PR Distilled: The Art and Science of Practical Public Relations

March 6, 2018  |  Home, 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  |  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

[February Luncheon] Launching Luciana: a Case Study in Long-Term PR Strategy

February 6, 2018  |  Meeting Info, News  |  Comments Off on [February Luncheon] Launching Luciana: a Case Study in Long-Term PR Strategy

Launching Luciana


In case you haven’t heard, Luciana Vega – the 2018 American Girl of the Year – has a unique Huntsville connection. She’s coming to Space Camp! Pat Ammons, Director of Communications for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, will talk about the communication strategy that brought this character to life. We’ll hear about the two-year long process – from crafting the character’s storyline, to the complexities of working with an international brand, to coordinating a national media launch, and beyond. PLUS: we’ll get to see Luciana Vega up close!


Pat Ammons

Pat Ammons is the Director of Communications for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. She has a bachelor and a master of arts degree in English from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. After completing her master’s degree, Pat taught at UAH for four years, before returning to journalism, her original career interest. She began working at The Huntsville Times, first as a freelance writer, in 1996, and became a full-time reporter two years later. Pat left The Times in March 2014, to work in media relations for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. As the Director of Communications, she oversees the Center’s social media team, video production and website. Her duties include being the official spokesperson for the Center, as well as working with the myriad film crews and journalists, both local and international, who visit Space Camp and the Rocket Center.


When: Wednesday, February 21

11:30 AM Networking & Lunch

12:00 PM NAPRCA Updates

12:15 PM Speaker Begins

1:00 PM Wrap Up

Where: Redstone Federal Credit Union

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

Price: $20 for Non-Members, $15 for Members, $12 for Students

Select to either pay in advance when you register OR register only and pay at the door when you arrive.

The RSVP deadline for the February Luncheon is Monday, February 19 at 5 PM.


See you on Wednesday, February 21!

PR Distilled Sponsorship Opportunities

February 5, 2018  |  News  |  Comments Off on PR Distilled Sponsorship Opportunities

PR Distilled – 2018 PRCA State Conference – sponsorship opportunities are a great value! Reach over 150 communications practitioners from across the state of Alabama and surrounding region.

This is the right opportunity for:

  • Service providers like printers, graphic designers, web development firms
  • Consultants who want to reach organizations who need PR support
  • Organizations who want to demonstrate local leadership in the Huntsville community and the communications industry

Sponsorships start at $350 and many packages include free conference registration. Click here to download a sponsorship package.

Contact PR Distilled Co-Chair or 256-426-5026 for more information.

[Scholarship Opportunity] 2018 Michael K. Simmons Memorial Scholarship

February 5, 2018  |  Home, News, Students  |  Comments Off on [Scholarship Opportunity] 2018 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.

Not currently a NAPRCA student member? Apply today!

  • Student must have completed at least one semester of coursework and be enrolled in the Fall 2018 and/or Spring 2019 semesters.
  • Student must be enrolled in a communications-related field of study (see above).
  • Student must be a member of the North Alabama Chapter of PRCA (May pay annual membership fee of $25 at time of application. Does not cover local university chapter fee, if applicable).
  • 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 in the online application.
  • 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 by March 31, 2018.  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 2018 or Spring 2019 Semester.

Questions? Contact Whitney Schmitt, NAPRCA Student Chapter Liaison at 256-345-0380 or

Apply Now

PRCA Membership Renewal Time!

December 20, 2017  |  News  |  Comments Off on PRCA Membership Renewal Time!

 Current NAPRCA Members: It’s time to renew your PRCA Membership for 2018. The renewal deadline is January 31.

With the new membership platform, it’s really simple to renew:

  1. CLICK HERE and sign in with your email address and use the “forgot password” link to gain access. If the email we have in our records is incorrect because you’ve changed jobs, email and we’ll get you updated.
  2. Once you’ve logged in, you can choose to include the meal package or skip it if that’s not for you.
  3. Pay immediately or click bypass to get an invoice instead.

Not sure if you’re renewed? You can now check your status anytime on your profile.

Not currently a PRCA Member but interested in joining? Find more details about the new member process here.

Nominees for 2018 Officers and Board of Directors

October 18, 2017  |  News  |  Comments Off on Nominees for 2018 Officers and Board of Directors

It is time to consider nominees for the Board of Directors for the North Alabama Chapter of PRCA.

The Nominating Committee has nominated the individuals listed below to serve as directors of the NAPRCA. Each elected person will serve a term of one year beginning January 1, 2018 and ending December 31, 2018.

Proposed Board of Directors Slate for the term beginning January 1, 2018:

Jessica Carlton, President
Molly Mitchell, Secretary
Charlotte Magnussom, Treasurer
Kristen Pepper, Programs
Lori Miller, Membership
Jennifer Malone, Professional Development
Megan Nivens, Projects
Abby Guasti, APR Accreditation
Whitney Schmidt, Student Affairs
Heather Smith, Member-At-Large
Katie Coppens, Member-At-Large
Keith Lowhorne, Member-At-Large
Rachel Murie, Member-At-Large

Chantel Minish and Leah Gradl are currently serving on the State PRCA Board as co-chairs of the 2018 State PRCA Conference to be held in Huntsville April 17-18. As such, they will also serve on the 2018 NAPRCA Board as nonvoting members.

The Nominating Committee, chaired by the immediate Past President each year, prepares the slate of candidates one month prior to the election of the new Board. Candidates were announced at the October 18, 2017 meeting of the chapter.

Elections take place by simple majority vote of the Chapter membership present at the November chapter meeting. These new Board members will be immediately sworn in and will assume duties January 1.

You may nominate additional willing candidates for office. If you wish the membership to consider additional candidates, send your nominations to the Nominating Committee Chair.

Board elections will be held November 15, 2017.

PR Pro of the Month

June 5, 2017  |  News  |  Comments Off on PR Pro of the Month

Each month, NAPRCA would like to recognize a member who has done an exceptional job in the public relations field – a successful campaign or project, sharing their talents to assist a local nonprofit, etc. Recipients will be honored at a chapter meeting and named PR Pro of the Month.

If you would like to nominate someone for this award, please submit the Nomination Form.

SPRF Lantern Award Deadline is July 19

May 22, 2017  |  Awards, News  |  Comments Off on SPRF Lantern Award Deadline is July 19

Don’t miss your chance to have your work recognized on a regional level in the Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF) 2017 Lantern Awards.

Annually, SPRF Lantern Awards entries are judged on their individual merit by fellow PR practitioners nationwide. The awards program offers three levels of recognition, including Certificates of Merit, Awards of Excellence and Lantern Awards. From those, the judges will also select a Best of Show Award and up to two Judges’ Choice Awards.

The deadline for entries is July 19, 2017. Every PRCA member is also an automatic member of SPRF. There will be no additional extended deadline.

For those members who recently entered either the PRCA Medallion Awards, you can enhance your Lantern Awards entries by integrating judges’ feedback and re-submitting those edited documents straight into the Lantern Awards entry database.

Eligible entries must have been produced between May 1, 2016 and April 30, 2017. Winning entries will be announced at a banquet Sept. 26, 2017, during the SPRF conference (Sept. 24-27) in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Entries submitted prior to June 28, 2017, will be $55 per entry. Entries submitted between June 28 and July 19 will be $65 per entry. A professional member who submits and pays for three or more entries at one time will receive a $5 discount per entry ($50/$60). All student entries will be $20 per entry.

There are detailed award entry criteria for those who are new to the awards process. Your entry is based on both a narrative and uploaded collateral.

Research = up to 500 words
Planning = up to 250 words
Implementation = up to 500 words
Evaluation = up to 250 words

Please note, anyone wishing to attend the Lantern Awards Ceremony must book hotel accommodations by Aug. 25, 2017.

Enter the SPRF Awards here. And contact Ashley Fulmer, APR, at ashley @ with questions – we’re here to help!

[April is APR Month] FAQ’s about APR

April 13, 2017  |  News  |  Comments Off on [April is APR Month] FAQ’s about APR

April is APR Month! We’re taking the opportunity to celebrate  The Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) by recognizing those who have achieved this distinction and educating others about the value of furthering your public relations education.

For more information, contact Lisa Darnell, APR, at and visit


FAQ’s about APR

What is APR?

APR: Accredited in Public Relations

As a skilled public relations professional, you know that your success is dependent on staying relevant, resourceful, and inspired. The Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential certifies your drive, professionalism, and principles, setting you apart from your peers and positioning you as a leader and mentor in the competitive public relations field. Building on the foundation of your educational degree, the APR keeps you current on today’s best practices and applications in the ever-evolving communications world.

The APR:

  • Asserts professional competence
  • Communicates professional expertise, plus personal and professional dedication and values
  • Reflects progressive public relations industry practices and high standards
How do you become accredited in public relations?

The Accreditation Process:

  • Notify APR Chair of intent to pursue APR. They can help you prepare and provide you with resources and support.
  • Join a study group, locate the study guide, and/or begin studying on your own.
  • Review and complete the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations Application.
  • Complete Panel Presentation Candidate Questionnaire
  • Schedule a Panel Presentation
  • Complete Portfolio
  • Complete a Panel Presentation
  • Await “Advance” notice from Panel Presentation (typically within two weeks)
  • Study and schedule a time to take the Computer Based Exam (CBE) with a Prometrics testing center
  • Successfully complete the CBE
  • Receive your APR designation and pin (typically within two weeks of taking the CBE)
  • Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning through maintenance.
How long does it take?

The process can take as short a time as you would like, though it typically takes at least a month to schedule a Panel Presentation. Preparing the Panel Presentation Candidate Questionnaire can take 2-4 hours or more, depending upon the campaign you choose to use and how handy the information is to complete the questionnaire. Candidates say they spend 20-30 hours studying for the CBE. However, once you have been accepted to enter the process, you have one year to complete it.

Is there cost associated with accreditation?

Yes, the cost is currently $385. But it’s value far exceeds the cost. The real value of the APR credential is found in what it provides the professional communicator who earned it, and the companies looking to hire a top-rated public relations manager or executive.