Public relations students earn PRSA awards

Contact: Jean Hardiman, University Relations Specialist, 304-696-6397

Students from Marshall University’s Public Relations academic program received five awards earlier this month from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Students from Dr. Terry Hapney Jr.’s Spring 2017 Public Relations Campaign Management class earned five awards from the PRSA-River Cities Chapter Feb. 8 at the organization’s inaugural Tribus Awards ceremony held at Marshall University, recognizing public relations, marketing and advertising achievements during the 2017 and 2018 calendar years.

PRSA-River Cities represents public relations professionals throughout the Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia Tri-State region. Entries were judged by PR professionals from the Cincinnati and Columbus regions.

Former students won a first-place Tribus Award for "Social Media Advertising," a first-place Tribus Award for "Printed/Online Publications for a Specific Purpose," an Honorable Mention award for a "Community Relations Campaign," an Honorable Mention award for a "Fact Sheet," and the "Best of Tactics" award, which is the top award among all tactics entered into the awards competition.

"The work completed by these spring 2017 undergraduate and graduate PR students is nothing less than amazing," said Hapney, a professor of public relations and journalism in the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications. "They researched, planned, executed, and evaluated a campaign for a very worthy nonprofit client, to benefit children who might not otherwise participate in such an after-school program due to costs. Their efforts helped keep the program alive throughout 2018."

Kaylin Staten, president of the River Cities Chapter, is one of Hapney’s former students.

"The Tribus Awards honored public relations campaigns and tactics centered on research, planning, implementation and evaluation," said Staten, owner of her own PR agency, Hourglass Media. "The former PR students and now current PR professionals worked incredibly hard on this campaign, and it showed.

"What stands out to me is that [the Marshall students] raised nearly $10,000 for River Valley Child Development Services through their signature event and other fundraisers throughout the semester," Staten said. "Not only did they collaboratively create these plans, but they executed them successfully. Due to their efforts, more children are positively impacted, which makes a difference in people’s lives."

The students’ work raised awareness and funding that supported River Valley’s after-school program at Guyandotte Elementary School in Cabell County.

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