University Communications, Recruitment staff, public relations students receive awards from WV chapter of public relations organization


PRSA awardsMarshall University’s offices of recruitment and university communications received Crystal Awards last week from the West Virginia Public Relations Society of America chapter. The awards were in the following categories:

  • Community Relations Campaign for “Herd Holiday”
  • Direct Mail for “Best. Decision. Ever.” fold-out recruitment piece
  • Brochure for “Block M recruitment piece”
  • Video Commercial for “2014 Institutional Spot”

The university also received honorable mentions for the 2015 Winter issue of Marshall Magazine and for a program of student-run social media accounts.

The PRSA-East Central District, encompassing a six-state region of the United States, awarded the 2013 MU public relations campaign management class—Shaver Media Group—with its 2014 Diamond Award—a first-place award—for the students’ work on the “Questions” campaign for River Valley Child Development Services (RVCDS), a Huntington early-childhood education nonprofit organization.

Dr. Terry L. Hapney Jr., associate professor of public relations at MU, said the award recognizes the top public relations campaigns in a six-state region, which includes West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

“There were only three organizations in West Virginia to attain the prestigious Diamond Award honors,” Hapney said. “The other two were professional organizations at the regional and state levels, including a state agency. The fact that my students attained such a level of excellence speaks volumes to the quality of their work as public relations practitioners.”

Hapney said his 2013 PR students also received the 2014 PRSA-ECD Merit Award for the “Marshall University Living-Learning Communities” campaign for the Department of Housing and Residence Life at MU. The students’ work on the “MU LLC Smartphone Application” earned them the award, Hapney said. In the same campaign, the students’ work earned the “Internal Communications” Merit Award.

In addition, the West Virginia chapter of PRSA recognized two classes of Hapney’s 2014 PR students with Crystal Awards as follows:

  • Crystal Award (first place) for a news release for the RVCDS “Questions Trivia” campaign;
  • Crystal Award (first place) for a brochure for the RVCDS “Questions Trivia” campaign; and
  • Crystal Award (first place) for the use of social media in the “Herd for Hoops” Campaign, benefitting the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital and recognizing Public Relations Student Society of America—Marshall University chapter’s 35th anniversary on the university’s Huntington campus.

PRSA-WV also awarded seven honorable mentions (HM) to the MU PR students in the following categories:

  • External Communications Campaign for “Herd for Hoops”;
  • Single Issue Publication for “Herd for Hoops” gala program;
  • Invitations for the “Herd for Hoops” gala invitation;
  • Brochures for PRSSA-MU meetings flier;
  • Logo for PRSSA-MU “Herd for Hoops” logo;
  • Single Issue Publication for RVCDS “Questions Trivia Night” event program; and
  • News Release for the RVCDS “Questions Campaign Turkey Bowling” event.

Hapney said what’s remarkable about these awards is the fact that they are judged using the same criteria as those entered by professional PR firms, state agencies, corporations, nonprofits, and other organizations. He said that awards are not given in each category unless the work reaches a certain level, in terms of point value.

“This is not a student or university awards competition,” Hapney said. “This is the public relations discipline’s professional and scholarly body. To receive this level of recognition is amazing, to say the least.”

I think the student work honored here tonight speaks well of the quality and dedication of our educators and programs at each of our colleges and universities,” said Diane Slaughter, executive director of the West Virginia chapter and East Central District of PRSA. “As a Marshall University graduate, I am especially proud of the students, faculty and staff for exhibiting the highest levels of qualityand professionalism in public relations.”

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Photo: Marshall faculty, staff and students pose with the awards won at the Crystal Awards event of the West Virginia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America June 17. From left, Beth Caruthers, special projects coordinator for the College of Arts and Media; Dr. Terry Hapney, associate professor of public relations; Tiffany Davis, communications coordinator; Michael Circle, member of the student group; Amber Payne, member of the student group;  Mallory Jarrell, coordinator of marketing and branding; Ashley Peach, member of the student group; and Dr. Beth Wolfe, director of recruitment.