BIG Event Call for Communications Presenters

June 4, 2018  |  News, Workshops  |  Comments Off on BIG Event Call for Communications Presenters

The North Alabama chapter of the Public Relations Council of Alabama (NAPRCA) and The Catalyst Center for Business & Entrepreneurship has issued a call for presentations for the 2018 BIG Marketing & PR Event. NAPRCA and The Catalyst have partnered to host this program ton October 23 from 8:30 A.M. – 3:30 P.M., in Huntsville, Alabama.

About the BIG Marketing & PR Event
The BIG Marketing & PR event is organized in partnership by NAPRCA and The Catalyst. This oneday conference brings together 175+ PR pros and entrepreneurs in one place to provide a full day of training designed to give a new insight into how to tackle today’s toughest marketing and PR challenges. In 2016, the event grew to over 200 attendees and continues to grow each year.

NAPRCA aims to promote the ethical practice of public relations among professional practitioners and students in North Alabama, provides for the professional development of members, fosters understanding within the community regarding the practice of public relations, and supports the community through the use of member skills. The North Alabama chapter of PRCA is one of six chapters within its state-wide organization, the Public Relations Council of Alabama. In 2018, NAPRCA received the highest honor given to chapters throughout the State, winning the Sharon Heflin Chapter of the Year Award. Affiliated with the Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF), which has 1,400 members across Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi, NAPRCA members represent corporations, nonprofits, government agencies, educational institutions, media, advertising and PR firms, as well as solo practitioners.

About The Catalyst
The Catalyst Center for Business & Entrepreneurship serves as a driver for economic growth and job creation in Huntsville and surrounding areas by providing support for entrepreneurs and business owners in every stage of growth. It is the premier source in North Alabama for entrepreneur information and access to resources, including mentoring, training, and networking. Through quality business education, personalized one-on-one coaching, and networking opportunities that build valuable business relationships, The Catalyst enables entrepreneurs to get started and provide established businesses the tools they need to successfully navigate their business journey. Call for Communications Presenters for September 2018 Event in Huntsville, AL

Proposal Guidelines and Content
The deadline to submit a presenter proposal is July 23, 2018. Please email proposals to Jennifer Malone at Presenters will be selected by committee vote and notified.

Proposals should be one page only, submitted in either Word or PDF format, and include the following:

  • Presenter name, professional title, organization/company affiliation (link to the website)
  • Presenter contact information (mailing address, phone and email)
  • Presenter bio: years of service in PR or related industry (include social links and LinkedIn)
  • Proposed topic/title and a brief description (no more than 150 words) on why this would be appealing to the nonprofit community. Please be sure your topic is specific. Ex. 10 tips for Unforgettable Facebook Lives is better than Social Media 101.
  • Presentation experience, including past presentations, topics and related events
  • Any requests or requirements for speaking fees, honorarium, travel, etc.

Some suggested subjects (though additional ones are welcome and will be accepted) include:

  • Media relations
  • Email marketing/campaigns
  • Digital resources (Google analytics, SEO, measuring ROI)
  • The next big wave in social media
  • Event marketing
  • Crisis communications
  • Strategic planning
  • Capturing and incorporating video content
  • Creating visuals/content creation
  • How to tell your story
  • Protecting intellectual property
  • Building your personal brand
  • Finding professional content creators

Applications Now Open for NAPRCA 2018 PRo Bono Project

April 6, 2018  |  News, Projects  |  Comments Off on Applications Now Open for NAPRCA 2018 PRo Bono Project

NAPRCA is looking for local non-profit organizations seeking assistance in their public relations/marketing outreach efforts. Coined the PRo Bono Project, this annual initiative provides voluntary assistance to the selected non-profit requesting additional resources in their communication and outreach efforts. 

Examples of communication services provided will vary, depending on the non-profit chosen, but could include:

  • plans for internal and external communication outreach
  • media relations
  • tactical recommendations
  • social media analysis
  • community engagement plans
  • event planning and more.

Previous organizations selected for the PRo Bono Project include the Crisis Services of North Alabama, Better Business Bureau, the ARC of Morgan County, and Still Serving Veterans.

“NAMI Huntsville was thrilled to be selected for NAPRCA’s 2017 PRbono Project, NAPRCA support efforts are helping NAMI-H refine our community outreach, expand upon our volunteer support and strengthen our donor recognition programs. NAMI-H provides a unique support network serving family members in the greater North Alabama area with education, peer-to-peer activities and compassion. With the assistance of NAPRCA, we’ll be able to expand our efforts in a variety of ways including website and social media incorporation to meet modern needs. NAPRCA provides the support at no cost to our organization which is greatly appreciated. With NAPRCA’s help, we will spread our effort about being “Stigma Free” to address mental health issues in North Alabama using new technology.” – Joe Keweza, NAMI Huntsville Board Member

The NAPRCA’s PRo Bono Project is open to 501c3 non-profits located in Huntsville, Madison, Decatur, Sand Mountain and the Shoals.
The application window to apply will be open until May 20th, 2018.


This application is now closed.

PR Distilled: The Art and Science of Practical Public Relations

March 6, 2018  |  Meeting Info, News  |  Comments Off on PR Distilled: The Art and Science of Practical Public Relations

April 16-17, 2018 at the Huntsville Botanical Garden, Huntsville, Alabama

Let’s boil it down. Your organization has a lot to say. Your success is based on how well you say it. PR Distilled is about extracting the most practical tools, technology and resources to tell your story. This conference is for you… the PR practitioners, businesses and organizations who need a concentrated dose of communications strategies to stay ahead of the curve.

Register today!

Why Attend?
  • Recharge your professional batteries
  • Learn strategies, tips and tricks
  • Hear national speakers discuss trends and topics affecting our profession and the how-to’s of successful campaigns and event
  • Network with colleagues from across the state
  • Get those APR re-accreditation points
  • See award-winning work from across the state and meet the PR pros who made it happen


Schedule at a Glance


5 PM – 7PM: PRCA Pre-Conference Social
2600 Clinton Avenue West | Huntsville, AL 35805

Join us for a welcome reception at YellowHammer Brewing. Enjoy appetizers and wood-fired pizza from Earth & Stone Wood Fired Pizza and sample local micro-brews from YellowHammer Brewery. A limited number of drink tickets will be supplied by PRCA. At 6:30 PM, we’ll offer a behind-the-scenes tour of Campus 805, which has quickly become a home to multiple breweries, restaurants, an event center and a wide range of entertainment options. Sponsored by PRCA


11 AM – 1 PM: Registration

1:30 PM: Opening Keynote

3 PM: Breakout Sessions

4 PM: End of Day One Professional Development

Location: Huntsville Botanical Garden Grand Hall
Dress: Snappy casual


7 – 8:00 AM: Registration

8 – 9:30 AM: Conference Session

9:45 – 10:45AM: Breakout Sessions

11 AM – Noon: Breakout Sessions

Noon – 1:3O PM: Lunch and Student Medallions

1:45 – 2:45PM: Conference Session

3 – 4 PM: Ending Keynote


Learn more about the Speakers here.



February 20, 2018  |  Home, News, Projects  |  Comments Off on MentorMatch

Mentoring is an all-encompassing way to encourage personal growth. The mentor and mentee will work together to develop the mentee’s underlying abilities and will help develop new skills and acquire knowledge in their chosen field. Mentees who take full advantage of the program will have assistance in internships and potential job opportunities. Mentors and mentees will complete an online application to participate. Once applications are reviewed, candidates will be matched by the MentorMatch committee. The matched mentor/mentee participants will be contacted via email and will sign a mentoring agreement to participate in the program.

Requirements for MentorMatch

A Mentor:

  • Must hold an active PRCA Membership
  • Must have at least 8 years’ experience working in the Marketing/Public Relations/Advertising or related fields
  • Must be willing to dedicate at least 2 hours per month in mentoring a chosen mentee

Ideal Mentors Are:

  • Professionals with industry experience
  • Advocates of the public relations, marketing, advertising industries or related fields
  • Professionals who are willing to share their professional network with mentees, should the opportunity arise
  • Sounding boards and advisors who help mentees explore possibilities and learn more about their chosen industries, review career paths and fine-tune their career goals
  • Open to sharing past successes, failures and insights into lessons learned
  • Supporters and givers of constructive feedback

Benefits for the Mentor Include:

  • Further develops leadership skills
  • Allows an opportunity to provide feedback, communicate and develop interpersonal skills
  • Gain new perspectives through interaction
  • Opportunity to reflect on own practices
  • Invest in the future of the mentee

A Mentee:

  • Must hold an active NAPRCA Membership (professional or student)

Ideal Mentees Are:

  • Ambitious professionals who are seeking career advice and have the desire to grow professionally
  • Either early in their career and/or recent position
  • Open to new experiences and learning opportunities
  • Willing to accept constructive guidance and recommendations, while keeping an open mind

Benefits for the Mentee Include:

  • Develop new skills and expertise
  • Enhances confidence in dealing with challenges and issues
  • Enhances networking opportunities
  • Helps to clarify career direction and advancement
  • Increases individual visibility and recognition in the organization

Application for MENTOR

Application for MENTEE

Scholarship Opportunity 2016: Michael K. Simmons Memorial Scholarship

February 23, 2016  |  News, Students  |  Comments Off on Scholarship Opportunity 2016: Michael K. Simmons Memorial Scholarship

Michael K. Simmons Memorial Scholarship
North Alabama Chapter of the Public Relations Council of Alabama

Goal: To assist a student in earning an undergraduate degree in communications-related field of study

Award: A $2,000 tuition scholarship

Eligibility: Any NAPRCA student member attending a college or university in North Alabama pursuing an undergraduate degree in public relations or public relations-related fields of study such as public communications, marketing, mass communications, or journalism who meets the eligibility requirements.

  • Student must have completed at least one semester of coursework and be enrolled in the Fall 2015 and/or Spring 2016 semesters.
  • Student must be enrolled in a communications-related field of study.
  • Student must be a member of the North Alabama Chapter of PRCA (go to and click on JOIN. You will join the NAPRCA chapter, there is an annual membership fee of $25 at time of application (does not cover local university chapter fee, if applicable). Your NAPRCA membership application must be processed prior to scholarship application submission.
  • Student must submit a one-page, double-spaced essay along with application answering the following: “What are your Communications/PR career goals and reasons for choosing the Communications/PR profession.” Submit essay as attachment.
  • Student must have at least a 3.0 (on a 4.0 grade scale) or a 2.0 (on a 3.0 grade scale) grade point average.  Please include a copy of your transcript (official or unofficial.)
  • Student must submit letter of recommendation from university department representative (i.e. instructor/professor, adviser, department chair).
  • Student must provide enrollment status documentation – either full time or part time.

Criteria: The award selection will be based on the following criteria: grade point average (GPA); extracurricular activities (with favor given to communications-related activities); recommendation; essay.

Deadline/Award: All applications must be submitted electronically online by March 31, 2016.  Scan the signed application and other documents mentioned above and submit with the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. A recipient will be chosen and contacted by late April, and the award will be presented at the May NAPRCA Chapter meeting. The scholarship may be used for tuition and fees for the Fall 2016 or Spring 2017.

Questions? Contact Dr. Beth Garfrerick, NAPRCA Student Chapter Liaison, at 256-765-4941 or


February Luncheon: Influencing public policy in North Alabama w/ Carol Madry Bell

February Luncheon: Influencing public policy in North Alabama w/ Carol Madry Bell

February 5, 2016  |  Meeting Info, News  |  Comments Off on February Luncheon: Influencing public policy in North Alabama w/ Carol Madry Bell

The Topic:

How do you exert influence to effect change in the public policy and political arenas? First things first, you need a plan. No matter what kind of public relations or communication arena you specialize in, chances are you’ll need buy in from the public as well as public officials to pass legislation, laws, regulations or simply exert influence on behalf of your cause.

With extensive experience in strategic planning, public policy, public relations, board development and more, Carol Madry Bell, the Executive Director of the Committee of 100, will give an update on important issues facing North Alabama and how to get involved this election year. She’ll give her tips on building relationships with key, local influencers and insights from her work developing a regional strategic plan for Madison, Limestone and Morgan Counties.

Ultimately, Bell will give key takeaways on how these lessons from the political world can benefit what you do every day – advocating on behalf of your organization to achieve big things.


When: Wednesday, February 17

11:30 a.m. Networking & Lunch

12:00 p.m. NAPRCA Updates

12:15 p.m. Speaker Begins

1:00 p.m. Wrap up

Where: Redstone Federal Credit Union

GPS Address: 220 Wynn Dr NW, Huntsville, AL 35893


Don’t forget! The R.S.V.P. deadline for all monthly meetings is the Thursday before the monthly meeting. Please R.S.V.P. for the February 2016 meeting with Carol Madry Bell by Thursday, February 11th. (Do so directly below by clicking “Register Now”.)




More about the speaker

Carol Madry BellCarol Madry Bell is Executive Director of the Huntsville Committee of 100, a business political action organization of 240 CEOs and professionals. The Committee of 100 works to develop long-term strategies that impact our local economy and elect visionary, business-oriented leaders to local offices.

Carol holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Auburn University and is a nationally accredited public relations professional. She was recognized as a Senior Practitioner by the Southern Public Relations Federation, and is a former PRCA-Huntsville Chapter President and Practitioner of the Year. Carol is certified in Nonprofit Board Education from BoardSource Inc. and received additional training from the Alabama Nonprofit Board Leadership Institute.

She is a graduate of Leadership Huntsville-Madison County and Leadership Alabama, and serves on the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville-Madison County Board of Directors, the Downtown Redevelopment Authority, and the Launch 2035 Leadership Team. She is a member of the Advisory Boards for Downtown Huntsville, Inc. and the Huntsville Housing Authority.



See you there!

December 2015 Social: #Replace the Selfie

November 24, 2015  |  Meeting Info, News  |  Comments Off on December 2015 Social: #Replace the Selfie

#ReplaceTheSelfie Event + Holiday Social

Wednesday, December 16th


Lowe Mill North Wing Classroom

Project a more professional image in 2016 with some help from PRCA. Join us on Wednesday, December 16th at Lowe Mill for a social and photography session! White Rabbit Studios will offer unique head shots from 3pm-5pm, and you can socialize and toast the season with the entire PRCA crew from 3pm to 6pm.

Cost to attend is $25, which includes head shots, a drink ticket and light appetizers. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Michael K. Simmons Scholarship fund. Head shots will be taken against Lowe Mill backdrops (exposed brick, warehouse style window frames).  Photos will be distributed individually via email following the event.

RSVPs are requested so that we can plan adequately for refreshments.

Register Now



Learn more about Lowe Mill here:
See White Rabbit Studios photography here:

November 2015 Chapter Meeting: “Behind the Scenes with Homegrown Huntsville”

November 10, 2015  |  Meeting Info, News  |  Comments Off on November 2015 Chapter Meeting: “Behind the Scenes with Homegrown Huntsville”

28c96d7An insider’s look at strategic event management, PR and lessons learned from Ashley Ryals of Homegrown Huntsville. 

About Homegrown Huntsville: Homegrown isn’t just another event planning business. We are collaborating with our community, cultivating new ideas and producing high quality events that will have you to coming back for seconds!

What: November Chapter Meeting with Ashley Ryals
When: Wednesday November 18, 11:45 AM-1:00 PM
Where: Redstone Federal Credit Union on Wynn Drive
Cost: $15 for members, $17 for guests, and $12 for students

Register Now

NAPRCA’s Jessica Carlton Receives National Award

November 8, 2015  |  News  |  Comments Off on NAPRCA’s Jessica Carlton Receives National Award

PR Stars LogoJessica Carlton 2013PR News recognized NAPRCA’S Jessica Carlton as a Rising PR Star 30 & Under.

Jessica is the Marketing Manager for the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau. She holds a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Carlton has also received numerous industry awards including the 2015 “30 Under 30” Tourism Professional by the Destination Marketing Association International; the Alabama Rising Star Award by the Alabama Department of Tourism, and a National Grand Prize for the Arthur W. Page Society Case Study Competition.

Jessica’s work has been recognized with a PRCA Award of Excellence and an SPRF Award of Merit.

Jessica was honored at an award luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on December 9th. Jessica’s accomplishment is noteworthy; the publishers for PR News noted that this year had the highest number of entries in program history.

The entire list of honorees can be viewed here:

APR Exam Blackout Dates

October 9, 2015  |  News  |  Comments Off on APR Exam Blackout Dates

APR Computer-based Exam Blackout Dates: Dec 15-31, 2015

The APR computer-based exam will temporarily be down Dec. 15-31, 2015. Updates to the exam are being made to ensure it remains aligned with current PR practices and expected knowledge and the blackout dates are necessary to load and test the new exam. This update is part of the Universal Accreditation Board’s continuous improvements to keep the entire APR process rigorous, relevant and valuable. On January 1, 2015, the updated exam and related Study Guide will be available at