals: Remain eager to learn and adapt! The Public Relations business is changing, and we must be the ones leading change for our clients. At the same time, find a mentor who will share successful PR principles because the core principles remain.

About Counselors Academy…

Most valuable aspect of being a Counselors Academy member: I continue to be in awe of the successful members of Counselors Academy and that they so openly share and assist each other with knowledge and issues. It is such an honor just to be around these successful PR pros. Every year during Spring Conference I feel like I am in my favorite college class soaking in every bit of knowledge I can from the best professors!

Role on the planning committee: The past two years, Spring Conference has been scheduled in cities where my wife and business partner, Kathy, and I spend considerable time. Thus, we offered to assist with planning events. This year we hope to have a role in the “dine-around” program to introduce our colleagues to some of the uniquely Austin culture. Our son Adam, who is the CBS affiliate (KEYE TV) weekend sports anchor in Austin, is providing great “ATX” insight!


Dennis and his wife, Kathy

Best thing about the Counselors Academy conference: As great as the speakers and content are during every conference, the one-on-one discussions and the relationships established are the most valuable and lasting benefits of each conference.

Most fun memory of a Counselors Academy conference: I do not know how we could ever top the overall setting in Cabo San Lucas (my first conference, which certainly adds to the allure of Cabo). My favorite individual moment was at the New Orleans conference watching all the PR professionals do the “second-line,” the New Orleans traditional funeral parade to the sounds of a marching jazz band.



(2) awesome comment(s)...

  • Dana Hughens - Reply

    April 23, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Dennis, I hope you know that I have loved you and Kathy from the first time we met at a Counselors Academy conference! I am thrilled to have you on the committee again this year, and can’t wait to meet Adam, too!

  • Sydney McKinney - Reply

    April 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    I use Twitter as my main source of news as well! I think that it is a great tool for real-time updates on all the things going on in the world. Love your insight.

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